The Science Behind the Best Brownie

The Science Behind the Best Brownie
See Gallery
The Science Behind the Best Brownie

Read on to learn how to make the best brownie.

Your preferred texture

Brownies come in all different textures, so it's crucial for you to decide which is your favorite: Cakey, fudgy or chewy.

  • Cakey brownies can contain less butter than other recipes and Fine Cooking recommends using baking powder as well. You may also want to cream the butter and sugar first, rather than melting it.
  • Fudgy brownies might require intense beating with a wooden spoon. An egg yolk can also contribute to the fudge factor. Fudgy brownies don't necessarily require baking powder or creamed butter.
  • Chewy brownies often derive their texture from all-purpose flour, rather than cake flour, as well as from whole eggs.

Image Credit: Getty Images

The type of flour you use

When you combine wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, the protein-like substance called gluten is formed. Gluten helps to hold in gas bubbles and make breads and desserts rise, but too much gluten can make them tough. When making brownies, cake flour should yield a more tender brownie as opposed to all-purpose flour, which has a higher protein content.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Chocolate Intensity

Unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder contain more chocolate liquor from chocolate nibs and seeds ounce for ounce than bittersweet and semisweet chocolate. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolate contain more sugar. You can enhance the cocoa powder's flavor by adding hot water to it, which will free its trapped flavor molecules. You can even add espresso powder to intensify the chocolate flavor.

Image Credit: Getty Images

The art of butter

Butter is hugely important to baking. Creamed butter and sugar hold more gas bubbles, which the baking powder or baking soda create. Once the oven's heat causes those bubbles to burst, the brownies begin to rise. Oil and melted butter don't tend to hold the bubbles in the same way as creamed butter. For a cakey brownie, try creaming the sugar with somewhat chilled butter. If you prefer fudgy brownies, try melting the butter first or using both butter and oil.

Image Credit: Getty Images

The pan matters

When baked in a metal pan, brownies cook more quickly than they do in glass pans. This is important to remember so that you don't accidentally over-bake your treats!

Image Credit: Getty Images


Brownies are such a delightful dessert that come in a variety of wonderful flavors. Brownies can be chocolate, of course, or filled with nuts, butterscotch, pumpkin or even swirled with cream. Essentially, a brownie is just a combination of butter, chocolate and sugar with egg, flour and some other ingredients mixed in, but for all their simplicity, brownie recipes can differ in taste and texture.

If your brownies ever come out with the wrong consistency or flavor, it could be because you haven't discovered how to perfect the sweet treat quite yet. We have all the ways you can make brownies exactly to your liking, so that they come out perfect every time.

Check out the slideshow above to learn the science behind the best brownie.

Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.