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How To Tell If Brownies Are Done?

Brownies are a deliciously fudgy, cakey, or chewy dessert that can be served after dinner, sold at a bake sale, or given to a friend. But how can you tell when brownies are done baking? 

These chocolate squares are already dark, so color can be a difficult indicator. Not to worry, there are other ways you can make sure they are perfectly cooked for any occasion. 

Cake stand with freshly baked brownies.

How to tell if brownies are done baking?

There are a couple of different ways to make sure your brownies are cooked through without getting dry and overdone. You can look for certain characteristics, use a toothpick, or check the temperature with a digital thermometer. 

Physical signs 

Check your brownies for these signs to assess when they’re ready to be taken out of the oven. 

  • Sides begin to pull away from the edges of the pan and get darker 
  • Top is dry and doesn’t look or feel wet at all  
  • The middle doesn’t jiggle when the pan is gently moved (don’t shake too hard) 


This is the most common way to see if your brownies are cooked through. 

Insert a toothpick into the center, and if it comes out (mostly) clean, that means they’re done. 

You don’t want it to come out completely clean because that means the brownies are overcooked. 

You want a tiny amount of crumbs on the toothpick, but it shouldn’t be wet.  This method works in the same way if you are trying to figure out how to tell when cake is done as well.


Depending on how chewy, fudgy, or cake-like you want your brownies, you can use a thermometer to get an accurate read on them. 

Stick a digital thermometer in the center of the brownies, but don’t touch the bottom of the pan. They should be around 200°F and not above 208°F. 


  • Take note of the temperature you pulled them out at to ensure it’s the same next time. This will help you experiment with your desired doneness.
  • If the top starts to crack, the brownies are likely overdone
  • They will continue cooking after you pull the brownies out of the oven. 
  • Allow them to rest and cool before cutting into them to stay firm and don’t fall apart. 

Cakey vs fudgy brownies  

There are slight differences in doneness in cakey vs. fudgy brownies. Since cakey brownies are meant to be slightly drier and fudgy brownies are gooey, they will look different when testing to see if they are done.  

Cakey brownies

This type of brownie is a little drier, and you want the toothpick to come out almost clean. This indicates that they are cooked through. 

Fudgy brownies 

Fudgy brownies will have slightly more crumbs stuck to the toothpick, but they shouldn’t be wet. 

How to tell if brownies are done without a toothpick? 

If you don’t have a toothpick, you have some other options to test the doneness of your brownies. 

These other options include a paring knife, grilling skewer stick, cake tester, or digital food thermometer. 

All of these will work just as well as toothpicks for testing your brownies, and they’re just more common than these other methods.    

Best way to bake brownies

Brownies are delicious no matter how you bake them, but these are some best practices to help your brownies turn out great every single time

This classic Ghiradelli chocolate chip cookie recipe is delicious too!  

Help them come out of the pan easily 

It’s a nightmare when you’ve got a great batch of gooey brownies, but they won’t come out of the pan except in a crumbled mess. 

The two best options to prevent this are to grease your pan and then lay down parchment paper in the baking dish. 

Allow the parchment paper to lay over the sides of the pan so you can easily lift out the entire batch. 

It’s important to wait until the brownies are completely cool before doing this; otherwise, they’ll crack and fall all over the place. 

Make sure that if you are making brownies from scratch you know how to tell if flour is bad so that you don’t get sick.

Allow the brownies to rest 

If you don’t use parchment paper in your pan, you’ll want to let the brownies rest in the pan for 30-60 minutes and then remove them. Cut them into squares and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Also be sure to know how to tell if ice cream is bad to ensure that it hasn’t been contaminated or expired before you serve it.


If you put chocolate chips in your brownies, knowing when they’re done might be challenging. Poke a couple of different places with a toothpick to ensure you’re getting an accurate read and didn’t just get a chocolate chip the first time. 

There’s a difference between underbaked and gooey brownies. Undercooked brownies are not good to eat because they are just not cooked brownie batter. 

Gooey brownies are cooked all the way through; they’re just slightly less firm in the middle. You can definitely eat these. 

This depends on factors such as your pan size, how much batter you made, and how accurate your oven temperature is.

On average, it takes 35 – 45 minutes, depending on how gooey you want them to be in the middle. 


Brownies are a delicious chocolatey treat that everyone loves. You can tell if brownies are done using a couple of different methods. 

Look at their physical appearance to see if the surface is dry, use a toothpick to check if the middle is done, or use a digital thermometer to get an accurate read on their temperature. 

These options work great for making the best batch of brownies you’ve ever eaten. 

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