Brownies will form cracks on top as the steam is released from the cake. This then forms lines or cracks in the surface as the brownie rises and cooks. As the brownie cools and the brownies sink more cracks can form. The slight crust on the surface of brownies is delicious and can add extra texture.
This article will explore the top causes of cracks on top of brownies. If you want less cracks, then you can try some of my easy tricks.
Top causes of cracks on top of brownies
Check out the top causes of crack on the top of brownies and what you can to do reduce them.
1. Mixing in air
Cracks in the top of brownies are caused as air escapes from the mix and goes through the surface. As the brownie cooks the steam will rise and escape causing cracks.
If you overmix the batter or incorporate too much air as you mix then you will see more cracks. Using eggbeaters to mix your brownie batter will mix in lots of air.
To reduce the amount of air mixed into your brownies use a metal or wooden spoon to mix. I like to mix the dry ingredients first and then mix in the wet ingredients. Mix the eggs gently to avoid overwhipping the whites.
2. Moving the brownies before they have cooled
Picking up the cooked brownies before they have fully cooled can often cause cracks. The brownies will still be soft and will bend as the brownies are lifted.
If you cook brownies on parchment paper it is easy to lift them straight up. If you do this however the mix will bend and crack.
To avoid this, wait until the brownies have cooled for at least 10 minutes. You can then tip the brownies out of the tray straight onto a chopping board upside-down. They can be left upside-down to cool or carefully flipped.
3. Whipping the egg whites
Adding whipped egg whites to brownies can cause the tops to crack. Whipping egg whites will add lots of air which will be trapped. When this is mixed into the brownie batter it will cause the mix to raise, and the trapped air will escape.
This will cause both large and small cracks. To avoid this mix the eggs gently with the other wet ingredients such as melted butter or milk. Gently stir them together with a fork rather than whipping to avoid adding air.
4. Adding too much flour
Mixing too much flour into the brownie batter can case it to crack. A brownie mixture that has a higher proportion of flour will be more cakey, can be harder on top and can cause cracks.
To avoid this measure the flour out exactly or choose a recipe for fudgy brownies. These will have a lower amount of flour compared to fat and sugar.
5. Using self-raising flour
Using self-raising flour in a brownie mix can cause the batter to raise and crack. Most brownie mixes contain plain flour to minimize the amount of rise.
Cakey brownies can contain self-raising flour but prepare yourself for some cracks on the top.
6. Adding too much baking powder
Adding too much baking powder to your brownie mix can cause cracks. Baking powder causes the batter to rise which can cause the top crust to break and crack.
Some brownie recipes contain no baking powder, but if yours does, then make sure you measure it out correctly.
7. Oven temperature is too hot
Brownies will crack on top if they are cooked in an oven that is too hot. An oven that is above 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius) can rapidly cook the outside of the brownie batter. This will cause a crust.
As the inside of the batter cooks and expands it will break through the crust causing cracks. To avoid cracks, cook brownies at a lower temperature to allow them to cook through before a crust forms on top.
8. Putting the brownies in the oven before it has preheated
Putting brownie batter in the oven before it has preheated can cause the mixture to crack. Ovens increase their temperature beyond the level you ultimately want to rapidly heat up.
This means if you put the brownie mixture into the oven before it has preheated then the brownies will be exposed to extreme temperatures. This will case the crust to cook and set.
Once the rest of the mixture cooks, it will rise and crack the top.
It is important to always preheat your oven and make sure it is at temperature before putting your brownie mix in. This will help to avoid cracks.
Cracks on brownies are common and are not always a bad thing. They add extra interest and texture and can break up the fudginess of a delicious brownie. If the cracks bother you, just dust them with icing sugar and no one will know they are there.
Reason Why Brownies Crack on Top | Summary
Brownies are delicious and can crack if your oven is too hot, if there is too much rising agent int eh mix or if you overmix your batter. Gently mix all the ingredients through to avoid adding extra air which will try to escape. Let brownies cool before moving them so they can firm up and avoid cracks.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.