Brownies can become grainy if the sugar is not dissolved into the butter, if you use coarse sugar, if the sugar is not creamed into the butter, if the chocolate is overheated or if brown sugar is used instead of white. Melting granulated sugar into the butter and chocolate will make sure it is fully dissolved and the brownies will not be grainy.
This article will explore why brownies can become grainy and how you can prevent this from happening.
Top causes of grainy brownies and how to fix them
Check out the top causes of grainy tasting brownies and how you can prevent this from happening.
1. Not creaming the sugar and the butter for long enough
Some brownie methods will have you cream the sugar and butter together. If the sugar is not completely dissolved into the butter then the finished brownies can be grainy.
The butter should be mixed in well enough so that when you rub it between your fingers it should feel smooth. You can do this by mixing it thoroughly with a fork or spoon until the sugar dissolves. You can also use a mixer set on low speed to gently mix the butter and sugar together.
Another option is to melt the butter together with the chocolate then add the sugar and stir until it dissolves.
2. Not dissolving the sugar
Another method for making brownies is to melt the butter and the sugar together. This method makes sure that all of the sugar crystals dissolve and will avoid grainy brownies.
You can do this over a double boiler or carefully in the microwave. If you are using the microwave method set it on for 15 seconds and then take it out and stir.
Heat the mixture until it is hot but not bubbling and you will get a shiny crust to your brownies.
Another way to avoid grainy brownies is to heat the butter and chocolate together. Once they are combined you can turn the heat off and add the sugar. Keep stirring until it has all dissolved.
3. Using coarse sugar
Using sugar that is too coarse can result in grainy brownies. In the US granulated sugar is a fine sugar perfect for baking. in the UK and Australia granulated or table sugar is coarse and will take longer to dissolve.
If you use a coarse table sugar then it will take longer to dissolve and can leave the brownies tasting grainy.
If you are in the USA use granulated sugar which is a fine sugar perfect for baking. If you are in Australia or the UK use caster sugar. Granulated sugar in Australia and the UK is much coarser and will give you a grainy brownie.
4. Cooking in an oven that is too cool
It is important to check the oven temperature for your brownies because baking them in a cooler oven can leave them tasting grainy. If the oven is too cool the sugar granules will not melt.
Use an oven thermometer to make sure that the oven is at the correct cooking temperature. My brownies are always cooked at 320 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit). This will melt the sugar over 30-35 minutes.
5. Using brown sugar instead of white sugar
Using the right type of sugar is essential to avoid grainy brownies. Using brown sugar instead of white can lead to a grainy texture on top as the sugar melts and rises to the top. The molasses in the brown sugar can clump together and leave a grainy coating on the brownies.
6. Overmixing the brownie batter
If you beat the brownie mixture with an electric beater, then it can become grainy and tough. Overworking the mixture can cause the ingredients to separate, become tough and can cause the sugar granules to rise to the top when baking.
Instead of mixing the brownie ingredients with a beater combine them instead with a spoon or fork. This way you can gently mix the wet ingredients in with the dry for the perfect texture.
7. Overheating the chocolate
Overheating the melted chocolate can cause the brownie mix to become grainy. The chocolate can separate leaving a grainy texture in your brownies.
It is easy to overheat the chocolate if you are melting it directly in a saucepan or in the microwave. Instead heat the chocolate over a double boiler. You can also use the microwave method but only heat for 15 seconds at a time before stopping to mix and check to see if the chocolate has melted.
Why Are My Brownies Grainy? | Summary
Grainy brownies can happen if you overheat your chocolate, use coarse sugar, if you overwork the mixture or if the sugar is not completely dissolved into the wet ingredients. Take the time to mix the sugar into the melted chocolate and butter until it has fully dissolved. Use white granulated or caster sugar to make it easier to dissolve.
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.