Brownies can become hard on the edge if they are baked in an oven that is too hot, if the baking tray is put in the oven before it has preheated, if you are cooking a glass dish or if you are using conventional oven settings for a fan forced oven.
7 Reasons why brownies become hard on the edge and easy solutions
Check out the top reasons why brownies become hard on the edge and how you can stop this from happening.
1. Cooking brownies in an oven that is too hot
The top reason why brownies become hard on the edges is if the oven temperature is set too high. Putting the oven above 390 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) for a conventional oven or 355 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) for fan forced oven can overcook the brownie edges.
It is essential to pay attention to your oven settings and make sure you have set it for the correct temperature for your recipe. Even a 10 degree difference can cause the edges to become hard and burn before the center of the brownies are cooked.
2. Putting the brownie tray in before the oven has preheated
Another reason why brownies can become hard on the edges is if the mix is put in the oven before it has fully preheated. During the preheating time many ovens will blast extra hot air into the oven to rapidly bring it up to temperature.
This will expose your brownie mixture to extra hot temperature which will cook the edges fast before the middle is cooked. This will give you dry brownie edges and undercooked mixture in the middle.
To avoid making your brownie edges hard, wait until the oven has fully preheated before putting the mixture in. Many ovens have a light that will go off when the oven has reached the desired temperature. Look out for this before baking your brownies.
3. Cooking in a glass dish
Cooking brownies in a glass dish without adjusting your oven settings can lead to them becoming hard on the edges. Glass dishes conduct heat rapidly and stay hot for longer. This can mean that the edges will heat up faster and the brownies can continue to cook even once you have taken them out of the oven.
I bake my brownies in an oven safe glass dish all the time. To avoid overcooking the edges reduce the oven temperature by 5 degrees and check the brownies 10 minutes before the expected cooking time.
I also like to remove my brownies from the glass dish after 5 minutes and pop them on a cooling tray. This will stop the heat transfer from the glass dish and avoid making the edges hard.
4. Using a fan forced oven on conventional oven settings
Using a fan forced oven to bake your brownies on conventional settings can cause your brownies to overcook on the edges. Most recipes will specify different temperatures for fan forced or conventional ovens.
Fan forced ovens will need to be set on a lower temperature compared to conventional ovens as the hot air is blown around cooking the brownies quicker and more evenly. Make sure you set your oven to the correct temperature for the type of oven that you have.
If you love chewy brownies, check out this recipe.
5. Putting the brownie tray too close to the back of the oven
Putting your brownie tray in the oven too close to the back, especially if you have a fan forced oven can cause the edges to become overcooked. The fan in many fan forced ovens sits at the back and will blow directly onto your brownie mixture edges.
This will cause the edges closest to the fan to become overcooked and hard. Aim to put your brownie tray in the middle of the oven. This will allow it to heat evenly around all of the edges without making them hard.
6. Adding too much sugar to the brownie batter
Adding too much sugar to your brownie recipe will cause the edges to rapidly caramelize and become hard. This is good in small amounts but too much can make them difficult to bite through. Take the time to measure the sugar out acutely when making your brownies and you can avoid this problem.
7. Leaving the brownies in the oven for too long
Leaving brownies in the oven for too long after they have cooked through can cause the edges to become hard. To find out if they are cooked, poke them with a skewer and look out for moist crumbs. If you have added chocolate pieces then you may also see some melted chocolate on the skewer.
Take your brownies out of the oven as soon as they have cooked through to cool.
Why are my brownies hard on the edge? | Summary
Brownies will often become hard on the edge if the oven is too hot or if they have been left in the oven for too long. Take time to check your brownies before the expected cooking time to see if they are ready. Extra time can cause the edges to harden, and they can lose their softy, fudgy texture.
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.