Why Do My Brownies Crack on Top? Preventing & Fixing Cracks

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Baking perfect brownies every time is no simple task. While brownies can look good with small shiny cracks, big dry cracks will always make your brownies look unprofessional. With years of brownie baking experience, I finally know what to do to get a perfect-looking brownie!

Brownies may crack on top because they are overbaked, the ingredients are overmixed, you used the wrong recipe, or your oven may be having problems. Of course, there may be other issues, but these four are the most common reasons for overly cracked brownies.

There are many reasons why a brownie can crack on top. Many people assume that it is because the oven was too hot or they didn’t bake them long enough. However, this isn’t always the case. In this article, I will discuss some of the main causes for cracks in your brownies and how to fix them, so you never have to deal with a cracked brownie again.

Why Do My Brownies Crack?

Brownies will crack because of overbeating/over mixing the batter, overbaking the batter, having the wrong recipe, or having trouble with your oven. These issues will make your brownies dry which will create big cracks on top of them while baking in the oven.

Let’s discuss these reasons:

Overbeating or over mixing the batter

Overbeating the brownie batter will cause it to expand while baking and thus creating cracks in your baked goods. The air introduced into the batter when overmixing butter, sugar, and eggs will eventually come out once you put the batter into the oven.

Since hot air rises, the air incorporated inside the batter will rise up and release from the top of the brownies causing the brownie crust to crack.

*By the way, you might also want to know How To Mix Batter Without a Mixer. I recently wrote an article talking about The Right Ways of Mixing Batter By Hand, which you can check out here!

Overbaking the batter

Keeping the brownies in the oven for too long will dry out the batter. Exessive heat to any baked good will evaporate the moisture from within the batter making it dry and crumbly.

Once your brownie batter becomes dry from overbaking, it will shrink in size. This will crack the top crust of your brownie and make it look broken.

Recipe issues

You may have a perfectly calibrated oven and not over mix your brownie batter, but if you are using the wrong recipe, then you will still get cracks in your baked goods.

Many recipes instruct to cream butter with sugar first before adding eggs. This is done to create volume in the mixture. If you add all the ingredients at once, you will not get the same results as a recipe that calls for creaming.

So make sure to use the right recipes with techniques that work best in your kitchen/oven.

Oven issues

You may have everything right, but if your oven is not calibrated right, your brownies may begin cracking. For example, if the oven is too hot or cold, then this will cause cracks in your brownie mix. You may want to look at your recipes to know the right temperature.

Make sure that your oven is fully preheated before inserting the brownie batter. Putting in the batter at the right oven temperature is crucial for preventing cracks on top of the brownies.

*By the way, I recently came across the perfect Brownie Pan that slices the brownies into pieces without the hustle! This Metallic Professional Slice Solutions Brownie Pan is 9 inches by 13 inches and will help get your brownies out of the pan much easier! You can check out this Brownie Pan on Amazon!

How to Prevent Cracks in Your Brownies?

What I consider normal cracks!

To prevent cracks on your brownies, do not overbeat the brownie mixture. Overmixing your batter introduces air particles that are responsible for cracking once the dough is put in the oven. You also want to avoid over baking the batter as this contributes to the cracking.

Do not overbeat the mixture

Over-beating often happens when you are mixing eggs, butter, and sugar. Be sure to cream the butter and sugar together at a medium speed. Then, add your eggs one at a time while constantly mixing them in. Mix in the egg thoroughly before adding another egg.

If you beat them for too long or even not long enough, the brownies will create cracks once you pour the batter into the pan to bake.

Cracks appear because mixing the ingredients mentioned above can allow air into the mixture. Overbeating the ingredients then causes the air in the batter to expand once they are placed in the oven. The rapid expansion of the batter causes cracks on top of your brownies.

The more you mix or beat the ingredients, the more air bubbles you are going to get, hence the more cracking that will occur.

Do not overbake the brownie batter

Overbaking your brownies is another common reason for cracks. Of course, as your brownie batter dries up in the oven, there are going to be a few cracks on the top. However, if you overbake, the cracks will be much larger and deeper.

And that’s not the only problem you will encounter. Over-baked brownies will often lose their soft texture and become crumbly and dry. So make sure not to overbake your brownies. Remove them from the oven once you notice a few cracks.

Make sure to follow your recipe’s instructions to remove your brownies as soon as they are ready!

*Side Note: You might also want to know why your cakes can sometimes come out Crumbly or Moist. I dug into the root of the problem and I wrote an article about Preventing and Fixing Crumbly and Moist Cakes, which you can check out here!

Are Cracks On Top Of Brownies Good or Bad?

Not all cracks on top of brownies are bad. Most brownies have a shiny crackly top that is characteristic of the dessert. However, if your brownies are cracking too much, then this may be a sign that you have overbaked them, or they came out of an oven that was preheated at a temperature that is too high.

You want to prevent the larger and deeper cracks, and that’s why it is important to monitor your brownies as they bake. In fact, for more even baking and a nice texture on the top of your brownies, you may want to put some foil around the baking pan during their last few minutes in the oven.

The foil will make sure that the heat will reach all sides of the pan uniformly.

What I consider badly cracked brownies!

Following the tips we have provided above will help you in preventing and fixing brownie cracks. Be sure to use the right recipes and check your oven to avoid issues.

Alternatively, if you like seeing the shiny crackly top on your brownies, you can do the exact opposite of what I suggested to prevent it. Beat your brownie batter for only a few seconds longer after adding the eggs to the mixture. This will aerate the mixture further and provide it with a thin shiny crust after it’s baked.

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article about The Best Ways To Fix Undercooked Brownies. This article breaks down how to correctly fix underbaked brownies in different places. You can check out this article here!

How to Fix Cracks in Your Brownies?

You can fix cracked brownies by adding a scoop of ice cream, frosting, or melted chocolate on top of the cracks when serving. This will disguise the brownie’s imperfections while adding a glossy texture to the top of the brownies. This can work with almost any topping.

You can fix brownie cracks on top by letting the brownies cool down completely before cutting into them. You can also add a bit of frosting on top to cover up some of the bigger ones and make your dessert look presentable for guests, even if they are cracked.

If you have overbaked your brownies, then try adding a scoop of ice cream on top. This will help to provide moisture and prevent the brownies from drying out too much.

If you have a recipe that calls for adding chocolate chips or nuts, then try sprinkling some of these ingredients over your cooled-down brownie before serving it. The crunchy texture provided by the chocolate/nuts is another way to cover up brownie cracks.

You can also spread melted chocolate on top of the cracks to add a shiny touch to the brownies!

However, if the crack is too deep and your dessert will end up falling apart, then you may want to consider cutting out a piece from the middle of your baked goods instead before serving it. This way, everyone gets some delicious bites even though they have cracks on top.

*By the way, if you end up having failed brownies or leftover brownies, I recently wrote an article breaking down Creative Things To Do With Leftover & Broken Brownies. This article gives you many unique ways to use your leftover and broken brownies. You can check out this article here!

How To Cut Brownies Without Cracking Them?

As a general rule, let the brownies cool off for 15-30 minutes before you cut into them. You can use a large straight-edged knife to cut the large brownies first and then slowly move down with smaller knives until you have your desired number of pieces.

What I consider a good-looking & shiny Brownie top!

To cut brownies correctly:

  • Let the brownies cool down completely before you cut them
  • Use a straight-edged knife to cut the brownies
  • Press the top of the knife firmly with your palm
  • Avoid making a saw-like motion with the knife
  • Cut out the best part (one that isn’t too cracked) and serve it to your guests

If you are in a hurry, then pop the pan of brownies into the fridge for about 15 minutes or so until they have firmed up enough that they won’t fall apart when cut.

Use a regular straight-edged knife to cut the brownies. It should either be hot or smeared with cooking spray for it to glide down. You may also use a plastic knife as these are generally more gentle on baked goods.

Be careful when pressing if you want to cut your brownies without cracking them.

Remember to carefully remove the brownies from their pan and then cut them. Do not try to lift up the brownies from their pan, as this will increase your chances of cracking them.

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article about How To Remove Brownies Out of The Pan Without Breaking. This article breaks down the step-by-step process of safely removing brownies from their pans. You can check out this article here!

How Do You Cut Brownies Into Small Pieces Without Cracking?

This is a simple way to cut your brownies into small pieces. You will need a straight-edged knife, flat spatula or bench scraper, two sheets of parchment paper, and waxed/parchment paper. Line the baking pan with one sheet of parchment, then place another on top that is offset by about an inch.

This way, you have room for lifting out the brownies after you cut them without breaking them!

Cut your cooled-down baked goods into small squares and then lift out each piece individually. Be sure to use the offset parchment as a “handle” when lifting out the pieces of brownie that you have just cut with your knife.

Put these smaller pieces on top of another sheet of parchment paper, making sure that they are not touching. Once you have all of the pieces laid out on parchment paper, use your bench scraper or flat spatula to carefully transfer them into an airtight container.

To Summarize…

Your brownies will crack if you overmix the batter, overcook, or add too many eggs. You can prevent your brownies from cracking by using a lower oven temperature and cooking for less time.

If you do not have the correct ingredients, such as baking soda, then this could result in cracks on top of your baked goods as well.

If you overbake them, they will be dry so try adding more oil to keep them moist. Hopefully, the tips I have provided have helped you to prevent your brownies from cracking.

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My name is Fainna! I've been baking desserts ever since I was 10 years old with my grandma passing her baking wisdom down to me with every passing day. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful here at my little Baking Nook!

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