Why Do Brownies Sink in the Middle? (7 Tips to Fix Sunken Brownies)

Did you just finish baking a brownie recipe? But… you’re not sure why the brownies are sinking in the middle?

Maybe you just took them out of the oven but they caved in the center. Now… you’re wondering what you’re doing wrong and how you can fix it. 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Many people deal with brownies that sink or cave in the middle. But… this can be fixed and prevented with a few little tricks.

Keep reading to find out how to fix your sunken brownies and learn how to prevent a sunken brownie to begin with!

Let’s dive in.

Here’s Why Brownies Sink in the Middle: 

Brownies typically sink in due to one of three reasons:

1. They were underbaked (leaving the center raw). 

2. They were overmixed (filling the brownies with too much air that “pops” the middle).

3. The oven temperature was too high (which means pulling the brownies before the edges burn, leaving the middle raw).

3 Quick Fixes for a Sunken Brownie

Are you wondering… ‘Why are my brownies caving in?’

Almost nothing can compare to a chocolatey and fudgy brownie. They’re the perfect treat at any time of day!

But, sometimes you’ll make a batch of brownies that don’t turn out right so the middle is caved in. Don’t worry, we’ve got 3 quick fixes you can do to save your brownies!

Here’s how to fix sunken brownies!

1. Place Them Back in the Oven

The most likely cause for a “sunken” middle of your brownies is that you simply need to bake them for a bit longer.

With brownies, the oven bakes them from the outside edges inward. So, the edges will be harder earlier than the middle. In most cases, you just need to allow the brownie tray to fully bake, giving the middle more time to heat up to reach the desired consistency.

You can still save your brownies if they’ve sunken. Here’s what to do:

1. Place your brownie tray back into a preheated 320 F oven.

2. Let them back for another 4-5 minutes.

3. Check the middle with a toothpick.

4. Pull them if they’re done – if not, put them back in for 2-3 minutes at a time until done.

2. Cut Them & Microwave Them

Similar to tip number one, another method to recover sunken brownies is to heat them up—but this time, with your microwave.

This is the best method to use if you already sliced into your brownie tray and cut your brownies into individual pieces. If your brownie is still precut in the tray, go back to step one. But, if your brownies are sliced up, then follow this method:

1. Place a single brownie into the microwave on a microwave-safe plate.

2. Microwave the brownie for 30 seconds.

3. Check the brownie to see if it’s fully cooked through the middle.

4. Pull it if it’s done – if not, put them back in for 15-30 seconds at a time until done.

3. Freeze Them

Now, this one’s going to sound strange to you… but it’s a nifty trick to recover your sunken brownies.

Now, this method won’t cook your brownies any longer. And it won’t necessarily “fix” them in the normal way. But… the freezing method will allow you to salvage your brownies and transform them into a delicious treat you can still enjoy.

Placing undercooked or sunken brownies in your freezer is a nice way to make use of brownies that are sunken or too gooey in the middle. Here’s what to do:

1. Slice your brownies up into equal pieces
2. Place them in an airtight container (Tupperware or ziplock works well).

3. Place them in the freezer. Wait at least 3 hours.

4. Take the brownies out one at a time and eat them while cool. 

This method essentially takes a sunken, gooey brownie, and hardens the middle so it becomes chewy and fudgy. The key is to freeze them and then eat them cool. If you heat them up from frozen, you’ll be right back to a sunken, gooey brownie again. This is one of the most delicious ways to preserve a sunken brownie and turn it into a brand-new dessert.

Just keep in mind: you should only do this method if you’re certain they’re cooked enough to be safe to eat. 

4 Ways to Prevent a Sunken Brownie

If you’re wanting to try again with a brand new recipe but want to ensure they don’t come out sunken in the middle, then remember to follow these 4 tips!

1. Don’t Underbake The Brownies

This may seem simple, but the most common reason brownies end up caved in is that they weren’t placed in the oven for long enough.

Sunken brownies are usually just undercooked brownies. Simply place them back in the oven (ensure the oven is preheated), and wait 5 minutes.

Check them with a toothpick. If they still need more time, place them back in and check them every 2-3 minutes until they’re done.

2. Don’t Overmix the Brownies

Sometimes you end up with sunken brownies because they have too much air in them. 

This is caused by overmixing the brownie batter before placing them in the oven. While many recipes will call for you to use a mixer, it is not recommended to do so as it’s one of the easiest ways to overmix the brownies so they’re too airy.

When too much air is placed in the brownie batter due to overmixing, what happens is the air expands in the brownie batter as it bakes. Eventually, as it expands, it’s essentially like a bubble popping in the brownie. Think of what happens when a balloon pops. It deflates. The same thing happens with brownies.

The best way to mix your brownie batter is to use a spatula, be gentle, and only mix enough so the ingredients are dissolved into each other.

3. Add Eggs One at a Time (And Mix Gently)

Another reason brownies end up caved in is due to the way eggs were added and mixed.

If your recipe doesn’t use eggs, then skip this step.

But, if your brownie recipe has eggs, then it’s important to understand how they impact a sunken brownie. If you use eggs, only add them in one at a time. After each egg is added, only mix them gently.

If you overmix your eggs and butter together, this can lead to even more air bubbles in your batter and eventually a sunken brownie.

4. Use the Right Brownie Recipe

The final tip for preventing a sunken batch of brownies is to use the right brownie recipe.

Sometimes, you can follow everything correctly and still end up with a sunken brownie. If you follow a recipe exactly, it won’t matter if the recipe isn’t good to begin with.

If you’re looking for a great fudgy brownie recipe, I have three you can follow that have minor variations (depending on your preference):

All three of these vegan brownie recipes are plant-based, and taste just as good as “regular” dairy brownies. They’re super tasty, and fudgy, and they won’t end up sinking if you follow the recipe step by step. 🙂

For more tips on how to make the perfect brownies, remember to check out our other posts: 





Leave a Comment