Brownies Didn’t Rise? (Here’s Why They Are Flat) 


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Brownies are a delicious chocolate treat. There are two different basic types of brownies, cake brownies and fudge brownies. Cake brownies tend to have a little more flour and more of a leavening agent and will end up rising more. 

Fudge brownies are denser with less flour, these brownies often don’t have any leavening or have very little, so they will not rise much, if at all.

If your brownies didn’t rise like you were expecting there are a few reasons why they could be flatter than normal. 

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Your brownies might be flat because the ingredients you used were a little old, you didn’t use enough flour, or you messed up the amount of baking powder that you used. 

Brownies typically won’t rise a whole lot (with most recipes) as they are designed to be far more dense than a cake is. Since brownies are designed to be more dense they also won’t rise much if at all depending on the recipe you are following. 

If you prefer to have brownies that are a little less dense and more cake-like then you can add a bit more flour or baking powder the next time you make them to get them to rise more. 

To see the most popular baking gadgets just click here. 

How Do I Get My Brownies To Rise? 

Fudge brownies naturally do not have as much lift as a cake brownie would have. Fudge brownies are designed to be more dense with less flour. 

These brownies, as the name suggests, are more fudge-like than cake brownies are. They will puff in the oven while baking but as they cool, they will flatten again. 

They will not be much bigger than the batter that they started out as. 

If you prefer to have brownies that are a little more like cake then there are some ways to get your brownies to rise more. 

First, you can make a cake-like brownie. Cake brownies have more flour and tend to have more leavening (such as baking powder) than a fudge brownie would have. 

This type of brownie will rise much like a cake would so they tend to be a little fluffier. You can search the internet for a cake-like brownie recipe or even use a box mix from the store. 

Almost all box brownie mixes have directions on the box for fudge-like brownies as well as for cake-like brownies. Just decide on which type of brownie you want then follow the directions for that type. 

If you want your brownies to rise then you want the cake brownies. The fudge brownies will have a richer flavor as it will be a little more compact.

Perhaps you want a fudge brownie with a little bit of a lift, not quite as much as you would get with a cake brownie. There are a few different things you can try to achieve this. 

Adjust the size of your brownie pan. 

Most brownie recipes call for 9 by 13 pan. You will need to spread your brownie batter evenly through the pan. 

Typically, using this size pan your fudge brownie will be about an inch thick. However, if you change the size of the pan, you can get thicker brownies. 

Instead of using a 9 by 13 pan you can try using an 8 by 8 or a 9 by 9 inch pan. Since you have less space to fill in the pan the brownie batter will fill more of this pan than it would a 9 by 13 which will in turn, make your brownies thicker. 

You will want to increase the baking time to accommodate for the thicker brownies so that they will bake all the way through. The brownies will be done when you can insert a toothpick to the middle and it comes out clean, with just a few streaks on it. 

Be careful to not overbake your brownies as this will make them hard.

Another thing you can do to make your fudge brownies have a little more rise will be to beat your eggs well. You will want to beat your eggs in a separate bowl before you add the rest of the ingredients. 

Beating eggs puts air put into them, the air in the eggs will help your baked goods to have a little more rise. I have seen flourless cake recipes that call for several beaten eggs. 

The fluffier you get your eggs the more lift your brownies will get. 

Brownie batter is typically mixed with a spoon because you do not want to overmix the batter, doing so can cause tough or chewy brownies. However, if you want your brownies to have more of a lift then you can use a hand mixer to beat your eggs before you add them to the rest of your recipe. 

The more you beat your eggs the fluffier your brownies will be. 

After you have beaten your eggs, you will want to gently fold the rest of your ingredients in so as not to make the eggs fall. This will create a little more lift to your brownies without having to add extra leavening.

You can always add some fillers to your brownies to give them a little extra lift as well. Adding fillers such as nuts, chocolate chips, marshmallows, or fruit creates extra volume in your brownie batter. 

This will not change your baking time. Brownies with any add-ins will be thicker than the same brownie recipe without any add-ins simply because of the extra volume that you have created. 

My kids love adding mini marshmallows to brownies. The marshmallows will add a little extra sugar to your brownies but they will evaporate while cooking creating little air pockets in the brownies. 

Another favorite is adding Andes mint chips to the batter. My daughter loves mint and adding some mint chips to the brownies gives them a nice little lift and the mint flavor that she loves without me having to use peppermint extract. 

Besides mixing your add-ins directly to the batter you can choose to layer them into your pan. To do this, spread a thin layer of brownie batter into your greased and parchment lined baking dish. Next you will put a layer of your add-ins. 

A thin layer of nuts will work nice here. You can also add a layer of sliced strawberries, peanut butter, or even chocolate chips. Once you have your layer of add-ins you will then spread the remaining brownie batter on top and then bake your brownies. 

When you cut into your brownies you will have a lovely filling in the middle.

What Makes A Brownie More Fudgy? 

Now you know how to make a brownie more cake-like and get it to rise more but what can you do to make a fudgier brownie? 

A fudgy brownie will have a higher fat to flour ratio than a cake-like brownie. The fat that we are talking about in your brownie recipe is the chocolate and the oil. 

In order to get a more fudge-like brownie you will need to have more chocolate and more butter as well as less flour than you would for a cakey-brownie. You will add around twice the amount of butter or oil and just a little more chocolate, around 25% more, to your recipe if you want to get a fudgier brownie. 

Then you will need to use about a third less flour than you would for a cake brownie. If you are using a brownie box mix then I would just add a little more oil and melt some chocolate to add to the batter.

This should result in a nice fudgy brownie. 

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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