How to Cut Brownies

In this post, I want to give tips on how to cut through dense, fudge-like brownies and brownies topped with marshmallows like my Rocky Road Brownies!

I’m sure we have all had that experience of being so excited about brownies that we’ve made and can’t wait to eat. As soon as we’ve started to cut the brownies, the knife is pulling the brownies with it causing crumbs to fly everywhere and ruin our brownies! It’s so frustrating because you want to eat the brownies, not lose half of them to your knife!

Well, follow these tips and you will have a much easier time cutting perfect lines in your brownies!

Tip 1 – Cover Your Baking Pan in Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is a miracle product in the kitchen! I will take a large piece of it and cover the entire baking pan I am using with it. Make sure you gently press it into the corners so as not to tear the foil. I then wrap the excess around the handles of the pan to make moving the pan from counter to oven and back easier. Aluminum foil will make the brownies not stick to your pan and be easy to remove from the foil itself. To release the brownies, simply unfold the foil and lift the brownies out of the pan. Then, peel back the aluminum foil to work with your brownies. It’s so easy. It makes cleaning the pan take 2 seconds and you open up all of this work space for cutting your brownies instead of working within the confines of an 8×8 or 9×9 or 9×13 pan!

Tip 2 – Only Cut 100% Cooled Brownies

Every brownie recipe will tell you to cool your brownies completely before cutting. This isn’t just so you don’t burn yourself on hot brownies! Brownies are not completely solidified until they are room temperature so when you try to cut them hot, it’s a total mess. Always, always, always wait for your brownies to cool before cutting.

*Side Tip*

Ok, there IS a way to cut hot brownies and that is to use a plastic knife. Unlike metal knifes which insulate heat, a plastic knife will be unbothered by the heat of the brownies. This will make it the only tool that will cut through hot brownies easily. That said, I can’t in good faith recommend cutting warm brownies as brownies are super hot when they come out of the oven. I don’t want you to burn yourself trying to eat them hot! Also, as said before, the brownies are completely solidified when hot. This means that they will fall apart rather easily when handling when hot. But…warm brownies are delicious and sometimes you can’t wait so in those moments you want to reach for the plastic knife.

Tip 3 – For Fudge Brownies, Use a Plastic Knife or a Warmed-Up Non-Serrated Knife

For fudge brownies that are totally cooled, you want to go with one of those tools. The first is a plastic knife. A plastic knife will cut through brownies easily and flawlessly. I use a little back and forth sawing motion to cut down through the brownies. Once you cut down the columns, you can turn the brownies 90 degrees to cut into rows.

The second tool for cutting fudge brownies is a non-serrated, metal knife. Here, you want to first heat up the knife under hot, running water until the knife is heated up. As previously mentioned, metal insulates heat so the knife will get warmed up from the heat of the water. Once the knife is hot, wipe off the water with a paper towel or kitchen towel so there’s no moisture on it. Then you can cut through the brownies using a back and forth sawing motion. Again, you can easily turn the brownies once cutting through one way to cut them again.

Tip 4 –  For Marshmallow-Topped Brownies, Use a Warmed-Up Non-Serrated Knife

When cutting my Rocky Road Brownies or any brownies with marshmallows on top, you have to be really careful. Marshmallows are super sticky, especially after being melted. I reach for a long, non-serrated, metal knife to get the job done. Like with the fudge brownies, I want to heat up my knife by running it under hot water. Then clean off the moisture with a paper or kitchen towel.

Here’s where things get a little different. Instead of using a back and forth sawing motion, I will line up my knife where I want to cut the brownies and instead push the knife straight down to cut. Don’t use a sawing motion or anything other than a straight down push through the brownies or the marshmallow will act up on you. Once the knife is down through the brownies, I wiggle the knife a little to release the sides from each other and move the cut column of brownies to the side. Again, leave those brownies separated or the marshmallow on the tops of them will stick back together again. Then, you can rinse the knife again before cutting the rest of your columns.

Once you have cut through one way, you can turn your brownies 90 degrees. Leave your rows of brownies separated because you don’t want them to stick back together again. With your cleaned, heated-up knife, cut through one row to make the individual brownies. Rinse your knife and then move on to the next row. As you cut the brownies into individual ones, move your cut brownies on to a plate or platter or placemat or whatever else so that there is plenty of breathing space for the brownies.