Test Kitchen tips for even cuts every time.
When cookies seem too casual and layer cakes feel too fancy, dessert bars and brownies stand in the gap, delivering surprising flavors in portable packaging. For generations of bakers, these handheld treats have been the go-to choice for bridal showers, birthday parties, potlucks, or any other celebratory gatherings. Why do we love them? Let us count the ways: They can be made ahead of time, baked and served out of one pan, and transported with ease. Plus, they’re great for feeding a crowd.
Serving up impressive bars and brownies can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Not sure how to cut brownies and bars? Follow these tips and your guests will be impressed.
Line the Pan
Before baking, cover the pan with aluminum foil. Make sure to leave about a 3-inch overhang on two sides, which you can use as handles to lift the bars once they have baked.
It’s tempting to cut (and eat) the bars as soon as they come out of the oven, but the longer they cool, the neater your slices will be. Speed up the process by refrigerating them for two hours.
WATCH: No-Bake Fudgy Toffee Bars
Use a Ruler
For the most precise results, measure the bars with a ruler and use a toothpick (or tip of a knife) to make small marks where you’ll slice. This is especially helpful if you need an exact number of treats.
Spray the Blade
A chef’s knife is the best tool for slicing bar cookies. Before you cut, coat the blade with cooking spray and wipe it clean with a paper towel. Repeat this process between slices if the bars are extra gooey.
When it’s time to cut, press the blade of the knife down firmly, and then drag it back in a single motion. Moving the blade back and forth (like a saw) creates jagged edges.
Whether they come with nuts, sprinkled with chips, or just pure chocolate, Brownies taste really divine, and are downright addictive.
But once you begin slicing into them, they won’t always cut cleanly and may not make it to your plate in such a presentable state.
Now, we’d love to share the tips we’ve always used to cut brownies into perfect slices – we’ve done this for years.
If that sounds like a deal, here is how to cut brownies cleanly all the time.
How to cut brownies cleanly
Brownies moist and fudge-like nature is blamed for brownies’ stubbornness when it comes to slicing through your tray of brownies.
The good news is you can easily hack this whether you have baked them fudgy or cake-like.
Keep reading to learn how to cut brownies without destroying them..
Technique 1: cutting brownies with disposable plastic knife
The first brownie cutting hack takes us to the humble plastic knife!
Yea, it may look pretty simple but that plastic knife people often dismiss works wonders when cutting freshly baked brownies because plastic is traditionally non-stick.
Plus, it should take you very little time.
Step 1: Decide how you want to cut the brownies
Eye ball the brownies and decide where you want to cut.
Step 2: Start cutting
Insert your plastic knife where you want to cut first and cut straight down through the brownies.
Step 3: Wipe the knife and slice further
If you want to cut into smaller slices after the first cut, wipe off your plastic knife and cut again depending on your desired cuts.
Voila! You now have fantastically cut brownies ready for serving.
Tip: There’s always a chance that your plastic knife may bend a bit after several cuts so it’s wise sure to have a spare knife.
Technique 2: cutting brownies with a hot knife
A hot knife (serrated) also works well because it melts the cutting path when slicing in and is another hack you can use to get cuts that are as clean as you could ask for.
Of course, the process may take more time than when working directly with a plastic knife.
Note that you can still use a knife with a smooth blade if you don’t have a serrated edge knife.
Step 1: Heat the knife
Start by heating the knife.
While there are tons of approaches you can use to make the blade hot, most people prefer to dip the knife (the entire blade) in a container with hot water then waiting for it to become hot.
Step 2: Preparing the knife
The knife won’t quite cut smoothly when wet and it’s important to wipe it dry.
Use a kitchen towel or a suitable alternative.
Step 3: Cut in there
Slice into the brownies (assuming you’d already chosen where to begin cutting) and cut all the way appropriately.
Step 4: Wipe the knife
Again wipe any brownie crumbs off the blade after the first round.
You can cut back straight in or move to step 5 if the knife has gone fairly cold.
Step 5: Re-heat the knife (if necessary)
If the knife has cooled off significantly, immerse it back into the hot water container. Let it sit for some moments to heat up.
Wipe it dry as always.
Step 6: Make more cuts
Now you can make a fresh round of cuts as per your requirements.
Tip: For the best results, press the hot knife into the brownies with steady pressure when cutting.
Technique 3: cut the brownies with a Pizza cutter
Another method we’ve used in the past is a Pizza cutter. It also brings great results.
Step 1: Lightly score the brownies
A good practice if you choose this method is to score the brownies lightly while they’re still warm.
Step 2: Cut through the brownies
Give them enough minutes to cool then cut them with your Pizza cutter starting at your chosen point going all the way down.
Step 3: Wipe the cutter and make more cuts
Wipe the tool and cut back right in until you’re done.
Technique 4: cut the brownies with a Butchers Twine
If you’ve chosen not to go with any of the above methods, you can perhaps try the butchers twine.
Procedure (How to cut brownies cleanly with a Butchers Twine)
Simply lift the brownies off your parchment lined pan and into a cutting board and start cutting all the way with your butchers twine.
You cut the same way we cut with a plastic knife…
Tip: Always wipe the tool clean between cuts.
How to cut brownies cleanly- useful tips
1. Let them cool
Brownies must be allowed to cool completely before you start to cut them.
We suggest that you place them on your wire cooling rack (on top of a counter) to quicken cooling instead of keeping them on the stovetop where they’re still receiving heat.
2. Cut them into perfect squares
The trick to cut them into squares is simple: measure the squares with your ruler and cut through the spots with a hot, serrated knife (recall you need to submerge it into hot water to make it hot).
3. Use a specialty pan instead of cutting them into shapes
Don’t fret if you’d rather have pre-sliced brownies instead of cutting- simply bake them with a brownie divider placed into the pan (the divider separates the brownies into even sections).
You only remove the driver when the brownies have cooled totally.
All that remains is to prop the pan on a cup/can then press down on your pan to get the brownies off the pan.
Though they don’t take equal effort and time, all these hacks will, in general, help you cut your brownies cleanly.
Of course, the plastic knife tends to give the perfect slices in less time and is our number 1 recommended method.
That said, we all have different preferences and you may find the hot, serrated knife method more favorable or even a Pizza cutter.
Don’t leave a crumb behind! Utilize this simple tip for cutting brownies neatly. Hint: There is no fancy kitchen equipment needed.
There is absolutely nothing worse than cutting into a freshly baked tray of brownies and they stick to the knife, creating a mess. A big clumpy chunk of brownie stuck to the knife destroying the perfect brownie square.
One reason when cutting brownies may stick to the knife is not waiting long enough to cool. Patience. It’s hard, especially when it comes to warm brownies right out of the oven.
Majority of the time the reason cutting brownies turns into a sloppy mess is because you aren’t using the correct knife. Now, I’m not talking about any fancy kind of knife here, but a simple plastic knife.
Plastic knives are naturally non-stick and won’t tear the brownies as you are slicing. When cutting brownies with a metal knife the fudgy center of the brownie clings to the knife. There are known methods of spraying a metal knife with cooking spray or running it under warm water after each cut, but who has time for that?
Additionally, instead of a “sawing” back and forth cutting motion, cut in one fluid motion.
Now tell me – are you team corner, edge, or center brownie? Comment below!
Here’s how to slice tidy, even brownie squares every time.
Have you ever baked a beautiful pan of brownies, only to mangle them on the way from pan to platter? Cutting the bars in the pan makes for uneven pieces, and knives can scratch up non-stick coating. Not to mention, one corner piece always gets sacrificed for the bunch. Instead, opt for lining the pan with two sheets of parchment paper, which will sit perpendicular to each other. This allows you to lift the cooked brownies or bars out of the pan onto a cutting board for easy slicing.
The bottom line is, if you want neat squares or rectangles, a spatula won’t cut it. Do this instead. For *extra-fancy*, even bars, trim the edges of the entire batch before portioning into individual bars. For extra fudgy brownies, run your knife under hot water, then wipe it clean between slices.
Step 1: Before baking, coat the bottom and sides of the baking pan with softened butter.
Step 2: Line the pan with a strip of parchment, leaving an overhang on two sides; press down so it sticks. Brush with more butter and line with a second strip of parchment, perpendicular to the first (also with an overhang).
Step 3: Add the batter to the pan. Bake and let cool as directed. Then, gripping the paper overhangs, lift the brownies or bars out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board.
Step 4: Using a large serrated knife, cut into squares or rectangles, as desired, then lift off the parchment.
I admit that cutting brownies, especially fudgy brownies, can be tricky. Do it wrong and you can get large chunks stuck on the knife ruining the shape of the brownies.
There are many ways to create neat brownie squares. One is to use a brownie pan with dividers. Not only will the sides of each brownie square look super neat, the squares will be uniformly sized too.
Some recommend a serrated knife. Others say a disposable plastic knife does the trick well. Some people use a pizza cutter. Others swear that dental floss is the perfect tool.
I don’t have a brownie pan with dividers. I don’t use a serrated knife nor a plastic knife nor a pizza cutter. I don’t use dental floss either.
After trying a lot of different techniques, I’ve settled with a procedure that works best for me. To cut my brownies neatly, I’ve been following these simple rules for the past couple of years:
1. Before pouring the brownie batter in, I line the baking pan with non-stick paper. I leave overhangs on the two long sides. This makes lifting the baked and uncut brownie slab easier.
2. I let the baked uncut brownies cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so then I transfer it to a cooling rack (some brownie recipes work better if the uncut brownies are left to cool in the pan but that’s another story altogether). I cannot overemphasize the cooling step. While hot, the brownies are soft and no matter how careful you are, chunks will break away and stick to the knife. So, cool. Cool. COOL.
3. When the uncut brownie slab has cooled, I transfer it to a cutting board. And that’s where I cut it — never inside the pan.
4. I pour hot (not boiling) water into a shallow pan (a frying pan or wok works well), I dip the chef’s knife in the hot water, wipe it dry with kitchen paper then I cut the brownies. No see-saw motion. Just a clean cut. I position the point of the knife at the far edge of the brownie slab then I bring the knife down. Think of a paper cutter — it’s the same principle.
5. After making one cut, I dip the knife in the hot water again and wipe it clean with kitchen paper. I repeat this dipping and wiping process after each cut.
And that is how I slice my brownies.
Feeling inspired to bake some brownies and cookie bars? Try these:
About Connie Veneracion
To feed my obsession with Asian cultures, I created Devour Asia. Why Asia? It goes back to my childhood through early adulthood. Chinese food, Samurai and Voltes V, Asian Civilizations and World History. Read more.
Any person with the experience of being in the kitchen long enough to be trying out the dessert part of the cooking session knows the difficulties of cutting brownies. Not only is the taste a very important thing to seriously pay attention to but handling them physically is a real worrisome task. Most people have shown interest in the easy to bake brownies but even that has its own problematic parts of cutting brownies. People can get the taste right, they can get the whole procedure right but often they don’t get how to cut brownies.
Discussion on How To Cut Brownies
Let’s discuss some of those and how to deal with them in detail.
The Problems Regarding How to Cut Brownies
So, you’ve been reading up on the recipes. You have the whole tray filled with the delicious and soft molten chocolate layer. A lot of people stuck themselves at this point. Whether you’ve been using the recipe for the fudge-style brownies or the cake-style brownies, you can’t guarantee that it’s been done right. If you don’t know how to cut brownies, you can end up cutting the brownie-like a child. It’s most commonly described like the brownie was splattered all over your face.
The science behind it all is that the pressure around the chocolate layer is closely dependent on the temperature being perfectly right. And it seems like it’s nothing short of a complete culinary odyssey that only experts in the stations can know. But after a few tries, you can get the timing right to test if the gooey state of the brownie is gone. That’s just some of the difficulties people who don’t know how to cut brownies can encounter.
Some of the experts have addressed this issue presented by a lot of bakers and cooks trying to get the brownie out of the tray or equally cutting it without smudging it all. The way to go about it is to cleanly lift them from the pan on foil but mind the wait. For if the temperature is too hot, your gooey-centered chocolate delight will become a brown disaster.
Grease the knife to Cut Brownie
Once the brownie is out of the pan and the time to cut it is upon you, don’t just slash it in pieces. People take into account the size of the brownie cubes. A lot of people with successful attempts at cutting perfectly stable pieces have tried using a warm watered knife with a layer of canola oil on top. The scientific logic behind it is not much. The oil just makes it harder for the chocolate to stick to the knife. You should take a very sharp-edged and sufficiently thin knife to avoid blowing up the tastemaker.
Image Source: baketotheroots
Use of Parchment Paper to Cut Brownie
Knowing how to cut brownies like professional or traditional experts can take some time and experience. Little things that can affect a lot can only be discovered with enough practice. Like the use of parchment paper. That makes taking off the brownie from the pan part a whole lot easier. The cleaner you get the whole brownie off the pan, the better chances you have of maintaining the shape of your brownie without deforming it. Knowing how to cut brownies demands determination and patience.
Use of Unscented Floss to Cut Brownie
Another interesting idea on how to cut brownies is to use unscented floss. Using the same hand techniques to wrap the thread around your thumbs and with enough tension and strain in the string, making it a sharp cutting tool for the soft bread. This allows for a clean cut without messing up the design and the texture of the cake and brownies.
Use of a hot knife to Cut Brownie
First of all, dip a sharp knife into hot water for about 5 minutes to make the blade hot. Cool the brownie at room temperature or in the fridge. Remove the knife from water and dry with a kitchen towel then cut the brownie. In order to get clean-cut brownies, you have to dip and dry the knife again and again to remove the residue. However, this method is time taking but you will perfect brownies in the end.
Frozen Method to Cut Brownie
Let the brownies completely cool at room temperature. Then wrap the brownies completely and keep them in the freezer for several hours until they are completely frozen. The chocolate in the brownie will get freeze. Once these are frozen unwrap them and cut them with a sharp knife. Don’t worry about texture and taste it will remain perfect after coming back to room temperature. It will be as they have never been frozen.
Use of a plastic knife to Cut Brownie
To cut the brownies plastic knife is much more convenient to metal blade knife. It is naturally non-stick and does not tear the brownies apart. Clean the knife after each cut.
Use of cookie cutter
If you want to cut the brownie in a specific shape you may use a cookie cutter of different shapes. Place the cutter in hot water, once it gets hot remove it from the water, wipe it, and cut. Firstly, press the cutter straight down into the brownie tray then push the brownie out gently.
Important tips to Cut Brownie
These are some important tips you should follow to have a perfect brownie
- Use a pan with straight sides and square edges.
- Place parchment paper to layer the bottom of the pan.
- Use a ruler to measure the bar and mark with a toothpick.
- Always cool the brownies at room temperature for 1-2 hours before the cut.
- Don’t leave your brownie on the stovetop after baking. It will delay the cooling time.
- A serrated knife is best to cut the brownie.
- To have equal slices, always make a vertical cut in the middle of the brownie to cut into equal half.
- Use a plastic disposable knife for a clean even cut.
At some point you’re going to start baking and handling sweets, pastries and cakes can be pretty complicated. Especially brownies. The cheap desserts are deliciously priceless. Knowing how to cut brownies is a serious problem for all those who’ve been trying out desserts. But the experience can get you used to the hardest of scenarios so don’t stop cooking.
Brownies. Fudgy, chocolate decadence and best when baked from scratch. The problem is I’ve got a beautiful pan of just baked brownies waiting to be devoured, I make the first cut and the brownie square sticks to the bottom of the pan. This is maddening. I greased the bottom of the pan. The solution, parchment paper. Makes brownies so easy to remove from the pan.
How To Cut Brownies
This is how I am able to cut the perfect brownie square. Cut a length of parchment paper longer than the width of your pan. This allows the paper to hang over the edge of the pan, leaving handles.
I never grease my parchment paper although I know several bakers that do. I just haven’t needed to.
I use an 8×8 inch size pan.
Pour your batter into the pan and bake. Once baked and cooled, lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper handles onto a cutting board.
Tip: Brownies must be cooled completely!
Using a long knife, cut the cooled brownies into 12 equal squares. This is so much easier when I am cutting on a flat surface instead of trying to work inside the pan. They are now perfectly square. Plus no sticking and the pan is crumb free. Easy clean up.
How many brownies squares are in an 8×8 inch pan?
The answer is 12. I can get 12 perfect brownie squares from an 8×8 pan.
I cut 3 equal rows first then cut 4 rows across the the three rows I already cut.
Tip: Don’t drag your knife through the brownies. You must cut using an up and down motion. The last thing you want to do is to tear the brownies into squares.
See how beautiful they are. No smushed brownies here. Ready for some vanilla ice cream.
Get 6 Easy Cookie Recipes from The Cookie Elf
Each one uses six ingredients or less вЂ“ and you can make each one in 10 minutes or less!
These tips show you how to cut brownies with cookie cutters – and do it with less mess and more success.
TheyвЂ™re a fun twist on AmericaвЂ™s favorite bar cookie, especially for holidays or special occasions. Kids love them!
Cutting brownies with cookie cutters is a bit different than cutting brownies into the usual squares and rectangles (Check out tips for cutting traditional brownies and bar cookies.)
When you think of cookie cutters, sugar cookies come to mind. But brownies are thicker and cakier than sugar cookie dough. And while you cut sugar cookies before you bake them, cookie cutter brownies are cut after they come out of the oven.
These tips help save time and mess when you make cookie cutter brownies.
What Cookie Cutters Should You Use To Cut Brownies?
The cookie cutter shape does not matter as much as the depth of its edges.
Some cookie cutters are shallow вЂ“ even just ВјвЂќ deep. Those will not work well when cutting out brownies for the simple reason that brownies are thicker than that. The cookie cutter needs to be вЂњtallвЂќ enough to penetrate the thickness of the brownie. Choose cookie cutters that have at least 1-inch sides and sharp edges. (Browse cookie cutters here.)
How To Cut Brownies With Cookie Cutters
These steps show how to cut brownies with cookie cutters . and they work with any brownie recipe!