The Difference Between Fudgy, Cakey, and Chewy Brownies

Choose your own brownie adventure.

Any brownie is a good one, but we all have the version we think is ideal. Here's what to look for when you're choosing a brownie recipe, whether you prefer them fudgy, cakey, or chewy.

Ultimate Dark Chocolate Brownies

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer


These tender, melt-in-your-mouth brownies are so gooey they are best eaten with a fork. Look for recipes that are heavy on the eggs, chopped chocolate, and butter and light on the flour, which makes brownies cakey. And keep an eye on the brownies as they bake. A good fudgy brownie should be slightly underdone. The batter shouldn't jiggle in the middle, but it should be soft to the touch, or leave lots of mosit crumbs when a wooden pick is inserted in the center.


These brownies have a softer crumb and rise higher in the baking pan. More like a dense sheet cake than a sturdy bar cookie, cakey brownies are especially delicious when frosted. As mentioned earlier, cakey brownie recipes contain more flour, and often call for cocoa powder in addition to (or to replace) chopped chocolate. Granulated sugar also gives brownies a lighter texture than brown sugar.


If you prefer rich brownies that are more chewy than gooey, you'll want to choose a recipe that is made with brown, not granulated, sugar. Bake as directed (until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs), then here's the hard part: you'll have to wait until they completely cool off to eat them. Cool brownies are always denser and chewier than warm ones.

You can pop the pan in the fridge or freezer to speed up this step. (We know it's hard to wait!)

For an even better chilled treat, thin brownies with lots of chewy texture make the best ice cream sandwiches.

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