Everyone loves a good brownie, but cutting them can be a bit of a challenge. Especially if you want them to look neat and tidy when you serve them up.
Not to worry though, we’ve got 9 easy ways to cut your brownies cleanly so they’ll look great every time.
Whether you’re using a disposable plastic knife, a bread knife, chef’s knife or a special brownie cutter, we’ve got you covered! So read on for all the tips and tricks you need to know to get clean-cut brownies every time.
Why Brownies Are Hard to Cut
The fabulous texture of the brownie crust is actually the main reason makes them a bit difficult to cut.
If not done properly, the crunchy sides of the brownies will likely crumble when sliced. And chewy brownies that on the gooey side tend to get messy when you run a knife through them.
Tips For How To Cut Brownies Cleanly
Whether baking for a crowd or just your household, there is something so pleasing about serving treats that look as good as they taste. Not to mention, a proper cut helps to ensure perfect portion sizes.
Read on for the best foolproof tricks and tips to make cutting brownies easier than ever!
1. Line The Brownie Pan
A sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan helps keep the brownies from sticking. I also recommend spraying the pan with nonstick spray.
2. Let The Brownies Cool Completely
Trying to cut brownies while they are still warm is a big no-no. The heat keeps the treats gooey and makes them hard to cleanly slice. If you don’t wait for them to cool before cutting, you’ll end up with misshapen brownies.
To speed up the cooling process, use a cooling rack. You can also pop the whole pan into the freezer.
3. Choose Your Knife Or Cutting Device
There are several different options for cutting tools. The best way to cut brownies that are in a pan with a plastic knife or one with a metal blade.
You can also use a pizza cutter to cleanly cut a large 9×13 pan into squares.
Or, for fun treats, you can even use a shaped cookie cutter.
Keep reading for more great suggestions and details on how to cut perfect brownies cleanly by using the best tool for your bake!
4. Measure Your Squares
Bring out a ruler and really measure and mark the brownies before cutting. This will keep your portions in check and everyone happy.
5. Press Straight Down (No Sawing)
Regardless of which cutting device you choose, you do not want to use it to saw through the brownies. The back and forth motion causes the sloppy edges that are torn and crumbly. But what we want here are neat, even and perfect squares.
6. Warm Your Knife Or Cutting Tool
I know we said you want the brownies to cool completely before slicing, but hear us out… When brownies are cool the structure of the goodies stays firm and clean when cut.
And if you use a hot knife (or other cutting device), the warm blade will more smoothly glide through the middle of the brownies without any resistance.
7. Spray Knife Or Cutting Tool With Cooking Spray
Help to reduce friction even more by spraying the knife or other cutting device with nonstick spray. Again, the smoother a knife is able to slice the easier it is to go through the brownies cleanly.
8. Clean Knife Or Cutting Tool Between Cuts
Wipe the blade of your knife or tool after each cut.
If you are cutting fudgy brownies, you’ll notice the fudgy center of the brownie clings to the knife. If you have cake-like brownies, the dry crumbs can get stuck to your knife as well. If you used chocolate chips in your brownie recipe, the chocolate can also stick to your knife.
Ways To Cut Brownies Cleanly (9 Brownie Cutting Tools)
1. Plastic Knife
Believe it or not, a simple plastic knife works great to cut brownies cleanly! Turns out those inexpensive plastic knives are naturally non-stick.
Since the blade of a plastic knife isn’t very long, you’ll have to cut in smaller sections than you would with a large metal knife.
After each cut, be sure to wipe the plastic knife blade with a paper towel or warm damp towel.
2. Chef’s Knife
With a good-quality chef’s knife, you can make one long cut across your pan of brownies. You will need to use some cooking spray on the blade to help prevent sticking.
Also, try dipping the knife in a tall glass of hot water before each cut. The blade with cut through the brownies like butter. As with the plastic knife method, wipe any crumbs or brownie off the blade between cuts.
3. Pizza Cutter
Pizza cutters aren’t just for pizza! Spray the entire pizza cut blade with cooking spray. Then cut your brownies just like you would to make square pieces of pizzas. Long, firm cuts work best.
Wipe off the blade between cuts and reapply cooking spray as needed.
4. Pizza Cutter Rocker
If you’ve ever seen a professional chef cut a pizza, it’s pretty fun to watch. They use a large device called a pizza cutter rocker.
If you have one at home, it’s a great tool to cut your brownies cleanly too. If you don’t have one, you can pick one up on Amazon for under $20.
5. Cookie Cutters
Cookie cutters are a fun and easy way to cut your brownies in creative shapes.
Just like with the methods above, the key is to use cooking spray on the cookie cut to help prevent sticking. Between each cut, clean off any lose crumbs or brownie that stuck to the cutter. Add more cooking spray when needed.
When using cutting brownies with cookie cutters, you’ll have lots of scraps at the end. If you don’t end up eating them while you’re working, there are a few other ways you can use them up.
Ways To Use Up Brownie Scraps
- Brownie Crumbles
- Use as Ice Cream Topping
- Put in a Brownie Milkshake
- Make Brownie Truffles
- Make Brownie Pops
- Try Brownie Bread Pudding
6. Unflavored Dental Floss
If for some reason you find yourself with a pan of brownies, but you don’t have a knife or any other tool to cut your brownies, grab some dental floss!
Dental floss has a coating on it to allow it to easily slip between your teeth. That same non-stick coating will help cut through your brownies.
Just grab a long strand of floss, hold it tightly in your fingers and pull the floss firmly down into the brownie to make a clean slice.
7. Freeze The Brownies
If you have time, freezing your brownies is a great way to get a clean cut. Simply put the whole pan of brownies in the freezer. When they will easily release from the pan, turn them out onto a cutting board or other cutting surface.
When the brownies are coming closer to room temperature, grab a large knife or other tool and slice the brownies cleanly into squares or desired shapes.
PRO TIP: Try an olive wood cutting board like one of these from Forest Decor. It’s durable enough to cut your brownies on, and also makes a gorgeous serving tray.
8. Brownie Tray Divider
If you want perfectly square brownies, a brownie tray divider is a must have. It’s basically a cake pan that has a metal grid that you insert. Then just your brownie batter into the squares that the grid forms.
9. Individiual Brownie Baking Pan
An individual brownie baking pan is another great tool for getting perfectly square brownies. It’s similar to a cupcake pan, except the holes are squares that are the perfect size for a brownie portion.
What to Avoid When Cutting Brownies
Have the cleanest cut brownies by avoiding these two common mistakes:
1. Cutting When Warm
It can be tempting to cut into a freshly baked batch of treats straight from the oven. Resist the urge and let the brownies cool completely first!
Warm brownies are gooey brownies, and if cut too soon the edges will be super messy.
2. Using A Sawing Motion
Sawing back and forth with the cutting device will roughen up the brownie edges.
Instead, you want to push the knife straight down into the brownies at one end of the pan, then smoothly slice through to the opposite end of the pan.
How To Cut Brownies In Different Size Pans
The number of servings in your batch of brownies will depend on the size and shape of pan used. Here are a few common baking pans, with tips for how to cut brownies cleanly out of each type.
How To Cut Brownies In A 8×8 Pan
There are 9 servings in an 8-inch by 8-inch brownie pan. Therefore, you want to slice in three rows of three.
Use a ruler to mark 3″ down one side of the pan, and cleanly cut each line from one end of the pan to the opposite side to create three even rows. Give the pan a 1/4 turn, and repeat the process to cut across those rows for a total of 9 pieces.
Alternatively, you can cut smaller portions to make 16 squares. Slice the brownies down the middle, and the cut each of the halves in half for a total of 4 rows.
Turn the pan 1/4, cut down the middle of the pan – you will have 8 rectangles. Again, cut each half of the pan in half to make 16 servings.
How To Cut Brownies In A 9×13 Pan
If you are feeling super generous, one 9-by-13 inch tray of brownies will yield 12 rectangles. Or, for a larger crowd, you can stretch it to make 24 portions.
Either way, start by marking one short side of the pan with 3″ lines. Use these marks to slice the pan lengthwise into even rows.
Next, turn the pan and cut directly down the middle, this time widthwise. Cut each half in half, for a total of 4 columns. Now you have 12 pieces!
Simply cut each 1/4 column in half again for 24 brownies.
How To Cut Brownies In A Round Pan
Bake brownies in a round pan to slice out pretty cake-like pieces! Here you have many options for number of pieces: 6, 8, 12, or 16.
To start, cut the brownies straight down the middle of the circle pan. If you want 6 or 12 pieces, next cut an even X across the pan, using the first center cut as the focus point. Like a cake or pizza, this will make 6 triangles. Cut each piece in half to yield 12 brownies.
For 8 or 16 servings, cut directly down the middle, turn the pan 1/4, and slice again down the middle to create 4 even sections. Give the pan another 1/4 turn, and evenly cut through this quarter section of brownies from one side to the other. One last 1/4 turn, and again, slice through the center of the quarter of brownies from one side to the other.
There are now 8 pieces; slice these in half individually or repeat the process of turning and cutting to have 16 servings.
Q. How do you cut brownies neatly?
A. To cut brownies neatly, use some of these tips and tricks:
- Use a plastic knife, chef’s knife or pizza cut to get a neat edge on your brownies.
- Use cooking spray on your cutting utensil.
- Dip your chef’s knife in hold water before each cut.
- Use a firm downward motion when cutting brownies. Do not use a sawing motion.
- Do not cut brownies when they are still warm. If possible, freeze or cool the brownies before cutting.
- Line the brownie pan with a long sheet of parchment paper so you can easily lift the brownies out of the pan. When brownies are cooled, remove from the pan to cut.
- Cut the brownies top-side down. Your blade will press into the brownies on the bottom side so if any damage occurs, it will be hidden.
Q. How do you cut perfect brownie squares?
A. Use a ruler to help ensure perfectly cut brownies. Measure even squares and make light marks on the surface of the brownies to serve as a guide when cutting.
Q. Is it better to cut brownies hot or cold?
A. Definitely cold. Hot or warm brownies will lose their clean edges when sliced.
Q. How do you cut brownies without them falling apart?
A. Make sure they are completely cool before cutting. And use the right tool for the pan and serving number.
Q. How do you cut brownies without scratching the pan?
A. Use parchment paper to line the pan; this helps to keep the brownies from sticking and you are much less likely to scratch the pan. Use a light touch when slicing the treats.
Better yet, use a long layer of parchment paper when baking, so the brownies can easily be lifted out once completely cooled. Then you can slice on a cutting board and 100% keep your pan scratch-free.
Q. How long should brownies cool before cutting?
A. Brownies should cool to room temperature before cutting. Freezing your brownies before cutting can also help ensure a perfect cut.
Q. What knife should I use to cut brownies?
A. You can use a plastic knife or a large chef’s knife to cut brownies. If using a chef’s knife, use cooking spray on the blade and dip in a tall glass of hot water to warm the blade.
With both type of knifes, be sure to wipe off the blade between each cut.
Q. How many brownies are in a 8×8 pan?
A. There are 9 generous servings in an 8-inch square pan. However, you can stretch the portions a bit and cut 16 pieces (four rows of four) if needed.
Q. How many brownies are in a 9×13 pan?
A. A 9×13 inch pan will yield 12 large servings. Cut each piece in half for 24 medium (2×2″) portions.
Brownies Recipes and Articles You May Like
– Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies Recipe
– Chocolate Walnut Brownies With Frosting
– How To Tell When Brownies Are Done
– Best Gourmet Brownies To Order Online
– How To Make CBD Brownies
Anyone who loves baking knows that cutting brownies can be a real challenge. Whether they’re gooey or cake-like, it’s hard to make a clean cut without ruining the dessert.
But with these nine easy tips, you’ll be able to slice your brownies like a pro in no time!
Micky Reed, a two-decade veteran in the food and baking industry, leverages her influential Three Snackateers food blog and Instagram presence to collaborate with industry giants like Ben & Jerry's and Crumbl Cookies. Her work has been featured on Delish, PopSugar and more. Her expertise as a product curator for one of the world's largest international snack subscription box companies solidifies her status as a key player in the field.