Do Brownies Go Bad?

Chewy, dense, and fudgy, brownies make the best treats especially for kids (and kids at heart!) who love sweet desserts! While brownies are widely available at cafes, bakeshops, even supermarkets, nothing beats the taste of homemade brownies fresh off the oven. So what if you made a huge batch of brownies, how do you store the leftovers? Do brownies go bad?

Brownies will go bad regardless if they are homemade or store-bought. Baked goods are quite prone to mold growth so it is not advisable to keep the brownies in storage for too long.

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The fact is, brownies come in different types so their storage life will vary. Classic brownies and cake brownies have the longest shelf life while blondies and fudge brownies have a shorter shelf life in comparison. Generally, dense brownies have the shortest shelf life due to the high moisture content.

The kind of ingredients added to the batter could also affect the shelf life of different brownie types. Brownies with cream cheese, frosting, caramel toppings, fillings, and dairy have a shorter shelf life compared to brownies made with less sensitive ingredients.

Brownies by Type

The fact is, brownies come in different types so their storage life will vary. Some of the most common types of brownies are:

Classic Brownies: Classic brownies have a moist, gooey consistency. They are neither cakey nor fudgy. Classic brownies have the longest shelf life out of all brownie types because they are less moist.

Cake Brownies: As the name implies, cake brownies have an airier, cakey consistency. Since cake brownies contain less butter and more flour, they are softer and lighter and the characteristics extend the shelf life of the brownies. Just like classic brownies, cake brownies have a longer shelf life compared to dense brownies.

Fudge Brownies: Fudge brownies have the shortest shelf life due to the high moisture content. The kind of ingredients added to the batter could also affect the shelf life of different brownie types. Dense brownies like fudge brownies contain more eggs and different types of chocolates to create a thick, creamy, and chewy consistency.

Blondies: Blondies are no different from butterscotch bars. These are made with butter, eggs and, lots of sugar. Blondies have a similar texture to cake brownies although these are slightly chewier.

Do note that the kind of ingredients added to the batter could also affect the shelf life of different brownie types. Brownies with cream cheese, frosting, fillings, and dairy have a shorter shelf life compared to brownies filled with nuts.

How to Store Brownies?

Storing Brownies in the Pantry

Brownies do keep well at room temperature as long as the container is kept sealed after every use. Classic brownies, homemade brownies, even blondies will keep well at room temperature. Fudge brownies; on the other hand, is better kept in the fridge, however.

The denser the brownie consistency is, the shorter the lifespan when kept at room temperature. Brownies that contain cream cheese, fillings, frostings or other temperature sensitive ingredients should be stored in the fridge immediately, not the pantry.

If you are making homemade brownies, you have to wait until the slab of brownie has cooled completely. Once the brownie has cooled completely, cut the slab into squares. After cutting the brownies to size, store them in an airtight container. Store the airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place away from sources of heat, moisture, and light.

Dry brownie mixes, those that come in sealed boxes, can be stored in the pantry as well. However, you want to check the best-by-date on the label so you can use the product up at the peak of freshness. Once the brownie batter has been made, it shouldn’t be left sitting at room temperature. The eggs in the batter could turn bad and cause sickness.

Storing Brownies in the Refrigerator

Fudge brownies, classic brownies, and blondies will keep so well in the fridge. Cake brownies, on the other hand, might dry out in the fridge so use an airtight container for these treats. Brownies that contain buttercream, whipped cream, custard filling, cream, and other types of dairy or egg-based add-ons must be kept in the fridge, never the pantry. The fridge helps extend the freshness of the brownies while minimizing the risk of cross-contamination.

However, the brownies might absorb fridge odors so always add a layer of protection before packing the brownies for storage in the fridge. You can use cling wrap or aluminum foil to wrap the brownie squares before storing these in an airtight container. This technique will also protect the brownies from moisture evaporation, allowing the brownies to maintain their chewiness.

Ready-made cake batter will also keep well in the fridge. This is great news if say; you are planning to whip up the batter in advance to save time. You can make the batter from scratch or use a store-bought brownie mix, add the liquid ingredients then pour everything in a container. Cover the container with cling wrap before sealing the container with its lid. Use the batter as soon as possible for best results.

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Storing Brownies in the Freezer

Should you freeze brownies? It’s not the best storage option but it will do in a pinch. If say, you made too many brownies with no plans of eating them soon, freezing is your best bet. Do note, however, that freezing may cause classic brownies and cake brownies to turn crumbly or grainy. Fudge brownies and blondies, on the other hand, will remain relatively the same since these brownies are quite dense. Still, you want to protect the brownies from the intense cold or they’ll dry out.

Wrap the brownies in cling wrap and then aluminum foil. Then, store the wrapped brownies in a double bag for best results. The layers of protection will prevent freezer burns and moisture evaporation. For ready-made brownie batter, freezing isn’t recommended but it can be done only to avoid waste. Just pour the batter in a freezer-safe, airtight container. Cover the container with cling wrap before sealing it with the lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Shelf Life of Brownies

When stored in the pantry, freshly baked and store-bought brownies will keep for a maximum of 4 days. In the fridge, brownies should keep for at least a week. When frozen, brownies will keep for 4 to 6 months.  Dry brownie mix should keep in the pantry for 4 to 5 months. But once liquid ingredients are added to the mix, the batter should be used immediately.

How to Tell if Brownies Have Gone Bad

Brownies will degrade over time so if you kept a batch of this dessert in the fridge or pantry, look out for slight changes in color or appearance. If the color or aroma of the brownies looked off, err to the side of caution and discard the brownies no matter how good they look! Moist brownies have the tendency to get moldy so if you are seeing the presence of mold, throw the brownies in the trash.

Summary

Do brownies go bad? Brownies will certainly go bad especially if these were stored improperly! The key to extending the shelf life of brownies is to store them according to the kind of brownies you have. Generally, cake and classic brownies will keep well in the pantry and the fridge while denser varieties like fudge and blondies should be kept in the fridge.