Bake

Why Your Blondies Are Raw In the Middle (+ The Stella Parks Cure)

March 22, 2018

We’ve seen many, many blondies in our Baking Club, and while there have been a number of successful batches, we’ve also seen quite a few failures serious disappointments. Here is a small selection of our members’ gripes:

  • Mark Neufang: "You know, I shy away from making any blondie recipe, because no matter which recipe I used, they always seemed to come out under-baked, greasy, and gooey."

  • Kayla Mize: "Same issue here, too. After baking them for what seemed like a month, I finally pulled them, cut them, and baked them separately like cookies on a sheet."

  • Kristi Skjei Monson: "Shall we start BUA (Blondie Under-bakers Anonymous)? I have the same issue...which has led to a longstanding dislike of blondies."

If this hits home for you, too, don’t give up on blondies! Stella Parks has a surprisingly simple solution: Air.

You, too, can make picture perfect blondies. Photo by James Ransom

Yes, air. Or, lack thereof, rather. Parks swooped in to save the day (and future batches of blondies), acknowledging that while glass pans can make a big difference (requiring up to double the baking time), the biggest issue is usually under-aeration. In order words, we haven’t been whipping the blondie batter long enough.

She explains that under-aeration can lead to the seemingly undercooked results, because “if there’s not enough air incorporated into the unleavened batter, it won’t puff or rise, and the result will be a dense lump no matter how long it bakes.” And adds, “Under-aeration is especially common with hand mixers, but can happen due to using time over visual cues with any mixer due to wattage differences. The egg-sugar mixture MUST go from dense, runny, and dark to light, thick, and pale for it to work.” The mixture should end up “SUPER thick and fluffy, but not stiff,” as shown in her visual comparison, below.

Whip it, whip it good! Photo by Stella Parks

If you need more guidance, check out her video on brownies on Serious Eats, so you know exactly what to look for when whipping the eggs and the sugar. And yes, that’s a brownie video, not a blondie video. Under-aeration can be the culprit for seemingly under-baked brownies, too, but it seems to be a more frequent issue with blondies—Parks explains that blondies “may take longer to whip due to the ratio of brown sugar.”

Ready to give 'em another go?

Head here for more about what's ahead for our Baking Club!

2 Comments

mj July 20, 2018
I followed your advice here after several attempts at blondies that always ended up underbaked inside and needing at least double the baking time, resulting in overbaked edges. <br /><br />It helped with the baking time, but I am so disappointed with the result I am torn whether to just throw them out. They have a texture that's like a meringue cookie from beating the sugar and egg so much, and I just dislike it so much. My mom used to make blondies and they always turned out very nicely, but I don't know what she did.
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. July 23, 2018
Oh no! They definitely shouldn't have a texture like a meringue cookie, I'm wondering if you might have gone too far in the other direction and overcreamed the eggs and sugar. Stella Parks is amazing with helping to troubleshoot, too, you might try commenting on her brownie post on Serious Eats (linked above), or asking her on Twitter for additional thoughts.