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How do you keep brownie bites from sticking to the pan?

Use the Right Pan

The first step in preventing brownie bites from sticking is to use the right type of pan. The best pans for baking brownie bites are:

Pan Type Details
Metal muffin tin The small, round cups are perfect for making bite-sized brownies. Metal conducts heat well for even baking.
Silicone muffin tin Silicone is naturally non-stick. The flexible material also makes removing the brownies easy.

Avoid using glass pans for brownie bites—the batter will be more likely to stick. Greasing the pan well is extra important if using metal or ceramic muffin tins.

Grease the Pan

Greasing your pan thoroughly before adding the batter is one of the most effective ways to prevent sticking. Use butter, non-stick cooking spray, or baking spray with flour to coat the entire interior surface. Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies.

If using a metal pan, brush on melted butter then dust with flour or cocoa powder. Tap the pan gently to remove any excess. The fat from the butter and the light coating of flour will create a non-stick barrier.

Grease and Line the Pan

For even better insurance against sticking, you can grease the pan then line the cups with paper liners. Use mini paper cups or liners made specifically for miniature muffins. The paper will prevent the brownie bites from attaching directly to the pan.

When using liners, still make sure to grease the pan first. This will prevent the liners from shifting during baking. Press the liners tightly into the bottom and up the sides of each cup in the pan.

Use the Right Batter Consistency

The consistency of your brownie batter can also affect sticking. If the batter is over-mixed and becomes too thin, it is more likely to stick. Mix your batter just until the dry ingredients are incorporated and any lumps are gone.

Likewise, avoid under-mixing the batter. Small pockets of flour or cocoa powder that are not fully integrated can lead to sticking in those spots. Mix the batter thoroughly but gently to achieve the ideal consistency.

Don’t Overfill the Cups

When portioning the brownie batter into your prepared pan, take care not to overfill the cups. Filling too high can cause the brownies to overflow the liners and spread onto the pan surface during baking.

Fill each cup about 2/3 full for standard size brownie bites. Dome the batter gently if needed to keep it contained.

Allow Room for Expansion

As the brownie bites bake, the batter will puff up slightly before settling. Be sure to leave adequate room at the top of each liner or cup for expansion. Overfilling causes the batter to rise up the sides and can make the brownies more likely to stick.

Use Proper Baking Techniques

How you bake the brownies also impacts how easily they remove from the pan. Follow these tips:

Bake at the Right Temperature

Baking the brownies at the temperature recommended in the recipe is important. Too low of a temperature can make the brownies spread too much while baking. Too high of a temperature can cause the exterior to overcook while the middle remains underdone.

Bake at the suggested oven temperature, checking at the minimum time to avoid over baking. The brownie bites are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

Cool Completely Before Removing

Patience is key when baking brownie bites. Allow the brownies to cool fully in the pan before attempting to remove them. This allows them to firm up completely for a clean release.

Cool for a minimum of one hour on a wire rack. Refrigerating briefly after cooling can help firm them up even more. Avoid the temptation to remove the brownies while still warm.

Lift Gently and Evenly

Once cooled, use a small offset spatula or knife to gently lift each brownie bite from the pan. Slide the tool around the edges to detach the sides first. Slowly work the blade underneath, supporting the brownie with your hand as you lift up.

Twisting or aggressive prying can cause sticking and breakage. Lift straight up for the cleanest release.

Adjust the Ingredients as Needed

Sometimes, minor adjustments to the recipe can make a difference in sticking. Try these tweaks:

Add More Fat

Increasing the amount of oil or butter makes the batter more lubricated and less viscous. An extra tablespoon or two can improve release, especially if the recipe seems dry.

Reduce Sugar Slightly

Large amounts of sugar stiffen the batter and can lead to sticking. Cutting back the sugar by a tablespoon or two adds fluidity. Go easy, as you still want the signature chewy brownie texture.

Use Alternative Leaveners

Replacing baking powder with a combination of baking soda and vinegar reduces spread. Baking soda plus yogurt or buttermilk also improves structure.

Add Cornstarch

A bit of cornstarch can help absorb excess moisture in the batter that causes sticking. 1-2 teaspoons is plenty for a batch of brownie bites.

Swap Out Cocoa Powder

Natural cocoa powder tends to be less sticky than Dutch-processed. Replacing a few tablespoons of Dutch-processed cocoa with natural cocoa can help.

Troubleshooting Sticking

Sometimes, brownie bites stick to the pan no matter what. Here are fixes for stuck brownies:

Reheat and Retry

If the brownies are only slightly stuck after cooling, you may be able to coax them out by reheating. Warm the pan for 10-20 seconds in the microwave. Immediately run a knife around the edges and try lifting again.

Freeze then Remove

Freezing makes brownies very firm and can help release them from the cups. Place the pan in the freezer for at least an hour. Once frozen solid, run the pan under warm water to help loosen the brownies.

Steam Away Sticking

Placing a damp paper towel over stuck brownies and microwaving can create steam to loosen them. Heat for 20-30 seconds at a time, checking in between. Repeat as needed.

Keep them Stuck

If some brownies remain stuck after many removal attempts, leave them in place rather than mangle them. Enjoy the easy-to-remove brownies and salvage the ones stuck in the pan as a cook’s treat!


Preventing sticking when baking brownie bites starts with using the right tools and ingredients. A properly greased pan, ideal batter consistency, and smart baking techniques will ensure your brownies lift out perfectly every time. Adjust the recipe as needed if sticking persists. And if all else fails, don’t despair – serve the brownie pan as-is and relish the delicious stuck-on bits! With the right tricks, you can keep your brownie bites from ever sticking again.