Brownie mixes are simple to use, but require exact measurements for success. Add too much oil or water and you’ll likely have a sticky, gloppy mess. Read the directions carefully before you begin. A common mistake is to transpose the water and oil quantities.
Brownie mixes require 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, depending on the brand. When brownies have too much water, they don’t brown properly and they have a mushy, soggy quality. They may not hold together, falling apart when handled, or they may seem oily. Properly prepared brownie batter has a smooth, thick consistency. If the batter is thin or watery, you’ve added too much water. Homemade brownies usually don’t contain water, relying on eggs and oil or butter for moisture.
If the batter seems runny, add a few tablespoons flour to thicken it. Add the flour one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition, because too much flour will toughen and dry the brownies. Don’t add more than 4 tablespoons flour. If the batter is still watery, your best option is probably to start over with a new batch of brownies.
Although you may be able to fudge measurements and ingredients when cooking meats and main dishes, baking requires exact measurements for success. Read the directions carefully. Use a glass measuring cup when measuring liquids, and set it on the counter after you’ve filled it to steady the cup and accurately read it. Add the water only after you are certain the amount is correct.
If your brownies taste fine but come out less-than-perfect looking due to the excess water, dress them up with a few simple ingredients. Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam over the cooked brownies or drizzle melted chocolate or white chocolate over the cooled brownies.
References and ResourcesHome Baking Association: Baking Tips
Betty Crocker: Buildling Blocks of Baking