Considering doubling your brownie recipe and freezing half for later?
Or maybe a single slab of brownie is too much for your needs and you’re thinking of freezing half right away?
If that sounds familiar, you’re probably wondering: can you freeze brownies?
the short answer
Unfrosted brownies freeze perfectly well. All you need to do is wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in a freezer bag. Since most popular frostings don’t freeze well, it’s best to freeze brownies unfrosted and freeze them only after thawing.
That is the gist of it. If you want to learn a little more on the subject, here’s what we cover next:
- how freezing affects brownies – do they freeze well?
- freezing plain brownies vs. freezing sundaes and other types of brownies
- freeze brownies step by step
- defrost brownies
- Is freezing brownie batter an option?
Can you freeze brownies?
Regular brownies freeze well, and all they need is a tight wrapper to protect them from freezer burn.
More elaborate brownies, such as those that include fresh fruit, any type of filling, or are frosted, are more complicated. That’s because it’s usually not clear if they’ll freeze well or not. It all depends on the “extra” ingredients.
A typical brownie is made from sugar, flour, cocoa powder, eggs, and a little butter or oil, and that combination freezes well.
The worst that can happen in the freezer is that the brownie loses a bit of moisture in the process. That means the defrosted fudge won’t be as nice and moist as it was when it came out of the oven, but it will still taste pretty good. Especially if you add a cool topping.
Can you freeze frosted brownies?
Whether or not you can freeze your frosted brownies depends on how well the frosting holds up to freezing and thawing. If it freezes well, your brownies will freeze perfectly fine. But if not, your brownies will be ruined after defrosting.
The easiest solution to this problem is to freeze the unfrosted brownies and make fresh frosting when the brownies are thawed. This way, you don’t have to worry about whether or not the frosting freezes well.
Also, freezing frosted brownies forces you to use containers because using wrappers or bags would spoil the frosting. And if you use containers, there’s a lot of extra air around the brownies, which promotes drying (which we obviously don’t want).
In other words, freeze your brownies without frosting if you can. But what if you’ve already frosted yours?
The best thing to do here is to run a quick test:
- Take a single brownie and freeze it for about 3-4 hours (until your frosting is frozen).
- Thaw it in the fridge. After 3-4 hours, it should be completely thawed.
- Evaluate the results. After looking at and tasting the frozen and thawed square, you should know how well your frosting freezes and whether it makes sense to freeze the sweet frosting.
If the frosting is ruined and the quality is unacceptable or just plain poor, you have two options:
- try to eat as many brownies as you can before they go bad
- Remove the frosting and freeze the brownies without it.
Related: How long do brownies last?
Similar rules apply to brownies with fresh fruit or jam: it’s hard to say how well they freeze, as there are too many factors at play. It’s better to give it a try and see how things work for yourself.
How to freeze brownies?
This is how brownies are frozen:
- Let it cool. It doesn’t matter if you freeze the entire slab or individual brownies, you should allow the fudge to cool to room temperature before proceeding.
- Divide (or not). You can freeze individual brownies or the entire slab. While it’s best to freeze it whole before cutting, you should do what makes the most sense in your circumstances. It’s okay if you want to cut them up so you can defrost just one or two whenever you feel like it.
- Wrap it. A tight wrap prevents freezer burn and helps the brownies retain as much moisture as possible. If you are freezing individual brownies, I suggest wrapping each one in plastic wrap and then placing them all in a freezer bag. If you’re freezing the entire slab (or a portion of it), the wrapping depends on how long you expect the brownie to stay in the freezer. In the short term, like a couple of weeks, placing the candy in the freezer bag should suffice. For longer periods, I suggest wrapping the brownie in plastic or freezer wrap and then putting it in a freezer bag. You can obviously double wrap it no matter how long it’s frozen. If you’re freezing frozen brownies, use resealable containers and opt for those that take up as little extra space as possible.
- Freeze. Add a name and date label if you find it helpful, and place the bag or bags in the freezer.
As you can see the whole process is super simple and all you need are freezer bags and maybe some plastic wrap.
Freezing a whole brownie slab produces better results than freezing brownie squares. Less surface area exposed to air means the brownie dries more slowly. The only drawback is that you have to thaw the entire slab before cutting it.
How to defrost brownies?
The easiest way to defrost brownies, whether they’re sliced or you have an uncut slab, is to leave them at room temperature. After one to four hours, depending on how thick and dense the brownies are, they will be defrosted and ready to eat.
If your brownie is super moist and you noticed some frosting on the bottom, consider placing a paper towel or two underneath while it thaws. The towel will absorb some of the moisture, leaving the brownie nice and moist, but not wet.
All of the above works well for plain brownies without frosting. But, what if yours are frosted or include some jam or fresh fruit?
If that’s the case, I recommend thawing them overnight in the fridge. Make sure they are well wrapped so they don’t absorb any odors from the refrigerator and don’t get too dry.
Also, adding a couple of paper towels underneath should trap any extra moisture released in the thawing process.
The only downside to thawing brownies in the fridge is that it takes 6-8 hours. That means you need to plan ahead.
Of course, you can also thaw regular brownies in the fridge.
Long story short, if you store your brownies on the counter, you can defrost them on the counter. But if you keep them in the fridge, that’s where you need to thaw them.
Related: How to store brownies?
Can you freeze brownie batter?
You can freeze brownie batter for months without noticeable loss of quality. All you need to do is pour the mixed batter into a freezer bag, squeeze out all the excess air, and seal the bag. Once this is done, you can put it in the freezer, where it can sit for at least a year.
Brownie batter typically consists of sugar, flour, cocoa powder, eggs, and butter or oil. All of these freeze well, even after mixing.
What’s important to note is that brownie batter usually doesn’t include a leavening agent (like baking powder or baking soda). So you don’t have to wonder if that agent will lose its potency if the dough stays frozen for too long.
When it comes to freezing the dough, consider placing the bag on a flat surface until its contents freeze. This will freeze the brownie batter, allowing you to easily layer other foods on top. Or stack a couple bags on top of each other.
Lastly, if that bagged dough is similar to anything else in your freezer, adding a name and date label should help.