The last couple of times that I have baked brownies, they would come out with a thin layer of oil at the top. I don't know if i'm not giving the butter-sugar mixture enough time to cool down but after I add the egg and chocolate, the batter looks too runny and oily. First Method: Melt butter and sugar together in a pot until homogeneous, add beaten egg then chocolate. Put all of that together with the dry ingredients and bake.

Recently, I tried doing something a little bit different. I've been making caramels, so I kind of experimented with my sugar. New Method: Melt sugar until it becomes a syrup, then add hot melted butter until it becomes homogeneous. Add the eggs, chocolate and put them together with the dry ingredients. This time, the batter looked really good. It was nice and thick.

This time the brownies did not become oily. They were good and fudgy.

My question..does anybody melt their sugar before adding the rest of the ingredients in? I know that for Italian meringue and buttercreams, it is a necessity to melt the sugar, but for brownies? I don't know. It worked for me.

2 Answers 2


Can't say I've ever tried method 2 but if it worked for you then I may actually give it a go as it sounds nice.

As far as method one goes I feel like you've mixed the steps up a little. When I make brownies I melt the chocolate and butter together over a Bain Marie, I then remove from the heat once melted. Whisk the eggs and sugar together till fluffy (ribbon stage). Then fold the dry mix into the eggs and then fold the chocolate into that. Never had any issue and certainly never had any oil seepage.

My thoughts regarding the oil are either:

Possibly the egg/butter/chocolate fat is curdling/splitting (like you'd see from an incorrectly made mayonnaise for example)


The butter is being over heated during the melting stage causing it to split.

But that is only guess work as I said it's never happened to me.


I have never heard of melting sugar for brownies, and it seems like a rather extremely fussy step for something as simple as brownies (but that's just me, if it works for you, Hey - it's your kitchen!)

The problem of the layer of oil on the top of the brownies could likely be solved with the addition of a couple of egg yolks for their emulsifying ability. If adding egg yolks makes you think you're going to get cake-like, understand that it's the whites that do that, not the yolks. America's Test Kitchen recently took on brownies (again), and I found their most recent take on it their most helpful yet. I get into it a bit more here: What makes a chewy brownie?.

The subject of butter vs unsaturated oil is also very interesting, and you might find that helpful as well.

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