I've never used a water bath when baking, but I know that people use it for baking cheese cakes (i.e., placing the cheese-cake form in a container with water), so I was wondering if the same concept could be used for brownies.

Whenever I bake brownies, all the edges become a bit too hard from overcooking. This is not a huge problem because it's only about a centimetre from the edge, and I just cut it off, but I was wondering if a water bath could help.

My main concern is whether the water evaporating would make the environment in the oven too humid and interfere with the batter. I would think the same thing about cheese cakes, but the fact that many people are doing that means it's OK in that case.

Edit for clarification: the rest of the brownie is cooked just right, so I'm less keen to change other variables like temperature and time. I've also started wondering about this because I'm aware of the ability of water to distribute and soften the effect of heat. For example, if I try to defrost meat in the microwave, it will start cooking on the outside before it defrosts in the centre; but if I microwave it in a bowl of water, it defrosts evenly.

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    You might want to simply ask how to avoid the edges getting too hard. There might be simpler methods than a water bath (like lowering your oven temperature). (See XY problems.)
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 19:59
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    As @jefromi suggests I would A) lower my oven temperature B) take my brownies out sooner (remember, brownies should be fudgy in the middle!) or C) invest in a light coloured pan that won't radiate as much heat onto the brownies' edges. Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 20:00
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    I think you should experiment and post the results here. @Jefromi you're totally right but the question is interesting on its own Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 15:29
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    @Jefromi You're right, but I'm curious as well about the specific method. After your comment, I thought of posting a separate question just on the hard edges, but a similar question already exists, and, interestingly, one of the suggestions is a water bath. In any case, I'll try it next time I'm baking brownies and let everyone know.
    – Ratler
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 23:01
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    It is hard to hermetically seal the edges of a brownie pan, and condensation drips from the lid will do horrible things to a batter. I've tried. Microwave is probably a simpler option. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


For cheese cakes water bath makes more sense cause you want to avoid burning of the batter by keeping the heat contact directly from the tray.

For brownies the contact of the hot plate is required, and that is how you get a little solid outer part.

When you try to water bath brownies, they would have more or less like cheese cake texture, I actually tried it.

  • Thanks, Giene! what do you mean exactly by "cheese-cake texture"? Is it soft/smooth vs crunchy? And does that affect the whole cake, or just the parts touching the tin or the top? The goal is to prevent the sides from getting too hard, but preserving the texture in the centre and on the top crust.
    – Ratler
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 15:32
  • Hi Ratler, Cheese cake texture is from the inside prospective. Outside you dont want to be like a cracker hardness for brownies so water bath helps in giving softer texture outside.
    – DJD
    Commented Aug 8, 2015 at 4:19

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