Sour Cream Is Your Secret Weapon For Impressively Rich Brownies

There are so many ways to dress up a brownie. Some people swear by adding coffee to boxed brownie batter, while others like to elevate their brownies with a splash of bourbon. Even when you simply follow a packaged brownie mix, the results are undoubtedly delicious. They're fudgy, gooey, and chocolatey, making them a classic dessert that almost always hits the spot.


If you enjoy experimenting with your recipes and want your brownies to be incredibly rich and decadent, try adding sour cream the next time you whip up a batch. If this idea gives you pause, take a moment to consider the properties of sour cream before dismissing it. It's thick, creamy, and slightly tangy. Adding it to brownies introduces extra liquid and fat, which logically results in extra moist and rich brownies. The tanginess can also provide an additional flavor kick that makes your brownies more interesting without overpowering their taste.

Why sour cream works in brownies

One cup of sour cream contains upwards of 46 grams of fat, along with a thick consistency. These two factors can help bind your brownie batter, making the final result dense and chewy. Not only has research shown that people can actually taste fat, but it's also believed that fat can help carry and bring out the flavor in other ingredients, so the sour cream can bring out all the wonderful flavors of the brownie. So unless you're looking for a lighter brownie recipe that cuts back on the calories a bit, you won't regret adding in some extra fat via sour cream.


In addition to flavor, sour cream has a pretty high water content, typically just north of 70%. This can help keep your brownies from drying out. The thick white ingredient is made of dairy cream along with lactic acid-producing bacteria. It's this bacteria that gives sour cream its familiar tang. In your brownies, you might notice just enough of a subtle tang to cut into the sweetness of the dessert, but not so much that it ruins the overall flavor or takes away too much sweetness.

How to add sour cream to brownies

Many sour cream brownie recipes call for adding ½ cup of sour cream to your batter. You don't need to substitute it for anything in the recipe; simply add it in. This works for homemade brownies, and it's also an excellent way to dress up a batch of boxed brownies. You shouldn't need to adjust any other ingredients in the recipe, though you can always play around with adding more or less sour cream. The addition of sour cream shouldn't affect your baking time, either. Just to be sure, you can use the tried and true toothpick method to determine if your brownies are done. Simply put a toothpick in the middle; if it comes out clean, your sweet treat is good to go.


As for what type of sour cream to use, full-fat is your best bet. After all, the fat is part of what makes sour cream such a good addition to brownies. In addition to the flavor, the creaminess of full-fat sour cream will also help your brownies be more chewy.