The best gluten free brownies recipe I have ever made! Rich and fudgy made with cocoa powder, they have the perfect flaky top. Add chocolate chips to make them even better!
- Photos updated 8/2016
- Post & recipe updated 9/2019
Figuring out the best gluten free brownies recipe was quite the journey when I started my search more than 5 years ago. Getting a chewy, fudgy texture proved to be a challenge when you aren’t using wheat flour.
It didn’t help that my husband and I had very different opinions on what the perfect brownie should taste like. He really loves chewy brownies, and I really love fudgy brownies. It took a while to find that out, and then find a gluten free brownies recipe that we both loved!
What I wanted in a gluten free brownie recipe was:
- A gluten free brownie using cocoa powder, and not melted chocolate. Because it sounds easier, and makes less dishes.
- That flaky, crinkly top on your baked gluten free brownies. It is hard to get! I’ve read it has something to do with the balance of fat, and that adding chocolate chips can help you make brownies with a flaky top. I wanted a recipe that doesn’t need to add chocolate chips toget a flaky crust.
- Great texture, and taste. I absolutely didn’t brownies that taste “gluten-free”.
For me, this recipe check all those boxes. You only need one bowl, since you don’t have to melt chocolate or any other fancy business. It hast he perfect flaky top, without adding chocolate chips, and it has an all around great taste and texture.
(Just read through the more than 40 comments below, there are some great reviews! )
How do you make gluten free brownies
This is an easy gluten free brownies recipe, You don’t have to pull out a saucepan, or melt chocolate. You only need one bowl and a handful of pantry staples.
What do you need to make gluten free brownies?
- melted butter or oil. I’ve used browned butter, melted butter, vegetable oil, coconut oil, canola oil, and melted vegan butter. All work great, and will only change the texture and flavor slightly.
- white sugar. For this recipe, I prefer white sugar to brown sugar. If you try to use a coconut sugar, or other sweetener it will probably change the texture of the brownies.
- cocoa powder. I’ve used dutch-processed or dark cocoa powder, and traditional cocoa powder. Both are yummy!
- vanilla or bakers extract. Vanilla rounds out the flavor of the chocolate, but won’t shine so do’t waste your expensive stuff.
- pinch of salt. It make the chocolate taste even more chocolatey!
- eggs. I used regular eggs, but you can also use egg substitute. I recommend a flax egg or Bob’s Red Mill’s Egg Replacer (keep reading for my tips on making gluten free vegan brownies.)
- gluten free flour. I used my gluten free flour blend, but this recipe requires so little flour that I’ve had pretty good results when I use a different gluten free flour blend.
- xanthan gum, which is optional. If your gluten free flour doesn’t already have xanthan gum in it, I recommend adding some to help simulate the structure that gluten would normally give brownies. If you are using a flour that already has xanthan or guar gum in it, omit the xanthan gum in the recipe. All of that said, I’ve also made it with my flour and no added xanthan gum and it turns out pretty similar. My sister has also baked it without xanthan gum, and she and her roomates thought they were just as good as regular brownies.
I do change the order you mix ingredients, first mixing the oil with the sugar and cocoa. I feel like this helps my brownies have a better texture, and helps it to get that flaky top.
That said, I do get lazy sometimes and mix it up like a brownie mix, and I still get some darn delicious gluten free brownies.
Is cocoa powder gluten free?
Most cocoa powder is gluten free. I’ve yet to see a cocoa powder that adds wheat, barley, or rye to it, most cocoa powders are 100% ground cocoa.
I still always read the label to double check that it wasn’t manufactured on the same line as something else that has gluten, but I’ve never found a cocoa powder that isn’t gluten free.
A bigger issue would be using an open container of cocoa powder in a home that bakes with wheat flour. Someone could have used the same measuring spoon or cup to measure the cocoa after the flour.
I certainly achieved my goal of making fudgy gluten free brownies as good as a Ghirardelli Box, I think these ones are even better!
Just look at that flaky top…
If fudgy brownies aren’t your thing, you’ll have to check out my gluten free chewy brownies with almond flour. Those are my husband’s favorite, but they are more involved since they use melted chocolate, and almond flour in addition to a gluten free all purpose flour.
How do you make gluten free brownies dairy free?
If you have to eat dairy free you can easily use vegan butter, melted, or coconut oil or vegetable oil.
Both readers, and myself, have tested coconut oil and vegetable oil with great results. I usually use a vegetable oil or cooking oil, and they turn out great every time!
How do you make vegan gluten free brownies?
This recipe works great with egg substitute to make them vegan and gluten free.
I usually use a flax egg, or Bob’s Red Mill’s Egg Replacer.
A flax egg is made by mixing 1 tablespoon of flax meal with 3 tablespoons of hot water and letting it sit for a few minutes to gel. (Remember, you’ll need two flax eggs, so you’ll need 2 tablespoons of flax meal and 6 tablespoons of hot water.)
When I use Bob’s Red Mill’s Egg Replacer I like to use 3 tablespoons of water for each tablespoon of egg replacer, instead of the 2 tablespoons in the directions. I’ve found that the 2 tablespoons wasn’t enough liquid to give my brownie batter the right texture and consistency, but maybe 2 tablespoons will work better for you. I live in a very dry, desert climate has an effect in baking .
Since baking this gluten free fudgy brownie recipe I have used as a base in tons of flavored brownie recipes, like by my gluten free cookie dough brownies. I even adapted it for my fall inspired dairy free gluten free pumpkin swirl brownies.
This recipe is super versatile and is always a hit.
How long do gluten free brownies last?
If sealed in an airtight container, gluten free brownies will last about 5-7 days (if you can hide them from your family) . You can store the at room temperature or in the fridge.
To save your gluten free brownies longer, you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
Gluten Free Brownies never last more than an afternoon at our house, unless I hide them in the depths of our freezer. Everyone eats them up! If you can get them to last longer at your house, tell me how!
Gluten Free Brownies made with browned butter
Ashton at Something Swanky is one of my favorite bloggers. No, her blog isn’t gluten-free but just go and look at her pictures. They make my mouth water! Ashton shared a recipe for Browned Butter Brownies, which sounded amazing. I made a few changes to the recipe that Ashton shared and this was my result. These brownies are also delicious when made with browned butter.
I have made them several times, with browned butter and without. I loved the subtle nuttiness that the browned butter adds but my husband preferred these brownies without the browned butter because it tastes more traditional.
- 6 tablespoons melted butter, or coconut oil
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup gluten free flour
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour already has it)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 8x8 baking pan, or line it with parchment paper.
- Pour the melted butter (or melted coconut oil, or canola or vegetable oil) into a medium bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer.. Add the sugar and cocoa powder.
- Beat the sugar butter, and cocoa powder until until smooth and almost creamy. You can do this with a stand mixer, electric hand mixer, or just using a whisk (which is my normal method.)
- Add the salt and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition. You can also use egg substitute, equal to two eggs. *see note
- Add the gluten free flour and mix well. The batter will be very thick, and will be smooth.
- Use a sturdy spatula to spread batter in the prepared 8x8 pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs and no wet batter.
- Let cool, then cut into 2" squares. Try really hard to not eat them all yourself. (Larger, 3 inch brownies are pictured, which is why they look thin.
You can use melted butter, vegetable oil avocado oil, coconut oil, canola oil, or any other neutral flavored oil to bake these brownies. This has been our family's go-to recipe for more than 5 years, and we've tried them all.
Originally I used a stand mixer to make this recipe, but it is totally unnecessary. I usually use a whisk to mix the oil with the sugar and cocoa powder, and keep using it until after the eggs are added. Then I switch to a heavy-duty rubber spatula or a wooden spoon when I add the gluten free flour.
You can use egg substitute equal to 2 eggs to make these gluten free brownies vegan. I like using a flax egg or Bob's Red Mill's Egg Replacer in this recipe. To make a one flax egg, simply mix 1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of hot water and let it sit for five minutes to gel. To use Bob's Red Mill's Egg Replace, mix one tablespoon of powdered egg replacer with 3 tablespoons water (instead of the 2 tablespoons the directions call for).
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Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 146Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 35mgSodium 76mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 1gSugar 16gProtein 2g
All nutrition info is a guestimate and will vary depending on the ingredients you use.