These rich and fudgy gluten-free brownies are so easy to make you'll never go back to a boxed mix. Skip the cocoa powder and use melted chocolate, the secret to this brownie recipe. No one would ever know they are gluten-free. Dairy-free brownies option too. Let's fix that chocolate craving!
A decadent treat that hits all of your chocolate loving buttons. Gluten-free brownies; not too fudgy, but just right. Most brownie recipes use dutch-processed cocoa powder or natural cocoa powder for making brownies, but melted chocolate is a brownie game-changer.
Why You'll Like This Recipe
- Intense chocolate flavor, fudgy texture
- Simple ingredients.
- The best gluten-free brownies and you'd never guess.
- Serve them simple or fancy
For another baked cake-like treat with chocolate chips, try this easy pumpkin snack cake. It's good year round.
- Chocolate: This brownie recipe uses melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder. Buy dark chocolate, either bar chocolate, block chocolate, or these organic chocolate pieces called gems. It's lovely, clean chocolate for snacking and baking, great to have on hand.
- Vanilla extract: Be sure to use good quality real vanilla extract not the fake stuff. Here's my favorite vanilla.
- Fat: Oil or butter? Both work. Use unsalted butter, and let it sit out at room temperature before baking. For a dairy-free option use melted coconut oil (but see below). Gluten-free brownies are rich and decadent both ways. In fact the coconut oil version might be even fudgier (if that is a word!).
- Sweetener: Choose either light brown sugar or golden monk fruit blend for less sugar.
- Eggs: Eggs provide structure, act as a binder and leavener in baking, plus provide richness and moisture in brownie batter.
- Flour: Use a gluten-free blend with xanthan gum for structure.
- Arrowroot starch: An easily digested starch that binds ingredients in gluten-free baking together and keeps baked good a little lighter.
- Baking powder: Works as a natural leavener for baking gluten-free brownies.
Please see the recipe card for exact measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
- If you're coconut allergic, use avocado oil or a neutral oil like this. Another option is plant or vegan butter.
- Sugar types: I tested gluten-free chocolate brownies with light brown sugar and coconut sugar. Another great option to reduce sugar is golden monk fruit blend.
- Swap teff flour for the gluten-free flour blend noted. Teff is native to Ethiopia. Ground into flour, It has a terrific affinity for chocolate.
- For egg-free brownies, try substituting with flax eggs. For more ideas, read this article on egg substitutions. I have not tested gluten-free brownies using egg substitutes.
- Enjoy coconut? Add shredded unsweetened coconut to the batter.
- Want it even more chocolaty gluten-free brownies? Add dark chocolate chips.
- Love nuts in your brownies? Fold in chopped walnuts or chopped pecans into the batter.
Looking for another chocolate treat for your family? Chocolate bark bites are fun to make and bite-sized too.
Chef's Tip: What's a double boiler? It's a bowl over a pot of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. A double boiler creates gentle, indirect heat for melting sensitive things like chocolate. Read more here about using a double boiler. For microwave directions, see below.
Before starting, be sure the butter and eggs are at room temperature. It makes a difference with baking.
Set up: Grease or spray an 8x8 light colored metal square pan and line with a piece of baking parchment that goes over the side by a few inches. This will help you get the brownies out of the pan more easily. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.
Step 6: Remove brownies from the oven, cool a few minutes in the pan, the with the help of the parchment wings, lift the gluten-free brownies out of the pan to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool before slicing. Resist cutting them right out of the oven!
Chef's Note: To melt chocolate in the microwave, place the chocolate pieces or chopped chocolate in a clean, dry, glass bowl and microwave on 70% power for 1 minute. Stir with a flexible spatula or spoon, then continue melting chocolate in 15 second intervals, stirring between times, until chocolate is melted, smooth and glossy. Cool chocolate for 5 minutes, then stir in the vanilla and the melted butter or coconut oil until smooth.
Brownie Baking Tips
Choose the Right Pan
Metal pans: Bake the brownies in a light colored square baking pan. Light colored pans reflect the heat. Dark metal pans absorb and distribute heat more quickly than light colored pans, so the edges and bottom of the brownies will be more done than in a light metal pan.
If you use a darker metal pan, watch your timing as darker pans bake more quickly. The results might be a little different.
Use Baking Parchment
Use a piece of baking parchment paper cut to line the pan, allowing the edges to drape over the sides. This makes the brownies easier to get out of the pan after baking and cooling. It also protects the batter from the direct heat of the metal pan. I prefer parchment to aluminum foil.
Just a simple brownie all by itself is perfect for a casual dessert or snack. To dress gluten-free brownies for a served dessert:
- Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream
- For fancy brownies, pour a little easy strawberry coulis over the top
- Add melted chocolate and sprinkle goodies over the top, like chopped nuts, coconut, or sprinkles.
Standard brownie recipes using white all-purpose flour (wheat flour) contain gluten as wheat contains gluten. Using gluten-free flours, it's easy to make gluten-free brownies that are fantastic. No one would ever know they are gluten-free; they are just delicious. You don't need gluten for great brownies.
Yes, you can freeze gluten-free brownies. Properly wrapped and airtight they will be good for a couple of months.
Gluten-free brownies last about 5 days in the refrigerator, but I doubt they will last that long before being eaten. I store mine on the counter top for a few days in an airtight container and they stay moist and wonderful.
It depends on whether you are baking with white flour or gluten-free flour, how much you beat the batter, and the fat to flour ratio. With regular flour, the more beating, the more crackly top. With GF flours it's different. There's no gluten to beat. You still get delicious, moist, rich brownies, but they don't get crackly on top.
More Fantastic Chocolate Recipes
Try these chocolate chip meringue forgotten cookies that you leave in the oven overnight.
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Rich and Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies
- 8 ounces dark chocolate chopped or use the gems
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend (with xanthan gum) or try teff flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature or coconut oil, melted
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- 3 large eggs
- Grease a square light metal baking pan (8x8-inch) with a spritz of non-stick spray or a little extra coconut oil. Cut a piece of parchment to line the pan draping it over two opposite sides of the pan by a few inches. The parchment overlap makes it easy to remove the brownies after baking. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.
Mix dry ingredients
- Add the flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder and salt to a small bowl and whisk together.
Melt the chocolate
- If using bar or block chocolate, chop the chocolate into small chunks with a serrated bread knife or heavy chef’s knife. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Cool for a few minutes and stir in the vanilla extract. Microwave instructions in notes below if needed.
Make the batter
- Place the brown sugar and soft butter or oil in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed, 2-3 minutes. Add the dry ingredients into the bowl and beat well until smooth and incorporated. Next, beat in the melted chocolate with vanilla, increasing the speed as the batter stiffens. The batter will be thick. Note: As there is no gluten, do not worry about over-beating. It's actually good.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth evenly with a spatula. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the brownie surface is a little firm to the touch, but not hard. Cool brownies in the pan for 10 minutes. Grasp the parchment paper edges and lift out the brownies, transferring them to a wire cooling rack. Slice into 9 pieces when cool.
- Serve alone, or topped with ice cream with shaved chocolate, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or even a strawberry coulis.
- Add ⅓ cup shredded unsweetened coconut to the batter.
- Add a chocolate chips. Here is the brand I prefer. Good, clean chocolate.
- Fold chopped walnuts or chopped pecans into the batter. Add ½-3/4 cup.