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Best Gluten-Free Brownies

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home". She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated".

Gluten-Free Brownies

Gluten-Free Brownies

Chewy, Fudgy Brownies From Scratch

We just love brownies! When I developed a gluten sensitivity, I had to find a way to make a gluten-free version. I was happy to find that they are the easiest baked goods to adapt. And these are so much more delicious than brownies made from a box mix.

Don't waste my time with dry or cakey brownies. These treats don't fail to please with their fudgy, chewy texture and rich flavor. The kids won't even know they're gluten-free! You just need a few ingredients that you probably already have on hand. You won't be confused by a long list of complicated mixing and baking instructions, either.

The only ingredient you may have to go out and buy is garbanzo flour. Just keep a bagful in your pantry for any time you're craving a rich, chocolatey treat. You can substitute a gluten-free flour blend for the garbanzo flour, but please read the capsule below titled "The Xanthan Gum Controversy" before making that decision.

Two important things to keep in mind:

  1. Buy good quality cocoa powder, such as Ghirardelli or Pernigotti (it's pricey but worth it.)
  2. Be sure not to over-bake the brownies so they'll stay moist and chewy.

That's all! Now are you ready to get baking?

Gluten-Free Brownies

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

30 min

45 min

12 brownies

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder*
  • 2 tablespoons strong coffee or espresso
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups garbanzo flour

*Note: If baking at high altitude, reduce baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon for 6–7,000 feet. Reduce to 1/2 teaspoon for 8–9,000 feet.

Optional Add-Ins

  • 2 cups Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips
  • 1 cup nuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9x9-inch square pan.
  3. In a large bowl combine eggs, cocoa, salt, baking powder, coffee, and vanilla extract. Batter will be thick.
  4. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and sugar. Stir until melted.
  5. Continue to heat the butter/sugar mixture until bubbly but not boiling. The sugar will melt and the mixture will look shiny.
  6. Allow mixture to cool slightly.
  7. Add warm butter mixture to the cocoa batter and beat with mixer until smooth.
  8. Add garbanzo flour and optional chocolate chips and/or nuts, blending with a spatula until just until combined.
  9. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, or until the edges are set and pulling away from the edges of the pan. The center will look moist. Be sure NOT to overbake the brownies!
  10. Cut brownies and store in a tupperware for 3 days in the fridge or freeze for a month.

Photo Tutorial

Gather ingredients.

Gather ingredients.

Combine eggs, cocoa, and other dry ingredients.

Combine eggs, cocoa, and other dry ingredients.

Combine with mixer. Batter will be dry.

Combine with mixer. Batter will be dry.

Combine butter and sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat.

Combine butter and sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat.

Simmer, stirring constantly, until sugar melts. Cool slightly.

Simmer, stirring constantly, until sugar melts. Cool slightly.

Pour warm sugar/butter mixture into cocoa batter and mix with hand mixer until smooth.

Pour warm sugar/butter mixture into cocoa batter and mix with hand mixer until smooth.

Add garbanzo flour.

Add garbanzo flour.

Blend with a spatula until smooth.

Blend with a spatula until smooth.

Pour into 9x9-inch pan.

Pour into 9x9-inch pan.

Bake until brownies are just starting to pull away from the edges of the pan. The center will stick look slightly wet. Don't overbake!

Bake until brownies are just starting to pull away from the edges of the pan. The center will stick look slightly wet. Don't overbake!

Rate Gluten-Free Brownies

Pimp out Your Brownies

  • Make brownies-a-la-mode topped with premium vanilla bean ice cream. Drizzle with hot fudge or Kahlua for an extra special treat.
  • Get creative with mix-ins. Instead of chocolate chips, add M&Ms, Reese's pieces, chopped chocolate bars or another candy bar to brownie batter.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon chili powder to the batter for an exciting flavor punch or orange zest for a citrus zing.
  • Drizzle warm brownies with amaretto liqueur or Bailey's Irish Cream for a gourmet twist.
  • Swirl brownie batter with peanut butter or caramel sundae topping before baking for a deliciously different dessert.
  • If you like crunch, the optional nuts or cacao bits may be just your thing. Choose pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, Brazil nuts or a combination of the above. Lightly toast them in the oven, until they are just starting to take on color.

The Xanthan Gum Controversy

Xanthan gum is a common additive in gluten-free flour mixes. Although there is no evidence that xanthan gum can cause harm to healthy adults, the question remains whether or not it is safe for those with severe wheat, dairy, corn, or soy allergies and those with digestive issues.

Xanthan gum is produced by fermenting wheat, corn, or soy. It has a slight laxative effect on adults, but it can be life-threatening to infants under 12 months of age. The New York Times published an article about the tragic death of infants who had developed necrotizing enterocolitis after drinking baby formula thickened with xanthan gum.

So xanthan gum should never be given to infants under 12 months of age. It should be avoided by those with digestive problems or severe allergies to soy, wheat, dairy, or corn. Garbanzo flour is a safe alternative to gluten-free flour mixes that contain xanthan gum.

Garbanzo Flour Benefits

Garbanzo or chickpea flour is often used in Indian cuisine and can be found in ethnic markets. One cup of garbanzo flour contains 365 calories, 21 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat, and 53 total grabs of carbs. It has fewer calories and carbohydrates than whole wheat or white flour and is much higher in protein. Naturally a source of folate and B-6, garbanzo flour is naturally gluten-free.

Comments

Cocoa Bean on December 20, 2018:

Okay, thank you so much for the reply!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on December 19, 2018:

Cocoa Bean, these are delicious brownies! Yes, you can definitely sub coconut oil for the butter. I would use the same size pan and cook them 10 minutes less. The brownies will be thinner, but still yummy. Please let me know how it goes!

Cocoa Bean on December 19, 2018:

YUM I love brownies!! These look sooo tasty! Do you think coconut oil would work in place of butter? And if I half the recipe, what size pan do you think would work? Thanks!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 13, 2016:

Thanks Kyriaki Chatzi!

Kyriaki Chatzi on September 13, 2016:

That was a very easy-to-follow recipe. I will try that for sure.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 26, 2016:

Thank you DDE!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 26, 2016:

Awesome! I like how you explained step by step and with lovely photos.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 25, 2016:

FlourishAnyway, I'm glad you found a use for this recipe. I love that they taste just like regular brownies. : )

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 24, 2016:

Although no one in my family has gluten issues, I lead a booster organization for high school kids and we have some with gluten sensitivities. I know they would appreciate no going without on treat days!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 23, 2016:

Wow vocalcoach. I'm sorry about your run in with xanthan gum. I also have to be careful as my digestion can be sketchy at times. Thanks for the comments, share and pin.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on August 23, 2016:

Boy, am I glad you mentioned the side effects of Xanthan Gum. I'm staying far away from this stuff! Pretty sure this is what has caused terrible bouts of "the runs."

Love this recipe and the photos are absolutely fabulous! Thanks and will share and pin.

Audrey

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 23, 2016:

Suzie HQ!!! I've missed you!! So nice to hear from you. Things are good in Peru. I had a couple year hiatus but am back to writing. They have really vamped up HP recently. How have you been??

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 23, 2016:

Thanks for your comment purl3agony. I hope you can make these fudgy brownies for the gluten-free friends!

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on August 23, 2016:

Hi Vespa! Dont die of shock, yes its me!!!! lovely to read this, the brownies look so tasty! Glad to see you are still putting out your delicious recipes here. Hope life is going well with you in Peru.

Donna Herron from USA on August 23, 2016:

These brownies really look delicious and rich. I have some friends who follow a gluten free diet and these treats will be perfect to make for when we get together. Thanks for sharing these recipe!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 23, 2016:

Thank you for the comment and share peachpurple! I hope you can try these brownies for your kids.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on August 22, 2016:

although i am not a gluten free consumer, i think having this gluten free brownies should be delicious and healthy for my kids, thanks for your wonderful hub, share this hub at my facebook

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 22, 2016:

Thank you for your comment AliciaC!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 22, 2016:

These sound absolutely delicious, vespawoolf! Rich, fudgy brownies are my favourite kind. I love the basic recipe and all of your additions. Thanks for sharing the interesting information about xanthan gum as well as the recipe.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on August 22, 2016:

Thank you for the comment, vote and pin ChitrangadaSharan!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 22, 2016:

This looks simply delicious !

I don't have any problem with gluten but I can definitely bake it as you have suggested for those who are sensitive to it.

Loved the brownies and your well presented hub! Thanks for sharing the helpful pictures and the detailed tips and instructions! Pinning it as well.