My number one goal as a seasoned gluten-free baker is to transform recipes into even better versions and these homemade gluten-free brownies are no exception! While they are made from scratch, they are just as easy as using a brownie mix and yield even better results! If you love extra fudgy brownies with chewy outer edges, a thin crackly crust and gooey moist interiors then enjoy this easy brownie recipe made with gluten-free flour.
HOmemade Gluten-Free Brownies Recipe
When all-purpose gluten-free flour blends were developed, buyers were led to believe it’s was simple as swapping out GF flour in traditional recipes. While these new flours definitively made baking more streamlined, the end results weren’t always as promised.
Fortunately to achieve perfect, homemade gluten-free brownies, just as good as you remember them, it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Throughout years of recipe testing, I’ve developed many easy gluten-free baking tips to enhance GF flour blends with incredible results!
For instance, when swapping out gluten-free flour in a brownie recipe, the results can be overly greasy. This happens because GF starches don’t absorb fat as well as wheat flour.
What is the easy fix? Adding unsweetened cocoa powder not only adds a rich chocolate flavor, but helps absorb the butter fat. Simply decreasing the butter would take away the fudgy texture, and adding more flour would dry out the brownies. Therefore, a bit of cocoa powder is the perfect trick!
While these gluten-free brownies replicate a traditional bakery-style treat, there are alternative methods and starch options safe for a gluten-free diet. Brownies made with almond flour are ideal for a grain-free or lower carb dessert.
Oat flour brownies are a 5-minute blender recipe using an affordable GF ingredient you can make right at home. This is a great option for those allergic to some of starches used in a GF all-purpose flour blends.
Whatever method works best for you, they are all better tasting and just as easy as using a gluten-free brownie mix! Here I will teach just how easy it is to make brownies using gluten-free all purpose flour with a thick, moist interior, chewy edges, and crackly top.
Read on to discover many other easy baking tips, such as the best baking pan to use, why bake at a lower oven and how to achieve a crackly crust. Making best gluten-free brownies requires a few simple ingredients and this easy one bowl recipe!
What is the trick for making fudgy gluten-free brownies? Using melted chocolate chips, rather than just straight cocoa powder, adds moisture along with deep chocolate flavor.
Read below to discover why the remaining simple list ingredients makes the world’s best brownies and any workable substitutions. If you are looking for a single-serving recipe, try this 1-minute fudgy gluten-free mug brownie!
- Butter – Preferred for best flavor, but if you are in need of a dairy-free brownie, substitute vegan butter sticks.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips – Brownies should be dense, fudgy and moist, not light and airy like a cake. Using melted chocolate chips is more accessible and affordable than chocolate bars, plus they can be swapped out for dairy-free chocolate chips.
- Unsweetened Baking Cocoa – Used to add a touch of bittersweet flavor, help absorb fat so the bars aren’t overly greasy, and add structure. Use natural baking cocoa or dutch-process cocoa for a smoother flavor.
- Gluten-free all purpose flour – I use and recommend Cup4Cup gluten-free flour because the taste and texture mimics wheat flour the best. However, it does contain milk powder, so for a dairy-free GF brownies, King Arthur Measure-for-Measure is recommended.
- Sugar – A combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar adds structure and chewiness.
- Baking soda – While some brownie recipes do not add any leavening, adding a bit to gluten-free flour helps with lift. Also, baking soda is essential for chewy texture, where as baking powder adds cakeyness.
How to Make Gluten-free Brownies
This recipe makes a 9X13 pan of brownies. For less brownies (buy why???) you may halve the ingredients and bake in a 8X8 baking dish. This will yield slightly thicker brownies, so the baking time remains the same.
(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)
- In a large saucepan over medium heat melt together the butter, sugar, and water. Stir constantly and bring to low boil. Once it has come to boil, remove from heat and stir in 2 cups chocolate chips until melted.
- Set aside for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to slightly cool the mixture. Vigorously whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the dry ingredients – gluten-free flour, unsweetened baking cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Once combined, stir in the remaining chocolate chips and optional nuts.
- Pour the brownie batter into a greased 9X13 metal pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle has a few moist crumbs.
Best way to tell brownies are done
Brownies can be difficult to tell when they are done because you want a moist center, but not liquidy and underbaked. If you error on overbaking them, you risk losing moisture and a tough, dry texture.
It’s best to start checking brownies a few minutes before the recipe’s cooking time. Oven temperatures can vary and exact timing makes a difference while baking.
The edges will look and feel set before the middle cooks through. Therefore, stick a toothpick or wooden skewer in the middle to check the batter. If it comes out with wet, uncooked batter, stick them in for a few more minutes and check again. They are done when fudgy, cooked crumbs stick to the toothpick.
Replace the butter with plant-based vegan butter sticks and reduce the salt by half. Use dairy-free chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life.
The recommended flour, Cup4Cup, does contain milk powder. Replace with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend safe for dairy-free diet.
More expert baking tips
- For easier cutting, line the baking pan with a piece of oversized parchment paper, creased to fit along edges. Once the brownies have cooled completely, lift the parchment from the pan and transfer to a cutting board.
- Using a metal pan produces chewier edges because it conducts and concentrates heat around the crust.
- Achieving a thin crackly crust on brownies has to do with the sugar. Whisking the sugar with melted butter incorporates the ingredients, but not as much as when you cream butter and sugar together. Therefore, the sugar partially separates, floating to the top, and creating that shiny, crackly crust!
- Using room temperature eggs prevents them from cooking when they are mixed in the warm butter sugar mixture. If you forget to set them out before, leave them in their shells, place in a bowl and cover with hot water for 5-10 minutes.
- Baking at a lower 325ºF oven temperature extends the baking time, allowing more time for the GF starches to absorb the moisture-rich ingredients. This eliminates any gritty, ricey texture.
- Although it may be tempting, don’t cut and serve the brownies after they have been pulled from the oven. The chocolate needs time to cool and set to make for easier slicing and serving.
SToring and freezing
Keep any leftovers in the pan and wrap securely with aluminum foil. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days. Gluten-free baked goods have a tendency to lose moisture quickly, so I recommend enjoying within 1-2 days.
For longer storage, freeze the brownies. After cooling and cutting, wrap each individually in plastic wrap and store in a ziplock freezer bag.
Alternatively freeze the whole pan before cutting. Make sure the cooked brownies are cooled completely and then wrap the pan in plastic wrap. It’s best to wrap it all the way around, like a present, to get a good airtight seal. Then cover the top with a layer of foil. Pull out the pan to thaw on the counter a few hours before serving.
MIx-ins and variations
While from scratch gluten-free brownies are definitely delicious as is, they can morph into other brownie and bar desserts or be enhanced with mix-ins.
For instance, the batter can be spread thinner in larger pan and decorated as 4th of July brownies (pictured below). Alternatively, use them as a base for these viral Buckeye Turtle Brownies or Cookie Dough Brownies, both pictured below.
More mix-in ideas include,
- Chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, or almonds
- Sprinkling the top with flaky sea salt before baking.
- For candy lovers, stir in chopped snickers, Reese’s Pieces or M&Ms. (Read labels and refer to manufacturer’s website to make sure candy is gluten-free)
- Dollop on raspberry jam, marshmallow fluff, or peanut butter and then gently swirl with a knife before baking.
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From Scratch Brownies with Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
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- Grease a 9X13" baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 325ºF. TIP: Baking brownies in metal pan makes them fudgier with chewy edges.
- In a large saucepan combine the sugar, cubed butter, and water over medium heat. Bring to just a boil, stirring constantly. Immediately remove from heat and stir in 2 cups chocolate chips until melted. Cool slightly, about 10 minutes.1 ½ cups sugar,⅔ cups unsalted butter,¼ cup water,3 cups semisweet chocolate chips,
- Whisk in eggs and vanilla vigorously into chocolate mixture.4 eggs,2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Stir in the gluten-free flour, unsweetened baking cocoa, baking soda, and salt to the saucepan. Mix in the extra cup of chocolate chips (leave out this extra cup if you are using brownies as a base for Buckeye Turtle Brownies.)1½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour,¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder,½ teaspoon baking soda,½ teaspoon salt
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few fudgy crumbs. Cool in pan on wire rack.
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Halving RecipeTo make a 8X8-inch pan of brownies, halve all the ingredients. The brownies will be slightly thicker, so the baking time remains the same. Start checking at 35 minutes, but can take up to 40 minutes.
Dairy-Free AdaptationReplace the butter with plant-based vegan butter sticks and reduce the salt by half. Use dairy-free chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life. The recommended flour, Cup4Cup, does contain milk powder and will have to be replaced with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend safe for dairy-free diet. Recipe adapted from Taste of Home