Brownies, Gluten-Free

Last night I got together for an impromptu knitting session with some pals at our local tea house. The conversation turned to brownies. Of course, we all started arguing about what are the best brownies. One person liked cake-y brownies. Another said she basically wanted to eat fudge in the form of a brownie. Others liked them all.

As an avid baker, I have thought about this topic a great deal. And I’ve tried all sorts of recipes for brownies. And mixes. And gluten-free mixes. My requirements are: a lot of good chocolate; a balanced egg-flour ratio, dense but still light–not solid fudge.

The recipe I landed on as my favorite, and have adapted, is the one from The Wooden Spoon Dessert Book, by Marilyn M. Moore. I love this book. It’s another one of those whose recipes are all perfect. I love every one I have tried.

The great thing about this recipe (aside from its amazing taste) is that it is simple and quick. You can go from 0 to brownie in about 45 minutes. Can’t go wrong with that!

Brownies (edited 12/22 to add egg and sugar amounts)
-adapted from The Wooden Spoon Dessert Book

Note: This recipe uses my gluten-free flour mix:
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in fridge):
1 1/4 C. brown rice flour
1 1/4 C. white rice flour
1 C. tapioca flour
1 C. sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

3/4 C Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I use chocolate chips)
8 TBL (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 C granulated sugar
2 large or extra large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 C chopped nuts (I like toasted pecans)
Optional: 1/4 C extra chocolate chips
extra butter for greasing pan

Preheat oven 350 degrees
-grease an 8 inch square baking dish
-in a small bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside
-in a double boiler (or heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water), melt chocolate and butter; set aside
-in a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy
-add granulated sugar, continue to beat
-add vanilla extract, beat more
-carefully add butter/chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, beat to combine
-add flour mixture, mix until just combined
-add optional nuts and/or extra chocolate chips if using
-pour into greased baking dish
-bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes


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  1. Amy C says

    Oh my goodness, these were SO GOOD! You are such a lifesaver. I have made so many of your recipes and every single one is absolutely perfect. I have also subbed your flour mix in regular recipes, and it turns out perfectly every time! Every time I make something with your flour mix, and after everyone polishes off the pan, I say “and it was gluten free!”, NO ONE believes me!

    I made these brownies exactly as directed, and they were sooo good. My kids were fighting over the crumbs in the pan. I have an autoimmune disorder that manifests as severe inflammation and reflux in my stomach, which gluten aggravates to no end. Your recipes have been such a godsend to me…I missed all the delicious goodies I used to make!

  2. russell says

    Taste pretty good but they sink horribly in the middle. Made em more than once with identical result. Will hunt for a recipe that works better in actual practice. Oh well, swing and a miss…

    • says

      Russell: They will sink a bit in the middle–they’re supposed to. But they shouldn’t sink like a hole or something. Pretty much, they should look like the photo. Do you have an oven thermometer in your oven to be sure that it’s heating to the correct temperature?

  3. says

    I just found this recipe and it sounds great. A question though on the flaxseed/egg substitution commented on earlier. I have tried the King Arthur flour boxed brownie mix that sounds to have similar ingredients to those in your flour. I tried the substitution with this mix and it was a DISASTER. I’m talking crude oil in the bottom of a baking dish. I was wondering if anyone has actually baked this recipe with the substitution and how it turned out.

    • says

      Kathy: Eggs are very tricky to substitute for. The challenge with using the flax seed gel in the place of eggs is that you need to adjust each amount to the particular recipe. And, you need to make sure the flax seeds have actually gelled. What I do is let them sit for at least 20 minutes, and I whisk them often to develop and then maintain the gel. Also, you sometimes have to add some extra baking powder to replace the loft that you get with eggs. I think it’s important to gauge the success on the particular recipe–because each recipe is going to be different.

      • says

        Thanks for the information! Should flax seeds produce anything oily as they cook (not the sticky stuff). In this particular disaster the whole pan was an oily mess without a hint of solid matter and it appears that something oily (not the butter) was produced when the pan was put in the oven. I bought flax seed and ground them finely in the coffee grinder. Is this an OK form of flax seed to use?

        • says

          Kathy: Hm, I’m not sure what that is. Flax seeds do have oil (all seeds do). But I’ve never experienced them do something liek this. It sounds like something wasn’t mixed enough. But, I’m not sure what.

  4. Mae says

    It’s turning into a nice rainy evening here…and as I’m waiting for the pot roast to finish for dinner, got the idea to make a nice warm dessert. I made this for the first time today and it was so light and delicious! I will definitely be making this again!!!

  5. Sana says

    Hi Jeanne,

    I am having an open house and expecting about 50 people. A friend of mine once made a huge tray of pizza dough and just put a thick layer of cream cheese mixed with sundries tomatoes and chives to serve as a starter/side dish. I was hoping to do the same with your pizza dough and brownie (of, course no cheese topping on this one) but I need it to be dairy and egg free as well. Do you think canola oil can sub in for butter and 1 tbsp of flax and 3 tbsp of water for each large egg?

    • says

      Sana: The pizza sounds good. Be sure to bake the crust before putting the cream cheese and other toppings on.

      No, don’t sub canola oil for the butter. Butter is solid a room temperature and canola oil is liquid–so they aren’t a good one-to-one substitution. I recommend using coconut oil (which is solid at room temperature) or non-dairy margarine (make sure the one you use is actually dairy-free). I like the Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread (our daughter is soy allergic). But, I have a lot of readers who like to use coconut oil.

      For the eggs–yes, use the flax seed and water technique. And increase the baking powder by 1 teaspoon. I would do a test run of the brownies before the event to make sure it turns out to your liking. You may need to reduce the amount of water for the egg replacement and/or increase the baking powder by another teaspoon.

      Have a terrific event!

  6. Jennifer Hutchison says

    Delicious! Don’t miss the real thing, these ARE the real thing!

    Thanks Jeannie, from our happy, well-fed family.

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