These ultimate gluten-free brownies have variations for small-batch, medium-batch, and full-batch using any pan you have. With both cocoa powder and melted chocolate, they're extra chewy and rich with crisp edges. These gluten-free brownies can be made using almond flour and browned butter, or can also be made nut-free and/or dairy-free.
A back pocket brownie recipe is a must-have. It's one of the easiest hands-off desserts you can make, and with this gluten-free brownie recipe, you can make just exactly the size batch you need. Whether you need a personal pan of small-batch gluten-free brownies, a medium-sized pan for dinner guests, or a large potluck-sized pan, I've got you covered.
This recipe is my pride and joy - it's the epitome of my quintessential brownie craving.
I've shared versions of these brownies over the years as gluten-free hazelnut brownies and as gluten-free walnut cocoa brownies - both as a DIY brownie mix in a jar. The base recipe deserves a spotlight, though - without any extra add-ins or gimmicks. I've updated that recipe slightly, offering alternative flour and pan-size options.
This ultimate gluten-free brownie recipe is here for all your brownie needs. These rich chocolate brownies are ultra chewy with gooey centers and crisp edges.
Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies versus Gluten-Free Cocoa Brownies
There are two texture extremes on the Brownie Lover's Spectrum (very official title) - team chocolate fudge brownie and team cocoa brownie.
Gluten-free chocolate fudge brownies rely on melted chocolate for their chocolate notes. These brownies tend to be denser and fudgier, especially at room temperature as the chocolate firms up. The deliciousness of chocolate brownies relies on high-quality chocolate.
Here's my favorite recipe for gluten-free chocolate brownies, which was adapted gluten-free from my friend Michelle's cookbook. For that recipe, she adds in a dash of cocoa powder to bring back some of the chewiness of a cocoa brownie.
Gluten-free cocoa brownies, on the other hand, use cocoa powder for their chocolate notes, allowing you to control the fat and sugar content. These brownies, while usually very chewy, can fall anywhere from gooey to cakey. Think similar in texture to boxed brownies. That's what I'm starting with here.
Homemade Gluten-Free Brownies
When first testing the small-batch variation of my faved gluten-free cocoa brownie recipe, I popped the pan in the oven and realized a few minutes in that I forgot the chocolate chips. So, throwing all baking science out the window, I pulled it out and folded in the chocolate chips. As one would expect, the chips instantly melted as soon as they hit the warm batter.
I loved that whoopsie batch so much that I adapted my original cocoa brownie recipe to call for melting half the chocolate. The result is this extra chewy gooey gluten-free brownie with rich chocolate notes.
What type of Flour for the Best Gluten-Free Brownies
With cocoa powder standing in as a dry ingredient, cocoa brownies are easy to make gluten-free because they don't require much flour. I've developed this recipe to work both with an almond flour base or with buckwheat flour as a nut-free alternative.
For the chewiest gluten-free brownies, the key is to also use sweet rice flour. Made from sticky rice, sweet rice flour is distinctively different than white rice or brown rice flour, and despite its name, it's not sweet. Sweet rice flour is the same flour used to make mochi, and as such, its stickiness helps to make an ultra-chewy brownie.
- Substitution: Sub in tapioca flour by weight. Alternatively, substitute both the sweet rice flour and buckwheat flour measurements for Bob's Red Mill's 1-to-1 gluten-free flour.
Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies
The almond flour brownies version has a slightly sweet nuttiness that pairs well against the chocolate. Because almond flour is higher in fat, it releases more moisture into the brownies. As such, you need more almond flour than you do in the buckwheat flour version.
- Substitution: Sub in hazelnut flour or chestnut flour by weight to add slightly more unique notes to the base! Or see the buckwheat version below (note: you need less flour for the buckwheat version).
Gluten-Free Buckwheat Flour Brownies
Years ago, I developed this nut-free version for a friend with a nut allergy, pulling inspiration from my chocolate buckwheat muffins. Buckwheat and cocoa were meant for each other - the chocolate notes in buckwheat enhance cocoa's richness. Buckwheat flour has warm earthy notes with a subtle toasted nuttiness.
What Type of Cocoa Powder for Brownies?
There are two types of cocoa powder - dutch-processed and natural unsweetened. For these brownies, either type of cocoa powder will work.
However, my personal preference for these brownies is Dutch-processed baking cocoa. Unlike natural unsweetened, Dutch-processed cocoa powder has been treated with alkaline to neutralize its acidity. Because of the Dutch-processing, it turns the brownies a deep dark brown and makes them extra rich without being bitter. Because it doesn't have the acidity of natural unsweetened cocoa powder, it does not react with baking soda. Instead, dutch-processed baking cocoa relies on baking powder, which contains acid.
These brownies only rely on a tiny bit of baking powder, which will react fine with both types of cocoa powder. So rest assured, if you don't have Dutch-processed, natural cocoa powder will work too! If you opt for the natural cocoa powder, your brownies won't be quite as dark, but they'll still be delicious!
What Type of Pan for the Brownies?
I've tested this brownie recipe every which way so you can make them small batch, medium batch, or large batch in any size pan you've got! See the section below for the size batch you're making.
For brownies, I recommend metal baking pans because they make the crispiest edges, but in a pinch, you can also use glass. Brownies are forgiving.
Small-Batch Gluten-Free Brownies
Sometimes you just need a couple of brownies for midnight cravings or dinner guests. This small-batch version makes just 6-8 brownies, depending on how you cut them (or, if you want, just one brownie;).
- 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan: This is what I used in these pictures - it makes brownies that are neither too thin nor too thick. Bake for 22-24 minutes.
- 9x5 loaf pan: I personally love thin brownies because they get extra chewy with crisp edges. If using a 9x5 loaf pan, your brownies will be a bit thinner than the ones pictured here, but so delicious. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
- 6-inch round cake pan: Pictured in this post, this makes brownies that are on the thicker side and a bit softer as there's not as much surface area for crispy edges. Bake for 26-28 minutes.
- 8-inch round cake pan: Like the 9x5 loaf pan, an 8-inch round cake pan will make brownies on the thinner and chewier side. Bake for 20-22 minutes.
Medium-Batch Gluten-Free Brownies
Think small dinner party or family-size batch. The medium-batch version makes 12-16 brownies, depending on cut size.
- 8x8 square baking pan: An 8x8 pan will make thicker brownies that are a bit softer. Bake for 26-28 minutes.
- 9x9 square baking pan: A 9x9 pan will make thinner brownies with crisp edges and centers that are super chewy. Bake for 22-24 minutes.
Full-Batch Gluten-Free Brownies
Think potluck-size batch of brownies. Brownies for a crowd. This full-batch brownie recipe makes 18-24 brownies, depending on cut size.
- 9x13 baking pan: Most standard brownie recipes call for a 9x13 baking pan. This is the size batch you'd bake from a boxed brownie mix. It serves a crowd or a very hungry family. Bake for 28-30 minutes.
How to Make Gluten-Free Brownies from Scratch?
Quickly whip up a batch of homemade gluten-free brownies:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line your baking pan with parchment paper.
- Sift together the dry ingredients.
- Brown the butter and pour it over half the chocolate. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to melt, then stir.
- Whisk in the sugars and vanilla, followed by the egg(s).
- Whisk in the dry ingredients.
- Spread into prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips/chunks. Bake, depending on the batch and pan size.
- Let cool at least 30 minutes to set before removing from the pan, slicing, and serving.
Can I make these Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Brownies?
To make these gluten-free brownies dairy-free, sub out the butter for melted refined coconut oil or non-dairy butter. Since you aren't browning the butter and cooking off some of the moisture, you'll use a bit less coconut oil or non-dairy butter, 4, 8, or 12 tablespoons, depending on the batch size.
Gluten-Free Brownie Recipe Variations
This ultimate gluten-free brownie recipe is infinitely customizable. Once you've got a solid base, you can customize it to your heart's content. Here are some of my favorite brownie variations that I've made with this recipe:
- Nuts: Add chopped walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts. Just be sure to toast them before adding them to the brownies so they'll be nice and crunchy. Add up to 1½ cups of nuts for the full batch of brownies.
- Peppermint: Add up 1 teaspoon peppermint extract for the full batch of brownies. Top with crushed candy canes.
- White Chocolate, Butterscotch, or Peanut Butter Chips: Replace half of the chocolate chips with white chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips.
- Tahini: Whisk together 3 tablespoons of tahini with 1 tablespoon honey until just combined. Take care not to overmix, as that may cause it to seize. Spoon dollops of this honey tahini over the top of the brownie batter. Use a sharp knife to cut through the tahini, swirling it into the top of the brownies. Bake per the instructions.
- Toasted Marshmallows: 3 minutes before the brownies are done baking, top them with mini marshmallows and return to the oven for about 3 more minutes, just to toast the marshmallows.
How to Store Gluten-Free Brownies
Store any leftover gluten-free brownies in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. You can also store them in a sealed bag or container in the freezer for up to 6 months. Defrost, uncovered, at room temperature.
More Gluten-Free Brownie and Bars Recipes
Brownies and bars are some of my favorite desserts to make because they require very little fuss and come together quickly. Here are a few of my favorite gluten-free brownies and bars.
- Gluten-Free White Chocolate Match Brownies with Tahini Swirl
- Frosted Gluten-Free Earl Grey Brownies
- DIY Brownie Mix in a Jar: Gluten-Free Hazelnut Brownies or Gluten-Free Walnut Cocoa Brownies
- Gluten-Free Supernatural Brownies
- Flourless Chocolate Chunk Almond Butter Cookie Bars
- Gluten-Free Blondies
- White Chocolate Cardamom Gluten-Free Blondies with Grapefruit Frosting
Small-Batch Ingredients: loaf pan or cake pan
- ¼ cup (27g) dutch-processed cocoa powder (or natural unsweetened cocoa powder, see note)
- 3 tablespoons (21g) super-fine blanched almond flour OR 2 tablespoons (17g) buckwheat flour
- 2 tablespoons (20g) sweet rice flour (different from "white rice flour" or "brown rice flour" - I recommend Koda Farms or Bob's Red Mill)
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 4½ tablespoons unsalted butter (see note for dairy-free alternative)
- 1 oz bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (60-70%), divided
- ¼ cup (52g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
Medium-Batch Ingredients: square pan
- ½ cup (54g) dutch-processed cocoa powder (or natural unsweetened cocoa powder, see note)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (42g) super-fine blanched almond flour OR ¼ cup (34g) buckwheat flour
- ¼ cup (40g) sweet rice flour (different from "white rice flour" or "brown rice flour" - I recommend Koda Farms or Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 9 tablespoons (½ cup + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter (see note for dairy-free alternative)
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (60-70%), divided
- ½ cup (104g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100g) dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
Full-Batch Ingredients: 9x13 pan
- ¾ cup (81g) dutch-processed cocoa powder (or natural unsweetened cocoa powder, see note)
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (63g) super-fine blanched almond flour OR ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (51g) buckwheat flour
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (60g) sweet rice flour (different from "white rice flour" or "brown rice flour" - I recommend Koda Farms or Bob's Red Mill)
- 1½ teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 13 tablespoons (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter (see note for dairy-free alternative)
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (60-70%), divided
- ¾ cup (156g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (150g) dark brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- Select the size batch and pan you're using from below. Preheat oven to 350°F and line the pan you're using with parchment paper.
- Sift together the cocoa powder, superfine blanched almond flour (or buckwheat flour for a nut-free version), sweet rice flour, espresso powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- Place half of the chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) in a medium to large mixing bowl. Brown the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, cooking until the butter foams and browns, but does not burn. Pour the browned butter over the chocolate chips into the mixing bowl. Let sit for 2-3 minutes then stir to melt the chocolate.
- Whisk in the light and dark brown sugars and vanilla.
- Whisk in the egg and mix well. Mixing the egg in well at this step will help create crackly tops.
- Whisk in the dry ingredients.
- Dump the brownie batter into the prepared pan, pressing it into an even layer. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over the top and bake according to the pan size (see notes), until just set. When in doubt, best to err on the side of under-baking than over baking.
- Let cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan before slicing and serving.
Pan Size & Bake Time
Read the post above for descriptions on how each pan-size bakes up.
Small-Batch Brownies: yields 6-8 brownies
- 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan: Bake for 22-24 minutes.
- 9x5 loaf pan: Bake for 20-22 minutes.
- 6-inch round cake pan: Bake for 26-28 minutes.
- 8-inch round cake pan: Bake for 20-22 minutes.
Medium-Batch Brownies: yields 12-16 brownies
- 8x8 square baking pan: Bake for 26-28 minutes.
- 9x9 square baking pan: Bake for 22-24 minutes.
Full-Batch Brownies: yields 18 - 24 brownies
- 9x13 baking pan: Bake for 28-30 minutes.
Type of Cocoa Powder
I recommend Dutch-processed cocoa powder, but both Dutch-processed and natural unsweetened cocoa powder will work! If you use natural cocoa powder, your brownies won't be quite as dark.
Almond Flour: Sub in hazelnut flour or chestnut flour by weight to add slightly more unique notes to the base! For a nut-free version, use the buckwheat flour option (note: the buckwheat flour option uses less flour because it has less fat than almond flour).
For dairy-free brownies, sub out the butter for melted refined coconut oil or non-dairy butter. Since you aren't browning the butter, you'll use less coconut oil or non-dairy butter.
- Small-batch brownies: ¼ cup refined coconut oil or non-dairy butter
- Medium-batch brownies: ½ cup refined coconut oil or non-dairy butter
- Full-batch brownies: ¾ cup refined coconut oil or non-dairy butter