Why this recipe works
There is nothing more classic than a good brownie. Many people have their opinions about brownies. Should they be cakey? Fudgy? Chewy? Dense? Do the perfect gluten-free brownies really exist?
While I’m not one to turn down any gluten-free brownie, I’m a fan of chewy and fudgy brownies made from cocoa powder. If you love gluten-free brownie mix, then you might be a cocoa powder brownie person, too! Follow along for the best gluten-free brownie recipe!
Cocoa powder is bloomed in melted butter for a chewy brownie that has a great chocolate flavor. The addition of semi-sweet chocolate chips amps up the chocolate and gives these brownies great texture.
A little sprinkle of flaky sea salt on top gives my fudgy gluten-free brownies a little sweet and salty combo that only brings out the chocolate flavor even more! They’re honestly the best gluten-free brownies I’ve ever had.
These are a cocoa powder based brownie recipe, rather one that combined melted chocolate with butter. I prefer to use cocoa powder because I think it results in the most perfect brownie. It has that combination of chewy and fudgy without bordering on being fudge territory. If you are gluten-free or have celiac disease like me, these are definitely a gluten-free brownie recipe you’ll want to try!
You’ll love this recipe because:
- Gluten-free flour blend – This brownies recipe was tested with two gluten-free flour blends that are meant to be a 1-for-1 swap with all-purpose flour. I can recommend using Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour and King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure Gluten Free Baking Flour. Both of these blends already have xanthan gum in their blend. I cannot verify that other gluten-free flour blends will work in this recipe, as I have not tested them.
- Xanthan gum – If your gluten-free flour blend does not contain xanthan gum, you will need to add it. Xanthan gum is a corn-based ingredient that either provides elasticity or is used as a thickening agent in many foods. It’s used in gluten-free baking to keep baked goods from crumbling and falling apart. Again, the two blends I recommend both contain xanthan gum, so I recommend using one of those two gluten-free flour blends.
- Cocoa powder – I used regular Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe. You can also use Hershey’s extra-dark cocoa powder for this recipe or your favorite dutch-process cocoa powder, which are also delicious. Any cocoa powder should work just fine in this brownies recipe.
- Cornstarch – I love to add cornstarch to my gluten-free baked goods when I want something that will thicken my batter without making it too cakey. Cornstarch is the answer! It makes these gluten-free brownies chewy without being too cakey.
- Baking soda – Just a little bit of baking soda is all we need to leaven these gluten-free brownies. You want to keep the brownies really chewy and moist without being leavened too much and turn out like cake.
- Unsalted butter – I like to use melted unsalted butter in this recipe. I add the melted butter, when it is still hot, to the cocoa powder and sugars and let it sit for a few minutes so that the cocoa powder blooms. This intensifies the cocoa flavor from the cocoa powder.
- Eggs – Use large room-temperature eggs for this recipe. Large eggs are about 50 grams each. If you use medium or extra-large eggs instead, you will want to adjust the amount of eggs to be equal to 100g of eggs. Just put them in a bowl, whisk them until combined and then measure it out to 100g. Having the eggs at room temperature will help them to emulsify into the batter more easily and prevent the butter from hardening and clumping upon contact with the eggs.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips – I like to use semi-sweet chocolate chips in this recipe, but you can also use milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips if you prefer. I like to put most of the chocolate chips in the batter and reserve some for the top so you can see the chocolate chips on top after baking. It adds some texture to the brownies and is really beautiful, too!
- Flaky sea salt – I used Maldon salt for this recipe, but you can use your favorite flaky finishing salt or omit if you prefer.
I love to make cocoa powder brownies like these gluten-free brownies because they are SO simple to make with minimal ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The below step-by-step photos with matching instructions are meant to help you see the recipe made at different stages so that you can make these brownies perfectly every time.
For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.
These gluten-free brownies are made using a gluten-free flour blend, cornstarch, and cocoa powder for dry ingredients. With some other pantry-staples, they come together really quickly. You won’t even be able to tell they are gluten-free!
I do not recommend using almond flour in this recipe as written. Instead, use my almond flour brownie recipe which is formulated to specifically use almond flour in it!
You can. I like to use melted butter because it gives the brownies some additional flavor, but you can use your favorite neutral oil instead if you prefer or are dairy-free.
Yes, use oil instead of butter and use your favorite dairy-free chocolate chips.
hints & tips
Storage: You can store leftover gluten-free brownies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Freezer Option: For longer storage, you can freeze your brownies up to 3 months. I try to eat them within 1 month for best texture. Just flash freeze your brownies on a baking sheet for an hour. Once frozen, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze. I like to eat them straight from the freezer, but you can defrost them at room temperature for an hour before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.
- 2/3 cup gluten-free flour blend (93g)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (8g)
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder (60g)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted and hot, 113g)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150g)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (100g)
- 2 eggs (room temperature (100g))
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips (divided (160g))
- 1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel (or other flaky sea salt)
- Preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Line a 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the bottom and sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the gluten-free flour blend, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, add the cocoa powder, hot melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together. Stir until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Let sit for 2-3 minutes to let the cocoa powder bloom.
- Add the eggs and vanilla to the wet ingredients. Mix for an additional minute, until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until no more streaks of flour remain.
- Fold in 3/4 cups (120g) of the chocolate chips, reserving the remaining 1/4 cup (40g) for later.
- Spread the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
- Bake at 350F for 22-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Bake until the edges of the brownies are set. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out mostly clean with some wet crumbs. Do not over-bake the brownies.
- Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with fleur de sel (flaky sea salt).
- Let the pan sit on a wire rack to cool. Use the parchment paper overhang to remove the brownies from the pan. Cut into squares.
- This recipe was tested with both Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour (in the blue bag) and King Arthur Baking Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour. Both of these blends already contain xanthan gum. If your gluten-free flour blend does not contain it, you will need to add ¼ teaspoon of xanthan gum to the recipe. I cannot verify that other gluten-free flour blends other than the two I have recommended will work in this recipe.
- If you have celiac disease or are gluten-free, please always double check your ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free. Sometimes, manufacturing practices and ingredients can change so it’s always best to double check, even if you are familiar with the product.
- For best results, use the metric measurements and a food scale for the ingredients. Dry ingredients, like gluten-free flour, can vary widely depending on how they are scooped into measuring cups. For accurate measurements, measure by weight and use a food scale, which only cost about $10. I’ve provided the ingredient measurements in grams.
- I do not recommend using almond flour in place of the gluten-free flour blend in this recipe. Instead, use my almond flour brownies recipe.