If you’re avoiding gluten or just want a fudgier or otherwise wheat-less brownie, we’ve put together the gluten-free brownie guide for you! Finding a go-to brownie recipe can be tricky. It seems like there are hundreds of variations, and sometimes it feels easier just to buy a boxed brownie mix, stir in some oil or egg replacer, and call it a day. (Which, by the way, is delicious and we totally recommend as well.) However, if you’re looking to bake gluten-free brownies from scratch, we’ve got you covered. These recipes are all courtesy of our Food Monster app, so be sure to check that out as well.
Start With a Base
The base for traditional brownies is wheat flour, but when making gluten-free brownies you will want an alternative. At its most basic definition, flour is just powder made from grinding grains or roots, but flour can be made from many things: these Crunch Brownies, for instance, use banana flour as the base. Feel free to get creative, since the world of flour extends well past wheat and can satisfy all your gluten-free needs.
Use almond meal or almond flour, both made from ground almonds, for a delicious brownie base. For example, see these Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies. Or combine it with black beans in these Almond Flour and Black Bean Brownies for a protein-rich treat. Chickpea flour or chickpeas themselves can also make for a tasty and nutritious base, such as in these Chocolate Chip Chickpea Brownies, above. When using a can of chickpeas, make sure to save the liquid, or aquafaba, as it can also act as a binding agent (see below!). Oats work great as well, as they do in these Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies or these Low-Sugar Fudgy Black Bean Oat Brownies.
However, you don’t need flour at all. This Raw Chocolate Brownie is made from a base of pecans, walnuts, coconut, and dates. Or make bite-sized treats with these Raw Chocolate Brownie Balls, also completely flour-free.
Pretty much any other ingredient can vary, but it wouldn’t be a brownie recipe without chocolate. Most commonly, recipes call for cocoa or cacao powder. (Confused about the difference? We can help!) Grab some cocoa powder for these Dirt and Worms Black Bean Brownies, for instance, and some cacao powder for these No-Bake Brownies.
Even with cocoa and cacao powder, your brownies can still become more chocolatey. Try adding cacao nibs, like in these Raw Hazelnut Pulp Chili Brownies. Melt chocolate chips or vegan dark chocolate bars into your batter for an even fudgier touch, like in this Triple Chocolate Sweet Potato Walnut Skillet Brownie.
You can always take your level of chocolatey-ness even higher: these Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Brownies, pictured above, use not only cacao nibs and dark chocolate, but also cacao butter. How’s that for decadent? Just swap out the flour for gluten-free flour and you’re good to go.
Pick a Binding Agent
Many non-vegan baked desserts are made with eggs, which act as the binding agent that keep them from falling apart. Fortunately, there are myriad egg substitutes out there for plant-based eaters. In addition to the commercial products or flax and chia eggs as mentioned in this guide, there are a number of natural, plant-based ways to bind your brownies.
Sweet potato is a natural, healthy binding agent and often doubles as a sweetener. It features in many brownie recipes, like these decadent Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Brownies or Sweet Potato Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches. Likewise, dates are both a fantastic natural sweetener and can bind brownie batter: try this 5-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Skillet Brownie, pictured above, or No-Bake Date Brownies for simple, date-based recipes. Mashed banana is another frequent favorite as it can sweeten and bind at the same time, like in these Black Bean Brownies with Two-Ingredient Ice Cream.
Another binding agent gaining popularity in the plant-based cooking world is aquafaba, or the chickpea liquid mentioned earlier. Give it a go with these Fudgy Red Velvet Brownies.
Oftentimes, oil will do the trick as well and help your gluten-free brownies take on a rich, chewy texture: use sunflower oil in these Low FODMAP Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce.
Pick Your Mix-Ins and Toppings
You can leave it there, or you can spruce up your brownies by adding in nuts, fruit, chocolate or peanut butter chips, or anything else that might enhance your brownie. Maybe you’re in the mood for Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies, pictured above. Add another layer of deliciousness, like with these Raspberry Cheesecake Protein Brownie Bites. Swirl in peanut butter or almond butter, like in these Almond Butter Swirl Brownies. Add a few drops of peppermint extract for a seasonal treat: Raw Peppermint Brownies will make a perfect dessert for your holiday party.
When crafting your perfect vegan, gluten-free brownies, you’re limited only by your imagination! Feel free to play with bases, binding agents, chocolate, and other ingredients. However, if you’re looking for more recipes, we’ve got those too: check out these 15 Fudgy, Irresistible, and Decadent Brownies, or these 15 Decadent Brownie Recipes.
Craving more inspiration? Our Food Monster app is just the thing. It’s available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
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