Gluten free baking and the best brownies ever

Everyone needs a great standby dessert recipe. Whether it’s a gourmet homemade layer cake or Funfetti cupcakes from a box, there’s a tried-and-true recipe for every kind of baker, no matter what your laziness level is. I definitely fall towards the lazier side as a baker, and I’m pretty adamant about the fact that I don’t get into buying a million different kinds of flour in order to bake gluten free stuff. Potato, sorghum, tapioca, xanthan gum, brown rice, white rice, coconut flour, almond flour–just reading some of these recipes makes my head spin! I’m not a chemist, and I don’t have unlimited time on my hands to measure out minuscule amounts of obscure ingredients.

Enter: the gluten-free flour mix. Through years of dry, crumbly, metallic-tasting  trial and error, I have finally found two relatively failsafe options: King Arthur and Better Batter. These pretty much work flavor-wise in recipes for things like loaf cakes, muffins, and brownies. Beware, though: the really tricky part of GF baking is keeping things from flattening out all over the pan. Gluten is the stuff that gives your baked goods springiness and structural integrity, so things like cookies and cakes can be challenging. Not impossible, but don’t assume that subbing out the flour cup-for-cup with a gluten free version will work. Also, be sure that your GF flour blend contains xanthan gum, which takes care of some of the structural integrity conundrum.

With those tips in mind, I’m about to present to you my previously secret, always rich and fudgey, super simple family brownie recipe. This recipe is so gosh darn easy it actually takes less time and effort than a boxed mix, and it is so delicious you may even be able to fool your friends into thinking it is chock-full of gluten. (Yes, I have tried this at a party.)

Keepsake Brownies

  • 4 squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup GF flour blend
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Melt chocolate and butter in microwave. Cool. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla. Mix.

Add nuts if you’re using them. Mix flour and salt. Add gradually and mix well. Pour into greased and floured 9″ square pan, or something slightly wider and more shallow if that’s your preference. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes (subtract 5 min or so if you like em really gooey). Cool and cut.

This recipe is super fun to play around with. Check out my melted peanut butter swirl and candy corn versions, and feel free to experiment with your own. Happy brownie baking and brownie eating!

Peanut butter swirl brownies
Peanut butter swirl brownies
Candy corn brownies--a fall favorite
Candy corn brownies–a fall favorite

What are your favorite dessert recipes? Do you have a favorite gluten free baking mix?

2 thoughts on “Gluten free baking and the best brownies ever

  1. Emily

    I once devoured an entire tray of these. First, I started with just the crust, because really that’s the best part of any brownie. But then I finished all the pieces because they are so, so very good. Reason #4,578 why we are friends.

  2. Dara

    I just made these for a friend’s birthday and everyone was raving about how delicious they were. Like in the I’m way past full and I still cannot get enough of these gooey, crumbly, every so rich and chocolatey brownies kind of way! Also, most of the people going back for seconds and thirds and picking at the pan were not gluten free. They’re just really good brownies.

    PS – it was super easy to make and there’s something so satisfying about mixing in that much chocolate.

    Also of note, 4 squares of unsweetened chocolate = 4 oz

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