Gluten Free Vegan Allergy Friendly Brownie Cookies

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Seed Free, Top 8 Allergy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

One of my favorite things on the planet is a brownie.  I don’t know if I actually trust people who don’t like brownies, to be perfectly honest with you!  Brownies, like cookies, can be very polarizing for those if you get into a debate.  There is Team Fudgy Brownie vs. Team Cakey Brownie, Team Crispy Cookie vs. Team Soft Cookie, Team Brownie Corner and Team Brownie Middle and Team Raw, who just want to eat batter and dough (no judgement at all, btw!).  Me, I’m Team Fudgy, Soft, and Any Place in the Brownie Pan.  Raw dough used to be my jam until I learned way too much about food borne illnesses for food handler’s licenses 😳.

So, what if, just for one recipe, all can be right with all the teams and I present to you…The Crownie? Brookie?  I’ll go with Brownie Cookies and maybe just stick to baking instead of Dad Jokes.

In the early days of the pandemic in April 2020, my wonderful friend Georgina, who is one of the people I owe so much to when I began to navigate this crazy food allergy life, asked me to bake something for a live demo inspired by the movie “The Goonies” for virtual family movie night for Food Allergy Awareness Week during the pandemic a few years ago. Georgina had a week of events planned through her foundation, The Love for Giovanni, created for her son Giovanni whom she lost to a peanut allergy.  She is a tireless advocate for food allergy legislation, motivator and support for the food allergy community.  Georgina is co-founder of the amazing Friends Helping Friends Facebook group along with another friend and mentor of mine, Susan Kelly, a nurse and food allergy mother who has helped more of us than I can imagine with her kindness and knowledge.  They are truly wonderful people and voices for the food allergy community.  I highly recommend their Facebook pages that offer fact-based advice and support.

I took my family’s Christmas crinkle cookie as the base and went from there.  It took a few tries, but I really love these.  This is also a great recipe because besides being so easy, it contains all pantry items.  Even if you don’t have to omit the egg for allergy/dietary reasons, perhaps you don’t have any eggs in the house and the applesauce with work just as well.  I wanted to develop the recipe with cocoa powder because it is a pantry staple and offers much more of a rich chocolate flavor, as well as easier to make a dough/batter with.  I made the recipe interchangeable for wheat flour as well as gluten free.  Other than that, it’s really straightforward and can be made in no time without even needing a mixer.

The only thing that can be tricky is knowing when to take them out.  I also make these “Rocky Road” style with a marshmallow pressed in towards the end of the baking process.  These cookies are like brownies in that they need to be taken out earlier than you think they’re done because they continue to set as they cool.  It is a bit tricky but the worse thing that happens is you put it in a bowl and scoop some safe ice cream on top.  Problem solved!!!!

Be well and remember life is short so eat dessert first…safely!! 💙👩🏻‍🍳

Ingredients and Substitutions

Flour – This can be done with either all purpose or gluten free flour.  I always recommend weighing gluten free flour when substituting or flowing a recipe because all blends have different weights and densities depending on the starches it is made with.  I do 140 grams per one cup of flour and add ¼ tsp. xanthan gum per cup if your gluten free flour blend does not contain it.  The gluten free flour will need an extra couple of tablespoons than the all-purpose wheat flour.

Egg/Egg Substitute – This recipe works just as well with either one egg or applesauce, my choice of egg replacer.  It’s a great option because even if you don’t need to avoid egg, sometimes you just don’t have!  Casey can have baked egg, but this is not a long enough bake for him to safely eat.  A chia or flax egg will work as well.

Butter -Either your safe vegan or regular butter work great in this cookie dough.  I don’t recommend substituting this with coconut oil or shortening, they will not set up properly.  Like baked egg, Casey can have baked milk, but this is not a long enough bake for him to safely eat.

Cocoa Powder – Hershey’s is my safe option.  I trust their thorough labeling.

Marshmallows – Casey safely eats Jet-Puffed marshmallows and now that he can eat soy, he can eat Dandies as well.  Jet-Puffed is Kraft-Heinz, and I trust their labeling.  Dandies are a great option in baking because the lack of gelatin makes them more soft and not get as solidified when cooled.

Optional add ins – Rocky Road traditionally has peanuts in it but that isn’t an option for everyone.  If any nuts or peanuts are safe for you, feel free to chop and add to the cookie dough.  As for chocolate chips, I prefer mini chips, but any regular chips are just fine.  I’m a huge fan of non-dairy Pascha semisweet chips.

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**

Gluten Free Vegan Allergy Friendly Brownie Cookies

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Seed Free, Top 8 Allergy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Author: Katie Martino Lopez

Prep Time: 10 minutes with a 10 minute rest

Cook Time: 12-15 minutes, depending on size


Total Time: about 40 minutes

Yield: appx. 2 dozen, depending on scoop size


  • ¾ c. granulated sugar
  • ¼ c. light brown sugar
  • ½ c. (1 stick, 4 oz.) butter or vegan butter, melted and slightly cooled, not hot!
  • 1 oz. melted coconut or canola oil (about 3 Tbls.)
  • 1 egg OR ¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ c. cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour OR 1 1/3 c. gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum (a Tbls. or more might be needed depending on the blend)
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Optional – ¼-1/3 c. mini chocolate chips (can do a mixture of chips and chopped nuts if nuts are safe for you)
  • Optional – About 12-15 large marshmallows cut in half horizontally


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter and set aside to cool, but not solidify.
  3. In a bowl whisk cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together well. If your cocoa has lumps, sift before mixing. Add optional chips and optional chopped nuts to the flour mixture, tossing lightly.  The chips and nuts dusted with flour will help them not to sink in the wet dough when baking.
  4. In a large bowl, mix granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, oil, vanilla and egg and/or applesauce.
  5. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine, being careful not to leave lumps of dry.  If the dough is dry, add a few drizzles of safe milk.
  6. Set dough aside for 10 minutes to rest and for the gluten free flour (if used) to absorb moisture.
  7. Scoop onto a half sheet pan lined with either parchment or a silicone mat. Do not butter sheets or the cookies will not set!
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 8-10 minutes or until edges are set and still jiggly. Remove from the oven and press a marshmallow half into the center of each cookie. Return to the oven for approximately 2-4 more minutes, or until edges are set, and the top of the cookie is no longer shiny or jiggly. 
  9. NOTE! Cool cookies on a wire rack and don’t eat until they are thoroughly cool. They continue to set as they cool, especially if using applesauce or gluten free flour.  It’s hard but try!  They will fall apart if they’re warm.
  10. Keep cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.

Recipe Notes

  • Cookies can be scooped and frozen, unbaked, for up to 2 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator before baking. 
  • As stated above in the post, cookies MUST cool before eating or they’ll fall apart.
  • Don’t keep these cookies in the refrigerator, they are very moist as it is and the moisture from the refrigerator will turn them mushy.




As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…

Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.

And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!

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