Allergy Friendly Gluten Free Vegan Fudge Brownies
So, real talk, short and sweet. I’m a mother and what do I want to eat this Sunday on Mother’s Day? Brownies. Lots and lots of brownies. I have a particular Achilles Heel for brownies, blondies and coconut cake (that’s another post in the making altogether 😉) but I am dairy and gluten free as well. What’s a pastry chef/food allergy mom to do? Make some darn good safe brownies is the answer!
Honestly, this has been a real challenge for me. Eggs are so crucial to brownie batter because it is so dense, and it needs it for leavening and moisture. Add in the lack of structure with no gluten in wheat flour and that’s a real double headed dessert monster. It’s been trial and error at least dozen times over until…last week. I cracked the vegan brownie code and was so happy I almost cried!
This is a very, very simple recipe but it does require a little extra step or two that will ultimately help the final product be the fudgy magic it is. Refrigerating the brownies help to set the fudge structure and it’s very important to the final product. This is a great recipe for the littles to help with as well! No mixer needed and just two bowls. As always, my recipes are interchangeable with your safe ingredients and freezer friendly for our emergency snack days!
Happy Mother’s Day! Be well and remember life is short so eat dessert first…safely! 👩🏻🍳💙💐
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**
Ingredients and Substitutions
Gluten Free or Regular Flour – I use gluten free flour here but regular all-purpose is perfectly fine if you don’t need to avoid. I do recommend using a scale to measure because different blends are sensitive to weight. The proportion is 140 g. per 1 cup of flour. An overmeasurement on the flour will cause it to be gummy. If your gluten free flour blend does not contain xanthan gum, add ¼ tsp. per 1 c. of flour. The xanthan gum is necessary to give the brownies structure, especially with the lack of eggs in a dense gooey batter. I use King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour blend.
Oil/Coconut Oil – Liquid fat (oil) is preferred choice in this brownie recipe, particularly coconut oil. I tried this with canola, olive and coconut oils as well as melted vegan butter and of all the coconut oil was my favorite choice. It held the structure the nicest without being too greasy or heavy. I fully understand not everyone likes coconut oil or has an allergy to it so with that being said, the other oils worked well. I’m always a fan of using olive oil in baking as long as it’s mild in flavor. It’s much healthier than canola as well! Melted safe butter can be used but for overall structure and taste, I defer to the coconut oil. NOTE: If using coconut oil, measure the oil THEN melt.
Cocoa powder – I use Hershey’s cocoa in my baking. I trust their labeling and they’re a very consistent product.
Chocolate – A small amount of chocolate is needed and as I always I use Pascha dairy free. I choose to use a more bittersweet chocolate but feel free to use whatever safe chocolate you love. I also tested this with Nestle Toll House Simply Delicious dairy free chocolate chips with good results.
**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs.**
Allergy Friendly Gluten Free Vegan Fudge Brownies
Author: Katie Martino Lopez
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 35-40 minutes
Chill Time: Cooling time out of the oven at least 30 minutes, then at least 1-2 hours in the refrigerator
Total Time: About 3-4 hours
Yield: 36-48 brownies, depending on how large or small you cut
- 2 c. (280 g., 10.5 oz) gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum (if your blend does not contain then add ¼ tsp. per cup of flour)
- ¾ c. (65 g., 2 ¼ oz.) cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 ¼ c. very hot water (1 c. only if using wheat flour)
- ¼ c. (59 g., 2 oz) bitter or semisweet chocolate
- 2 c. granulated sugar
- 2/3 c. (6 oz.) melted coconut OR olive or canola oil (measurement is before melting, see notes above)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Grease a 13” x 9” pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. This step is important to remove all the lumps or cocoa and lighten the brownie batter. Set aside.
- If using coconut oil, melt and keep warm. In another small bowl, add the chocolate. Run your tap to get the water as hot as it can, measure and pour over the chocolate. The warm coconut oil can be added it this time (if using other oils, do not add yet). Whisk the water, oil and chocolate together until melted. Add sugar and whisk to help dissolve. The water must be very hot, or the sugar will not dissolve. If using olive or canola oil, add now along with the vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake immediately for 35-40 minutes (or perhaps longer) or until moist but NOT very wet crumbs stick to a toothpick or knife when tested. The brownies will set more as they cool so be careful not to overbake. The top will be shiny and crackly but set and not wet looking. NOTE: Glass and dark metal will bake a bit faster as they absorb a lot of heat. Take note with your pans when baking.
- When done, cool on a wire rack until it is not too warm to put the whole pan UNCUT in the refrigerator. This step is SO important as the brownies are very moist and fragile when they come out. They are extremely fudgy and with the lack of structure from no eggs or gluten it needs the chilling to help them set. Chill at least one-two hours.
- Cut brownies into 36-48 pieces. Brownies will keep one week refrigerated and up to 2 months well wrapped in the freezer. They get very soft at room temperature but can certainly be kept in an airtight container.
- It is critical that the brownies are cooled after baking and then refrigerated. The texture and structure will not set unless that is done.
- These brownies freeze great! I suggest cutting and then wrapping well before freezing so you can take as many or as little as you need at a time.
- As I stated earlier, I prefer coconut oil for the taste and texture of the brownies, but olive or canola can absolutely be used.
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!