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Brownie Success (Gluten-free & Vegan)

“Never give up. Never surrender.” (Galaxy Quest)

My family is probably flabbergasted I have the audacity to post a brownie recipe.

I’m usually not allowed to bake brownies. They banned me from doing so a long time ago.

Why? Well, because I can’t make brownies. It’s true. I’ve failed (even in pre-GF days) each and every time I’ve tried to make them. Doesn’t matter if it’s a tried and true recipe or box brownies. They always, always, always suck. Well, when I make them they do.

I was probably in grade school when it first started. Got out my Mom’s trusty red Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, turned to the brownie recipe, and got baking. I checked them with the toothpick test method and kept putting them back in the oven until the toothpick came out clean. The brownies tasted great when warm but the minute they cooled—ROCKS! Yes, little brownie rocks. According to Albert Einstein I entered a period of brownie insanity because I repeated the same error over and over and over again.

The brownie recipe was put down and not touched for years. When I tried again the curse stuck—not sure why because I stopped overbaking them. The universe must have thought it a funny joke to sabotage all my brownie efforts.

Finally these brownies from Ricki Heller over at Diet, Dessert and Dogs worked for me. They’re so good! Maybe they broke the spell.

The brownie craving hit the other day so it was time to try brownies again. This time with my own recipe. Woohoo! Yes, the spell is definitely broken. These turned out perfect!

They’re the fudgy kind with a wonderful, rich chocolate flavor. Hope you like ‘em.


Brownies – Gluten-Free and Vegan

3 teaspoons EnerG Egg Replacer

6 tablespoons warm coffee or water

1 ¾ cups gluten-free flour blend*

1/3 cup dutch processed cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/3 cup applesauce

1 ½ cups sugar

½ cup each pecans, dried cherries, and chocolate chips (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the EnerG Egg Replacer and warm coffee or water and set aside. (Coffee heightens the chocolate flavor however, if you prefer not to add that extra caffeine boost you can use decaf coffee or water.)

Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until they’re thoroughly blended.

Place the chocolate chips in a medium-sized microwavable bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and stir again. Whisk in the melted coconut oil until the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla, applesauce, and egg replacer/coffee mixture and blend well. Stir in the sugar.

Add the wet mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Gently mix together with a large spoon or curved silicone-type spatula until the batter is just blended.

Line an 8” x 11 ½” pan with parchment paper. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread out to the edges. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, dried cherries and chocolate chips. Press down gently. Place in the middle of the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes. They’re done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

Cool in the pan, remove, and cut into squares. (Best stored in the fridge.)

* I used Authentic Foods Gluten-Free Multi Blend Flour but feel free to use you favorite gluten-free flour blend (with xanthan gum) if you have one.


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Reader Comments (22)

This is exactly what I need :)

May 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPolynat

I can't believe you were actually banned from making brownies! I admit, I've made some in the past that didn't turn out quite right. But, if they were under-cooked, I put them back into the oven. If they were over-cooked, we put a scoop of ice cream on them. It was chocolate, after all! All was good. :) These look great.

Polynat - Go for it!!

Heather - Yeah, can you believe my family? I was also banned from making mac n' cheese because I scalded the milk one time. One time! My family (sister & niece) is very serious about their food. But, to be fair the old brownies were pretty bad. We ate them though.

May 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

Hi Nancy!
I JUST discovered your site and just wanted to tell you that you've got a new fan! I will definitely be making visits often. I love the few recipes I've looked at so far and cannot wait to try them! This one especially... I really miss brownies and it has been hard finding/creating a gluten-free vegan sugar free recipe! Luckily, I can just substitute coconut palm sugar in your recipe and it should work out absolutely fine. I will report back! :)
Thanks so much!

May 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDesi Domo

Desi - Welcome! I've just heard of coconut palm sugar so it's interesting you mention it. Please tell me if you like it in this (or other recipes). I may look for it this weekend and try baking with it myself. I look forward to hearing more from you!

May 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

Hi Nancy!

These truly are the best brownies - wonderful! You did a great job. :-)

May 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeena

These brownies look awesome!! I always find a way to mess up cake! ;)

I love, love, love Galaxy Quest! I read that quote & was saying it in that voice in my head! You know the voice. ;)

May 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Jeena - Thanks! That means a lot coming from you.

Kim - It's a fabulous movie. I can't tell you how many times that saying pops into my head -- in the voice!

May 29, 2010 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

Those photos certainly suggest an incredibly fudgy brownie! Congrats on creating something so wonderful. And glad I could play a little part in breaking the "Brownie Rock" spell! ;) (Now i just have to wait until I can eat sweeteners again. . . )

May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

Hey, I can make these and won't even have to melt the coconut oil, it's been liquid for weeks. Well it is 100 degrees out. They look fabulous. I too, will try them with palm sugar and you may think I'm nuts but I've got some extra baked beets so I think I'll puree some and use it instead of the applesauce. Then I'll have the Sensitive Pantry's Perfect Purple Brownie! And good for you, never give up. Einstein can go hang, he was obviously never a baker.

Jun 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

You go girl! What a sense of accomplishment you must feel. I had a good laugh reading this post. I want a brownie recipe I can call my "own" — but alas I keep failing. Or should I say flopping. Try, try, try again : ) The next time I crave brownies, I will try yours!

Jun 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Laurel - Wow! 100 degrees. It's 85 here and I'm miserable. I love the idea of using pureed beets. Please let me know how it turns out.

Lexie - I really am banned from baking brownies. We laugh about it. But, even my son liked these. I may feel the need to tweak them (just because I can't help myself)...but, maybe not!

Jun 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

I tried this recipe out and it was a big fail. I'm not sure what happened. I'm pretty sure I followed the recipe closely. The brownies came out tasting really great but fell a part so badly that the pan was full of crumbs after attempting to get pieces out. Oh well.

Micah - please see my response in the update at the end of the post. Thanks, again, for your valuable feedback. -Nancy

Jun 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMicah


Can you say ice cream topping? Or more for me because "we wouldn't want to waste anything?" I'll leave it to Nancy to diagnose but if anything GF and vegan tastes really good it's never a fail.

Jun 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

Micah - Oh no! Sorry these didn't work out for you. I'd love to try to figure out what went awry. I'm wondering if it might be the flour blend--unless you used the Authentic Foods GF MultiBlend Flour. Typically, crumbly GF baked goods result from not using xanthan or guar gum. If your flour doesn't have either that could be the reason for the crumble. Also, lining the pan with parchment allows the brownies to come out easily and clean up is a cinch. Greasing and flouring the pan first is a good alternative. And, I found it was best to cool the brownies thoroughly before cutting them. Always sorry if the recipe disappoints a reader. I'll try these again to see if the result is different than what I got the last time I made them. Thanks for the feedback.

Laurel -- thanks! That's a great idea. -Nancy

Jun 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

I made these and they were probably the best allergen friendly brownie I have ever made in 6 years! Had to make a few changes as my kids are allergic to coconut (I subbed canola oil), millet and tapioca for the gf blend (rice allergy), forgot the xanthum gum and they still turned out better than any brownie that I have made.
I also used chevre cheese mixed with honey to make it more of a "cheesecakey swirl brownie"
so good, my daughter wanted to eat them for breakfast! Thank you for sharing this great recipe!

Feb 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

Danielle - Super! I love the cheesecake swirl you they were amazing! So glad you and your family enjoyed these.

Feb 21, 2011 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

Do you think you could use liquid Stevia in these or reduce the amount of sugar?

Amanda - I think that reducing the sugar would be the better way to go. It's tough to bake without gluten, eggs, or butter. Eliminating sugar--which adds a bit to the structure of the brownie--would probably dramatically change the outcome. Of course, you're welcome to experiment and report back!

May 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmandaK

You are my hero! I was also on the 'cannot for the life of me make brownies that don't resemble brown rocks' path. You have saved me from that sad road, and I am forever grateful. I did make one change from your recipe because my boyfriend cannot have coconut. So, I just substituted it with butter, and it worked wonderfully! You have saved me!! :)

Kirky - so happy it worked for you!! My niece and I are both brownie challenged. It's nice to hear that it's not just us. LOL.

Feb 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKirky

Another winner! Just wanted to say that I am so thankful for your website. I am cooking for a friend and her family who are GF/Dairy Free/Egg Free. She is healing from breast cancer treatment and surgery. I insist on bringing a dessert when bringing supper. These brownies are just the thing! I also made your Dark Chocolate Muffins. Both are wonderful! After all, what could be better than chocolate to speed the healing process?! Big hugs to you!

Mar 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrazzled Mom
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