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Gluten-free brownie success–Look, ma! No recipe!

May 25, 2011

These are not my brownies. They're jeffreyw's. But they do look like mine. Except he seems to like nuts. I'm not a fan.

I decided to make brownies tonight for two reasons. First, I’d made butter pecan cupcakes, and I forgot how much I dislike butter pecan. So I needed chocolate to make that smell stop. Second, gluten-free brownie mix is crazy expensive, so I thought I’d see how it went making them on my own. At some point I should compare the price of the flours and chocolate involved to the price of the mix. I know I came out way on top, though.

One of the problems I’ve had with gluten-free recipes is that they always seem to have just one ingredient I don’t have, despite what I thought was a pretty robust collection of alternative ingredients. While looking through brownie recipes, I had a revelation on Gluten-Free Girl‘s blog.

“I’m pretty sure that many combinations of gluten-free flours would work here,” she wrote. “Try the flours you have at hand. This doesn’t need to be complicated. They are brownies.”

Point made. They’re brownies. And I wanted to try sorghum flour. (Her recipe called for rice and tapioca.) So I took her recipe for a starter, combined with what I knew about brownies and sorghum flour, and I winged it. I didn’t even measure, so these ingredients are approximate, but I think they’re close.

And you know what? They were delicious. Just like brownies are supposed to be.


  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    (Note: I don’t believe there’s any such thing as too much vanilla and never even pretend to measure it.)
  • 1/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 Tb corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces chocolate
  • chocolate chips (I used about half a bag.)


  1. Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs. Beat to fluffy goodness.
  2. Add all the dry ingredients. Most rational, organized baker types say you should mix all those before you throw them in. I stir them a bit on top before getting to the mixing, and it seems to work out fine.
  3. Melt the chocolate and add it in.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Bake at 375 for about an hour.

Flickr image from jeffreyw

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 25, 2011 1:17 am

    I agree with what Gluten Free Girl said about making it less complicated. I have finally gotten over the fear of messing it up, and just use what I have.

    So many recipes call for a very high amount of rice flour. I think that makes things way too gritty, and I just don’t think they taste all that great. A few of my favorites have become quinoa flour, almond flour (I have a big bag from Honeyville farms, it’s great), and my new love…tapioca flour.

    You have always been much more of a baker than I have, throwing caution to the wind and cooking up a storm!
    I’m learning to be much more experimental, and if it doesn’t turn out the first time…that’s ok…heck, Stuart will usually eat it any way. I was very paranoid when I first started cooking gluten free. Those ingredients are not cheap! But now I can’t even eat most of the mixes, so I have to make something, or I will be eating the same old thing every darn day.

    I bet your brownies are wonderful!
    see you soon

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