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In this post, I’ll show you how easy it is to prepare this vegan gluten free brownies recipe. These brownies are rich, chocolate-y, and made with 100% plant-based ingredients. Plus, you’ll only need a few simple ingredients, which you most likely already have on hand.
In this recipe, applesauce is used in place of eggs and vegetable oil instead of butter. These are also dairy free brownies. And they taste delicious! Read on to learn how to prepare this vegan dessert.
Do vegan brownies contain gluten?
Not these gluten free, dairy free babies! For this recipe, we’ll be using gluten-free flour. This is my favorite gluten-free flour option, since you can easily substitute it for equal parts regular flour in any recipe. It’s perfect for your gluten free baking:
The rest of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free. Many people wonder if baking powder is gluten-free. Baking powder is typically a combination of cream of tartar, baking soda, and a starch such as potato starch or regular cornstarch, both of which are gluten-free.
That means most baking powder you can find in stores is gluten-free. However, double check the ingredients list just to make sure.
How to make vegan gluten-free brownies
What you’ll need
To start, preheat the oven to 350°F. Easy, right? Now we move on to combining the dry and wet ingredients separately.
Combine the gluten free flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. If the cocoa powder is caked, sift it before mixing with the flour.
Good quality cocoa powder is key to this recipe. I used this unsweetened cocoa powder, which has a 100% cocoa content, and no other ingredients:
Then, in another bowl, combine the sugar with the oil, making sure they are well combined. I used vegetable oil since it has a neutral flavor, but you can experiment with other oils if you wish.
Now, add the applesauce and vanilla extract, until the mixture is well incorporated. The applesauce does the function of eggs in this recipe, which is to act as a binding agent and provide moisture to the batter. You can also use flax eggs in any vegan brownie recipe, I went with applesauce because it was something less I’d have to make.
Tip: 1/4 cup of applesauce can substitute for 1 egg in most recipes without altering the flavor.
Next, slowly combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. It’s important in this step to avoid overmixing the ingredients. The reason is to avoid getting too much air into the batter, and then winding up with brownies full of air bubbles on the surface. Trust me, they don’t look pretty!
Add the walnuts if you’re going to use them. I love using walnuts in this recipe because they add a crunchy texture to the softness of the brownie. In addition, walnuts are an excellent source of antioxidants and fiber.
Now it’s time to bake your brownies! For this recipe, I used an 8 x 8-inch nonstick pan. Lightly spray it with a little vegetable oil. Add the batter and make sure to spread it well.
If you use the walnuts, you can sprinkle some more on top of the batter to decorate. Now, place the pan in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
It’s important to avoid over baking the brownies so they can be soft and moist. At around the 25 minute mark, I insert a toothpick in the center of the batter, and if it comes out with some cooked crumbs sticking to the toothpick, then I know it’s ready. It doesn’t have to come out completely clean, since that usually means they’re over baked.
Once you’re sure they’re ready, remove the pan from the oven and place it on a baking rack to cool, about 10-15 minutes.
Another clue that your brownies are done is that you’ll notice that the corners of the baked batter have pulled away from the pan. Once they’re cooled enough, cut them into squares and enjoy!
Brownie baking tips
- Make sure you use a good quality cocoa powder. Otherwise, the batter can be lumpy and the consistency of the the final product too grainy.
- Instead of the nuts, you can use vegan chocolate chips or dried fruit like blueberries for a kick of amazing flavor.
- Remember to incorporate the ingredients by hand, not with an electric mixer. Also, combine the ingredients just enough so that they’re incorporated. This way, your brownies will have a smooth surface free of air bubbles.
- Serve them if you like over a scoop of your favorite vegan ice cream. Here’s a tasty option made with Macadamia nut milk. Click on the photo to check out these decadent, vegan, gluten-free frozen desserts.
Is cocoa powder vegan and gluten-free?
Cocoa is naturally gluten-free, and vegan as well.
There’s also no dairy or milk products in cocoa powder. Just make sure you’re using 100% cocoa powder, with no other ingredients such as animal products or other emulsifiers.
How long do these vegan gluten free brownies last?
This brownies recipe can last 2-3 days at room temperature without drying out. Make sure to store them already cooled in an airtight container.
Can you freeze gluten free brownies?
Yes! To freeze this recipe, make sure it has completely cooled down. It’s easier if you cut it into pieces, and put them in an airtight container. These brownies can stay in the freezer for about 3 months. To serve, place them at room temperature for 2-3 hours. You can reheat them for a few seconds in the microwave, or in a preheated oven for a couple of minutes.
The Easiest Vegan Gluten Free Brownies Recipe
- 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened 100% cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- In another bowl, add the sugar to the vegetable oil, combining well. Add the applesauce and vanilla extract and gently mix until it's well combined.
- Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, combining slowly. Avoid over mixing to avoid air bubbles on the surface of the brownies.
- Add the walnuts, if using, and gently combine.
- In an 8 x 8 square pan previously lightly sprayed with vegetable oil, add the brownie batter and spread well. You can add some chopped nuts on the surface to decorate.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake between 25-30 minutes.
- To avoid over baking the brownies, you can stick a toothpick into the batter to check if it's ready (if the toothpick comes out clean, you're ready to take the brownies out of the oven).
- Once they're ready, place the pan on a baking rack and let the brownies cool for around 10 minutes before cutting them. Cut them into squares and enjoy!
Check out my other vegan and plant-based recipes
- Vegan Coquito recipe
- Remy’s Ratatouille recipe
- Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Vegan Gravy
- Savory Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash
- Homemade Vegan Dumplings
- Easy Vegan Ramen with Crispy Tofu
- Chickpea and Potato Curry
- Vegan Chickpea Salad
- How to Make Mason Jar Salads
- Hummus without Tahini recipe
Hi! I’m Melissa, Registered Dietitian and mother of two dragons. When I’m not talking nutrition you can find me rolling around the floor with my kids, sewing, crafting, cooking or missing the 90s (seriously, music just isn’t the same). Read More…