After a million attempts to make the best vegan & gluten-free cinnamon rolls last year, I have quite a bit of leftover gluten-free flour stocked in my pantry. What better way to use it than by making some gluten-free brownies?
What I love about these gluten-free brownies is that they are made without nuts, eggs, or dairy, so they are vegan and allergy-friendly. They also have a sneaky serving of pumpkin puree added in, to reduce the need for oil.
I like my brownies to be rich and fudge-like, rather than cake-like, and I like to have bites of dark chocolate chips throughout, for a nice contrast of textures and flavors.
Adding a some dark chocolate does add some refined sugar to this recipe, unless you use a chopped dark chocolate bar that is naturally sweetened, like the kind by Eating Evolved (which are made with coconut sugar). For a sugar-free add-in, try using some crunchy cacao nibs or some chopped walnuts, if you can eat nuts.
Because I used pumpkin to replace some of the oil, these brownies still have a hint of cake-like texture, but I think it’s a pretty nice option for those who want a lower-fat brownie that tastes like a “real” one. My husband told me these taste like a brownie mix from a box– and that’s his highest compliment when it comes to brownies. Ha! I hope you’ll enjoy them, too.
Gluten-Free Vegan Brownies
- 2 tablespoons ground flax or chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend (I use Bob's Red Mill)
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. (You can lightly grease the dish to help the parchment paper stay in place first.)
- In a large bowl, stir together the ground chia or flax seeds and the water. This is your vegan "egg." Add in the pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, melted coconut oil, flour, cacao powder, salt, baking soda, and vinegar, and stir until a smooth batter has formed. If the dough doesn't stir easily, you can add one more tablespoon of water to help thin it out.
- Fold in the dark chocolate, if using, then transfer the batter to the lined baking dish. Use a spatula to spread it evenly into the bottom of the pan-- it will be thicker than traditional brownie batter.
- Bake until the center of the brownies don't jiggle, about 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before cutting into them, because they are more fragile when hot.
- Slice into 16 squares and serve. Leftovers can be loosely wrapped and stored on the counter for up to 3 days, or keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Per brownie: Calories: 99, Fat: 5g, Carbohydrates: 13g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 1g
- I used the 1-to-1 Baking Flour by Bob’s Red Mill, because it’s easy to find in most stores. It contains binders, like xanthan gum, so I’m not sure how this recipe will turn out if you use a different type of flour, though all purpose or whole wheat flour should bake similarly, in theory. If you were to use something like oat flour or almond flour, the results would be very different.
- I’d recommend starting with my Chewy Paleo & Vegan Brownies or Almond Butter Brownies if you need a grain-free recipe.
Reader Feedback: Do you have a Fall dessert that needs a healthy makeover?
Questions and Reviews
I made these last night and they’re awesome! The only modification I made was that I used einkorn flour instead of gluten free since that’s what I had at home, but it worked beautifully. I love the light texture and they were so easy to throw together. Thanks for another great recipe!
These sound delicious! I’m just wondering if you think an egg would work instead of the flax or chia seeds? I’m not vegan so sometimes I just find it easier to throw in an egg instead of grinding things up.
Probably, but you might only need 1 egg in this case. I’m afraid using 2 might turn it into more of a cake.
Made these last night ❤️❤️❤️The best!!!
Used King Arthur gluten free 1 to 1
Too dangerous for me to keep in the house- because they are so delicious.
Also tried your preorder instant pot egg roll in a bowl. Delicious as well. Can’t wait for the cookbook.
Thank you so much for letting me know! Glad you’re enjoying the preorder bonus, and I’m glad to hear that the King Arthur brand worked well for the brownies! They are dangerous! LOL
Those brownies are delicious. Made them like four times. Every time it turns out great. My kids and my husband love the taste. Makes me feel good that it’s healthy and not full of preservatives. I used regular flour because that’s what I had. Thanks Megan for another easy and delicious recipe.
Holy mother of God, I just made these and they are hands down the best brownies I have ever tasted. I don’t even like brownies or sweets to be honest; I’ve always been a rather savoury person but finding a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan recipe to make the DH his favourite dessert was not so easy. Thankfully I ran into your recipe!!
These brownies are a perfect texture of the fudgey and cakey variety, with nice chewy edges. They are very light tasting and moist but never chalky. The flavour profile is rounded out and complex, they are not cloyingly sweet such as the many other recipes you often find.
Thank you so much for sharing this!
I have been making these brownies 24/7! SO GOOD.
What if you are allergic to Flax Seeds and should avoid seeds – what is a good substitue?
Search online for how to make a “gelatin egg.” My cureenr diet is very restrictive, and I plan to try this recipe soon with a gelatin egg sub!
Bob’s: Yes, we package hazelnut and almond meal in our gluten free facility. We do not grind these flours, as stone grinding cannot produce flour and instead turns nuts into butters. We do package those flours and as we stated above, use good manufacturing practices to prevent cross contact. We have many people with nut allergies who eat our gluten free products with no problem, but it really comes down to the comfort level of the individual. There are several companies that specialize in allergen-free and nut-free products and we recommend customers look to them if they are not comfortable with our practices.
I LOVE brownies! I used to make them all the time, and now with my allergies gluten, dairy, eggs and chocolate, it’s a craving that mostly goes unfulfilled. I’ve tried carob in several different recipes, and it always tasted strange, but for some reason, it didn’t in this recipe. I used mint chips instead of chocolate, and usually need to add additional peppermint oil, but I didn’t and they turned out pretty fabulous. They’re the perfect texture and flavor, and I will definitely be making them again the next time I get the itch.
This is a delicious recipe, kiddo loves it too! Thanks so much for making this egg and dairy free!
I am so excited to try these,they look delicious!!!!
Do you think I can substitute the flour with oat flour, or any other whole grain flour?
I think you could probably swap out a gluten-containing flour if you don’t need these to be gluten-free. Oat flour would need something else added to it, because it’s gummy in a recipe like this, but I haven’t experimented with this particular recipe so I couldn’t say for sure how to work with that one.
Hi. I’d love to make this recipe but pumpkin puree is hard to come by here in Korea. So is applesauce. What can i use instead of the pumpkin puree?
Maybe a mashed banana or another cooked squash?
Do you mind if I ask how you convert this in the Instant Pot? I didn’t see it on your Instagram post but I want to try!
I’ve never tested this one in the Instant Pot, so all I have is guesses– no guarantee it will work! I’d probably reduce the recipe by 1/3 overall to fit in a 7-inch pan, and then you’d probably need to lower the moisture, either by reducing the pumpkin or oil content since the Instant Pot doesn’t allow for evaporation or crisping the way the oven does. I’d bake it for 25 minutes at high pressure with a 10 minute natural release, covered, like my other Instant Pot brownies.
Can these be frozen? They look delish!
Yes, I would think so!
For the Brownies – is there something I can substitute for the pumpkin puree? I don’t feel like making my own, and if I buy a tin and use just 1/4 cup for this recipe I’ll have some left – maybe I’ll have to get creative to use the rest! 🙂
The pumpkin puree is there to replace some of the fat needed to make the brownies fudgy. You could probably use coconut oil in its place, but if you want to use the leftover pumpkin puree it’s great in oatmeal and smoothies!
Oh smoothies!! Excellent idea! 🙂 Thanks very much.
You can freeze the leftover pumpkin for the next time you make these browbies!
hi can egg be substituted for the flax? and applesauce for the pumpkin puree?
Probably. I find the applesauce flavor more distracting than pumpkin, but texture-wise it should work.
hi thanks so much for your reply! but do you know what a good substitute for the flax is? and what the ratio be?
OMG! WOW, what a recipe…it is amazing, hands down the best brownie recipe ever. You are the brownie Queen. I made it the first time with minor modifications and quadrupled the recipe for good chunky brownies. DELICIOUS, must try it, every time I’ve made them, my friends don’t stop until the pan is empty…no matter how many batches I make. Thank you so much for sharing your art. Oh and no one believes there’s pumpkin in them. They’re good with sweet potato or applesauce too.
I made these last week with dark cocoa powder and they were amazing!! Thank you.
I made them again this week and used an egg instead of the flax egg. I didn’t like it was much as with the flax eggs!!
Great job on a wonderful recipe just the way it is!! Yum!
Looks delicious, and planning to make this today. Two questions before though: can I replace the coconut sugar by regular sugar? And can I double the recipe? (With how much more time added to baking?)
I am doing this as a treat for my coworkers, where a bunch of them are vegetarian/vegan/gluten intolerant. So good to have found a recipe with so many raving reviews!! Thank you, Helene
Yes, regular sugar should work fine; they’ll just be a little sweeter so you might want to taste the batter before you bake it and add an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder, if needed. If you double the recipe and bake it in a 9×13 pan, I’d probably start checking on them after 40-45 minutes. They could need a little longer, so you’ll just have to go by how they look!
Thanks! Did a double recipe the same day, and they disappeared within two hours after I brought them to work. Wanted to thank you for your quick answer right then, but the comment had not been published yet 😆
So thank you!!
I’m very confused about these measurements. There is no way the mixture I made would turn out 16 squares. What am I missing?? I’ve gone over and over the ingredients list and I’m just lost.
Everyone loved these melt-in-your-mouth brownies! Thank you so much for the recipe!!
I made these tonight and my kids devoured them! Such a great taste and texture. I only wish I would have doubled the recipe! Will definitely make these again!
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them! Let me know if you try doubling the recipe next time. 😉
Made these for my 8 year old daughter who has to be gluten and dairy free. She absolutely loved them! Thank you so much for the recipe.
I just made these exactly as written and they are amazing!!
I just made these for the first time and tired them about ten minutes ago and all I have to say is WOW. I see why other comments say that as well. I am an awful baker and vegan/gf/nf is so tricky (household allergies though) so I’m used to things going just okay at best. Not these! They’re truly fluffy, fudgy, gooey, and even have a crisp on the edges that makes me want to eat the edges for the first time in my life haha
I never leave reviews but I am so impressed!!
Have tried so many of these type of recipes and am always left disappointed. However after trying this I can honestly say these are amazing. Better than normal brownies. Thank you!!
The promise of a rich, chocolatey brownie is real! Loved this recipe, first time using a chia egg and I like it! I only had a 8×8″ pan but baked for 30min at 350F and the consistency was perfect. Thanks for the healthier brownie recipe.
Ok, these were amazingly good. My husband loved them too! I added an extra tbsp of water and used Pamela’s gluten free all purpose flour and baked for 25 minutes and it was perfection. I couldn’t believe they tasted the way they did considering the ingredients.
Absolutely Loved these. No one even knew they were GF, DF & EGG FREE! Also used raspberry cider vinegar instead of the Apple. Served them with coconut ice cream and fresh raspberries as a dessert. Thank you for this lovely recipe.
Has anyone tried this with almond flour?
I would recommend starting with my Almond Flour Brownies recipe instead: https://detoxinista.com/almond-flour-brownies/
Hi Megan, I really enjoy your recipes. Thanks for all you do! I follow a vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free diet and have autoimmune. I find that coconut sugar doesn’t agree with me. I usually sweeten treats with Brown Rice Syrup, on the advice of my naturopath. My question is “Would Brown Rice Syrup work as a substitute for the coconut sugar in this amazing recipe? Thanks, Katie
The BEST brownies of any kind I’ve ever made. Used chunks of super dark chocolate instead of chips
This sounds awesome and it could work for me if I could make modifications for my food allergies. Can I replace the pumpkin for apple sauce? A neutral oil like canola instead of coconut oil?
I used Earth Balance Vegan Butter instead of coconut oil and it worked fine!!
These were delicious! Moist and chewy. Gluten free and dairy free.😊
LOVED THIS RECIPE!!! I am allergic to coconuts, so I substituted Earth Balance Vegan Butter for coconut oil and maple syrup for coconut sugar and the recipe turned out great!!! The maple syrup made the brownies gooey and delicious!
Out of curiosity, is there a way to switch our the coconut sugar for honey or maple syrup, or even dates?
They look delicious by the way!
I would try my date-sweetened brownie recipe here: https://detoxinista.com/date-sweetened-flourless-brownie-recipe/
Excellent recipe! We like to eat oil free so I subbed tahini instead of the oil. So delicious! Thanks for this vegan brownie recipe with no gluten, nuts, corn, soy, etc.
I can’t find a 9 inch square pan anywhere. I have an 8 x 8. Was that a typo by chance? If not do you know how I should adjust the bake time if using an 8 x 8? Thank you in advance.
Wondering if this is really supposed to go in a 9 inch square pan? I triple checked i followed recipe quantities exactly and used the Bob’s red mill 1:1 even. But it is a small enough of think batter that I struggled to spread it all the way out to sides in an 8 inch (transfered my parchment from 9″ when became obvious that wouldn’t work). Baking now, fingers crossed they turn out great anyway!
Wow! These brownies turned out amazing. They don’t taste vegan, gluten free, or healthy at all, which is exactly what I was looking for! I’m so happy to find this recipe. I am doing “van life” so didn’t have an oven but have been craving brownies that I could actually eat. I cooked them in a small 8″ round pot on the stove on low for 30 minutes and they turned out great. The trick to this is to seal the cover on really well so all the steam stays in to cook the top, and to let them set for the full 30mins. I used parchment paper to line the bottom so it was easy to get out once it cooled. The bottom was a little crusted but it went really well with a mix of rich, gooey and cakey textures all throughout. So delicious! Thanks again for this epic recipe!
Flax egg is WAY better than chia egg in this recipe and I highly recommend making a 1 1/2 batch rather than a single batch. My first attempt was the single recipe with chia and my husband was not a fan of the crunchy, chewy texture and they also came out pretty flat. I immediately made a second batch with flax egg and increased the recipe by 1/2 (not double, but 1.5 if that makes sense) and they were absolute perfection. I served them for a Labor Day party and kids/adults loved them and loved that they were healthier. Thank you!
These are incredible !! I used regular sugar because that’s what I had & they turned out so flavorful & had the texture of a chewy fake like brownie
Delish! I substituted the flax/chia and water for 1/4 cup of seltzer to replace the egg and also used canned pumpkin. Even the batter is yum-o!
Such a great brownie recipe!! Love the that these are nut and egg free!
I made these and substituted apple sauce for the pumpkin purée and for the oil. They weee great!