Super Fudgy Paleo Brownies
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I may bake mostly non-Paleo gluten free (NPGF – should that be a thing?), but I honestly don’t think I’m ever going to make my traditional super fudgy gluten free … more »

Super Fudgy Paleo Brownies

I may bake mostly non-Paleo gluten free (NPGF – should that be a thing?), but I honestly don’t think I’m ever going to make my traditional super fudgy gluten free brownies again. Unless I’m baking for someone with a nut allergy. But otherwise? These Super Fudgy Paleo Brownies might just be my new favorite brownies.

Super Fudgy Paleo Brownies

They are much healthier than your traditional brownie, but still dense and fudgy and crazy satisfying. Believe it or not, I have no problem enjoying these gorgeous brownies in moderation. For real. I may kid, but I never lie. Unless it’s a white lie that I told to protect your feelings, and you can’t hold that against me I was only thinking of you.

Super Fudgy Paleo Brownies

The only wee little wrinkle in the whole thing is that you really do need to make the batter in a blender. Any blender will do (high speed fancy blender not required), but I have done it both ways (and even in a stand mixer), and the blender makes the smoothest dough. Smooth dough = gorgeous brownies. Less-than-smooth dough = kinda grainy brownies.

Super Fudgy Paleo Brownies

But look at the rewards! Do me a solid, though: be sure you are using your oven thermometer instead of the gauge on your oven itself (you have one of those for baking gluten free bread anywayright?). Almond flour tends to burn at higher temps, and you want these to stay fudgy. And I know it’s only a tablespoon of coconut flour, but it’s worth buying some to use in this recipe. I’ve also made the recipe without it, and they just don’t have the same texture. You don’t need to buy a ton of coconut flour – I keep it in the refrigerator and it takes me forever to make it through a 1 1/2 pound bag. And I think we can all agree that I bake a lot.

RELATED POSTS:
Paleo Blueberry Muffins (nut-free)
Super Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies
Gluten Free S’mores Brownies

Prep time: 10 minutes       Cook time: 25 minutes       Yield: 16 brownies
Ingredients

5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

7 tablespoons (84 g) nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening (can substitute an equal amount of virgin coconut oil)

1/4 cup (84 g) honey

3 eggs (180 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

3/4 cup (120 g) coconut sugar

1/2 cup (56 g) blanched almond flour

1 tablespoon (8 g) coconut flour

3/4 cup (60 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (either natural or Dutch-processed)

1/8 teaspoon baking soda (omit if using Dutch-processed cocoa powder)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan, and then line it with overhung sheets of crisscrossed unbleached parchment paper, and set the pan aside.

  • Place the chocolate and shortening in a small, heat-safe bowl and then place the bowl over a small pan of simmering (not boiling) water, taking care that the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water. Melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat, and allow to cool briefly.

  • Once the chocolate mixture is no longer hot to the touch, pour the chocolate mixture into the bottom of a blender, and add all of the remaining ingredients, in the order listed. Blend until smooth. You may have to stop the blender a couple times to scrape down the sides. If you do not blend the batter, but rather just mix it with a spoon, the brownies may be a bit grainy after baking.

  • Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan, and smooth into an even layer with a wet spatula. Smack the bottom of the pan squarely on the counter a couple times to break any air bubbles trapped inside. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing from the pan by holding onto the overhung pieces of parchment paper. Slice into squares and serve.

Love,
Me

 

P.S. If you haven’t yet, pick up your copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread! My cookbooks are the engine that drives this daily blog, so thank you for all your support!

  • Jennifer S.

    Wow – these look so yummy. I just had a brownie like this at the Good Earth that they turned into a turtle brownie with melted caramel, pecans, and melted chocolate on top -it was the best. You’ve inspired me!

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      That sounds fabulous, Jennifer!

  • MMig

    Has anyone made these with egg substitute by any chance? We can’t have eggs.

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      I’m afraid I don’t know if that would work, MMig.

    • Amy Jardon

      I made GFShoestring’s gingerbread cake with chia seeds for egg substitute and it turned out fairly well (egg allergy for nephew). I would think it’d work well in this as well.

      • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

        Paleo baked goods don’t generally work as well with egg replacements, Amy, as conventional rice-based gluten free baking. I’m afraid I’m not that optimistic that it would work for this recipe.

  • Shannon Williams

    For a nut allergy you can sub sunflower seed flower cup for cup with almond flour. I will try this with these & let you know how it goes. Just run unsalted raw seeds thru a Ninja or Vitamix and BOOM, flour.

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Interesting, Shannon. Definitely report back, if you would!

      • kelly

        Sunflower flour may give the brownies a green tinge but should work well as a substitution. They are so dark that it might not even be noticeable. I love that you have ventured into paleo baking. I have some of your cookbooks and love your recipes but try to keep paleo as much as possible. Thanks for all you do!

    • Stacey

      Had NO idea there was such a thing as Sunflower Flour. Thanks for the suggestions for how to go about making it. I need a food processor.. Really do. <3

      • Moe

        Costco had a small Cuisinart about 4c i think … It works well.

      • Sabrina

        Me either! I’m excited to try using it, since I’m allergic to almond anything and peanut anything. LOL THANK YOU Shannon Williams for the information!

  • WTFPinterest.com

    Mmmm…these look incredible! I will try them…just as soon as I’m done eating my decidedly un-paleo-but-still-GF Chocolate-Whiskey Bundt Cake! I used your mock C4C blend, and it made the cake so decadently fudge-y! But now I need these brownies! OXO Allison

  • Donia Robinson

    I will likely make these today while waiting for the “polar vortex” to head on its merry way. (Will my kids ever return to school?) Polar vortex, everybody else may be too polite to say this to your face, but we all hate you. Polar bears, cute. Polar vortex, not so much.

  • Amy Jardon

    Have you ever tried using tapioca or coconut flour instead of almond flour (almonds are nut allergens in the family).

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      You cannot replace almond flour with either tapioca flour or coconut flour, I’m afraid, Amy. See below for another reader’s suggestion to try sunflower seed flour, but I can’t vouch for it myself!

  • Mare Masterson

    Holy chewy, yummy, chocolatey goodness Batman! I am salivating!

  • Kristen Reynard

    I am so excited to make these!! I just finished the last of my GF fudgy brownies and am intrigued by this recipe…since you’ve now made this your “go-to” brownie. It took me a while to fully stock my pantry, but I have all of the listed ingredients, and then some. Just ordered navy bean flour yesterday to make the paleo PB choc chunk cookies too. Thank you again for all of your submissions!!

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      So glad you’re stocked and ready to go, Kristen!

  • China Katimir

    Definitely want to add walnuts to it. Do you think that would change anything in preparation. Also, I have some semi-sweet chocolate. Will this be fine?

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      That should be fine, China. Semi-sweet chocolate will make the whole thing much sweeter. If Paleo is not something you’re interested in, I’d suggest trying the Gluten Free Super Fudgy Brownies linked to in the post above.

      • Donia Robinson

        I don’t keep unsweetened chocolate around, but must have these right now. So I’m going to see if using the cocoa container’s substitution recipe for unsweetened chocolate will work. I will report back!

        • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

          If that suggests a mix of oil and cocoa powder, Donia, I wouldn’t bet on a good, nonoily result. I’d recommend more shortening rather than oil.

          • Donia Robinson

            Yes, I used shortening (1 T shortening and 3T cocoa = 1 oz chocolate). They were way too dry to even mix in the blender, so I added water. They are cooling now. They may not cooperate in texture, but I’m guessing the taste is good. I will try the recipe the right way sometime, too! When the weather is warmer and I don’t mind going to the grocery store… ;)

            Do you think a food processor would work to blend them in? (Would it remove the graininess you mention?) I really despise trying to get the batter out of a blender (even if it had been the right consistency), and for all the cleaning woes of a food processor, it is at least more friendly in that respect.

            • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

              That should work, Donia, but I haven’t tried it so you’ll have to experiment!

              • Donia Robinson

                These turned out really nicely. I love how cleanly they cut! Not like regular brownies that like to crumble as you slice them. Very tasty. Thanks for a great recipe!

                • MeLissa Rocco

                  Just a fun tip for “regular brownies” (gluten-free and otherwise), if you’re struggling to get them to cut nicely, use a plastic knife. Works beautifully. :)

      • China Katimir

        Thanks Nicole. I’m not Paleo yet–more Primal. I’m low carb but I eat whatever I want one or two days a week, gluten free of course where I get to try many of your delectable looking recipes. I guess I’ll use my Ghiradelli bittersweet 60% cacao chocolate then. Off topic, can’t wait to hear how to use my new Bron and Taylor proofer for your bread recipes. I just purchased your Bakes Bread cookbook. :-)

        • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

          60% cacao chocolate would be great in this, China!

  • Danelle

    Is there a difference between coconut sugar and regular granulated sugar???

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Yes, there is, Danelle. Coconut sugar is made from sap collected from the flower buds of the coconut palm tree, the buds that would form coconuts if allowed to mature. It is lower-glycemic, and has a number of nutrients. Regular granulated sugar is crystallized sucrose, extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets. The juice is extracted and boiled down to reduce the water, and separate it into sugar crystals and molasses. The crystallized sugar, without the molasses, is what we call granulated sugar. It has no nutrients and is high-glycemic.

      • Marilyn McLeod

        Thank you Nicole on explanation for coconut sugar. I may try some. I’ve also made my own almond flour by grinding it up in a chopper that totally makes it into almond meal/flour. I assume that would be OK to use?

        • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

          I’m afraid not, Marilyn. This recipe calls for blanched almond flour, which is finely ground blanched skinless almonds. Grinding up whole almonds makes almond meal, which is much coarser and behaves quite differently in baking.

          • Marilyn McLeod

            Thank you Nicole! That’s good to know. Marilyn

          • margeryk

            I finally got some almond flour from nuts.com, after starting out using Bob’s Red Mill almond “flour.” What a world of difference!

    • Kelli

      I’m diabetic. You’ll find that there is not that big of a difference for a diabetic in coconut sugar and white sugar. Those micronutrients still have lots of glucose/fructose, and coconut sugar is mostly fructose. Not a good dietary choice for most people who have diabetes or excess weight.

      • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

        These brownies are not intended to be safe for those with diabetes, Kelli. Nothing with this much sugar in any form, as opposed to a sugar substitute, would be. And this recipe would not work well with a sugar substitute.

        • Priscilla Lane

          Sucrose is half fructose, half glucose. The single study finding that coconut sugar is low-GI was comparing coconut sugar to pure glucose, not to sucrose.

          If coconut sugar is about 80% sucrose 7-9% fructose, (which is what a cursory web search suggests, as I haven’t gone deeply into this) then it is, in fact, mostly fructose.

          Only glucose registers on the glycemic index, but fructose is still important as a source of calories and inflammation.

          That said, I think all things are good in moderation, including brownies.

  • http://www.melskitchencafe.com/ Mel

    I have to confess, I hopped over to your blog (from FB) with trepidation, expecting to read something in the ingredient list like black beans; sorry if you have a recipe for brownies with black beans but I will never.be.able.to.go.there, and what do I see? A really delightful brownie recipe with alternative flours/sugar which I am so much more on board with than, did I mention, black beans. Love this. I might have to do some research into the coconut sugar thing, though. They look magnificent, Nicole!

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Mel! A reader on Facebook said that she makes ‘healthy’ brownies with black beans. I know that people do that. I am not one of them. These are not bean brownies! I think you might actually really love baking something like brownies with almond flour, especially since these are fudgy so they don’t use a lot of almond flour at all. See below for a pretty full explanation of coconut sugar (if I do say so myself). I use it in my coffee! It’s my current favorite sugar for personal use, that is.

  • Marilyn McLeod

    I too would like to know about the coconut sugar. I have to stay away from any kind of sugar. Is coconut sugar low glycemic? I always use agave or xylitol in my baking, but coconut sugar sounds like it would give a good texture. And these look absolutely yummy… almost like fudge! Can hardly wait to make some!

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Please see my answer to Danelle, below, Marilyn.

  • Melissa

    Very excited to try since I love your Super fudgy brownies! Using honey & the alternate flours of almond & coconut are an excellent idea! Looking forward to more recipes like this that is SANS xanthan gum & SANS refined sugars!

  • BJ

    How about maple syrup or molasses in place of honey for low FODMAP? And if coconut sugar is indeed mostly fructose as someone mentioned, I will have to use raw sugar as I normally do for baking (since sucrose is safe of me). Otherwise, sounds fabulous!

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Hi, BJ, Molasses has a very strong flavor, and would not work well in this quantity. Maple syrup is much thinner than honey. You’ll have to experiment!

  • Crappycook

    I think this broke my blender…

    • K8

      It was too thick for my Bosch too. I thought I blew my motor. Does yours have a reset button anywhere on it? Luckily that’s all mine needed, but I won’t try these in it again.

  • Kathryn Barnes Rogers

    Can I use almond butter in place of the almond flour and coconut oil? My body seems to have some difficulty digesting almond flour.

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      No, I don’t imagine you can, Kathryn.

  • Debbie

    Is it possible to use all almond flour and omit the coconut flour? I currently don’t have that on hand :-(.

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      As I explain in the post, Debbie, it doesn’t have the same structure when you do that, but it’s up to you!

      • Debbie

        I was so excited about these that I didn’t read all the way to the bottom! Sorry for the redundancy :-). I will go forth in search of coconut flour.

  • Kristen Reynard

    Oh Wow!! I just baked these tonight and they are incredible…soooo fudgy and chocolatey!! I used half shortening/half coconut oil and I’m glad I had my powerful Vitamix to blend it. I use it to make my peanut butter (which makes an awful sound), but this batter really put it to work…definitely necessary for a smooth texture. I even calculated the calories, weighed them after baking, and am able to figure out how many calories each piece is that I cut….feels so indulgent without all the guilt!! Weighing most of the ingredients makes things so much simpler – thank you Nicole :)

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Tell everyone you know that weighing makes things easier, Kristen! So much easier indeed. :)

  • KnitYeah

    My Blender also started to smell like it was Burning Up! Will use food processor on next go-round! Batter was VERY messy to deal with, using my “normal-person/non-professional chef” blender. Also, I DO believe this is an indulgence – as the overall cost of these ingredients is pretty pricey – But WELL worth it for the taste/texture result! THANKS NICOLE!

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Sometimes my regular blender (which I did use to make this successfully one time, and with a highspeed blender another) and my food processor both will start to strain under a difficult task, but the motor is just overheated, not broken. I let it sit for a while to cool down, and then use it again. But you can try it in the food processor if you like.Yes, Paleo baking ingredients are costly. No way around that!

  • Laura Stone

    Wonder of cashew flour/meal would work here in place of almond flour.

  • Annette

    Nicole, just wondering, are your facebook or blog recipes in your cookbooks or are they new as you post them? I just bought your 3 cookbooks, get your emails and follow you on facebook, but wondered about saving them all or just look in the cookbooks. Thanks for all that you do.

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  • Melissa

    I made these with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips for the chocolate and decreased honey to 2 tbsp. instead of the 1/4cup, and they were still REALLY sweet due in part to the chocolate chips having cane sugar already in them! They are every bit as decadent and rich as the OTHER ones you made Nicole! Just a little square will do ya! I Did also make it in an 8×8 pan since I don’t have a 9×9, so they were a little thicker and I cooked for 10 min more. I have cut the whole batch in half and froze it for later, ’cause it is THAT RICH!! Good one Nicole! Would love to see more Paleo Recipes:)

  • Dixie

    I made these tonight and they are delicious! My family gobbled them up and asked if I would make them again in the future. They are fantastic!

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  • Laura Stone

    Made these today according to recipe except I replace almond flour (allergic) with cashew meal from Trader Joes. They are FANTASTIC! Thanks for great recipe!

  • Stephanie Ross

    With all my culinary talents I’ve never been able to make good enough brownies. They’re always too hard, too sweet, too grainy or just yuk!!! My husband doesn’t like brownies either. I’ve done this recipe and it’s a success. He said WOW!!! So i’m keeping it and charing this with friends and familly.

This recipe was brought to you by Nicole Hunn of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/super-fudgy-paleo-brownies/
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