These decadent gluten free brownie ice cream sandwiches are made with the fudgiest brownies split between two pans, baked, and layered with homemade no churn vanilla ice cream.
The perfect brownies…
Whenever you're making homemade ice cream sandwiches, you want to be able to bite into the sandwich without having it fall into your lap in pieces. That's a basic requirement, right?
Well, the brownie recipe that we're using here is our recipe for super fudgy gluten free brownies, just with the granulated sugar reduced by a small amount. The ice cream adds plenty of sweetness, and the contrast between the rich chocolate of the brownies and the sweet cream of the ice cream is what makes these gluten free brownie ice cream sandwiches a fast favorite.
…made in two square pans
You may be tempted to bake the brownie batter in a single 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan, rather than 2 square pans. I have tried baking brownie recipes in a larger pan, but I find that the edges burn before the center has a chance to fully set.
It's particularly important for these brownies to bake up flat (without a dome toward the center), and stable. You'll have to transfer one of the uncut layers on top of the ice cream, which is on top of the other brownie layer, still in its pan.
Freezing the baked and cooled brownie layers helps make them easier to handle. But if your brownies are too cake-like, or underbaked at all, you'll find it difficult to layer them.
What type of ice cream works best for ice cream sandwiches?
In the warm weather, I make quite a bit of homemade ice cream. It's far from the only ice cream my kids eat in the summertime, but it's so useful to have still-unfrozen freshly “churned” ice cream for making into ice cream pops and ice cream sandwiches.
Once ice cream has been churned, or no-churned like our homemade no churn vanilla ice cream, it's soft and fluffy, and so easy to spread. You can see it in the how-to video included in this post.
If you don't want to make homemade ice cream, you can use store-bought ice cream. The easiest way to do it is to buy a cardboard quart-sized or larger container of ice cream and literally slice through the cardboard horizontally with a sharp knife, at least 1-inch thick.
Peel away the container that remains on the slab of ice cream, and place it on top of the bottom brownie layer, still in the pan. You'll probably need two slices to place side by side on the brownies. Top with the other brownie layer.
Ingredients and substitutions
You can make the brownies without dairy, and I've even tried it myself. Replace the butter with an equal amount by weight of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, or vegan butter like Melt or Miyoko's Kitchen brand, and the cream with nondairy milk (not non-fat!), use nondairy chocolate.
If you do use Earth Balance, eliminate the salt as an ingredient. Buttery Sticks are already pretty salty.
For the ice cream, you can use your favorite nondairy vanilla ice cream (or whatever flavor you like). You can also use our recipe for nondairy no churn ice cream recipe. Or even our nondairy no churn rocky road ice cream. Now that would be amazing.
If you're egg-free, you can try using two “chia eggs.” A chia egg is 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon lukewarm water and allowed to gel. I can't promise it will work, though, as I haven't tried it in this recipe.
Gluten Free Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
3/4 cup (105 g) basic gum free gluten free flour blend (69 grams superfine white rice flour + 23 grams potato starch + 13 grams tapioca starch/flour)
3/4 cup (60 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder (if you use natural cocoa powder instead, add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda to the recipe)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (164 g) packed light brown sugar
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
9 tablespoons (126 g) unsalted butter, melted
3 ounces bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) heavy cream, at room temperature
2 quarts softened or homemade vanilla ice cream
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch x 8-inch baking pans lightly then line them with parchment paper that overhangs all 4 sides of the pan, or line with nonstick aluminum foil. Set the pans aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour blend, cocoa powder, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and whisk again to combine, breaking up any lumps. Add the eggs and vanilla, then the melted butter, and melted chocolate, and the cream, and mix to combine. The batter should be thick but smooth. Divide the batter equally among the two prepared baking pans (each pan will have about 400 grams of batter), and spread into an even layer in each with a wet spatula.
Place the pans in the center of the preheated oven and bake just until firm to the touch (about 20 minutes). Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pans. Transfer one cooled brownie layer from the baking pan to a flat surface like a small cutting board or baking sheet, and place in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Chilling that layer will make it easier to transfer it to the top of the ice cream without its breaking.
Pour one recipe of homemade ice cream or softened store-bought vanilla ice cream over the top of the brownies still in their pan. Spread into an even layer. Top with the other brownie layer, top facing up. Freeze completely, still in the pan. Remove from the freezer, slice into rectangles and serve. Wrap any leftover ice cream sandwiches tightly and freeze for up to 2 weeks.