Little Debbie Gluten Free Brownies

Little Debbie Gluten Free Brownies

These Little Debbie gluten free brownies are just as fudgy and chewy as you remember, and they’re made with regular gluten free pantry ingredients. You’ll want to make them immediately!

Just push play ▶️ to see the one minute video how-to that proves just how easy this recipe really is.

Whether you prefer your brownies fudgy or cakey, chewy or more tender, rich in chocolate or a bit lighter, Little Debbie brownies seem to hit that sweet spot for everyone.

Gluten Free "Little Debbie" Cosmic Brownies—from Gluten Free Classic Snacks

These are no ordinary gluten free brownies. Oh no no no. Rich and fudgy, without being overwhelmingly sweet, I think of them like a brownie’s brownie. The kind of brownie a real brownie-eater reaches for. For sure, they could never be mistaken for chocolate cake!

And since I can’t stand the thought of your not having them in your gluten free baking repertoire, especially as the weather warms and brownies are basically a food group at every picnic and barbecue, this recipe from Gluten Free Classic Snacks is on the blog for all to enjoy.

Gluten Free "Little Debbie" Cosmic Brownies, Step by Step—from Gluten Free Classic Snacks

Growing up, I didn’t have a ton of experience with Little Debbies—except for cosmic brownies. Since I was flat out offended by walnuts in brownies, the cosmic brownies were the way to go. Of course, I wouldn’t turn away a fudge brownie since I wasn’t above picking off the walnuts.

I think that the closest thing to the chocolate candies on top of cosmic brownies are those rainbow miniature chips (I think Wilton sells them), but no way those are going to be gluten free. I went with miniature M&Ms, but you could also use Sixlets or even (gasp) walnuts if the M&Ms aren’t gluten free where you live (hello👋🏻 Aussie friends!).

Gluten Free "Little Debbie" Cosmic Brownies—from Gluten Free Classic Snacks!

These brownies are truly my go-to recipe for “regular” brownies whenever I need to make a batch. I leave off the chocolate ganache topping if I’m ever transporting them anywhere.

The recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9-inch x 12-inch pan, but I recommend lowering the baking temperature to 325°F and increasing the baking time to about 45 minutes. Do keep an eye on them because the bottom may burn. You’re better off baking a double batch in 2 separate 8-inch square pans.


  • Dairy free: In place of butter, you can try using Earth Balance Buttery Sticks. That should work fine, although I’ve never tried it so I’m not entirely sure. The heavy cream in the ganache can be replaced with coconut cream. Just use dairy free chocolate.
  • Egg free: My favorite egg substitute is a “chia egg” (but use ground chia flour, not whole seeds), but I haven’t tested it in this recipe. Feel free to experiment!
  • Corn syrup: Light corn syrup is not at all the same as the much-hated high-fructose corn syrup. It is an “invert sugar,” which just means that it’s a mixture of two sugars (glucose and fructose) and is less likely to crystallize. In this particular recipe, you can replace it with honey (which will impart a distinct taste) or a rich simple syrup (which won’t).

P.S. In case you’re looking for more gluten free brownie recipes

These Little Debbie gluten free brownies are just as fudgy and chewy as you remember, and they're made with regular gluten free pantry ingredients. You'll want to make them immediately!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 brownies


For the Brownies
1 cup (140 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

3/4 cup (60 g) unsweetened cocoa powder*

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons (28 g) neutral oil (like vegetable, canola or peanut oil)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (42 g) light corn syrup

2 large eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

For the topping
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3 ounces miniature M&Ms candies or multicolored Sixlets, for decorating (most M&Ms are gluten free in the U.S.—if they’re not gluten free where you live, then, of course, don’t use them!)

*My favorite cocoa powder for this recipe is Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder, as it’s a blend of natural and Dutch-processed cocoa powders, but natural or Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powders will also work in this recipe. If you use natural, add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda to the dry ingredients.


  • Prepare the brownies: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8-inch square pan with two sheets of unbleached parchment paper, crisscrossed in the pan with enough paper to overhang all the edges, and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk again, working out any lumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, oil, vanilla, corn syrup and eggs, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter should be thick and smooth. Scrape it into the prepared baking pan and spread into an even layer with a moist spatula. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, 25 to 28 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pan.

  • When the brownies are nearly cool, prepare the topping: Place the chocolate in a medium-size, heatproof bowl, and set it aside. Place the cream ina  small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the salt to the cream and stir to combine. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and allow to sit until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Allow the mixture to cool for about 2 minutes before pouring over the cooled brownies, still in the pan, in an even layer. Scatter the miniature M&Ms (Ms side down, if you’re being fastidious) over the chocolate layer, and allow to set at room temperature for about 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator. Allow to chill in the refrigerator until firm, about another 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and lift the brownies out of the pan, using the overhanging edges of the sheets of parchment paper in the pan. Place on a cutting board and slice the brownies into twelve equal rectangles. With a butter knife, create a seam widthwise down the center of each brownie.

  • Storing instructions: These can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, seal tightly in a freezer-safe wrap or bag, and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature. The chocolate coating may bloom a bit over time, but it won’t affect the taste at all.

  • From the book Gluten-Free Classic Snacks: 100 Recipes for the Brand Name Treats You Love, by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Copyright © 2015.

    Post originally published on the blog in 2015. Recipe and photos unchanged, video new, text mostly new.



Comments are closed.

  • Arnell VerHoef
    May 28, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    I can’t have white sugar! I use coconut sugar but how do you substitute it for white as the weight is different?

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 29, 2017 at 11:47 AM

      I haven’t tested this recipe with that substitution, Arnell, and coconut sugar can’t usually be substituted for granulated sugar 1:1. If you’d like to experiment, though, of course feel free!

  • Micky Brand
    May 25, 2017 at 12:10 PM

    Wonderful recipe! And so great that it had substitutions for vegans and people who suffer from egg and dairy allergies / sensitivities. I’m vegan with a wheat intolerance, an egg sensitive and a dairy allergy, so I had to tweak the recipe a bit to fit my dietary needs. Not wanting such a large amount of vegan margarine, I subbed half of it for nut butter and because corn syrup is not available in South Africa, I replaced it with maple syrup and used a little less sugar (the raw kind). It was awesome! Soft yet fudge centre with a nice crunchy crust. We’re not icing people, so I omitted the ganash. Still great. Felt tempted not to share it with my hubby and son, but I guess that’d make me a meanie. 😊

    Just a note: when you do sub eggs for chia, you use 1 tablespoon on ground chia seeds per egg and compensate for the albumin by adding 5 tablespoons of water (for this recipe you’ll need 2 tablespoons of chia and half a cup of water). It works really well in this recipe by adding to the chewiness.

  • Jorie Sus
    May 18, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    These are the hubtastic’s absolute FAVORITE treats and while I have been GF for quite some time now, he is new to it, my twins and I will be making these tomorrow for him and my older kidlet as part of “mommy preschool” thank you so very much!

  • Jorie Sus
    May 18, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    These are the hubtastic’s absolute FAVORITE treats and while I have been GF for quite some time now, he is new to it, my twins and I will be making these tomorrow for him and my older kidlet as part of “mommy preschool” thank you so very much!

  • Night to Dawn
    May 15, 2015 at 2:15 PM

    I’m kinda new a GF baking, but I gave this a go, and the brownies were awesome! I look forward to trying some of the other recipes. :)

  • May 15, 2015 at 8:29 AM

    These look great – always looking for a new dessert to make the kids….going to have to try these.

  • Abi O'Riordan
    May 13, 2015 at 4:24 PM

    I’m from the UK so have never tried the real thing but these are totally delicious and surprisingly simple to make. I managed to make them dairy free too with almond milk and a teaspoon of dairy free spread in place of cream. Set fine but I suppose not quite as rich (these are very rich anyway). Thank you so much for all these recipes!

  • Donia Robinson
    May 11, 2015 at 5:39 PM

    Even the faint line across the center. Nailed it!!!

  • Lucy
    May 11, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    Yum have yet to bake these, maybe soon :)

  • Mare Masterson
    May 11, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    In my humble opinion, the Drakes coffee cakes and Devil Dogs are worth the price of the book, along with the Hostess cupcakes, and…really, I want to make every recipe in the book! :) :)

  • Holly Davis
    May 11, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    Is there a good substitute for the eggs? My daughter is also egg free but these sound amazing!

    • Micky Brand
      May 25, 2017 at 1:10 PM

      You can substitute egg for chia or flax egg. Use 1 tablespoon of chia or flax for each egg and 5 tablespoons of water. For this recipe use 2 tablespoons of ground flax / chia seeds and half a cup of water. I use chia as an egg replacement regularly and it worked just great here too. Aquafaba (chickpea brine) is also a good egg replacement and should work in this recipe too although I haven’t tried it in this recipe yet. Substitute 4 tablespoons of aquafaba for each egg.

  • May 11, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    Please come up with a recipe for Little Debbie Fancy Cakes. My wife loved them until she found out she was gluten intolerant.

  • youngbaker2002
    May 11, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    Hi Nicole! i just made the iced oatmeal cookies yesterday and they were a hit with everyone! next up tnin mints!

    • youngbaker2002
      May 11, 2015 at 8:54 AM

      *thin* mints. sorry typo.

      • May 11, 2015 at 9:35 AM

        That’s awesome, Mena! And I knew what you meant. :)

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