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.
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.
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!).
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).
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.