Dense and fudgy, gluten free skillet brownies are made in a cast iron skillet and baked just until set. For very good friends, serve the whole skillet with ice cream and lots of spoons.
These gluten free skillet brownies are dense and fudgy with a crisp little crust on the bottom—especially when you make them in a cast iron skillet. And since a cast iron skillet conducts heat so well, they bake very evenly and quickly and are done long before they have a chance to burn on the bottom.
Most of the time, I slice them into wedges and serve them right out of the skillet after they've cooled and set a bit. But these are the type of brownies that you can serve right out of the oven. In bowls. With ice cream, and chocolate sauce.
Baking gluten fee brownies in a cast iron skillet
I love my well-priced Lodge brand standard 10-inch cast iron skillet and use it for so many things. I shallow fry breaded gluten free chicken cutlets in it, bake gluten free cornbread, and cook gluten free naan.
For fun things like these gluten free skillet brownies or a gluten free pizookie, I also have two smaller 6-inch cast iron skillets. They're not especially useful, but they are adorable.
When you're baking something in a cast iron skillet, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, cast iron holds heat really well. That means that baked goods will hold onto the heat they absorb for much longer than traditional metal baking pans.
The recipe instructions here assume that you're baking in a cast iron skillet. The brownies will bake relatively quickly that way, and will be cooked through long before anything burns.
You can, of course, bake these brownies in a traditional 10-inch (or even smaller) round baking pan. You'll just need to bake it for around 5 minutes longer.
Ingredients and substitutions
Okay here's the part where I try to anticipate your questions. I haven't tried any of these though, so you'll have to experiment.
Eliminating them would be hard, since there are 3 eggs and they're the only leavener in the recipe. My go-to egg replacement is always a ‘chia' egg since it's the most neutral and effective. It's just 1 tablespoon (6 grams) ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon water per egg.
To make these dairy-free try using Melt or Miyoko's Kitchen brand vegan butter, or even nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening in place of butter. And be sure that your chocolate is dairy-free.
Dutch-processed cocoa powder is richer and less acidic, so it's really best in this simple recipe. If you only have natural cocoa powder, like Hershey's, just add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda to the recipe to balance the acidity.
I've made this recipe with melted virgin coconut oil in place of a neutral, liquid oil like vegetable, canola, or grapeseed. It certainly works, but the batter is a bit thicker and the brownies a bit more dense. I'm not suggesting that's a bad thing; just a slightly different thing.
Gluten Free Skillet Brownies
5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, chopped
1/2 cup (70 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used both Better Than Cup4Cup and Better Batter, and both worked well)
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
3/4 cup (60 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (164 g) packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons (28 g) neutral oil (vegetable, canola, grapeseed)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch cast iron (or other oven-safe) skillet and set it aside. Alternatively, you can use multiple 6-inch cast iron skillets, and bake the brownies a bit longer.
In a small bowl, place the chopped chocolate and butter. Melt them either in the microwave in 30-second bursts or placed over a small pot of simmering water (making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water, and the water doesn’t boil), stirring periodically until smooth. Set the bowl aside to cool briefly, until no longer hot to the touch.
In a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and mix, working to break up any lumps in the brown sugar. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the chocolate and butter mixture, then the oil, vanilla, and eggs, and mix to combine. The batter will be thick but smooth.
Scrape the batter into the prepared skillet or skillets and spread into an even layer with an offset spatula or small knife. Place the skillet(s) in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes (about 25 minutes if you’ve used smaller skillet(s) or a non-cast iron skillet) or until the brownies are just set in the center. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing into wedges or serving. Or serve immediately by scooping out with a large spoon. But if you do it that way, you have to serve it with a scoop of ice cream or what’s the point.
Originally published on the blog in 2014. Photos, video, and some text new.