Gluten free grasshopper brownies are decadent double layer fudgy brownies filled with a simple mint-flavored fudge. Inspired by the classic chocolate mint cocktail, and perfect for a special occasion.
A new and improved grasshopper brownie recipe
I used to make these grasshopper brownies the “classic” way, with a brownie bottom, mint filling, and a chocolate ganache topping. It tasted great, but the chocolate topping made the brownies much more fragile and messy to eat.
If you think about it, where you are supposed to hold a brownie with an exposed ganache topping? I thought about making them much more often than I actually made them, considering the mess.
This version of gluten free grasshopper brownies is truly “new and improved.” We begin with our super fudgy gluten free brownies recipe because it bakes very evenly, with no visible dome.
Divided among two pans and baked for slightly less time, these fudgy brownies are perfect for layering around a simple mint fudge filling. Just be sure to chill the assembled brownie, with the fudge layer, until the fudge is firm. Patience, grasshopper.
Ingredients and substitutions
These fudge-filled brownies have a lot of ingredients you might be wondering about. The recipe is quite simple (make a brownie recipe divided between two pans, bake the layers and let them cool, fill with an easy fudge mixture).
But since it has two parts and they're each rather specific, I'm going to help you navigate different dietary concerns as much as possible. The result is worthwhile, but if you'd prefer a simple chewy gluten free brownie recipe, don't let me stand in your way. ?
There is dairy in both the brownie and the filling recipes. I've successfully replaced the dairy in the brownies, but I haven't tried the filling—although I have some suggestions.
For the brownies, replace the butter with an equal amount by weight of Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, the cream with nondairy milk, and make sure your chocolate is dairy free. And skip the salt, since Earth Balance is very salty.
For the filling, you can try replacing the sweetened condensed milk with a dairy free variety. You can make your own sweetened condensed milk, but I've also seen store bought varieties. For white chocolate, I recommend using my recipe for vegan white chocolate to make your own.
You can try using one “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) in place of each egg in this recipe. I haven't tried this substitution, though, so you'll have to experiment.
Gluten Free Flour Blend
This recipe calls for 3/4 cup of my basic gum-free gluten free flour blend, a simple mixture of superfine white rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch/flour. You can use another gum-free blend if you like, and it shouldn't matter too much. But you want to avoid xanthan gum.
If you don’t have Dutch processed cocoa powder, use natural unsweetened but add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda to neutralize the acid.
I use Americolor brand gel food coloring, because it's good quality and reliably gluten free. I buy it on Amazon (I have this neat little set (affiliate link)), and you really don't need more than a few primary colors in small squeeze bottles.
If you're against food coloring as a rule, feel free to leave it out. It's absolutely inessential, and a white mint layer will still taste, well, minty if you've added the flavoring.
If you're interested in a food coloring debate, this is the face you should imagine my having: ?
Peppermint extracts tend to vary widely in the strength of the mint, so begin with less extract and taste the fudge with a spoon before you add more. I prefer to use crème de menthe flavoring because it has a more balanced sweet mint taste.
LorAnn brand flavoring oils are gluten free. I find them on Amazon, and in my local craft stores (JoAnn and Michael's). A little goes a long way.
Gluten Free Grasshopper Brownies
For the brownies
3 ounces bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate, chopped
9 tablespoons (126 g) unsalted butter, chopped
3/4 cup (105 g) gum-free gluten free flour blend (70 g superfine white rice flour + 23 g potato starch + 12 g tapioca starch/flour)
3/4 cup (60 g) Dutch processed cocoa powder*
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (100 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
2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce) heavy cream, at room temperature
For the filling
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons (24 g) virgin coconut oil, melted
9 ounces sweetened condensed milk, at room temperature or a bit warmer
1 teaspoon peppermint extract or crème de menthe flavoring
Green gel food coloring (optional)
*If you don’t have Dutch processed cocoa powder, use natural unsweetened but add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda to neutralize the acid.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two 8-inch by 8-inch baking pans with nonstick aluminum foil or regular heavy-duty aluminum foil and spray with cooking oil spray. Set the pans aside.
Bake the brownie layers. Place the chopped chocolate and chopped butter in a small, heat-safe bowl and melt, stirring occasionally in a double-boiler or in the microwave in 30-second bursts at about 80% power, stirring in between bursts until melted and smooth. Set the bowl aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, place the flour blend, cocoa powder, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar, and mix to combine, breaking up any lumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the melted chocolate and butter mixture, eggs, vanilla, and cream, and mix to combine. The batter will be thick but smooth. Divide it evenly among the two prepared baking pans (each pan will have about 380 grams of batter). Using a moistened spatula, spread the batter in each pan into an even layer.
Place the pans in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating the pan once during baking, for about 20 minutes. The brownies are done when they no longer glisten at all and are firm to the touch. Remove from the pan and allow the brownies to cool completely in the pans.
When the brownies are cool, make the filling. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30-second bursts at about 80% power, stirring in between bursts. In a small bowl, place the sweetened condensed milk, melted coconut oil, mint flavoring, and the optional food coloring. Mix to combine well. The mixture should be smooth and thickly pourable, but it will begin to thicken if you allow it to sit.
Assemble and slice the brownies. Pour the fudge mixture over one of the layers of cooled brownies still in the pan, and shake to distribute it in an even layer. Remove the remaining brownie layer from that pan, peel away the foil, and place the brownie layer on top of the fudge layer in the pan. Press gently to adhere. Place the pan in the refrigerator and chill until the fudge is firm, at least an hour. Once the fudge layer is set, slice and serve in 9 larger or 12 smaller equal portions. For easier slicing, place the assembled brownies in the freezer for a few minutes.
Originally published on the blog in 2012. Brownie recipe swapped out for our super fudgy brownies; method changed almost entirely; photos and video all new.
Alicia Moore says
I can’t ingest coconut. What would you suggest to substitute for the coconut oil – shortening?
Nicole Hunn says
That should work well, yes, Alicia!
Any substitute for coconut oil?
Nicole Hunn says
Shortening should work well, Carole!
Jeana Sigrist says
And summer comes after Easter… fill them with ice cream and freeze….
Nicole Hunn says
Indeed it does, Jeana! I was thinking of that as well. Good point!! A great alternative to my classic ice cream sandwiches.
Can you tell how much in cups and instead of grams Of tapioca starch ,potato starch , and rice flour to put in sure would appreciated Thank you
Nicole Hunn says
I’m afraid you can’t build a blend without using a scale, Brenda. Please see the full discussion on my gluten free flours page.
I decided to take a quick peek to see what was new & saw this!!! I want you to know I gained 5 lbs just looking at the grasshopper brownies & then I started reading & had gained another 5 lbs by the time I had finished reading! I will be making these real soon! Love chocolate & mint together as much as I love chocolate/peanutbutter & chocolate/cherries!
Me too, Peggy! I apologize for those 5 pounds, and I take full responsibility. :)
These look dangerously good! I love making gf brownies, because even with the various homemade flour blends I made, I feel like the chocolate overpowers even the strongest of flavors (potato, anyone?). You could also make them with strawberry or cherry flavoring and dye it red and they would be de-lish!
Linda Stoddard says
Aha! Nicole, you little sweetie you…now I know what to make for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day debauch. You will get the credit and you will be loved! xoxLinda
These are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day! That’s the first thing my husband said when he saw them. You make it, you get the credit, Linda!
Looks like an Andes mint. Which I love, along with grasshoppers. Now I want to make one. Awesome brownies!