Gluten-Free Brownies

When it comes to brownies, most people are aware that there are two schools of thought: cakey and fudgey. I am definitely a fudgey girl, though the last brownie recipe I posted here might as well have been called “fudge” because they were so dense and rich. I decided to go a bit more classic today. No mint, no coffee, no nuts, no frosting. Just plain, old fashioned brownies. They are still in the “fudgey” category, though there is a hint (just a hint) of cakeiness.

In addition to liking my brownies fudgey, I also tend to like them less than sickeningly sweet. I’m aware that “sickeningly sweet” means different things for different people, though, so feel free to play around with the amount of agave in these brownies, but be aware that it might change the texture (and moisture) the more you add.

You can, of course, add nuts or chocolate chips (1 cup of chopped, toasted walnuts proved to be very tasty here) — anything you normally like in a brownie. I do like, though, that these brownies call for very few ingredients and are relatively fuss-free, especially when you consider that they can be made using just one bowl.

Update: following some reader feedback, I’ve made some specifications below that I think will ensure these babies turn out right. First, I’ve indicated below that the bananas used should not be overripe (i.e. no brown spots). I would have noted this earlier, but I had no idea that the ripeness of the bananas would make such a difference. Thanks for prompting me to figure this one out, Lauren! . Below is a photo of a brownie from the new, improved method.


Yield: about 9-12 brownies


2/3 cup mashed banana (about 2 small bananas — yellow; not too ripe)

2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread, melted

3/4 cup agave nectar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup sorghum flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, applesauce, agave, buttery spread and vanilla. Add in flour, cocoa powder and baking soda and whisk until mixture is smooth.

3. Pour batter into a pre-greased 9×9″ or 8×8″ baking dish.* Bake for about 30-40 minutes (brownies should still be somewhat soft in the center — but shouldn’t “jiggle” when you shake the pan).

4. Let cool on a wire rack completely before slicing.

* I’ve made these brownies with both sizes. The 9×9″ brownies are more chewy (more brownie-like, as pictured), while the 8×8″ will be much more thick and cakey, almost like a chocolate cake — both good!

Copyright protected by Digiprove © 2010



  1. says

    these look quite lovely!
    what brand of sorghum do you use? i have 2 bags of bob’s red mill that i can’t seem to find proper use for!

  2. Beth says

    Hi Liz,

    Thank you. I use Bob’s Red Mill brand, so you’re in luck! If you’re not in the mood for brownies, I have quite a few other recipes using sorghum — enough to help you through your bags of flour.


  3. Beth says

    Hi Deb! Thanks! You can try using different flours — I think the recipe is pretty amenable to some changes. I’ve made them with garbanzo bean flour with good results, too. If you use a different flour and they turn out, please feel free to report back! Good luck : )

  4. Randonn says

    These are great! I made them with 1/2 c buckwheat flour and 1/4 c brown rice flour and they turned out pretty good. Cakier than yours but I think I might have used an 8 inch pan instead of a 9 inch (too lazy to measure, I guess). I used butter because I don’t like to use margarine because of the palm oil (palm plantations destroy orangutan habitat) but I think I might try it with coconut oil next time to make them vegan. Oh, and I’m definitely going to experiment with more sweetener because my sweet tooth barely registered anything although I’m sure if I cut the refined white sugar out of my diet these would seem plenty sweet.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  5. Beth says

    Randonn —

    If the cake pan was, in fact, 9×9, I’m wondering if the buckwheat flour made them a little more cakey? At any rate, it’s perfect for you if you want to add some more agave, as I’m sure that would fudge them right back up : ) Glad you enjoyed the recipe!


    Update: I was just thinking about it, and you make a good point about the palm oil. I made these brownies awhile back and they are sweeter than these and more fudgey — and they are made with coconut oill. You can make them without the mint, of course.

  6. Lori Jones says

    HI I just found your blog. My husband has been diagnosed with diabetes and I am trying to find some “sweets” i could make him. We don’t have a problem with “reg” flour.. so.. my question is can i use reg. flour or do i need to go find the kind you used??

  7. Beth says

    Hi Lori — I don’t see any problem with using regular flour in the recipe. I would be surprised if it affected anything, so I say go for it! Feel free to report back with your results, good or bad, for anyone else who might be wondering the same thing. Thanks for the comment and hope you enjoy!

  8. says

    Hi Beth,
    I love your website, found you through CRAFT. I can’t wait to try your brownies. They look very delicious.

    Lori J.,
    White flour is as bad for you as white sugar, spiking your bld sugar levels just as easily and as quickly–especially if you are diabetic. Using a more nutritious flour base that is also higher in fiber will keep your blood sugar level much more steady.

  9. Beth says

    Hi Regina,

    Good point about the white flour. I was thinking “reg” as in not gluten-free (perhaps whole wheat?) but it’s true that white flour will spike the blood sugar as well. Thanks for the comment!


  10. says

    Hi, my friend Erin Cooks referred me to your blog. It’s so exciting to find your recipes–I also try to eat allergy-free (but in my case, I do eat eggs albeit sparingly). I can’t wait to try these brownies. Will make them this weekend!

  11. Beth says

    Hanni — that’s great that your friend recommended my blog and I’m so happy to provide some recipes for fellow allergy-free eaters. Do let me know how you like the brownies — or anything else you try, for that matter! Thanks,

  12. Jen Brannen says

    I tried these today. They are yummy!!! Thank you so much. It is wonderful to see a recipe that is dairy, egg and SUGAR free.

  13. kelly says

    These brownies are awesome! And this is a great recipe for people like me who have difficulty eating all the bananas before they go brown… my old bananas were happy to have been a part of this dish of brownies (they told me).


  14. says

    are the bananas used as a binder here? i don’t have any around and am wondering if using a few eggs would suffice. they look great, though!

  15. Beth says

    Hi Liz — you can try eggs, though I’m not sure how many you would use here. Two, maybe? Since the banana adds a bit of sweetness, too, you might want to increase the agave here. Good luck!

  16. Lauren says

    So I’m not sure if I did something wrong in making these brownies or if it’s because I’m not used to gluten-free recipes, but I tried making these and they were pretty much inedible.

  17. Beth says

    Hi Lauren,

    I was SO sorry to see that your brownies did not turn out, but grateful for your comment because it prompted me to do some recipe testing to see what could have been the problem. I know some people like their brownies sweeter, cakier, etc. but notwithstanding personal preference, I still wouldn’t think the recipe was inedible. Eeek!

    Anyways, I think during my recipe testing I may have figured out one potential problem. The first few times I tried this recipe prior to posting, I used bananas that were not that ripe. They weren’t green, they just didn’t have any brown spots on them, either. Today I tried the recipe with overripe, banana bread-type bananas. And, well, the final result was pretty yucky.

    Now, normally I would always make note of something in the recipe that would make such a difference in result, but the truth is that I had NO IDEA that the ripeness of the bananas could make such a difference (they say baking is an exact science — I guess so!!). I quickly went out and bought yellow bananas and tried the original recipe again and it turned out great. I will definitely make note of this in the recipe.

    If the bananas weren’t an issue, then I’m stumped. I’ve made these brownies several times and, like I mentioned, they aren’t super-duper sweet (sweet tooths beware) but I definitely wouldn’t call them inedible (unless, of course, the overripe bananas come into play). Make sure, too, to cool them for a full 20 minutes or so before slicing. They really need the time to set.

    Again, I’m so sorry for your bad experience — especially since I know how expensive some of the special ingredients can be. Hope this doesn’t deter you from trying some more recipes here. Thanks again for your comment — you may have saved many others from a disappointing result.

    take care,

  18. Lauren says

    Thanks for responding! And I definitely think the bananas might have been the issue, since they were pretty soft and had a couple brown spots. I can say though that after my sister and I tried them and couldn’t eat them, my dad tried them and said they were edible, but not the best thing he’s ever had, so I’m sure personal preference could have had something to do with it!

  19. Catherine says


    Just wanted to let you know that I made your brownie recipe and they were delicious! They also got a thumbs up from a three year old!

    I used brown rice flour instead or sorgum. The grocery store was out of sorgum and I was too lazy to go to another store… :) I also used a 8X8 pan, because I don’t have a 9X9. I had to bake them for an additional 20 min… maybe my oven’s off.

    My husband said they were “too banana-y.” Any thoughts on using pumpkin instead of banana?

    Your blog is awesome!


  20. Beth says

    Hi Catherine —

    Thanks so much for reporting back! I love feedback and hadn’t thought about using pumpkin until you mentioned it. Definitely going to have to give that idea a try!

    As for the banana taste, I noticed the same thing when I made these yesterday and used sort of overripe bananas, which is why I amended the recipe to call for bananas that are more yellow. I didn’t realize it would make such a difference, but it did! At any rate, I’m so glad you enjoyed them!


  21. Jamie says

    I just made a batch and used whole wheat pastry flour in place of the sorgum flour. I also had to substituted an egg for one of the bananas because I only had one on hand. The recipe turned out fabulous! The brownies are moist and not too sweet. For the next batch I think that I am going to substitute pumpkin puree for the banana in order to eliminate the banana flavor. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Beth says

    Jamie — Thanks for sharing your results. I hadn’t thought about the pumpkin puree until a few of you mentioned it here. Sounds really good, though. I hadn’t really tasted a banana flavor until I made a batch using a slightly more ripe bunch of bananas and could taste it. It’s weird how such a little thing can make such a difference, huh? I’m also glad to hear the egg worked nicely in place of banana, in case anyone else wanted to make that substitution. Thanks!!


  23. Melissa says

    Am trying this with almond flour and coconut oil instead of the buttery spread. We’ll see how it works. I’m kind of a terrible cook anyway, so… I’ll let you know ;)

  24. Melissa says

    So… it didn’t work perfectly, but was still delicious. I had to cook for an additional 10 minutes and even then needed to be placed in the fridge to solidify a bit more. Oh, and we’re in Denver, so baking here is a bit tricky anyway! Was really yummy with a bit of a coconut flavor. Thanks!

  25. Beth says

    Melissa — Glad you liked them anyways!!! I just went to stay with my parents for the weekend and made these for one of my bridal showers. Had to cook them for an additional 10 minutes as well in my parent’s oven. Mine is new (old one was leaking carbon monoxide — not good) so maybe it’s a bit on the strong side. I’ll update the recipe to reflect the longer cooking time. Thanks for reporting back!!! I love brownies with coconut oil. I have another brownie recipe using it and love it!


  26. Amanda says

    These look absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try them! Do you think they’d work if I used a different sweetener like rice syrup or maple syrup instead of agave nectar?

  27. Beth says

    Hi Amanda — Thank you! I wouldn’t use rice syrup, as it tends to not cook throuroughly in baked goods (at least in my experience), which could leave you with a goopy mess. Maple syrup might be a better option. I haven’t used it much in baking, but if it works for you, I would love if you reported back; I’m sure several others would love to know!

  28. says

    These look wonderful! I recently made a similar recipe, but wasn’t thrilled about the strong taste of banana. Haven’t tried retooling the recipe, but reading your recipe and the comments gives me an idea. I’m wondering if you could substitute black beans (I know it sounds gross, but I’ve seen lots of recipes for brownies made with black beans) or butternut squash puree (like the baby food kind). What do you think?


  29. Beth says

    Hi Ellen —

    I’ve seen recipes for black beans brownies and I’ve always been eager to try them. It’s funny because I may be the only one who doesn’t taste the banana in these! I guess that’s why it’s so nice having reader feedback, huh? Otherwise I’d never know. I do only use non-ripe (not green, but yellow with no spots) bananas for these. Butternut squash puree is an interesting idea as well! I may have to try both. If you beat me to it and find either works, feel free to post it and let me know. I can direct readers to your blog for an alternate recipe. Thanks!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge