Gluten-Free Brownies

These gluten free brownies, made with chocolate, butter, and tapioca starch, are remarkably easy and fudgy and, in all seriousness, taste like the real deal even though they’re flourless. Swear.

These gluten-free brownies, created by blogger Josh Weissman of Slim Palate, are fudgy, flourless, easy, gluten-free, paleo, and, quite simply, flat out spectacular, if not the best gluten-free brownies we’ve ever experienced. Go on. We dare you. Bake a batch and see if anyone notices a difference between these and your usual brownies.–Renee Schettler

Gluten-Free Brownies

A metal baking pan of gluten free brownies with one piece missing
These gluten free brownies, made with chocolate, butter, and tapioca starch, are remarkably easy and fudgy and, in all seriousness, taste like the real deal even though they're flourless. Swear.
Josh Weissman

Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 45 mins
18 to 24 brownies
221 kcal
4.5 / 2 votes
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  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch or tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup cassava flour (or substitute tapioca starch or flour)
  • 1 pound chocolate* chopped (semisweet or dark up to 85%, depending on desired sweetness)
  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz) unsalted butter plus more for the pan
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • Cocoa powder or confectioners sugar for dusting (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • Line a 13-by-9 inch (33-by-22 cm) baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving a couple inches overhang on all sides.
  • In a small bowl mix together the baking soda, salt, tapioca starch, and cassava flour (or tapioca starch or flour).
  • Place a medium heatproof bowl on top of a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water. Add the chocolate and butter to the bowl and wait patiently while they melt, stirring often, until it's completely smooth. Carefully remove the bowl from atop the simmering pot of water and let the mixture cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl with a stand or hand mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs, vanilla, and sugar until the mixture thickens and begins to turn a pale shade of tan, 4 to 6 minutes.
  • Add the flour mixture, switch to a spoon, and stir just until incorporated. Stir in the melted chocolate and butter, mixing until everything is smooth and completely incorporated.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes, until the top looks dry, shiny, and cracked. 
  • Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting them into 2-inch (5-cm) squares. If desired, dust with cocoa powder or gluten-free confectioners' sugar.
Print RecipeBuy the The Best Paleo Recipes 2015 cookbook

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*How to choose the right chocolate for these Gluten Free Brownies

You can opt for any type of chocolate in these gluten-free brownies. For sweeter brownies, use semisweet chocolate. For a more intense experience, opt for dark chocolate in the 70 to 85% range, depending on just how dark you fancy things. Or if you’re indecisive, opt for what author Josh Weissman refers to as “a nice balance” and do half dark chocolate and half semisweet chocolate. Those of you embracing a paleo lifestyle (with a slight cheat here and there), you’ll want to pay close attention to the chocolate’s sugar content.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1brownieCalories: 221kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 26g (9%)Protein: 2g (4%)Fat: 14g (22%)Saturated Fat: 8g (50%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 52mg (17%)Sodium: 99mg (4%)Potassium: 91mg (3%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 19g (21%)Vitamin A: 183IU (4%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 16mg (2%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers' Reviews

If you're searching for a moist, rich, decadent non-wheat, non-refined white sugar, fudgy brownie recipe, this is the one! This gluten-free brownie recipe rivals my decade-old go-to brownie recipe—you can't tell the difference. Easy to whip up and delicious. A definite keeper. I used semi-sweet chocolate.

These gluten-free brownies were moist and rich with chocolate flavor. I don't believe anyone would know they're gluten-free.

The baking time was spot on and lining the pan with parchment made them easy to remove and then cut. It took about 5 minutes to beat the eggs and coconut sugar until it was thick and pale. I chose to use half semisweet chocolate and half dark chocolate. If making them again, I would use 75% semisweet and 25% dark. Although the recipe has 1 cup coconut sugar, the brownies aren't that sweet.

Originally published April 28, 2016


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  1. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Just wondering – I have monk fruit sweetener in the house. Could I substitute that for the coconut sugar?

    1. Celeste, we haven’t tried making these with monk fruit sweetener, so we can’t say if it would work. If you’ve had success using it in baking, then you could certainly try. Do let us know how it turns out.

  2. 5 stars
    I made these two days ago and they are absolutely, positively divine! I am gluten free and so appreciate an outstanding recipe. I’m giving them as luncheon favors this afternoon for a small group of friends.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kacee, you can certainly substitute cane sugar for coconut sugar but bear in mind that cane sugar tastes a bit more sweet and might cause your brownies to be sweeter as well.

  3. Is the tapioca starch crucial to this recipe or is it ok just to sub for all cassava flour? I recently discovered cassava flour & am pretty amazed at the results when it comes to baking.

    I’m loving the gluten free and grain free “paleo” recipes that you post! I’ve been a fan for years and I can honestly say, I don’t think I’ve ever had a recipe fail in anything I’ve tried. I’m eating cleaner, healthier & GF these days, but glad I can still turn to my trusted resources for great recipes! THANKS!

    1. Lynn, so glad you’re loving the gluten-free and grain-free recipes we’ve been sharing! I really appreciate you letting us know. We’re very discerning and test all our recipes over and over again before sharing them so that you can be assured that a recipe is foolproof as well as fabulous. As for substituting cassava flour, we didn’t test it that way so I can’t say for certain, but based on my experience with tapioca flour in other recipes, I think it’s essential here for the chewy-in-a-good-way texture of the resulting brownies. Tapioca has a sort of gumminess that works wonderfully in a lot of Asian and gluten-free recipes. I also suspect that the sort of gooeyness of tapioca flour may help bind the batter together in the way that gluten does. So I’m skeptical of omitting it. Sorry!

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