These skillet brownies are made with dark chocolate, sugar, eggs, almonds or hazelnuts, and cocoa, and baked in a cast-iron skillet. They’re crisp on the edges, gooey in the middle, and just happen to be gluten-free as well.
If there’s anything more enticing than intensely gooey and fudgy gluten-free brownies that are easy to make, it’s brownies that are intensely gooey and fudgy and gluten-free and easy to make that you bake in a cast iron skillet. And not just because of the presentation when you bring the skillet to the table for dessert—cast iron retains heat remarkably well, the edge of the brownies that are in contact with the iron turn satisfyingly crunchy. (Take note, those of you who love the corner brownies!) And because the brownies are sliced into wedges as you would a pie, unlike with brownies in a baking dish, everyone is privy to some of the crunchy-edged, gluten-free loveliness.–Renee Schettler Rossi
☞ Table of Contents
- 6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate finely chopped
- 10 tablespoons (5 oz) unsalted butter cut into small pieces, plus more for the skillet
- 3 large eggs
- 7 ounces superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)
- 2 1/2 ounces finely ground hazelnuts or almonds (see Note)
- 2 ounces good-quality cocoa powder (about 1/2 cup)
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180°C). Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Butter a 10-inch (25-cm) cast iron skillet.
- In a large bowl, combine the chocolate and butter and microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate and butter on the stove top in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.)
- Using a whisk or an electric hand-held mixer, mix together the eggs and sugar until thickened and pale in color, 1 to 3 minutes.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix gently to combine. Fold in the ground hazelnuts, cocoa powder, and salt. The batter will be quite thick.
- Scrape it into the skillet and bake until the top is just firm and a little crackly, 25 to 40 minutes. Keep in mind that the brownies will continue to cook even slightly after you remove the skillet from the oven due to the ability of cast iron to retain heat. So pull the skillet from the oven even if they’re just a touch more gooey than you like in the center.
- Let the brownies cool slightly or completely and then slice into wedges. Best when served still warm although they remain moist for several days.
Where To Find Finely Ground NutsYou can pretty easily find almond flour or finely ground hazelnuts at most stores (we found ours at Trader Joe’s). Or you can make your own simply by weighing out the amount of nuts and finely grinding them in a food processor.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
The ultimate easy gooey brownie! These came together in no time and were the perfect texture—not quite a pudding and not quite a cake. They were excellent and gooey the day I made them, tasted great the next day, and were still super moist and flavorful two days later. And gluten-free means more of my friends can enjoy!
I used almond meal because that’s what I had on hand. As for the superfine sugar, to be honest, I just used regular granulated sugar. I baked them for 40 minutes and they were still super gooey. I let them sit for about 90 minutes in the skillet before slicing so they firmed up a bit more. Still pretty hard to cut cleanly in the skillet, especially since you don’t want to use a knife on your cast iron skillet. I used a plastic bench scraper.
I cut them into 9 slices for dessert-size brownies but I would cut smaller slices if they were for snacks.
This recipe had me at “gooey”! And the method of cooking it in a cast iron skillet, creating crunchy edges, excited me! I had images of my chocolate-smeared face chugging my chilled (almond) milk in total satisfaction (cue crackling fireplace in the background).
The short list of ingredients meant the sooner I could enjoy these brownies. And most of the ingredients already present in my pantry. I was intrigued at the notion of using ground almonds. It made the recipe gluten-free and appear healthier. Win!
I was slightly confused how finely to grind the nuts. So I “Goldilocks’d” it and made them not too coarse and not too fine. Once everything was measured, chopped, and ground, the assembly was easy. The batter was creamy and thick—consistent with typical brownie batter.
I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet and baked for 25 minutes. The kitchen was filled with the aroma of chocolate. The taste was actually better than grocery store gluten-free brownies and even better than the ones I’ve purchased at overpriced Williamsburg Brooklyn cafes! There was a nice chocolate flavor that wasn’t overly sweet. I liked the slight crunch texture of the ground almonds while my mom said it was “interesting.” Although she grabbed another one “just to be sure.”
Thick and dense and intensely chocolate. A small slice is all you’ll need to satisfy any and all chocolate cravings.
So easy to make. Turn on the oven, get out the ingredients and equipment, and start making brownie magic. These are quick and simple to put together, with just a little melting and a little mixing you’ll have them ready to bake by the time the oven is at temperature.
I baked them for 25 minutes until the brownies were nicely done with a crunchy surface and a soft and dense interior. These would be great served right from the pan for a large group with scoops of ice cream on top. And they kept well for several days. My teens had chocolate for breakfast.
This skillet brownies recipe is almost exactly like a brownie recipe I’ve been making for a very long time. The only difference is that it’s made with ground nuts. I actually like the idea a lot. The yield is probably closer to 8 but it all depends on how you cut the wedges. They are a little more delicate and fall apart a bit. The timing was accurate.
It wasn’t clear how to tell when it’s done—I went ahead and used toothpick. The problem with cooking baked goods that don’t have a lot of liquid is that the cast iron skillet will continue to cook them for a while after removing from the oven.
By the way, Trader Joe’s sells ground hazelnuts and you can find almond flour just about everywhere now. Simply use the weight measure and it’s easy to substitute this.
Originally published November 01, 2020