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

A cast-iron skillet filled with chocolate brownie.

Skillet Brownies

5 / 2 votes
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.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Servings8 to 10 servings
Calories450 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Where To Find Finely Ground Nuts

You 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.

Adapted From

Skillet

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 portionCalories: 450 kcalCarbohydrates: 41 gProtein: 7 gFat: 31 gSaturated Fat: 16 gMonounsaturated Fat: 10 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 110 mgSodium: 35 mgFiber: 6 gSugar: 30 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2018 Anna Helm Baxter. Photo © 2018 Beatriz Da Costa. All rights reserved.

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.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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12 Comments

  1. Hi,
    Do you think it would be possible to substitute an equal amount of flour
    for the ground nuts as I do not need it to be gluten-free ?
    These look yummy.
    Thanks

    1. Camille, we wouldn’t recommend swapping in flour here as this has specifically been designed as a gluten-free recipe. We do have many other brownie recipes on the site, and many of them could be made in a skillet if that appeals to you.

  2. This recipe looks fabulous but leaves a “flour-ie” like me feeling left out ??
    Do you another similar recipe or how can I use regular flour in this one?
    My kids love skillet sweets

    1. Jenny P, I love your desire to satisfy your kids’ skillet sweets tooth. Baking is a precise science so I wouldn’t suggest adding flour to this recipe. However, you could try baking other brownie recipes in a skillet. You’ll simply need to Google a pan conversion chart in order to convert your specific size pan. There are MANY online and there’s not one in particular that we prefer in terms of the conversion charts.

      For example, if you were baking our Best Brownies recipe, you’ll see that it calls for an 8-inch square baking pan. When I Google “8 inch square pan equivalent round” I find out that a 9-inch round pan will work just as well. So if you have a 9-inch cast iron skillet, that will be perfect. If you only have a 10-inch skillet, you could try it and bake it for just a little less time, knowing that the result will be slightly less thick, which could affect texture.

      Or you could instead simply make a different recipe designed for skillets. Like our Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cookie or our Skillet Cinnamon Rolls.

      1. Hi Renee! Thanks for looking into it. I will make your best brownies recipe in my cast iron skillet!!!