Today I am sharing my favorite gluten-free cacao brownie recipe. I like brownies, but I’ve never been able to eat more than one or two bites of one at a time because they are so rich. All of the sugar, and dairy products that are used to make them “fudgy” makes it sickeningly rich to me. So I decided to make a somewhat healthier version that wasn’t overly rich. These brownies are so delicious, have a perfect chocolate flavor, and they are a little bit healthier.
Cacao Powder VS Cocoa Powder
Cacao powder and cocoa powder are both made from the cacao bean. The difference between the two is that cocoa powder is made by processing the cacao bean at a high temperature, and cacao powder is made from fermented unroasted cacao beans. Cacao powder is full of antioxidants, iron, fiber, and magnesium.
Coconut sugar is made from coconut palm sap. Because coconut sugar is still a sugar, it isn’t necessarily good for you, but it is a healthier alternative to cane sugar. Coconut sugar is low on the glycemic index, contains some nutrients, is unrefined, has less fructose, and has a rich caramel like flavor.
Coconut oil is a great replacement for butter and other oils in baking. Coconut oil contains healthy fats, is good for your heart, can encourage fat burning, is anti-microbial, may raise good cholesterol, and is good for your skin and hair.
To make these brownies vegan, replace the butter with some vegan butter, and use vegan chocolate chips.
After cleaning my counters and setting out my ingredients, I preheated my oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl I mixed together my melted butter, melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, salt, and vanilla extract until well combined. Then I added in the unsweetened almond milk, and gave everything a good mix. I added my cacao powder to the rest of the mixture, and folded it in. Then I folded in the all-purpose gluten-free flour until well combined, and added the chocolate chips. After everything was completely mixed together and lump free, I greased the pan I was using for the brownies. I don’t have the right kind of pan to do brownies, so I used our large glass pan. I greased half of it, then folded some tinfoil and placed it in the middle to make a dam. This worked really well, the brownie batter didn’t go past the tinfoil at all. After adding the brownie batter to the pan, I smoothed it out, then I put it into the oven. My brownies took the full 45 minutes to bake. I checked to see if they were done by inserting a knife into the middle, they were done when the knife came out clean.
I let my brownies sit out on the counter until they were completely cool, then cut them into squares. It is so important that you let your brownies cool completely until you cut them into squares. If you don’t, they will fall apart. I stored the leftover brownies in a glass container. We had leftovers for 3 or 4 days, and the brownies stayed fresh the entire time. They also maintained their soft and chewy texture.
1 stick melted, unsalted butter
½ cup coconut oil
1 ½ cups coconut sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract or imitation vanilla
½ cup cacao powder
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour containing xanthan gum
¾ cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together melted butter, coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and almond milk until well combined.
Fold in the cacao powder, then fold in the gluten-free flour until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
Fold in chocolate chips, making sure they are distributed evenly.
Grease a brownie pan, and pour the brownie batter into it. Smooth the brownie batter, so it is distributed evenly across the pan.
Bake the brownies for 35-45 minutes. Check to see if they are done by inserting a knife or a toothpick into the center. The knife or toothpick will come out clean when they are done.
Once the brownies are done baking, let them cool completely, then cut them into squares.
Store them in an airtight container if there are any leftovers.