With a base of almond flour and a double dose of dark chocolate, these Almond Flour Brownies are decadent and chocolatey. Though they’re gluten free and grain free, you’d never know it. They’re ideal for anyone who loves thick, fudgy brownies.
Even if your go-to gluten free brownies come from a box, you’ll find this brownie recipe simple to make. It uses everyday ingredients and comes together in about 15 minutes.
Ingredients You Need to Make Almond Flour Brownies
- Blanched Almond Flour: Not almond meal, which is more coarsely ground.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Or cacao powder – see below for the difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder.
- Kosher Salt: Or 1/2 the amount of fine sea salt.
- Baking Powder: Ideally non-aluminum.
- Butter: If you use unsalted butter, double the salt (1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt).
- Dark Chocolate Chips or Chopped Dark Chocolate: I prefer chopped chocolate for how smoothly it melts, but either work well.
- Sugar: Natural cane sugar.
- Vanilla Extract: Ideally pure vanilla extract.
- Eggs: Large or extra large eggs.
- Walnuts: Or pecans.
What is the difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder?
Both cocoa powder and cacao powder are made from the same dried and fermented seed (bean) of the Theobroma cacao tree – called either a cocoa bean or a cacao bean. The difference comes in how the cacao beans are processed. Cocoa powder is roasted at a higher temperature and often alkalized (Dutch-processed) to reduce bitterness. By comparison, cacao powder is processed at a lower temperature (cold pressed and considered ‘raw’) and then milled into powder.
How to Ensure Fudgy Brownies
There are a couple of secrets to making gooey, fudgy brownies from scratch. First, minimize the air bubbles that make fluffy brownies by stirring chocolate into melted butter until shiny and smooth. (Don’t worry if you don’t have a double boiler – a glass bowl set over simmering water works beautifully.) Second, taking care not to overcook your brownies. You’ll want your tester to come out mostly clean, but with a few moist crumbs remaining. (My fudgy Beet Brownies are made this way too.)
To easily lift the brownies out of the pan in one piece before cutting, line the bottom and two sides of your pan with a strip of parchment paper that overlaps on both sides. The overlapping edges serve as handles. (Be sure to let the brownies cool for at least 15 minutes before trying to remove them from the pan.)
- For a paleo version of these brownies, swap coconut oil in for butter. For sweetener, use raw honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar instead of cane sugar. And be sure to buy dark chocolate that is paleo-friendly (dairy-free, high percentage of cacao, and no refined sugar).
- Make these brownies vegan by using coconut oil, olive oil, or other vegetable oil, and an egg alternative, such as a flax egg or chia egg (directions for making them in this Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins post under recipe options).
- Cacao powder and dark chocolate unite to make these brownies deeply chocolatey. For a sweeter brownie, use semisweet chocolate instead.
Almond Flour FAQ
Finely ground, blanched almond flour is a good alternative to all-purpose flour. In some recipes, it can be used 1:1 for wheat flour, but there isn’t a standard conversion between the two. In yeasted doughs, a rule of thumb is to substitute up to 1/3 cup almond flour per cup of all forms of wheat flour (whole wheat, bread, all-purpose). For quick breads, cookies and other baked goods that don’t require yeast, substitute 1/4 cup almond flour per cup of wheat flour.
Almond flour does not have gluten and has more moisture than wheat flour, resulting in baked goods that rise less and are more dense. It is higher in fat and calories than wheat flour, but does not have gluten and is low in carbohydrates, making it a popular choice for those on keto and low carb diets or those avoiding gluten.
Almond flour may be eaten raw (does not need to be cooked) as it’s made simply of ground almonds (whether they are blanched or have skin intact).
More Delicious Almond Flour Recipes
- Almond Flour Muffins (Gluten free, no refined sugar and loaded with delicious, nutritious ingredients.)
- Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins (A riff on the recipe above with blueberries and a kiss of lemon.)
How to Make Almond Flour Brownies
Step 1: Preheat oven and butter an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan. Whisk dry ingredients together (almond flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder) in a large bowl.
Step 2: Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler or medium glass bowl set over a saucepan with a small amount of simmering water. When chocolate is nearly melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla and stir until smooth. Stir in eggs until smooth. Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir until incorporated.
Step 3: Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until tester comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs (or until completely clean for less fudgy brownies). Let cool on wire rack 15 minutes before cutting.
Almond Flour Brownies
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour not almond meal
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter 8 tablespoons / 1 standard cube
- 6 ounces chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter an 8" x 8" square baking pan. (recipe note #1)
- In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Add butter and chopped chocolate to the top of a double boiler or medium glass bowl set over, but not touching, 1-inch of gently boiling water. Stir until chocolate has mostly melted; remove from heat and stir until smooth. Stir in sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs and stir until thick and smooth. Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Spread batter in an even layer into prepared baking pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes until top is set and a knife or toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs (do not overcook). Transfer to wire cooling rack for 15 minutes before cutting into 16 equal squares. Once cooled completely, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- To lift brownies out in one piece before cutting, first grease two ends of the pan well. Then line the bottom and remaining two sides and line with a strip of parchment paper long enough to overlap the edges. This creates ‘handles’ for lifting the brownies out once they’ve cooled.
- If you prefer cakier / less fudgy brownies, the answer is a longer baking time. Your tester should come out clean – no moist crumbs.