Best-Ever Quinoa Brownies
These Best-Ever Quinoa brownies are chewy, fudgy and decadent. They’re dairy-free and naturally gluten-free, made without any starches or gums.
I blame these on my husband. He told me that I never make brownies just because.
My first response to that statement was, “Well excuse me for being too busy creating new recipes for you to eat every single week”.
But then I thought to myself…you know what? He’s right. The last time I made brownies was for his birthday which happened to coincide with a blog post. Outside of that I hadn’t made brownies since before I started blogging.
So, being the good wife that I am, the next day I decided to whip up a batch to surprise him with.
I followed Kate’s recipe with a just a few small modifications, using spelt flour in place of whole wheat flour and vegan butter in place of real butter, because Brandon refuses to eat butter.
The best part was that I didn’t have to take notes or photographs, or stress out about the results. I just followed her recipe, relaxed, and simply enjoyed the process of baking for somebody I love.
That batch definitely justified the title as being The Very Best, but of course the food blogger in me couldn’t leave well enough alone. This is my life.
I thought if they were that good with spelt flour then I could probably get away with a gluten-free option like brown rice flour. So I made a second batch that way and they were good but the texture wasn’t quite right. Then I thought maybe quinoa flour would work better so I tried a third batch and, oh man, it was so much more than better. They were the best gluten-free brownies I had ever tasted.
The edges are chewy and the center is rich and fudgy. And the cocoa masks the bitterness of the quinoa flour, allowing only the decadent chocolate flavor to shine through.
They’re also super easy to make. Everything is combined in one skillet making clean-up a total breeze.
The recipe you see here today uses 1/4 cup less sugar than Kate’s recipe and 1 stick of vegan butter plus 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in place of the butter. I continued to test the recipe from there using different ingredients but this version was by far the best.
In case you are curious to try modifications yourself, I listed the ones that I have tested below (using all coconut oil, coconut sugar, and flax eggs). Spoiler alert: the first two were doable but the flax eggs were not. The texture was like brownie goo, and not in a good way. Blech.
Anyways, if you’re looking for a go-to gluten-free brownie recipe that’s easy to make and doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, I have a strong feeling you’re going to love these!
Please let me know if you try them by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth Your feedback means so much to me! :)
Best-Ever Quinoa Brownies
Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 25
Total Time: 35
- 1/2 cup vegan butter (I like Miyoko’s the best but Earth Balance also works)
- 2 tablespoons melted unrefined coconut oil**
- 1/2 cup organic light brown sugar***
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar***
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 eggs****
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2/3 cup quinoa flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F then line an 8 x 8” baking dish with parchment paper. Lightly spray with oil and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter and the coconut oil together for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Using a spatula, stir in the sugar until well combined. Add the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and continue to stir until smooth. Remove from heat and set the skillet aside to cool for a few minutes.
Once the skillet has cooled, add the eggs and briskly stir with the spatula until the batter is thick and shiny. Add the quinoa flour and continue to vigorously stir until the batter is smooth, for about 15 strokes.
Lastly, add 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (and maybe a few more for good luck) to the batter and fold together. Pour the batter into the lined baking dish, using the spatula to smooth it out along the edges. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until you can prick a fork into the center and have it come out clean. Allow to cool for at least an hour before eating. The longer they cool, the better they will hold together.
We liked the texture better on the second day so feel free to make these a day in advance. You can store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze them in a freezer-safe bag and defrost at room temperature.
*you can sub 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, if desired
**you can sub extra vegan butter if you don’t have coconut oil on hand
***you can substitute 1 cup coconut sugar in place of the white and brown sugar but if you do that I recommend adding 1/4 cup pure maple syrup for sweetness.
****I didn’t not have good results with flax eggs. The texture was very wet, almost like they were uncooked. If you are looking for a vegan and gluten-free brownie, try the brownie base from this recipe.
Recipe adapted from Cookie + Kate originally adapted from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
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Riley requests brownies all the time, pretty sure it’s his favorite dessert. It’s too early for dessert, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want it now. Those pics look great!
Can I substitute the cocoa powder with baking soda?? The brownies look really good!
Hi Sarah- if I’m understanding the question correctly then the answer would be no. You need the cocoa powder to make them chocolate. If you meant substitute the baking powder then the answer would be possibly. You would have to use much less and add an acidic ingredient. The safest option would be to stick to the recipe and use baking powder!
Thank yooooou, Brandon! Dude, you talk about chewy edges and all I want to do is race to the kitchen and make these. They look soooooo rich! Loving all the healthy ingredients and the fact that I’m dreaming up all the naughty things I want to do with this batch. MMM!
They looks lovely! So soft! I love eating brownies with a spoon :P Is that weird? They just taste 5x better that way, haha!
I’ve been looking for a really good GF brownie recipe as they are my dad’s favorite dessert and I owe him a thank you, but I can’t use rice flour either, so knowing quinoa flour works is awesome :)
I need to make brownies ‘just because’ soon! These look awesome and I love how moist they look :) Pinning!
I am so glad your hubs said what he did – because look at these – they are pretty darn fabulous! Love that you used quinoa flour and coconut oil – I keep scrolling up because I just wanna grab one!
Why won’t Brandon do butter!?
He’s never liked it. He says it’s the taste but I think it’s all in his head. ;)
Oh man, I want one of these brownies right now please! Did you know that today is National Dessert Day? Obviously I’ll need to make some sort of dessert later! :)
We are clearly on the same page today! Except yours have quinoa in them…. you win.
You are a very good wife, Sarah. These sound fantastic. :)
I made these brownies back in April & they are delicious! I made mine with cooked quinoa and coconut oil. I liked the texture the cooked quinoa gave them. These are one of my most popular recipes. I’ll have to try them with quinoa flour sometime!
Wow these sound and look so good! I’m the exact same way in that I rarely find myself baking just because. I have a few celiac friends so I’ll have to try these out for them soon :)
I haven’t tried baking with quinoa flour yet!! I bet it adds a deliciously nutty flavor. It’s a good thing I’m eating lunch right now or else this post would have made be super hungry.
thank you very much for sharing this recipe! brownies are one of my most favorite desserts ever because chocolate is just too amazing to ever pass on. I love trying out new brownie recipes and i haven’t actually baked with quinoa flour before, so I will definitely be giving this a try!
you mentioned that quinoa flour is bitter but the chocolate helped mask it, would dark cocoa powder still help mask the bitterness of the flour or would it be better to use regular cocoa powder?
I used unsweetened organic cocoa powder which essentially the same as a dark cocoa powder so I think it would work fine! I hope you enjoy them! :)
I so wish I had an oven to make these, they look so perfect!!
The texture of these looks perfect! I NEED to get my hands on some quinoa flour!
Thanks Stephanie! :)
My husband says the same thing except about chocolate chip cookies. He says he doesn’t want the crazy stuff – just plain ‘ol chocolate chip cookies! These guys don’t even know how spoiled they are! ;) These brownies look amazing…I need to get my hands on some quinoa flour!
I guess living with a food blogger can be tough sometimes, haha. ;)
You have baking powder in the ingredients list, but in the instructions only speak of baking soda..
Sorry about that! It’s supposed to say baking powder.
Thanks! It sounds fantastic!!! But I haven’t now earth balance… how can I substitute it please?
Earth Balance is a vegan margarine. If you’re not dairy-free you can use regular butter!
Is the 2 tbs of coconut oil for the texture or coconut taste. I would be making them with real butter, but refined coconut oil as the person I am making them for does not like the taste of coconut. So, should I use all butter or will it affect the texture?
I think you’ll be fine to use just butter. I like using coconut oil for the texture it gives but it’s not necessary.
Are the chocolate chips optional or are they necessary for having the brownies turn out properly. As much as I’d love to use them I don’t have any on hand, so I’d wait to make these if it wouldn’t be good otherwise. I always use walnuts in my brownies but I don’t have them either.
Hi Suzanne! I think you could get away without the chocolate chips. I personally would wait because I love the bits of chocolate inside but that’s just me. :)
My first try with quinoa flour. I didn’t follow directions properly and get a smooth batter. That’s what happens when computer battery dies. :( In the oven now, and hopefully it’s a win.
Wow this recipe is amazing…thank you SOOOOOOO much! No more cravings!
I used chopped dark toblerone, almond oil & coconut palm sugar (I have IBS so weird requirements/allowances) – dear Lord have mercy…death by delicious?! And easy even for me (I’m lazy so if it takes more than 30 you can forget it).
Thanks for the glowing review, Miranda! I’m glad you enjoyed them! :)
These came out great! I let them cool completely and did not have any trouble with them holding together!
I am not vegan, and am just looking out for a quinoa brownie recipe. So can I simply use regular butter??
Yes, it will work the same.
I just buttered and floured my baking pan and they didn’t stick at all. Very nice.
I made this recipe and it turned out perfect. Tasted great.
So I made these yesterday, but they came out super dry and crumbly. The only thing I did different was use real butter. Do you think that made a difference? I am also at high altitude (Reno nv, by Lake Tahoe). Should I do something different for high altitude? Let me know! Thank you!!
Oh no! I’m sorry to hear they didn’t turn out well for you. It’s possible the altitude had something to do with it but I personally don’t have experience living/baking at high altitudes so I’m not entirely sure. I would probably do a Google search for baking at your altitude to figure out what changes you need to make. Sorry I can’t be of more help to you!
Can I double the recipe and use a 9×13 pan without any trouble?
Hi Bethany! I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure but please let us know if you do!
Hi! I am about to bake these and the ingredient list doesn’t call for eggs but it is in the instructions. How many eggs is it? Thank you!
Hi Jessica! The ingredient list says 2 eggs. :)
Holy Toledo! I made these last night and they’re so yummy! I can’t do grain (autoimmune disease) but quinoa seems okay, I’ve been baking with almond flour, coconut flour with little success. These brownies were easy, beautiful, and did I say yummy yet?! Oh! Thank you!
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Have made it many times now – no one can tell its quinoa !!
This is a superb recipe – I add walnuts to it too
Can applesauce be substituted for the butter?
It will make the brownies more cake-like and probably a bit dry. But if you’re ok with that then yes, it will work!
Delicious! I was looking for a dessert high in iron for my celiac son, and this is perfect!
Trying these but with pumpkin puree in place of the butter to make them lower fat. Hopefully they turn out well! First time baking with quinoa flour and I must say… the smell is odd, but I have high hopes for the flavor.
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