ultimate fudgey brownies



I’ve dubbed these brownies “ultimate fudgy brownies” because–hands down–I believe that they’re the best brownies I have ever baked.

No, seriously.

For over the past 10 years or so, I’ve been on quest to create a brownie that will make me weak in the knees. I’ve sample many other so called “ultimate” or “killer” brownies from various upscale bakeries and I have never once walked away satisfied, or even very impressed. As silly (and unrefined) as it may sound–my favorite brownies pretty much were a product of a boxed mix. Yep, back in the day Debbie and Betty were my go to ladies for a serious brownie fix, only because for years I had a hard time achieving the same results with homemade recipes. You know the kind that’s ooey and gooey and a little bit chewy with a paper-thin crispy top? The boxed mix variety–for some inexplicable reason–epitomizes the “ultimate” brownie to me, at least texture-wise (definitely not ingredient wise). I have quite the discerning palate, non?

Well, to appease my less than refined taste in brownies, I have worked tirelessley to re-create a suitable homemade version that’s gluten-free, vegan and… not from a box. Countless batches of brownies sacrificed themselves down the disposal for this recipe. It has taken years (and tears!) and lots of dedication, but I think I’ve finally done it.

Thank goodness… now I can spend more time obsessing over a different dessert for the next decade.

I highly recommend using a metal pan, as it will produce the best texture in the brownies. If you have to use a glass pan, be sure to reduce the oven temperature by about 20 degrees, and bake for a touch longer.

Ultimate Fudgy Brownies – Vegan & Gluten-Free

  •  3/4 cup superfine brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups nondairy chocolate chips
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup nondairy margarine
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia seed mixed with 5 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup nondairy white chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat your oven 325 F and lightly grease a 9 x 11 inch metal pan.

In a large electric mixing bowl, whisk together the superfine brown rice flour, almond meal, potato starch, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt.

Place the chocolate chips into a large heat-safe bowl.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, margarine and 1/4 cup of the coffee and bring to a boil, stirring often. Once boiling, immediately remove from the heat and pour the hot sugar mixture directly onto the chocolate chips, stirring quickly to combine thoroughly. Transfer to the mixing bowl containing the flours along with the prepared chia gel and vanilla and mix on medium-high speed until smooth. Add in the additional 1/4 cup coffee and mix well. Fold in white chocolate chips.

Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan–the batter will be tacky. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.


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45 Responses to ultimate fudgey brownies

  1. Bridget young says:

    I just made these Ultimate Fudgy Brownies and they are lovely. Mine however are kind of hard and chewy on the bottom. Did anyone else have this result? I’m wondering if I mixed the batter too much. I also used regular brown rice flour as it’s all I had and on New Year’s Day all the shops are closed. You did say Allison, that these brownies settle a little by the next day so perhaps their current state will soften a little by tomorrow. Great recipe! I will try again.

  2. Becky says:

    These brownies are a staple in our GFV house now. And all of our meat and flour-eating friends agree that they are killer! Thank you for your recipes and creativity. You are our go-to for GFV ideas and recipes–especially baking!

    • Becky says:

      PS I love you so much that I started following you on instagram. Sorry I’m a stocker.

      • admin says:

        ha! thank you so much for your kind words… and for the follow! :) so happy you love the brownies too! <3 <3

  3. Preach it sister, so many “killer” brownies are just eh brownies to me, but these look like they could fit the killer bill any day ; )

  4. […] decadent that would suit all our dietary needs. I turned to one of the best food blogs out there, Manifest Vegan, for inspiration. Allyson Kramer’s site is 100% vegan, gluten-free. Her recipes are inventive […]

  5. Micah Risk says:

    Oh goodness gracious! In the thick of the Nemo Blizzard in Boston, I knew I needed something dense and chocolately to get me through. I adapted the recipe a bit to fit my pantry ingredients, and it still turned out awesome. I used Bob’s all-purpose GF flour and almond meal. I used almond milk instead of coffee, plus a little bit of cocoa powder. Flax meal instead of chia. And I added the zest of a large organic orange during the chocolate mixing step. I threw some Dandie’s marshmallows in part of the pan for an extra treat. They turned out amaaaaaazing! This is the first vegan-gf brownie recipe I’ve made that has been mind-blowingly good. Thank you!

  6. Tina says:

    Would definitely like to try these but I’m hesitant due to the sugar. Would agave nectar as a substitute change the texture or taste significantly? If so, do you have a better sugar substitution? Stevia is too sweet for me.

  7. Amy says:

    I didn’t exactly read EVERYTHING since I was so excited to make these, and I ended up using a smaller pan than you called for. So, mine overflowed in the oven… but I finished baking them anyway. They were delicious.

  8. Vanessa says:

    Allyson, do you have any alternatives to almond flour? Or can it be easily made from almonds? I have almonds and a grinder that is a part of my soymilk maker. Is that an option for a poor med student? Would I need to bake or broil it?


    • allyson says:

      Hi Vanessa,

      Yep, just grinding up some blanched almonds just until mealy in a food processor/grinder (don’t go too far or you’ll have paste!) will yield a perfect almond meal. No baking or broiling required. :)

      Good luck!

  9. Jim says:

    These were devoured by a devout omnivore. I bought these to a dinner party and when I was outted as vegan I had to endure how the rice and lentils and salad greens we were eating had given their lives to us so that we could eat, just as the pigs and the chickens do. Can you hear the screams? Oy vey. Then, this guy goes on to say that the one and only vegan brownie he had eaten was dry and tasteless so he had no hopes for this one. Ha, ha and HA! That man ate half the pan of these yummy brownies. These brownies are change agents for sure!

    • allyson says:

      Jim, sir. I have no idea how I missed seeing this comment until just now–but it certainly made my whole entire week!

      Thank you for sharing with your friends, and thank you for sharing their reaction with me. So so so wonderful!


  10. kat says:

    I have spent years trying to perfect the vegan brownie – and attempting to add gluten free on top has been an even harder quest! I can’t wait to try these!!!

  11. Tamar says:

    Allyson: you are a genius! I’m so glad you spent 10 years perfecting this so we don’t have to. I subbed ground flaxseed for chia, left everything else the same. No one would ever guess they are gf and vegan. They are definitely the ultimate brownie. Perfect with a glass of cold almond milk. Thank you!!!

  12. Julie Hasson says:

    Your brownies look seriously amazing Allyson! I can’t wait to try these. And great tip about the metal pan too. Thanks!

  13. These look so amazing!

  14. Hi! We’re a couple of Italian vegan foodbloggers. We’ve just discovered your blog and your amazing recipes and photos… WOW! Thanks a lot for sharing such good information :-). Your brownies must be delicious. We’re dreamin’ a taste :-P

  15. joquena says:

    At the risk of sounding stupid… when you say coffee divided are you talking about just coffee grounds or coffee made with water? I’m not a coffee drinker, but these look so good I’m willing to brew a cup!

    • Maureen says:

      I just made up some strong instant coffee if that helps.

    • allyson says:

      not stupid at all–that wording can be confusing (there’s actually been entire blog posts written about using the word “divided” :) — so it’s a great question. it just means in the ingredient list I call for coffee one time, but in the directions two times, so I’m not listing coffee twice in the ingredient list, or someone doesn’t accidentally think to put all 1/2 cup in at once. So, you add in 1/4 cup coffee in the cooked mixture, and then the remaining 1/4 cup at the end.

      hope that helps and isn’t more confusing!!

      • joquena says:

        These were amazing. Thanks so much. I took them to a birthday party so i didn’t have to be jealous when everyone else was eating birthday cake, and you weren’t lying they did have a flaky crust!

  16. WOW! Allyson, you’ve outdone yourself! I’m the exact same way about brownies. I can’t wait to try these. One question – could I substitute tapioca for potato starch?

    • allyson says:

      Thanks, Amber!!

      yes i would definitely think so–with only a slight difference in texture. same with corn or arrowroot too… :)

  17. Maureen says:

    munching on my second brownie as I type (well… have put down the brownie so I can actually type!!).

    Question… they turned out great.. but seem a little bit oily. Considering the amount of margarine in the recipe I was surprised that they should look a bit oily. Not in a bad way but just as if I put too much margarine in them (which I didn’t as I weighed out the margarine due to the fact that here in South Africa I only get vegan margarine in a tub (it is not soft though). But… flaky top, chewy, VERY chocolaty and delicious! I will make these again for my GF friends ( am just vegan).

    • allyson says:

      Since I’m getting to this a tad late, I’m not sure how relavent it is… but one thing is that these brownies seem oily or even sort of wet at first–or right out of the oven, and as they cool, they become much more brownie like–still very fudgy, just so there’s no confusion that they are even remotely cake-like, because they aren’t. I’m pretty sure the oily-ness is just a product of the chocolate staying slightly melty. Freezing them briefly helps with that too, if you’re in a rush, but I definitely think these are the types that are better the next day. :)

      Did you find the texture change at all as they cooled throughout the day?


      • Maureen says:

        I put them in a tupperware storage container with a paper towel on the bottom. I only put them in once totally cool. I think they looked fine the day after baking. The rest got frozen as I found them hectically chocolaty (a good thing!). Husband says they are the best brownies ever (as you might remember he is American unlike me who only came upon brownies once I moved there in the late 90’s!). I want to make them next using dairy-free chocolate as we bring back our chocolate chips from the US (can’t get good quality dairy-free ones here in South Africa as far as I know) and he wants them for cookies! So I am now trying to find out how much 3 cups of chips weighs in grams. So far have found four difference weights! How much bar chocolate would you recommend using?

      • Allison,

        I didn’t find these oily at all. I did exchange out the almond flour for extra rice flour so I don’t know if that would make a difference or not. I must say though these are absolutely the BEST GF BROWNIES so far!!! My son and I loved these. Thank you so much!

  18. Now this is what I’m talking about! Yes!

  19. Wow these look totally amazing. Like your advice on bumming xanthan gum!! Too cute, the things us GF vegans do!!!!

  20. MK says:

    Question about the superfine brown rice flour — is there a specific brand that makes that? Or can I throw my regular brown rice flour in a mill? I have not seen superfine around here, and I do find rice flour a bit gritty sometimes.

    Also, to Taylor — likely, yes, the xanthan is necessary. But if you have a GF friend, ask — I’m always willing to loan out a tablespoon or so to non-GFers in exchange for a baked good.

  21. Taylor says:

    I think I might have to go out and buy all of these flours so I can make these! I have also had a hard time finding a good vegan brownie recipe and you described what I like PERFECTLY! Box-brownies rule and I’m sure yours will too! Also, do you think xanthan gum is absolutely necessary? If it is, I’ll buy it, I just want to know because it is a bit pricey! Thanks :)

    • allyson says:

      Hi Taylor,

      You can certainly try it without xanthan, since there is plenty of sugar, even chia and chocolate that could act as binder, it could work okay. But my experience with xanthan is that it is pretty darn helpful in making a gf baked good not have a strange or crumbly texture–leaving it out I’ve had not the most desirable results. :)

      If you do invest in a bag of xanthan gum, unless you’re baking with it multiple times a day, it will last a long time, since you only need a small amount. I bake a lot, and a small bag usually lasts me 2-3 months.


  22. Mercedee says:

    I thought I was the only organic, whole foods, gdefree-eating convert who still day dreamed about Betty’s brownies. I’m so thankful to learn I’m not the only one and you made our dreams a (healthful) reality!!

    • Mercedee says:

      These are perfect!! Who would know they were gdef?! Not my taste buds. I didn’t have all the ingredients and wanted to share that they still worked really well: flax meal instead of chia; mix of white and regular brown rice flour instead of super-fine; nut allergy in our family so I used coconut flour instead of almond; 1 cup bittersweet chocolate since i only had 2 of vegan semisweet; and palm shortening instead of margarine! So very yum! Major keeper. Thank you again for your ten years of gdef brownie service. Your country thanks you!!

  23. Oh wow, those look seriously amazing. I love a good brownie!

  24. Erin says:

    Wow, beautiful!

  25. Mmmmm, you even have the ‘flaky top’ look which I have not yet been able to conquer in a vegan brownie, I thought that was impossible without using eggs…. these look great!

  26. Helen says:

    Wow, now I want to have a brownie. The best brownie I can remember (not gluten-free though) are made by the Capital City Bakery here in Austin. Soo heavenly!

  27. molly says:

    oh wow! could i use another gf flour in place of almond flour? i’m allergic to nuts but these look so amazing!

    • allyson says:

      Hi Molly,

      I’d try just an subbing an extra 1/4 cup brown rice flour. They are fudgy enough, I think, where this sub wouldn’t take too much away from the original. :) also, thank you!

      <3 allyson