Like a chocolate truffle in brownie form, Homemade Espresso Brownies – gluten free + vegan are melt in your mouth and so simple to make. Fudgy or cakey, you decide! Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rodelle.
The Power of the Consumer
Does the world need another brownie recipe? Yes please! But before we get to this easy gluten free and vegan brownie recipe, I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned about chocolate and vanilla. Stick with me here…
When we were in Costa Rica last April, Rob and I visited a cocoa farm. We learned harvesting and processing cocoa beans is a hands on, labor intensive process. It takes a cocoa tree five years to produce its first cocoa pods. The pods are picked by hand, then the beans are removed from the pod and are carefully fermented to bring out their best flavor. The beans are then dried and aged after which they’re ready for processing into bars, or baking cocoa for example.
Purchasing organic means supporting growers who don’t use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and/or herbicides. It also means hazardous chemicals aren’t added to the ecosystem. This not only creates a safer work environment for farmers but also, for all wild things that call the farm home – including tiny midge flies that pollinate cocoa.
My friends at Rodelle helped make this recipe possible by procuring and producing the most luscious Organic Baking Cocoa. It’s Dutch processed which reduces some of the sourness and bitterness of cocoa powder and creates a darker color producing a rich chocolate flavor.
Rodelle also makes a most fragrant and vanilla rich Organic Vanilla Extract.
Rodelle’s vanilla program is the most traceable and farmer focused supply chain in North America because they buy directly from the farmer. Sahanala Madagascar, a Rodelle Farmer Partnership, is a farmer-owned association of 3500+ vanilla farmers. Rodelle works with Sahanala to purchase vanilla beans at a fair market value.
This is another reason I appreciate Rodelle. The integrity behind and quality of their vanilla extract, beans and cocoa is key to not only supporting companies who are making a positive difference in the lives of farmers, but also their baking pantry staples produce a fragrant, warm, and rich end result for all my baking. Ingredients make all the difference.
How to Make Homemade Espresso Brownies from Scratch
Making vegan brownies from scratch is so simple and tastes far better than anything you can buy in a pre-packaged box. Because this brownie recipe is gluten free and vegan, there’s no butter to melt or eggs to whip, so this recipe is super simple to whip up. Here’s how to do it:
- First, brew your favorite espresso or strong coffee then pour it over chopped chocolate to melt. Take a deep inhale to stir all your senses.
- Second, add the sugar, almond butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk… whisk, whisk. Then whisk in the oat flour and cocoa mixture.
- Third, turn the oven on to preheat. While the oven is preheating, prepare the baking pan with parchment and pan spray or coconut oil.
- Next, once the oven is ready, fold in the chocolate chips, spread the batter evenly in the pan and lick the bowl clean (bakers treat!).
- Last, bake until fudgy or cakey/chewy. Which do you prefer? For fudgy, bake for 18-19 minutes… for cakey/chewy, bake for 21-22 minutes.
Pictured here are fudgy brownies. I absolutely love their delicate, melt in your mouth texture. But for a bit longer bake, the brownies won’t slightly sink in the center and will hold their loft producing a chewy, cake-like brownie.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Fudgy or cakey/chewy brownies? You decide! Bake for 18 minutes for fudgy (shown in the pictures above – my favorite) or 22 minutes for chewy – more cake like.
- The Toothpick Test: Because there are chocolate chips in these luscious brownies, it’s a bit challenging to have the toothpick come out clean. If you’re going for a fudgy brownie, it’s not going to happen anyway. For the chewy/cake like brownie, you can poke around to find a ‘no chocolate chip’ spot and the toothpick should come out with a few crumbs when they’re ready.
- Because Homemade Espresso Brownies are gluten free and vegan with no added binders, they are delicate. Handle them gently when removing them from the pan and cutting.
- Brownies need to cool before handling. Give them at least an hour to cool before removing them from the pan. For these gluten free + vegan brownies, I recommend letting them cure or rest for at least eight hours before cutting into them – a practice in patience. Giving them a rest overnight helps them hold together much better than otherwise. But, if you just can’t wait, remove them from the pan, cut and carefully put a slice in a bowl (rewarm if you like), top with ice cream and fudge sauce!
- This recipe calls for gluten free oat flour. I DIY my own using Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (gluten free if needed). It’s super easy and economical – see my DIY how to make oat flour for more details.
Homemade Espresso Brownies - gluten free + vegan
For The Brownies:
- 3/4 (80g) Oat Flour gluten free if needed | I DIY my oat flour - see notes below*
- 2 Tbs Tapioca Flour (see Annie's note in comments for Arrowroot sub)
- 4 Tbs (30g) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder I use Rodelle
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1/4 C (70g) 70% - 75% Dark Chocolate chopped fine
- 1/2 C (110g) Espresso or Strong Coffee fresh brewed
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract I use Rodelle
- 1/4 C (70g) Almond Butter room temperature
- 2/3 C (155g) Cane Sugar
- 1/2 C (100g) 60% - 70% Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
For the Brownies:
- In a medium mixing bowl, measure in the oat flour, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to distribute the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl add the chopped dark chocolate. Pour the hot espresso over the chocolate, leaving it to set for one minute. Whisk to incorporate and melt the chocolate, then add the vanilla extract, almond butter, and sugar. Whisk until smooth.
- To the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients. Whisk vigorously for one minute so no clumps remain. Set aside.
- Position the oven rack in the center and preheat to 350F (180C). Use pan spray or melted coconut oil to lightly grease an 8" square baking pan. Line pan with two crisscrossed pieces of parchment paper cut to size so that the paper lines the walls. Lightly spray or oil the surface and sides of the parchment. Set aside.
- Once the oven is preheated, mix the chocolate chips into the brownie batter - the batter will be very thick. Spoon the batter into the pan and spread it evenly in pan. The layer will be thin.
- For Fudgy Brownies: Bake the brownies for 18-19 minutes (I pull mine at 18 minutes). The toothpick test for doneness wont work here since these are fudgy, chocolate chip brownies, but the center will be soft, and the edges firm. Remove from oven and cool for one hour or longer before removing from the pan or cutting. The center will sink slightly. Resting the brownies for at least 8 hours improves their texture and ability to hold together. Remove the brownies from the pan like a cake (this tutorial may help, just don't remove the parchment!) by placing a small parchment lined sheet pan on top of the brownie pan then turning the brownies out. If the brownies don't fall on to the pan, flip them back over and use a small pairing knife to ease the corners and edges of the brownies. Repeat turning the brownies out. Lifting these fudgy brownies out of the pan with the parchment as handles wont work because the structure is too soft (I've tried it and made a mess!). Carefully flip the brownies back over, using the same method, so that the top is facing up. Now they're ready to cut (see cutting instructions below).For Chewy/Cakey Brownies: Bake the brownies for 21-22 minutes. To test for doneness, use a toothpick to poke around to find a 'no chocolate chip' spot. The toothpick should come out with a few crumbs when they're ready. Remove from oven and cool for at one hour or longer before removing from the pan or cutting. The center will stay lofty and should not sink. Resting the brownies for at least 8 hours improves their texture and ability to hold together. Use the parchment has handles to carefully lift the brownies from the pan. Now they're ready to cut (see cutting instructions below).
- How to Cut Brownies: After removing the brownies from the pan and to get the cleanest cut, use a large serrated knife and dip it in very hot water (I use a tall glass). Wipe the knife dry then cut firmly down without dragging the knife through the brownies to get it out - just lift it straight back up. Repeat until all cuts have been made. Lift the brownies with a spatula, gently nudging them from the parchment.Serve rewarmed with ice cream and fudge sauce. How to Rewarm Brownies: We all love warm brownies with ice cream! To rewarm, place in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes.
How to Store Brownies: Store brownies at room temperature in a covered container for up to four days. How To Freeze Brownies: Wrap snugly in foil, then place in a storage container or bag. Freeze for up to a month. Thaw at room temperature.
Hi Traci, grateful to find this recipe for a friend who is GF DF, and no peanuts or Eggs. (I have been a V&B fan since I first visited your website looking for a sourdough pizza recipe 3 yrs ago and have since made many of your creations.) Best to you for a full and fulfilling spring! Bern in VT
Hi Bern in VT! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and coming back since three years ago (your note made my day!!).
Made the brownies today and… WOW. Friend loves them. So do I. Highly recommend to everyone – with or without dietary restrictions. At a party with a group, this would be a great offering as everyone can likely eat these. Gratitudes! BT in VT
Hi Bern from VT! Thank you for your note and giving the recipe a go! Hooray for tasty brownies that everyone can eat… SO happy to hear!
Hello i made the brownie.it was very healthy..tasty n delicious. I didnt had any nut butter so i put dairyfree butter.The only prb is that was falling apart when i cut it n eat with spoon :)
Hi Nena! So happy you enjoyed the recipe! Indeed, the nut butter helps hold things together. Glad you made it work for you anyway!
Can I substitute cornstarch for the tapioca flour?
I Neha! Try using 1/2 tsp cornstarch for the tapioca flour. I hope this helps and you enjoy the recipe!
I’ve made these brownies a couple times, and they always come out great! I love how they’re not too sweet — they taste super chocolatey! Yum… I have made them using both the oat flour as written in the recipe, and using sorghum flour plus a bit of xanthan gum in place of the oat flour, and it comes out pretty much the same both ways. So yummy!
Forgot to note that I have used tahini and soy nut butter in place of the almond butter, as I can’t have nuts. They still come out great!
Hi Sophia! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a note, and your 5 star rating. So happy to hear you’re enjoying the brownies! Thank you too for sharing your subs.. super helpful!
The brownies were delicious but were what my 9-year-old called “A fail”. Are 3/4 cup of oat flour and 2 tbs of tapioca flour the correct amount of dry ingredients? I’m not sure where we went wrong, but our brownies didn’t rise and there didn’t seem to be enough batter when I poured everything into the pan. Our turned out pretty flat (won’t say what it looked like coming out of the oven) and not thick like yours, but they were tasty the next day after we let it chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Hello Jasmine! Thank you for your note. I’m sorry these didn’t work out for you. This is the first I’ve heard of any problems. The ingredients are correct. A few things to consider… I’ve found in baking, especially gluten free baking, weighing ingredients is essential for optimal outcome. It sounds like your leaveners could be expired, if you had no rise at all. Proper oven temperature is essential as well. I find having an external oven thermometer (I use two) to be helpful in monitoring the temperature of my oven. I glad they tasted good the next day, however and it wasn’t a total loss.
Question, could I use coconut oil instead of almond, I am nut free?
Hi Rachel! I don’t think so because of the protein content in the almond butter. And since I’ve not tried it with a coconut oil swap, I’m unable to say if it would work or not. I’m sorry I’m unable to be of more help.
It works. It would turn out more oily, sort of like this Fudgy Brownie Recipe by CVK: http://www.crazyvegankitchen.com/vegan-fudge-brownies/
Thank you for your note Jessica!
I don’t not have tapioca flour, can I just sub with more oat flour or is it absolutely necessary? Hope I can because these look incredible!
Hi Christine, thank you for your note and kind words! Tapioca plays a strong role in these brownies for texture and a bit of binding power. Subbing cornstarch may work – 1 Tbs., and I’ve read it’s a good substitute, but I’ve not tried it. Epicurious has a few notes about tapioca subs. I’m sorry I can’t be more help here. Please let us know how whatever sub you use works out!
Hi, I’m not the original poster but, I wanted to comment. I didn’t have tapioca flour so I subbed 1 Tbs arrowroot powder and they turned out wonderfully. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!
Hi Annie! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a note, and your tip! So happy to read!
oh my!!! I am always in for any chocolate-y dessert, but these brownies look AMAZING! Seriously Traci.. I am drooling here. So well done my friend. <3
These look amazing! Question…having a GF friend over who is allergic to coffee (poor girl). What sub liquid would you recommend if not making these with coffee? Thanks!
Hi Sandra… Oh no! No coffee? Although I’ve not tried it, I think that almost boiling water would work just fine. I hope this helps Sandra and that you (and your friend) enjoy the recipe!
Laura | Tutti Dolci
These are my dream brownies, I love the espresso!
Your photos make me want to run down to my kitchen and make brownies right away.
This looks out of the world decadent and I am sucker for anything espresso and wish I could grab a few. Looks simply amazing Traci.
Also, that’s so amazing you got to visit the farm. I’ve seen documentaries and it does look so labor intensive. Oh so worth it.
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
When I first saw this post my first reaction was WHOA. You sure know how to make a mean brownie and take an even meaner photo of it, lol! My mouth is watering.
I had no idea the process to produce cocoa was so time intensive. But I agree supporting organic is the way to go. I need to make these STAT!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
The more brownie recipes the better I say! These looks so incredible and delicious! Your pictures are STRONG! And I agree, making brownies from scratch is the way to go – so easy and good! Hope you and Rob have a wonderful holiday weekend. xo
Thank youuu for your feedback, Geraldine! So easy and good… yessss!
There will always be the quest for the best brownie recipe-so much fun in all the testing! Love the versatility of this recipe for camps fudgy and cakey. Thanks for all the helpful info, as usual. I was only familiar with Rodelle’s vanilla products. The vanilla bean paste is decadent. Will now have to track down the baking cocoa. Enjoy the holiday weekend, Traci!
And SO much testing went into these… (six tries)! You know, Jean, they have to be just so. You’re going to love Rodelle’s Baking Cocoa. It has such a clean, not acidic, flavor… super rich. Thank you for your note and kind words, Jean.
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
OMG yes! The world needs ALL the brownie recipes. And you know I love Rodelle, so I’m making these stat. Perfect treat for the long weekend!
Woot woot! Thaank youuuu Liz! xo
These look Delectable, Decadent, and Delisious! And I’m Dying to to make them!! Your picture is so inviting I wanted to like the screen because I had to bowl!!! Well done my love!
We will have these when you visit! With plenty of fudge sauce! xo
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
I can absolutely tell from your photos that these are melt in your mouth brownies for sure Traci! I have got to try your recipe asap! I don’t know if I’d have the patience to wait, so it’ll be a bowl and some ice cream with these for me! Thanks for such a delicious recipe. Happy Labor Day weekend to you and Rob!
Thank you Mary Ann! You know the challenge when translating via pictures. I’m with you on just eating it right away… why wait?
Does the world need another brownie recipe? Yes please! Especially when it’s this brownie recipe!! Wish I could pluck one right off the screen! Delicious, my friend! xo
Yessss… I knew it! Thank you Annie! Trade for an Strawberry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream Sammie? Yes please! xo