Gluten Free Brownies with Cocoa Powder


gluten free brownies made with cocoa powder

Hey, stranger! After an extended break from baking, I’m back, blogging straight to your device from beautiful(?) Detroit. To make up for the long absence, there are gluten free brownies with cocoa powder. We cool? 

Let’s catch up.

As you saw in my last post, we recently wrapped up our stint in Savannah and scurried north to begin again in Detroit. After a 15-hour drive with two cats and a six-foot ficus tree in the Prius, we spent a week and a half living out of said Prius and various Airbnbs in search of the holy grail: A place we could agree on.

J wanted to be close to his work in the suburbs, have a house with a garage, and not feel in danger at any given moment. I wanted a multi-unit building in the city, with no bars on the windows and no abandoned structures next door. Also, must love kitties.

gluten free brownies made with cocoa powder

If you’ve ever been to Detroit, you will understand why it took a minute to find a place. 

And…spoiler alert…the perfect home exists! Guys, I live in a loft! With tin ceilings and so much sunlight! We are not cool enough for this apartment. 


While we find ourselves living in Detroit in a technical sense, we are more specifically perched in Hamtramck, one of two cities inside the D. Hamtramck is “the world in two square miles,” home to a mishmash of immigrants from across the globe. A real melting pot, or salad bowl, or whatever inapt metaphor we’re using to describe America these days.

If you google Hamtramck, you’ll immediately see articles expressing Fox News-fueled fears about the institution of Sharia Law, the obvious natural progression when Muslims are elected to city council. (Sigh.) Xenophobic alarmism aside, living here is pretty great so far. Lamb and cinnamon perfume the air. If you listen closely, you can hear the call to prayer and the bells at St. Florian’s. Thirty different languages are transcended by a soccer ball in the park after school. If this delightful jumble of people is a microcosm of “what’s wrong with America,” sign me up. And for real, if that Lizard Person Who Shall Not Be Named gets elected, Canada is a short drive away and I can probably still sneak back here for some shish taouk and square gluten-free pizza.  gluten free brownies made with cocoa powder

While J has been settling in at work, I’ve been busying myself with the difficult task of not being stressed out, which is supposed to lead to self-discovery and Figuring Out What I Want to Do with My Life. What my dear husband is not aware of is that Netflix and naps are probably not the catalysts for a breakthrough of any variety, but let’s keep that between us, okay? I’m still catching up on all the TV I’ve missed in…basically forever. I’ll go off my nut from boredom in about a week, I estimate. But until then, brownies! 

You might wonder what I’m doing with this recipe. There is already a perfectly respectable (nay, delectable) brownie recipe here on the site. Perfect Brownies, even! Who do I think I am, tinkering with perfection?gluten free brownies made with cocoa powder

Here’s why: In the Perfect Brownies post, I laid out my long and sugar-dusted history with brownies, which back in the gluten days were made with cocoa powder, not melted chocolate. My family seems to prefer cocoa in our favorite chocolate recipes, both for the cost savings and that delicately cakey, not-too-rich, may-I-have-another texture it imparts. That, and we are not to be trusted around chocolate. The genius of this recipe is that I always have the ingredients, as no one has ever sneaked into the pantry at 2:00 a.m. to scarf down cocoa powder. Chocolate chips, on the other hand…

If you find yourself without chocolate but need your house to smell like brownie heaven in 30 minutes, give this recipe a try. Or, if you prefer cakey brownies to their fudgy cousins, these gluten free brownies with cocoa powder are your new go-to.

Thanks for your patience during the long break here, and have a brownie with me to celebrate! It’s good to be back.

{Gluten-Free} Brownies with Cocoa Powder
Yields 16
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
  4. 75g (2/3 cup) cocoa powder
  5. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. big pinch of salt
  7. 60g (1/2 cup) almond meal
  8. 75g (1/2 cup) sorghum flour*
  1. Line an 8" x 8" baking pan with parchment and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Stir together all ingredients in a mixing bowl with your trusty wooden spoon. Beat briefly to get most of the lumps out, but don't worry about getting a completely smooth batter.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan, spread into the corners, and smooth the top. Bake 25-30 minutes, until the center is just about cooked, and remove to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
  4. Grasp the parchment and lift the brownies out of the pan to slice and enjoy.
  1. *Almond meal keeps these moist, though you can switch out the sorghum flour for 75g of whatever you have on hand. Chocolate recipes are very forgiving to the sometimes strong flavors of whole grain flours.
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