Gluten free Double Chocolate Cranberry Brownies are made with bittersweet chocolate for a darkly delicious, fudgy treat you won’t be able to resist. Fresh cranberries add a pop of sophisticated tartness. Easy and gorgeous!
Fudgy, Decadent Brownies That Are Perfect for the Holidays
Sinfully delicious chocolate brownies, studded with tart cranberries and bittersweet chocolate chips? Don’t mind if I do. These holiday appropriate, ultra luxe brownies are so elegant and crave-able that they almost seem like a fancy dessert! But they are actually very easy to make, with just a few basic ingredients. You probably have most of them in your fridge and pantry.
On top of that, these are, dare I say, healthy! Using high-cacao chocolate, real butter, eggs, gluten free flour, and coconut sugar, they’re definitely indulgent, but they are also made from real ingredients that you can feel good about.
What Are These Gluten Free Brownies Made Of?
These double chocolate cranberry brownies are not only made with a rich, indulgent melted chocolate brownie batter, but they’ve also got chocolate chips mixed in. If you enjoy chocolate, you’ll love these! The fresh cranberries add little bites of tart fruit flavor for contrast.
- Chocolate Chips: Bittersweet chocolate chips, rather than semisweet, give this dessert an edge and cut the sweetness of the batter. You will need some for melting, and some for folding into the brownie batter.
- Butter: Unsalted butter.
- Sweetener: You’ll need coconut sugar, and packed light brown sugar, for this recipe.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the brownies a bakery-style depth of flavor.
- Eggs: A couple of large, whole eggs bring the batter together and give the brownies structure.
- Cocoa Powder: Just a bit, to give the batter an intense chocolate flavor.
- Flour: Use your favorite 1:1 gluten free flour blend.
- Cranberries: Fresh or frozen cranberries.
What Is Gluten Free Flour, and How Is It Made?
Gluten-free flour is made with all kinds of ingredients, depending on the brand and the use. For example, almond flour is considered a gluten free flour, and it’s just made of ground almonds. It’s a very simple gluten free flour that can be used in a lot of dishes. (If you use almond flour or any other flour substitute, be sure to check with the manufacturer that it wasn’t processed on shared equipment or otherwise exposed to gluten.)
Other gluten free flours are specifically designed to replace wheat flour. Made with combinations of ingredients like rice flour, cassava flour, nut flours, buckwheat, cornstarch, and more, these flours mimic the taste and texture of wheat flour as closely as possible. Added ingredients like xanthan gum give the flour elasticity, so that you can use them to make baked goods like cookies, cakes, and even bread.
Let’s Make Brownies!
The process for making this recipe is very similar to making regular brownies – quick and easy prep, and then the brownies go right into the oven. You won’t need any special equipment or technique here.
- Get Ready to Bake. Before you start making the brownie batter, you’ll want to preheat the oven to 350ºF and line your baking pan with parchment. Lightly grease the parchment and the pan as well. You can use baking spray or your favorite neutral-flavored oil.
- Combine the Dry Ingredients. Measure the flour, salt, and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl. Whisk them gently to combine, and then set the bowl aside for now.
- Melt the Chocolate with the Butter. Melting the chocolate is the next step. You can do this in a double boiler on the stove, or in the microwave. I usually go with the microwave. Put the chocolate and butter in a large glass bowl, and microwave it for 30 seconds at a time, stirring well between each microwave burst.
- Add the Remaining Liquid Ingredients. Once the chocolate has melted, stir in both sugars and the vanilla. Wait until the chocolate has cooled a little bit, and then whisk the eggs in a separate bowl before adding them to the chocolate. (Don’t add the eggs to the chocolate while hot, or it will scramble the eggs.)
- Combine the Liquid and Dry Mixtures. Pour the chocolate mixture over the flour mixture, using a spatula to scrape it all in. Then gently mix the chocolate and flour mixtures together until just combined.
- Add the Mix-Ins to the Brownie Batter, and Bake. Fold the cranberries and chocolate chips into the brownie batter, being careful not to overmix. Scrape the batter into your baking pan, and slide it into the oven to bake. It should take about 30 minutes, depending on your oven – test the brownies with a toothpick to check for doneness. The toothpick should come out with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool and Serve. Take the brownies out of the oven and let them cool in the pan until they are no longer warm. This will help them stabilize instead of falling apart. Then cut them into 16 squares, and serve.
Everyone likes to have a little inside information about their favorite recipes, so I’m happy to share these easy tips for baking success. Enjoy!
- Watch Out for Hidden Gluten: Some ingredients may not seem like they would include gluten, but it’s always a good idea to check the labels. When in doubt, you may even want to contact the company to make sure.
- Brownie Pan: This makes one 8×8-inch pan of brownies. If you would like to make a 9×13-inch pan of brownies, you’ll need to double this recipe.
- Parchment Pick-Up: If you can, try using enough parchment to overhang the edges of the brownie pan a bit. You can use the parchment to remove the brownies from the pan – no sticking, no fuss! Plus, they’re easier to cut when they’re on the counter, and you won’t scratch your baking pan.
- Microwaving the Chocolate: This is very convenient to do in the microwave, but be careful to stir well after each 30-second burst in the microwave. Microwaves heat ingredients from the inside out, so the chocolate chips melt inside before they show it outside.
- Double Boiler Option: Another option is to melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Just get about an inch of water boiling in a small saucepan on the stove, and set a heatproof mixing bowl over it (or a double boiler attachment if you have one). Add the chocolate chips and butter, and stir while the steam heat melts them from underneath.
Why Are My Gluten Free Brownies Crumbly?
If your brownies are crumbly after baking and cooling, there may be one or more issues going on. Here are some common reasons your brownies have a crumbly texture instead of a fudgy texture:
- The Flour: If your gluten-free flour doesn’t have any xanthan gum in it, it may not have pulled the batter together enough to get that chewy texture.
- The Eggs and Butter: Eggs and butter help hold the batter together as well. If you substituted something for the eggs (bananas, applesauce, and yogurt are popular options) then it may have affected your brownies’ texture.
- Baking Time: Baking too long may have dried out the batter.
- Measuring: Something may have gone wrong when you measured your ingredients, resulting in a batter that was too dry, too wet, or otherwise off-balance in terms of texture.
Make this recipe your own with mix-ins, toppings, and substitutions! Here are a few easy ideas you can use to tweak this easy brownie recipe.
- Add Nuts: Chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans would be amazing in these brownies. Fold them into the batter along with the cranberries for extra texture and crunch.
- Triple Chocolate: Make these even more decadent with the addition of chocolate buttercream – yum! The frosting from this pumpkin cake recipe would be just perfect.
- Replace the Butter: You can replace some of the butter (I recommend swapping up to half, but not all of the butter, for the best texture) with a rich fruit puree – think apple, banana, or even prune. Keep in mind that this will change the flavor slightly as well.
How to Store These Festive Brownies
You can store these in an airtight container, either in your refrigerator or on the counter, depending on how you want to enjoy them (they’re yummy cold!), or where you have room. They should keep for about one week.
Can I Freeze These?
Yes, you can freeze double chocolate cranberry brownies for up to three months. Just wrap them tightly in two layers (think plastic wrap plus foil, or press n’ seal plus a freezer bag, etc.), mark them with the date, and store them in the freezer. You may want to make an extra batch, just for freezing!
Gluten Free Double Chocolate Cranberry Brownies
- ½ cup unsalted butter 1 stick
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- ⅔ cup gluten free flour
- ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Line a 8 x 8” pan with parchment and lightly grease..
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together, set aside.
- Put the chocolate and butter in a large glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and repeat, heating 30 seconds, 2 to 3 more times or until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.
- Add both sugars and the vanilla to the chocolate mix and stir until combined.
- Add 2 eggs to a small bowl and whisk, add to the chocolate mixture when cooled slightly and stir until combined..
- Pour the chocolate mix into the flour and using a rubber spatula, gently mix together until combined. Fold in the fresh cranberries and chocolate chips.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached.
- Cool brownies completely before cutting into 16 equal squares.