A simple recipe for homemade Flourless Brownies. This recipe yields chocolatey, fudgy, rich brownies with crackly tops. Recipe includes a how-to video.
No flour? No problem.
Some of you have written and told me that you’re still having trouble finding flour in the grocery stores, so I thought I’d give you an alternative to making my flourless peanut butter cookies on repeat.
Today’s recipe is thinner but fudgier than my favorite brownie recipe. It’s richly chocolaty with crackly tops and a melt-in-your-mouth crumb. They’re perfect for making in a pinch (or for a gluten free friend). Or for yourself anytime… even after spending days perfecting this recipe Zach is still asking me to make it just because.
What You Need:
- Chocolate chips. Since so much of your flavor comes from the chocolate, I recommend using a premium brand of chocolate chips. I personally prefer Ghirardelli (and they’ve never paid me so much as a penny to say so).
- Butter. There’s less butter than you’d probably guess for a pan of brownies, less than one stick!
- Sugar. Only granulated sugar in today’s recipe.
- Cocoa powder. I prefer natural cocoa powder but Dutch processed will work as well.
- Eggs. We’ll whip these very well with our sugar, it’s an important step in the process and I’ll talk more about it below. Unfortunately I cannot advise a substitute for the eggs (I’m not saying one doesn’t exist, but they are key in this recipe and I don’t know of a substitution that would work properly).
- Corn starch. In order to give the brownies some structure, we need to incorporate corn starch into the batter (though if you don’t have it I believe arrowroot would work instead). If you’re a regular baker from my blog I would bet you have plenty of this in your pantry; it’s one of my favorite secret ingredients 😉
- Vanilla extract & salt. For flavor.
Note: This is just an overview of the ingredients that are needed and why I chose them. For the full flourless brownie recipe and amounts please scroll down to the recipe card.
Whipping the Eggs Properly is Key When Making Flourless Brownies
Because there’s no flour in this recipe, there are a few key ingredients and steps that work to bind these brownies together so that they don’t fall apart in your hands once they’ve cooked and cooled. Possibly the most important step is whipping the eggs. While with some recipes like my angel food cake or Swiss meringue buttercream we beat the whites themselves, for our flourless brownies we want the whole egg (white and yolk… not the shell!). Here we beat whole eggs along with granulated sugar until the mixture is thickened and pale yellow (see photo above) and falls in ribbons when the beaters are lifted out of the mixture. For a visual, see my video in the recipe card.
Whipping the eggs on high speed helps to not only bind the brownies together and provide structure, it also gives them a tiny bit of lift (though not much, the brownies are quite thin, but decadent and fudgy,) and encourages that deliciously crackly meringue-like top.
Because we’ve put all of this work into whipping our egg whites, you want to handle them a bit delicately to not deflate them with your other (heavier) ingredients. After using your electric mixer to whip the eggs, calm things down a bit and stir the rest of your ingredients together manually and gently with a spoon or spatula.
I used a whisk in the photo below because I thought it showed off the texture of the brownie batter best, but I promise I was gentle with it 😉
- Melt your chocolate and butter together slowly in 20 second increments, stirring well every 20 seconds. Heating this for too long/too quickly will seize your chocolate and leave you with a grainy chocolate that won’t incorporate nicely into your flourless brownie batter. That’s if the butter doesn’t pop and explode all over your microwave first.
- I recommend a metal baking dish and not a glass one because the metal dish will heat more evenly and bake the brownies faster and more evenly.
- You can use an 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ pan, I prefer the 8″ (makes the thin brownies a bit thicker) but have cooking instructions for both in the recipe below.
- You can add nuts (stir them in at the end, just before spreading into your pan), but they’ll sink to the bottom of the brownies. Since these are fairly thin brownies anyway it’s not a huge deal, just be aware.
- Let your flourless brownies cool completely. They will be impossible to cut and pick up while still warm, you’d need to use a spoon (which I have done and it’s delicious, like a molten lava cake but not like a brownie)! You can speed up the cooling process by placing them in the refrigerator, though personally I prefer the taste/texture when they are at room temperature.
Store leftover brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
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Be sure to check out the how-to video in the recipe card!
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line an 8x8 metal baking pan¹ with parchment paper (use enough that some is hanging over the sides so you can lift the brownies out of the pan easily after baking and cooling). Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter pieces and chocolate chips. Microwave for 20-second increments, stirring well in-between, until chocolate and butter are completely smooth and melted. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer (or stand mixer) to beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract until mixture is pale and fluffy and increased in volume (this will probably take at least a minute, maybe longer, on high speed).
- Sift cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt into egg mixture and then fold ingredients together until combined with a spatula (if you don’t have a sifter, just whisk them together in a separate bowl to remove any lumps before stirring into egg mixture).
- Drizzle the melted butter/chocolate mixture into the batter and use a spatula to gently stir until just combined.
- Transfer to prepared baking pan and bake on 350F (175C) for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow brownies to cool completely before lifting out of the pan using the parchment paper and slicing and serving (if they're still warm they will definitely fall apart).