Anne Byrn’s Gluten-Free Saucepan Brownies from Unbelievably Gluten-Free!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes


Listen to the interview.

For the 30 million+ Americans who have an allergy or sensitivity to gluten and countless others who are choosing a gluten-free lifestyle comes Unbelievably Gluten-Free! by Anne Byrn . Anne is the author of The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free and the bestselling Cake Mix Doctor® series.  While she does not suffer from a gluten intolerance, she knows how to deliver incredible flavors, and by comparing the gluten-free dishes to traditional versions,  Anne ensures that those in Unbelievably Gluten-Free! taste just as good—not almost as good—as those that include gluten.

Anne incorporates gluten-free mixes into many of the recipes and doctors them to achieve surprising results. She replaces wheat, barley, and rye with gluten-free ingredients and employs creative techniques for achieving flawless textures and consistencies. And throughout, Anne includes helpful tips for avoiding the pitfalls of gluten-free cooking. She suggests:

Adding cornmeal to baking mixes with rice flour to avoid the gritty texture often associated with gluten-free goods.
Making roux by browning sweet rice flour instead of the customary wheat flour and butter for a seafood gumbo.
Using naturally gluten-free chickpea flour as a binder in Indian-inspired fried onion fritters.
Thickening stews and soups with purees, potatoes, and cream instead of flour.
Using cider vinegar and cream cheese to create a rich and flaky pie crust from a starter mix.

The book also includes dairy-free variations, because many people with a gluten intolerance may also have a dairy intolerance

Anne shared this recipe for  Gluten-Free Saucepan Brownies from the book. “Naturally gluten-free, these brownies are so fudgy, chewy, and chocolaty, you’ll never miss the flour. That’s because the cocoa and cornstarch in the recipe give just the right amount of structure to the brownies. The flavor comes from the butter, cocoa, vanilla, and chocolate chips. And the ease comes from making them in one pan on top of the stove, then pouring into a square pan and baking.”


1.Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly mist an 8-inch square baking pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust it with cornstarch. Set the baking pan aside.

2.Place the butter in a medium-size saucepan over low heat and stir until melted. Add the cocoa powder and stir until thickened and smooth, about 15 to 20 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Break the eggs into the pan and stir to combine well. Add the G cup of cornstarch and the salt and stir until the batter is smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3.Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and place the pan in the oven. Bake the brownies until the edges are firm, the top is shiny, and the center is just set, 25 to 30 minutes. If you like your brownies gooey, bake them for 25 minutes and if you like them more chewy, bake them for 30 minutes.

4.Remove the baking pan from the oven and let the brownies cool for 1 hour before slicing them into 1-inch squares, if desired. (Some people eat them straight from the pan!) Store the brownies, covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Note: For the best flavor, use the best cocoa powder you have. I bake with Hershey’s day-to-day, but when I want more flavor I use Ghirardelli cocoa.

Extra! Extra! Instead of vanilla, use half almond extract and half vanilla extract. Or use a teaspoon of espresso powder instead of the vanilla.

To make brownie sundaes, bake the brownies ahead of time, let them cool, then cut them into large squares and cover the pan to keep the brownies fresh. To serve, place a brownie in the bottom of a shallow microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power for 8 to 10 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave and top the brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of your favorite chocolate sauce.

Dairy-Free: Use margarine instead of butter and H cup of carob chips in place of the semisweet chocolate chips.

Yield: 16 small or 8 large brownies

What's Needed:


Vegetable oil spray, for misting the baking pan
1/4 cup cornstarch, plus cornstarch, for dusting the baking pan
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (see Note)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

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