Chocolate Quinoa Brownies- Gluten-Free and Vegan

These gluten free chocolate brownies are vegan and egg free
Vegan gluten-free brownies made with quinoa flakes.

Your stubborn and chocolate obsessed gluten-free goddess has been working overtime. In between shooting photographs of the holiday lights and skaters in Santa Monica and battling the return of the flu I fought off some weeks ago (I believe in recycling, Darling, but this is a wee bit ridiculous) I have been utterly possessed. Haunted by the ghost of chocolate brownies. Vegan chocolate brownies, to be exact (because I've already served up the best egg-based gluten-free brownie I can think of, so if you haven't tried my Dark Chocolate Brownie recipe or the Chocolate Brownie made with pecan meal, Darling- Go!).

Baking failures do not sit pretty with yours truly. Especially when I am achy and voiceless and my head feels like a giant damp wad of gluten-free dough with too much xanthan gum added (you gluten-free bakers know exactly what I'm talking about). I feel like the goddess of sticky, thick and dull. And there ain't no cure. Except maybe a hot toddy. Or three.

Lucky for me I have a husband who likes to bake. A husband who says (as his brittle, grumpy hot-flashing wife is muttering expletives and scraping another gooey not-in-a-good-way gluten-free vegan brownie failure into the perky polka dotted trash can), So. 

How can we make this work?

For a split second I panic and think, He's over it. He's finally tired of living gluten-free. Living without baguettes and bagels and croissants out of love, a sense of duty, or comradeship and support. 

He's done. Finished. He's out the door, no looking back.

And who can blame him? Would you choose to give up gluten if you didn't have to? Could you give up gluten out of love alone? Would you jump, like Sawyer, from the leaking helicopter into the ocean below to save the woman you love?

Why do the Quinoa Breakfast Brownies work without eggs?

I hear him ask this beneath my visions of Kate's tears and windswept hair swirling under the throb and thwack of the helicopter blades (that kiss!).

Excellent question, I respond, as I straighten up and dump the empty brownie pan into the sink. Maybe the quinoa flakes help the structure, I murmur. Maybe vegan brownies need more than flour and sugar for structure, I think aloud ,gaining momentum. Maybe- just maybe- the quinoa flakes work a little magic- the way tofu or beans might.

And that, Dear Reader, is the third act moment eyes re-met across the tiny space of a Santa Monica fifth floor apartment, the winter solstice sun slanting in a soft cool glow.

And I knew.

A man who ponders quinoa with you, is a man willing to jump from a helicopter.

Gluten free vegan chocolate brownie with quinoa flakes
These quinoa chocolate brownies are egg free. And yummy.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Quinoa Brownies Recipe

For those of you who must bake gluten-free without eggs- this chocolate brownie recipe is for you. Using quinoa flakes makes all the difference. Quinoa creates a tender, moist vegan brownie without the tang of fruit puree, or metallic aftertaste of beans (not to mention, no tofu!).

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 11x13-inch baking pan with lightly greased parchment.


Whisk together the dry ingredients:

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup Ancient Harvest Quinoa Flakes
1/3 cup Organic Quinoa Flour or GF buckwheat flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup organic cocoa powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 2/3 cups organic light brown sugar

Add in:

2/3 cup light olive oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon Authentic Foods Vanilla Powder or 1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and beat with a stand mixer, or your own elbow grease- with a sturdy wooden spoon- until you get a sticky batter.

Make your egg replacement:

1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
4 tablespoons warm water


Whip the egg replacer ingredients till foamy and frothy. [If you are adding eggs instead, beat two large free-range organic eggs; and omit the egg replacement formula.]

Add the egg replacer to the batter and combine well. The dough should be thick and rather sticky.


2 to 4 tablespoons of warm water, as needed to achieve a dough that sticks together when you pinch it- much like a soft cookie dough. (Three tablespoons of warm water worked for us.)

Now add in:

1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped nuts, as you prefer (or both!)

Stir to combine.

Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, and using wet or oiled hands, press and smooth the surface evenly. Place the pan into the center of a pre-heated oven and bake until set - about 25 to 35 minutes depending upon your oven and altitude. Insert s thin knife to check if you are unsure to make certain the center has baked thoroughly.

Cool on a wire rack. Using a thin sharp knife, cut the brownies into squares; wrap them in foil; bag in a freezer storage bag. Freeze.

Delicious warm or slightly chilled.

Makes 15 to 18 brownies.

Recipe Source:

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cottagesweet said...

These brownies look WONDERFUL!! I looove using quinoa flakes myself when baking and it works great for frying, too. I've got to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

Iris said...

This is a very cute post! Anyone who gives up gluten for someone else is AMAZING! And I love that last picture of the brownies...

VeggieGirl said...

He's a keeper! :-D As are the brownies.

Jennifer said...

These sound so good! I love that you used quinoa flakes, Im always looking for ways to make use of them in baking! Merry Christmas!

Kalyn said...

I swear you should be writing a novel! Brilliant writing. And the photo is making me drool too. Love the idea of using quinoa in a brownie.

Anonymous said...

I am so excited I just found a store 3 miles from my house that has the Quinoa flakes. If you live in Southern California you can get them at Sprouts. These brownies will go great with a cup of coffee and my (new to me) coffee creamer. SO delicious now makes a coconut milk creamer that is wonderful.
Thank you for all your help. We are having so much fun cooking this holiday season.
Now if I could just make a pancake that my 10 yearold twins would like.

Veggiesmack said...

Wow, these look and sound great!

Juanita said...

My hubby gave up gluten for me too - he is an amazing guy. And he even eats my occasional baking flops with a smile on his face when I can't stand a second bite. Now THAT'S love for ya!

Even our dog is content to eat homemade meals or kibble which is free of wheat/barley/oat gluten so that there is no risk of kitchen contamination :-)

Maggie Savage said...

Karina you rock! You made me smile and sniff all in one post! Thanks for working so hard for all of us.

nmlove said...

One flu-ridden, Lost fan to another, I just have to say thanks! These look great and once I'm up and running again, will definitely try, much to the delight of my boys. Too bad I'm missing one ingredient (the flakes). I should be used to that by now! :) Merry Christmas!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I finally saw quinoa flakes for the first time this past week - guess I was just passing them by at the store this whole time. These look wonderful. Congrats to finally making an egg-free brownie - and congrats to Mr. GFG, what a great guy you have.

I Am Gluten Free said...

Karina - IMHO, the New York Times food section should hire you as a columnist. You got the stuff, girlfriend!

These brownies look excellent. Not only do you provide laughter and fab recipes, just as important, please let me tell you what kind of support you give the rest of the GF world - you tell us that it's ok to experiment, that we are pioneers, that we have to persevere until we conquer this new world. So, thank you!!!

Can't wait to try these!


Cassiani said...

loved this one! had a deep bond with the site when the first time i stumbled upon it Karina mentioned the Borders in Santa Fe- next door to Pranzo's where i worked for two years in college. reading books without ever buying them. now the quinoa and the man who boldly goes gluten-free (where few men have gone before) and I have to comment.

Called the husband last night to see if he wanted to get chips to go with the grass-fed local beef i was making into a chili. He asked what I was having, and quinoa was the answer. This good man, after almost 9 years of marriage, said, "you know what? i'll eat what you're eating." instead of the more 'normal' chips and cheese (he did have cheese), he voted for quinoa.

that's love. glad you're in Santa Monica- love that area! we're rocking the Massachusetts gluten-free holistic land.

blessings and peace-

Kim said...

All these stories of quinoa-loving men are making me swoon almost as much as these brownies are. This quinoa-loving gal is currently taking applications for a partner in quinoa-eating crime... I think a batch of these brownies would easily win over any man's heart, you think? Thanks for a great recipe, can't wait to try!

Rebecca said...

Someday I hope to find a man who will ponder quinoa with me! (The jumping from a helicopter is a bit much, but love Lost nonetheless!) Thanks as always for your wonderful recipes, I'll be sure to try this one ASAP, hopefully with agave instead of brown sugar.

--First time commenter but an avid reader

Mrs. Bee said...

Hubs is onboard with me, too. He'll eat whatever I cook (poor guy--sometimes). So, he's GF when he's with me. Non-GF when not with me.

Karina, what brand cocoa do you use? I suppose they are not all GF, are they?

Lauren Denneson said...

Alright, I think we are on to something here. I've noticed that quinoa flour really helps the texture and staying power of gluten free baked goods. I thought I might be imagining things, but here you are (and your husband) noticing the same thing! Need to do more experimenting...

Lauren said...

Yipee! I knew you could do it! Quinoa flakes are magical, and this is no exception =D.

lme0045 said...

Cannot wait to try this - I have been missing brownies and quinoa flakes seem like such a good solution. I have been using them in place of bread crumbs (like to stiffen up refried beans to make a vegan burger) and in place of oatmeal in cookies. I don't know why I didn't think of using them in brownies...brilliant!

Paz said...

Looks like a match made in heaven. ;-)

Happy Holidays!


~M said...

These look delicious! My husband eats gluten-free along with me too! It makes it so much easier to share and try new foods. Actually, when we were in Italy for our honeymoon, and there was so much delicious looking [gluteny] homemade pasta and pizza...*I* got frustrated at my gluten-freeness and he gave me a hug and said, but we eat so much better for it!

Chef Pam said...

This is the first time I have visited your site and have now marked it as a definite favorite. We are striving to become gluten/dairy free in our family due to my daughters health. As we venture further into the journey, it is for the health of the entire family. From one chef to another, thank you for your diligence and determination when developing your recipes. You are a lifesaver and a fab writer ! Can't wait to see what is next. Blessings from Kentucky ! pam.

Diane-The WHOLE Gang said...

My goal for 2010 is to start baking more. Something I've stayed away from because it requires measuring. I'm starting with this recipe! I love using quinoa flakes for my fruit pie crumbles. I'm sure it will be great in these brownies. I'm also having them for breakfast!

I too can say the love of my life gave up gluten for me too. We sure hit the jackpot!

Queen Bee said...

These sound really delicious. I'll definately be trying this recipe.

zebrabelly said...

I love you. I've only just found your blog and already I love you. Solstice wishes, Lost references, gluten-free brownies... I love you.

Gigi said...

I just need to try some of this, it looks good and healthy...

Patti Anastasia said...

Karina, I made these today and they are amazing. Intoxicatingly delicious. I used buckwheat flour. Instead of just lining the bottom of the pan with parchment, I made my parchment long enough to extend up over the short sides by a few inches. Then when the brownies had cooled for about 10 minutes, I lifted them out using the parchment. I trimmed the edges off to make a pretty plate of brownies, then I couldn't stop eating the edges. I know that I'll be making these often. Thank you so much for this recipe and for all that you do.

hobby baker said...

These were totally fabulous! Cakey and yet still moist and chewy too. Everyone liked them. Thanks!

Amy said...

Tasty stuff. I was a little wary of them tasting too "healthy," and haven't had many great experiences baking cookies or bars with just oil in the past. These turned out beautifully, though. I didn't feel like going to the store for the second time today to get quinoa flakes, so I used half oat bran and half rolled oats.

My first attempt at baking today was a nose-wrinkling failure, so it's lovely to have a successful recipe. I'm glad to have my second try at creating a chocolatey treat turn out well. (And also relieved to be able to toss that flat, gummy cake because it's no longer the only chocolate thing in the house!)


JW said...

Just made these but subbed coconut flour for the buckwheat flour. I also did a flaxseed/warm water substitute for the egg replacer. (I don't like Ener-G's egg replacer).
The batter tasted so good I almost sat down and ate the bowl. Waiting on them to be done now!

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks, all you Beauties, for your lovely comments. I think I need to make another batch of these babies, STAT. Love the idea of using coconut flour, JW! xox


Melissa said...

Can I substitute the Quinoa Flakes (They're not available on the local healthfood stores) with anything else?

Anonymous said...

I know this is a really late post, but just wanted to add that I followed JW's lead and tried flax eggs with this. Just eating them now! They're a bit denser and didn't rise quite as high as they would with real eggs (I'm comparing against the quinoa breakfast brownies, which I had made with eggs before), but they taste great. The edges are especially addictive!


megproofs said...

Hi there, thanks for all the great recipes. Do you mean a 9 x 11 pan rather than 11 x 13?

Unknown said...

I made these the other day with a couple tiny tweaks and they turned out fabulously. Thank you. I haven't enjoyed a brownie in at least two years.

Highway Dreamer said...

It's been two years of gluten/egg yolk/dairy free foods, and I owe a portion of my success to this site. It has been a constant, no nonsense, easy to access haven. Thank you Karina, and a I wish you a happy, healthy 2012.

Highway Dreamer said...

After two years of successfully living w/o wheat,yeast, egg yolk, and all dairy, I owe some of my success to the haven of the GFG. It's beautiful to look at, well run, sensible and easy to use.
This was the first site that made me realize I could do it! Having to cook all of my own food was SO hard, but now...I look at the recipes with an expert's eye. A healthy 2012 to all.

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