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Make Gluten-Free Brownie Cupcakes with Namaste Baking Mix

Gluten free brownie cupcakes made with Namaste baking mix
Brownies baked as cupcakes- from Namaste baking mix.

Check out these fudgy little gems. Chocolate chip brownies dressed up like cupcakes. These are Steve's creation. He's been making gluten-free brownies for- let me think a minute- almost nine years. (How, I ask you, is that possible? Nine years gluten-free? Yep. We'll be celebrating nine years of gluten-free living this December. Perilously close to a decade.) So he's the resident brownie expert. I bow to his expertise.

He's baked brownies from scratch. He's tried all the gluten-free mixes. He's added flavors. Coffee. Peppermint. Vanilla. He's added extra chocolate chips. Chopped walnuts. Pecans. Even raisins. He bakes brownies weekly. But lately he's got a new twist to this favorite classic treat. He plops the batter into a cupcake liner clad muffin tin

Steve swears this creates a better, moister brownie.

One of the main issues with gluten-free baking is pan size. The larger the pan, the more problematic your baking experience. The edges cook up first (experienced bakers out there are now rolling their eyes and mouthing, Duh). Then the middle struggles to catch up. You test for doneness at the appointed time. Maybe done- maybe not. You wait. You bite your fingernails. You pace. And test again. Meanwhile, the edges are getting drier by the minute.

In gluten-free baking, this translates to one of two things:

1. Rock-hard.

2. Dry and crumbly.

Not attractive traits in a brownie. Or any sweet treat, come to think of it. This proclivity to bake lickity split on the outside and slow like honey on the inside has prompted frustrated bakers to try smaller pan sizes (for instance, in gluten-free bread baking, using tea bread size mini loaf pans is often kinder to the rise and tenderness of the loaf than a single large bread pan). Which is why you  may often wonder if gluten-free sweets are baked for very tiny people.

I suspect it's the lack of gluten itself that causes the center of g-free goodies to misbehave. They don't have that elastic stretch and support to help hold up the middle. So it sinks. It goes slack and soft. Wow. Now that I think of it? 

Gluten is kinda like Spanx.

So that's why we started brainstorming about brownies last year prompting me to stir up some vegan blueberry brownie bites in a muffin tin. Since then, Steve has been baking his favorite brownie mix, Namaste, into cupcakes. He thought I should share this little tip. 

So if you like this idea, send him back a shout and say, Hi.



Gluten free brownie cupcakes cooling on a baking rack
Gluten-free brownie cupcakes cooling on a wire rack.

Steve used the Namaste Gluten-Free Brownie Mix for these  chocolaty bundles of goodness. He used three organic free-range eggs, and light olive oil as the fat. He added 3/4 cup chocolate chips. They baked up in roughly 40 minutes. The mix yielded 14 brownie-cupcakes.

Although it's very un-Zen of me to say, and possibly un-PC to the slow food foodies out there, they're perfect for a grab-n-go treat. Ready when you are. Compact. Chocolate. Boom. Wrap them in recycled foil, bag, and freeze. 


Karina's note:

This post is not a sponsored review of the Namaste mix, which we purchased ourselves; it's simply the baking mix Steve currently uses. And they looked so pretty today I couldn't resist grabbing the camera.

In the past we did a Gluten-Free Brownie Mix Taste Test- check it out if you're interested in how brownie mixes compared under scrutiny and fierce personal preferences in the Allrich household.

More:

Check out Sensitive Pantry's Spiced Up Chocolate Cupcakes

Enjoy sugary treats in moderation. Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day. 



Karina

32 comments:

  1. These look amazing. You're amazing. Thank you.

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  2. It makes me very happy that your husband bakes gluten free for you. That he bakes at all really. If only...

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  3. I just made up my own GF recipe today and it was perfectly moist and not all that different from a non GF brownie and extremely fudgy.

    (try my recipe hehe)

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  4. We agree. We always cook our brownies in a muffin or mini muffin pan. Another fun thing is we top them with gfcf triple berry buttercream frosting. Even our gluten eating, milk drinking friends loooove them.

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  5. Ah, you're the best, all of you. Steve bakes a lot. But I can't eat eggs, so I don't do the brownies.

    Truth is, I limit my sweets. Otherwise I'd be packing on the pounds faster than you can say blueberry pancakes on a stick.

    Please pass the spinach. ;-)

    xox

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  6. Perfect for my little gluten free people AND their Mama! We go for anything chocolate in the shape of a cupcake! Bonus: You may not have to wash the pan!

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  7. I have to say I agree 100% with Steve! Because I have only been baking GFCF for a year now, I feel like I am pretty new and still make "flops". I have learned it is best for me to bake your cookies and brownies in my silicone muffin pan too. My son LOVES your quinoa PB cookies that way. It makes a bigger batch that way, because I don't put very much in each muffin tin so they have room to expand. I am going to do a blog post next week about me making some of your stuff. I will make sure I give you credit and link it up here so they can see your orig recipes. We can't do corn, rice, egg, soy, along with GFCF, so sadly I can't buy any pre packaged mixes...but I have tasted that Namaste brand and they are AWESOME! LOVE that you both cook :) Great idea Mr. Steve!

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  8. I make your quinoa breakfast brownies in muffin tins, popping them out ASAP once they're out of the oven, and allow them to cool on a wire rack. It makes them a grab n go breakfast, and like you said, they cook up better without drying out on the edges.

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  9. I've been baking brownies gluten-free and in smaller sizes for more than 22 years now. I started when there were NO MIXES because it was a matter of life and death for my husband. I'm so glad to see so many more glut-free options today. It makes it easier for my children who are also gluten-free. Ahhhh, progress.

    BTW, I love your blog!

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  10. OH MY GOD THESE LOOK AWESOME!!!
    Ummmm...gluten=spanx...funniest thing I've ever heard in my life. Seriously.

    Thanks for the tips on small portions. I'm kind of new to cooking so it'll come in handy!

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  11. Steve can bake these for me any time! There's nothing wrong with using a mix as a starting point; I do it all the time.

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  12. Nice tip!

    And best two quotes ever:
    "Which is why you may often wonder if gluten-free sweets are baked for very tiny people." &
    "Gluten is kinda like Spanx."

    Thanks, Karina!

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  13. The brownies look delicious, but what I really love is your Spanx reference. Priceless!

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  14. I love this idea. I always try to make individual serving sizes since they are a big hit with the kids.
    By the way, our family enjoyed your Butternut Chili recipe tonight. It was so satisfying and a welcome change to our same old chili. YUM.

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  15. These look gorgeous! I usually make gluten-free brownies simply using whole rice flour, the texture is just perfect.

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  16. I teach a lot of gluten free cooking classes in Chicago and I always make the brownies as mini-muffins. I agree, they work perfectly and it works with almost any brand. My only caution is really watch the timing since they cook so fast!

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  17. Individual brownies - perfect for portion control (for those of us who might finish the entire pan in one day by picking away at it little by little!). Now, if only they could be made egg-free, I'd be home-free. Steve- your brownies look delish. Keep up the good work. You give us a very good reason to gently prod our partners into the kitchen.

    Ellen
    www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com

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  18. Karina, great photos. Steve, LOVE the idea of these brownies. It might stop me from eating an entire pan at once. If you happen to notice the ingredients on the bag, please share if it contains rice. That one is out for me so I'll be looking for another mix or digging through this site for past brownie recipes.

    I love cupcake pans. They have saved my skin a number of times.

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  19. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  20. Here's the thing. I don't buy mixes. So, now that you folks have done all the legwork and tested, tested and retested, can you post a recipe to make the brownies without a mix? I would be ever grateful!

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  21. Thanks again, all. xox

    Haven, I have several "from scratch" gluten-free brownie recipes on the blog:

    Blueberry Brownie Bites
    Breakfast Brownies
    Cappuccino Brownies
    Chocolate-Pecan Brownies
    Chocolate Quinoa Brownies
    Dark Chocolate Brownies
    Vanilla Brownies

    They're in the Recipe Index.

    Cheers!

    Karina

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  22. I am always a fan of brownies. Although I'd be 300 lbs if Steve was baking weekly brownies in my kitchen - I wouldn't be able to resist! We're on the same wavelength this go-round though - I just got this cute bon-bon/tea cake pan, and I was totally thinking of mini brownies, imagining their moist, chocolatey selves...Yum.

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  23. I'll have to try this. I have a bag of Namaste Brrownie mix. Thanks.

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  24. Steve- Genius! Never thought it might be the size that matters. ;-) Karina - As always I learned something new from your blog. Hugs for the link to The Sensitive Pantry's Spiced Up Chocolate Cupcakes.

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  25. Now the question is: Can I make your dark chocolate brownies as cupcakes? Because if that's the case, then I have what I'm taking to class on Wednesday.

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  26. Karina and Steve:

    These look UNBELIEVABLE. I'm going to try making them egg-free... hopefully they'll turn out the same! YUM! THANK YOU!

    :)

    Desi

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  27. I had that sinking problem when I made your Banana Corn muffins the other day and I was going to ask you for suggestions. Should I try a little bit of a lower heat? They still tasted fantabulous, but they turned out not to be the prettiest things...
    =]

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  28. Thanks so much, everyone- xox

    Annie- I don't see why not- I've never made the dark chocolate brownie recipe as anything but pan brownies, so I'm not speaking from direct experience, but I imagine it would work based on this success.

    Desi- I hope they work egg-free- are you using Ener-G Egg Replacer? I might add a 1/4 teaspoon of mild vinegar as well (to help boost leavening w/o eggs).

    Chris- Sinking means too much liquid; I am finding I need less liquid now in my more humid climate, too. Start with 2-3 tablespoons less liquid. Especially in a recipe with a lot of fruit puree.

    If the batter is thin, add a tablespoon or two more of flour to thicken it; see if that helps.

    In general, if you find gluten-free recipes sinking, it's most likely a "too much liquid issue", so start with less.

    Humidity affects flours, can make them damp (refrigerating flours can make them damp- and cold, too, obviously).

    Karina

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  29. they look yummy and this is a great idea, thanks for sharing!

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  30. very nice.

    paz

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  31. OOOO I am about to make GF Namsate brownies now and I am wondering how to incorporate peanut butter in them. If put it in the cupcake papers would I add a blob to each or stir into the batter and then add to cupcake molds?

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  32. I tried to make cupcakes from an Almond flour chocolate cake recipe and they spilled over the pan and then proceeded to sink. They look like little 'U's'. I'm frustrated and thought "i'll just use my sure-fire Gluten Free Pantry - Brownie Mix to make these," half joking, but I'm having guests over and I think their GF dessert should taste delicious. Now you've fully convinced me to try this option, so thank you! :)

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