Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies Recipe

Gluten-Free Goddess does zucchini brownies
Zucchini adds moisture to these fudgy gluten-free brownies.

Baking Therapy

In the thick of joy and the slow drain of heartache, I bake. I've mentioned this before. Baking is my way. I tie on my apron and rustle up my inner domestic goddess and cope with the world. Because joy tastes sweeter shared with those you love, gathered around a clatter of plates and clinking glasses and spoons licked clean. And heartache...

Well, heartache may not be soothed or tamed by a cookie or slice of cake.

But it doesn't hurt to try.

As for me, I've been reading several (new to me) books this summer. And I suppose, if you were to analyze the connecting themes, you might discern a search not only for meaning in a sticky, complicated post 9/11 world, but also for release. Release from the grip of societal expectations, collective assumptions, and the yoke of consumerism (I am, after all, post estrogen dependence; priorities do not include miracle-push-up bras, nail polish decals, waxed nether regions or upper lip injections).

I am more interested in keeping my mind agile than my thighs firm.

Hence the books I'm reading. Newest (to me) is Buddha's Brain. I'm learning about the amazing plasticity of the mind, and the neuro-scientific practice of creating new "wiring" (especially as we age) by gently training our mind to release ancient, habitual (so often, negative and critical) thought patterns (what the PhDs call neural pathways but what I like to refer to as my teeth-grinding mental squirrel in a cage wearing my grandmother's wig) and cultivate more self compassion. Which in turn makes everyone happier, apparently.

I guess if you're feeling at peace with the energy ebb and sometimes tumultuous flow of your days and nights, and baking brownies with those surplus zucchinis, and watching the magical late afternoon sunlight dappling the backs of a pair of wild turkeys guiding their brood of nine into the blackberries below the kitchen window, you can feel pretty blissed out.

Or maybe it's the chocolate talking.

Gluten-free zucchini brownies
A plate of gluten-free chocolate zucchini brownies warm from the oven.

Karina's Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies Recipe

Recipe posted August 2011.

These fudgy chocolate beauties are chock full of zucchini. Not that you'd ever know it. The taste is pure brownie. The texture is moist and dense.


1 cup almond meal or hazelnut meal
1 cup organic light brown sugar
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 organic free-range eggs, beaten
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
1 tablespoon Bourbon Vanilla Extract
1 cup packed shredded zucchini, patted dry
3/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips


1/2 cup rough chopped pecans or hazelnuts


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with a piece of parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond meal, brown sugar, sorghum flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.

Add in the eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Beat till smooth. Add in the shredded zucchini, dark chocolate chips (and chopped nuts, if adding).

Stir well to combine.

Using a flexible spatula-spoon scrape the brownie batter into the baking pan and spread it evenly.

Bake in the center of a preheated oven for 23 to 25 minutes until firm and set in the center. Do not over-bake if you like your brownies fudgy.

Cool the pan on a wire rack until it is cool enough to handle. Using a thin knife loosen the edges of the brownies from the sides of the pan and carefully remove the baked brownies to a wire rack to continue to cool.

Melty chocolate heaven, served warm from the oven.

Wrap and freeze leftover squares to preserve texture. Lovely chilled.

Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 16 brownies

Recipe Source:

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Gluten-Free Zucchini Brownies
From me to you- chocolate and zucchini love.

xox Karina


Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love the happy little zucchini strings peeking out here and there!

Barefeet In The Kitchen said...

These look wonderful. Congrats to your husband!! That is awesome news.

Beth said...

Oh, oh, oh! These look amaaaaazing. I am a brownie freak (hence, the 500 million brownie recipes on my own site...okay, or 5). I love the zucchini brownie idea. Hmm, I will have to maybe play around with a vegan version of these : )

Lisa said...

You have such wonderful things to be celebrating! And those brownies sound like a great treat to enjoy with everyone! I definitely want to try this recipe; thanks for sharing.

Cindy said...

Thank you for introducing me to Brene Brown. I wonder how it is that I have not come across her before now.

And thank you for the brownie recipe. I don't know what I was thinking in the spring when I planted 6 zucchini plants. We're over-run with them.

Anonymous said...

So glad these are brownies of joy : ) I will have to also make these for the Cali trip! yum.
Congrats on the good stuff in your life, and thank you for the Brene Brown intro. I will be delving into this for sure. Maybe when I turn 60 (next one) I will get a tattoo that says 'I am enough' and really mean it. Thanks Karina

d031d1ca-c2fd-11e0-8b3e-000bcdcb5194 said...

Tedtalks make me happy and that is one of my favorite ones!

Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator said...

Karina, I had the pleasure of seeing Brene speak at BlogHer last weekend. She was truly soulful and I'm so looking forward to her books. I will definitely try these.

Congrats on the wedding!

Anonymous said...

Do you have recipes with plums????
I would appreciate anything on that.

Amy said...

Oh these fill my little GF heart with joy - the whole of it :) I can't wait to get home and try making them. Thanks for sharing :)

Nicolina and Mike said...

Do you have any suggestions for what to replace the brown sugar with? Any suggestions and changing of the recipe to do so would be greatly appreciated.

I am very sensitive to sugar and do not like to consume it for my health, but every once in a while I will use rapadura.

Myka Iyer said...

Now mamma won't scold me. Can tell its its healthy to the zucchini core !

Andrea @Clean Up and Eat Up said...

I love this idea! Thanks so much! I have been looking for something other than Zucchini Bread to make with the crop of Zucchini that we have in our garden this year! I am subscribed to your feed and am looking forward to more healthy recipes! Thanks again!

Melaina said...

These look so amazing! You are constantly coming up with delicious ideas and I can't keep up with making all of them!! Do you have any suggestions of what I could substitute for the coconut oil?? I am intolerant to coconut.. so sad... hopefully one day soon I can reintroduce it into my diet, but for now I need a little help with substitutions :)

Jackie said...

Just beautiful! I can't wait to try them! I've been craving brownies, but trying to stick with healthier options--the addition of zucchini makes this a satisfactory treat! :-)

dori said...

Brownies look wonderful! Congrats on your husbands' success! My son is a budding screenwriter in Hollywood, too, so I can share in your happiness!

~LKB said...

These are amazing! They smelled so good that I could hardly wait for them to cool off enough to eat them! I didn't have brown sugar so I just used organic sugar & I also used regular chocolate chips. Even with the different sugar, they turned out awesome. So moist & fudgy. Yum! My 6 year old daughter watched with disdain as I mixed in the zucchini & told me that she doesn't like desserts made with zucchini. She totally changed her tune after her first bite. Thanks for the recipe! I will be blogging this later & linking here. :)

ninehundredandseventytwelverecipes said...

Congratulations to your husband. That must be such a thrill.
And, thank you for recommending Brene Brown's TED talk.
It was just lovely.
I'm going to pass it on.
Janet NZ xxx

Anonymous said...

Just made them. SUPERB!!! Thank you!!! I subbed 2/3 cup coconut nectar and 1 dropper of chocolate stevia for the sugar and also used duck eggs because of allergies. They are WONDERFUL!!! :) Tessa

The InTolerant Chef said...

What a lot of lovely things going on in your life! These brownies are the perfect way to celebrate too!

Kalyn said...

The brownies sound wonderful and I love hearing so much happy news!

Anonymous said...

OooooooH! These look so yummy! I can't wait to bake them. Thanks.

alexis said...

i have to ask you.... where did you get those glasses? they're so cute!!! :)

Karina Allrich said...

The juice glasses- either Ross Dress for Less, or Target- a few years ago. Set of four- four different colors.

Roberta said...

They look delicious. Can't wait to try them.
And I confess that I'm from New Mexico. They look like dark brown adobes.

achaikindofday said...

i made the zucchini bread you posted the other day, and it turned out great. it was my first successful gluten-free baked item after a few fails (from other recipe sources), so thank you for restoring my faith in the possibility of g-free baking. :) i'm posting it on my blog soon, with credit to you!

hanna @ a chai kind of day

hillary biscay said...

These remind me of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle book and her choc-chip zucchini cookies. Loved that idea but gluten-free is even better-thank you!:)

twocupsoflove said...

I made these the other day and they were awesome! I made them vegan by using 1/4 cup of ground flax seed and 1 tbsp of powdered egg replacer mixed with water to form a gel in place of the eggs.

Nancy said...

Wow! Just made these brownies today. If you're going to post recipes like this, you really need to organize the 12-step group that goes along with them. They were SO addictive we won't talk about how many of them I ate, especially when they were hot and gooey right out of the oven. This is a new favorite.

Michelle said...

Karina, my husband told me about your delightfull recipes. I will bake this wonderful zucchini brownie for him to take on our road trips. thanks for making Gluten free fun.

Paul said...

Cheers to family & living wholeheartedly ... and some of the best brownies ever, holy yum!

Anonymous said...

Just made these and they are amazing!!! You really know how to make GF food feel and taste like a special indulgence ! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Karina, your recipes are always an inspiration. I made these tonight with a few changes that might be helpful to some readers--I reduced the sugar, xanthan gum, salt, and chocolate chips: 150 g (~3/4 cup) dark brown sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners), 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup extra dark chocolate chips (Guittard). (I also used freshly ground hazelnut meal and germinated brown rice flour, Dagoba cocoa powder, and chopped walnuts.) The brownies were outstanding, with a deep bittersweet chocolatey flavor, and they held together very well! I'm sure there are others out there who are trying to keep their sugar and salt intake down, and excess xanthan gum can be a bit aggravating. Absolutely love your website, thanks for being there for us, keep up the great work!

Marita Rahlenbeck said...

Delicious beyond words...

Who would go back to a "box" after making these?!

For substitutions: I used a combination of Pamela's baking mix and flax meal, less sugar and a bit of brandy. They were perfection.

Kristin said...

All I can say is WOW! These are completely amazing! Frozen out of the freezer on a hot summer a loss for words at how good they are. My gluten eating husband kept sneeking them out of the freezer! So good!

Jenn said...

Karina, you've done it again! I loved your dark chocolate brownies when I made them for the first time in 2006! I first discovered your blog back then, when my son wanted to take brownies to school for his birthday. His best friend had been diagnosed with Celiac disease and couldn't have one, so I decided to make some that he COULD have. I called his mom, who is my good friend, and learned what I had to clean/call companies/check labels to make sure they were as safe as my kitchen could make them. My son's friend was so surprised and happy that he could have one.. and that they were just as good, if not better, than the gluten-laden ones I shared with the rest of the class of 1st graders! I gave the rest of the pan (sans one square for the cook to test-of course) to his family and they were very grateful. That was a stupendous beginning... these brownies are even better, IMHO!! I love using zucchini and pumpkin in my chocolate baked goods, as it makes them richer in texture. Now that my family and I have been limiting gluten in our lives while following the Genotype diet (which is not really a diet, but a way to conquer my husband's health issues), I am learning to cook/bake all over again. I made these the first time with the zucchini, but substituted Tom Sawyer Gluten-free Flour for the sorghum/brown rice flour (I used a full cup as it also contains xanthan gum). I also subbed 3/4 cup of medium agave nectar in place of the light brown sugar, as I'm limiting my processed sugar intake. I baked them in a parchment lined 8x8 pan for 25 minutes at 350°. Oh..My..Word!!! Fudgy, Brownie Heaven!! The third time I made them (today), my zucchini was past it's prime, so I used pumpkin instead (1 cup) and a generous dash of cinnamon. That was another great version for the autumn season. Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

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