Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes

Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes

Fudgy Brownie Cupcake Love

Chocolate brownies were the first gluten-free dessert I attempted after shunning gluten forever and rebooting my life back in 2001. And I admit up front I used a mix. A gluten-free brownie baking mix (one of two available at the time). It was based on rice flour, starches and cocoa powder. And it wasn't terrible. A touch gummy, perhaps. A bit rice-y (you know what I mean- with that rice cooker aroma?). But they were sweet. And they were chocolate.

For that alone, I was grateful.


I was (to be honest) unsatisfied. There had to be a way to bake a better tasting gluten-free brownie. A brownie that tasted fudgy and rich, and not like a cheap chocolate pudding mix.

Hence these Dark Chocolate Brownies were born, using real, melted dark chocolate. And the recipe remains a favorite- tweaked and adjusted over the years to accommodate my dairy-free reboot in 2007 (see all of my gluten-free dairy-free recipes here).

Lately we've been experimenting with baking brownies in a cupcake tin. Just for a change-up. We felt like tweaking again. We're using Baker's chocolate now (semi-sweet and unsweetened). And we're favoring hazelnut flour. We boosted the baking soda a tad. When they bake they rise and fall and crack like little flourless chocolate cakes.

We'll be taking these little beauties to Cape Cod this week. My husband is teaching an oil painting workshop. Road trip!

Have brownies will travel.

Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes
These fudgy little beauties are convenient for travel.

Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes on a plate.
These little lovelies remind us of flourless chocolate cake.

Karina's Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Cupcake Recipe

Originally published April 2013.

These rich and chocolaty little cakes are like a gussied up brownie. Soft and fudgy in the center, with a delightful, slightly crisp outer edge. They remind us of flourless chocolate cake.


3 ounces semi-sweet Baker's chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened Baker's chocolate
1/2 cup organic expeller pressed canola oil (or coconut oil)
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup hazelnut flour or almond flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 organic free-range eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon good vanilla extract*
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cupcake baking pan with paper liners.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over low heat, gently stirring. When the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and stir in the oil to combine.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the light brown sugar, hazelnut flour, sorghum flour, fine sea salt and baking soda.

Add the eggs, vanilla extract and melted dark chocolate mixture. Beat for two minutes, until the batter thickens and becomes smooth and glossy.

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. If you are adding nuts, stir in by hand.

Drop the batter by spoonfuls into the 12 baking cups.

Bake in the center of a preheated 350ºF oven for 22 minutes, or so, until the brownie cupcakes have risen, cracked and fallen. They will look like mini flourless chocolate cakes. Do not over-bake- especially if you like a fudgy soft center.

Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

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Lovely Gluten-Free Fudgy Brownie Cupcakes
Company worthy brownies- no one will know they are gluten-free.

Recipe Notes: 

For substitutions, please see my guide to baking with substitutions here.

*Good vanilla extract has a deep, vanilla bean flavor with no high fructose corn syrup added. Our family likes this Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla.

Yes, Darling, these are rich, sweet little treats. We enjoy our sugary treats in moderation- don't we? Gluten-Free Goddess advises consuming no more than 2 tablespoons of sugar a day. xox

xox Karina


  1. Karina,
    I think I'm in love... with your cupcakes! These look so good!
    :) Megan

  2. These look delicious! I've recently switched to a gluten free diet - though I have yet to attempt gluten free baking. At first I may resort to boxed mixes but you've given me the inspiration to dive in head first, letting me know it's not that hard to make delicious baked goods again :)

  3. Looks yummy! I am wonder though have you ever made these without eggs. That is the one problem I have with brownies none of them work without eggs. Any suggestions for a good substitute. I have already tried flax, and e-rgy egg replacer. For brownies neither of those work.

    1. Vegan GF brownies are tough to create- unless you use a bulky filler like black beans (yuck) etc... I feel your pain. What you might try is adding more add-ins to take up space (making less batter). Nuts, chocolate chips, cherries, etc. And using a cupcake pan helps, too.

  4. These look amazing...and I usually dont say that about GF baked goods. I will be trying these!

  5. Those look wonderful, even though I'm not on a gluten-free diet. Interesting - I was JUST searching for Baker's chocolate (not successfully)- it was what I always used at Le Bocage).

  6. These look AMAZING -- But what is a good alternative to the hazelnut/almond flour? I'm allergic to nuts!
    Thanks :)

    1. Try a medium weight flour (sorghum, brown rice flour, millet flour, buckwheat flour, etc) you enjoy, or a favorite GF flour blend. Note that some starchy flours may make a gummy result.

  7. these look delicious-thanks for the recipe-going to try these Kathy

  8. Mmm, I love dark chocolate and especially love an excuse to use it in recipes! Thank you, Karina, can't wait to try these!

  9. Looks awesome. I know my friend Gigi will appreciate this.

  10. Fudgy is right, OMG these are ridiculously good. Best brownies ever, GF or not!

    1. Excellent. We agree. Best ever, GF or not!

  11. I think I will reconciliate my husband with brownies with these marvelous ones.

    Very nice blog!

  12. Yum! I always loved the edge pieces of brownies, which my mom would cut off to make neater squares for serving to company. Brownies in muffin tins sounds perfect for having edge pieces all around.

    1. Now you know my secret. (I'm an edge lover, too.)

  13. Thanks for the information on the eggs I had already come to the conclusion that I will never find a fudge brownie w/o egg, but I am still hopeful. I guess I will keep trying. And I think I will use this recipe as my basis. In the mean time i will settle for GF, egg free, dairy free cake and just put silk chocolate pudding recipe on top.

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

  14. I just had to come back to let you know I made this recipe this morning-and wow they are just so awesome! I didn't have the semisweet choco. on hand but I did have german choco. so I used that, and the chips I use are dark choc.chips from ghiraldi. I made these in pretty tulip cupcake liners-excellent for my sweet tooth-thanks Kathy

    1. Thanks Kathy- so glad! Yay.

  15. These turned out amazing!!!!! I am making them again for a Wounded Warriors Bake sale. I think they will be a big hit.

  16. I made these and instead of the eggs, I used one mashed banana, I also changed the flours in the recipes, instead I used 1/2 cup of almond meal and 1 cup of an all purpose GF flour ( Bobs red mill). I doubled the salt and the baking soda. Instead of the extra chocolate chips I used 3 tsp of powdered bakers chocolate. They came out great, crusty on the top but Duffy soft in the middle.

    1. Very creative! Glad they worked out for you!

  17. I tried making these cupcakes twice. My only substitution was using demerara sugar instead of brown sugar. Each time the cupcakes rose very high, spilling over, and then fell fairly flat. They taste great, but look awful. Any suggestions?

    1. My suspicion is the sugar switch (we make these every week- and they're consistently awesome). Our brown sugar is moist and soft. It might also be an oven temp issue- rising too high- too fast? Could be too hot (or baking pan too thin- like a foil pan?)

  18. Love these. Have made them twice and family doesn't even realize they are GF. Wondering if you have tried freezing them. Would love to keep them in the freezer for a bake ahead dessert. They would be wonderful with some coconut milk ice cream.

    1. Hi Suzanne- So glad you like these- they are our favorite chocolate treat. We wrap them in foil, bag, and freeze them when cooled. That way we always have some on hand. And yes- fabulous with coconut milk ice cream!

  19. My cupcakes exploded. I did use egg replacer instead of the eggs. I was wondering if anybody knew why.

  20. (This is Sarah, although the name is listing my husband) I have gluten free for just over 6 months and these are the best chocolate cupcakes/cake I have had in a very long time. Little successes like this fill my spirit back up with possibilities. I am so appreciative. I made them as the recipe is written and they turned out spot on ~ perfect.
    I am still learning how to store treats like this. How long can they sit out or be put in a container to enjoy ~ will they last more than a day? I will also try your comment on freezing. Do you let them just come to room temperature when you do that?


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Wishing you a delicious and beautiful day!

Karina - Gluten-Free Goddess xox