This easy gluten free almond flour brownies recipe is made with ricotta cheese, coconut oil and pure maple syrup. They are fudgy bites that everyone will love!
I truly believe that no one should have to miss out on a sweet homemade treat just because they have a gluten sensitivity! These gluten free almond flour brownies are creamy, fudgy, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bombs. It's like cheesecake and brownies had a baby.
Even better, they are topped with a rich chocolate ganache icing that's smooth, shiny and decadent. But how do you make them? Is it hard? NO!
These brownies are easy to make, just stirring ingredients together in a couple of bowls and melting some chocolate. No fancy mixer or other heavy equipment needed. You only need a few simple, common ingredients like almond flour and ricotta cheese.
Ingredients you'll need
For the almond flour brownie batter:
- Bittersweet chocolate chips: We'll use these in the brownie batter and for the ganache icing. You need bittersweet because they have more cocoa powder and this will give you more structure in the brownie. I like to use Ghirardelli 60% cacao for these.
- Whole milk ricotta cheese: You must use the full-fat ricotta. Low fat won't hold the brownies together.
- Almond flour: Almond flour gives the brownies a nice nutty flavor without being overpowering. This is a simple, versatile and relatively affordable alternative flour to have on hand in your gluten-free pantry.
- Cocoa powder: Provides more structure for the brownie batter, and of course, even more chocolate flavor.
- Eggs: To hold it all together.
- Instant espresso powder: The instant espresso powder is the secret ingredient that amps up the chocolate flavor, and I highly recommend adding it. You can add it to almost any chocolate dessert.
- Vanilla extract: Always use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Real maple syrup: This is the only sweetener aside from the sugar in the chocolate chips and also lends another layer of flavor. You must use real maple syrup, not imitation.
For the chocolate ganache icing:
- Bittersweet chocolate chips
- Real maple syrup
- Cocoa powder
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil takes the place of butter in this twist on a classic ganache, and helps to keep it stable at room temp.
How to make gluten free almond flour brownies
Adapted lightly from Half Baked Harvest.
Step 1: Preheat the oven and prep the pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter a 9 x 9 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper on the bottom and sides.
Step 2: Combine the wet ingredients
In a heatproof bowl, heat half of the chocolate chips in the microwave until just melted and smooth.
Add ricotta cheese, eggs, vanilla and maple syrup and combine completely.
Step 3: Add the almond flour and dry ingredients
In a separate bowl, combine sifted cocoa powder, almond flour, instant espresso powder, and salt.
Add cocoa powder mixture to wet ingredients and mix until completely incorporated. Mix in remaining chocolate chips.
Step 4: Bake!
Add batter to the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until just set. Remove and allow to cool before adding the icing.
Step 5: Make the chocolate ganache icing
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips, coconut oil, and maple syrup until smooth and glossy. I love my Green Pans for this. They keep the heat nice and even.
Remove from heat and mix in the cocoa powder, whisk until smooth and no bits of cocoa powder remain.
Step 6: Frost the brownies and chill before serving
Pour the frosting over the brownies and smooth into an even layer.
Place brownies in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the ganache to set up.
Remove from pan and slice into squares.
Tips for the best gluten free almond flour brownies
- Don't skip lining the pan with parchment paper. The ricotta in the batter gives them an almost cheesecake like texture, so you'll need to lift them out of the pan completely before you slice them into squares.
- Use bittersweet chocolate, at least 60% cacao.
- That little bit of espresso powder doesn't taste like coffee, it gives the chocolate a deeper, richer flavor.
- I like to slice these gluten free almond flour brownies into small 2-inch squares. They are very rich, so you don't need a giant one. (And you can always go back for more!)
Storage and freezing instructions
- The batter for these almond flour brownies is made with ricotta cheese, so they must be kept in the refrigerator. Once the ganache sets, you can layer them with parchment paper in an airtight container. They'll keep for 3-5 days.
- Because these gluten free brownies are so moist, they freeze really well! Store in a freezer-safe container layered with parchment paper for up to 3 months.
More gluten free desserts
Try these chocolaty gluten free desserts!
- Chocolate Mousse is easier to make than you think!
- Flourless Chocolate Cookies are made in one-bowl and have a chewy and meringue-like texture.
Gluten free almond flour brownies are rich and fudgy, and simple to make!
- Melted chocolate + ricotta in the almond flour batter = super fudgy, creamy, gooey brownies.
- Chocolate ganache icing on top amps up the chocolate flavor 1000%.
- Cocoa powder in the brownies and the ganache gives added flavor and structure.
- No special equipment/mixers needed. Just a couple of bowls, a whisk and a sauce pan.
- Almond flour is an affordable alternative to expensive gluten free flour blends.
- No added sugar except what's in the chocolate! Made with real maple syrup!
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Gluten Free Almond Flour Brownies
- ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup real maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ cup almond flour
- pinch kosher salt
- ⅓ cup real maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder, sifted
For the brownies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 9 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper on the bottom and sides.
- Heat half of the chocolate chips in the microwave until just melted and smooth. Add ricotta cheese, eggs, vanilla and maple syrup and combine completely.
- In a separate bowl, combine sifted cocoa powder, almond flour, instant espresso powder, and salt. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients and mix together until completely incorporated. Mix in remaining chocolate chips.
- Add batter to the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until just set. Remove and allow to cool before adding the frosting
For the ganache icing:
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips, coconut oil, and maple syrup until smooth and glossy.
- Remove from heat and mix in the cocoa powder, whisk until smooth and no bits of cocoa powder remain.
- Pour the ganache over the brownies and smooth into an even layer. Then place brownies in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set up.
- Slice into small squares and serve. Brownies must be stored in the fridge.