seriously good walnut brownies (gluten & dairy free) + missing friends

August 23, 2020

I first made these over the summer when restrictions had started easing up. We visited a close friend who we hadn’t since BC (Before Covid). Our daughters were born weeks apart and have grown up together. Over the years we’ve travelled with our two families, taken the kids to see musicals, had dinners that lingered, and met up over take out – no formalities. Since she loves chocolate, I wanted to make something that I knew she’d like and the kids would enjoy too.

These brownies are a mash up and play on two recipes: David Lebovitz’s Gluten-Free Brownies and Chris Morocco’s Gluten-free Chocolate Tahini Brownies (which he adapted from David’s recipe). The foundation of my version is based on David’s, with his use of cocoa and cornstarch as the substitution for flour. I actually use arrowroot powder instead of the cornstarch, but if you don’t have that on hand, the recipe is written with both options. For the fat, I substituted coconut oil for butter and incorporated a blend of sugars as per the BA recipe. I also used semi-sweet instead of bittersweet chocolate and chose walnuts as the foil to the sweetness.

My kids who are very *on* to gluten-free baking exclaimed, “These are so good Mama! You can’t tell they’re gloooten-free.” And my friend asked for the recipe. Wins all around. Here is the adapted recipe. Give it try. They’re fudgy and decadent, but not overwhelming. I think you’ll be making them again and again, perhaps with your own little tweaks.

seriously good walnut brownies (gf + df) 

*adapted from david lebovitz’s gluten-free brownies and chris morocco’s chocolate-tahini brownies


1 ¼ cup walnuts

4 tbsp melted coconut oil

6 oz roughly chopped semi-sweet chocolate

2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder if avoiding corn)

2 large eggs at room temp

½ tsp kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp pink salt)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed


 1.     Preheat oven to 350º. Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, greasing the bottom of the pan with a little coconut oil so the parchment paper sticks. Leave a couple inches overhang on two sides.

2.     In a medium size saucepan, on very low heat, gently melt chocolate with coconut oil and salt till completely smooth and silky. Take off the stove and let cool for at least 5 mins.

3.     Toast walnuts in a medium size saucepan on medium-low heat, about 3 mins. Watch them carefully to ensure they don’t burn. Chop up and set aside.

4.     To a large bowl, add eggs, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed till there is almost no grainy-ness from the sugar left and the mixture has almost doubled in size – about 3 mins.

5.     Add melted chocolate and beat till incorporated.

6.     Sift cornstarch and cocoa mixture into the batter and beat till it is nice and thick, about 1 minute. Make sure to scrape down the sides. *(You can also sift the cornstarch and cocoa in a separate bowl and then add, but for me the less dishes the better!).

7.     Stir chopped walnuts into batter.

8.     Pour mixture into the baking pan, making sure to even out the top with a spatula.

9.   Bake for 25 to 30 mins, till a toothpick comes out with a few fudgy crumbs and the centre is just set. Don’t overbake! You want them dense and soft with a crackly top.

10.  Let cool for 10 mins. Remove brownies from the pan and transfer to to a cooling rack.

11.  These can be kept in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature or in the fridge for about a week. They’ll be gone in a day :).

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