Gluten Free Brown Butter Brownies with Toasted Pecans

These gluten free brown butter brownies are intensely chocolatey, perfectly fudgy and have a gorgeous paper-thin, shiny crackly crust. The browned butter gives them a wonderful nutty flavour, which complements the crunchy toasted pecans. The brownies are really easy to make, and you couldn’t possibly guess that they’re gluten free!

Over head view of gluten free brown butter brownies on white parchment paper.

It’s been quite a while since I last posted a brownie recipe, which is completely and utterly unacceptable – but I’m here to remedy this with a truly mouth-watering new recipe: gluten free brown butter brownies with toasted pecans. They’re everything a perfect brownie needs to be AND MORE.

They’re intensely chocolatey, with a decadent fudgy texture (you can make them gooier just by reducing the baking time) and a glorious paper-thin, shiny crackly crust.

Now, that’s all wonderful – but then, on top of that, we’ll be adding in the miracle that is brown butter. I love brown butter. I could write essays and compose songs in the honour of its caramelised, nutty flavour that transforms every and any dessert into something truly out-of-this-world spectacular. In these brownies, it gives them a subtle nutty undertone that works really well with the toasted pecans.

These brown butter brownies are incredibly rich, but without being overwhelmingly sweet. The toasted pecans (in addition to being delicious) add a nice crunch that complements the fudginess of the brownies.

And you couldn’t possibly guess that they’re gluten free!

Overhead view of cut gluten free brown butter brownies, one piece standing upright, showing the fudgy texture.

This recipe is actually based on a truly brilliant (if I do say so myself) gluten free brownie recipe from my upcoming book, Baked to Perfection. I’ve spent years optimising and perfecting a gluten free brownie recipe that’s deliciously fudgy and boasts that coveted paper-thin, glossy crust.

I had to go through numerous iterations of the recipe. Honestly, I lost count of just how many different variations there’ve been. But now, I finally have a 100% reliable recipe that always – and I do mean always – gives perfectly fudgy brownies with a gorgeous, thin, shiny, delicate crust on top. And I’m sharing it with you (along with numerous other delicious gluten free recipes) in my book, that’s now available to pre-order. You can find more information and all the pre-order links here.

And now, without further ado: let’s talk brown butter brownies.

A hand holding a gluten free brown butter brownie.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these wonderful brownies – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

How do you make gluten free brown butter brownies?

Making these gluten free brown butter brownies seriously couldn’t be easier. Here’s how:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or using a hand mixer with the double beaters attachment, whip the eggs and light brown soft sugar until pale and fluffy.
  2. Pour in the (slightly cooled) brown butter and melted chocolate, and fold them in until incorporated.
  3. Sift in the gluten free flour blend, Dutch processed cocoa powder, xanthan gum and salt, and fold them in until incorporated.
  4. Add in the chopped toasted pecans (reserving some for sprinkling on top) and mix them until until evenly distributed.
  5. Transfer the brownie batter into a lined 9 inch (23cm) square baking tin and smooth out the top.
  6. Sprinkle the reserved pecans on top and bake!

See how easy that is???

How do you brown butter?

While brown(ed) butter sounds like a super fancy ingredient, it’s actually incredibly simple to make.

  1. Add the unsalted butter to a medium saucepan (ideally one light in colour, so you can keep track of the colour changes), and cook it over medium-high heat.
  2. First, the butter will melt.
  3. Then, as you cook it further, it will start bubbling and giving off steam. At this point, you’re removing all water (moisture content) from the butter – on average, butter contains about 15% of water in addition to the fat and milk solids content.
  4. Once all the water has evaporated, the butter will start foaming. It’s very important that you stir constantly at this point. You’ll notice that the butter will start getting a nutty, caramelised smell and it will start changing colour to a light amber. You’ll also notice small amber specks at the bottom of the saucepan – these are the caramelised milk solids.
  5. Once the pecks at the bottom of the saucepan have turned a deep amber, remove it from the heat. If you’re worried that the brown butter will burn due to the residual heat in the saucepan, you can pour it into a separate bowl – this will immediately stop the cooking and caramelising/browning process.

And that’s all there is to it. The whole process should take about 6-8 minutes, and will make your whole kitchen smell simply amazing.

How do you toast the pecans?

Pecans are best toasted in the oven. To do so:

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  2. Place the pecans (whole, not chopped) on a baking sheet and spread them out into an even layer.
  3. Bake in the oven at 350ºF (180ºC) for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Allow to cool on the baking sheet before chopping and setting aside to use in the brownies.

How do you prevent brownies from being cakey?

I’m decidedly not a fan of cakey brownies. In my opinion, brownies should be fudgy, gooey or chewy – and definitely, 100% not cakey. To avoid your brownies having a cakey texture:

  • Make sure not to over-bake them.
  • Don’t add any raising agents (baking powder or baking soda).
  • Don’t add too much flour.
  • Make sure to use enough fat (butter).
  • Don’t be tempted to reduce the amount of sugar.

This recipe makes brownies that are perfectly fudgy or gooey (depending on the baking time) and, so long as you don’t deviate from it, you’ll get amazing brownies that are definitely not cakey. All that’s to say: follow the recipe to a T.

Over head view of gluten free brown butter brownies on white parchment paper.

And there you have it, friends. A rather easy recipe for what just might be some of the best gluten free brownies you’ll every try.

I really hope you’ll love them.

Happy baking!

Signature of the author, Kat.

Gluten free brown butter brownies on white parchment paper.

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Over head view of gluten free brown butter brownies on white parchment paper.
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Gluten Free Brown Butter Brownies with Toasted Pecans

These gluten free brown butter brownies are intensely chocolatey, perfectly fudgy and have a gorgeous paper-thin, shiny crackly crust. The browned butter gives them a wonderful nutty flavour, which complements the crunchy toasted pecans. The brownies are really easy to make, and you couldn’t possibly guess that they’re gluten free!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten Free
Prep Time 30 minutes
Bake/Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 120 g (1 cup) pecans
  • 140 g (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 240 g (8 ½ oz) chopped dark chocolate, 60-70% cocoa solids
  • 3 UK medium/US large eggs, room temperature
  • 200 g (1 cup) light brown soft sugar
  • 75 g (½ cup + 2 tbsp) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour blend, which doesn't contain added xanthan gum. You can also mix your own blend with 50% finely ground white rice flour, 30% potato starch and 20% maize flour by weight.)
  • 30 g (4 tbsp) Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum (Omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xanthan gum.)
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. To toast the pecans:

    Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the pecans on a baking sheet and spread them out into an even layer.

    Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once toasted, allow to cool on the baking sheet. Once cooled, roughly chop them and set aside until needed.

  2. To brown the butter:

    Add the butter to a saucepan (preferably one with a light-coloured interior that allows you to see the butter changing colour) and cook it over medium-high heat with frequent stirring for 6-8 minutes in total.

    The butter will first melt and then start bubbling and foaming. Finally, it will turn amber. You should see specks of a deep brown/amber colour on the bottom of the saucepan (those are the caramelised milk solids).

    Remove from heat, pour the browned butter into a separate bowl, and allow to cool until warm.

  3. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 320ºF (160ºC) and line a 9 inch (23cm) square baking tin with baking/greaseproof paper.

  4. Place the dark chocolate in a heat-proof (or microwave-safe) bowl. Melt the chocolate above a pot of simmering water or in the microwave. Set aside to cool until warm.

  5. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or using a hand mixer with the double beaters attachment, whip the eggs and light brown soft sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.

  6. Pour in the brown butter and melted chocolate, and fold them in using a rubber spatula until fully incorporated.

  7. Sift in the gluten free flour blend, Dutch processed cocoa powder, xanthan gum and salt, and fold them in until just combined.

  8. Add in most of the chopped toasted pecans (reserving some for sprinkling on top) and mix them in until until evenly distributed.

  9. Transfer the brownie batter into the lined baking tin and smooth out the top.

  10. Sprinkle the reserved pecans on top and bake at 320ºF (160ºC) for 20-22 minutes for gooey brownies or 24-26 minutes for fudgy brownies.

    You can check the doneness of the brownies by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the middle. The toothpick should come out covered in half-baked batter for gooey brownies or with many moist crumbs attached for fudgy brownies.

  11. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the baking tin before removing them out of the tin, slicing and serving.

    Tip: To get very neatly sliced brownies, make sure that they're really completely cool before cutting. Ideally, cool them for 2-3 hours at room temperature.

  12. Storage: The brown butter brownies keep well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3-4 days.

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