Gluten Free Crack Brownies. (Gluten & Allergy Free- with nut & grain free directions)

Gluten Free Crack Brownies. (Gluten & Allergy Free- with nut & grain free directions)

Gluten Free Crack Brownies.

Crack? Yes. Crack. I dare you to try to eat just one. You will then understand the title.

But what is the crack? Its a flavor and texture combination that will change your life. Think Oo-ey Goo-ey brownie topped with a Peanut Butter no baked cookie.

As I often do, I have about a million possible alterations to discuss, this is in effort to provide a recipe everyone can enjoy. So lets get started:

  • Can't do peanuts? The Peanut Butter portion of this recipe can be subbed out for ANY nut or seed butter. As I'm sure most of you have noticed, some are thicker than others. I always keep on hand the cheapo processed Peanut Butter for inexpensive recipe development. So, that is what I used. This is not to say that other healthier versions of "butter" wont work. You may just need to add a little oil to to the healthier brands to make the consistency smoother.
  • Need to avoid Sugar?? This morning I wen't to make these for the 3rd time to test out the use of powdered Xylitol. I discovered that I was about 1/3 cup short. So,here's the scoop. I have a strong suspicion that using xylitol will work in both the brownie and peanut butter portions of this recipe- but until I try it myself I can't tell you 100% that this is the case. For my friends up for a little experimenting: please, give it a try and report back to us how they turned out. Another great option is to use Coconut Palm Sugar. While technically it is not sugar- free. Its much much lower on the glycemic index than most sugars, and it works beautifully in this recipe. I have yet to find a brand of Sugar free Chocolate Chips- so try using Raw Cacao Nibs instead (optional)
  • The Almond Flour/Chex Cereal/Oats/Quinoa flakes etc. in the peanut butter topping all taste AMAZING. Use whichever option works best for your families dietary needs- each will contribute a different texture. All of these options are basically acting as a "binder" to hold the bars together. I added some unsweetened coconut flakes to mine! Be creative, and have fun with this part. (note: the use of almond flour again, takes away the "flourless" status. But, I don't mind if you don't )
  • Need to avoid Dairy? The Butter called for in topping can be swapped out for a number of things. I had success with Earth Balance, Coconut Oil (I LOVE the brand Garden of Life) or Ghee. I DO NOT suggest the use of shortening.. that would make these just weird. Also, replace the chocolate chips with an allergy free brand (such as Enjoy Life!)
  • Can't do eggs? No problem, use the following recipe to make the brownie base instead. This comes from my popular Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookie bar recipe. (Going this route- this recipe is no longer flour-less. But I wanted to provide the additional option). For more specific directions on this option check please check out the original recipe.
Egg Free-Grain Free Brownie Base
1 1/2 Cups Blanched Almond Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder or Carob Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar. (any variety should work refined or unrefined)
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
3 Tbs Nondairy Milk or Water.

I think thats it! Time to make some Brownies..

Gluten Free Crack Brownies.

Gluten Free Crack Brownies.

Gluten FreeΒ Crack Brownies.

Bottom Brownie Layer:

3 Cups of *Powdered* Granulated Sugar of choice (see note below on how to make)
1 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa or Carob Powder
1/4 Tsp. Salt
2 Tbs Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Allergy Free Chocolate Chips

Peanut butter Topping:

1 Cup Peanut (or other nut/seed butter)
1/2 Cup (8 Tbs) Butter, Ghee or Coconut Oil.
1 Cup *Powdered* granulated sugar of choice. (ie. Sucanat, Cane, Coconut Palm, Turbinado etc)
2 Cups of Almond Flour (or other nut flour) OR Rice Chex, Rice Crispy Cereal, Gluten Free Oats, Quinoa Flakes etc. (this could be a mix of several of these things too!)
Pinch of Salt.
1 Cup Allergy Free Chocolate Chips (optional)

  1. Place a sheet of parchment in a baking pan. (a 7x7, 8x8 or something near these sizes will work- use what you have)
  2. Make your powdered sugar! (this is very important) Select whichever variety you will like and powder it by running it through a coffee grinder or placing it in your blender. (no need for a fancy blender- any run of the mill brand will get the job done!) Neglecting to do this step will result in bars with a weird grainy texture. IF you want to just use regular white refined powdered sugar, that is fine. Just know that you will need 1 extra egg in the recipe (as store sold powdered sugar contains cornstarch and which will soak up more moisture than the homemade.)
  3. Preheat oven t0 350 Degrees. Make the brownie base: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until it comes together. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour into the prepared pan. Note: This batter may seem like its not enough. When baked it will triple in size.
  4. Bake the brownies- for 25-28 minutes.
  5. While the brownies are baking Making the (no bake) peanut butter topping. In a sauce pan combine the Peanut Butter and Butter and melt. Add the sugar, and your "binder" of choice. (Almond Flour, Cereal, Oats etc.) throw in a pinch of salt and give it a taste test. If you like your bars sweeter, add a little bit more powdered sugar.
  6. Remove the baked brownies from the oven. Pour on top of them the Peanut butter topping. Smooth the surface and then sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  7. Place the pan into the fridge or freezer until firm.
Tip: I like throwing mine into the freezer so that they set faster. I find too that slicing them when they are frozen guarantees a really nice clean cut! I found these had the very best texture when eaten out of the fridge. SO- if you have frozen them to speed up the setting time. Place them into the fridge prior to let them "warm up" a little before serving. These can be stored and served at room temperature too! (I just liked them best cold from the fridge)

Have fun with this recipe! Make it your own. Additional nuts and seeds ( or whatever your heart desires) can be added to the topping. Use this as an opportunity to clean our your pantry.

PLEASE, come back and share with us your results. Feedback helps to guide others and gives me an idea how to keep on improving the content here at Real Sustenance. On an exciting note I'm happy to share that Iris Higgins and I just sent off our two brand new books to our publisher. They will both be available March 1st. We spent a great amount of time writing endlessly about how to substitute the various gluten free flours and other common allergens. I get so many of the same questions on a daily basis. We wanted to provide a resource that covered everything. Part 1 is now available on Amazon for pre-order. Part 2 will be joining it shortly.



*All recipes and text on this site are the original creations and property of Brittany Angell. If you make a recipe from this website and would like to share it, this may be done by sharing photo’s and including a direct link to this website. Duplication of recipe text, or β€œadaptions” containing less than 4 major changes to the recipe is strictly forbidden *


Brittany Angell

46 comments | Leave your own

  1. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

    You’ve outdone yourself, m’dear! These look insanely good, and I love hearing about all the experimentation you did with them.

  2. Rachel

    I’m intrigued by a no bake pb almond flour topping! do you think the topping would work on it’s own as cookies??? I already slather my choco fudge cookies with natural pb, choco/pb is so good.:)

  3. Jason Betancourt

    Great post! The time to craft these and the time to post this shows passion!

  4. GF & CF Living

    These look beyond amazing. Your recipes are so clever and these are making my mouth water right now. I am running out to get all the ingredients tomorrow! Thank you, thank you!

  5. Katie

    Made these tonight. Used coconut oil and rice krispies in the topping. Very rich and fudge-like. I cut it up into 50 pieces, and will be giving away some, taking some to a party tomorrow, and eating the rest!!!

  6. Sarah @ The Healthy Diva

    These look heavenly!!! I just bought some coconut oil and am excited to check out some recipes to use it on!!!!!!!

  7. Amy

    The whole crew loved these– I have shared them all over facebook and now I’m trying to avoid eating the whole pan, because I promised the babies they could have one tomorrow after lunch. Either my willpower will win or I’ll make another batch– we’ll see which happens …

  8. Sabrina

    Totally silly question – but if you did the 2 cups cereal instead of almond flour…do you crush it all up first? SO looking forward to trying these! Also – I totally would not have thought of needing 3 eggs if i used store bought powdered sugar (which I will…no coffee grinder here yet…) so THANK YOU for the tip! πŸ™‚

  9. Meagan

    Brittany, MY JAW DROPPED when I clicked on your blog and saw the photo. OH MY GOODNESS. PRINTING recipe NOW.

  10. SunnyB @ andloveittoo

    So…I have already shared this on twitter, FB and Pinterest; but I wanted to stop by and say OH MY GOSH! These look soooo wrong but soooo good. I love the ingredient options you give here as well. Cannot wait to play with this recipe.


  11. Regis

    This is probably a silly question, but I am not a great baker and these look so good that I really want them to come out right the first time.
    Can I use a glass pan? I have some smaller glass pans, but all my metal pans are larger, so I just wanted to check.
    I was also going to ask about crunching the rice chex, but I read above that I don’t need to.
    These look so delicious.

  12. Chloe

    Crack kills people and destroys lives and families. There is nothing cute about using the connotation of an addictive and deadly substance for your recipe. It’s offensive to real people that have been affected by the deadly nature of this blight on society and our families.

    1. Michelle M

      Chloe, really…let’s regain our sense of humor, ok? The term “crack ___” is simply used as a term for something that is addictive…I have yet to see a single person actually use the term otherwise. I would suggest digging a little deeper inside yourself and finding that sense of humor again. Or maybe make some crack brownies and that’ll help. Goodness gracious!!

    2. Shannon

      Humor, please! I have a brother who is an addict, and has destroyed his life through the use of drugs.
      With that said, I found nothing offensive with the name of these brownies. As a matter of fact, I thought it was funny, not to mention clever. As Don Miguel Ruiz says: Don’t take things personally!

  13. Lizzie B

    These look so yummy. I love your approach/openness to substitutions. It leaves me feeling not dirty, and like I can make these work however I need to. Pretty sure some rendition of these will be happening soon in my kitchen. Thanks!

  14. Lori

    Hi Brittany! I SO want to attempt making these!!!! I’m a little confused. Is the first part where it says Egg Free-Grain Fee Brownie Base the alternative for the “bottom brownie layer”? Or are they different? Also, I can’t have coconut at this time. What else do you recommend? No dairy, gluten, coconut, almonds. πŸ™ I have xylitol here for the sugar but do I need to grind it? Sorry for all the questions I’m just so excited!!!

  15. MRs. Sutton

    Hersheys makes sugar free chocolate chips. I use them all the time. My husband is diabetic.

  16. Jen

    Do you think stevia would work in this recipe. I’m dying to make them, but can’t have any sugars at all right now.

  17. Jen

    I made these and they came out really good. Here’s what I did.
    I made the egg free brownie base. I used most of the ingredients as listed. I used canning salt and corn free baking powder. I used vanilla I made in brady, and Rice Dream original classic rice milk.
    For the topping I used almond butter, safflower oil, trader joes organic powdered sugar (it’s corn free), 1 C almond flour + 1 C Nature’s Path Crispy Rice Cereal, canning salt, and Enjoy Life mini chips.

    I baked the brownie base for about 10 minutes. I didn’t really see a time anywhere on making just this. I didn’t read the instructions through either – so I mixed the topping all together in a bowl and then spread it on the baked base – then I read the instructions. Oops! So I threw the whole thing in the oven for about 10 more minutes. Then, I put it in the freezer.
    They were great!

  18. Melissa

    These look great!

    Just wanted to note that you list Ghee in the dairy free options. Ghee isn’t dairy free, it’s refined butter! And the bane of many a vegan’s existance in Indian restaurants. Grrr. πŸ˜‰

  19. Trader Joes Recipes

    These brownies look amazing! Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum.

  20. Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free

    This looks so amazing and fudgy! Seriously, I can’t get over how moist and dense it looks!

  21. Kristi

    Can I be your taste tester? You make such delicious looking desserts! I have been dairy free, gluten free, egg free and sugar free for years and have given up desserts. You make me want to eat only desserts!

  22. MaryAnn

    I have a friend that avoids all cane sugar and she uses grain sweetened chocolate chips – you mentioned above that you didn’t know of any sugar free varieties, so thought I’d share:

    Also, I’ve recently discovered Endagered Species chocolate bars in my regular grocery store – they use beet sugar as a sweetener (a few varieties use sugar on dried fruit, etc, so check the ingredients) – but you could even chop these yummy bars up for a cane sugar free chocolate option – they are delicious.

  23. bitt

    made the egg free brownie layer with xylitol and it turned out great! i was glad you mentioned xylitol can be moist. i waited a few hours to cut them until they were dry and it worked great. hope this helps anyone in the future.

  24. RE

    Omg sooo good!

    I didn’t “powder” the sugar πŸ˜€ we just settled moving and I haven’t unpacked it yet πŸ™

    I used carob powder too and earth balance instead of butter for the topping. I did half almond flour and half gluten free oats too! I love oats. Oh and I used sunflower butter (all I had!)

    And I did the grain free brownies!

    How did you WAIT! Lol. I tasted at each stage and now I’m having a “slab” before they are set in the freezer.

    Maybe I’m too excited bc my baby is peacefully asleep? πŸ˜‰ thank you!

  25. Adrienne @ Whole New Mom

    Yummo!! Just shared on my FB page!

  26. Kerry

    I made these last night and they are SO delicious. I used coconut sugar in the base but only 1/4 cup and I didn’t blend it because the blender was wet. The base isn’t grainy, and still plenty sweet for us. Next time I’m going to try stevia instead since I really should avoid all sugar. I used 3 tbsp of canned coconut milk. The base didn’t rise at all, but I think it’s because I pressed it down pretty hard to stretch it to fit my 8 x 8 pan. Doesn’t matter at all.

    I used almond butter and almond flour in the topping, coconut oil, and 3 droppers of NuNaturals vanilla stevia. Deee-licious. Thanks for such a versatile recipe! I will definitely make this again and try different things.

  27. Nicole

    I just made these and I have a few questions please.
    1) When i removed the brownie from oven and as instructed I put the PB mixture on top and as I did the middle of the brownie sank in along with my heart!!! should I leave the brownies to cool before pouring the PB mixture on top of it?
    2) What should be the consistency of the PB mixture? Mine was thick after I added the almond flour and not runny.
    3) When removed from the oven, the pan is extremely hot so I hesitated to put it straight into the freezer.. I waited about 15-20 minutes until it had cooled off a bit. is that ok? or should I have put the hot pan into freezer?

    I hope there is no big hole in the middle of it.. They look amazing, i just hope the look it when ready to eat.
    Thank you

  28. Tan

    Hi Brittany! Thank you for the recipe! I just wanted to know can I use to stevia in the raw oppose to Xylitol? Thank you πŸ™‚

  29. Amanda

    Help! I baked the brownies for 28 minutes exactly, pulled out. They sat for fifteen minutes while I made the peanut mixture and I used 2 cups of Quinoa flakes so the peanut butter was THICK paste not runny (hope that is fine). AFTER I put on the peanut butter I noticed the brownie was still like batter at the bottom and not cooked all the way but I thought maybe it was just all the chocolate chips and it needed to set. So I put it in the freezer. When I pulled it out and tried to cut them I had two problems… the peanut butter topping pops right off and did not stick to the brownies at all. It’s crumbly and very messy because of this–is it because the brownies sat for a bit when I was making the PB topping? Not sure. The other thing that happened is the brownie that was seemingly uncooked is not SUUUPER sticky goo on the bottom and has adhered itself TO the parchment paper! If I try to separate the paper from the brownie goo, it’s a mess. I love this recipe because they seem like they should work and they DO taste good (when I got some goo and peanut crumbles in my mouth lol). I just am not sure what I did wrong!!! I know it must be ME!

  30. Camala f owler

    Hi brittany – I really want to make these – but the brownie base is not making sense to me 3 CUPS of powdered sweetener????? No almond flour? I dont understand – that seems like it would be way to sweet, no?

  31. Alexa

    I recently just got diagnosed with celiac’s disease and my dietitian told me about this website, and I am in LOVE with it! thanks sooo much!!

  32. Krissy

    Hi Brittany! I made these on the weekend and OMG! No wonder you call them Crack Brownies!!!
    I used the Grain-free Egg-free base as 3 cups of powdered sugar scared me :/ But I felt like there was an oil/binder missing from that recipe so I added in a 1/4 cup of coconut oil melted and it worked really well. Super dense base (but I think because I added in extra cacao as I only had a little extra in my bag so I plopped it all in) For the topping I used 2 cups of this amazing gluten free porridge from Brookfarm (called “Porrij”). It’s a great Australian company, actually a macadamia farm, so everything is chock full of delicious nuts etc. (One for your Aussie readers πŸ™‚ ) Can’t wait to make them again on Friday with some variations! Thank you!

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