Beyond Expectations

Passover is in full swing now, here to torture those observing for a full week.  Seder plates have been washed clean and the “festive meal” consumed, but the real observance has just begun.  Like I said earlier, I don’t keep kosher, and I had hoped to just suggest a few sweet recipes appropriate for the holiday, maybe give a few pointers to those confused about chametz, and then wash my hands clean of this whole thing.  Yep, that was the plan… But here you sweet people have guilted me into thinking about this more, and ultimately working to create something else to share for this time of year.

Really, it’s the challenge of meeting such strict dietary guidelines that gets me. Taking the opportunity to create something else to add to me repertoire of gluten-free recipes, it seemed only appropriate to go for a staple sweet, something that I know I would miss dearly if abstaining from wheat for any reason.

Brownies. Yes, plain, classic, standard brownies. But much to my surprise and delight, these chocolate morsels turned out even better than I could have expected; Quite possibly even better than my original recipe for gluten-ful brownies, too! Dense but not heavy, full-bodied and intensely chocolatey, these straddle that fine line between cakey and fudgey, these simple bars possess what I consider the ideal texture for this crowd-pleasing baked good.

No compromises here! In fact, forget about Passover, because this is one recipe you’ll want to whip out all year round!

Gluten-Free / Passover-Friendly Brownies

2/3 Cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
1/3 Cup Potato Starch
1/4 Cup Sweet White Rice Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Margarine
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Walnuts, Chopped

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, potato starch, rice flour, salt, and sugar. Melt the margarine and stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir well. No need to worry about over-mixing here, as there’s no gluten to make the brownies tough, so just make sure to get all of the lumps out. Add in the walnuts, and mix to evenly distribute them throughout the batter.

Smooth the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for approximately 20 – 24 minutes. The top should no longer look “wet,” and a toothpick should come out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before cutting.

74 thoughts on “Beyond Expectations

  1. These brownies look delicious! I don’t keep Passover either, but I would totally make these brownies anyway. They look fudgy and fabulous. Plus, I love added pumpkin puree to baked goods.

  2. These look very yummy: thank you for posting this recipe. A friend of mine is allergic to both wheat and milk, so these brownies would be an ideal treat when she visits. Note: for people who can’t have the slightest amount of wheat, it may be necessary to check for wheat-free vanilla extract, or to use a vanilla bean.

  3. Wow, these look so fantastic! I’ll safe the recipe for when I need a gluten-free recipe…or I’ll just make them for myself :)

  4. wow this is an interesting recipe, I just love how the ingredients are being combine together to achive such unimgainable brownies! just fantastic, a recipe that I want to put my hand into! :)

  5. uhoh, – now you got me drooling !!!

    just a few questions, – sweet white rice, – would that be the same rice that we use to make rice puddings ? becuase then I could just make my own flour, right ?

    and – we don’t have pumpkin purree over here, – could I use apple purree or somtehing like that to achieve the same delicious result or do I have to try to find one of the last pumpkins and make my own purree ? (which I would actually do, – but I have no idea what your pumpkin purree is like… is it simply cooked pumpkin purreed ? then that’d be easy)

    gosh… do you notice how thrilled I am about this yumminess ????

  6. I love the idea of adding in pumpkin puree! I often sub in applesauce for some, if not all, of the oil/butter in a recipe – but up until now I hadn’t thought about pumpkin. Genius!

  7. Wow, those look amazing! I have a friend with celiac’s, and he’s always looking for good gluten-free recipes, so this one is going straight to him!

  8. I’ve never heard of a brownie recipe which doesnt have all-purpose flour in it. But the pic is so inspiring that I’ve bookmarked the recipe Hannah…i HAVE to try this sometime :)

  9. Hannah, you are so awesome. I’m sending this recipe to a friend of mine whose daughter can’t eat gluten. I am sure they will love it. Thanks!

  10. Thank you so much for this gluten-free recipe!

    I was wondering, do you know how sweet white rice flour is different from white rice flour? I just would like to know if there’s a huge difference before I take up more space in my cabinet with yet another type of flour- haha.

  11. thanks Hannah for the wonderful idea for brownies!!!! i have ALL these ingredients at home. i might be changing my easter desert plans… hmmmm!!! (i would probably frost these too tho.. lol)

  12. what a great recipe! just a quick note though–in order to be kosher for passover you’ll have to omit the vanilla extract or find one that is kosher for passover (probably artificial).

    can’t wait to try these!

    1. Not to mention, substituting something else for the white rice flour (rice is considered kitnyot and is not consumed by Ashkenazic Jews).

  13. I can definitely see from the recipe how those would work so well! If I ever have to bake something gluten-free, I’m choosing this one!

  14. Pumpkin puree! What a secret ingredient! My mom made brownies for our seder dessert (they were pareve). They tasted great too, you couldn’t tell there was no flour.

  15. Gluten-free or not, these brownies look perfect! They seem to be quite healthier than regular brownies, which is always a plus.

  16. Yum — Brownies are always such a favorite. What cocoa powder did you use?
    Eliza (my husband and I own — we sell two great cocoa powders — but Pernigotti is the all-time favorite!)

  17. Those brownies look scrumptious. I love the addition of pumpkin to moisten them. I’m going to twitter the recipe link. Happy Spring, Hannah!

  18. Oh wow, my father would go nuts for these, especially now that it’s Passover and he’s missing my baked sweets! I guess I’ll have to make these for him..what a horrible They look beautiful and delicious, Hannah!

  19. Yum YUM! I made these last night with banana in place of the pumpkin puree and hazelnuts in place of the walnuts – they’re delicious! Photos and a review will be up on my blog soon.

  20. These look too good. If I hadn’t just gorged myself on the matzah toffee you posted only a few short days ago, I would be making these right now. I mean really, I do need a break from chocolate once in a while.

  21. I was wondering if anyone knew if I could use a blend of sorghum and tapioca flour in place of the sweet rice… I can’t get that handily around here.

    Brownies look awesome! And yay for pumpkin!

  22. I am stoked about this recipe! I have more than one friend who is gluten-free year-round, and this has some serious side nutritional benefits with the pumpkin. Also, if people make it with the (admittedly, quite nutritionally and culinarily disgusting) Passover margarine, it is also soy and corn free–I found out from my friend whose child has serious food allergies that kosher-for-Passover margarine is something good to stockpile for people avoiding certain ingredients.

  23. awww!! thanks so much for the recipe

    I’m celiac
    so this is great

    anyway, my mother used to bake me brownies when I was a kid, but of course there was eggs on them.

    So, when I become a vegan, I found a brownie gluten-free vegan recipe, with peanut butter, and they’re amazing haha

    But now I’m going to try this recipe!!


  24. I hate to rain on all this brownie recoicing, but am I really the very first person (out of 51 commenters) to raise the point that these are not, in fact, kosher-for-Passover? Ashkenazic Jews (which constitute the vast majority of US Jews) do not eat rice (which includes rice flour) during Passover.
    Just in you’re planning to make these as a special treat for your brownie-loving kosher-keeping loved ones…thought you might wanna know.
    Not, of course, that they do not look very, very delicious.

  25. I tried this recipe out yesterday and it is fantastic! We added chocolate chunks mixed into the batter. They were super dark and rich, and perfectly gooey! I’ll be posting a picture on my blog soon… I’m so excited to find such a good vegan brownie, and it’s gluten-free to boot! Thanks Hannah!

  26. I just saved this excellent recipe. Thanks once again! I have one (probably rather silly) question. Can I use normal white rice flour instead of the sweet white rice flour?

  27. […] I was visiting a friend recently who was keeping Kosher for Passover, and who was wanting something cake-like. I had seen on Hannah Kaminsky’s blog a new recipe for Passover-friendly brownies, and wanted to try them out…So here they are! The only change I made to the recipe was to add chocolate chunks into the batter. They were out of this world, and true to Hannah’s description they are straddling the line between cakey and fudgey, and I think they are definitely the best vegan brownies I’ve ever had! Hannah’s recipe can be found here. […]

  28. Hey there!! Love your blog!! I’ve included this recipe post in my top 15 recipes of the week on Twitter–> WEll done, and I hope to see moer of these fabulous recipes come swimming through the twitter stream soon.

    Love, Bridge.

  29. This recipe looks awesome, but really bad things happened when I tried to make it. “Gluten-free batters need to be a bit thicker than this,” I thought as I poured it into my pan. Sure enough, I looked in the oven 20 minutes later and my batter had turned to a greasy, bubbling mess. No brownies in sight. So more flour, maybe?
    Additionally, you might try making these with sorghum flour instead of rice flour. Not sure if that’s Kosher, but it’s better than rice flour.

  30. I just made these! but used a few substitutes (i wanted brownies and didnt want to go to the store :) )…arrowroot for potato starch, applesauce for pumpkin puree, and agave for sugar. they taste great! but because i used extra dark cocoa powder they turned out black! and they are really thin, yours definitely look more appealing! the rice flour (mochi) texture really comes out.

  31. I just made these but with sweet potato flour instead of the rice and they were absolutely phenomenal. Thanks!!

  32. These are the best brownies I’ve ever made! I didn’t have the flours that the recipe called for, but instead used “Pamela’s” gluten-free baking mix which worked very well. The batter was so thick that I added about a tablespoon full of yogurt. What a treat!

  33. I love this blog, the brownies look really delicious. I am going to have to give it a go. I made a batch of super healthy gluten free brownies and they turned out really well.

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