Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies

These Gluten Free Hot Cocoa Brownies are the perfect treat on a cold winter’s day! When it gets to below freezing temperatures outside nothing warms me up quite like a comforting cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows. So lets take our love for hot cocoa one step further and turn it into an indulgent, rich brownie! This is my Best Gluten-Free Brownie recipe but with a sweet and creamy hot cocoa frosting. 

Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies stacked with chocolate sauce dripping

These Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies are the ultimate cold weather treat. First we start with a super chocolatey, rich, chewy brownie. Top it with a creamy frosting that’s packed with LOTS of hot cocoa mix. Then top it all off with mini marshmallows and chocolate sauce. Yum!

Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies flat on white parchment

Why you need this Gluten Free Hot Cocoa Brownie recipe in your life:

  • They taste like an actual cup of hot cocoa. But in brownie form!
  • These gluten-free hot cocoa brownies come together in about 1 hour (including baking time) and can be eaten and enjoyed immediately.  The only thing you need to wait for is the brownies to cool before topping them with the hot cocoa frosting. 
  • This gluten-free brownie recipe will be your go to brownie recipe! It’s SUPER chocolatey, indulgent, rich and just the right amount of chewy.
Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies

Ingredients

list of the ingredients needed to make these Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies:

  1. Chocolate. I like using a mix of milk and 70% chocolate in my brownies. It gives us the perfect amount of sweetness while also packing a punch of chocolate flavour.
  2. Cocoa Powder. We are making chocolate brownies after all so choose your cocoa powder wisely.  This doesn’t mean you need the most expensive cocoa powder. It just means use one that YOU like the flavour of. If Hershey’s in your favourite. Use it! I like the flavour and depth of Green and Blacks Organic Cocoa Powder. 
  3. Unsalted Butter. Butter makes everything better. Really it does.
  4. Light Brown Sugar and Granulated Sugar. The mixture of sugars has to do with flavour and moisture. By using light brown sugar it helps to create a chewy, rich texture.
  5. Whole Eggs. This recipe calls for Large US eggs. If you are in the UK then I would suggest using medium sized eggs as this is closer to a standard US large egg. 
  6. Gluten Free Flour Blend. I used my All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend. The recipe for the blend can be found here. In a pinch I will often use Cup4Cup gluten free flour blend.  If you are new to gluten free baking or are unfamiliar with the difference variations of Gluten Free Flour Blends, check out this article I wrote for Food Bloggers of Canada, where I explain how to find the right Gluten Free Flour for you. 
  7. Baking Powder. Rise, rise, rise. That’s what baking powder is doing in this recipe.
  8. Kosher Salt. If all you have is table salt you will need to use much less as table salt is much stronger than kosher salt due to the different granule size. Only use about ¼ tsp or a pinch of table salt to ½ tsp of kosher salt.
  9. Cream Cheese. Having a mix of cream cheese and butter in our frosting helps to create a nice balance of sweet and savoury flavours.
  10. Powdered Sugar. Otherwise known as Icing or confectioners’ Sugar. Double check that your powdered sugar is Gluten-Free. Some brands can’t guarantee its gluten free due to cross-contamination.
  11. Mini Marshmallows
  12. Store Bought Chocolate Sauce
Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies flat on white parchment

How to make these Gluten Free Hot Cocoa Brownies:

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F degrees. Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan. Line with baking parchment or foil, leaving a 1-2 inch overhang on two sides.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Using a double boiler over low-medium heat, gently melt chocolate and butter. Once the chocolate and butter are melted, add the sugar stirring gently to combine. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Mix in the eggs and oil. quickly stir for 1-2 minutes until shiny. This is what creates the glossy meringue-like texture on top of brownies. Add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. 

Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula to create an even layer. 

Bake for approx 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting.

Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies flat on white parchment

Pastry Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • Use high quality chocolate.  These gluten-free hot cocoa brownies are all about the chocolate flavour. Lower quality chocolate has much more sugar and various fats added so the overall flavour will be more sweet and less chocolatey. 
  • Don’t overbake your brownies. These gluten-free hot cocoa brownies are best when they are slightly underbaked as they will be more fudgy and less cake-like. Pull the brownies out of the oven when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with moist crumbs and a small amount of wet batter near the bottom.
  • Allow the gluten-free brownies to cool before cutting them and use a clean knife. If your brownies are super fudgy, you can pop them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before cutting to help them firm up and hold their shape. When cutting your brownies make sure to wipe away the crumbs from the knife after each cut. Brownie crumbs will pull down the top layer, making each sequential cut rougher and messier. 
  • Creating a shiny, meringue like chocolate top on your gluten-free brownies is created when mixing in the eggs.  Take an extra minute to really mix in the eggs and this will give you a nice shiny top on your brownies. 
Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies flat on white parchment

How to Store Gluten Free Hot Cocoa Brownies:

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days

Unfrosted brownies can be wrapped tightly in cling-film and sealed in a Ziplock bag for 2-3 months.

Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies

These Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies are the ultimate cold weather treat. First we start with a super chocolatey, rich, chewy brownie. Top it with a creamy frosting that’s packed with LOTS of hot cocoa mix. Then top it all off with mini marshmallows and chocolate sauce. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Servings: 9 Pieces
Author: Kira McMullan

Ingredients

Brownie Ingredients

  • 120 g Kira's Gluten-Free AP Flour Blend
  • 30 g Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 200 g 60-70% Chocolate
  • 115 g Unsalted Butter
  • 100 g Granulated Sugar
  • 125 g Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large US Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

Hot Cocoa Frosting Ingredients

  • 115 g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 100 g Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 200 g Powdered Sugar
  • 50 g Hot Cocoa Powder *I used 2 x 25g packets of Carnation Hot Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Toppings for Hot Cocoa Brownies

  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Sauce *I used Hershey's pre-made chocolate syrup

Instructions

Brownie Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F degrees. Grease a 8" x 8" pan. Line with baking parchment, leaving a 1-2 inch overhang on two sides.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
    Using a double boiler over low-medium heat, gently melt chocolate and butter. Once the chocolate and butter are melted, add the sugar stirring gently to combine. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
    Mix in the eggs and oil. quickly stir for 1-2 minutes until shiny. This is what creates the glossy meringue-like texture on top of brownies. 
    Add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. 
    Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula to create an even layer. 
    Bake for approx 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool completely in the pan before cutting.

Hot Cocoa Frosting Instructions

  • Place the hot cocoa powder in a mug and add 3 tablespoons of boiling water. Stir and set aside to cool completely.
    Using a stand-mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and pale in colour. This will take approx. 5 minutes.
    Turning the mixer down to low, slowly add the powdered sugar. Once all the powdered sugar has been added and fully incorporated, pour in the 3 tablespoons of cooled hot cocoa and mix on low until everything looks smooth and well combined.

Assembly

  • Remove the baked brownies from the tin and place on a serving dish or cutting board. Using a spoon, spread the hot cocoa frosting over the brownies, working from the centre out to each corner. You can use the back of the spoon to smooth the frosting or create little figure eights or waves in the frosting.
    Sprinkle with mini marshmallows and store bought chocolate sauce and serve at room temperature.
    Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days
    Unfrosted brownies can be wrapped tightly in cling-film and sealed in a Ziplock bag for 2-3 months.

If you are looking for more indulgent gluten-free recipes to bake up, make sure to try one of these:

DID YOU MAKE ONE OF MY RECIPES? tag me on Instagram at @kiramcmullan and hashtag it #kirainthekitchen



2 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Hot Cocoa Brownies”

    • It does! But I would say that if Xanthan Gum is something that you are staying away from then you can definitely exclude it from this brownie recipe. Brownies are very forgiving when it comes to gum free flour blends because they contain a high amount of chocolate and fats, and very little flour compared to other baked goods. Just note that the texture might be slightly more dry and crumbly.

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