Democracy Dies in Darkness


These fudgy, flourless brownies are a chocolate lover’s dream

Fudgy Flourless Brownies

September 12, 2018 at 10:00 AM

(Photos by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; food styling by Amanda Soto/The Washington Post)

Overview Ingredients Steps


I suspect you’ve never eaten a brownie and thought, “Hm, there’s too much chocolate in here.”

That’s the point of a brownie, right? A delectable, indulgent, classic Chocolate Delivery Vehicle (or CDV*).

(*trademark pending)

Related: [A cinnamon-scented French toast with a crispy nod to creme brulee]

That pure chocolate flavor is the defining characteristic of these gluten-free brownies from cookbook author Anne Byrn, whose new “American Cookie” book includes a really neat collection of treats from throughout the country’s history and geography. This recipe includes what sounds like an insufficient 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, but it works. Without a ton of flour to dilute its strength and with a robust amount of brown sugar, which helps boost the fudgy flavor and texture, all you taste is chocolate.

A handful of chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) is another gear in the CDV. Expect the chocolate chips to sink in the batter, which is why the foil sling is so important. The first time I made the brownies, I followed the instructions to use a greased but unlined pan, and while it was hard to beat the crunchy, caramelized bits at the bottom, I couldn’t get the brownies out without basically destroying them. For more texture and flavor, you can sprinkle finely chopped nuts on top before baking.

If you like the choose-your-own-adventure route, bake the brownies to the consistency you prefer. At the lower end of the baking-time range (25 minutes), they are gooey and reminiscent of a molten lava cake. A few minutes longer in the oven and their crumb is more like a chewy brownie.

Related: [A brownie recipe for every workday, because you’ve earned it]

Make Ahead: The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. For long-term cold storage, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze, for up to 6 months.


8tablespoons(1 stick) unsalted butter

14cupunsweetened natural cocoa powder

12cuppacked light brown sugar

12cupgranulated sugar

1teaspoonvanilla extract

2large eggs



12cupsemisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (may substitute chopped chocolate)


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Press a long piece of aluminum foil into an 8-inch square pan to create a sling, leaving several inches of overhang on two opposite sides so you can use it to pull the baked brownie slab out of the pan. Grease the foil with cooking oil spray.

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.

Step 2

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in the cocoa powder until thoroughly smooth and well incorporated.

Step 3

Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract, until smooth. Break the eggs into the saucepan, stirring until well incorporated. Add the cornstarch and salt, stirring until smooth, then fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly into the corners.

Step 4

Bake (middle rack) for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges of the brownies are firm, the top is shiny and the center is just set. Let cool (in the pan) on a wire rack for 1 hour.

For easier slicing, you may then chill the brownie slab in the freezer for up to 1 hour. Use the foil sling to lift out the brownie slab before cutting into 16 pieces.

Adapted from “American Cookie,” by Anne Byrn (Rodale Books, 2018).

Tested by Becky Krystal; email questions to

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.


Calories: 160; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated Fat: 5 g; Cholesterol: 40 mg; Sodium: 85 mg; Carbohydrates: 20 g; Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Sugars: 16 g; Protein: 1 g.

Becky Krystal is a food reporter and the lead writer for Voraciously. After several years as a general assignment reporter in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, she came to The Washington Post in 2007 to work for TV Week and Sunday Source. Her time at The Post also includes a five-year stint in the Travel section.

Post Recommends

We're glad you're enjoying The Washington Post.

Get access to this story, and every story, on the web and in our apps with our Basic Digital subscription.

Welcome to The Washington Post

Thank you for subscribing