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These fudgy paleo brownies are so good—they’re better than box brownies! They’re supremely chocolatey, fudgy, and have the most perfect crackly top. And the best part? The entire recipe is super simple and only requires one bowl! Grab a whisk, your world’s about to change!

a batch of fudgy paleo brownies on parchment paper

Before starting my quest to come up with the best fudgy, crackle-top paleo brownies on the planet, I spent years making paleo brownies that were just “good enough.” It seemed like it was the fate of brownies made with gluten-free flours.

But then, after nailing the texture on both my Baked Chocolate Donuts and Fluffy Paleo Cinnamon Rolls, I had a newfound motivation to take on my biggest baking task yet—a brownie recipe that made fudgy paleo brownies with a crackly top!

After weeks and many, many batches of brownies, I am thrilled to share that this fudgy paleo brownie recipe is complete perfection. In fact, it’s not only great, these paleo brownies are better than box brownies! They are supremely chocolatey and fudgy—not just dense cake—and the cracky top gives a nice crispy texture, which is an amazing contrast to the chewy corners.

This recipe is also SO easy. You all know that’s important to me. While I love baking, I don’t want to be in the kitchen for hours on the weekends baking and cleaning up. The brownies can be mixed up in one bowl, and baking time is under 30 minutes! YESSSS!

close up of the inside of a fudgy paleo brownie

The Secret to a Crackly Top

When I set out to create the best fudgy paleo brownie recipe, my first order of business was to figure out how to get that perfect crackly top. I tested a bunch of different methods, and the foolproof (and painfully easy) way to get crackly tops is to whip your eggs and sugar together until the mixture becomes light, airy, and resembles the color of peanut butter (see photo). The texture won’t change much—you won’t see peaks and it doesn’t turn stiff—but you should notice that it expands and almost becomes sticky.

Essentially, whipping the eggs and sugar creates a meringue top layer. Air pockets form and separate the light and crackly top layer, while the base remains super fudgy and chewy. It’s everything your brownies need, and it’s why this fudgy paleo brownie recipe is the best there is!

the coconut sugar and eggs whipped together

Once you whisk the eggs and sugar together, gently fold in the rest of the ingredients with a spatula. If you over-mix or whisk the batter, it will become too airy and bubbly and you won’t get as much crackle on your brownie tops.

How to Make Super Fudgy Paleo Brownies

Ready to make the best fudgy paleo brownies? First, place 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I love equal exchange chocolate chips or Hukitchen gems!) and in microwave safe bowl in 10-second intervals until the mixture is melted and combined. Make sure to stir the mixture in between each 10-second interval, as this will help the chocolate mixture to incorporate and prevent the chocolate from burning. I use our large 4-cup glass measuring cup for this. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture becomes light, fluffy, and turns the color of peanut butter. It’s best to do this in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer and whisk it on high until the texture and color changes, about 3-5 minutes. Gently stir in the almond flour, tapioca flour, cacao powder, and salt. Then, add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in the remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips.

Spread the brownie batter into your prepared 8×8 baking dish, and bake at 350 for 27-30 minutes on the middle rack. I definitely recommend checking for doneness right at 27 minutes. If you overcook the brownies, they’ll be less fudgy. The tops should be cooked and crackly, and a toothpick will come out with moist crumbs.

Storage and Serving For Paleo Brownies

Let the brownies cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving to let the top get crackly. Store the paleo brownies at room temperature in an airtight container. Use a piece of parchment paper to separate the layers when stacking them. They’re best if eaten within 1-2 days, but will last for up to 4 days at room temperature.

If you have some extra brownies and want to freeze them, simply wrap the leftover brownies in parchment paper, then put in a sealable bag and store it in the freezer for up to three months. To thaw, lay it out at room temperature for a few hours or heat them up in the microwave for a few seconds.

Why I Love These Fudgy Paleo Brownies

  • This recipe makes fudgy and chewy paleo brownies with the most perfect crackly top. Better than box brownies!
  • These brownies are almost impossible to screw up. They’re super easy to make, and the recipe only requires one bowl.
  • The ingredients list for these fudgy paleo brownies is super simple. You likely already have everything you need in your pantry.
  • This recipe is completely paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free!
fudgy paleo brownies with a sprinkle of sea salt

Can I Make Ingredient Substitutions?

Sure can! However, this is where I make that special note that you won’t get the same consistent results if you vary from the original recipe. But, if you find yourself short, here’s a few swaps you can make!

  • Almond flour: You can use another nut flour, like cashew flour.
  • Tapioca flour: You can use arrowroot flour. Note: this will change the texture slightly as arrowroot is a little more gummy.
  • Coconut sugar: You can swap this any kind of other granulated sugar.

Baking Tips + Tricks

  • When heating up the chocolate, make sure to only heat it in 10-second intervals in the microwave to prevent the chocolate from burning.
  • For these fudgy paleo brownies to have the most perfect crackly top, you need to whisk the eggs and sugar together for at least 3-5 minutes. While you can do this by hand, it’s best to do this with a stand or hand mixer and the whisk attachment.
  • After whisking the eggs and coconut sugar together, gently stir in the remaining ingredients with a spatula (don’t use the whisk for this). Don’t over-mix the batter, or it will become to airy and bubbly and your tops won’t crackle as much.
  • I like to sift the cacao powder before folding it into the batter as it’s prone to clumping.
  • Sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of the paleo brownies before putting them in the oven for a extra chocolate kick and better visual appeal. #isntaworthy
  • To check for doneness, use a toothpick right at about 27 minutes. The toothpick won’t come out fully clean. The top should be crackly and completely cooked, but you should see moist crumbs on the toothpick. This means you’ve got a batch of perfectly cooked fudgy paleo brownies!
three fudgy brownies stacked on top of each other with a drizzle of melted chocolate

Stocking the Pantry

I personally use Thrive Market for most of my pantry needs because it saves me some cash—especially when it comes to commonly used items like blanched almond flour, ghee, and coconut oil. For a complete list of my recommend pantry items and what I use in my home, check out my Baking and Cooking Resources Page.

Other Recipes You’ll Love

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Fudgy Paleo Brownies (Crackly Top, Gluten-Free)


  • Author: Noelle Tarr, NTP, CPT
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 912 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These fudgy paleo brownies are so good—they’re better than box brownies! They’re supremely chocolatey, fudgy, and have the most perfect crackly top. And the best part? The entire recipe is super simple and only requires one bowl! Grab a whisk, your world’s about to change!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips, divided 
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar 
  • ⅓ cup blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour 
  • ¼ cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle of sea salt flakes, for garnish (optional)

 


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or grease it with coconut oil.
  2. Place ⅔ cup dark chocolate chips and the coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 10-second intervals in the microwave, stirring in between each interval, until the chocolate mixture is completely melted and combined. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whisk the eggs and coconut sugar together on high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture becomes light, fluffy, and turns the color of peanut butter. The mixture will expand, but won’t firm up. Don’t skip this step, as it helps create the crackle on top of the brownies when they bake.
  4. Add the almond flour, tapioca flour, cacao powder, and salt to the mixing bowl and gently stir until the mixture is combined and no clumps remain. Stir in the vanilla extract and chocolate mixture until combined. 
  5. Fold in the remaining ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish and smooth out the top so it sits evenly in the pan. 
  7. Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Be careful not to overbake the brownies, as they will be less fudgy. Let the brownies cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting into squares and removing them from the pan. The top will become more crackly as it cools. Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes.

 

Keywords: brownies, gluten-free brownies, paleo brownies, fudgy brownies

What did you think about this fudgy paleo brownie recipe? Did you think gluten free brownies could be so good? Come back and let me know in the comments below!

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