Gluten Free M&M Brownies are a delicious variation of my classic brownie recipe. Rich and fudgy, these gluten free brownies are packed with colorful M&M candies, providing bursts of sweetness and a satisfying crunch with every bite. M&M brownies are a chocolate lover's dream and make them perfect for potlucks, get togethers and of course birthday parties.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Gluten Free Flours: Brownies are a normally a very forgiving recipe when it comes to gluten free flour. I use my own Gluten Free Flour Blend in this M&M Brownie recipe. This blend already contains xanthan gum. You can easily swap this out for your favorite gluten-free flour blend such as Bob’s Red Mill 1-1. However, if you make your own blend, please add ½ teaspoon of xanthan gum to your blend. Flours like coconut flour or almond meal will not work here.
Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder: I highly recommend using dutch processed cocoa in this recipe. Dutch-processed cocoa produces richer, fudgier chocolate flavor. My go-to brands are deZaan Crimson Red and Guittard Cocoa Powder. If you are looking for a lower price point for cocoa powder, I recommend Hershey’s Dutched Cocoa, Special Dark, 100% Cacao. Be aware if you use Natural Cocoa Powder in this recipe, the brownies will be lighter in color and drier. No matter which cocoa you use, make sure it is unsweetened cocoa powder.
Instant Espresso: Adding a little instant espresso brings out the chocolate flavor in these brownies. It’s an optional ingredient. Instant Espresso can be found in your grocery store where the coffee is sold. It often comes in single servings but is also available in larger jars.
M&M Candies: I use a mixture of Mini M&M's and regular M&Ms. Mars, the maker of M&M, does not label its products gluten-free. Several resources online consider M&Ms gluten-free, therefor I feel very confident recommending them. Please be aware some M&M flavors do contain gluten. Like Pretzel M&M's, which lists wheat flour as an ingredient, and Crispy M&M's which is made with barley malt. These M&M Brownies would also be delicious with Almond M&M’s, Peanut M&M’s or Peanut Butter M&M’s.
Chocolate Chips: I add a few mini dark chocolate chips to the brownie better as well to balance out the milk chocolate from the M&M's. It also gives the brownies a more interesting texture. You can also use semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate or even peanut butter chocolate chips.
How to bake M&M Brownies
Personally I prefer using a stand mixer to make these M&M brownies. But it can be made with an electric hand mixer or even by hand with a whisk. But be prepared for a little workout since the brownie batter does need to be whisked for an extended period of time. As for the ingredients, there is no need to bring the butter or the large eggs to room temperature.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F and line an 8×8 inch metal baking pan with parchment paper. Make sure to leave some overhang so you can easily remove the brownies from the pan.
Step 2: Place the dark chocolate in a heat-proof, microwave-safe bowl. Cut the unsalted butter into small cubes, place them in a saucepan over low heat and melt. Once melted, pour it over the chocolate and set it aside. The heat of the melted butter will melt the chocolate. Alternatively, you can combine the dark chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and carefully melt them in the microwave.
Step 3: Combine light brown sugar, white sugar, the eggs, vanilla extract, kosher salt and instant espresso in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high until extremely thick and tripled the volume, about 8 minutes. The eggs should be foamy and thick. Mixing them for an extended period of time will help to create not only a fudgy center but also a glossy crinkle top.
Step 4: In the meantime combine gluten-free multi purpose flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl. If your cocoa powder appears to be lumpy, make sure to sift the ingredients together. Set aside.
Step 5: With a heat-proof spatula stir together your melted butter-chocolate mixture. The butter and the chocolate should be "emulsified" which means they should have a smooth liquid texture. If the chocolate is not fully melted, microwave the mixture for an additional 10-15 seconds.
Step 6: When the egg-sugar mixture looks fluffy and thick, slow down the speed of your mixer to low and add the WARM melted chocolate-butter mixture. Mix until combined. I recommend stopping your mixer and scraping down the sides to make sure everything is combined well. The warm butter mixture will help to melt the sugar and help to create M&M Brownies with a glossy shiny crinkle top.
Step 7: Once the wet ingredients are combined, turn the speed of your mixer to SLOW and add the dry ingredients. Carefully mix until roughly combined. Turn off the mixer and add the M&Ms and chocolate chips to the brownie batter. With a flexible spatula fold the batter together making sure everything is well combined.
Step 8: Transfer the Gluten Free M&M Brownie Batter to the parchment lined baking pan. Smooth out the top with a back of a spoon or small offset knife. Top with additional M&Ms and chocolate chips if you like.
Step 9: Bake the gluten free M&M brownies for 24-26 minutes at 350F. These gluten free brownies should have a crackly top and should feel firm. To check the doneness, stick a toothpick in the center of the of brownies. There should be a few moist crumbs sticking to the toothpick when you remove it from the brownies. If your toothpick looks very wet, the brownies still need time. However, for the perfect fudgy M&M brownies, you would like to have some moist crumbs sticking to your toothpick. If you prefer your brownies cakey, just bake them until a toothpick comes out clean. Baking times always depend on the oven and baking dish used.
Step 10: Remove the brownies from the oven, sprinkle with some flaky sea salt if you like, and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. For easy cutting, allow the gluten free brownies to set up in the fridge for at least 2hrs before cutting. This will give you picture perfect brownies with clean edges.
How to slice M&M Brownies
Allow the gluten free brownies to cool completely after baking before transferring them to the fridge to set up completely. This usually takes about 2 hours in the refrigerator. Cold, very well-set brownies are a lot easier to cut than room temperature ones. Some people claim a plastic knife is the best way to slice brownies, but I think a sharp chef's knife is the way to go. Always use a long, very sharp knife, preferably thin. I also like to use a pitcher with hot water instead of running hot water constantly while cutting.
Dip your Chef’s Knife in the hot water and dry very well with the towel. The hot water will warm up the blade and will slide through the Gluten Free M&M Brownies a lot easier. Clean your knife in between cuts in the hot water, wipe clean, and continue cutting. The cleaning is the very important part here. If you skip this step, you're going to smudge all the leftovers from your previous cut onto the next cut.
Storage & Freezing
Unlike gluten-free cookies and cakes, brownies have a relatively long shelf life if stored properly. I prefer my brownies cold and therefore store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5-7 days (if they last this long). You may also keep them at room temperature.
M&M Brownies freeze very well. Place them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. You can either freeze them cut or as the whole square. I recommend wrapping them in some plastic wrap before placing them in the freezer. This will limit their exposure to moisture which can cause the candy coating to become brittle and loose its vibrant color. Thaw them at room temperature or enjoy them frozen.
Pro Tips for baking the best Gluten Free Brownies
Use Good Quality Cocoa Powder and Chocolate: Choose high-quality cocoa powder and dark chocolate for a rich chocolate flavor. This can enhance the overall taste and appearance of your gluten free M&M Brownies.
Add Instant Espresso: A small amount of instant coffee/espresso can intensify the chocolate flavor without making the brownies taste like coffee. It's a secret ingredient that enhances the depth of the chocolatey goodness.
Avoid Over-Baking: Be cautious not to over-bake the M&M brownies. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with a few moist crumbs, but not wet batter. Over-baking can lead to a dry texture.
Cool Properly: Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan before cutting. This helps the crinkle top set, and the brownies will be easier to cut into neat squares.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and easy to use. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. . For small amount under 10 grams I like to use this Precision Pocket Scale. Measuring cups are very inaccurate which can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
More Gluten Free Chocolate Desserts
Gluten Free M&M Brownies
- 170 grams unsalted butter, can be cold
- 100 grams dark chocolate (60% or higher)
- 3 large eggs, can be cold
- 200 grams granulated white sugar
- 50 grams light brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
- 80 grams Gluten-Free Flour
- 65 grams cocoa powder
- 150 grams M&Ms (I use a mix of Mini M&M and regular sized)
- 55 grams Chocolate Chips
- additional M&Ms and Chocolate Chips
- Flaky Sea Salt (Optional)
Gluten Free M&M Brownies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8–inch baking pan (preferable metal) with a nonstick cooking spray and then line the pan with parchment paper, leaving the sides to overhang the edges.
- Place the dark chocolate and unsalted butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and carefully melt them in the microwave until the butter is melted. The carry-over heat will melt the chocolate.
- Combine the large eggs, white sugar, light brown sugar. kosher salt, vanilla extract and instant espresso (if using) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high until extremely thick and fluffy, about 8 minutes.
- In the meantime, combine gluten-free flour and cocoa powder. If the cocoa powder appears to be clumpy make sure to sift the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
- With a heat-proof spatula stir together your melted butter-chocolate mixture. The heat from the melted butter should have melted all the chocolate. If it's not fully melted stick the bowl in your microwave for 10-15 seconds. The butter and the chocolate should be “emulsified” which means they should have a smooth liquid texture.
- When your egg-sugar mixture looks fluffy and thick, slow down the speed of your mixer to low and add the WARM chocolate-butter mixture. Mix until combined making sure to scrape down the bowl. The warm butter mixture will help to melt the sugar and help to create M&M Brownies with a glossy shiny crinkle top.
- Once the egg-sugar mixture and the butter-chocolate mixture are combined, turn the speed of your mixer to a slow speed and add cocoa flour mixture. Carefully mix until roughly combined. Turn of the mixer and with a flexible spatula fold M&Ms and chocolate chips.
- With a flexible spatula fold the batter together making sure everything is well combined and there are no pockets of dry ingredients hiding at the bottom of the mixing bowl.
- Transfer the M&M brownie batter to the prepared pan. Use a small offset or on the back of a spoon to smooth out the brownie batter evenly. Top the brownie batter with additional M&Ms and chocolate chips if you like.
- Bake the brownies for 24-26 minutes at 350F. These gluten free brownies should have a crackly top and should feel firm. Please remember baking time depends on your oven. To check the doneness, stick a toothpick in the center of the of brownies. There should be a few moist crumbs sticking to the toothpick when you remove it from the brownies.
- Remove the brownies from the oven, top with some flaky sea salt and allow to cool completely.
- For easy cutting, allow the gluten free brownies to set up in the fridge for at least 2hrs before cutting. This will give you picture perfect brownies with clean edges.
Cocoa Powder: I highly recommend using dutch processed cocoa in this recipe. Dutch-processed cocoa produces richer, fudgier chocolate flavor. Natural Cocoa will produce brownies will be lighter in color and drier texture.
Check Doneness: To check the doneness, stick a toothpick in the center of the of brownies. There should be a few moist crumbs sticking to the toothpick when you remove it from the brownies. If your toothpick looks very wet, the brownies still need time. However, for the perfect fudgy M&M brownies, you would like to have some moist crumbs sticking to your toothpick. If you prefer your brownies cakey, just bake them until a toothpick comes out clean. Baking times always depend on the oven and baking dish used.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Protein: 4g
Calories are a guestimate and randomly generated.