Gluten-Free Blue Ribbon Brownies Recipe

When our family went gluten-free, the girls were only 7.

Young enough to be fed whatever was at hand, be it naturally gluten-free or a substitute product without much  conflict.

Some of the substitution products were good, things that truly resembled the former gluten-full option.

Others…not so much.

Over time, I developed more and more recipes that captured our remembered memories of favorite dishes.

And over time, I taught our daughters that any recipe can be converted to gluten-free, even sourdough and pasta.

But one recipe, I didn’t have to convert.



Katie did.

She wanted to enter the baking competition in the county fair.  However, there isn’t a special diet category.

So she just blithely entered her gluten-free brownies recipe in the typical brownie category.

And won first place, A Blue Ribbon!

With feedback like this, ” richest, fudgiest brownie I have ever had”,  “Love the pecans as an alternative to walnuts.”  the judges never even asked about the flour mixture used.

These are incredibly satisfying for that chocolate obsession that needs satisfying.

The hardest part is making sure to let them cool completely before you cut them.

And if you don’t, realize that they will be soft, bendy and sticky on your hands, but still perfect with ice cream.

Blue Ribbon Brownies- Gluten Free Ratio Rally
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Katie loves these brownies made with Pecans but feel free to change the nut to your preference. When she can convince me, she also loves to add dried cherries, chocolate chips or some dollops of caramel sauce to the batter.
Serves: 9 brownies
  • 6 oz dark chocolate at least 74% cocoa solids (we use Trader Joe’s)
  • ½ cup unsalted organic butter
  • 1 ¼ cup organic cane sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown rice flour
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup pecans- coarsely chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees(180 C or gas mark 4)
  2. Grease a 9 inch square or 9x12 pan with cooking spray or butter. If you use a 9x9 pan the brownies will be moister and fudgy.
  3. The 9x12 creates more cake like brownies.
  4. If you are using the pecans, toast them in the oven for 5 minutes before chopping them.
  5. Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan.
  6. Stir in the sugar and allow to cool.
  7. Stir together till one color: all the flours, starches, baking powder and cocoa in a bowl.
  8. Combine the chocolate mixture and the flour mixture.
  9. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  10. Top with pecans if desired.
  11. Pour into prepared pan
  12. Bake for 35-40 minutes or till the top is firm.
  13. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

But just in case you don’t think these are the best ever, there are many more to try out.

Yup, it is Gluten Free Ratio Rally Time.

Thanks to Mary Frances Wiley from Franny Cakes made Hazelnut Brownies for being our guide this month.

These all look amazing!

Adina from Gluten Free Travelette made Chocolate Brownie Pie with Orange Zest

Angela from Angela’s Kitchen made Gluten & Dairy Free Cream Egg Brownies

Brooke from B & the boy! made Triple Chocolate Brownies

Caitlin from {Gluten Free} Nom Nom Nom made Peppermint Brownie Bars

Caleigh from Gluten Free[k] made White chocolate and marshmallow brownies

Caneel from Mama Me Gluten Free made Triple chocolate brownies

Charissa Luke from Zest Bakery made Slutty gluten-free brownies

Claire from My Gluten Free Home PB&J Brownie Whoopee Pies

Claire from This Gluten-Free Life made St. Patty’s Day Marshmallow Swirl Brownies

Erin from The Sensitive Epicure made Mexican Cocoa Brownies with an Almond & Pepitas Crust

gretchen from kumquat made salted caramel brownies

Heather from Discovering the Extraordinary made Nutmeg Blondies

Irvin from Eat the Love made Blueberry Citrus Marble Brownies

Jean from Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes made Blue Ribbon Brownies

Jenn Cuisine made Grain free brownies with no-bake ricotta cheesecake cream

Jonathan from The Canary Files made Vegan Marbled Banana Walnut Brownies

Karen from Cooking Gluten Free! made GF Chewy Crackled Top Brownies with Raspberry Puree

Mary Fran from FrannyCakes made Gluten-Free Hazelnut (Nutella) Brownies

Morri from Meals with Morri made Oaxacan Brownies & Mesquite Cacao Blondies

~Mrs. R from Honey From Flinty Rocks made Black Bean S’More Brownies

Pete and Kelli from No Gluten, No Problem made Caramel Mexican Chocolate Mesquite Brownies

Rachel from The Crispy Cook made Co-Co Nut-Nut Blondies

Shauna from Gluten-Free Girl made Gluten-Free Brownies

Tara from A Baking Life who made Mint Chocolate Flourless Brownies

TR | No One Likes Crumbley Cookies Gluten Free Berry Fudge Brownies 

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Jammers, we’re Jammin…. Gluten-Free Ratio Rally does Biscuits


Bitter Orange Marmalade Jammer Biscuit, Gluten-Free
Bitter Orange Marmalade Jammer Biscuit, Gluten-Free

Why are we jamming?

it’s time for the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally once more, and this month we are all working on biscuits.

Since this Jersey girl hails from way north of the Mason-Dixon line, I just don’t have a family tradition of biscuits.

The only ones I remember as a child came from a blue tube that Popped open when you hit it just right on the edge of the counter.

The first handmade biscuit I can recall was in restaurant management school, and those were produced from a big Bisquick box.

Biscuits weren’t a big part of growing up for me, but I’ve changed that for my girls.

Jammer Biscuit Recipe Gluten Free

The ratio makes it just so easy.


Three parts flour, one part fat, and two parts liquid.

Want to know a great trick?

Whipping cream has 30-36 percent fat and if you are fortunate to live near a restaurant supply store you can get Heavy cream that is 38-42 percent fat.

The proportions of fat to liquid in heavy cream are exactly right for the biscuit ratio.

Perfect flaky biscuits with very little work., just measure and stir.

Flatten the slices, add a bit of jam and read the paper or go shower while they bake. Jammer Biscuits are my favorite.

This recipe is the best way to use up bits of opened jam bottles I know.  And I am guessing you might have a few in your fridge post cookie baking for the holidays.

I just can’t be the only person with 6 open jars,

can I?

 Jammer Biscuit Recipe Gluten Free


Cherry Jammer- softer jam spreads a bit
Cherry Jammer- softer jam spreads a bit

Jammer Biscuits
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Use the heavy cream from a restaurant supply if you can find it. The difference in biscuits is impressive. I just wish I could find it organic.
Serves: 16 three to four inch pastries
  • 165 grams whole grain flour mix
  • 125 grams white flour mix
  • 10 grams baking powder
  • 3 grams salt
  • 20 grams organic cane sugar
  • 5 grams pixie dust
  • 370 grams heavy cream
  • 1 cup jam of your choice- I used orange marmalade, cherry jam, lingonberry preserves and blackberry for these.
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Weigh the dry ingredients into a bowl, resetting the tare between each flour mixture, salt, baking powder, sugar and pixie dust.
  3. This way you only have one bowl dirty at the end, so simple.
  4. Blend them together till the mixture has a uniform color.
  5. Put the bowl back onto the scale and zero it out once again.
  6. Add the cream.
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  8. Make sure to use a flexible spatula to combine the mixtures.
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  10. It will start out sticky and as you stir get stiffer.
  11. Once the mixture leaves the side of the bowl and forms one cohesive mass, move it to a silpat (or parchment paper) covered baking pan.
  12. Roll the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter.
  13. Slice the log into 1 inch thick pieces.
  14. Place each piece onto a silpat covered baking sheet leaving about 2 inches of space around each.
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  16. Press the center of the biscuit using a spoon or your thumb to form a cavity. You can press it almost to the pan, that allows it to hold a bit more jam.
  17. Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes, rotate the pans and bake 8-10 minutes more till lightly browned.

Amanda / Gluten Free Maui / Classic Biscuits & Gravy

Amie / The Healthy Apple / Wasabi Parsley Biscuits
Caleigh / Gluten Free[k] / American Style Biscuits
Caneel / Mama Me Gluten Free / Whole Grain Pecan Drop Biscuits
Charissa / Zest Bakery / Eggnog Biscuits with Grated Nutmeg
Erin / The Sensitive Epicure / Scallion Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
gretchen* / kumquat /sweet buttermilk biscuits
Heather / Discovering the Extraordinary / Almond Coconut Tea Biscuits
Jonathon / The Canary Files /http:// Vegan Sesame Shiso Biscuits
Karen / Cooking Gluten-Free! / Biscuit Template with DF Substitutions
Lisa / Gluten Free Canteen / Fluffy Biscuits
Mary Fran / FrannyCakes / Espresso Orange Biscuits
Mrs. R / Honey from Flinty Rocks / Gobbler Cobbler
Rachel / The Crispy Cook / Hummus in a Biscuit
Silvana / Silvana’s Kitchen / Sausage-n-Cheddar Bialy Biscuits
TR / No One Likes Crumbley Cookies / Lemon Basil Biscuits

Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie with Thyme- Gluten-Free

Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie with Thyme- Gluten-Free
Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie with Thyme- Gluten-Free

Pie, Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes.

That is my personal trinity of comfort food, and this pie is made even better by including the cheese pie crust, gluten-free to contrast the thyme scented apples.

Cheese Pie Crust Recipe Gluten Free

This month I’ll be posting a recipe each day or two that are essential to my holidays.

Hoping that they help you create your special gluten-free holiday meal.

Pie is breakfast, lunch and dinner around my house during the holidays. After all, most pies are a terrific combination of fruit, carbohydrates and just a bit of protein from nuts or eggs, perfect for the dreary winter days or nights.

Am I worried about the fat content? Not so much since I use organic butter, organic lard or non hydrogenated fats for my crusts. With these good fats in hand, I can make a crust that is flaky, crisp and special without worrying whether I will be painting the interiors of my blood vessels with bad fats.

I’ll happily take an organic lard crust over Crisco any day!

But I won’t use gums anymore, my husband is reacting to them. So I used a bit of Pixie Dust to bind the flours into a supple cheese pie crust recipe gluten free dough.

And this is a seasonal indulgence, bringing along memories of pie crust rolling with my mom to my daughters.


The Ruhlman ratio for a perfect pie crust is 3 parts flour : 2 parts fat :1 part liquid. My recipe uses butter, cheese and an egg as the fat sources, honey and the egg as the liquid. This makes for a crisp and easily browning pie crust.

But don’t stop here, check out all the links at the bottom of the post to see how other bakers handle pie crust. You may find one of your dreams.

Cheddar Cheese Apple Pie with Thyme- Gluten-Free
When I first saw Martha's cheddar crusted apple pie, I wanted one, just had to convert it using a ratio of course. I really like to add an herbal note to apple pie so the thyme made its way into the mix. Feel free to eliminate if you don't like. Enjoy!
  • 70 grams Whole Grain Flour Mix
  • 94 grams White Flour Mix
  • 10 grams (1 packed Tablespoon) Pixie Dust
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup 40 grams shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Filling: Stir together
  • 4 small granny smith apples- peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup organic cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch or tapioca flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon thyme-optional
  1. In the bowl combine all the flour mixes, pixie dust and the salt.
  2. Add in the butter and shredded cheese.
  3. Pressing in the dough
  4. Cut the butter into the flour mixture till it forms small crumbs.
  5. Add the honey and large egg.
  6. Let the mixer run till well combined.
  7. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour before rolling out.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Place one fourth of the dough between plastic and roll to to ¼ inch thickness.
  10. Place gently into tart pan using the plastic wrap to manipulate it into the crevices.
  11. Trim the edges to even them out with the outer edge of the pan.
  12. Re-roll the scraps for decorative top cut outs or lattice work.
  13. Add apple slice mixture.
  14. Top with lattice or cut outs.
  15. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350.
  16. Bake 8-10 minutes more till the apple slices are tender and the crust is browned.
  17. Quick notes
  18. If you like the idea of herbs in your apple pie, try rosemary too. I switch back and forth between the two.
  19. Realize that this dough incorporates the fat in both the butter and the egg yolk. And since the egg is in the dough, there is no need to brush the crust with egg for browning.
  20. If you would like to make this into a typical sliceable pie, just divide the dough into slightly unequal halves. Roll the smaller portion to ¼ inch thickness and place into the pie pan. Add the apple mixture (I up the number of apples to 6 and increase the sugar by 1 tablespoon) then top with the larger portion also rolled out to ¼ inch.
  21. Place the pie on a cookie sheet to bake.
  22. Make sure to cut vents or leave areas uncovered so the apples moisture can escape. Bake 1o minutes at 400 degrees then ½ hour at 350.
  23. Preparation time:
  24. minute(s)


Weaving the lattice work
F is for Fiona

TR from No One Likes Crumbley Cookies Chocolate Mousse Pie

Irvin from Eat the Love Double Butterscotch Apple Pie

Charissa from Zest Bakery Apple Galette with Pisco Soaked Golden Raisins

Kate from katealicecookbook Kale & Zucchini Tart

Jenn from Jenn Cuisine Sweet Potato and Duck Pot Pie

Karen from Cooking Gluten Free Pie

Rachel from The Crispy Cook Maple Walnut Pie

gretchen from kumquat deep dish chocolate bourbon pecan pie

Claire from Gluten Freedom Autumn Pumpkin Spice Pie

Morri from Meals With Morri Spinach – Prosciutto Ricotta Quiche & Muffin Tin Pie Variations

Silvana Nardone from Silvana’s Kitchen Chicken Potpie

Caneel from Mama Me Gluten Free Green Tomato Pie

Meredith from Gluten Free Betty Blueberry Pie

Shauna from Gluten-free Girl and the Chef Fresh Pumpkin Pie

Meaghan from The Wicked Good Vegan Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie with Pumpkin Seed and Ginger Topping

Erin from The Sensitive Epicure Chess Pie

Mary Fran from frannycakes Pumpkin Mousse Pie and Apple Maple Cream Cheese Pie

Brooke from B & the boy! Pot Pie

Lisa from Gluten Free Canteen Frangipane Apple Tart

I’ve been included in this great handout of gluten-free recipes, too.

Cinnamon Apple Fritters- Gluten-Free Ratio Rally

Michale Pollan in Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual says  you can eat anything, as long as you make it.

There is no junk food.

Ready to eat- Gluten-free Apple Fritters with cinnamon sugar

Which is a wonderful philosophy in my mind, because it makes all foods available to you as long as you’re willing to do the work.

Such a simple idea, but profound in this modern age of instant coffee, drive through restaurants and grab and go foods.

Don’t get me started about microwaves.


But for thousands of years, our species had to gather and prepare food whenever we wanted to eat.

We had to put in a lot of effort for the reward of something tasty.

Our modern food processing is actually the cause of our modern health concerns.

We all know that we need to eat enough to be able to move about, think straight and grow.

But do we really need to eat 1000 calories mindlessly?

2 Krispy Kreme donuts, all beef pattie, pickles, onion and tomato with just the donuts weighing in at 200 calories a piece

One of the benefit effects of following a gluten free diet is that lots of the foods that most folks can mindlessly eat, we can’t.

We either have to settle for a frozen version, which can be very good like Kinnikinnick donuts.

or we get to be chemists and cooks, creating our own versions.

That is why I love doing these gluten free ratio rally posts. Because lots of bloggers start from one place and you get to read along, visiting each kitchen for a peek in the process, hearing how we all have worked to see the chemistry produce the products of our dreams.

Me, I wanted Apple Fritters, or to be more accurate, my daughters and husband wanted apple fritters.

Lafeen’s apple fritter

There is a wonderful doughnut shop near our home that makes these incredible apple fritters that look like plates full of diced apple and cinnamon. The place that before we went gluten-free we would stop at once a year for apple fritters to share, after school on the first day.

And since this is the time of year when we used to get them, we wanted them. Tender insides encased in a crispy brown shell, studded with tiny apple bits of sweetness and we wanted them now.

So off to the kitchen for some chemistry lessons.

For this recipe, you will need to get a few simple but essential tools.

One is a deep fat thermometer, this one is similar to mine. Admetior 8-Inch Candy/Deep Fry Thermometer to make sure that the fat gets hot enough.

Since you already have your scale,  You do have a scale, right?  After all we are talking about Chemistry, we need a bit of precision.  I have one like this Ozeri ZK011 Precision Pro Stainless-Steel Digital Kitchen Scale with Oversized Weighing Platform because of the large weighing platform.  That one aspect allows me to be flexible with what I am weighing.

And now we just need to gather everything else.

I love to measure out all the dry ingredients the night before, just so they can be bathing in the frying pan a bit quicker. The frying takes a few minutes but can definitely draw a crowd.  My family prefers them unglazed but feel free to embellish at will.  We always call that lily gilding.

Apple Fritter Batter resting

I used maple syrup as the sweetener for these since I love the flavor combination of maple and apples and my body loves to get less refined sugar. Feel free to substitute sugar by weight but you will need to add a tablespoon or two of liquid as well.

Recipe: Cinnamon Apple Fritters


  • 1 small granny smith apple
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100 grams sorghum flour
  • 80 grams sweet rice flour
  • 41 grams brown rice flour
  • 40 grams potato starch
  • 40 grams tapioca flour
  • 3 grams salt
  • 60 grams maple syrup
  • 4 grams baking powder
  • 6 grams cinnamon powder
  • 155 grams buttermilk
  • 3 grams vanilla extract
  • high heat safflower oil for frying or shortening


  1. Place 2 cups or more of High heat safflower oil or shortening for frying in large frying pan and heat to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel apple and cut into tiny cubes.
  3. Beat eggs well in a large mixing pitcher with a spout
  4. Add flours, salt, maple syrup, baking powder, cinnamon, and beat for a minute.
  5. Beat in the vanilla extract and buttermilk.
  6. Stir in the apple cubes.
  7. Let the batter rest while the oil preheats.
  8. Prepare the landing platter as well. Layer a cookie sheet with a few pieces of newsprint then top with paper towels.
  9. Double check that the oil is up to the correct temperature. Too cold oil will create a dense and oily fritter.
  10. Carefully drizzle ¼ cup or so of the dough into the oil. I typically drizzle the batter in one direction and criss-cross leaving holes for the fat to penetrate.
  11. Fry for 2-3 minutes till the brown color begins to spread to the upper side of the fritter.
  12. Then, using tongs, flip the fritter over and cook another minute or so.
  13. The fritter should be dark brown and puffy when removed from the oil.
  14. Place them on the prepared landing platter, flipping them over after a 30 seconds or so.
  15. Allow them to cool a bit.
  16. If desired, top with a sweet glaze but I rarely do.
  17. Sweet glaze
  18. 1 cup confectioners sugar
  19. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  20. 1 tablespoon milk
  21. Stir together till smooth and coat each fritter.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Inside the fritter - with a bit of cinnamon sugar on top..

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 8

Copyright © Dr. Jean Layton-GFDoctor.
Recipe by Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes.
Now that you have had these, check out the rest of the possibilities at all these
Gluten Free Ratio Rally participants.

Charissa at Zest Bakery making  Picarones (Sweet potato/pumpkin fritters) 
Jenn Cuisine    Mini raspberry doughnut cakes     
Gluten Free Canteen    Apple Butter Maple Syrup Donuts, GF  
kumquat    Peach cider doughnuts  
B & the boy!    Apricot Fritters       
Gluten-Free Boulangerie    Old-fashioned raised doughnuts & cake doughnuts 
The Crispy Cook    Chocolate Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze
Mama Me Gluten Free    Thai Fried Bananas
Silvana’s Kitchen    Vanilla-Glazed Chocolate Chip Doughnuts       
frannycakes    Raspberries & Cream Doughnuts     
Gluten Freedom    Chocolate Coconut or Cinnamon-Glazed Vanilla Cake Donuts  
Jeanette’s Healthy Living    Pumpkin Spice Donuts    
Irvin Lin at Eat the Love is frying up Rose’s Pearls Vanilla Donut
Pete at No Gluten, No Problem is making Donut Holes 

and Shauna at Gluten Free Girl and the Chef is making Glazed yeast donuts

Birthday Cake-Gluten-Free of course!

Birthday cakes always have stories.

Stories of happy times, shared with friends and family.

Stories of successes as a new baker makes a delicious cake for a loved one.

Stories of failures that become part of family lore for years to come.

Stories of sadness when a medical diagnosis means you can’t have the recipe of your childhood and the commercial mixes just don’t come close to replacing what was lost.


So what do you do when the cake recipes of your youth don’t work anymore, but you still want to make the day super special for a loved one?

Start with a wonderful inspiration like this ratio from Michael Ruhlman.

Ruhlman’s Basic Sponge Cake Recipe= 1:1:1:1 / egg:sugar:flour:butter

Which translates to

ingredient      Amount, oz
eggs, large, RT    8 (4 whole + 1 yolk)
sugar    8 oz
salt    1 teaspoon
lemon juice    2 tablespoons
vanilla extract    1 teaspoon
baking powder (optional)    2 teaspoons
flour, sifted    8 oz
butter, melted but cool    8 oz

But you know that there is more than just a ratio to creating a great cake.

There is technique as well.  This recipe uses the classic technique of creaming the butter and sugar together to make a tender cake.

My mom would lovingly make this a cake like this one for my birthday each year, and was thrilled that I loved it to be filled with a layer of currant jelly and coconut. She really loved all the contrasts that the tart jam and sweetened coconut provided to the fluffy mocha frosting.

I knew it had to be replicated gluten free to continue the tradition for my girls.

My daughters love the tender texture for cupcakes as well. I rarely let them eat much of the icing, it has a bit of a caffeine rush.

So get all your ingredients lined up and at room temperature, that is so important.


[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:7]Now this is the birthday cake of my dreams, and my girls dreams, but what about those of you who need a different sort of cake to relive those childhood memories?  You should find it here amongst all the tempting treats developed for you.

GF Banana Rum Cupcakes with Rum Glaze (alcohol-free!) by Claire @ Gluten Freedom
GF Basic White Birthday Cake by Kate @ Gluten Free Gobsmacked
GF Boston Cream Pie by Britt @ GF in the City
GF Chocolate Hostess Cupcake Dupes by Erin @ The Sensitive Epicure
GF Chocolate Pistachio Pound Cake by Amie @ The Healthy Apple
GF Coconut Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes by Gretchen @ Kumquat-Blog
GF Confetti Cake by MaryFran @ FrannyCakes
GF Czech Cherry Bublanina by Rachel @ The Crispy Cook
GF Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes by Caroline @ The G-Spot
GF Frangelico Cupcakes with Nutella by Lisa @ Gluten Free Canteen
GF Fresh-Squeezed Lemon Cake by Caneel @ Mama Me Gluten Free
GF Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins by Maria @ Family Fresh Cooking
GF Lemon Tea Cake by Kate @ KateAlice Cookbook
GF Mocha Buttercream Yellow Birthday Cake by Dr. Jean Layton @ GF Doctor Recipes
GF Nina’s Hot Milk Cake by Charissa @ Zest Bakery
GF Tiramisu Cake by TR Crumbley @ No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
GF Traditional Birthday Cake by Karen @ Cooking – Gluten Free!
GF Vanilla Cupcakes by Winnie @ Healthy Green Kitchen
GF White Cake with Apricots & Blueberries by Brooke @ B and the Boy
GF White Chocolate Cupcakes by Caleigh @ Gluten Freek(k)