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Fudgy Crinkle Top Brownies (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)

dairy freedessertgluten freegrain free

You guys have been begging me for a healthy gluten free brownie recipe since I posted on Instagram a few months ago that I was working on it—but honestly, it’s hard to make a perfect, grain-free fudgy brownie, especially if you’re looking for a solid crinkle top situation.

Fudgey Crinkle Top Brownies (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)

For me, the crinkle top is a must of the brownie world—it’s what differentiates a brownie from a cake. Unfortunately, all that crinkle action is created by making what is, in essence, a very, very thin meringue, which forms when you beat the white sugar with the eggs. I don’t like using white sugar in my recipes, though, so what was a crinkle-craving woman to do?

Beyond that, getting a perfect fudgy consistency with a base for gluten free brownies and zero dairy is shockingly hard. I tried ghee. I tried different types of grain free flour. I tried different ratios of ingredients. I tried adding ingredients in different orders. And then, finally, I nailed it (has the Netflix show ruined the phrase “nailed it” for you, too? Anyone?).

Fudgey Crinkle Top Brownies (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)

This version uses avocado oil instead of butter, which creates a nice, neutral but rich base for the brownie. You use both melted dark chocolate (I love Enjoy Life and Santa Barbara chocolate company) and cocoa powder, which considerably ups the chocolate ante. Finally, you use coconut sugar, one of my favorite low-GI, unrefined sweeteners, in both the batter and sprinkled on top of the brownies. The sugar creates a similar reaction to the meringue of a more traditional brownie, resulting in a perfect crinkle-filled crust. How many times can I say crinkle in one post?

These are SUPER easy gluten free brownies—they take 10 minutes of active time to make, and then you pop ’em in the oven and get to work licking the spoon and bowl. If you make ’em, be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can share!!

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Crinkle Topped Fudgy Brownies (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Fudgy Crinkle Top Brownies (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)

  • Author: Liz Moody


These perfectly crinkle-topped grain free, gluten free, dairy-free, refined sugar free (phew!) fudgy brownies are about to be your new favorite. 


  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened chocolate chips
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • I tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt, to top (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9″ x 9″ pan with parchment paper, so some hangs off the ends as a handle to lift the finished brownies with.  In a microwave or double boiler, melt the avocado oil and chocolate until smooth. Set aside to cool while you make the rest of the batter.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup of coconut sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
  3. Pour in the avocado oil and chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.  Add the walnuts if using. Pour into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of coconut sugar, and the flaky sea salt, if using. 
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a knife in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan before removing, cutting into squares, and serving. 

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  1. Veronica says:

    my go-to brownie recipe!! they are fudgy & decadent and nobody can tell they’re GF. don’t skip the sea salt on top! 🙂

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Veronica,

      I’m so happy to hear you love these brownies. Agreed– the flaky sea salt on top is a must!

      xo, Liz

  2. Vicky says:

    Love this – guilt free and my partner and I make this often!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Vicky, I’m so glad you and your partner like the brownies! xo, Liz

  3. Bee says:

    Can you use butter instead of avocado oil?

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Bee — Yes! This would work well.
      Xo Liz

  4. Alex says:

    These are dangerously good. Seriously so amazing. Bake at your own risk!!! 🙂

  5. Christina says:

    Hi there! I am so excited to make these. The store didn’t have unsweetened chips, but rather a bar. Do you have a measurement for that? I could also chop it up and guesstimate about the same amount of chips needed. Thank you!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Christina — Your best bet would be to chop the bar up for sure! I hope you enjoy it.
      Xo Liz

  6. Ashley says:

    Liz! Every. Single. One. of your recipes hits it out of the park!! These are gorgeous. So fluffy and hits all the chocolate needs. I was all out of almond flour and since we are #socialdistancing I used 1/4 cup of coconut flour and 1/4 cup of arrowroot powder and they are amazing! The bake time was about 10 min longer. I will certainly make them again using almond flour when almond flour is back in stock at thrive market.

  7. Kelsey says:

    I’ve had this recipe saved for a while and finally made these brownies for the first time yesterday. If you’re like me, don’t wait any more! They’re quick and easy to make, and so delicious! Highly recommend!

  8. Jennifer says:

    DA-licious. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips and just a little bit less coconut sugar. I didn’t get the krinkle effect because I was nervous about sprinkling too much coconut sugar and flaky salt on top, so would be more liberal with that next time.

  9. Danika says:

    Hey Liz, what brand of unsweetened choc chips do you use?

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hi Danika — I have used Enjoy Life before, but there are a ton of great brands out there!
      Xo Liz

  10. Courtney says:

    My son is allergic to nuts, any recommendations for a sub. for almond flour? I hate to ask for a substitute, but would love to try this recipe ?. Thanks!!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Courtney! I haven’t tried it without almond flour so I’m hesitant to give recommendations but if you want to take a chance, you could use 1/4 cup coconut flour in lieu of the 1 cup of almond flour. You could also try a 1:1 sub with a gluten free flour blend like Bob’s Red Mill! Let me know how it goes!

      1. Kara says:

        Any thoughts on whether flax eggs will work in this recipe?

        1. Liz Moody says:

          I would assume so. Let me know if you try it!

  11. Vanessa says:

    I can’t eat almonds or flour with gluten (I’m on a low FODMAP diet temporarily). What swap could I make, and does it change the ratio? Gluten-free flour? Spelt flour if I can have it later? Thanks!

    1. Liz Moody says:

      Hey Vanessa! I haven’t tried it without almond flour so I’m hesitant to give recommendations but if you REALLY want to take a chance, you could use 1/4 cup coconut flour in lieu of the 1 cup of almond flour. You could also try a 1:1 sub with a gluten free flour blend like Bob’s Red Mill! Good luck!! <3

  12. Sheri says:

    This are AMAZING. I just made these and my husband and I love them.

      1. Sharon says:

        I have everything but the avocado oil….can I use coconut? or olive?