Grain-Free (Nut-Free) Brownies


When I feel a little down I often choose to bake. Baking is exciting for me. The idea that you can pop a batter into the oven and it transforms into something new- like a cake- (or in this case ridiculously good brownies), is so gratifying. Then there’s the down side. A gooey failure, made from expensive ingredients that goes straight into the trash. (That happens when you are messing with baking chemistry sometimes.)

So, a few days before Mother’s day I was feeling a bit low and I decided to make brownies from the leftover baked Hannah Yam in my refrigerator. Without any consideration for baking science I put together this batter that should not work and yet it did! Over the next few days I made three more batches- tested a few theories- and perfected the recipe for Mother’s day.

GFE is having a fun little blog post featuring grain-free, nut-free recipes that satisfy a craving for nuts. This recipe is so perfect for that, my mother-in-law even mistook the sweet potatoes for nuts!
These brownies break a blog promise. I claim to be dairy-free and this recipe calls for goat’s milk whey protein powder. But at the bottom of the recipe I offer an alternative, so if you want dairy-free, read that before you start mixing.

Grain-Free Brownie Recipe

1 cup cooked Hannah Yam ** (baked is best, steamed is OK too), mashed but not completely smooth
1 banana (medium), mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey (*not for dairy free version)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon oil/fat (anything is fine, I use coconut)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (to activate the baking soda)
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup goat’s whey protein powder, unsweetened (cow’s whey will work too- other protein powders? – egg white protein should be fine too) (*not for dairy free version)
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt

* For dairy-free, replace the honey with 1/4 cup coconut sugar plus 1 tablespoon honey. Omit the protein powder entirely. If you can tolerate the goat’s whey I highly recommend using it.
** Hannah yams are white and have a more mild flavor than orange sweet potatoes. If you can get them, they are preferable. Or the Japanese (white) sweet potatoes would be good too.


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Prepare a baking dish (8×8 or 9×9) with parchment paper and grease the sides.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients in the order they are listed. Mix together and pour into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for about 40-50 minutes. Less time for gooier brownies, more time for cakey brownies. The brownie will feel firm with a slight give in the center. (Toothpick testing does nothing here.)


I am sharing this recipe on GFE, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday,

9 thoughts on “Grain-Free (Nut-Free) Brownies

  1. Dawn, these look absolutely amazing! Both photos are wonderful, but that second photo with your always super creative and super cute styling is my fave! :-) I love all the ideas that are coming through for grain-free, nut-free recipes. I think they will really help so many. Thank you so much for participating in Go Ahead Honey this month!

    By the way, I just shared your book with a new friend who is launching a new Raising Our Celiac Kids (R.O.C.K.) group for all gluten-free kids and their families. I know your cookbook will be a great resource for everyone who participates!


  2. Pingback: Gelatin is a Superfood, Apricot Almond Bars, Nut and Grain Free Brownies and More! | Gluten Free Pantry

  3. Pingback: First Day of First Grade | Cuter Than Gluten

  4. Pingback: Back-to-School Bonanza: 50 Healthier Lunchbox Treats—Gluten Free, Nut Free, and “More Free”—That Your Kids Will Love! | All Gluten-Free Desserts...All the Time

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s