Home » Ratio Rally : Hazelnut Brownies

Ratio Rally : Hazelnut Brownies

The Gluten-Free Ratio Rally is a gluten-free blog event started by Shauna of Gluten-Free Girl. Each month a group of food bloggers gets together and bakes a gluten-free treat by starting with a basic ratio (that stands in traditional baking) and using that ratio as a starting point to create their own baked masterpieces. All of my contributions to the rally can be found here. You can follow the rally on twitter with the hashtag #gfreerally.

Welcome to The Gluten Free Ratio Rally, Brownie Edition. 

gluten free ratio rally logoI have to start out this post by admitting something to you (I promise this time there aren’t old pictures involved).

I love brownies. Really, I do. In the past year I have written 3 recipes already. And that doesn’t include the peppermint brownies with white chocolate frosting that I lost the recipe for. There are gluten-free espresso brownies, strawberry filled gluten-free brownies and gluten-free brownies with whiskey caramel swirl.

Brownies are a Chicago invention, and thus they are as important in my pastry obsession as any Parisian macaron (the ones with only one o ).

This time, I replaced some of the butter and chocolate with Nutella. And then, I melted some more and swirled it into the brownie. If you are really jonesing for a fix, melt some, pop a scoop of ice cream on the warm brownie and drizzle the melted Nutella on top. Next time some boy tries to smash your heart, or your boss tells you to take a hike, make these and serve the a la mode with the melted Nutella. Your day will be instantly better. (Side note, no hearts were smashed and no hikes were taken on boss’s orders in the making of this post).

I believe a couple of things about brownies.

  1. There is no such thing as a failed brownie. You either have chocolate cake or warm fudge, but never failure.
  2. A brownie should be dense, chewy, chocolatey and insanely rich. If it isn’t all of those things, see rule #1.

Now, to the ratio.


eggs: flour : sugar : chocolate : butter. Not a pretty ratio.

That is the one I used, but I think there isn’t a pretty or simple ratio for brownies. At least, not that I have found. Ruhlman doesn’t have one. And what I have is a sticky, stained, hand written recipe that has instructions for how to swap cocoa for the chocolate if you are running short. It exists as written, and then next to it are the instructions for how to triple it. The recipe changes. Just a smidge, but if you don’t know the secret, your brownies will fail and you will have a chocolate cake.

For the record, I never made the brownies in a single batch in my entire life. Not once.

gluten free brownies with nutella

The commandments of brownie baking are:

  • You only need 1 medium sized pot and a wooden spoon. And a pan. No mixer (sorry Old Faithful). No bowls.
  • Stir as little as possible. We want dense and fudgy, not light and airy.
  • Use whatever flour you want, xantham gum optional. I would say you should mix your flours, but if you want to bump up the nutrition, feel free to sneak some bean flour in these bad boys. No one will notice. Or, just use up what you have on hand, as long as you use grains and starches.
  • Use good chocolate, especially if you are serving me. I can taste cheap chocolate and it isn’t pretty.


And before we get to the others, I need to apologize to my coworkers. These brownies never stood a chance. Sorry you didn’t get to eat them. I promise they were delicious.

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 made Mint Chocolate Flourless Brownies
TR | No One Likes Crumbley Cookies Gluten Free Berry Fudge Brownies 

Gluten-Free Nutella (Hazelnut) Brownies
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 16
These won’t hit you over the head with their hazelnut flavor, so feel free to sub in some ground hazelnuts for up to 30 grams (or 1/8 cup) of the flour.
  • 260 g / 9 ounces good dark chocolate
  • 200 g / 1 3/4 sticks butter
  • 80 grams (1/4 cup) + 325 grams (1 cup) nutella – divided use!
  • 10 grams/ 2tbsp cocoa powder
  • 110 grams (1/2 cup) packed dark brown sugar
  • 300 grams (1 1/2) cups granulated white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 grams flour (a slightly generous cup of your favorite gluten free flours. I recommend Cup4Cup or a mix of sorghum, brown rice, tapioca and sweet white rice flours – using about 1/4 cup of each).
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 11×13 pan with parchment paper. Grease the parchment and any bits of the pan that are not covered.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the chocolate and the butter or butter replacement. Once melted add the 80 grams (1/4 cup) Nutella to the mix.
  3. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the sugars.
  4. Add the eggs in 2 groups, be careful to stir only just until the eggs are incorporated. We are not making cake – so we don’t want to go adding air in here where it doesn’t belong.
  5. Add the flour in 2 groups to make sure that you get it incorporated. Again being careful not to over-stir and add air.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan. Melt the 325 grams of Nutella in the microwave (it took about 45 seconds on high in mine) and pour it on top of the brownies, making sure to spread the love around. Swirl the batter and the Nutella together with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes. No more! You will probably think that they aren’t done. Take that risk. A fudgy brownie is a million times better than a dry brownie. These come out like baked fudge and set up to a consistency that is dense, moist and fudgy. They are perfection.



  1. This was a fun challenge. Thanks for hosting Mary Fran.

    My link seems not to work though. It looks exactly the same in my browser as I had typed in the spreadsheet, but if you could fix this in your post here to direct people to my recipe, that would be great. It seems to work on Erin’s blog post.

  2. Morri says:

    Look at that epic… err… brownie-ness! Beautiful gooey middle with a crinkled surface a good brownie makes.

    Thank you so much for hosting this month, Mary. This was quite a challenge.

  3. Caneel says:

    Oh how I’d love to have one of these (or more!) right now. These look so amazing, as I knew they must be from the title. Nutella. Thanks for your rules – they are perfect – and I love the comment about cheap chocolate. LOL! Thank you for hosting us this month! 🙂

  4. ~Mrs. R says:

    Thank you for hosting this brownie bonanza this month Mary Fran!! You have been one terrific hostess!

    My son will adore these brownies. He eats Nutella on everything… and now will have it in and on his brownies! I will have to make these to surprise him. 🙂
    Blessings, ~Mrs. R

  5. Jenn says:

    Thanks so much for hosting this month, it was the perfect challenge – had a lot of fun making brownies and seeing everyone’s creations 🙂

  6. Heather says:

    Thanks for hosting the rally this month…it was fun to experiment, and see others experiments! Your brownies look yummy, by the way, and I like your thoughts on “no brownie left behind” 😉

  7. Angela says:

    Thanks for the lovely challenge! Yours are amazing – mmm…. Nutella…. I now have more brownie recipes to bake and eat. Woo-hoo! My kids are going to be in heaven! 🙂

  8. Tara says:

    I love your brownie “rules,” especially the one about cheap chocolate! So true!

    And what a great idea to replace some of the chocolate and butter with Nutella – they sound amazing.

    Thanks so much for hosting this month, Mary Fran!

  9. Jonathan says:

    This post made me laugh….a LOT (in the best way possible, of course). And beyond humor, there were also generous amounts of truth and inspiration mixed in there with an amazing looking brownie recipe to boot.

    Thank you *so* much for hosting this month and leading us off the beaten path and into the wild with this Rally challenge. So much fun!

  10. gretchen says:

    thanks so much for hosting us~ and fabulous challenge pick. agreed about a brownie never truly failing. yours sound delightful… anything with nutella also makes the no-fail list in my mind, so the combination is perfect!

  11. Cecily says:

    Too sweet!! I didn’t even include the brown sugar AND I decreased the sugar to 1 1/4C. I even used UNSWEETENED chocolate for half of the chocolate amount and bittersweet 70% for the other half. I also managed to only use up 1/4 of the melted nutella to spread throughout as it looked too much to dump the whole thing. This is inedible as written–unless you are used to soda & candy and like being in a diabetic coma. It was a great idea but too, too sweet. I wasted expensive chocolate on this and I don’t know how to fix it.

    • maryfran says:

      These are very sweet – this is not a recipe for low sugar or healthy brownies. It is for a sweet treat. It might help if you weighed, rather then used volume measurements, to ensure that everything was in the correct proportions. If you only swirled in Nutella at the end, then you missed an additional crucial step – it is replacing part of the butter in the batter. That is what the 1/4 cup is for.

      And leaving out that much of the sugar, I don’t doubt that they didn’t turn out correctly. By changing the proportions of the ingredients (amount of sugar, type of cf chocolate and amount of fat), you have drastically changed the nature of the recipe. I cannot ensure that things will turn out correctly if you change multiple variables in a recipe.

      I am sorry if you found them to be too sweet, but a sweet treat was the goal of this recipe. I find that sweeter brownies tend to be more popular than bittersweet ones.

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