Slap Yo’ Mama Brownies (gluten-free)


The chocolate-lover at your Thanksgiving will thank you. Pumpkin pie vs. brownie showdown?

Alright people. It’s time indulge in what close friends have coined “slap yo’ mama brownies” and “chocolate crack,” among other explicit descriptives. These small, chocolate squares will make your knees week. Slightly virtuous, they are gluten-free.

Oh, the gluten-free craze. You don’t like it? Well, you don’t have to! Sometimes, the trend boggles my mind. Since a celiac diagnoses about two years ago, I quickly discovered that gluten-free food is real food. Tasty food. Amazing food. Fruits, vegetables, artisan cheese (any high quality dairy product, really), chocolate, nuts, fish, meat, oils, vinegars, many grains… must I go on to basically describe the whole foods we should be enjoying?

I cook for my family- and often. Daily, at a minimum. My kids also love to cook and care for others through food (you’ve gotta eat, and it might as well be damn delicious!). For skilled home cooks out there (particularly those with big broods of hungry mouths to feed), you realize that recipes are not rules.

Basic cooking skills allow you to be inspired by the food you have in your kitchen and that you see at the market. Recipes inspire but may be modified. Recently, I have blogged less about savory foods because… we make it, it tastes amazing, but I am not confident to put out an exact recipe without lots of testing.

Baking is different from preparing a savory meal. It is somewhat less creative and certainly an exacting and scientific process, particularly when gluten-free.

Call these chocolate morsels paleo, whole foods, gluten-free, whatever- my friends call them “slap yo’ mama” good. After a few months of rigorous and draining (correction: sweet,  amazing and awe inspiring) recipe testing, I present to you “chocolate crack” (again, not my terminology, but I’ll take it).

Person (extra) grata, around number seven, who asked for this recipe sent me a text. It went something along the lines of, “These are so good, they make me want to slap yo’ mama!” Followed by the approximate verbiage, “That’s what we say in Kentucky.” She offered a translation for a former state-hopping Missouri transplant.

Now I get it, and here’s the recipe, people. Of course, don’t be surprised if you find a batch at your door again soon, too. Chocolate is meant to be shared. Please share and don’t “slap yo’ mama,” or anyone else, for that matter!

This recipe comes out best using the ingredients stated, without substitutions. The coconut sugar/oil and almond flour really make this brownie special in flavor and texture, and the coconut cream in the ganache creates a silky, smooth spread. On that note, I’m certain these chocolate rock stars are dairy-free and quite possibly paleo… should that matter to you!

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Also, to eat fabulous chocolate and drink good wine with friends, Ralph. Just sayin’).


If dark chocolate and Rioja is wrong, nothing in the world is right. Truth.


My oldest, most special helper and food “mini-me” is all about these “Slap Yo’ Mama Brownies” (no, she didn’t actually slap me!).


Usually the hubby licks the bowl. He was in a long surgery, so… (sorry, sweetie!).


The batter is thick, rich and spoon-worthy. Restrain yourself and bake before eating!


Once baked, the edges of the brownies pull away from the pan, and you know they are perfectly cooked.


Dark chocolate and coconut cream ganache will change your life… Forever!


It’s the perfect amount of ganache to cover the top of the brownies, with room for a few “finger-licking good “bowl/spatula moments after icing (or during, really).


No words. Just gluten-free chocolate-on-chocolate bliss. Thank you almond flour, thank you dark chocolate, and thank you coconut oil, sugar and cream. MMMM.


The upper right quadrant is for M-O-M. The boys are not as keen on flaky sea salt on chocolate (but clearly should be!).


Slice the iced brownies (when 110% cooled in the refrigerator) for perfect squares every time.


After the brownies are super cooled, sprinkle with the best quality cocoa used in the recipe.


Chopped nuts (hubby prefers pecans!) are a nice textural element. Coconut flakes echo the flavors of the moist sponge.


Personal favorite topping: cocoa nibs. Give me nibs or give me death. No, give me nibs!


Brownie. Porn. Enough. Said.


Sooo0, photo was taken a few hours ago. Subtract about 10 brownies for accuracy.


More. Chocolate. Porn. Bake me, eat me, share me!


A perfect night: a few friends, a batch of Slap Yo’ Mama Brownies and of course Rioja.


The brownies are fantastic cut into larger squares for a dessert course after dinner…


…or decadent and dainty as small squares for a party. Regardless, they will be devoured.

Slap Yo’ Mama Brownies (gluten-free)

Makes 16-32 squares, depending!

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup superfine almond flour 

1/4 cup unsweetened, organic, gluten-free cocoa powder

1/2 t gluten-free baking powder (such as Clabber Girl)

1 t instant espresso powder

3/4 t fine salt

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 c organic virgin coconut oil

1 1/4 c good quality 60-65% cocoa dark chocolate chips 

3 free range eggs, room temperature

1c fine organic coconut palm sugar

2 t bourbon vanilla extract

Ganache Ingredients:

3 T coconut cream

1 3.5 ounce dark chocolate bar (60-70% cocoa), very finely chopped

1/16 t (dash) fine salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 t liqueur of choice

coconut oil cooking spray

optional toppings: unsweetened cocoa nibs, coconut or cocoa powder; chopped/roasted nuts, etc.


  1. Preheat oven to 350•F and generously spray a 8×8 baking with coconut oil cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine one cup of the chocolate chips and the coconut oil. Microwave on medium powder in 20 second increments, stirring after each increment, until the chocolate mixture is shiny and smooth. Stir the remaining 1/4 cups chocolate chips into mixture until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder and salt.
  4. Whisk the eggs, coconut sugar and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
  5. Whisk the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then whisk into the flour mixture.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth the mixture (it will be thick) with an offset spatula. Tap the pan on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles. 
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, check at 25 minutes (as oven temperatures vary). Remove the brownies from the oven when a toothpick inserted two inches from the side of the pan comes out clean, the edges of the brownies pull away from the pan, and the middle is set. Allow the brownies to cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the ganache.
  9. Place the chopped chocolate and vanilla or liqueur in a small glass bowl. Heat the coconut milk in microwave or on stove top until boiling. Pour the heated milk over the chopped chocolate.
  10. Slowly whisk until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
  11. Pour the ganache over the cooled brownies, and smooth the mixture with an offset spatula.
  12. Sprinkle the ganache with toppings of choice while warm. If you are sprinkling with cocoa powder, wait to sprinkle the powder until the ganache has cooled completely (see next step).
  13. Place the brownies, uncovered, in the refrigerator to cool completely, at least an hour. If topping with cocoa powder, sprinkle at this point. Then, the brownies may be easily sliced into squares.

Store in an airtight container on the counter for a week, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or in freeze in a freezer bag for up to three months. (2013-2016). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.


4 thoughts on “Slap Yo’ Mama Brownies (gluten-free)

  1. Loving your writing in this post. Will have to try these. Particularly as you’re the blogger that got me baking brownies in the first place – well, after linking to Katharine Hepburn’s recipe. And I can get my mitts on all but the coconut sugar – may have to sub that.
    Oh, lots of photos didn’t load for me.

  2. Great post, Shanna. Completely agree with you statement that we have to eat, so it might as well be delicious. These brownies certainly fit the bill! I usually only use coconut oil for Asian recipes as I don’t agree with its supposed superfood qualities, but since you mention it gives a different texture I’ll have to give this a try! I have a friend with roots in the South, so I had encountered “slap yo’ momma” before — even as a brand (and I refrained from slapping said friend when she suggested to use store-bought seasoning mix of said brand rather than making it ourselves). Can’t wait to try these! I too like to pair with Spanish wine, but from farther to the south: Pedro Ximenez!

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