Gluten-Free Lemon Brownies! These fudgy lemon brownies are full of zesty citrus flavor. They’re like taking a bite out of sunshine!
I’m a HUGE brownie fan. I love the rich, fudgy texture, intense chocolate taste, and how easy they are to make. But have you ever tried LEMON BROWNIES?
Lemon. Brownies. Don’t they sound amazing?
We’re taking all the fudgy texture of a chocolate brownie, and giving it a sunny citrusy spin by packing it with zesty lemon flavor. The end result is a happy, light lemon dessert recipe that you’ll LOVE.
Here’s what you need to get started on our easy lemon brownies…
Why Are They Called Lemon Brownies? Aren’t They Lemon Blondies?
If you want to get strictly technical, brownies contain chocolate in some form, so strictly speaking, these would more likely be called lemon blondies. BUT. I find most blondies have a texture that feels more like a cross between cookies & cake (more like cookie bars!).
Lemon brownies are called lemon brownies because of their squidgy, fudgy texture that resembles a fudgy brownie. They’re unleavened (meaning there’s no baking powder or baking soda), so they’re a close-textured, almost fudgy take on lemon cake. They’re a total DELIGHT! If you need to call them lemon blondies, or lemon cake bars, feel free!
Here’s What Goes Into Gluten-Free Lemon Brownies:
- Lemon Zest. You’ll need TWO lemons’ worth of lemon zest for lemon brownies. The most concentrated lemon flavor is in the natural oils in the zest, so it packs a sunny punch into every bite.
- Sugar. Next up is sugar. We love rubbing the lemon zest into the sugar to infuse it with the lemon flavor. Such a great trick for lemon recipes!
- Softened Butter. Then, you’ll need some butter to cream with the sugar. I love the texture it adds to these fudgy lemon brownies!
- Eggs. Simple! They bind and add fudginess to the texture. So good!
- Lemon Juice. For another splash of lemon flavor. Be sure to use FRESH lemon juice here (rather than bottled, which can taste bitter and overly acidic). I love the tang of fresh lemon juice.
- Vanilla & Almond Extract. Just like in our Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, we’re adding a mix of vanilla extract and almond extract. It might sound strange, but it really amplifies the lemon flavor!
- Gluten-Free Flour. To keep things simple, I like using a gluten-free measure for measure flour. This one from King Arthur is our go-to. If you use a different 1:1 blend, be sure that it contains xanthan gum and know that your results may vary slightly.
- Cornstarch. Adding a little cornstarch to the mix keeps your lemon brownies from tasting floury or getting too dense. (You can use arrowroot if you prefer to avoid corn!)
- Salt. To balance the flavor. Simple, but essential!
- Our Easy Lemon Glaze. This simple mixture of powdered sugar, lemon juice, and a little butter is the final flourish on our easy lemon brownie recipe. Such a lovely touch!
Tools To Help You:
How To Make GLuten-Free Lemon Brownies, Step By Step:
- Prep Your Pan & Preheat The Oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a square 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper (I like to have the parchment hanging over two of the sides so I can use them as handles to lift the brownies out of the pan later).
- Combine Lemon Zest & Sugar. In a large bowl or a stand mixer, combine lemon zest & sugar. Use clean fingertips to rub the lemon zest into the sugar until it’s fragrant and yellow. You’re distributing the lemon oils to all those sugar grains which means more powerful lemon flavor in every bite!
- Cream Sugar & Butter. Add softened butter to your lemon zest infused sugar and cream 2-3 minutes, until light, fluffy, and a bit lighter in color.
- Add Eggs One At A Time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Scrape down the sides, then…
- Add Lemon Juice, Vanilla & Almond Extract. Whisk or mix these in until smooth. The mixture may look a bit grainy at this point. Don’t stress!
- Mix In Gluten-Free Flour Blend, Cornstarch & Salt. Now, you’re ready to add the dry ingredients! In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and fold them in with a flexible spatula or mix until JUST combined (try not to over-mix).
- Pour Into Your Prepared Pan. Transfer the lemon brownie batter to your prepared pan and smooth it out into an even layer. (An offset spatula makes this easy!)
- Bake & Cool. Pop your lemon brownies in the oven and bake at 350 degrees F. for 22-26 minutes, or until the venter is just set. Remember, that like brownies, you don’t want to over-bake them or they’ll lose their fudgy texture! Cool the brownies 20-30 minutes, then make your glaze.
- Glaze The Brownies. In a small bowl or a liquid measuring cup, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and melted butter. Whisk until completely smooth, adding more powdered sugar if the glaze looks too thin, or more lemon juice if it looks too thick. Pour glaze over the cooled brownies and smooth it out with an offset spatula. Garnish with additional lemon zest & enjoy!
FAQ + Tips For The BEst Gluten-Free Lemon Brownies:
How To Cut Lemon Brownies Neatly. I find brownies cut with clean, crisp lines after they’ve been chilled. Chill the brownies, then use a sharp knife to make clean cuts. (You can even run the knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and then cut the brownies for an even smoother cut!)
How To Store Lemon Brownies. Gluten-free lemon brownies keep best in the refrigerator. I store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, or you can freeze them about 1 month.
Can I Make These Dairy-Free? I haven’t tested these dairy-free yet, but in my experience, most brownie recipes work well using dairy-free butter as a substitute.
Can I Use Meyer Lemons Instead? Absolutely! We made one of our test batches with Meyer lemons (a sort of hybrid of oranges & lemons) and they were scrumptious. So good!
Could I Make These With Orange or Lime? That sounds delicious! I haven’t tried it myself, but I think both versions would work, since we’re not worrying about leavening (and have fewer chemical reactions to worry about). If you give it a try with orange or lime, I’d LOVE to know how it goes!