Flourless Walnut Brownies

November  8, 2021
4.5 Stars
Photo by James Ransom. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Amanda Widis.
Author Notes

Flour is the difference between a fudgy brownie and a cakey brownie—the more you add, the cakier it gets. So what would happen if you didn’t add any flour? And what is flour, anyway? While the default used to be all-purpose flour, nowadays there is a truckload of non-wheat ingredients calling themselves flour, from nuts (like almonds) to grains (like oats) to legumes (like chickpeas). These come in handy if you have a wheat allergy or intolerance—or if you want a super-fudgy brownie.

In this Passover-ready dessert, we’ll take advantage of an ingredient that many brownie recipes already include: walnuts. Some get toasted and stirred into the batter. Others are left raw, for a wheat-ish subtleness, and whooshed in a food processor. The rest of the recipe is as classic as it gets, inspired by Alice Medrich’s cocoa brownies to end all cocoa brownies. Thanks to the walnuts’ buttery fat and zero gluten, the result is rich, crackly, and halfway to chocolate ganache.
Emma Laperruque

Test Kitchen Notes

Adapted with permission from Big Little Recipes by Emma Laperruque, published by Ten Speed Press, 2021 —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Flourless Walnut Brownies
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • makes One 8-inch square pan
  • 2/3 cup plus ¾ cup (170 grams) chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (80 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line an 8-inch (20-centimeter) square baking dish with parchment, with overhang on two sides to lift out the baked brownies.
  2. Place ⅔ cup (80 grams) of the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown.
  3. While those cool, add the remaining ¾ cup (90 grams) walnuts to a food processor and pulse in short bursts until a crumbly meal forms. (Don’t take it too far, or you’ll end up with walnut butter.)
  4. Add the butter to a medium saucepan and set over low heat. When that’s melted, remove from the heat and use a wooden spoon to stir in the cocoa powder, then the sugar and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition until incorporated. Set a timer and mix for 2 minutes (with feeling!), until the batter is smooth and glossy. Stir in the walnut flour, then the toasted walnuts.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, until puffed around the edges with a glossy-crackly top and a toothpick inserted near a corner comes out mostly clean. Let cool until room temperature, then remove from the pan and cut into squares.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • elaine23
  • Sierra Delta
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  • momoffive
Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles on the fly, baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., and writing about the history of pie in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's award-winning column, Big Little Recipes (also the cookbook in November 2021!). And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

6 Reviews

Dspear November 21, 2021
Easy, delicious, fudginess. My new go-to recipe. Thanks!!! Used coconut sugar, which is what I use for everything.
elaine23 November 13, 2021
Very dense result. I was hoping for fudgy, which they were, but they also got quite hard on the outside. Maybe I over-baked? I’ll probably stick with flour-based options.
Sierra D. November 13, 2021
I live with people who despise walnuts, so I'll need to either use another nut or eat the whole pan myself! Could I use pecans instead, or would that not work as well as the walnut "flour"?
momoffive November 12, 2021
Yum! The GF people in my life love this as do the non-GF people. It's so nice to make a sweet that everyone can enjoy. I've got a batch in the oven that is sugar-free for my diabetic mil. I used 200g of allulose plus 50g of golden lakanto. The batter was delicious.
Jaryn November 12, 2021
Weird! These are more like fudge than a brownie. I do love the walnut flour and additional walnuts but found them nothing like a brownie.
David November 10, 2021
This is likely to become a go-to recipe: it could not be easier to pull together. I made a couple of tweaks, adding cocoa nibs and vanilla. Sublime!