Gluten Free Christmas Brownies – Easy Reindeer and Christmas Trees
My Gluten Free Christmas Brownies are super-fudgy and loads of fun… whether you choose to make Reindeer Brownies, Christmas Tree Brownies, or both. Perfect for kids (little and big). Optional dairy free brownies recipe.
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Gluten Free Christmas Brownies – The BEST seasonal fun!
I am SO excited to be sharing my Gluten Free Christmas Brownies. They are quite possibly the most fun I have had baking in years. Perfect for making with the kids. But (to be honest) I had a riot making them as a ‘way too grown up’ adult too. From the planning of decorations to dropping sprinkles all over the kitchen floor. They brought with them all the excitement of Christmas and all the joy of eating seasonal treats.
So… Whether you need a super-entertaining, head turning Christmas bake for a bake sale, or you just want to make the family smile… THESE cute little Christmas Brownies are the BEST!
Reindeer Brownies or Christmas Tree Brownies… Which Christmas Brownie would you choose?
When I was first planning to make Gluten Free Christmas Brownies, I couldn’t settle on whether to go for Reindeer or Christmas Trees. Both are super-cute. I did consider making a whole batch of each, but with so much other Christmas recipe development underway, I figured my waistline really wouldn’t thank me. They are simply too irresistible to walk past without dipping a hand in the tin.
So… I compromised… And you can too!
Because both Reindeer Brownies and Christmas Tree Brownies are triangular in shape, I split the batch and made some of each.
Are Gluten Free Christmas Brownies easy to make?
Absolutely yes! Follow the instructions on the recipe card and you’ll have the perfect gluten free Christmas Brownies in no time at all. In fact, this recipe is so simple, the kids could probably knock up a batch on their own. Just be on hand to help with anything that involves heat, sharp knives and whisking (to make sure fingers stay safe).
Why use this gluten free brownie recipe to make Christmas Brownies?
The recipe shared in this post for gluten free brownies is super-fudgy and melts in the mouth. But it has also been developed to have a surface that allows for easy decorating and a texture that will cut into perfect triangles without crumbling or squidging. And that means you get Gluten Free Christmas Brownies that actually look like Christmas Trees and Reindeer AND with the perfect fudgy brownie texture.
The recipe itself uses a combination of primarily dark chocolate, a little cocoa and brown sugar. And that combination alongside butter, gluten free flour, eggs and a couple of other additions, makes the most gloriously-textured brownies which are deeply chocolate and not over-sweet.
Can I use an alternative brownie recipe for Gluten Free Christmas Brownies?
While you could use a different gluten free brownie recipe to make Christmas Tree and Reindeer Brownies, I recommend sticking to the recipe shared here… It’s been tested for robustness, texture, flavour, cutting and decorating and I know that it works (for me at least!).
If, however, you have a favourite brownie recipe that cuts well and tastes right for you, then feel free to sub as you wish. It’s in your hands…
Are these Christmas Brownies safe for People with Coeliac Disease?
Yes. Providing you use this recipe for Christmas Brownies, it has been created to be safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac Disease). There are no gluten-containing ingredients, but as always, it is wise if you have a health-related gluten-linked condition to check all ingredient labels for cross contamination risk or ‘may contain’ warnings.
This is also REALLY important when it comes to sprinkles and decorations. It’s shocking how many basic sprinkles contain wheat and/or barley malt extract. So, pick carefully and wisely to be sure anyone eating your reindeer or Christmas trees stays food-safe.
Can I make gluten free Christmas Brownies dairy free?
Yes. The basic Gluten Free Christmas Brownie recipe uses mainly naturally dairy free ingredients. The only things that need to be substituted and/or checked are the butter and dark chocolate. As an alternative to dairy butter, I recommend a good vegan block alternative such as either Stork or Flora unsalted baking blocks.
Unfortunately, this is not a vegan brownie recipe as it uses eggs. So, if you want to make Christmas or Reindeer Brownies that are vegan-safe, an alternative brownie recipe will be needed.
How to cut perfect triangles for Christmas Tree and Reindeer Brownies
Although for both the Reindeer and Christmas Tree Brownies, you will need to use triangles, the cutting of them was (for me) initially a bit of a conundrum. Why? Because I needed to cut isoceles triangles with two long sides and one short to get the best tree and reindeer shapes. It’s trickier than it sounds!
And because I found it such a conundrum, I’ve drafted a rough template of how I eventually did it to get the best out of the square bake. I hope it helps a little!
Make sure to use a super sharp knife to cut the brownie. And clean with a cloth between cuts to ensure the lines stay ‘crisp’. Discard (by munching before anyone else gets them) the off-cuts, marked in dark blue on the template.
How to decorate Christmas Tree Brownies
Next for the really fun part… Decorating your Christmas Brownies. Let’s start with the Christmas Trees…
The Christmas tree ‘trunk’
With the short side at the base, you’ll need to make a ‘trunk’. I used Mint Matchmakers cut to size, as they are approved as coeliac-safe by Coeliac UK. But you could equally use a piece of candy cane or an alternative stick-shaped sweet.
To avoid damaging the brownie, make a hole at the tree base with a skewer or the pointy end of a chop stick, before inserting the ‘trunk’. It may help robustness if you chill the brownies for half an hour before decorating.
The tree decorations
Have these ready before you start to ‘green-ice’ the tree. Pick a variety of small sparkly gluten free cake decorations and sweets that will look pretty. Lay them out on a plate or bowl ready to stick on.
The ‘green-icing’ foliage
I used a little drizzleable icing made with icing sugar, a drop of water and a dot of green food colour paste. But you could equally use a few green candy melts that have been warmed until liquid.
Once runny, drizzle the icing onto the Christmas Tree Brownies using:
- A small spoon
- The end of a cut-down piping bag with a tiny hole cut out, or a cake decorating bottle
- Brush on with a clean food-safe paint brush.
While the icing (or candy melt) is still wet, stick the decorations on top of it, to decorate the tree. But remember… If you chilled the brownies ahead of time, candy melt will firm up super-quick with the cold surface, so work quickly to get the Christmas Trees decorated.
Optional tinsel sparkle
To add a little extra seasonal sparkle, sprinkle a little edible glitter on top.
How to decorate Reindeer Brownies
Decorating the Reindeer Brownies only involves 3 ingredients…
- Something red for the nose – I used mini red chocolate beans (which were confirmed gluten free).
- Some ‘antlers’ – I used Cadbury Curly Wurly Squirlies (also safe). But you could alternatively use gluten free mini pretzels (like the ones from Schar).
- Candy eyes – These are now easily sourced in supermarkets. It’s worth pairing them up before you start sticking onto the reindeer, as the black dots vary in size. Although maybe you’re not as OCD as me!
Sticking the antlers, nose and eyes onto the Reindeer Brownies is really easy. You can either use dots of writing icing, or I melted a very small amount of chocolate in the microwave and dotted it on with the narrow end of a teaspoon. Simply dot a little melted chocolate where you want to stick something and stick it in place. Just remember that if the brownies have been chilled before decorating, that chocolate dots will be super-hard in seconds. So, dot and stick each feature immediately as you go!
How to store Gluten Free Christmas Brownies
For the most fudgy texture, Gluten Free Christmas Brownies are best stored at room temperature. Once they are decorated and any chocolate and icing has firmed up, simply pop them carefully (as flat as possible) in a large airtight container. If you need to layer them for storage, place a clean sheet of baking paper between the layers to keep the reindeer and Christmas trees safe.
Ready to make Gluten Free Christmas Brownies?
And that’s it. Go make Christmas Brownies! The recipe you need is just below. If there’s anything that doesn’t make sense or any other questions you still have, feel free to ask and I will do my best to help. Leave a comment or ping me an email.
And if you (or the kids) do make them, please please PLEASE show me how they turned out. These were such fun, I would love to see how you decorated them. If you’re on social media, post your photos and don’t forget to tag me in! You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. (@glutenfreealchemist) #glutenfreealchemist
But of course… We have lots more Christmas inspiration on the blog… Head over to our dedicated Christmas Index to plan your makes and bakes. And for everything else, there’s over 400 recipes shared for FREE in our Gluten Free Recipe ‘Book’ right here on the website.
Thanks for visiting. And Happy Baking.
- 8 inch/20 cm square baking tin
- baking paper
- Kitchen scales
- measuring spoons
- glass heat-proof bowl
- microwave or hob and saucepan
- large mixing bowl
- electric whisk
- wooden/silicone spoon
- sharp knife
- cutting board
- skewer/chop stick
- 200 g good quality dark chocolate chopped (DF as needed)
- 130 g unsalted butter (or dairy free block alternative)
- 2 large eggs At room temperature – UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 160 g soft light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 60 g gluten free flour blend I use Gluten Free Alchemist Blend A – See NOTES
- 10 g cocoa powder
- pinch fine sea salt (big pinch)
- 50 g chocolate chunks/chips Bake-stable (optional) – DF as needed
Decoration – Reindeer Brownies
- mini red chocolate beans (or alternative) – noses
- 'Curly Wurly Squirlies' or gluten free mini pretzels antlers
- little candy eyes for decorating eyes
- a little dark chocolate (melted) for sticking
Decoration – Christmas Trees
- chocolate 'Match Makers' or alternative 'stick' sweets
- a little icing sugar
- a drop of boiling water
- green food colouring paste
- edible sprinkles/mini chocolate beans/small sweets/stars etc
- edible glitter
- Base-line a non-stick 8 inch square baking tin with good quality baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 175 C/340 F/Gas 3½.
- Either in a glass heat-proof bowl in the microwave (on 30 second bursts set at medium, stirring between each) or set over a saucepan of just simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring well until blended into a smooth paste. Stop when JUST melted.
- Set aside the chocolate mix to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until 'frothy'. Do not over mix.
- Add the chocolate mix and whisk again until combined (but try to avoid beating in too much air).
- Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into the bowl.
- Beat the mixture with a firm wooden/silicone spoon until it becomes an even, smooth, glossy batter.
- Gently fold in the chocolate chunks (if using) until evenly distributed.
- Pour the brownie batter into the cake pan and spread with the back of the spoon until smooth and even.
- Bake the brownie for about 25 minutes. When it is ready, it will be firm, with a shiny crust and a skewer inserted into the middle will come out with just a few crumbs attached.
- Cool the brownie completely in the tin.
- Once cool, transfer (still in the tin) to the fridge for about half an hour to firm enough to cut cleanly.
Cut the brownie into triangles
- When the brownie has firmed, carefully remove from the tin (running a flat knife around the sides to release before removing).
- Place onto a cutting board and measure into 3 equal strips (cut into thirds). Use a large sharp knife for this process and clean the knife between each cut to ensure sharp edges.
- Cut each of these strips into 5 triangles (each with 2 equal long sides and 1 shorter side). See MAIN BLOG post for a visual template if helpful. Each strip will have a small uneven triangle at each end, which will be surplus. Again, be sure to use a very sharp knife and clean between each cut for sharp brownie edges.
- Line up the brownies ready to decorate with the short edge at the top.
- Get ready ALL the decorations, matching the 'antlers' and eyes into even pairs.
- Melt a little dark chocolate either in the microwave or in a small bowl over steaming water.
- Using the 'pointy' end of a teaspoon or a similar pointed tool, dab a little chocolate onto the brownies where the antlers, eyes and nose are to be positioned, and stick the features in place. If the brownies are still chilled, be aware that the chocolate will set in seconds, so dab and decorate each feature on each reindeer one by one, to ensure the chocolate is sticky.
- Set aside to firm up as necessary.
Christmas Tree Brownies
- Line up the brownies ready to decorate with the short edge at the bottom.
- Prepare the Match Makers/sweet sticks by cutting to size (allowing for about an additional centimetre to be inserted).
- VERY carefully poke a small hole into the base of each tree brownie using a skewer or chopstick and then insert the matchmaker a short way. It helps if the brownies have been chilled for this part of the process.
- Next, get ready the sprinkles and sweet decorations, tipping a few onto a plate for easy access.
- Mix a little icing sugar (2 to 3 tablespoons) with a tiny drop of boiling water and a dot of green food colour paste, stirring to blend. The final paste should be thick enough to hold in a line when piped or drizzled. Adjust as necessary with additional icing sugar/water.
- Drizzle (with the help of a spoon), pipe (eg with a cake decorating bottle), or brush with a clean small paint brush onto each Christmas Tree as you wish.
- Add the sweet decorations and sprinkles, gently placing onto the icing to stick them to the brownies.
- Sprinkle with a little edible glitter (optional) and set aside until the icing has hardened.
Storing the brownies
- Christmas Brownies are best stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Place carefully into the container as flat as possible. If they need to be layered, be sure the decorations have firmed, before layering with a sheet of baking paper between each.
Christmas Brownies shared with
- Cook Blog Share
- Full Plate Thursday with Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
- Fiesta Friday with Angie
- Create, Bake, Grow and Gather with Shabby Art Boutique
- Traffic Jam Weekend
- What’s For Dinner with The Lazy Gastronome
- Handmade Monday
- Sundays on Silverado with The House on Silverado
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