Allergy-Friendly Brownie Christmas Trees
These Brownie Christmas Trees are the perfect recipe to involve budding, young bakers. Kids will love taking part in this allergy-friendly festive food craft, especially when it comes to decorating their own brownies with candy ornaments.
Each super fudgy brownie tree is decorated with green “tinsel,” sprinkles for “bulbs,” and topped with a bright star. My “tree-mendous” brownies are as delicious as they are pretty and fun to make. Photo: Megan Lavin
Makes 9 brownies
Free from top 9 allergens and gluten
See the rest of our allergy-friendly and gluten-free holiday dessert recipes here.
- 4 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 10 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (see Recipe Tips)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup pure cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if flour blend includes xanthan)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup pure coconut oil, melted (see Recipe Tips)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup palm vegetable shortening, such as Spectrum Naturals, room temperature
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature (see Recipe Tips)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup vanilla rice milk (see Recipe Tips)
- Green food coloring
- 8×8 baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Non-stick spray (see Recipe Tips on spray, sprinkles)
- Round sprinkles/candy for ornaments Yellow star sprinkles
• It’s fine to use store-bought gluten-free flour blend, preferably one that uses rice, potato and tapioca flour. Or, make my from-scratch gluten-free flour blend.
• Coconut is technically a fruit. While most allergists do not consider it a tree nut, check with your own allergist.
• I prefer rice milk since it leaves no aftertaste, but any milk alternative will do.
• Soy lecithin is often in both non-stick spray and sprinkles. Most allergists don’t advise avoiding soy lecithin, as it has only trace protein levels. (Consult your own allergist.) However, there are also soy-free sprinkles, such as Let’s Do Organic’s Sprinklez, Supernatural’s Star-fetti and Natural Sprinkles Co.
• Can’t find yellow star sprinkles? Then put aside a little bit of frosting before you’ve dyed it green. Add some yellow food coloring to it, then pipe on yellow stars.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan well with non-stick spray, then line with parchment paper (to ensure brownies will remove easily).
- For brownies, in a small bowl, make flax eggs by combining ground flaxseed and water. Stir and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, xanthan (if needed) and salt. Whisk until there are no clumps.
- Add the wet ingredients: melted coconut oil, flax eggs (re-stir) and vanilla extract. As the batter will be thick, be sure to incorporate all dry ingredients.
- Spread batter evenly into the greased pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the brownies to cool in the heated pan for five minutes. Then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- For frosting, as the brownies cool, make your frosting by using either a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with electric beaters. Cream shortening and softened coconut oil. Stir in salt and vanilla.
- Alternate adding powdered sugar and milk, a bit at a time, until everything is smooth and uniform. Add additional rice milk if frosting needs thinning.
- Now add the food coloring and beat, until it reaches your desired shade.
- Creating trees: once the brownies are cool, cut off any rounded edges, so you have a sharp square. Then, cut the square into three even strips. From each strip, slice three triangles from edge to edge. (The middle triangle in a strip will be upside down.) You’ll end up with 9 trees, plus discarded edges to sample!
- Place frosting in a Baggie. Using scissors, snip off a small corner. Now draw zigzag lines across the triangle brownies. (Or, you can frost the entire top, up to you!)
- Place the star sprinkle at the top, and place round sprinkle “ornaments” on the green zigzag lines. The brownie trees are likely to go fast, but will keep, covered and at room temperature, for 2-3 days.
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