The Gluten Free Skeptic: Best Gluten-Free Brownie Mixes, RANKED

I have never tried a premade gluten-free (GF) mix before this. I see them everywhere and I feel like every day a new one enters the battlefield that is GF. While on a recent trip to the grocery store I found an overwhelming amount of brownie mixes. There were six all in one store. It got me thinking, with all the choices and the huge range in price, how can anyone pick just one? Well, that’s what I’m here for! I tried, described, and ranked eight of the most popular GF brownie mixes.

This is a make-up post for missing last Thursday’s GF Skeptic. I’m working on a harder recipe and didn’t get it out on time, but it will be coming next Thursday!

The Gluten Free Skeptic is a new series where I (a gluten eater, but GF supporter) try to find the best of the best in terms of GF for those that maybe forgot what gluten even tastes like. I think this gives this little series a really fun advantage. So, in this test, I tried eight GF mixes but used a gluten mix to go off of. I didn’t include scores or anything for the gluten brownies simply because it was just used as a baseline to remind myself what the gluten version tasted like.

These are the top eight brownie mixes that I could find near me. I tried to choose the brands that I thought were the most popular and accessible to a range of people living in a variety of locations. There were other brownie mixes that I found, but some of them were local to my state or I had never heard of the brand and thought it would be a waste of time. I also purposely chose a range of prices to see if a higher price meant better quality (I’m looking at you Cup4Cup) and vice-versa.

I came up with the below rating scale prior to tasting to hopefully give the most in-depth and honest rating to each brownie. I like a fudgy, chewy, and thick brownie, but you may be looking for something more cake like. Because of this, I’m adding a detailed description along with the score for each parameter so you can pick a brownie that floats your boat. We will pick a winner at the end, but it might not be a winner for you based on your brownie needs, so let me know in the comments below which one is your favorite or that you are most excited to try based on the score/description.

gluten free brownies all

How they will be Evaluated

I made each mix exactly as directed on the back of the box and did not add anything to them. Since the boxes said to let the brownies cool before eating, we taste tested everything a few hours after I finished making them all (that was a process let me tell ya). Some of these may have a different texture/flavor/whatever if warm and some may taste better if you add some vanilla, cayenne, or coffee to it, but that wouldn’t be a very fair test.

Below will detail the parameters these were rated on and how they were rated.

Texture: How much the texture matches a box mix brownie and if the texture is generally enjoyable. A few of the ones below didn’t have quite the texture of a traditional brownie, but it was still very enjoyable so not as many points were deducted. A higher score means closer to brownie texture and/or a more enjoyable texture.

Chocolatey-ness: This will evaluate how chocolatey a brownie is. A higher score means a more enjoyable chocolate flavor and/or a more noticeable/strong chocolate flavor.

Grainy-ness: A lot of GF products can be grainy, so we wanted to find one that wasn’t. The higher the score means the less grainy.

Overall Flavor: This differentiates between the brownies that are lacking any sort of depth of flavor and the ones that are more well-rounded. A higher score means a better flavor.

Comparable to Gluten: This determines how comparable the brownies were to a gluten box mix. A score of 5 means the brownie was identical to the gluten box mix, a score lower than 5 means the brownie was worse than the gluten box mix, and a score higher than 5 means the brownie was better than the gluten box mix.

Easiness: This determines how easy the mix was to make. Some of them required more steps than a traditional box mix, and part of a box mix is how easy it is (or you would just make it from scratch). A higher score means easier to make.

Healthy-ness: This measured and awarded brownies that were multi-allergen friendly (being both GF and dairy-free), and had less/healthier/organic ingredients. The higher the score the more healthy (for a brownie).

Price: We took the highest priced mix and awarded it one point and the lowest priced mix was awarded 8 points. This would help identify what was worth the price.

If it was your birthday, which would you want?: We wanted to rank them directly to help express how good or bad a brownie was overall. The one we would most readily choose for our birthday was awarded 8 points and the one we would rather skip the dessert than eat it was awarded 1 point.

Celiac-Safe: This did not affect the scores, but I did include if it was celiac-safe if I could find info on it.

We averaged our scores for each individual category and added them all up for a final score. Looking at the final score and taking everything into account we agreed with the rankings. Below I have included the average score in each parameter along with a description that was captured upon initial tasting.

Brand Disclaimer

I am in no way trying to shame, decrease business to, or harm any brands in the following review. This is purely to let my fellow GF-eaters better know what type of brownie box mix to get. Just because I rated one brand low does not mean they have bad products as a whole or that their brownie mix, in particular, is bad. This is just a personal review. I ain’t trying to throw no shade.

The Results:

I will be ordering them worst to best (c’mon, it’s more exciting that way)!

8th Place: Pamela’s Non-Dairy Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie Mix

Pamelas review gluten free brownie cross section

Score:

Texture: 2/10

Chocolaty-ness: 2/10

Grainy-ness: 2.5/10

Healthy-ness: 6.5/10

Overall Flavor: 2.5/10

Comparable to Gluten: 1.5/10

Easiness: 4.5/10

Price: 2/8

Birthday Choice: 1/8 (would not want for birthday)

Celiac-Safe: Yes, GF Certified

Comments: On first taste, we thought this brownie was just plain gross compared to the others. It was extremely grainy. It did not remind us of a brownie and wasn’t cake like either, it was just kind of mushy. This brownie tasted like chocolate’s old and distant cousin. It was pretty dry and had a very strong oil taste to it for some reason. It is dairy-free, so I prepared it following their original instructions (they have 5 different options to prepare it on the back), so maybe using a different method of preparation or using the dairy version would have turned out better. Pamela’s used organic and non-GMO ingredients and sweetened with honey and molasses, awarding it more points in ‘healthy-ness’.

 

7th Place: Pillsbury’s Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Premium Brownie Mix with Chocolate Chips

Pilsbury review gluten free brownie cross section

Score:

Texture: 3/10

Chocolaty-ness: 2/10

Grainy-ness: 2/10

Healthy-ness: 2.5/10

Overall Flavor: 2.5/10

Comparable to Gluten: 2/10

Easiness: 6.5/10

Price: 8/8 (cheapest at less than $3)

Birthday Choice: 3/8

Celiac-Safe: Unknown, couldn’t find any information.

Comments: This brownie was pretty bland compared to the others. There was really no depth of flavor and not much going on in the chocolate department (I said it tasted like the ghost of chocolate past). It also tasted a lot like just straight up refined sugar, but not in a good way (in like a cheap way). We agreed that it tasted like we were just eating raw GF flour. The brownie did not have the texture of a brownie, but rather was squishy and fell apart (not chewy and moist as a usual brownie is). This also was the most grainy of them all. The price here is definitely reflected in the taste and texture.

 

6th Place: Krusteaz’s Gluten-Free Supreme Brownie Mix Double Chocolate Thick & Chewy

Krusteaz review gluten free brownie cross section

Score:

Texture: 4/10

Chocolaty-ness: 4/10

Grainy-ness: 5.5/10

Healthy-ness: 2.5/10

Overall Flavor: 4/10

Comparable to Gluten: 3/10

Easiness: 6/10

Price: 6/8

Birthday Choice: 3.5/8

Celiac-Safe: Yes, Certified GF.

Comments: This brownie was pretty moist, but had no real depth of flavor. The chocolate chips are good in this mix and probably boosted its overall rank. It is slightly grainy in texture (not grainy while eating, but leaves a weird but mild graininess in your mouth). It is pretty chocolatey compared to the previous two and is definitely a step up. This one was very sweet and was the first to be more brownie-like than just chocolate mush/crumbs.

5th Place: Cup4Cup’s Chocolate Brownie Mix Gluten Free

cup4cup review gluten free brownie cross section

Score:

Texture: 3/10

Chocolaty-ness: 5/10

Grainy-ness: 5/10

Healthy-ness: 8.5/10

Overall Flavor: 3.5/10

Comparable to Gluten: 3.5/10

Easiness: 5/10

Price: 1/8 (the most expensive at $9)

Birthday Choice: 4/8

Celiac-Safe: Yes, Certified GF.

Comments: This brownie’s texture was very dense with no chew. I did not find it fun to eat and thought it had a very soggy and gross texture. If you like almost fudge-like brownies with a very moist mouthfeel, this is the brownie for you. This one is not as sweet as the others, so there was a really sharp cocoa powder taste that was not very balanced (just like putting straight cocoa powder with a bit of sugar into hot water is about the best way to describe it). There was a very fine grainy texture (makes Pillsbury seem like sand). This was the most cake-like of them all and not very reminiscent of a brownie. We did not think this one was worth the high price tag.

 

4th & 3rd Place: Kroger’s Ready to Bake Pourable Batter Gluten Free Brownies (tied with Glutino)

Kroger review gluten free brownie cross section

Score:

Texture: 5.5/10

Chocolaty-ness: 2.5/10

Grainy-ness: 7.5/10

Healthy-ness: 1.5/10

Overall Flavor: 2.5/10

Comparable to Gluten: 3.5/10

Easiness: 8/10 (easiest because it’s a premade batter, the only thing easier would be buying them!)

Price: 7/8 (second cheapest)

Birthday Choice: 5/8

Celiac-Safe: Unknown

Comments: These had a pretty good chew to them and a solid brownie texture. Not super chocolatey, but not bad either. This one was the least memorable, which is a good and bad thing because it wasn’t so bad I remembered it, but it wasn’t so good that it left an impression on me. We thought that it had an artificial taste to it/a bit chemically (makes sense with all the ridiculous ingredients). This one was very middle of the road.

 

4th & 3rd place: Glutino’s Double Chocolate Brownie (tied with Kroger)

glutino review gluten free brownie cross section

Score:

Texture: 4.5/10

Chocolaty-ness: 4.5/10

Grainy-ness: 7/10

Healthy-ness: 5.5/10

Overall Flavor: 4/10

Comparable to Gluten: 3.5/10

Easiness: 4/10

Price: 5/8

Birthday Choice: 5/8

Celiac-Safe: Yes, Certified GF

Comments: This one had a weird background flavor much like the chemical flavor of Kroger, but we are being highly critical here. This brownie was not super chocolatey overall and for what chocolate was present tasted a bit cheap/low quality. This one had no depth of flavor, but the dark chocolate flavor was a bit different and nice compared to others. This had a good brownie texture but was a bit dry and dense. It didn’t remind me a ton of a brownie but definitely was not as bad as some. Again, this one was overall just meh. Nothing memorable and that is probably why it tied with Kroger.

 

2nd Place: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie Mix

Bobs Red Mill review gluten free brownie cross section

Score:

Texture: 4/10

Chocolaty-ness: 8/10

Grainy-ness: 4/10

Healthy-ness: 5.5/10

Overall Flavor: 7.5/10

Comparable to Gluten: 3/10

Easiness: 5.5/10

Price: 4/8

Birthday Choice: 6.5/8

Celiac-Safe: Probably not, they have a little statement on the bag about their facilities, but they are not certified GF.

Comments: This one had the best flavor overall. It had a nice depth and was a good mix of dark chocolate and cocoa powder (but in a good way, not like Cup4Cup). It seems like they used high-quality chocolate, which really paid off. This brownie has an okay brownie texture but is a bit more cake-like than chewy or dense. It is grainy, which sucks because if it wasn’t this would be the winner (definitely the winner in flavor and chocolatey-ness). Overall, a good solid brownie.

 

1st Place: Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Gluten Free Brownie Mix

Betty Crocker review gluten free brownie cross section

Score:

Texture: 6.5/10

Chocolaty-ness: 6/10

Grainy-ness: 8/10

Healthy-ness: 4.5/10

Overall Flavor: 6.5/10

Comparable to Gluten: 6.5/10 (better than gluten version)

Easiness: 7/10

Price: 3/8

Birthday Choice: 8/8 (top choice for birthday)

Celiac-Safe: Unknown, they state on their website they are processed in a gluten-free facility, but that’s all I got.

Comments: This one is the best in almost all categories. It has no graininess what so ever. It has the perfect brownie texture (chewy and moist). It doesn’t have a good chocolate kick to it like Bob’s, but it still had a really good chocolate flavor. There was a good flavor overall that wasn’t just chocolate or sugar (a bit more depth to it). We agreed it could easily be mistaken for gluten. We thought it was better than the gluten mix and was definitely the most well-rounded overall. This one was $5 ($0.49 more than Bob’s), so it was about middle of the road in price, and boy is it worth it. If you aren’t worried about your diet and just want a good brownie treat, this one is where it’s at.

Final Thoughts

Obviously, not everyone in the entire world will be able to get these mixes or won’t get them for as good of a price. We believe that any of the top six are good enough for a quick brownie snack. Being totally honest, a lot of the top ones tasted pretty good until we tasted a better one, so only having one to go off I’m sure you’ll like it even if it wasn’t our #1. I recommend working your way back to Krusteaz if you can’t find some near you, are celiac, and/or they are too high of a price for you. We honestly enjoyed the top 6 to some extent, but I would not recommend the bottom two EVER.

I hope this helped some of you navigate the GF brownie battleground. I’m sorry that I couldn’t try more, but if I get enough requests, I don’t mind doing a part two (I’ll need some time to get things ordered online and such). If you liked this little taste test, please give this a like or comment below so I know to make more (maybe I can do bread mixes next)! As always, if you have any suggestions for what you would like me to try next, leave a comment below or contact me through the contact page!

To see the first installment of The Gluten-Free Skeptic, check out my Fluffy Japanese Souffle Pancakes (Recipe).

japanese pancakes syrup gif

Thank you so much for reading and all the support. May all your brownies be amazing!

Sing-off image 3

Gluten Free Brownie Mixes Tested and Reviewed Pinterest

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I love cooking, photography, DIY projects and generally seeing what mess I can get myself into. I am very sarcastic and an annoyingly glass half-full kind of person. I like to make everything an adventure and a half and I hate blogs that are boring, so if mine ever is you better let a girl know. I don't know… do you know how hard it is to try and explain yourself in a little paragraph? Poke around a bit on here and I'm sure you'll learn who I am in no time! Thanks for stopping by.

11 thoughts on “The Gluten Free Skeptic: Best Gluten-Free Brownie Mixes, RANKED

    1. That’s exactly where I found myself! There were just so many brownie mixes in particular I might need to do a part 2! Thank you for the kind words! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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