Gluten Free Copycat Cosmic Brownies

Do you remember that classic lunchbox treat of your childhood, Little Debbie’s Cosmic Brownies? I am almost positive that you do because they are truly iconic. Pretty much pure nostalgia! But also let’s be honest … kind of pure junk. Now trust me I do not mean in taste, they’re truly amazing, and I am always down for some good junk food. But I wanted to create a better for you version that I could feel great about eating. Gluten Free Copycat Cosmic Brownies are just that!

These gluten free & dairy free brownies are the most delicious dessert throwback! They are rich & fudgy brownies with a smooth & creamy chocolate ganache-like frosting and rainbow candy sprinkles on top. This chocolate treat truly melts in your mouth and tastes even better than the classic. Biting into one of these is like being transported back into your childhood!

gluten free copycat cosmic brownies

What are cosmic brownies?

Honestly I do not have too much personal experience with Little Debbie’s Cosmic Brownies, but I do know for sure that they are an iconic childhood treat. Cosmic brownies have a signature look and three specific elements! A fudgy & rich brownie base, a smooth & creamy chocolate frosting, and rainbow chocolate candy sprinkles on top. It is pretty much a fact that kids everywhere were lucky if they opened their lunchboxes to these colorful and delicious treats. They are pure nostalgia!

However, I think we all know that this plastic wrapped treat is definitely not the best for you. They’re full of preservatives, unnecessary ingredients, and tons & tons of sugar. So I wanted to create a healthier, better-for-you version … and trust me it is so delicious you will not be missing the original one bit!

cosmic brownie recipe

Ingredients needed for Copycat Cosmic Brownies…

Copycat cosmic brownies may seem a little complicated to make. And perhaps seem like they require fancy ingredients. But that could not be further from the truth! These brownies call for only simple and wholesome ingredients. This makes them completely gluten free and dairy free!

Brownies

  • Almond Butter: The base of these brownies is almond butter! I love to use nut butter in my sweet treats, especially almond butter. It adds a neutral flavor and a creamy texture to these brownies! You will need 1/2 cup.
  • Coconut Sugar: Coconut sugar is my all time favorite sweetener to bake with. It is refined sugar free & adds a deliciously rich flavor to any baked good. Add 1/2 cup!
  • Pure Maple Syrup: My other favorite sweetener is pure maple syrup. An extra touch here, 2 tbsp to be exact, creates the perfect sweetness!
  • Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce adds moisture to these fudgy brownies and an extra bit of natural sweetness too. 1/4 cup works deliciously!
  • Eggs: Add 2 eggs for binding.
  • Almond Flour: The use of almond flour in these brownies makes them completely gluten free! It also gives a soft & fudgy texture. You will need 1/4 cup!
  • Cocoa Powder: Can’t have brownies without cocoa powder! Make sure to use high quality to get the best & richest chocolate flavor. Add 1/4 cup.
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp of vanilla extract gives these copycat cosmic brownies the best flavor!
  • Baking Powder: Only a tiny bit of baking powder is used in this sweet chocolate treat. This keeps them extra fudgy & thin like the classic cosmic brownie.
  • Salt: Add a pinch, 1/4 tsp, of salt to balance out the sweet & bring out all the yummy flavors here.

Chocolate Frosting

  • Dairy Free Chocolate Chips: This chocolate frosting is similar to a ganache! It calls for 3/4 cup of dairy free chocolate chips. My favorite & the kind I always use is these semi sweet mini chocolate chips.
  • Almond Milk: 3 tbsp of almond milk is also used here. It makes for a soft, creamy, and decadent frosting!
  • Rainbow Sprinkles: The sprinkles are obviously not part of the frosting, but they are on top! Use any rainbow sprinkles you would like, but if you want to be super authentic I recommend these colored chocolate candies.
homemade cosmic brownies

How to make Gluten Free Cosmic Brownies…

Gluten free cosmic brownies are super duper easy to make. While they may not be quite as easy as tearing open one of the plastic wrapped childhood treats, they are pretty dang close!

  1. Set the oven 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the almond butter, applesauce, eggs, coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Next add in the dry ingredients – almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Combine evenly.
  4. Transfer the brownie batter to a greased or parchment paper lined baking dish. I used a 11×7 inch pan to get the classic cosmic brownie look, but I think 8×8 would also work.
  5. Bake for 13 minutes.
  6. Once you remove the brownies from the oven let them cool for a few minutes.  Then add the chocolate frosting to the brownies and spread evenly.
  7. Sprinkle the rainbow sprinkles on top.
  8. Let the chocolate frosting set a bit & then cut into bars or squares.
  9. Enjoy!
gluten free cosmic brownies

Homemade Cosmic Brownie Frosting…

The frosting used on these homemade cosmic brownies is my version of a chocolate ganache! A typical chocolate ganache uses chocolate and heavy cream, but as this is a dairy free & lightened up version of cosmic brownies I used almond milk. The result is a decadent, rich, smooth, and creamy frosting – that is made with better for you ingredients! It is truly a win-win.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Combine the dairy free chocolate chips and almond milk.
  2. Melt in a microwave using 10 second intervals & stirring in between each one or through a double boiler. Simply melt until smooth.

That is literally all you need for the perfect chocolate frosting!

Tip! Make sure you don’t prepare this frosting too ahead of time as it does settle into a more solid texture eventually. You will want to let your brownies cool slightly & then add the freshly made frosting on top. Lastly, make sure that slightly solid texture described above has been achieved before you cut into these brownies!

copycat cosmic brownies

What are the sprinkles on top of these brownies?

Rainbow sprinkles are the star topper of this cosmic brownie recipe! You can really go with anything in the rainbow sprinkle department. Anything bright and colorful beautiful works!

I specifically used these pastel edible confetti sprinkles. But to be even more authentic I recommend these rainbow candy coated chocolate sprinkles! They are super close to the classic Little Debbie’s Cosmic Brownie topping.

cosmic brownie recipe

How do I store Gluten Free Copycat Cosmic Brownies?

You can store these copycat cosmic brownies in an airtight container on the counter at room temperature for about 3-5 days. However, because these brownies are super fudgy & moist they will not stay fresh much longer than that outside of the refrigerator.

That is why for longer storage I recommend storing in the fridge. They will last for 1-2 weeks there! You can also store on the counter for the first few days and move whatever brownies are left, although I doubt there will be many, into the fridge. For even longer storage you can stash in the freezer where they will keep for a couple months!

little debbie's cosmic brownies

Looking for more delicious brownie recipes? Check out the ones below…

Connect with me!

If you make Gluten Free Copycat Cosmic Brownies or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on instagram so I can see and share your recreations!

gluten free copycat cosmic brownies
homemade cosmic brownies

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Gluten Free Copycat Cosmic Brownies

Gluten Free Copycat Cosmic Brownies are the most delicious dessert throwback! These rich & fudgy brownies have a smooth & creamy chocolate ganache-like frosting and rainbow candy sprinkles on top.  Travel back to your childhood with this healthy version of the lunchbox favorite!  dairy free + gluten free

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Brownies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

Brownies

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Chocolate Frosting

  • 3/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • Rainbow sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Set the oven 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the almond butter, applesauce, eggs, coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Next add in the dry ingredients – almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Combine evenly.
  4. Transfer the brownie batter to a greased or parchment paper lined baking dish. I used a 11×7 inch pan to get the classic cosmic brownie look, but I think 8×8 would also work.
  5. Bake for 13 minutes.
  6. While the brownies are baking, work on your chocolate frosting.  Simply melt the chocolate chips and almond milk together.  You can do this in the microwave using 10 second intervals & mixing between or through a double boiler.  Make sure to not make the frosting too soon before the brownies are ready as it will harden eventually.
  7. Once you remove the brownies from the oven let them cool for a few minutes.  Then add the chocolate frosting to the brownies and spread evenly.
  8. Sprinkle the rainbow sprinkles on top.
  9. Let the chocolate frosting set a bit & then cut into bars or squares.
  10. Enjoy!

Keywords: Gluten Free Copycat Cosmic Brownies, Cosmic Brownie Recipe, Homemade Cosmic Brownies, Copycat Cosmic Brownies, Gluten Free Cosmic Brownies

cosmic brownies

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2 Comments

  1. Just made these and they’re soo yummy! Taste like the actual cosmic brownies but better in my opinion!!

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