Who doesn’t remember the cosmic brownie? It was like the holy grail of elementary school. The best of the best. So when I was recipe planning for the Nostalgia Series, I knew I had to include a homemade recipe for little debbie cosmic brownies. And the best part? This recipe is flourless, gluten free, dairy free and *almost* complete magic. The ingredients are so simple, affordable and accessible that it will shock you.
This cosmic brownie recipe comes together in a blender, and then is topped with an addictive 3-ingredient chocolate icing. Add the classic sprinkles to the top and you’re done! TBH this recipe is currently my pride and joy because even my boyfriend says they taste like and EXACT replica of cosmic brownies (and Eric can be SO particular so this is high praise). I feel like I’ve perfected the taste, the look and the method while keeping it super simple and incredibly easy. But that’s for you to be the judge! Once you try it out you gotta let me know what you think in the comments <3
Table of contents
Why flourless cosmic brownies?
You’ll see on my site I actually don’t have many brownie recipes, and the ones that I DO have are flourless. And that wasn’t something I set out to do, but somehow it happened! And I think a lot of it has to do with the benefits that flourless brownies have.
There’s always a reason that fancy restaurants have a flourless chocolate cake on the menu. You just can’t beat the rich, decadent taste of a cake that is almost fudge. And just by default, flourless brownies have that same rich, fudgey taste for me!
Don’t get me wrong, I love a flour-filled brownie. Flour adds the much-needed structure to create a crinkly top, sturdy edge and chewy middle that brownies are famous for! But sometimes when you want a thick, dense, fudge-filled gooey brownie, flourless is totally the way to go.
Plus this recipe uses a lot of ~unorthodox~ ingredients, and not using flour helps tap into what those ingredients bring to the table. Flour is a common ingredient, but it’s also a picky ingredient, and it needs to blend with exact measurements of other ingredients to truly work it’s magic. I’ve found going flourless gives me a bit more freedom to mess around with ingredients and the method of a recipe, and that’s how this flourless cosmic brownie recipe was born!
How to make this exactly like the little debbie cosmic brownies
Now after all my rambling about flour – the main reason I chose to go flourless is because it helps give the EXACT texture of a little debbie cosmic brownie.
The most important part of a homemade cosmic brownie recipe is recreating that dense, thick, almost sticky chocolate texture that the brownie had. It is so unique and so ADDICTIVE. And once these brownies are baked, it tastes exactly like them.
The secret to getting your recipe exactly like a little debbie cosmic brownie is spreading it out evenly in an 8×8′ baking sheet, and then tapping the sheet on the counter to get the batter evenly distributed. And once it’s done baking, let it cool before adding just a thiiiin layer of the icing. You want it to be just as thin as the icing is on the real-deal.
Once everything is cool, you’ll be shook at how similar this is to a cosmic brownie. All you’ll need after that is the plastic wrap and no one will even suspect. It’s wild.
So how does this recipe work?
And it’s all in the ingredients baby! Each ingredient is used for a very particular reason, either to lend structure, lift, or flavor to the recipe. And that’s why it’s so important to be specific, each measurement is there to create the perfect ratio 🙂
So here’s a breakdown of the how-and-why behind all the ingredients in the cosmic brownie recipe:
- Mashed cooked sweet potato – this ingredient does a lot of things in the recipe. It adds structure because of it’s texture, it adds a slight sweetness, it adds lift to the brownie (again because of the texture) AND it adds much-needed moisture to the recipe.
- 2 large eggs – these are the real all-stars of the recipe. The eggs create almost all of the structure of the brownie. When you blend then heat eggs, they have the potential to expand to almost four times their size. And just like when you make an egg bake, the liquid form of eggs bake into a pretty strong structure that brings a recipe like this together.
- Almond butter – nothing tastes good without a fat source, and almond butter is an amazing fat source. Unlike butter, it doesn’t melt to a fully liquid state, which helps in this recipe where we do not have any flour providing structure. Almond butter is a great way to get the moisture a fat gives to a baking recipe, knowing that it will behave in a relatively predictable way.
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder – This is the only thing close to flour in the recipe, and it does help to have a dry ingredient in the mix! This contributes the chocolate flavor but is also a source of structure that the other ingredients can work with.
- 3 tbsp maple syrup – This is the only sweetener in the recipe! It’s crucial to help sweeten the cocoa powder and get that rich chocolate taste.
- 1/2 tsp baking soda – this is the leavener for the recipe, and you only need a little bit! It reacts with the acid in the recipe to create chemical leavening to bring rise to the brownies.
- Chocolate chips – these add moisture, taste and color! And of course it’s a brownie, so we need that little extra bit of chocolate 🙂
- pinch of salt – for flavor flav! Everyone knows that!
How to make the best healthy chocolate icing
Now this is truly my favorite part of this recipe, because I’ve finally perfected my healthy icing. First things first, all icing is amazing, every icing is worth your time. I love a buttercream, I’m a ganache queen. But sometimes you just want a frosting that is filled with easy, wholesome ingredients, that you can just store in your fridge. But all food is good food ok? Ok <3
This icing is just three main ingredients:
- Maple syrup
- Cocoa powder
- Almond butter
And it comes out exactly like the chocolate ganache you find on the little debbie cosmic brownies. It is glossy, thick, chocolatey and super rich. Plus it’s easy and comes together in less than a minute. All you need is a whisk and you are seconds away from an easy frosting.
When you are making the frosting, I highly recommend you add the maple syrup, then the cocoa powder, then the almond butter, but stir them all at the same time. Cocoa powder can be a finicky ingredient to integrate with moisture, so you want both the syrup and almond butter present to help everything combine!
Tips & shortcuts for this cosmic brownie recipe
My best shortcuts for this cosmic brownie recipe:
- Use leftover sweet potato – it’s a total pain to roast a whole sweet potato just for this recipe, so if you have any leftover sweet potato from dinner or meal prep, it’s the perfect excuse to whip up this recipe!
- If you only have raw sweet potato, cut your prep time in half and use your microwave – microwave your sweet potato in a bowl with a splash of water for 6-8 minutes, depending on the size. This will get your sweet potato soft and save you tons of time!
- Prep the batter ahead of time – the best part about flourless batter is you can prep it ahead of time! This batter will last in the fridge for up to 3 days, so prep it on the weekend and bake when the craving hits 😉
- Keep a batch of frosting on hand – this frosting is so simple that I always recommend having a bit on hand. Plus you can add it to other snacks in your kitchen! And then when you make this recipe, the frosting will already be ready to go.
- Use a single-serving blender – this will save you SO much time in the long run. Not just in cleaning a blender, but in the blending process itself. I’ve found smaller blenders tend to work faster than larger ones, especially with a batter recipe this size. If you have a Nutribullet, this is the perfect time to break it out!
And here are some tips and tricks as you test this flourless brownie recipe out:
- To smooth out the batter, tap your pan on the counter a few times before putting it in the oven – this is the quickest way to help everything spread out evenly in your baking dish.
- Do the same tap when the brownies are out of the oven! This will help them flatten and create an even surface for icing.
- Speed up the brownie cooling process by putting it in the fridge right after it’s out of the oven – a little fridge time won’t hurt anything, and it will definitely help your brownies cool before they get the layer of icing.
- Use a mini spatula to spread the icing on top of the brownies – I am OBSESSED with my mini spatula. It is less clunky than a large spat and is perfect for spreading in a small pan like this 8×8′ baking dish.
And that’s about it for this little debbie cosmic brownies remake! I hope you love this flourless brownie recipe as much as I do, and if you make it, please tag me on Instagram or Pinterest so I can see! I love seeing all of your bakes over there (and I try to respond to as many story tags as I can!)
In the meantime, if you try the recipe and love it, it would mean so much to me if you left a rating below! And as always, happy baking! <3
Homemade Flourless Cosmic Brownies
For the brownies:
- 160 grams mashed cooked sweet potato about 3/4 cup
- 2 large eggs
- 60 grams drizzly almond butter about 1/4 cup
- 5 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 50 grams chocolate chips, melted about 1/3 cup
- pinch of salt
For the icing & topping:
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp colored sprinkles optional
- Preheat your oven to 350F.
- In a blender, add the sweet potato, 2 large eggs, almond butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup, baking soda, melted chocolate and salt. Blend together until you get a smooth (but very thick!) batter.
- Use an 8×8' baking pan and lightly grease it with spray oil, then line with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out until it is evenly distributed.
- Bake the brownies at 350F for 18-20 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
- While the brownies are baking, prep the icing.
- Prep the icing by whisking together the almond butter, maple syrup and cocoa powder in a small dish. It will take a few minutes to come together, but you should be left with a thick, dark colored icing.
- When the brownies are out of the oven, let them cool either in the fridge or at room temperature until they are no longer warm. Top with the icing and spread it out across the brownies until you have a very thin layer.
- Top the icing with the sprinkles, slice and serve!