Gluten Free Recipes   Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownies

Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Cherries Brownies Recipe


Tomorrow is my father’s 88th birthday. He has a special fondness for chocolate covered cherries and all things that combine the flavors of chocolate and cherries. I am always trying to come up with tasty gluten free treats for him that feature his favs.

When my Dad came to live with us about a year and a half ago we were uncertain as to whether he would see his next birthday much less the next one. But I am happy to say, Dad is doing just fine these days!

For anyone that has elderly parents in not the best of health living with them, you know there are challenges. Often my father’s appetite is less than hearty; he would rather eat sweets than protein and has a bit of the “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” attitude.

I get torn between trying to get him to eat healthy stuff and the idea “hey, he is 88 years old – let him eat what he wants.” In truth, being a caretaker for an elderly parent is somewhat similar to raising kids.

So I just do what I did with my kids: I trick him! I make treats that are of course gluten free, but often dairy free and I often cut way back on the refined sugar and sneak in the healthy stuff without saying a word. It is an arrangement that makes him happy and me feel better.

These brownies are gluten and dairy free, replace bad butter fat with good coconut fat, use coconut sugar instead of refined sugar and they also happen to taste amazing – rich chocolate brownies studded with sweet maraschino cherries and topped with a decadent dairy free chocolate ganache. These brownies aren’t health food, but they are certainly a healthier alternative to a big box of chocolate covered cherries or “regular” brownies!

Serve with an ice cold glass of (dairy free) milk!

Click here to see my cooking demonstration of this recipe on Daytime TV!

Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Cherries Brownies Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Gluten Free Recipes   Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownies
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Cherries Brownies Recipe

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 2 inch brownies
Calories: 215kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • Gluten-free nonstick cooking spray
  • 24 maraschino cherries without stems – use divided
  • 12 ounces dairy free dark chocolate chips – use divided
  • 1 cup coconut oil (solidified)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca or corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract – use divided
  • ½ cup coconut milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with gluten-free nonstick cooking spray. Place a piece of foil or parchment paper into the pan letting it hang over two of the edges by a couple of inches. Lightly spray the foil or paper with more nonstick cooking spray.
  • Dry the cherries well with paper towels. Keep 16 of them whole and coarsely chop the remainder. Set aside.
  • Combine 8 ounces of chocolate chips with the coconut oil in a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the chips a bit. Add the eggs, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, tapioca or corn starch, espresso powder (if using), 2 teaspoons of vanilla and process for about 45 seconds. The mixture will not be completely smooth, that’s fine.
  • Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Place the whole cherries on top of the batter in four rows of four each. Top with the remaining batter, smooth the top and bake for 35 minutes or until the brownies are firm to the touch and appear baked through. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • While the brownies are cooling, pour the remaining 4 ounces of chips into a bowl, heat the coconut milk with the remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla until it just begins to boil and pour the coconut milk over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 5 minutes and then stir vigorously until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Pour the chocolate mixture over the brownies and sprinkle the reserved chopped cherries over the top. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until the brownies are fully cooled and the ganache has firmed up. Pull the brownies from the pan with the foil or parchment, put on a cutting board and cut into 2 inch pieces.
  • The brownies are easier to cut when cold but taste best when the chill has come off them so it is preferable to let them sit out of the fridge for about 10 minutes before serving.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Cherries Brownies Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 215 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 60mg3%
Potassium 205mg6%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 17g19%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 63IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 78mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Baking Brownies Cherries Chocolate Dairy Free Ganache Gluten-Free Gluten-Free Recipes Healthy Kid Friendly
  1. Pingback: Gluten Free Chocolate Covered Cherries … – Gluten Free Recipes – Fine Food Recipes

  2. January 28, 2012

    So glad your dad is doing better–Happy Birthday, Carol’s Dad!! And wow on the brownies. I’m amazed that there even IS such a thing as “natural maraschino cherries”–amazing! And of course these look totally decadent and mouth-wateringly good. :D

    1. January 29, 2012

      Thanks Ricki, passing on your good wishes to may dad now :)

  3. January 29, 2012

    Happy birthday! Chocolate cherries and coconut are divine, a lot like a cherry ripe bar, Yumm. Live and let eat I say, but sneaking in a few healthy treats is always good for you :)

    1. January 29, 2012

      Never heard of a Cherry Ripe Bar, but sounds fab! Thanks.

  4. Chocolate covered cherries were a childhood favorite that I don’t allow myself to indulge in (or I’d be about 6 sizes larger than I am.) These look and sound like a rich, fudgy brownie with the cherry and coconut twist. Might just have to break down and indulge. Thanks

    1. January 30, 2012

      Ah, I understand. Well, at least these aren’t that sinful :)

  5. January 30, 2012

    Those look amazing… I never would have though to combine cherries & brownies, but now I’m definitely doing to have to try it!

    1. January 30, 2012

      Thanks Kate! Enjoy.

  6. January 30, 2012

    Yummy!!! they look grand. Happy Birthday to your Dad!! Enjoy him. I understand about being a caretaker for an aging parent and it definitely is a challenge. I was caretaker for my Mom from approximately 2001 and she would have celebrated her 96th brithday on the 27th. She passed on Jan. 10th – she went peacefully and free of pain. Carol, thank you for this wonderful recipe and again, wish your Dad a very happy birthday and a happy and healthy year.

  7. January 31, 2012

    I’m just starting to explore the world of coconut (oils, flours, etc). This is the perfect recipe to practice with (and that ganache looks fantastic).

    1. January 31, 2012

      Thanks Angie! Enjoy.

  8. February 2, 2012

    The brownies look amazing! I have been wanting more brownie recipes so I might have to give this a try soon.

    1. February 2, 2012

      Thanks Rachel, enjoy!

  9. hungry4more1234
    March 20, 2013

    interesting, I’ll have to try these.

    1. Gluten Free & More
      March 21, 2013


  10. Pingback: Gluten Free Black Forrest Cookies | Gluten Free Recipes | Cookies

  11. Pingback: Dad' Chocolate Covered Cherry Fudge | Recipes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

5 Ingredient Cookbook 1000x1125

50% OFF



         200+ EASY AND DELICIOUS

                 MEALS AND TIPS

Gluten Free and More Logo