No wheat, no problem.

By Sara Tane
March 19, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Sara Tane

For most people, the idea of a gluten-free baked good doesn’t always (or ever) sound all that tempting. How good can it be, right? Well, you can kiss your basic, wheat-y flours goodbye and say hello to the not-always-delicious world of alt-flours. From rice flours to potato starch, these boxed brownie mixes have found a way to eliminate any trace of gluten while still providing some semblance of a traditional brownie experience. We should clarify—some mixes do a way better job of this than others. After a very thorough, highly scientific blind taste test, we picked our favorite gluten-free mix. Sure, it may not compare to a classic brownie, we think it’s pretty darn close.

The Losers

Cherrybrook Kitchen Fudge Brownie, ($5.99, 14 oz. box)

This gluten-free mix clocks in at the most expensive and perhaps one of the most disliked option. Yikes. For the price that you’re paying, these brownies are super cakey and almost possess an unappealing, chalky finish. One staffer said that “this tastes sandy and sad.” If you’re trying to convince someone that gluten-free desserts can actually be delicious, this is not the mix that’s going to help your argument.

Betty Crocker Chocolate Brownie, ($4.59, 16 oz. box)

As much as we wanted to love the ultimate, tried-and-true Betty Crocker brand, this mix didn’t quite do it for us. As far as flavor, there was a weird, chemical-like aftertaste that was rather hard to get past. One reviewer said, “Something is not good. Rancid?” So, not quite the reaction you’re wanting from a boxed brownie. The texture was fine, but the issues with the flavor made this option one of our least favorites.

Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Brownie Mix ($3.99, 16 oz. box)

By the taste of these brownies, it is very apparent that they’re gluten-free. From the gritty, sandy texture to the lackluster chocolate flavor, everyone agreed that these were a pretty disappointing option (I’m sorry TJ’s, I’ll still love you forever!). There was something off about them that we couldn’t quite put our finger on, and because of that, we definitely wouldn’t recommend this product.

Middle of the Pack

Glutino Double Chocolate Brownie ($4.49, 16 oz. box)

Now that we’ve got our least favorites out of the way, let’s talk about the ones that we felt a little bit better about. This boxed mix yielded a batch of brownies that had a nice crust on top and a chewy, fudgy interior. While the chocolate flavor wasn’t quite as rich as we may have liked, there were a number of staffers who admitted that they would never have guessed that these were gluten-free.

Duncan Hines Chocolate Lover’s Brownie ($3.99, 15 oz. box)

Despite one reviewer’s comment that the brownies “look scary,” everyone agreed that the chocolate flavor in these were on point. As far as texture, they were extremely cake-y, so if that’s what you’re into, these will be right up your alley. As one staffer put it, they have a “decent crust, and they melt in your mouth.” Can’t argue with that, right?

King Arthur Flour Brownie Mix ($5.49, 17 oz. box)

Okay, so this is the second most expensive option, but we’re just going to go right ahead and say that it’s definitely worth the extra buck or two. These brownies have no grit whatsoever–instead, they have a fudgy, ultra-moist consistency with a crackly top that you’re likely to find in a classic brownie. Like some of the other varieties, the chocolate flavor was ever-so-slightly artificial tasting, but if you’re trying to get into gluten-free desserts, these would be a great place to start.

The Winner

Krusteaz Supreme Double Chocolate Brownie Mix ($3.99, 20 oz. box)

It’s very rare that the winner of a taste is the cheapest (not to mention, the largest) option. However, we love a good Cinderella story, and this one truly blew us all away. With no sandiness or grittiness, these brownies were a fudgy, indulgent treat that disguised themselves quite well as gluten-free. As far as appearance, these brownies were also big winners. With a sheen, crispy crust and fudgy interior, these had us all fooled. Although one staffer felt that these were “almost too fudgy,” we’re going to override that opinion because everyone knows that there’s no such thing.