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Allergy Safe Recipes

Allergy-Friendly, Chocolate Brownie Hearts with Raspberry Buttercream

heart8By Laurie Sadowski

Nothing says “Valentine’s Day” more than heart-shaped chocolate. And when it’s in the form of a brownie, sandwiching a raspberry buttercream, then topped with chocolate ganache, it’s truly love at first sight.

Makes: about 8 assembled hearts, using a 2 1/2 inch heart-shaped cutter.
Free of: gluten and all top allergens



  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) + 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) tapioca flour
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) granulated sugar
  • 6 tsp melted coconut oil or olive oil
  • 6 tsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened  dairy-free milk alternative
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Raspberry Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 3/4 cup  (175  mL) dairy-free, soy-free margarine (such as Earth Balance)
  • 3 1/2 cups (825  mL) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch salt

Chocolate Ganache

  • 4 oz allergy-friendly chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life)
  • 1/4 cup (175 mL) unsweetened dairy-free milk alternative


  1. For the brownies, pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a couple inches of parchment hanging over opposite sides of pan.
  2. Place cocoa powder, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk well to combine.
  3. Put sugar, oil, applesauce, milk alternative, and vanilla extract in bowl of a stand mixer. Beat about 2 minutes, until well-combined and emulsified. Add flour mixture, and beat until well incorporated.
  4. Scrape batter into the lined pan, smoothing evenly. Bake 23 to 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let brownies cool completely in pan.
  5. Once cooled, remove brownies from pan using the parchment paper overhang. With a heart-shaped cookie cutter (I used 2 ½ inch-size) cut heart shapes. Carefully slice each heart width-wise with a sharp knife, setting aside each top half.
  6. For the buttercream, first prepare raspberry puree. Heat raspberries in saucepan on medium-high until fruit starts to break down, becomes juicy and juice starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl, pressing down on raspberries to extract juices. You should have about 1/4 cup of liquid. Let cool completely.
  7. Place margarine in bowl of stand mixer. Beat on high until light and fluffy. Add 2 cups icing sugar, 1/4 cup of cooled raspberry puree, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and salt. Beat until combined and smooth, scraping down the sides of mixer with a spatula as needed. Add remaining icing sugar. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Mixture should be thick – if it is a little runny, add more icing sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.
  8. Spread or pipe buttercream on bottom half of each heart cut-out. Place corresponding upper half of cut-out heart on top, pressing down slightly. Refrigerate while making ganache.
  9. For the ganache, place chocolate chips in a small bowl. Put dairy-free milk alternative in a saucepan, and heat on medium-high until steaming. Pour steaming milk alternative over chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let cool until lukewarm, then pour the mixture over top of each assembled heart. Refrigerate to set the ganache. Then serve – and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

• Hearts can be stored in refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
• If you have teff flour on hand, try substituting it for 1/2 cup of sorghum flour. The teff gives perfect consistency, with less oozing out of the buttercream, while enhancing the chocolate flavor.

Laurie Sadowski is the author of three cookbooks devoted to gluten-free, vegan and allergy-friendly baking. To learn more about purchasing one her popular cookbooks, visit

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