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Dairy Free Cappuccino Brownies

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At a recent cooking class we made dairy free cappuccino brownies. Dairy free baking is new for me but I’m always up for a challenge in the kitchen. At first I thought…how hard could it be. Then I thought…dairy free might even be more difficult that gluten free. What do you think?

Apparently dairy proteins can cause difficulty for as many as 50% of people with celiac disease…so it seems reasonable to learn a little bit about it. I added some brief need-to-know information from my cooking class notes at the bottom of this post to help you get started with dairy free (DF) gluten free (GF) baking.

From Everyday to Gourmet for Cappuccino Brownies

My sister gave me these little espresso cups and I wanted to try baking brownies in them. When I was prepping for this cooking class I tried a few different baking pans including these tiny cups. Inspired by my Layered Cappuccino Brownies I took a tried and true recipe and created a unique presentation just for fun. In this case I think it worked perfectly.

It seemed fitting to make a cappuccino brownie recipe to go in an espresso cup. First I made a regular gluten free chocolate brownie. For the cream cheese topping rather than making a second layer I simply whipped the dairy free cream cheese with cinnamon and piped it on top to look like the foam of a cappuccino.

Rather than a layer of melted chocolate I decided to simply grate dairy free dark chocolate on top, just like you might do on a cappuccino.

As small as the cups are this still seems like a generous portion for dessert so make sure you are hungry when you serve these beautiful gluten free dairy free cappuccino brownies.

Introduction to Dairy Free Baking

Dairy Free Baking

  • dairy products include milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and other products from cows, goats or sheep
  • dairy products come from animals so if you see vegan on packaging it will be dairy free
  • eggs are not a dairy product
  • health food stores generally have a better selection of DF products than grocery stores

Butter Substitutes

  • coconut oil, vegetable oil, shortening and margarine can all be substituted for butter
  • Becel, Earth Balance, Spectrum Organics and Melt are brands that are GF and DF
  • You may need to add 2 Tbsp of water to each 1 cup of vegetable shortening when substituting for butter in baking
  • ½ cup oil plus ½ cup fruit puree can be used in place of 1 cup of butter
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil can be substituted for 1 cup of butter

Non-Dairy Milk Substitutes

  • Almond milk, rice milk, soy milk and coconut milk are available at grocery stores and health food stores. Large sizes are usually found near the milk section, smaller sizes are available with canned milk and other non-refrigerated milk products.

Dairy Free Chocolate

  • baking chocolate and chocolate chips often contain milk
  • Enjoy Life and Cuisine Camino are brands that are DF and GF
  • for recipes calling for unsweetened chocolate you ay need to adjust the amount of sugar called for if your DF GF chocolate has added sugar

I am still experimenting with baking in cute little cups and loaf pans. I share them with my coffee aficionado friends.

I’d love to hear if you tried an uncommon shape or did something different with your brownies. Let me know in the comments below.


4 oz dairy free chocolate baking pieces
¾ cup dairy free margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup sorghum flour
6 Tbsp brown rice flour
6 Tbsp sweet rice flour
¼ cup dairy free milk
8 oz dairy free cream cheese, at room temperature
6 Tbsp margarine, at room temperature
1½ cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
GARNISH – grated dairy free chocolate


Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease baking pans.
Put chocolate in a small bowl and cook in microwave for 1 minute. Stir and cook for another 30 seconds, stir again.
Add margarine to chocolate and microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring until smooth.
Add sugar, stir and set aside.
In large bowl of an electric mixer beat eggs and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture and stir.
Whisk sorghum, brown rice and sweet rice flours together then add to the mixture.
Add dairy free milk and stir.
Divide batter into espresso cups, mini loaf pans, muffin tins or an 8” x 8” baking pan. Baking time will vary depending on the baking pans you choose.
Bake in mini muffin tins for 15 minutes.
Bake in mini loaf pans, regular muffin tins or espresso cups for 25 minutes.
Let brownie cool completely before adding cream cheese topping.
In electric mixer beat dairy free cream cheese and margarine until smooth.
Slowly add icing sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
Transfer to piping bag or plastic zip lock bag. Pipe onto brownie in an espresso cup starting on the outside edge swirling in to the middle in a circular motion.
Sprinkle with grated chocolate.


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