Gluten Free Sweet and Salty Pretzel Brownies Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on October 23, 2016

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One of my all-time favorite flavor combos is sweet and salty. Throw in chocolate and I pretty much swoon.

I needed to come up with a nut free version of my sweet and salty brownies recently, so I subbed out the crunchy salted peanuts on top with gluten free pretzels – kind of a genius move if I do say so myself. And since I was giving that recipe a bit of a facelift, I decided to add a swirl of creamy Sunbutter filling into the brownie batter. And while I was at it, why not gild the lily with a layer of chocolate ganache?

These brownies are decadent, chocolatey, sweet, salty, and pretty much everything you want in a brownie. Oh, and did I mention they are also grain free?

P.S. – don’t skip the little bit of lemon juice in the Sunbutter swirl, it keeps the naturally occurring greenish tint from happening when you bake with Sunbutter.

A gluten and grain free brownie recipe filled with a Sunbutter swirl and topped with salty gluten free pretzels

Gluten Free Sweet and Salty Pretzel Brownies Recipe


¾ cup creamy or no-stir Sunbutter
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup plus 8 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature – divided
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract – divided
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips – divided
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, corn starch or tapioca starch
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup gluten free pretzels, crushed


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 by 12-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the Sunbutter, powdered sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth and creamy.

In a food processor, combine 1 ¼ cups chocolate chips, 1 cup butter, the eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, arrow root or starch, salt, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Process until combined; the mixture will be lumpy. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Dollop the Sunbutter mixture on the brownie mixture and swirl with a dinner knife.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the brownies are set and feel slightly firm to the touch, the outer edges will appear drier than the center. Let cool in the pan.

Place the remaining chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Heat the cream with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips, let sit for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth and glossy. Spread the chocolate mixture over the top of the cooled brownies then refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes. Sprinkle the crushed pretzels over the brownies, pressing them gently into the chocolate layer on top.

Remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.


A gluten free recipe that makes 12 – 16 brownies depending on size.

Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Dessert

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kalinda October 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

Sweet + salty + chocolate + crunchy is definitely swoon-worthy!


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