Gluten-Free Brownies and Entertaining with Special Diets

Gluten-free brownies

More and more guests seem to be gluten-free these days, and I’m getting better as a hostess accommodating their needs.

It’s more than needs though, it’s an actual caring about our guests and wanting to make them happy – to feel relaxed, worry-free, and content with their particular diets.

To be able to enjoy the conversation and not worry about “what’s in the meal.”

Up front, I’ll tell them that everything is gluten-free!

I did make one mistake awhile back when I made soup that I thought had gluten-free pasta. My friend was really smart and she knew (she could tell by the color of the pasta – smart girl). I know for her, she would get drastically ill if she ate gluten, so I need to make sure I’m really careful.

gluten-free brownies in repurposed box

Here’s a post where I took the brownies to a friend, in a repurposed box (fun idea if you like to take meals to people).

So for special diets, I do pretty well if I have the time to prepare. But for last minute guests, it may be a little harder to throw a quick meal together.

When I have the time to plan and prepare, I actually enjoy trying new recipes and learning about new products.

What’s your comfort level with special diets when you entertain? Or does it make you not want to invite others over because of their needs?

Here’s the dessert I made for our gluten-free friends. It was delicious!

Gluten-free brownies


Recipe: Clare’s Gluten-Free Brownies {}

Summary: The original recipes from her website, with cocoa powder.


  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour (almond and sweet rice flour combo)
  • 1 cup sugar (brown or white)
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening (butter, or GF margarine etc.), softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Melt the shortening in a glass bowl using a microwave, then add the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of nuts, etc., if desired.
  3. Spread in an 8×8-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Cool. Cut. Wrap and freeze.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6


Here are two other gluten-free options for desserts, perfect for company!

Very Berry Strawberry Cobbler
Best Ever Blueberry Cobbler

12 comments on “Gluten-Free Brownies and Entertaining with Special Diets”

  1. I love reading your blog, Sandy. It’s usually the first one I look at before I start work at the office. I’m a bit of a reluctant entertainer as I stress too much about everything being perfect so your tips are always so helpful. You entertain with such ease! I love your giving nature and love reading about your baskets of food you give those in need / your friends – that is so special. Reading your gluten-free post this morning and wondered if you have ever read this blog: Although I’m not gluten intolerant, I just love reading Shauna’s blog. Keep the posts coming please :)

  2. I have a very close friend with nut, soy, dairy, gluten, egg and citrus allergies, and I try my hardest to make her things that she’s able to have. She always appreciates the effort!

  3. You’re so thoughtful and considerate of your guests needs – I know you make an awesome hostess!! :) Great brownie recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I’ve become much more confident in making meals/desserts for those on special diets. I try to keep many ingredients on hand in case I need to put something together.

  5. It is hard for us to go to other people’s house for dinner because of my hubby is gluten free. Even if people do know, if you are not used to it, it can be tricky to make a gluten free meal….so our remedy to that is to just invite people to our house, where we can cook – and KNOW the food is gluten free – and then we can just avoid the awkward situation of “Sorry, it looks great, but I can’t eat that”. Lucky for us, we love to host and cook, so it works out well :) Since our whole GF experience, I have become much more aware of food allergies in others around me. The brownies look great :)

  6. You really hit it on the nose. Those with special diet needs can really stress over what they can or can’t eat and as a hostess, it’s so nice to put them at ease so everyone can have a good time and enjoy the meal!

  7. I try really hard to accommodate those with special diet needs – it makes for a much less stressful visit when we can all enjoy all the food!

  8. Aw…thank you for sharing my summer berry cobbler recipes with gluten free options with the link love, Sandy! *mwah!*

  9. Gluten free is no problem- adding in other allergens starts getting tricky! As an aside, many gluten free foods have xantham gum and it can actually contain a bit of gluten, so some people may be sensitive enough to react to that.

  10. My father-in-law is gluten free, and it hasn’t been too hard to accommodate his dietary needs. I find that seeing as I cook largely from scratch, not much has hidden gluten.

    We’ve had friends over with a huge range of food allergies and sensitivities and I enjoy the challenge of making delicious food and helping them feel safe with what we are eating. I agree that it is all part of being a considerate hostess!

    Have you ever made black bean brownies? I’ve made those with great success for my father-in-law…and everyone else thought they were good, too!

  11. Such a kind and thoughtful post, Sandy! As bloggers and hosts, we really do need to be mindful of the needs of others on special diets. My blog is dedicated to supporting those on a special diet. Today, I’m working on wrapping up a tutorial post on how to make your own gluten-free cake flour blend. Thanks so much for sharing and supporting our g-free friends! xo

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