Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies (Gluten Free + Paleo)

These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies are a swoon-worthy and surprisingly guilt-free treat – they’re gluten-free, refined sugar-free and Paleo!

These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies are a swoon-worthy and surprisingly guilt-free treat - they're gluten-free, refined sugar-free and Paleo!I remember when my sister first asked me to try baking healthier for her. When I was first learning how to bake eight years ago, it pretty well coincided with her discovering her intolerance to gluten. She would come into the kitchen and scoff at me putting 2 cups of sugar and a whole bunch of all-purpose flour into something, begging me to please figure out how to make things delicious without all the sugar and gluten that I normally used, that she couldn’t have.

I heavily resisted for a while. I was convinced that nothing without gluten or sugar could possibly taste good, and I held on to that skepticism for a while. Finally, when my dad decided to try going gluten-free, I acquiesced, realizing the majority of my immediate family now wouldn’t eat the gluten-filled items I’d make.

These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies are a swoon-worthy and surprisingly guilt-free treat - they're gluten-free, refined sugar-free and Paleo!My first trials were definitely not successful – it took a lot of trial and error to figure out which flours I preferred to work with and their idiosyncrasies that made them different from traditional gluten flours. Turns out my faves – almond, coconut, and tapioca – are all Paleo friendly too!

As I continued experimenting, I became genuinely surprised by how close I could get the taste of old faves into gluten-free + refined sugar-free versions. These Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies, Paleo Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread, and Ultimate GF Fudge Brownies have become staples that I love to make for my family, but they’re also recipes I can make for a crowd of people who normally eat gluten and not have one person complain (or really even notice) that they “taste healthy.”

These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies are a swoon-worthy and surprisingly guilt-free treat - they're gluten-free, refined sugar-free and Paleo!Even though I know exactly what goes into each of my recipes, sometimes I take a bite of one of these healthier gluten-free/refined sugar free/paleo treats and even I’m surprised. That totally happened with these chocolate covered strawberry brownies.

After tasting these, I was like for reaaaal?? These have NO gluten or refined sugars AT ALL? I was impressed with myself, to say the least. These brownies don’t even have any chocolate at all, so no need to search for low sugar/high cocoa chocolate – all the chocolate flavor comes from cocoa powder!

These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies are a swoon-worthy and surprisingly guilt-free treat - they're gluten-free, refined sugar-free and Paleo!The brownie recipe uses only 1/2 cup of almond flour and it’s sweetened with coconut sugar. As for that gorgeous chocolate strawberry topping? Diced fresh strawberries are sprinkled over the baked brownies and topped with a mixture of coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup that firms up to create a deliciously smooth chocolate layer.

You’ve got to try these chocolate covered strawberry brownies – they’re so fudgy, and the freshness of the strawberries is the perfect thing to cut through the richness of the chocolate. You won’t believe these are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and Paleo – promise! Enjoy :)

These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies are a swoon-worthy and surprisingly guilt-free treat - they're gluten-free, refined sugar-free and Paleo!

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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies (Paleo)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16 brownies
For the chocolate topping
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang on the sides, spray with cooking spray; set pan aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine coconut oil, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and heat on high power to melt, about 45 seconds. Stop to stir, and heat in 10-second bursts until mixture has melted and can be stirred smooth (mine took 45 seconds + 15 seconds). Whisk for about 30 seconds to help dissolve the coconut sugar into the oil.
  3. Add the vanilla, eggs, and stir vigorously until batter is thick, shiny, and well blended. Add the almond flour and stir until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  4. Bake until a toothpick in the center emerges slightly moist with batter, about 22-25 minutes. Check with a toothpick - it should come out with moist crumbs attached. Don't over bake! Let brownies cool completely.
  5. Spread the strawberries evenly over the brownies. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup. Pour evenly over the strawberries. Refrigerate for at least 1 hours before cutting into 16 squares.
  6. Brownies will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 brownie Calories: 220 Fat: 16 Carbohydrates: 21 Sugar: 17 Protein: 3
These Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies are a swoon-worthy and surprisingly guilt-free treat - they're gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and Paleo!


  1. Paleo brownies are the BEST! I seriously think I love them even more than regular brownies! And case-in-point here. WHOA! I don’t think I’m gonna be able to stop drooling anytime soon because these gorgeous babies are UNREAL! Love all that strawberry goodness!
    Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven recently posted…Cajun Chicken Rice Bowls with Avocado SaladMy Profile

  2. These brownies are GORGEOUS, Rachel! Seriously, I want to reach through my screen and grab some. I’ve never seen a strawberry version quite like this! I absolutely love these! So pretty!!

  3. These are beautiful, and sound amazingly delicious! I love how the frosting is literally strawberries covered in chocolate.

  4. Coconut sugar is just the best! Totally loving these brownies :) Pinning!

  5. Pinned! I absolutely can’t wait to try these, Rachel!!
    Lisa @ Chocolate Meets Strawberry recently posted…Lemon Poppyseed CookiesMy Profile

  6. These are so pretty Rachel; the contrast of the strawberries on the chocolate is fabulous…. I’m thinking Valentine’s day! I want to use coconut sugar more in my baking.. so I’m looking forward to doing a bit of experimenting. Thank you for your motivation my dear!
    Traci | Vanilla And Bean recently posted…Mushroom Stuffed Cabbage RollsMy Profile

  7. You out-do yourself every single time :)

  8. These brownies are perfect in every way shape and form! They look super fudgey and full of chocolate strawberry goodness! LOVE THEM
    Bethany @ Athletic Avocado recently posted…Avocado Bacon and Egg Hash Brown Waffle SandwichMy Profile

  9. These look amazing! I LOVE that there’s nothing processed in them, and they look completely and utterly delicious! Keep posting these great recipes! :D

  10. That strawberry and chocolate combination just looks HEAVENLY, Rachel! I can’t believe they are so healthy either – so excited to give them a go (also glad you have done all the experimenting with different flours so I can just get on and make them haha!). Seriously gorgeous <3
    Claudia | The Brick Kitchen recently posted…Momofuku German Chocolate Espresso Cake & a blog birthdayMy Profile

  11. Thanks for introducing me to coconut sugar…I’ve never heard of it. These are so sweet looking, Rachel! A perfect Valentine’s Day treat! I love your dedication to your family, my friend… beautiful!
    annie@ciaochowbambina recently posted…RumChata French Toast with Warm Berry CompoteMy Profile

  12. Wow, that looks simply ridiculous, especially the strawberries on top, they add an amazingly gorgeous touch! Never seen anything like it before. Would like to make that soon.

    One point though, since you are adding coconut sugar, I don’t think you can call it refined sugar free or paleo. If you were adding honey or pure unrefined coconut sap/nectar, sure, but coconut sugar is still a processed industrial product/sugar. People in the paleo era would have used coconut sap if they came across it, but they wouldn’t have made sugar out of it.

    Another counterpoint is that weight by weight, coconut sugar has the same amount of sugar/calories as refined white sugar. Yes, it has some minerals, but only in trace quantities. Actually coconut sugar is analogous to unrefined cane sugar (turbinado, demerara, sucanat), as they are both dried plant juices. And if unrefined cane sugar is *not paleo* and is nutritionally considered a “refined sugar”, so is the case with coconut sugar, maple sugar, or other crystallized plant juices or saps.

    Would appreciate your thoughts.

  13. I need these brownies like yesterday!! I love the combo of chocolate and fresh strawberries and these are healthy so I can eat the whole pan by myself :) Well, I guess I can share since I’ll make them for Valentines Day for me and Hubby.
    karrie @ Tasty Ever After recently posted…Easy Mini SpanakopitaMy Profile

  14. Man oh man those brownies look amazing. And you make paleo look so easy. I need to try these asap! Love all that gooey chocolate-ness. Yum!
    Cyndi – My Kitchen Craze recently posted…Artichoke Jalapeño PinwheelsMy Profile

  15. These are SO beautiful, Rachel! I love that your family inspired you to make healthier treats :) My niece & sister-in-law found out they were gluten intolerant 5 years ago and it inspired me to learn more about gf baking then too. These would be a hit with everyone though! I love the strawberries!

  16. This looks just amazing. I love a good healthy brownie recipe. Especially ones that look as moist as this one. I will have to get some strawberries and try this.

  17. First of all, what the hell is “paleo”. Secondly i’m annoyed that buzzfeed shared this because it looks great, but to make it I’m required to go buy a bunch of weird gluten free ingredients that definitely won’t be at my local store, instead of just using stuff I already have in my cupboard. Guess i’ll have to look elsewhere for something similar.

    • Hi Charlie, Paleo is a specific type of diet that eliminates grains and refined sugars (as well as a bunch of other stuff, but it get’s complicated so I won’t get into it). If you want to make these brownies in their full chocolatey caloric form, you can use your favorite brownie recipe and just do the strawberry/chocolate topping – you’ll get the same delicious chocolate covered strawberry flavor! I’m leaving my favorite brownie recipe with the chocolate strawberry topping added below in case you want to try that. Enjoy!

      6 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
      ½ cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter
      ¾ cup (5¼ oz.) granulated sugar
      ¼ cup (2 oz.) light brown sugar
      2 eggs
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      ½ teaspoon salt
      1 tablespoon cocoa powder
      ⅔ cup (2¾ oz.) all-purpose flour

      For the chocolate strawberry topping
      1 cup fresh strawberries, diced
      ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
      ⅓ cup cocoa powder
      2 tablespoons maple syrup

      Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line with parchment and lightly grease an 8×8” baking pan.
      In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
      Put the chocolate and butter in a large glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and repeat until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined.
      Add 2 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir.
      Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible. Pour into the prepared pan.
      Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached. Let cool.
      Spread the strawberries evenly over the brownies. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, cocoa powder, and maple syrup. Pour evenly over the strawberries. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting into 16 squares.

      • Can the coconut oil be substituted for any other vegetable oils?

        • Hi Miriam, I’d recommend butter instead of coconut oil if you’re going to substitute – I haven’t tried it with vegetable oil so I’m not sure if it’d work.

          • Yes, I’m curious if anyone has tried butter/trans-fat free margarine. As a dietitian, I cannot hop on board the coconut oil fad since 14 of the 15 grams per serving are saturated and therefore, not heart healthy.

          • Hi Jamie, you could definitely use butter instead of the coconut oil if you prefer.

  18. I know this is getting lots of compliments on looks but I tried to make this 2 times with just the paleo ingredients and came out completely different. What did you use to make it rise? The second time I made this it was with baking soda and that has little effect. Both times it came out oily and I didn’t even use the 2 tlbs added to the 1/2 C.

    • Hi Jessica, sorry you’re having trouble! I usually don’t use leaveners in my brownie recipes because it keeps them fudgy. These are definitely fudge brownies, if you’re looking for something cakey these aren’t for you. How did they come out differently each time? Did you use different brands of ingredients? Unfortunately, because I wasn’t in the kitchen with you, it’s hard for my to say why it didn’t work. Feel free to send me an email if you want to discuss further!

  19. Love how the strawberries look on the chocolate. I just had my daughter look over my shoulder saying, “I want these, I want these”!!! So they’re a hit here I guess! :)

  20. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but my brownies came out really oily on top? It’s like the coconut oil didn’t completely mix in?? Any help??

    • How odd! Did the oil seem fully incorporated when you mixed it in, or did the batter seem oily? I’ve made these brownies a number of times and haven’t anything similar to that happen. Unfortunately without being there with you, it’s hard to say what went wrong. The oil should have incorporated smoothly into the batter when you mixed in the eggs.

      • I just made them and mine also came out swimming in the oil. They have cooled now and I have put them in the fridge to solidify further. I think next time I will use less coconut oil and coconut flour instead of almond.

        • Hi Carol – sorry to hear you had issues! I’ll do more testing with this recipe to see if I can replicate the problem and see what’s causing it.

  21. This recipe is amazing, I just made it with my sister earlier this evening. At first she was skeptical to try it because it was gluten-free but the brownies won her over! This will definitely be one of my go-to recipes.


  22. Can you use just coconut flour? I have adverse reactions to almond flour…..

    • Hi Adele. Coconut flour is much more absorbent than almond flour and doesn’t substitute well for it. You could use another nut flour or sunflower seed flour in it’s place, or if you want to use coconut flour, I’d recommend finding a brownie recipe that uses coconut flour and just adding the chocolate strawberry topping. I hope this helps!

    • Shanelle says:

      I used coconut flour and they turned out perfectly! (Same amount)

  23. Michelle says:

    I made these today and they are awesome!! Very rich and decadent for sure. Everyone loved them :)

  24. I love chocolate and strawberry combination. What can you substitute for eggs, coconut and almond items? I am allergic to them all.

    • Hi Beth. I haven’t tried making these brownies any way except how the recipe is written, but here’s a few suggestions you could try. In place of the eggs, I would try using flax eggs. For the coconut oil, you can substitute unsalted butter. For the coconut sugar, any granulated sugar would work – if you eat refined sugars, you could do 3/4 cup light brown sugar + 1/2 cup white, or sub in maple or date sugar. For the almond flour, I would recommend another nut flour, like hazelnut. Oat flour might would too. Again, none of these are tested. Good luck! I’d love to hear how they turn out.

  25. Kristen says:

    Holy fudgy-ness!!! These are so rich being Paleo I needed a glass of milk or water afterwards! These were delicious though! Thank you!!!

  26. Hi Rachel,

    So I love these brownies, I have been making them without the strawberry topping just as regular brownies, but now I am supposed to only use honey as a sweetener. I was wondering if you could tell me how to sub honey for the coconut sugar, or if you could create a brownie recipe that uses only honey for the sweetener and is similar to this grain free recipe? I am scared to try it on my own and waste ingredients. Almond flour is like gold, lol! Should I sub the honey for the coconut sugar by weight?

    Robin recently posted…Berry Pitaya Smoothie BowlMy Profile

    • Hi Robin. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the brownies! I haven’t tried making these brownies with honey (or just a liquid sweetener) so I can’t confidently give you a recommendation as to how to substitute it and still get the same texture – I do know that subbing 1 1/4 cups of liquid sweetener for a granulated sweetener would definitely mess with the texture though. I can put a honey-sweetened brownie on my recipe to-do list for sure, but I just moved so it might be a little while before I get a recipe perfected. My apologies I can’t be more helpful at the moment!

  27. betsy orozco says:

    These look amazing! Have you had any success making these with coconut flour? I’m allergic to nuts so almond flour is a no-go for me. I’m curious to find out if you’ve had success. :)

    • Hi Betsy – I haven’t tried it, and since coconut flour performs pretty differently than almond flour, I think a unique brownie recipe using coconut flour specifically would be a better bet. I’ll definitely add that to my list of recipes to develop, but in the meantime, you can find a different basic brownie recipe online using coconut flour and use the topping I used here on top! :)

  28. Hi Rachel, I’m having a problem with the sugar dissolving, I know you used cocount sugar, and I’m using orangic sugar. The problem is the sugar isn’t dissolving. Does it matter if the sugar dissolves?

    • Hi Natasha. Do you mean in the brownies themselves? It doesn’t need to be completely dissolved because it will dissolve when the brownies bake, but the batter should come together and be smooth! Hope this helps.

  29. Heavenly! Hubby who is trying to steer of sweets ate half the cake, I found the rest of fam fighting over who had the biggest piece before and who should have the last one…I think I might have had about a corner of it. Awesome recipe! Thank you!

  30. Someone may have already asked this, but do you think I could use rice, tapioca, or coconut flour in place of the almond flour? I have a nut allergy *womp womp* Thank you!

    • Hi Caitlin. I wouldn’t recommend coconut flour since it’s much more absorbent than almond flour. I haven’t worked a lot with rice flour, but from what I know about it, it should work. I wouldn’t recommend all tapioca flour, but you could use part tapioca flour and part rice flour. Because I haven’t tried it, I can’t guarantee the outcome of any of the these changes. Let me know what you end up trying, and how it works. Good luck!

  31. These are so yummy! Do you have any idea what the nutrition facts are? Thanks for the recipe!!

  32. Looks very yummy! Just one question: can you use frozen/thawed strawberries?

    • Hi Dana – it won’t have quite the same texture as fresh strawberries, but thawed strawberries should work. Just make sure your fully thaw and drain them so the brownies don’t get soggy. Enjoy!


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