Teff Brownies.

A woman's hand holding a pile of teff grainsWho would’ve thought? For most, I bet you have never heard of this nutritious grain/flour.

I personally love the teff grain and experienced it a few years back in an Ethiopian restaurant and admired the taste of the flour they used to make their flat bread called enjera.

One of the smallest grains in the world, it dates back to over 4000 years on this planet. I think what I love about eating gluten-free baking is that the grains and flours can be so densely nutritious. Teff is about 12% protein and it leads all other grains in its calcium content. A cup of cooked teff offers about 123mg of calcium which is comparable to a half-cup cooked spinach. Teff is also an excellent source of vitamin C, a micronutrient not commonly found in grains. It’s also very high in fibre and B vitamins.

Due to it’s earthy flavour, I thought it would make a fantastic brownie. I took the teff grain I had in the cupboard and put it in my Vitamix to whip and pulverize it into flour – so easy! After trying a few different combinations of ingredients, I came up with this incredibly delicious recipe.

Large image of Kelly Childs' teff brownies 

Teff Brownies (Gluten-Free and Vegan)

1 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp water (let sit in separate bowl to thicken)

1/2 cup coconut oil or canola oil

1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life are dairy-free and gluten-free)

3/4 cup sucanat or coconut sugar

1 cup apple sauce (or ½ cup applesauce plus ½ cup banana puree – love the texture)

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup teff flour (teff flour and teff grain can be found in Whole Foods and other natural grocery stores)

1/4 cup sorghum flour (you can also use garbanzo bean flour or brown rice flour)

1/2 cup tapioca starch or arrowroot starch

1/3 cup cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp sea salt

Heat oven to 350F. Line  an 8×8 or 9×9 square cake pan with parchment paper. (Either size is fine; you will get a deeper/higher brownie with a smaller diameter pan)

Add chia seeds to water and let sit for a minimum of 5 minutes to thicken.

Melt chocolate chips with the coconut oil over a double boiler. Add the sucanat or coconut sugar. Stir until combined. Remove from heat.

Place applesauce, balsamic vinegar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and stir. Add chia seed and water mixture and fold in.

Add the melted chocolate mixture to the applesauce mixture and stir with a sturdy spatula (my preference).

Place teff flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, xanthna gum and sea salt in a separate medium sized bowl and whisk to combine.

Now you can add the dry mix to the wet mix and stir well with a spatula. You don’t want to incorporate air bubbles by using an electric mixer so stir until well blended.

Pour batter into the parchment-paper lined cake pan and spread with a spatula if needed.

Kelly Childs' teff brownies tray ready to put in the oven

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overbake. Brownies should always look a little raw to the touch if you want a gooey, dense brownie.

The finished brownie looks simply delicious. To cut it more easily, I let the pan cool first on the counter and then put the pan in the freezer and then when I take it out frozen, it’s much easier to cut and less breakable.

Let me know what you think!

Closeup of Kelly Childs' teff brownies

Are you living your life yet?

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Kelly is the co-founder and co-owner (with her daughter Erinn) of the ever popular, Kelly's Bake Shoppe, where 1000's flock to on a weekly basis. She lives in Grey County with her two cats Daisy & Tuna. You can find Kelly developing and creating marketing content and building new business ideas with her daughter Erinn. They have the ever popular podcast: Cupcakes and Consciousness on Apple and Spotify. Tune into their latest shows. Kelly & Erinn are now writing their 2nd cookbook that is due to come out in winter 2023.


  1. I have never heard about this grain, but I am a newbie to the whole clean eating lifestyle. Having two boys under 2 1/2 yrs of age makes it a tad difficult to really be true to that lifestyle, but I am learning and 90% there. The hubby loves everything I make of yours, especially the Butternut Squash soup:)

    Anyhoo, where can I buy Teff?

    Thanks a bunch, you rock!!!


  2. OK, just so everyone knows- these are INCREDIBLE! I was the first and last into the pan, just amazing!

  3. How do you think they would turn out without the xanthan gum? I wonder if I could sub in some chia or flax for that?? Thanks

    • You could try chia of flax seeds with the “Egg” ratio of 1 Tbsp of Flax meal to 3 Tbsp water….I found them to still be slightly crumbly. 🙂

      • OK I’ll try that. The gums seem too sketchy to me – and I think I’ll be okay with tasty crumbs. 🙂 Thank you!

  4. I made theses the other day and they were excellent! I didn’t have any xanthan gum so I substituted with flax egg and they turned out great! I will make these again!

  5. Hello Kelly!
    I absolutely love your Bake Shoppe and cookbook they are filled with deliciousness! I was wondering if you could tell me where you buy your sucanant sugar or palm shortening? I can’t seem to find them anywhere and there are many recipes of yours id love to give a try! Please let me know 🙂
    Thank you kindly!

    • Avatar photo
      KellyChilds Reply

      Thank you so much!
      We get our Palm Shortening from California. It is hard to get in Canada now….Please use Earth Balance as a substitute.

      Sucanat is available really anywhere now. Longo’s, Fortino’s, Goodness Me, Nature’s Emporium. You should not have a problem at all.
      Thanks Leah! <3

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