Gluten Free Football Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

These brownies hardly take any time at all to make, because…confession…I use a boxed mix!  It’s simply the best way to save time when making these brownies.  I know how stressful it can be getting your home ready to host a party. To save more time for cleaning your house and enjoying the party, I wanted to provide an easy way to make these football shape brownies. While I absolutely love gluten free baking, sometimes it’s easy to simply elevate a regular brownie boxed mix. I personally have found that King Arthur makes the best gluten-free brownies. Their boxed mix is incredible. You can usually find this gluten-free brownie mix at Target, Whole Foods or on Amazon. Whenever I make these for parties friends say these are the best gluten-free brownies, they ask for the recipe and are floored when I tell them it comes from a box. You can even make these brownies the day before which makes these one of my favorite easy entertaining make-ahead apps. Whether your friends and family have food allergies or not, they are going to remember these ganache topped brownies as one of their favorite game day desserts. These brownies are perfect for football season.  So if you’re looking for an easy gluten free recipe for your next party, give these brownies a try!

Chocolate Ganache

With just a few easy swaps, you can have a dairy-free chocolate sauce to dip those fudgy brownies into. Regular ganache calls for heavy cream and chocolate, but by using dairy free chocolate chips and swapping out the heavy cream with canned coconut milk, you can make a great end result that your guests are going to love. The coconut milk allows the chocolate to become silky and rich, just like a traditional ganache. And opting for dairy free chocolate chips ensures anyone who has food allergies can also partake in this chocolatey delight. Drizzle this ganache over each fudge brownie for a decadent dessert perfect for any game day party. Your guests will be coming back for seconds!

Other Holiday Options

While I usually serve these football brownies on game days, it would be so easy to convert this same recipe into something for other holidays. Just swap out the football shaped cookie cutter for something seasonally appropriate! Get a heart shaped cookie cutter for Valentine’s Day, a star for Fourth of July, Christmas tree or Christmas, or a clover for Saint Patrick’s Day. Instead of adding the lacing details for the football, drizzle white chocolate on top or add dye-free food coloring to the white chocolate – pink for Valentine’s Day, red white and blue for the Fourth of July, red and free for Christmas or green for Saint Patrick’s Day. It would even be fun sprinkle on your favorite dye free sprinkles for the associated holiday! No matter what you’re celebrating, this recipe can easily be dressed up for the occasion!

Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies

For delicious fudgy brownies every time, start with a good quality.  I love King Arthur for gluten-free baking and have found they make the best gluten-free brownie mix . You can find boxes of their fudgy, decadent brownie mix at so many grocery stores and even online.  Using a high-quality baking mix is one of the best ways to achieve delicious fudgy brownies. If tolerated, I recommend using butter instead of oil, and mix in chocolate chunks for bites of rich chocolate in every bite. Side note, adding chocolate chunks might make it harder to cut the brownies into your desired shapes for this recipe.  So, maybe file that tip away for when you make regular brownies that aren’t cut into cute shapes.  The chocolate chunks really do ensure pops of fudgy chocolate throughout. A final tip is to replace any water your recipe calls for with coffee, which will really accentuate the chocolatey flavor in the brownies.  It’s amazing how a few simple and easy swaps turn boxed brownies from just ordinary to crave-able, fudgy and decadent brownies. With all of these tips, your friends won’t believe brownies this irresistible came from a box!

football brownies

What You Need to Make Football Brownies

  • Brownie Mix – The best part about this recipe is that you can use any brownie mix to suit your dietary needs.  As I’ve mentioned previously, King Arthur sells my absolute favorite, gluten-free brownie mix.  However, if you wanted to go more of the paleo route, Simple Mills makes an excellent paleo version.  If you have a favorite homemade brownie mix, by all means use that one!
  • White Chocolate – My favorite dairy-free option is Enjoy Life.  It’s still difficult to find this brand of white chocolate chips in stores, but you can usually get this brand online.  You can use any white chocolate that suits your dietary needs.  I will just mention that white chocolate is a little more difficult to melt, in my opinion, as it can seize up easily.  Be sure to add coconut oil as needed to maintain a really smooth consistency.  I’ve also found that the more expensive white chocolate brands melt much easier.  Note: for other special occasions and holidays, you can color the white chocolate with natural food dyes.
  • Coconut Oil – The coconut oil helps the melted white chocolate stay silky and smooth.  You can use avocado oil too.  Depending the brand of white chocolate you use, more oil may be needed.  If you decided to add any food coloring to the melted white chocolate, you will definitely need to add even more oil.  Any water, which is in water-based food coloring, will cause the chocolate to seize up.  If this happens, add more oil, gently melt, stir continually.  Repeat until desired consistency is re-achieved.  
  • Cooking spray – Avocado oil, olive oil or coconut oil spray is recommended.  To keep these brownies as clean as possible, I recommend shying away from cooking sprays made with canola oil. 
  • Coconut milk – Full fat coconut milk is the only recommended option to get that fudgy ganache.  It’s the best replacement for coconut cream.
  • Chocolate Chips – My favorite brand is the Enjoy Life chocolate chips, as they are free from the top 14 allergens including dairy and gluten.  However, you can use any chocolate chips that meet your dietary needs.
  • Vanilla Extract – Although not required, I always recommend adding vanilla extract.  It adds some a richness and depth of flavor to baked goods.
  • Espresso Powder – Although not essential to this recipe, the espresso powder really does amp up the chocolate flavor in the brownies.  Note: If you’re brownie mix calls for water, you can also use left over coffee instead of water for a similar effect.
  • Sprinkles and Toppings (optional) – If you’re making these for another holiday or special occasion, I wanted to provide some fun options you can sprinkle on top.  Instead of artificial sprinkles, I always recommend using dye-free sprinkles.  These are so much easier to find these days, and you can usually find them at Whole Foods, Sprouts and recently Trader Joe’s has started carrying these for holidays.  Other topping ideas include:  sliced almonds, coconut flakes, crushed graham crackers, crushed freeze-dried strawberries. 


Refrigerator Storage:

  • Allow brownies to cool completely before covering.  These usually only last a day or two in our house, so I keep them on the counter.  The brownies just keep their fudgy center better than refrigerating them.  However, if you are going to have these brownies for more than two days, definitely refrigerate.  Just bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Place brownies in an airtight container or wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Use brownies within 3-5 days for good quality, and 1-2 days for best quality.

Freezer Storage:

  • Let brownies cool completely first before freezing.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put each of the individual football brownies on a baking sheet and freeze.
  • Once frozen, wrap each brownie individually in plastic wrap.
  • Place wrapped brownies in freezer bag or airtight container.
  • Remove as much excess air from bag/container before sealing.
  • Label container with contents and date.
  • Use frozen brownies within 2-3 months.
  • Thaw brownies overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Note: You’ll want to take the plastic wrap off the brownies before thawing so that the white chocolate and ganache doesn’t come off on the plastic wrap.
football brownies

Gluten Free Football Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

Sarah Erickson
These are such a fun dessert to bring to any watch party! You can easily adjust this recipe for any holiday design!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 1 box of gluten-free brownie mix

Football Lacing

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • Ganache
  • 1 cup chocolate (chips, or a chopped bar)
  • 2/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)


To make the brownies:

  • Preheat oven to the temperature listed on the back of the box.
  • In a medium bowl, make the brownies according to the boxed instructions. Mix together the wet ingredients and then add in the dry ingredients. Be careful not to overmix the brownie mix as this can cause the brownies to have a dry final product.
  • Prepare pan by spraying with cooking spray and lining with parchment paper. Line the baking dish with parchment paper, leaving extra parchment paper to act as “handles”. Pour brownie batter into the prepared pan and bake according to the boxed instructions.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Using the parchment paper handles, gently pull the cooled brownies out of the pan. Note: You may need to gently run a knife or spatula along any portion of the brownies touching the baking dish.
  • Use the football shaped cookie cutter to cut brownies into football shapes.

To make the chocolate ganache:

  • Using the double boiler method, place a small bowl that is heat safe over a small pot with a little bit of water in the bottom.
  • Add the chocolate chips and coconut cream to the small bowl. Over low heat, gently warm the chocolate chips and stir constantly until the chocolate is silky and smooth. At the very end, add vanilla extract, espresso powder (if using) and a pinch of salt to the melted dark chocolate. Alternatively, microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each increment.
  • Carefully dip each of the brownies into the chocolate mixture. Allow the ganache to set.

To make the football laces

  • Using the same double boiler or microwave method as for the chocolate ganache, melt the white chocolate chips and coconut oil until smooth and silky.
  • Allow to cool slighty.
  • Transfer to a piping bag, and then add the football laces to the tops of the brownies.


Baking dish for brownies
Parchment paper
Nonstick spray
Wire Rack / Cooling Rack
Large mixing bowl
Square pan or nonstick pan
Football shaped cookie cutter
Piping bag for white chocolate detail
Heat safe bowl
Small pot
Keyword brownies, chocolate, football, ganache, gluten free, holiday

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