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Milk Street Cookbook Club

Flourless Soy Sauce Brownies

By Hetty McKinnon - Friend of Milk Street

Makes 12-16 Servings
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"A few years ago I posted a recipe for Vegemite brownies on my website, which raised some eyebrows. Yes, the use of this yeasty, uber-umami sandwich spread in a brownie is surprising, but it brings a complex depth of flavor that is quite unique. These soy sauce brownies are of a similar ilk—where salt is widely used to amplify the“chocolatey” flavors in desserts, soy sauce brings a rich caramel glow.The taste very much resembles salted caramel.This brownie is gluten free, by way of nutty almond meal and a gluten-free soy sauce. There are many different gluten-free soy sauces on the market and they all work well in this recipe." — Friend of Milk Street Hetty McKinnon

Reprinted with permission from "To Asia, With Love," by Hetty McKinnon, copyright © 2021. Published by Prestel Publishing. Photography: Hetty McKinnon.


Substitutions: Instead of tamari or soy sauce, use 1½ tablespoons Vegemite or 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes. Or, instead almond meal, use hazelnut meal or ground walnuts.


  • 1

    stick (8 tablespoons / 115 g) unsalted butter

  • 1

    cup (175 g) semisweet or dark chocolate bits


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Becky W.
September 3, 2022
Super rich and fudgy
These are delicious! You would never take a bite and say oh soy sauce. I subbed almond flour for meal and it turned out beautifully. I often add mini Ghirardelli chocolate chips to brownies to amp up the chocolate experience but these do not need any help conveying chocolate. No sacrificing flavor or texture to make a gluten-free dessert here.
Bethany S.

Any chance Almond Flour would work?

Lynn C.

Hi Bethany -

Since this recipe came directly from Hetty McKinnon's cookbook, we didn't test it here at Milk Street. Almond flour is usually lighter in color and has a finer texture than almond meal. If we were to make the substitution we would want to make sure to substitute an equal amount of almond flour by weight, not volume.

The Milk Street Team