If you love the iconic Dark Chocolate and Raspberry combo, you’ll love these bakery-style Gluten Free Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies. Tart and red with fresh raspberry and paired to deliciousness with cocoa-rich dark chocolate, they are the perfect soft and chewy cookie. Optional dairy free.
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Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies – an alternative to white chocolate
Who loves the dark chocolate-raspberry combo? Yes? Then you’ll LOVE these gluten free Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies. They are soft and slightly chewy, bakery-style heaven. The sort of cookies you just can’t buy in gluten free form… The tartness of fresh raspberry contrasting in classic perfection against the rich, cocoa-depth of dark chocolate. They’re beautiful too!
I’ll be honest… They are a direct variation on my gluten free, bakery-style White Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies. But they are so delicious in their own right, that they deserve a post of their own.
Indeed, at GFHQ, we actually prefer them to the white chocolate version… But then we are a family who doesn’t do ‘over-sweet’. So if you also have a preference for dark chocolate, then these cookies are a keeper! And you can even share them too (if you can bear to let go of them)… with wheat-eaters! Because no one will ever guess they are gluten free.
How to make the BEST gluten free Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies – Tips for perfection
Like any gluten free baking, it always helps to have a few tips and tricks up your sleeve to aim for perfection… Whether you are a newbie baker or not. So here’s the frequently asked questions and my best advice on making Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies.
Can I use any gluten free flour to make bakery-style cookies?
From my testing, these cookies are fairly forgiving… However, it is essential that you use a good gluten free flour BLEND when making them. Single-origin gluten free flours (eg just buckwheat flour, just tapioca flour or just rice flour) do not have the same qualities as wheat flour in a straight sub and need to be combined together to work in most bakes. The principles of gluten free flour blending are explained on my Gluten Free Flours and Flour Blending Page.
For making bakery-style cookies, I would also recommend that a small portion of the flour blend is pure tapioca starch. This helps to ensure a smoother and lightly chewy texture for the cookies. Although it is possible to make them without the tapioca adjustment, the texture may not be as good.
When developing Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies, I tested them with both my Gluten Free Alchemist white baking Blend A and also my rice-free, wholegrain (darker) Blend B. Both worked well. The recipes for each can be found at the bottom of my Gluten Free Flours and Flour Blending Page. But the fact that they were as delicious made with either, also suggests that an alternative balanced gluten free blend (such as Doves Freee Plain White Gluten Free Flour) will work well too.
Is xanthan gum essential in this recipe?
The very small amount of xanthan gum added to the raspberry cookie dough supports structure and helps with shelf-life. However, if you don’t like or cannot tolerate xanthan gum, then it is fine to leave it out. The cookies will still be good.
Do I have to use bicarbonate of soda to make these gluten free cookies?
Although bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) offers a lovely light rise to bakery-style cookies, I know that some people are particularly aware of its flavour. If you are one of those people, then it is possible to switch out the bicarb for standard baking powder. Remember however, to check the label to be sure that it is gluten free and then make the substitution as follows:
- Replace the ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) with 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
Is it essential to use brown sugar and caster sugar to make bakery-style Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies?
While it is possible to make Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies with only caster or only brown sugar, I wouldn’t recommend it. The carefully balanced combination of both together works for the following reasons…
- Adding some brown sugar ensures a more chewy texture to the cookies, while white caster sugar offers a little crispness. Together, they give us the perfect ‘bakery cookie’ texture.
- The brown sugar (which is more natural in flavour and less sweet) gives a more balanced ‘adult’ sweetness to the bake.
- Brown sugar also offers divine caramel notes.
Do I have to freeze the raspberries when making Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies?
Yes. I wouldn’t recommend making these cookies with unfrozen raspberries. Freezing the raspberries is essential to the process. Why? Because raspberries are such a soft fruit, they quickly turn to a pippy mush when squashed. Honestly not great to look at or eat… I’ve tried it! When they break down, they also release additional liquid into the cookie dough, resulting in flat splats.
Thus, it is essential that the raspberries remain frozen (even after breaking into smaller pieces) until just before being added to the dough. Further, that the dough is put back in the freezer after mixing and before it is shaped into balls. Only this way will your cookies stay ‘clean’ with definable raspberries!
Do the size of the eggs matter when making these cookies?
Yes… Absolutely yes! Egg size can be critical in any bake and the results can succeed or fail on egg size alone. Most recipes are generally developed using a specific-size egg which consequently will have been balanced against other ingredients. The eggs used will bring structure, moisture and (sometimes) rise to the bake.
The recipe shared here for Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies uses 1 UK large egg.
BUT… It is important to be aware that how eggs are sized varies from country to country. And my ‘large’ egg may not be the same as your ‘large’ egg. As such, it is important to compare eggs used by weight rather than by what they are called. You can use my printable International Egg Size and Weight Comparison Guide to be sure.
Using an egg that is too large when making these raspberry cookies may result in dough that is too wet and that spreads too much. Equally… If the egg is too small, the cookies may not spread far enough and will be harder in texture.
Are these Gluten Free Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies safe for Coeliacs?
As with ALL gluten free baking for people with a gluten-related health condition, it remains necessary to check the labels on ALL ingredients, to be sure there is no potential risk from either ‘hidden’ gluten or ‘May Contain’ warnings. And, of course, make sure all flours used are also gluten free.
Can I make these cookies dairy free as well as gluten free?
Yes. With just a couple of simple subs, these Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies can also be made dairy free… Switch the dairy butter for a good quality, comparable dairy free block ‘butter’ alternative. Stork or Flora baking blocks are ideal. And make sure the dark chocolate chips are confirmed dairy free too!
How to make the BEST Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies – tips on process
Use softened butter
- Only use block butter/dairy free alternative when making these cookies. But…
- Never try to make them until the butter has been completely softened to room temperature. The butter must be soft, to blend evenly and smoothly with the sugars and to incorporate enough air and lightness. And…
- Cream the butter and sugars together well. That means for three to four minutes at least… And preferably with an electric whisk.
Freezing the raspberries and chilling the dough…
I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to work with frozen raspberries and chilled dough. Properly chilled dough will help ensure the raspberries stay frozen and firm… And this is essential unless you want ugly, wet, pippy, pancake-flat cookies.
So… freeze and chill at every stage…
- Use only frozen raspberries and leave them in the freezer until you are truly ready to use them.
- Re-chill the dough in the freezer immediately after stirring the raspberries into the cookie dough.
- And… If not baking straight away, chill again between rolling and baking.
It is worth weighing the cookie dough for even-sized cookies?
No! Really… Life’s too short. Unless you are particularly obsessed with cookie equality, then enjoy the fact that they should look home-baked. The randomness is all part of their charm!
And more importantly… Any extra time spent at room temperature weighing, rolling and faffing with the dough, will lead to defrosted raspberries. And (if you’ve read the rest of the post) you’ll know why that’s not a good thing.
Is it better to hand roll or scoop the dough when making Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies?
I’ve tried making this recipe both by hand-rolling and scooping. While it’s fine to hand-roll, warm hands can quickly lead to warm dough and defrosted raspberries. So… My advice would be that if possible, use a small cookie scoop instead.
If choosing to roll by hand however, the following may help to keep the dough robust and the raspberries ‘clean’…
- Work as quickly as possible.
- Re-chill the dough part-way through the process to ensure the raspberries remain frozen.
- Wear food-safe vinyl gloves to help limit the dough sticking to fingers. This will enable you to work more quickly and avoid raspberry-stained hands.
When baking, position the dough balls for colour and spread
My gluten free Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies need lots of room to spread. And (if you want cookies that really showcase the raspberries), are best placed with some thought on the baking tray…
- Make sure there is plenty of space between each one when baking, so they can spread without joining.
- Place the dough balls on the baking tray with a raspberry positioned at the top. This ensures that as the cookies bake and spread, the raspberry will remain a beautiful and vivid feature.
Batch-cook the cookies and use the same baking paper
Because the cookies need plenty of room on the baking sheets, it is likely that you will need to batch-bake them…
- Make sure the unbaked cookie dough balls are placed back in the freezer between batch bakes to keep them firm.
- Also ensure the baking trays are completely cold before re-using (or rotate with a fresh, cold tray).
- Re-use the baking paper (or silicone mat) for each batch and help save the planet. It doesn’t matter that it has ‘cookie marks’ from the last batch… If anything, they act as a great guide to ‘spread’.
Trouble-shooting for Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies
Why have my cookies spread too far?
If your cookies have over-spread, it is likely to be for one of the following reasons…
- The dough wasn’t chilled or cold enough before hitting the oven. As a result, it became too soft due to warmth and too wet due to defrosting raspberries.
- The dough was too wet because the egg used was too large. Use my International Egg Size and Weight Comparison Guide to check egg weight.
- The raspberries defrosted before being added to the dough. This resulted in too much juice being released and the dough becoming too wet.
Why have my cookies not spread far enough?
Conversely to the above, cookies that don’t spread and are too hard are usually…
- Too dry – The egg used was too small. Use my International Egg Size and Weight Comparison Guide to check egg weight.
- Were too hard-frozen when put in the oven. If the cookie balls have been frozen to be baked at a later date, they will benefit from either being gently squashed a little, or sitting at room temperature for about 10 minutes to compensate for the fact that they have been frozen solid. See the separate section on freezing below.
My cookies are not done or are over-baked and hard…
Although my gluten free Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies are easy to bake, ovens vary considerably. Thus it is really important to keep an eye on them and to work out by eye when they are ready to take out of the oven…
The cookies should be done to perfection when they just start to turn a shade darker at the edges. Bear in mind that even after taking from the oven, the cookies will continue to cook both with their own internal heat and with the heat of the baking tray. So, for the best texture, it is always better to slightly under-bake than over-bake.
How to store gluten free Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies
Once baked, these gluten free Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies should last 2 to 3 days with reasonable freshness. Like standard wheat flour bakery-style cookies however, they are best eaten within a day or two. Store in an airtight container.
Alternatively, they can be baked and frozen, ready to eat as and when… Freeze in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks and defrost to room temperature whenever you fancy one.
Freezing the cookie dough ready to bake later
Because bakery-style Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies are at their best when freshly baked (just like their wheat cousins), I have tested how well they freeze and bake later. The great news is that they’re fantastic! Here’s how to do it…
- Slightly flatten the cookie dough balls with the palm of a hand and then place on a tray in the freezer.
- Once completely frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 2 months.
- Cook straight from frozen in a pre-heated oven as per the recipe instructions. They may need an extra minute or so baking to compensate for being completely frozen.
- Or… If the cookie dough has been completely frozen as round (unflattened) balls… Take them from the freezer and leave at room temperature for about 10 minutes, before baking as per recipe instructions.
Ready to make Gluten Free Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies?
Hopefully, that covers all the questions you may have. If there’s anything I’ve missed, just shout. And if you make them, let me know how you get on… You can leave a comment at the bottom of this post, rate the recipe, like the post, or tag me on social media with your cookie photos. I love hearing that you guys are making what I share… It keeps me going and makes my day. The best places to find me are on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
Of course… There’s lots more cookies to be tried at Gluten Free Alchemist too… So why not head over to our dedicated Gluten Free Cookies and Biscuits Index? And for eveything else, there’s hundreds of recipes shared for FREE, via our Main Gluten Free Recipe Index.
All with my love
A little more gluten free chocolate cookie inspiration…
Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies (Bakery-Style)
- sharp vegetable knife
- 290 g plain gluten free flour blend I use GFA Blend A or B (see NOTES), but an alternative flour blend will work fine.
- 20 g tapioca starch
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- pinch fine sea salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 130 g dark chocolate chips (dairy free if necessary)
- 130 g unsalted butter (or dairy free 'block' alternative) softened
- 120 g soft light brown sugar
- 80 g caster sugar (super-fine sugar)
- 1 large egg UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 80 g raspberries frozen
- optional additional dark chocolate chips to 'decorate' (approx 3 per cookie)
Preparation of raspberries – ahead of time
- Freeze the raspberries ahead of time to ensure they are completely frozen.
- Once frozen, quickly cut the raspberries in half to thirds (approx) and then IMMEDIATELY put back in the freezer (they need to remain frozen). TIP: take each frozen raspberry and push a small sharp knife into the central hole. This should 'shatter' the frozen raspberry into uneven sized pieces, which are perfect for cookies.
- Leave the raspberries in the freezer until further instructed otherwise.
- Mix together the flours, xanthan gum, salt, bicarbonate of soda and white chocolate chips and set aside. (TIP: Weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously)
- Cream together the butter and sugars using an electric whisk until pale, fluffy and creamy.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and using a firm wooden or silicone spoon, beat well, until the batter is smooth, even and well-blended.
- Add the dry flour mix and beat through well with a wooden or silicone spoon until even.
- Take the raspberry pieces from the freezer and immediately add to the batter, gently stirring through, as quickly as possible. Try not to crush the raspberries.
- Return the batter to the freezer to chill for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will ensure the raspberries remain frozen.
Moulding and baking the cookies
- If cooking straight away, base line a couple of large baking sheets with baking paper and pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4. (However, the cookies can be frozen ready to be cooked later, if preferred – See NOTES).
- After 10 to 15 minutes, take the cookie dough from the freezer and either using a cookie scoop or spoon and hands, quickly mould scoops of the dough into balls (a little larger than a walnut). TIPS: 1) Try to handle and squish the dough as little as possible, to ensure the raspberries stay intact. 2) It is better to use a cookie scoop if you have one as this will keep the dough cooler. 3) For the easiest handling, wear a pair of food-safe vinyl gloves.
- Place the dough balls (with a raspberry showing at the top) on the lined baking trays with a large space between them (at least 5 cm) as they will spread.
- (NOTE: It may be necessary to bake in two batches to ensure room in the oven, in which case place the cookie dough balls that are being baked later back in the freezer, until ready to bake.)
- Bake the dough balls straight away for 13 to 18 minutes (dependent on how 'frozen' the dough is), until they are spread and starting to turn golden at the edges. If concerned that the cookies are browning too quickly, turn the oven down to 170 C/325 F/Gas 3.
- OPTIONAL: For a 'loaded with chocolate' look, either top the cookie dough balls with a couple of extra chocolate chips before baking… OR after 10 to 12 minutes, take the part-baked cookie tray from the oven and scatter a few extra chocolate chips on the tops (about 3 per cookie). Return to the oven to finish baking.
- Once baked, cool the cookies on the trays for about 10 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container. Best eaten within a couple of days.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist