Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (gluten-free, paleo)


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Delicious gluten-free and paleo mini skillet brownies are topped with a dairy-free and vegan fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream.

(Gluten-free, Paleo and Vegan) Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

As I was planning this recipe and post I started thinking about traditions. Those same things you do year after year on a special day. And to be honest, I don’t have many (at least not that I can recall at this moment). But there’s one I do have, every year, that’s pretty much set in stone….my birthday cake!

When I was 5 years old, I was admitted to the hospital the day before my birthday (good timing mom!) to have my tonsils removed. I’d had a lot of bronchial infections and strep throat as a child and back in the 80’s tonsil-removal was a common procedure. Tonsils inflamed….oh, let’s yank ’em!

In hindsight, it was likely an indicator of my wonky immune system and early stage autoimmune conditions (as I continued to have issues even after the surgery), but you only know what you know at any point in time. (*Sidenote: since I removed gluten and totally revamped my diet and lifestyle four years ago – I haven’t been sick once. No bronchial infections, no colds, no seasonal allergies, no ezcema. Score one for team Downshiftology!).

So I have my tonsils removed and turn 6 on the day I’m discharged from the hospital. Happy birthday to me! Not being able to eat much except popsicles and ice cream, you know, healthy recovery food, cold treats become my sustenance for the next couple of days. And my birthday cake becomes an ice cream cake with my two favorite flavors – chocolate cake with mint chocolate chip ice cream.

(Gluten-free and Paleo) Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

(Gluten-free and Paleo) Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

(Gluten-free and Paleo) Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

For 30 years that cake was my tradition and the week before my birthday I’d always call Baskin and Robbins to have that combo ready to go. Then, four years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease and my birthday cake tradition got thrown a curve ball as Baskin and Robbins (obvs) doesn’t do gluten-free chocolate cake. I was just gonna go without, then my former corporate marketing team came to the rescue and surprised me at the office with gluten-free chocolate cake topped with mint chocolate chip gelato. It seriously made my day (and made me teary eyed).

Since then, I’ve kept the mint + chocolate flavor tradition but have gotten creative with the form and shape of what that looks like (cakes, smoothies, cupcakes, pies, etc). And to be honest, it’s kinda fun coming up with a new recipe every year. As long as I can stick a candle in it, I’m a happy girl!

So this year I present to you an extra special mint + chocolate dessert…..for my 40th birthday!!! A mini skillet brownie (that’s just the cutest) topped with fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream. Fresh being the key word…from actual mint leaves. It’s a more subtle peppermint flavor but delicious. Of course, you can always add peppermint extract if you don’t want to go to the extra effort. The ice cream will also be a slightly grey/green color ’cause it’s all natural. I’ll take that over green dye number whatever any day. The entire recipe is also gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo.

I’m posting this recipe today (my actual birthday is the 31st) because I’m hopping on a flight tomorrow to New York to celebrate with a bunch of girlfriends. Yay! To help in the celebrations, Vitamix is generously donating one Professional Series 750 Blender (the exact same as mine pictured below) for me to giveaway to one of YOU, my lovely readers. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I’m very selective with the brands I partner with and only promote stuff I use myself. I’ve now used my Vitamix for 3 years I can honestly say that I’d be lost without it. It’s the one appliance that gets used DAILY in my kitchen. Smoothies, soups, sauces, you name it. And of course, ice creams like today’s recipe (and this one, this one or this one).

So enter the giveaway below. Then, whip up these mini skillet brownies. Even if you don’t win the giveaway, you’ll definitely win with this delicious dessert.


(Gluten-free and Paleo) Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

(Gluten-free and Paleo) Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

(Gluten-free and Paleo) Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

(Gluten-free and Paleo) Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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*Giveaway open to US residents.

(Gluten-free and Paleo) Mini Skillet Brownies with Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Skillet Brownies with Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (gluten-free, paleo)

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 4 hours
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Delicious gluten-free and paleo mini skillet brownies are topped with a dairy-free and vegan fresh mint chocolate chip ice cream.


Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Skillet Brownie


  • Roughly chop the mint leaves (no stems) and set aside.
  • Heat the coconut milk and honey on medium heat, stirring until just simmering and bubbles form around the edge. Keep a close eye on it as the milk will quickly boil over. Turn off the heat, add the mint leaves, stir and cover. Let the mixture sit for 1 hour, to fully infuse.
  • Strain the milk mixture over a fine mesh sieve and use the back of a large spoon or spatula to push down on the mint leaves to extract as much of the flavoring as possible.
  • Pour the milk and remaining ice cream ingredients (except the chopped dark chocolate) to a high-powered blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer the ice cream to a covered bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The more chilled the better.
  • Pour the ice cream into an ice cream maker and proceed according to maker directions. Add the chopped dark chocolate in the last minute to combine into the ice cream.
  • Place the ice cream into a small loaf pan and chill in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours.
  • To make the skillet brownies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  • In a double-boiler, melt the butter and chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together the cacao powder, sugar, arrowroot powder and salt. Stir the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl, then add them to the dry ingredients and stir. Add the melted chocolate and butter to the mixing bowl and whisk together for 2-3 minutes.
  • Divide the brownie batter evenly between 4 mini cast iron skillets. Place the skillets on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes or until set in the center. These are best not over-baked.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Place the skillet on a plate and serve with a scoop of fresh mint ice cream.


Calories: 1035kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 79g | Saturated Fat: 49g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 480mg | Potassium: 907mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 950IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 12.5mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mini skillet brownies, mint chocolate chip ice cream, skillet brownies
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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Chocolate Truffle Tart

Molten Chocolate Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream and Pistachios

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. OMG, Lisa, you’ve won another fan!
    I’m a retired chef from South Beach, a blogger and food writer. Your ethos is exactly in line with mine—less is more. 
    Just perfect. Don’t ever change,5 stars

  2. I’m not sure what I did wrong (except not using an ice cream maker, because I don’t have one, but I highly recommend that you use one with this recipe). The mint flavor just tasted so wilted. I got the freshest leaves I could find. I wonder if I heated my coconut milk too much? Any recommendations on keeping the mint tasting fresh? Aside from tasting wilted, the flavors were good.

    1. Hi Cara – there’s are dozens of varieties of mint, and each one has different flavor, with some being stronger than others. For instance, mojito mint tastes very different than spearmint. So it may have just been the type of mint that you used.

  3. Happy Belated Birthday Lisa. My Birthday is the 6th September so I hope to make this recipe. I’m sure it will be delicious. So looking forward to it. Keep well. With love.5 stars

  4. Hello, 

    I was wondering if you can use your own homemade coconut milk instead of the one from the can. Would this work as well?

    1. Hi Lara- The canned coconut milk is required as it has a much creamier consistency that gives the brownies its richness :)

  5. Looks fabulous. I would love to try it. However can you make the mint ice cream if you don’t have an ice cream maker. I do have a Vitamix and if I freeze the mixture can I whip it up in my Vitamix?
    I love your site very much!

    1. Thanks so much Deena! You can make the ice cream without an ice cream maker, it just might not be as light or creamy.

  6. Can these brownies be made in a pan instead of individual skillets? If so, what size pan and how long would the baking time be?5 stars

    1. I’m actually going to convert this recipe to a large baking pan before the holidays. Stay tuned! :)

  7. Great recipe! Have you thought of adding a 1/4 teaspoon of spirulina to your ice cream to give it a natural green colour? I use Hawaiian Pacifica brand as I’ve found it to be the best here in Australia. This is going to be my weekend treat to my husband and I. I’ll let you know how it goes ?

    1. Yes. I’d just place it into a bowl or loaf pan and place it in the freezer. But then stir it every 15 minutes or so for the first hour, just to try and fluff it up a bit. It will turn out, but it might be more compacted and less “airy” than if you were to use an ice-cream maker. Let me know how it turns out!

      1. I don’t have an ice cream maker either so I freeze my ice cream mixture in ice trays and when frozen just add the amount I want to my Thermomix bowl and blitz until soft serve consistency.

  8. I am enjoy having Smoothie bowls for breakfast with my pregnant wife and my two little boys. A vitamix would also be perfect for fruit and vegetable purees for our little girl coming. I love soups for dinner and dairy free ice cream treats for deserts. Our blender is halfway broken and a vitamix would definitely be a huge upgrade to our kitchen by far.

  9. Looks delicious. I just printed and also pinned. I would make soup in rainy Seattle.

    Thanks for the recipe and Happy Birthday!

  10. Oh yum! I’ve been telling myself I’ll get a new blender for months, but just can’t commit. I’d definitely break it in with lots of yummeh shakes and smoothies, and perhaps a new blender muffin recipe I’ve been dying to try!

  11. First things first.. Happy birthday!

    And I would definetley make all kinds of soups! I have a Ninja at the moment but it’s so difficult to make a soup in and I can only make one portion at a time currently. Also nut milks, smoothie breakfast bowls and super silky nut butters :)

  12. I too love my smoothies. But I like them really smooth and not with chunky ice. I know the Vitamix will do that.

  13. I’m obsessed with smoothies, so I definitely see myself making smoothies every day with a Vitamix! It’s my dream blender!

  14. The most common thing we make with our blender is smoothies, with an orange julius knock-off being the favorite of our kids.

  15. Hi! I really love making quinoa chocolate muffins in my blender- paleo and very clean! You throw in cooked quinoa, eggs, baking powder, coconut milk and coconut oil, vanilla and cocoa powder and that’s it! Makes 12 muffins.
    Thank you for all the great recipes and simplecity you bring to cooking.

      1. Ha ha I didn’t even answer the question right- I guess it’s not for us that already have a vitamix!

        I forgot my sweetner for the muffins are dates or maple syrup!

  16. I want a Vitamix sooo bad! I have a Ninja right now which is great but it doesn’t work for Dates! I want to make date paste, date coffee creamer, date candy, date butter but it doesn’t work with my Ninja. Oh and almond butter. I burned out the motor of my last Ninja trying to make almond butter lol

    1. Oh no, a burned out Ninja isn’t good! The Vitamix makes super easy work of anything date related – which is one more reason to love it! :) x

  17. I would definitely try this ice cream recipe, lots of smoothies and of course the occasional adult beverage (margarita!!). It would be used daily, that’s for sure.

    1. Oh, yes, can’t forget the occasional adult beverage! ;) I can attest to the daily usage for sure! :) x

  18. This recipe looks awesome! I would love to make this with the Vitamix if I won & smoothies & soup when it gets cold again! Thanks for the recipe & the giveaway!

      1. Thanks for the birthday wishes Suzanne! And mint chocolate chip is such a classic favorite! :) x

  19. Thank you so much for the chance to win!! I would make so many things – nut butters, smoothies, soups…the real question is what WOULDN’T I make? :)

  20. Oh, Happy Birthday, Lisa!! What a story, being so little in the hospital on your birthday…but, in the classic Lisa style, you’ve turned what could’ve been a not so good memory into a great birthday tradition! I just LOVE that. :) And how perfect does that mini skillet brownie look? :)
    With a Vitamix in my kitchen, I’d be making just about everything in it (oh my goodness, a VITAMIX!)… but, the first recipe would probably have to be your Salted Caramel Apple Pie Ice Cream. Yum!

    1. Aww, Kate you’re just the sweetest! :) Thanks so much for the birthday wishes and yes, I totally agree – throw everything in the Vitamix – haha! That salted caramel apple pie ice cream is so darn good (and I’m gonna do a video on the salted caramel soon!). It’s also perfect for Fall and the upcoming holidays! :) x

      1. I have and I have tried a few. Sadly my blender died last month and I haven’t had a chance to replace it, this give away is fortuitous for me. :) Fingers crossed, haha.

    1. I’ve got a new roasted cauliflower soup coming up for the fall season as well. So easy with the Vitamix! :) x

  21. Just picked a bunch of tomatoes from my garden. My wife makes a delicious roasted tomato sauce that she bottles for soups and sauces. The vitamix would be put to good use blending up those tomatoes.