By Jennifer Provenza at Good Food From The Heart
These sinfully rich fudgy double chocolate brownies are beyond your wildest dreams. Vegan, oil free, sugar free, and dairy free. Perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Whole food plant based, Oil free, Sugar free
Hands Down Best Brownies Ever
Okay, so if you are like me you may have searched long and hard for a whole food plant based brownie recipe that actually tastes good. It’s especially hard if you also. need the brownie to be sugar free. I can’t tell you how many just okay or even plain bad recipes I’ve tried. I have managed to find a few decent vegan recipes, but they are just full of sugar and oil. Same with regular brownies that happen to be sugar free. Not bad. But, oh my gosh, finding one that is actually sugar and oil free and also still tastes like a real brownie? It’s the holy grail and (in my opinion) one of the most difficult recipes to perfect. Black bean brownies? Sorry, no. Not having it. I mean, they are fine, yummy even, but they aren’t fooling anyone. I wanted to create sinfully rich, actual honest to God brownies and guys…I have done it. These things were good enough to fool my kids. And that’s not easy. Not easy at all, my friends.
Okay, so we have a family tradition of making brownies for dessert on Valentine’s Day (along with heart shaped pizza), therefore, I baked my brownies in a heart shaped pan. Feel free to get festive with it, or just use a regular 8×8 inch square pan. Either way, you are going to end up with some nice substantial, tall, fudgy as hell brownies. Oh, yes.
Tips and Tricks
Almond Flour: If you cannot find almond flour in the store, you can easily make your own with a high speed blender. Simply blend the almonds until they reach the consistency of flour.
Sugar versus Sweetener: Make sure to use the listed amount in the recipe, as it is different depending on whether you choose to use coconut sugar or Truvia.
Whole wheat pastry flour: Whole wheat pastry flour is amazing! People are stunned when I tell them these brownies are made with whole wheat. You would never know it. You will not get the same result with regular whole wheat flour. In a pinch, you can substitute white whole wheat flour. White flour will work too, but will be much less healthy.
Mixing the dry ingredients: I find, with this recipe, that the dry ingredients had a lot of little lumps in them. Therefore, I would recommend either sifting them or (if you are lazy like me) mixing it with a whisk until the mixture is free from lumps.
Almond Butter: For this recipe, it’s really important that the almond butter is pretty runny. If possible, open a new jar for this and it should be just right. Older, hard, out of the fridge almond butter won’t mix well. You may, however, be able to heat it on the stove or microwave to get it more runny and mixable. Feel free to use chunky almond butter if you want some nut pieces in the brownies. Otherwise, use smooth.
Melting the chocolate: Make sure not to heat the chocolate chips for too long or they will seize and harden. It’s also important that the almond milk is at room temperature when you mix it into the chocolate or it may cause the chocolate to seize. If this happens, simply mix a tablespoon of hot water into the chocolate and it should fix the problem. It should be smooth and pourable.
How long to bake: It’s really important not to overbake these, because you really want to have that delicious soft texture. After 32 minutes, I check on them by inserting a knife or toothpick in the center. Unlike for cake, where you want it perfectly clean, it’s okay if the knife has just a little bit of chocolate sticking to it (or melted chocolate chip), but make sure it is not totally uncooked or runny in the center.
How long to cool: It’s really important to let these brownies cool for at least an hour in the pan or they will totally fall apart when you try to slice them.
How to store: I like to cover the brownies with foil or saran wrap and store on the counter for up to four days (if they last that long!) You can also freeze them.
Yes! They can. The secret is to use almond butter in place of the oil. The almond butter is a whole food that is full of protein and healthy fat as opposed to the empty calories in oil or butter. Luckily, you won’t be able to taste the difference!
You sure can! These brownies actually taste absolutely amazing made with peanut butter. But, they will have a definite peanut butter flavor, so stick with almond butter if you want them to taste like regular brownies. You could also substitute a different nut butter.
Don’t worry! The ground flax seed in these brownies works as a perfect egg substitute. You just mix it with water and set it aside for a few moments and you will end up with a “flax egg.” You won’t be able to taste it and it will work just like an egg in the recipe.
This is an important question. The sugar or sugar substitute is actually key to the fudginess of the brownie. Therefore, it is really important not to reduce the amount of sugar or sugar substitute in the brownie mixture, or you will end up with a more cake like brownie.
I would not recommend it. The almond flour adds healthy fat and the right texture and the whole wheat pastry flour helps hold it all together. Don’t substitute regular whole wheat flour as it will not give you a tasty result. White flour would work fine, but will be much less healthy.
Cacao is a more healthy product, but they will work interchangeably. Personally, I am a huge fan of Guittard Cocoa Rouge and that is what I used in this recipe.
For this recipe, I use Lily’s No Sugar Added Chocolate Chips. Be careful, many of their varieties contain milk, so just check the label. You can also just use any dark chocolate chips you wish to use, but check the sugar content if that matters to you.
You can either use coconut sugar (which is an unrefined sugar) or, if you want them to be fully sugar free, you can use a sweetener like Truvia, which is a mix of stevia and xylitol. I have tried using pure liquid stevia, but it doesn’t seem to work so well for baking, so I stick with the powdered sweetener. Just be sure to follow the listed amounts in the recipe, as it is different for sugar or for Truvia.
How To Make These
Don’t worry, these brownies are not time consuming to make at all. Start by pre-heating your oven and preparing your pan. You can either spritz it with nonstick spray or prep it with parchment paper, or both.
Next, you’ll want to make your “flax eggs.” Just mix two tablespoons of ground flax seeds with four tablespoons of water and set aside. It will become a gelatinous mixture that works just like an egg in baking. Magic!
The next step is to mix your dry ingredients. If it’s lumpy, I recommend sifting or using a whisk to get the lumps out.
For the chocolate chips, you will want to set aside a half of a cup. The other half cut, you will melt. To melt the chocolate chips, heat in the microwave for thirty seconds or in a double boiler. Mix with the wet ingredients. If the chocolate seizes and hardens, add a tablespoon of hot water and stir it into the chocolate. (I had to do this).
Next, simply mix the wet and dry ingredients and stir. All that’s left to do is add the remaining chocolate chips and the optional nuts. Feel free to add coconut if you want.
Bake for 32-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven. A knife inserted in the center should come out (mostly) clean, but a little chocolate crumb sticking to it is fine. Cool at least an hour so that you can easily slice the brownies.
These whole food plant based brownies taste amazing with vegan ice cream or whipped cream on top or even with some frosting, if you desire. These are amazing while still warm, but taste just as good at room temperature. They are perfect to bring along on a picnic or serve as dessert on a special occasion.
If you like chocolate, you may also love these other recipes:
For other desserts, check out my Lofthouse Style Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies.
Award Winning Vegan Fudgy Chocolate brownies
- 8×8 square pan or fun shape, like a heart shape
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds + 4 tablespoons water
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa or cacao
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cup coconut sugar or 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons Truvia (stevia+xylitol blend)
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1 cup stevia sweetened chocolate chips (divided)
- 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts optional
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare your pan with nonstick spray and/or parchment paper.
- Mix the ground flax seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the whole wheat pastry flour, almond flour, cocoa or cacao, salt, and baking soda. If it is lumpy, you may need to sift it or use a whisk to mix it together well.
- Melt 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips (in the microwave or the top of a double boiler). If you microwave it, only microwave for 30 seconds at a time, then stir. If the chocolate seizes and hardens, you can rescue it by adding a tablespoon of hot water and stirring.
- To the melted chocolate, add the flax seed mixture, the brewed coffee, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and the walnuts, if using. Stir and pour into the prepared pan, spreading the top with a spatula to even out.
- Bake for 32-35 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. (It may have some soft crumb or melted chocolate chip on it, but you don't want it to still be raw inside). Slightly undercooked will be good, though, and there is no raw egg to worry about.
- Let the brownies cool in the pan for at least an hour, or they will break apart when you try to cut them. Serve with vegan ice cream or whipped cream or with a tall glass of ice cold almond milk.
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