If you’ve been searching for a brownie recipe that is thick and fudgy, but also plant-based and uses natural sweeteners, then we’ve got the perfect one for you! Our brownie recipe is vegan and gluten-free, but that doesn’t mean we skimp on flavor or texture. Lean in and we’ll share our amazing brownie recipe with you!
What Makes Brownies Fudgy?
You probably already know that there are numerous types of brownie recipes out there that yield everything from decadent flourless brownies to cakey brownies, and everything in between.
With this recipe, we’re aiming for brownies that are thick and fudgy.
Fudgy brownies contain a higher ratio of fat to flour, and conversely cakey brownies have less fat to flour. The amount of sugar and eggs don’t make as much of a difference, though brownies made with a small amount of sugar have a tendency to be more dry and brittle.
What Makes Brownies Chewy?
While we are discussing fudginess, we may as well tackle what makes brownies chewy. The answer to chewy brownies is simple: oil.
If you’ve used boxed brownie mixes before, you’ll know that the fat specified is usually vegetable oil. Now we don’t care much for vegetable oil (more on what we like better in a second), but it’s hard to deny that oil does in fact effect the chewiness of brownies. Butter, which tastes really good, tends to yield brownies that are less chewy.
What’s The Best Oil To Use in a Brownie Recipe?
Okay, we may be a little bit prejudice, but we prefer using unrefined coconut oil in baking recipes. It has a great mouth feel, which is important, but it also yields the best results.
We’ve used avocado and olive oil before, and they work okay, but there’s no denying that the extra rich flavor of coconut oil wins out. (But don’t worry, the brownies don’t actually taste like coconut…they taste like chocolate!)
Our Brownie Recipe Uses Both Melted Chocolate and Cacao
Cacao powder on its own has plenty of chocolate flavor. Depending on the quality of the cacao or cocoa used, the flavor can be more mild or very deep, almost coffee-like. That part is up to you! We tend to go with the less processed cacao powder vs. cocoa powder. Cocoa powder can definitely be used — cocoa yields a fantastic brownie, we just like going with the more unprocessed version, cacao.
Melted chocolate not only adds extra chocolate-y flavor, it also adds in a little extra fat that ups that chewiness factor. Yes, chocolate does contain sugar and we typically favor natural sweeteners over cane and beet sugars. (In this brownie recipe we use coconut sugar and maple syrup – more flavor and chewiness!) But we feel like the exception is worth it. 😉
One more thing…
You can get our Plant-Based Dessert Guide today! There’s 42 dessert recipes that skip the processed sweeteners and chemicals, and use plant-based, natural ingredients as an alternative. And the best part? Nobody will ever know the difference in flavor!Print
Thick, fudgy brownies that also happen to be vegan and gluten-free. (No one will be able to tell!) Loaded with delicious chocolate flavor and a chewy texture, these really hit the spot.
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend
- 1/2 cup almond flour or meal
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling if desired
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips plus 1/2 cup for topping
- 6 tablespoons unrefined virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease an 8- by 8-inch square pan. (A 9-inch square pan can also be used, if needed.)
- Whisk the gluten-free flour and almond meal together. Whisk in sea salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat or using a double boiler, melt bittersweet chocolate and coconut oil together. Turn off heat and whisk in the cacao or cocoa powder until smooth. Whisk in the flaxseed and water mixture, followed by the coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the extra chocolate chips on top and gently press into the batter.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, but start to checking for doneness around 12-13 minutes. These should not be over-baked in order to preserve their fudgy texture. When done, the center will look a little “raw” and the edges will look dry and set. The top will also have a dry appearance and may even crack in places. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a small pinch of sea salt over the top. Let cool before cutting into bars.
- Store covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to one week. Can be frozen in an airtight container for up to several months.
- For extra clean squares, chill brownies before cutting.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips can be substituted for the bittersweet chocolate.
- Stevia-sweetened chocolate chips can also be used, if desired.
- 1 large egg can be used in place of the flaxseed + water.
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