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How to Make Easy Vegan Fudge Brownies

In my experience, brownies are one of the most difficult baked goods to make vegan and that’s probably why it’s taken me 3 1/2 years to come up with a recipe that’s authentic and tasty enough to actually publish. It’s been worth the wait though, because these are definitely the best brownies I’ve ever made.

One of the reasons brownies are so difficult is that they don’t rely much on flour. This is a big mistake that I see vegan brownie recipes making — using tons of flour and baking powder to create a dry, thin chocolate cake. Instead, eggs, butter, and sugar are needed to create the dense, gooey, fudge-like texture that characterizes brownies. As I started breaking this down and thinking how it could be done, I came up with several techniques that could help us out… using almond butter to add gooeyness and “flax eggs” to replace the eggs, whipped with a little coconut sugar, apple sauce and a tiny bit of oil to make them healthier, then combined with a bit of flour & cocoa… it works! In the end, these are rich and gooey, sweet and chocolatey – everything a brownie should be.

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Makes: 9 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut (or brown) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Non-dairy chocolate chips or chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 300º F

Step One

Combine the ground flax with about 5 tablespoons of water and set aside for at least 10 minutes to create a gel. This flax egg is essential to helping us create the right texture for our brownies.

Step Two

Meanwhile in a large bowl combine the apple sauce, almond butter, melted coconut oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. Use a hand (or stand) mixer to “cream” these ingredients until smooth, in the same way you would with butter and sugar. Add in the flax egg once it’s gelled and beat until incorporated.

Step Three

Next, add in the dry ingredients: cocoa, flour, and salt (extra credit if you sift them first) and beat just until incorporated. The batter should be thick but still sticky and spreadable. Feel free to stir in some non-dairy chocolate chips or walnuts, if you want.

Step Four

Spread the batter into a 9×9 inch baking dish greased with coconut oil and bake at 300º F for about 30 minutes, just until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing into squares.

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9 Comments

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  1. Hi Andrew, that is a recipe I ‘d like to try. Is there a substitute for the almond butter? I have a food intolerance that includes almonds, sesame, cashews and soy.

  2. OMGosh: I have renamed this The Best Darn Vegan Brownies Ever! I actually separated the batter out in thirds after mixing and added cocoa nibs ad chopped nuts to 1/3, chopped tart cherries to 1/3, and left 1/3 plain. “Allow to cool before slicing”? Did not, could not, happen. “Makes 4 Large Servings”? I think I could finish it all off by myself. Thank you! When the Holiday Cookie Exchange comes around, this is definitely one of the recipes that will be in my exchange. Dawna

    • Awesome! I’m so glad you liked these Best Darn Vegan Brownie Ever! Great idea about separating the batter into different varieties (cherries sound amazing). Haha, I had trouble waiting for them to cool as well… but just imagine how hard it was to do a 40-minute photo shoot as well before I could eat them 🙂

      Oops! That was an error. It should be “9 brownies” not “4 large servings” I’ve fixed it.

  3. This recipe sounds wonderful. Quick question about the cocoa. Do you mean cocoa like Hersey’s cocoa e.g. or do you mean cacao? Or are they the same? What brand of cocoa did you use?

  4. I am so looking forward to making these brownies. But flaxseed does not agree with me. Can I use eggs instead and if so how many. I realize that it they wouldn’t be vegan brownies. But I do eat eggs now and then.

    Thank you.

    Gerri

  5. Great recipe, Andrew! I’ll be trying that one out tomorrow afternoon. By fortunate circumstance, I happen to have all the necessary ingredients at hand…may I someday perish in a chocolate swoon… 😉

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