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.
Makes: 9 brownies
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.