This vegan brownies recipe is rich and insanely fudgy! A wholesome treat that tastes decadent, it’s also gluten-free and mostly whole food plant-based.
The day before our son was born, we made this vegan brownie recipe. We had no idea that the next day our lives would change forever. All we knew was this: these brownies were insanely fudgy and chocolatey! And somehow they were 100% plant based. They instantly jumped to the top of our chocolate desserts list. We kept pulling them out of the fridge to munch on another little piece. Yep, they’re that good! And now they have a sentimental story attached to them, too.
The BEST vegan brownies: from The First Mess cookbook!
One day, we interviewed our pal Laura Wright on our podcast. She told mentioned these fantastic vegan brownies from her new The First Mess cookbook. Apparently they were seriously fudgy. Intrigued, I made them a few days later for a dinner party. We ate vegetarian gyros as our friends’ two-year-olds threw dinosaurs at each other. We laughed and drank caipirinhas and ate vegan brownies. They were very fudgy: dare I say the best vegan brownie recipe we’ve ever had (the kids loved them).
Drinking coffee the next morning, I glanced at my phone and saw a text from our son’s birth mom. “Hey I’m in the hospital. They think I’m in labor.” Whhhhhhaaat?! My heart went through the roof. Alex and I scrambled to pack a bag for the hospital. Fast forward a few days and we were back at home with the best possible sweet little man in tow. Lucky for us; some very fudgy vegan brownies were left over—perfect for a very tired but very happy mama and daddy. (Read the rest of Larson’s birth story here!)
All that to say: what I love about cooking is that it’s more than just recipes. It’s LIFE. It’s these life moments we get to share with people, when people make our recipes or they make ours. It’s so rich, and so, so good. Thank you, Laura, for this sweet recipe for a sweet time in our life!
Check out Laura’s AMAZING cookbook of incredible plant-based recipes and vibrant photos—it’s one of our favorites this year. On Amazon: The First Mess by Laura Wright.
Tips for making this vegan brownie recipe
These fudgy vegan brownies are crazy easy to make! They’re beautifully fudgy with a genius combination of almond butter, applesauce, and coconut flour. there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure your brownies come out the best they possibly can.
- If you’re 100% vegan, make sure the dark chocolate is dairy-free. Most dark chocolates are naturally vegan, but dairy products are easy to sneak into chocolate bars so read the label to be safe!
- The batter is super thick! The vegan brownie batter is going to be incredibly thick. That’s what you want! If you have a hard time spreading the batter out evenly, spray a little cooking spray onto the back of your spatula. That should help you pat down the batter more easily.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour after baking. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan after baking. Then, cover the pan with foil and pop them into the fridge for an hour. This step makes a huge difference in this vegan brownie recipe. Chilling makes them easier to cut and prevents them from falling apart when you bite into them.
Listen to Laura Wright on our A Couple Cooks Podcast!
This vegan brownie recipe is…
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, naturally sweet, egg-free, plant-based, dairy-freePrint
This vegan brownie recipe is rich and insanely fudgy! A wholesome treat that tastes decadent, it’s also gluten-free and mostly whole food plant-based.
- 3/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup chopped chocolate from a 70% dark dairy-free chocolate bar, divided
- 3 tablespoons whole almonds, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch square pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond butter, maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla.
- To the almond butter mixture, add the cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine, ensuring that there are no dry lumps of cocoa in the batter.
- In a double boiler, melt half of the chocolate chunks. Vigorously stir the melted chocolate into the brownie batter until fully incorporated.
- Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the batter out evenly with a spatula, pushing it into the edges and corners of the pan. (We used a 9-inch pan, so we did not smooth entirely into one side to keep the brownies on the thicker side.)
- Scatter the reserved chocolate chunks and rough-chopped nuts over the top. Slide the pan into the oven, and bake the brownies until the top is slightly firm and appears dry and lightly cracked, about 27 to 30 minutes.
- Cool the brownies completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Then, cover the brownies and place them in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This step is crucial. The brownies will not cut neatly unless they get adequate cooling time. (We enjoyed the brownies even more a day later after refrigerating over night.)
- Right before slicing the brownies, run a chef’s knife under hot water and dry it off, then slice into squares and serve.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: vegan brownie recipe, fudgy vegan brownies
Looking for vegan dessert recipes?
- Decadent Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Bliss Bites (Healthy No-Bake Cookies)
- Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
- Pecan Butter Millionaire Bars
- Granola Instant Pot Apple Crisp
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse
- Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich
- Maple Vegan Blondies
- Chocolate Tahini Vegan No Bake Cookies
- Chocolate Cherry Dessert Bites
- Blackberry Vegan Cheesecake Bites
- Fudgy Vegan Brownie Recipe
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (use vegan variation)
- Bananas Foster with a Perfect Flambé
- Related: 12 Gluten Free Desserts Everyone Will Love
Last updated: January 2020
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.