These healthy brownies have it all – the luscious fudgy texture, the intense chocolate flavour and they’re easy to make! Plus, they’re gluten, grain and dairy free, as well as paleo.
I know I say this… every single time I make brownies, but – these are the best brownies I’ve ever made or eaten. I mean it, they literally tick every single box. They’re terribly indulgent, sinfully decadent and just ridiculously fudgy.
The fact that they also happen to be gluten free, grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free and paleo makes them even more awesome. Because while these brownies might be healthy, they’re also delicious and supercharged with intense chocolate flavour.
And super fudgy. Have I mentioned that yet? Regardless, it bears repeating. I mean, just look at them!!!
I know many of you have made New Year’s resolutions to make this year the one where you start exercising, eating healthy and generally being your best self. That’s a lot of change all at once, and if there’s one thing that can help you on this journey, it’s these healthy brownies.
Because, let’s be honest here, sometimes you just need a brownie, resolutions be damned. A gooey, chocolatey, luxurious brownie that’s so good it sends shivers down your spine.
Now, personally, I think that New Year’s resolutions are a load of hogwash, but I fully support you in keeping yours. So, with this recipe, you can have your brownies and your resolutions. It’s a win-win situation, with a side of chocolate and even more chocolate!
What’s even better: these healthy brownies are super easy to make and don’t require any fancy ingredients!
Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these wonderful healthy brownies – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!
How do you make healthy brownies?
This healthy brownie recipe is a twist on my ultimate gluten free brownie recipe, with a few substitutions to make it healthier.
To make the brownies gluten and grain free: almond flour instead of gluten free or plain flour.
To make them dairy free: coconut oil instead of butter.
To make them (as) refined sugar free (as possible): coconut sugar instead of white sugar, and super dark chocolate with 80%+ cocoa solids.
That’s it! With these simple substitutions, you get brownies that are both healthy and delicious.
And to make the healthy brownies:
- Melt chocolate and coconut oil together.
- Whip eggs and coconut sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add the melted chocolate to the whipped eggs.
- Gently fold in almond flour, cocoa powder and salt.
- Throw in a handful of dark chocolate chips (because with chocolate: more is more).
- Transfer the luscious, glossy brownie batter into a baking pan.
- Bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 20 minutes.
- Try to be patient and allow the brownies to cool.
- Fail at step 8 and eat hot brownies straight out of the pan, standing over the counter.
How do I substitute eggs in brownies?
To make these healthy brownies vegan, you can substitute the eggs for aquafaba. It works beautifully, with the brownies coming out of the oven just as gooey and delicious as the egg-containing ones. For more details, check out my best vegan brownies recipe.
Can you make brownies without baking soda?
Certainly. As you’ll notice, this healthy brownies recipe doesn’t actually contain any baking soda (or baking powder). When you want your brownies to be super fudgy or gooey, there’s no need to add any raising agents, as you don’t want your brownies to rise too much. (And if the brownie recipe contains eggs, those will provide more than enough lift on their own.)
How do you know when brownies are ready?
Any brownie recipe will provide you a recommended baking time (for instance, these healthy brownies are baked to perfection after 20 minutes at 355 ºF / 180 ºC), but because ovens can differ greatly (and they’re often incorrectly calibrated), I always recommend doing a toothpick test.
In the “toothpick test”, insert a toothpick or skewer into the brownie for about 2 seconds. Unlike in a cake recipe, you don’t want the toothpick to come out clean – if it does, you’ve probably over-baked the brownie!
You want the toothpick to come out with many moist crumbs attached (for a fudgy brownie) or even with some half-baked batter attached (for a gooey brownie). Remember that the brownie will continue to bake a few minutes more even once it’s out of the oven, so it’s better to err on the side of under-baking it.
Are brownies meant to be gooey?
While I personally prefer my brownies to be fudgy, bordering on gooey, brownies can range in texture from being almost cake-like all the way to super gooey. Where they fall on this texture scale will depend on how long you bake them for, and on whether or not you add any raising agents.
To make cake-like brownies, add about 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and bake them for a longer time. In the “toothpick test”, you’re looking for a clean toothpick with only a few crumbs attached.
To make super gooey brownies, don’t add any raising agents, and bake them for a shorter period of time. In the “toothpick test”, you’re looking for a toothpick with many moist crumbs and even half-baked batter attached.
Why do brownies sink in the middle?
Don’t panic if your brownies sink in the middle! That’s almost certain to happen if you make super gooey brownies. Because you’re essentially under-baking them, the brownies don’t develop enough structure to keep a domed shape once they start cooling.
So if your goal is to make fudgy or gooey brownies, and they sink in the middle on cooling – you’ve succeeded!
What do you put on top of brownies?
You have many options – I mixed chocolate chips into the batter, and sprinkled extra on top just before baking. Alternatively, you can cover the baked (and cooled) brownies with chocolate ganache, or serve warm brownies with a dollop of ice cream.
So there you have it, friends! A simple recipe for healthy brownies that will blow you away with their fudgy texture and intense chocolate flavour. In one word: bliss.
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Super Fudgy Healthy Brownies (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Paleo)
- 4 1/2 oz (125 g) 80%+ dark chocolate, chopped (you can use chocolate with a lower cocoa solids percentage – in this case, you will need to reduce the amount of coconut sugar)
- 1/4 cup (50 g) coconut oil, softened at room temperature (but not melted)
- 3 medium eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 - 1 1/4 cups (100 - 175 g) coconut sugar (less if you're using chocolate with a lower cocoa solids percentage)
- 1 cup (90 g) almond flour
- 1/4 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 - 1 cup dark chocolate chunks and chips (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and line an 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) baking pan with greaseproof/baking paper.
- In a heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water, melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil together. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or a hand mixer with the double beater attachments, whisk the eggs and coconut sugar until pale, fluffy and tripled in volume. This will take about 5 - 7 minutes.
- Slowly drizzle in the melted chocolate while whisking on low speed. Whisk until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
- Sift the almond flour, cocoa powder and salt into the egg-chocolate mixture, and gently fold in the dry ingredients (using a spatula) until no clumps remain.
- Stir most of the chocolate chunks and chips into the brownie batter, then transfer the batter into the prepared baking pan. Smooth out the top, and sprinkle over the rest of the chocolate chunks and chips.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for 18 - 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached (for fudgy brownies) or even with some half-baked batter attached (for gooey brownies).
- Serve the brownies either still warm or once cooled.
- The healthy brownies keep well in a cool dry place in a closed container for 3 - 4 days.