When I first set out to create this vegan brownie recipe back in 2017, yes this recipe is really old, I did so in response to all of the healthy brownie recipes that were becoming quite trendy at the time. Yes, I’m talking about you, sweet potato and beetroot brownies.
I never liked ‘healthy’ sweet treats. I am a firm believer in cakes and cookies being unhealthy because they are treats and treats are only eaten every so often. As soon as you make them healthy, you are saying goodbye to taste and hello to more regular cake eating.
I just can’t see this as a good thing. So I decided these vegan brownies would be anything but guilt-free. In the hope that they will be the recipe that you go to when you want and deserve a decadent treat.
So, if you are like me and you believe in eating tasty brownies that are made with sugar, chocolate, and flour, then you’ll love my vegan brownie recipe.
Here is a (kinda) fun fact about these brownies: this recipe is actually an adaptation of a non-vegan brownie recipe I created many moons ago. This means it follows many of the same principles of traditional brownie making, using vegan egg alternatives and a whole lotta whisking (unless you have yourself a fancy electric one). The end result is a wonderfully gooey and fudgy brownie with a crispy crackly top.
Why make my vegan brownies?
I know there are hundreds of vegan brownie recipes on the internet for you to choose from and you are probably here wondering what sets mine apart.
Well, this is a recipe that has grown and evolved over time. I have made it for countless friends and family members, all of whom have enjoyed eating these. And to test that they weren’t just being nice and supportive because they know me, I have also made this brownie recipe at numerous supper clubs and they were a big hit (just check out the comments at the bottom of this page).
What are vegan brownies made of?
The key ingredients in most brownie recipes are butter, eggs, flour, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. However, you may have noticed a few ingredients in that lineup that aren’t vegan-friendly. But don’t sweat it, vegan baking has come a long way with remarkable substitutes that mean we can bake brownies that rival their non-vegan counterparts in taste, texture, and overall deliciousness!
In order to veganise traditional brownies, we will need to replace the butter, eggs and possibly the chocolate (depending on which one is used). Butter can be replaced with dairy-free spreads, oils and even peanut butter. Instead of eggs, you can use flaxseeds, applesauce, or aquafaba.
And when picking your chocolate make sure to use one that doesn’t contain dairy. This means you can pick chocolate that contains plant-based milk alternatives like oat milk, or you can opt for dark chocolate.
Whilst I would recommend you try to follow this recipe as much as possible to get the best results out of your bake, I do understand that swaps are sometimes needed. So here are my suggestions:
- Use a different egg alternative: In order to achieve my ideal brownie, I have tried various popular alternatives including flaxseeds; chia seeds; sweet potato; apple sauce. I personally prefer the fluffiness of aquafaba but the other alternatives also do a great job of binding the ingredients together to form a cake-like texture.
- Use a different butter alternative: I have made these brownies using all sorts of butter substitutes and all of them work pretty well. Try substituting the vegan butter with equal coconut oil or peanut butter. But do beware, these may add another flavour to the vegan brownies recipe.
- Use a different flour: I first created these vegan brownies before I started experimenting with anything gluten-free. So this recipe actually works really well with gluten-based self-raising flour.
- Changing the flavour: If you like your brownies with fruit, then feel free to add a handful of raspberries. You can also change the nuts inside the mix to suit your tastes.
If for some strange reason, you don’t scoff all of these vegan brownies in one sitting, here are some helpful tips for storing, freezing, and reheating your vegan brownies:
- Storage: To keep your vegan brownies fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Ensure the container has a tight seal to prevent air exposure, which can lead to drying out. Brownies stored this way can typically stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezing: If you want to extend the shelf life of your vegan brownies, freezing is a fantastic option. First, allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing them into individual pieces. Then, individually wrap each brownie tightly with plastic wrap or aluminium foil. Place the wrapped brownies in a freezer-safe container or sealable freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. Properly stored, vegan brownies can remain in the freezer for up to 3 months without significant loss of quality.
- Reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen vegan brownies, there are a few ways to reheat them:
- Room Temperature: Simply let the brownies thaw at room temperature for about 1-2 hours until they reach your desired softness and consistency. This method preserves their original texture.
- Oven: Preheat your oven to a low temperature, around 150°C (300°F). Place the frozen brownies on a baking sheet and warm them in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them to prevent over-baking.
- Microwave: For a quick reheating option, place individual brownies on a microwave-safe plate and microwave them in 10 to 15-second intervals until they are warmed through. Be cautious not to overheat them, as this can result in a dry crumbly texture. And no one likes dry crumbly brownies.
How to make tasty vegan brownies?
Here is a list of top tips to help you achieve the best vegan brownies:
- Don’t overmix – When combining the wet and dry ingredients, avoid overmixing the batter. Overmixing can lead to dense and tough brownies. Mix the ingredients just until they are incorporated, ensuring a tender and fudgy texture.
- Don’t overcook – Be mindful not to overcook your brownies, as they continue to cook slightly even after being removed from the oven. Follow the recommended baking time in the recipe and perform the skewer test. Insert a thin metal skewer (or toothpick) into the centre of the brownies a few minutes before the suggested baking time ends. If it comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, the brownies are done. Remember, slightly underbaking is preferable to ensure a moist and gooey texture.
- Allow them to cool – Patience is key when it comes to cutting and serving your vegan brownies. Allow them to cool completely in the baking dish before attempting to cut them. This cooling process helps the brownies firm up and prevents them from falling apart. For clean and neat slices, refrigerate the cooled brownies for about an hour before cutting.
- Use the right baking tray – Your choice of baking tray can affect the texture and baking time of your brownies. Opt for a metal tray with square or rectangular dimensions. This allows for even heat distribution, ensuring that your brownies bake uniformly.
- Line the tray – In order to remove the brownies from the pan easily and prevent them from sticking, line your baking tray with baking paper, leaving some overhang on the sides. This makes for easy lifting and clean removal of the brownie from the tin.
- Experiment with ingredients – While this brownie recipe is divine as it is, feel free to get creative and add other ingredients for extra flavour and texture. Consider stirring in different varieties of chopped nuts, vegan white chocolate chips, or even swirls of peanut butter or jam to take your brownies to the next level.
I personally love to eat these on their own but I also enjoy reheating them and serving them with a few scoops of a good quality vegan ice cream. But you could also try them with plant-based custard or cream.
“Are you sure these brownies are vegan?”
As you proudly present these delicious treats to your loved ones, be ready for the inevitable question, “Are you sure these brownies are vegan?” You can respond to them with a smug look on your face, “Yes, of course they are. Have you not heard of aquafaba?!”
The best gooey vegan brownies recipe
- 9 Tbsp Aquafaba - approx. one tin of chickpeas
- 200 g Soft light brown sugar
- 40 g Walnut pieces - broken up into small pieces
- 40 g Date Pieces - roughly chopped
- Place all the 'melting' ingredients together in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan with boiling water and melt slowly to avoid splitting. Leave the mix to cool to room temperature.
- Sieve the flour and cocoa powder together into a bowl. Keep the sieve for later.
- Preheat oven to 160C Fan/180C Conventional
- Now start whisking the chickpea water using a mixer (or handheld electric whisk). Whisk for about 10 minutes, until you start to see stiff peaks forming (as if you were making meringue). Test that the mix is semi-solid and won't fall on your head if you tip it upside down!
- Once stiff, start whisking in the sugar one spoonful at a time so that it slowly incorporates and maintains its firmness. It should end up looking shiny and stiff.
- Once the chocolate mixture is cool, fold it into the whisked up aquafaba mix using a large metal spoon. Make sure you don't beat any of the air out! What you should end up with is a chocolate mousse substance.
- Sieve the flour mixture into the mousse and fold this in until it’s just about incorporated.
- Fold in the walnuts and date pieces until combined.
- Pour the mix into a greaseproof paper-lined tin and carefully push the mix so it fills the whole tin evenly
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Check that there is a crisp layer on the top of the brownie and that it only wobbles slightly. If not, put it back in for another 5/10 minutes. You can put foil over the top to make sure it doesn't burn.
- Let it cool down/scoff it down as soon as it's cool enough to eat…maybe add vegan vanilla ice cream and pretend like you were supposed to eat it warm!