If you want fudgy brownies, look no further. These vegan date brownies are such a simple and easy recipe, you'll want to make them all the time. They are made using wholesome ingredients such as dates, almond butter and cocoa powder. Making them a perfect healthy alternative for our sweet tooth toddlers and children. You can even eat the brownie batter raw, unlike traditional brownies.
This recipe is so simple, and it also doesn't contain the usual suspects in healthy vegan baking such as coconut oil or maple syrup. Making it free from all added sugars and saturated fats. The perfect sweet treat for your family to satisfy those chocolate cravings. As these are free from flour, they are also naturally gluten free.
What You'll Need
- Almond Butter - I sometimes make my own, as I find this a less pricey option than buying from stores. Almond butter is creamy and has a neutral flavor. Alternatively you can opt for a creamy peanut butter, or possibly cashew butter, although I haven't tried the latter. Peanut butter does give a slight peanut taste but overall it's not too dissimilar.
- Cacao Powder - I use cacao powder in this recipe instead of cocoa powder, (but you can easily use either). Cacao is high in antioxidants, has a great flavour, and is still inexpensive. I buy mine by the kilo online. You can also get them in almost all health food shops, or places like Amazon.
- Chocolate Chips/Chunks (optional) - We use a high cocoa content dark chocolate, usually above 70%. Lindt is my preferred brand, however choose whichever you like.
- Dates - Dates contain natural sugars and lots of fiber. Both great for our health. They are also what gives these vegan brownies their incredible chewy texture. I recommend using Medjool dates if you can get them. They are rich and caramel like in flavour. However, if you can't get hold of Medjool, any other soft date will work, like Mazafati for example.
- Parchment Paper
- Food Processor
- 1lb Loaf Tin
- Measuring Cups/Scales
How to Make Them
- Add the almond butter, cacao powder and de-stoned dates to the bowl of a food processor and blitz together until you have a smooth batter consistency. This creates a creamy date paste, which is the main body of the brownies.
- If using vegan chocolate chips or chunks then add them to the mixture and pulse briefly to incorporate.
- Line a loaf tin with parchment paper then spoon in the brownie mixture and spread it out with the back of a clean metal spoon. You might find this easier if you dip the spoon in warm water first, as this helps it to glide over the sticky batter.
- I like to add a few more chocolate chunks to the top at this stage.
- Bake in the oven for 16-18 minutes, then leave to cool to room temperature before removing from the tin. Once removed, cut your brownies in to 8 equal squares. The longer you leave them, the firmer they will be, making them easier to cut.
These can be stored in an airtight container, in a cool place, for up to 5 days.
Substitutions and Variations
- I’ve added in things like walnuts and chocolate chips, toasted hazelnuts, pecans and almonds, and fresh raspberries. All are delicious.
- Vanilla extract or vanilla pasta can also be added to the brownie batter, try adding ½ teaspoon of either in to the food processor with the rest of the ingredients.
For best results you want to use nice gooey dates. If your dates are a little dry, soak them in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes first. Drain the soaked dates and add to the food processor as per the recipe instructions.
The brownie batter can be very sticky when trying to level it out in the tin. If you struggle to smooth it out with a wet spoon on the first try. You can try using a sheet of parchment paper; Lay it over the top of your brownie batter in the tin. Then using that as a non-stick layer between the brownie batter and your spoon, use the back of a spoon to level it out.
These are delicious served warm with cashew cream and fresh berries as a dessert. Or simply enjoy on their own for a healthy delicious snack. We like to have these for breakfast...
These ones are as they have no processed sugars and are made with Cacao rather than Cocoa. If you're using ingredients like Cocoa* powder, sugar and vegan butter then no, they aren't. However, there are many healthy vegan brownie recipes out there to experiment with instead, using things such as sweet potato, chickpeas or even black beans!
*Cocoa isn't bad for you, its just that Cacao has more health benefits, due to it not being heat treated or containing added sugars like Cocoa typically does.
You can eat the brownie batter raw. I recommend rolling a tablespoon of the batter in to a ball with the palms of your hands. Then rolling the balls in hemp seeds, crushed hazelnuts or more cacao powder and storing them in an airtight container in the fridge (for up to 1 week).
I’ve added in things like walnuts and chocolate chips, toasted hazelnuts, pecans and raspberries. You could also use another nut butter like peanut, or cashew.
More vegan desserts
Coming up with a recipe that I would be happy with my toddler eating was the drive behind making these. I've never believed that 'treating' your kids has to be synonymous with negatively impacting their health. There are plenty of alternative ingredients to get familiar with that are much more beneficial for your families health. For instance, choosing Cacao powder over Cocoa powder, the latter of which has less nutrients due to being heat treated and comes with added refined sugar.
There's no reason your kids have to miss out on foods like brownies, cheesecake or cookies, just because you want to look out for their health.
The best fudgy vegan date brownies - Gluten free
- Baking/Parchment Paper
- Food Processor
- Loaf Tin
- 2 cups Pitted Medjool Dates (tightly packed)
- 1 cup Almond Butter
- ⅓ cup Cacao Powder
- ¼ cup Warm Water
- 80 g Dark Chocolate (optional)
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°c (350°f).
- Line a loaf tin with greaseproof/baking paper. Be sure to leave extra at the sides to help with lifting the brownies out of the tin once baked.
- Add all of the ingredients (except for optional Chocolate or Nuts) to your food processor. NB make sure that you have de-stoned your Dates beforehand, if they aren't already.2 cups Pitted Medjool Dates, 1 cup Almond Butter, ⅓ cup Cacao Powder, ¼ cup Warm Water
- Blitz on high speed for 20-30 seconds until mixture is smooth and well combined (no lumps of dates).
- If you are adding in any nuts or chocolate chunks add them in to your brownie batter now and pulse a few times to combine.80 g Dark Chocolate
- Spoon the brownie batter in to the prepared loaf tin.
- Using the back of a wet metal spoon (using warm water), level the mixture to distribute evenly in the tin.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 16-18 minutes until the edges appear firmer and pull away from the edge of the tin.
- Leave to cool down to room temperature, before removing the brownies from the tin.
- Once removed, cut your brownies in to 8 equal squares. The longer you leave them, the firmer they will be, making them easier to cut.