Easy healthier brownies made dairy-free using applesauce and gluten-free friendly. Just use 1:1 gluten-free baking flour, or you can use whole wheat white. These brownies are a cross between cakey and fudgy – the best of both worlds.
Well we just got a bunch of snow over the weekend and having three batches of these (healthier) brownies sure did come in handy. Mr. FMK probably ate one whole pan by himself over the course of two days. I wish I were kidding.
But let’s back up… Yes I said we had *three* batches of these guys around because I insisted on triple-checking the recipe. I just wasn’t for sure about them so I had my amazing Pal test them as well. I always want to provide you guys with the best recipes and sometimes I just need another opinion. Mr. FMK’s opinion doesn’t always count because he typically eats anything. He also has a serious sweet tooth and almost always knows when I try to “healthify” things. Surprisingly enough, he didn’t realize these brownies were made with less butter and actually dairy-free.
But I feel like something was going on with my tastebuds during testing because even though Drew was smashing the brownies left and right (I swear he ate six in just one day) I just wasn’t convinced. I tend to over-analyze pretty much everything, so when Pal came back and said both she AND all of her coworkers loved them, I knew I was good-to-go.
Going into this healthier brownie recipe I knew I wanted them to be dairy-free and gluten-free friendly (for the intolerant folk) and I also didn’t want to have to rely on a nut butter – because I know loads of people also have nut allergies, not to mention nut butter can be expensive. I try to balance out my recipes and just provide healthier versions of all kinds but I also understand I can’t make everyone happy.
Going through my dessert recipe index I realized Fit Mitten Kitchen has a lot of paleo brownies…
- grain-free beet brownies
- fudgy flourless matcha frosting brownies
- paleo pumpkin brownies
- paleo flourless zucchini brownies
But no plain-jane regular, healthier brownies. So just in time for Valentine’s Day I bring you
Simple Healthier Brownies (dairy-free and gluten-free)
Nut-free, dairy-free and whole grain, plus gluten-free.
They’re the perfect mix of fudgy and cakey.
BONUS: You don’t have to wait loads of time for them to cool. Typically with extra fudgy brownies (like this recipe) the cooling process can take forever. But these really only take about 20 minute before you can cut into them with no issues.
and you can even use a fun, festive cut outs.
Let’s Chat Ingredients:
- oil or vegan butter – I say “vegan butter” meaning a dairy-free butter alternative. Oil will keep these naturally dairy-free, but if you think you’ll miss the butter flavor, then you can use that. We’re melting it either way so it doesn’t really matter which one you use for this recipe.
- dairy-free chocolate chips – something like Enjoy Life or Lily’s is a great option. Or Theo Chocolate bars broken up. You just need about 2.5 ounces chocolate.
- dry sweetener of choice – coconut sugar works here, or another granulated sugar of choice.
- eggs – I haven’t tried this recipe with an alternative so I suggest using eggs.
- applesauce – the applesauce is used to reduce some of the oil here. You can also use well mashed banana, but it will affect the flavor slightly.
- vanilla extract – flavor! Duh.
- unsweetened cocoa powder – make sure it’s just regular cocoa powder and not “dutch processed.”
- baking powder & salt – leavening and flavor.
- 1:1 gluten-free baking flour, or whole wheat white flour – tested with both a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour and whole wheat white flour. Either work.
Making these Brownies is Pretty Easy!
All in all this is an easy brownie recipe.
- I prefer using the stovetop to melt the oil (or butter) with the chocolate chips. Then transfer to a mixing bowl to beat in the sugar (by hand with a whisk or with an electric mixer.)
- Next mix in the eggs, applesauce and vanilla.
- Then the dry ingredients get slowly incorporated. You want to make sure you don’t over-mix the batter here to avoid a super rubbery texture.
- Pour the batter into a lined baking pan, bake for about 20 minutes and let cool.
What’s the texture like in these “healthier” brownies?
Well, if you’re not a complete brownie snob and just looking for a healthier brownie recipe in general, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how great these brownies turn out.
Like I said, they’re a mix between cakey and fudgy.
They’re not overly sweet, but they’re sweet enough.
They’re studded with chocolate chips for a delicious bite to each brownie.
Be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe below! I love hearing from you and it helps others learn about the recipe as well. Xx Ashley
- 1/3 cup oil or vegan butter*
- 1/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (regular size)
- 1 cup coconut sugar or dry sweetener or choice
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup applesauce**
- 1/2 TBS vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup 1:1 gluten-free flour, or whole wheat white flour***
- 1/3 cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips, plus more for topping
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- In small pot over low-medium heat, melt together oil (or butter) with chocolate chips, whisking until smooth.
- In large bowl using electric mixer beat together melted chocolate-oil with sugar, about 1 minute. Add in eggs one at a time, beating on medium speed for about 1 minute total. Add in applesauce and vanilla, mixing on low until smooth.
- Gently add in cocoa powder, baking powder and salt mixing on low speed or using spatula to combine. Then stir in flour until just combined.
- Fold in chocolate chips, being careful not to over-mix.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan; bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle has set. Mine took about 22 minutes in 8×8 pan, and closer to 20 minutes in 9×9 pan.
- Allow brownies to cool at least 15 minutes before removing from pan. Cut into 16 squares using large, sharp knife. Enjoy!
SUBSTITUTIONS *I tested with both oil and butter, with little noticeable difference. You can use any neutral baking oil, olive oil or coconut oil also works. If using coconut oil, be sure to make sure the rest of your ingredients are room temperature.
**Pureed banana will also work here but the flavor does come through slightly.
***Tested with both 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour and whole wheat white. You should also be fine to do half whole wheat, half all-purpose.
– Store brownies in covered container at room temperature about 2-3 days, or covered in fridge about 3-4 days.
- Serving Size: 1/16th
- Calories: 182
- Sugar: 18
- Sodium: 56mg
- Fat: 8g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Unsaturated Fat: 2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 27g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 23mg
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