These Vegan Brownie Swirls are a rich chocolate-y treat but made with ingredients you can feel good about! Plus paleo-friendly!
So here’s the thing guys… these gems totally happened by accident.
You see, I had a bag of dates I needed to use up. And I knew dates made a great base for a no-bake, vegan brownie. I was searching and searching for the perfect recipe, and I came across these Raw Vegan Brownies. Because the Minimalist Baker definitely knows what’s up in the vegan sweets department, I felt their recipe was a good place to start. But then I needed some kind of topping. And while I am all about chocolate and peanut butter, this time my Woodstock Almond Butter was calling my name. So after my brownies set in the freezer for about 20 minutes, I mixed a little almond butter with some coconut sugar and spread it on top. If I am being completely honest, it wasn’t too pretty. It only took me about another 20 seconds to realize I needed another topping. Enter: melted chocolate chips + coconut oil. So I let the chocolate topping set in the fridge for 30 minutes and I was happier. But I still wasn’t sold. So I let them sit in the fridge overnight and came back to them the next morning. When I popped the brownies out of my silicone pan, I was still underwhelmed with the result. The edges were pretty ugly, so I started cutting those off first. And any food blogger knows you let the husband (or wife) taste test the “uglies” first before diving into the “photo-ready” goods. So we tested a piece of the uglies. The verdict? AMAZING. The touch of sweetened almond butter with the extra rich dark chocolate brownie bottom was insanely good. Plus the chocolate coating, duh. The husband agreed as well. They were GOOD.
I was still pondering what to do with the ugly edges and then an idea came to me. I started rolling the 1/2″ piece of brownie edge around itself, the chocolate coating just barely cracking on top, and carefully pushing it back in its place. When I no longer had anything left to roll, I just kind of pondered my creation for a moment. My husband was standing right there and I held up my little brownie swirl to him and I said “LOOK at this”. He could see in my face I was excited, so he asked with equal excitement, raised eyebrows ‘n all, “Is that it!?” And obviously, I said YES. (Sounds a little like a marriage propsoal, ha!) He likes to humor me in my kitchen adventures.
So anyways, I started cutting away the rest of the pieces, 1/2″ at at time and rolled them up into cute little swirls. YAY. My recipe was officially complete.
Don’t they look darling!?
They’re so fudgey and rich and actually pair perfectly with black coffee. (Says the girl who actually despises black coffee, yes.)
I hope you give these Vegan Brownie Swirls a try! They may look intimidating but I promise they’re so easy! I wish I would have taken step-by-step photos for you. But really you just make the date, nut and cacao brownie base with a food processor and spread into 8×8 pan, and let set in freezer for about 30 minutes. Next spread almond butter frosting on top and coat with the melted chocolate topping. I let mine set in the fridge overnight to ensure easy cutting, because I knew the brownies were pretty dense. And then when I popped them out of the pan the next morning, I used a large knife and started cutting 1/2″ slices, and rolled them into swirls. EASY, promise.
I can picture these beauties at a holiday gathering where you can show off to your friends and family what a wonderful (non)baker you are 😉
- 2 1/2 cups medjool dates (about 15oz), pitted
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw hazlenuts
- 2 TBS cacao nibs (optional)
- 3/4 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup natural almond butter (the drippy kind, like Woodstock)
- 1 TBS coconut sugar
- 2 TBS mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Line 8×8 pan with parchment paper, or use silicone sqaure pan, and set aside.
- Soak pitted dates in bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes.
- In food processor, add walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts and process until finely ground.
Scrape down the sides of bowl with spatula, and add in cacao powder and cacao nibs, process until combined.
- Transfer nut mixture to large bowl and set aside.
- Drain water from bowl and add dates to food processor. Pulse until dates are broken down into fine chunks.
- Add in nut/cacao mixture and process until dough consistency forms. You may need to pulse and scrape down of the sides of the bowl in between.
- Add brownie mixture to prepared pan, pressing down firmly with hands until flat.
I suggest wetting your finger tips so mixture doesn’t stick while pressing into pan.
- In a small bowl, combine almond butter and coconut sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
Pour almond butter mixture on brownies and place in fridge for 30 minutes to set.
- Once almond butter has set slightly on top of brownies, make the chocolate topping by combining 2 TBS of mini chocolate chips with 1 tsp of coconut oil and melting in microwave safe bowl, about 15-20 seconds.
- Pour chocolate topping on brownies and let set in fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight. You can also set in freezer for roughly 30 minutes.
- Remove brownies from pan and set on cutting board. Using a large sharp knife, cut away edges of brownies that are not straight. (roll these into balls to save for later, or snack on them like I did)
- Now that you have clean edges on all four sides of your brownies, cut away 1/2″ slices and roll brownie strips into themselves, creating a rosette/swirl. The chocolate coating may lift slightly, just push back into place.
Continue cutting away 1/2″ strips and rolling the brownie swirls. You should get about 20 brownie swirls.
- Store brownie swirls in airtight container in fridge, up to 10 days fresh. Or store in freezer for up to 2-3 months.
-Brownie base recipe adapted from here
-Feel free to use a mixture of your favorite nuts. Or all of one kind of nut. You will still need roughly 2 1/2 cups of whole nuts total.
-Brownies can be made to set in fridge overnight, up to two days covered. Then cut and make brownie swirls.
-Brownies can be stored in freezer for longer storage. Remove from freezer 30 minutes before serving.
-“Cook” time refers to fridge time and will depend of cooling (freezer vs fridge).
- Serving Size: 1 Brownie
- Calories: 187
- Sugar: 22
- Sodium: 4mg
- Fat: 9g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 28g
- Fiber: 4
- Protein: 3g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
I know the directions get a little wordy, but I wanted to be thorough! Just make sure you read through all the steps before getting everything ready. You’ll do GREAT! 🙂
If you end up making these (or any other recipe from the blog), I’d love to see them! Tag me on instagram using the hashtag #fitmittenkitchen 🙂
Happy Thursday, and hope you’re all having a great week!
NOTE: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Please see my disclaimer page for more information.