Crazy for Crust

81
Jan 09

Vegan Brownies

Vegan Brownies

Wait! Don’t run away. These aren’t going to bite you. More than likely, you’re going to bite them. Devour them.

I’m not Vegan (really? you ask sarcastically). I honestly don’t think I could be, even for just a few days. Cheese is a food group, am I right?

I used to be scared of the word “vegan” as applied to baking. Nothing without butter and milk can ever taste good! Boy, was I wrong. Averie and Sally have both shown me you can make vegan versions of your favorite desserts, so when the opportunity presented itself, I wanted to give it a go.

At Christmas, I am in charge of assembling cookie boxes for all the teachers at school. Members of my committee deliver dozens and dozens of cookies to my house and I sort them into pretty boxes. One of the teachers at school is vegan…which makes me not want to deliver her a box of Christmas cookies laden with butter, eggs, and milk chocolate. While she has told me in the past she’ll break her rule once in awhile for a cookie here and there, a whole big box of something you don’t usually eat isn’t very Christmassy.

So I decided to go vegan, if only for one recipe.

Vegan Brownie

I, of course, went to Pinterest and found a few promising recipes. More often than not, the recipe called for some sort of flour or ingredient I had either never heard of or didn’t want to buy for just one pan of brownies. Then I came across my Zucchini Brownie recipe. And I remembered…it doesn’t have eggs. The brownies themselves don’t have butter.

Now, I could have just made those brownies and called it a day, but that’s not how I roll. Instead, I changed them up a little. I took out the zucchini and added applesauce instead. You can’t taste the applesauce, and it gives the brownies good texture. The original recipe calls for cocoa powder, but I wanted to amp up the chocolate flavor, since I was skipping the (butter-ladden) frosting. I added melted unsweetened chocolate and some semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter. (Ghiradelli brand semi-sweet chocolate chips are vegan. I checked!)

The result? A fudgy, chewy, chocolatey delicious brownie. You’d never know they were vegan, and you’d never know they had applesauce in them. Now, they still have oil and sugar…so they aren’t totally guilt-free…but oil is better than butter, right?

{Please don’t answer that.}

Vegan Brownies

So the moral of the story is…try something new…you might like it.

{I meant in baking. Y’all know I’m not trying new food. I don’t roll that way. ;)}

Vegan Brownies

Vegan Brownies

Adapted from these brownies.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghiradelli brand)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together oil and sugar. Stir in vanilla, cocoa, and applesauce. Add melted chocolate and salt, stir until smooth. Slowly stir in flour. Add chocolate chips.
  3. Pour into prepared pan and bake 25-28 minutes. Cool before cutting.
  4. Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar for a pretty presentation!
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Brownies are my #2 to pie. Check out my Brownie Pinboard or these other fab brownie recipes:

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S’more Brownies

 

IMG_1522edited

Oreo Truffle Brownies

Lightened Up Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies by Kitchen Meets Girl
Turtle Brownies by Sugar & Spice
Browned Butter Brownies by Something Swanky

This post may be linked to: Chef in TrainingTrick or Treat TuesdayLil’ LunaBuns In My OvenChic-and-CraftyI’m Lovin’ it FridaysStrut your Stuff SaturdayWeekend Wrap Up PartySundae Scoop Link Partyand all of these too!

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81 Responses to “Vegan Brownies”

  1. Meg @ Sweet Twist posted on January 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm (#)

    Haha…I just tried my hand at some vegan brownies as well… they aren’t so scary.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 9th, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Not at all! Now onto other baked goods! :)

      Reply

  2. Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen posted on January 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm (#)

    I have never tried vegan brownies, but this recipe looks delicious! Thanks =)

    Reply

  3. Mindy posted on January 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm (#)

    Sounds good to me! I’m pinnin’ ‘em.

    Reply

  4. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life posted on January 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm (#)

    They look super fudge-y and chocolate-y to me…that’s all that matters in my book. I try to take the egg out of things every so often to see what happens too :-)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 9th, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      I want to try it more now! :)

      Reply

  5. sally @ sallys baking addiction posted on January 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm (#)

    veggies in my brownies just sounds terrible to me – I am so glad you subbed applesauce for the zucchini! These look amazing Dorothy and I bet you are very rpoud of these – so many of your own adaptions to make a fudgy brownie. That’s vegan, too! Vegan baking is so interesting to me. Not to mention… delicious. :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 10th, 2013 at 6:27 am

      I know! And honestly, the zucchini ones tasted almost the same…you really can’t taste the veggie! :)

      Reply

  6. Kristin posted on January 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm (#)

    These honestly look too good to be true. Applesauce just went onto my shopping list!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 10th, 2013 at 6:26 am

      I know, right? Next I’m using avocado…

      Reply

    • Liya replied on August 20th, 2013 at 10:15 am

      I used Unsweetened Dutch Cocoa Powder instead of regular and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Almond milk instead of apple sauce. And Raw Sugar for half of the sugar amount and Dark Raw Brown Sugar for the other half. They were DELICIOUS!!!!!!!! Great Recipe.

      Reply

      • Dorothy Kern replied on August 20th, 2013 at 7:05 pm

        I’m glad you liked them! I would never have thought to use sweet potatoes! Great idea!

  7. Pamela posted on January 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm (#)

    Alright these look YUMMY! I will be making these! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  8. Sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more posted on January 10, 2013 at 5:41 am (#)

    un being vegan makes them totally calorie free I think too, good thing too they look yummy!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 10th, 2013 at 6:25 am

      I wish!! Although I think it helps without egg, right? :)

      Reply

  9. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) posted on January 10, 2013 at 8:29 am (#)

    Haaaaa I love you Dorothy. I think it was so sweet and considerate of you to make these brownies for the vegan teacher, and they look completely fudgy and wonderful!

    Reply

  10. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme posted on January 10, 2013 at 8:43 am (#)

    I seriousy will be craving these all day now! I need these in my life soon! :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 10th, 2013 at 10:47 am

      Ha, I wish I had kept a few! :)

      Reply

  11. Brenna @ Life After Laundry posted on January 10, 2013 at 9:28 am (#)

    My husband and I just watched a doucumentary on why people go vegan. I can’t go with out cheese in my life, but this is vegan I could do. And I actually have all the stuff to make them.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 10th, 2013 at 10:46 am

      I agree; this is totally something I can get on board with! Thanks Brenna!

      Reply

  12. Ashton posted on January 10, 2013 at 10:54 am (#)

    Mmmmmm– I had forgotten about your Oreo Truffle Brownies! Man, brownie overload over here!! Looks good!

    Reply

  13. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel posted on January 10, 2013 at 11:24 am (#)

    I have been dyyyyying for gooey, fudgy brownies for awhile now. I’ve come to the (very late) conclusion that boxed mixes stink and therefore, I cannot use them anymore for my brownie fixing. I need something more chocolate substantial and these seem like they’d fit the bill juuuuust fine. Did I mention I love you? And we’re neighbors? :) :) :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 10th, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      LOL, I’m in the process of fine tuning my favorite brownie recipe. I’ll have lots of “testers” to share…

      Reply

  14. Lisa posted on January 10, 2013 at 12:38 pm (#)

    These look so good! Pinning them to my Meatless Monday board, because I’m totally okay with brownies for dinner. And the applesauce counts as a fruit, right?

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 10th, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      Um, totally. There is applesauce in them. Totally dinner food!

      Reply

  15. Bobbi posted on January 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm (#)

    This is an awesome option. No crazy ingredients or 15 types of different flours! And I’m totally with you– Cheese is most definitely a food group. 1 portion per meal, minimum. That’s in the food pyramid…isn’t it? MMMmm…. cheese. :)

    Reply

    • Opinionated On FACTS replied on February 14th, 2014 at 8:09 am

      If only you knew that the FDA makes that for the sake of the farmers…
      You don’t NEED dairy nor meat to get the nutrients you need.
      Organic foods and being vegan will be more beneficial than an average human being.
      Peanut butters usually have more protein or equal to meats. Just thought I wold share my input.

      Reply

      • Michelle replied on February 14th, 2014 at 8:19 am

        Oil isn’t vegan and the person is right

        • Dorothy Kern replied on February 14th, 2014 at 10:48 am

          You can sub an oil that is vegan without a problem. :)

      • Dorothy Kern replied on February 14th, 2014 at 10:49 am

        I have no objection to veganism. I think it’s a wonderful way of life, it’s just not one I choose to do myself. :)

  16. Back For Seconds posted on January 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm (#)

    I love these and I love that they’re vegan! They look really fudgy – just the way I like them!

    Reply

  17. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on January 10, 2013 at 7:43 pm (#)

    You did an amazing job with these! And vegan baking can be tricky…it’s usually the eggs that are the most challenging but in brownies were they really dont need to be puffy and rise like a cake would, it’s a good recipe to go vegan on. Thanks for the shoutout too!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 10th, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Thanks Averie! All your posts inspired me!

      Reply

  18. ashley - baker by nature posted on January 11, 2013 at 7:52 am (#)

    One of my goals this year is to try out more vegan baking recipes… you just made that very easy! They look so dense and chocolatey – I’ve got to try these.

    Reply

  19. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl posted on January 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm (#)

    Dorothy, your brownies turned out perfect! I’ve been a little afraid to do any vegan baking, but after seeing these, I think I’m going to have to give it a try. Thanks so much for linking my brownies, too!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 12th, 2013 at 7:45 am

      You’re welcome! They looked SO good. I want to try vegan cookies next. :)

      Reply

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  21. Nora posted on January 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm (#)

    I just made these and they’re amazing!! Definitely don’t miss the butter or the eggs.. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on January 20th, 2013 at 8:23 am

      I’m so glad you liked them! :)

      Reply

  22. Bianca posted on February 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm (#)

    These look so delicious and i’m making them for a party this weekend.
    But i can’t help but ask, doesn’t the chocolate have milk in it? Its so hard to find milk free chocolate at supermarkets.
    And i’m sure ghiradelli put milk products in theirs….

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on February 19th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks Blanca! I googled a few things and ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate is supposedly vegan. There is no dairy listed in the ingredients. But, if you’re worried about it, I know that some grocery stores carry a vegan chocolate chip in the healthy food/natural aisle. Or, you can leave them out! :)

      Reply

      • Bianca replied on February 19th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

        thanks so much. i know ghiradelli is a little hard to come by over here in aus. and they sell small amounts of dairy free choc for ridiculous prices in the health aisle. a few of the people are lactose intolerant so i want to make them something that they don’t have to miss out on. i’ll just keep my hunt on for chocolate!

      • Matt Slattery replied on October 11th, 2013 at 11:36 am

        Just a quick thing about the Ghiradelli Semi Sweet Chips. Check the ingredients to make sure it does not contain Milk Fat. some of their formulas are now containing milk fat that was not there before (the ones on my shelf do not list it. but the package I just bought DOES have milk fat listed, and the front of the package looks the same. Maybe they reformulated?) I am not a Vegan, so makes no difference to me. But i know a lot of people may not know about the change :)

        • Dorothy Kern replied on October 11th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

          Good to know Matt! Thank you for letting me know that. I’ll be sure to check before I bake vegan again!

    • Deavon replied on April 4th, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      I’m not sure about semi-sweet chocolate (honestly just never looked it up), but most dark chocolate is actually vegan. I know this because I’m lactose intolerant, and for the past four years it is the only chocolate I have been able to eat.

      Reply

      • Dorothy Kern replied on April 4th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

        Good to know!! I figured as much, but I knew for a fact that that one was. :) Thanks so much!

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  24. Kathleen posted on April 4, 2013 at 7:11 pm (#)

    Hi I just looke at your sight for the first time the other day. I’m making a vegan brownie for a restaurant I work for and I tried your recipe to get ideas of what a good vegan brownie is like. Something went wrong though and I was wondering when you make them what is the consistency of the batter supposed to look like?

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 5th, 2013 at 11:24 am

      It’s a very thick batter – you have to spread it with your hands instead of pouring. It’ll be dense!

      Reply

      • Kathleen replied on April 12th, 2013 at 9:49 am

        Ok thanks. In the oven now ill let you know.

  25. Erin Koza posted on April 5, 2013 at 4:29 pm (#)

    These are in the oven now. I made them gluten free though. Can’t wait to try them

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 5th, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      Enjoy! Let me know how they are gluten free!

      Reply

  26. Aizeah posted on April 12, 2013 at 10:22 am (#)

    Firstly, I just want to point out that these are not truly vegan brownies, because of the sugar. Animal bones are used in the process of making normal sugar that the average family uses. However, I was making these because there are several dairy allergies in my home, and I really wanted to make something chocolatey and delicious for the kids. These were PERFECT. I’ve made them twice, once with the normal amount of sugar and once with only one cup. I definitely prefer it with a bit less sugar, but only because then I can eat so many more! I also added in a little bit more applesauce. The centre is so chewy and soft, without feeling like dough. It’s perfect. My family couldn’t even tell they were “vegan” (sans the sugar)! :)

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on April 14th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      I had no idea that sugar wasn’t vegan!! Thanks for letting me know. I’m totally craving these brownies!

      Reply

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  28. Sarah posted on June 28, 2013 at 12:34 am (#)

    Just to clarify the comments about sugar, it is true that most sugar is not considered vegan due to the high percentage of sugar refined using bone char (usually cow bones). Because it is not known whether particular sugar was processed this way, vegans avoid regular sugar. To be sure sugar is not processed this way, vegans (or people who do not like the idea of cow bones being in their sugar) can buy sugar labeled organic, raw, turbinado, evaporated cane juice or simply vegan sugar. So it does not make sense to say the recipe is “not vegan.” It depends what specific ingredients you use. A vegan person would look at the recipe and make it with vegan sugar and vegan chocolate chips (yes, due to the sugar, strict vegans wouldn’t use the Ghiradelli chips). Enjoy Life makes vegan chocolate chips (also free of major allergens minus soy) as does Whole Foods 365 brand. There are also other brands available at Whole Foods, health stores or online. Major grocery stores now carry many more natural products as well.

    I commend you on your thoughtfulness in providing the teacher a gift she can enjoy!

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on June 28th, 2013 at 6:19 am

      Thank you for the clarification Sarah! I’ll keep it in mind for sure next time I bake vegan!

      Reply

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  30. Lisa@ Cooking with Curls posted on October 10, 2013 at 7:00 am (#)

    It is so funny how people automatically think that something won’t taste good if it is vegan. I have made several recipes over the years (out of milk allergy necessity) and they turned out great. I can’t wait to try these brownies Dorothy, they look delicious….and I prefer the applesauce over the zucchini…..so thank you for that! ;)

    Reply

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  34. Tina @ Squirrel Acorns posted on January 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm (#)

    This looks yummy and it’s all in my pantry already. I’m hosting Craft Night tomorrow, and several ladies are vegan. Always nice to provide desserts that everyone can enjoy. I’ll have to try it tomorrow!!

    Reply

  35. G posted on March 1, 2014 at 4:30 am (#)

    These are very good– the best vegan brownie recipe I’ve found In 20 years of vegan baking! .well done. I threw in a few spoonfuls of flax powder for extra binding juju btw. Anyway these babies have an actual crust on top, and chewy centers……I.e. They are real brownies. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 1st, 2014 at 6:17 am

      Thank you! I’m so glad you like them. :)

      Reply

  36. Adventurous Vegan posted on March 13, 2014 at 5:15 pm (#)

    Delicious recipe! Love that it’s without eggs.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  37. shutterbug posted on March 27, 2014 at 11:56 am (#)

    So this recipe doesn’t require baking soda or baking powder?

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on March 27th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      No, I never add leavening to my brownies!

      Reply

  38. Vianey posted on May 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm (#)

    Hi, i just got them into the oven! but they’ve been there like for 30 min now, and they seem a little splashy, is it normal? im not used to bake, so, help? lol

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on May 19th, 2014 at 6:20 am

      They’re still wet looking? Did you make any substitutions? And your oven temp is correct (do you have an oven thermometer?)

      Reply

  39. christine posted on May 24, 2014 at 5:34 am (#)

    I recently have gone lactose free while nursing my daughter (she has a milk intolerance) and am looking for truly vegan dessert recipes. I just wanted to mention that milk is an ingredient in semi-sweet chocolate chips. It’s hidden in everything. :(

    Reply

    • Dorothy Kern replied on May 24th, 2014 at 6:56 am

      It wasn’t listed as an ingredient in the chocolate chips I used, or you can substitute the vegan baking chips they sell at most grocery stores these days. I just made M&M sugar cookies that have a dairy-free option (but you’d can use a dairy-free candy equivalent – like carob or vegan chips – instead of the M&Ms: http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2014/05/mm-sugar-cookies-dairy-free-option/

      Reply

  40. Vegan Slaughterer posted on July 27, 2014 at 12:44 am (#)

    Nom nom nom. OK so now i must make em’. It is seriously delicious looking!!!! To the kitchen :)

    Reply

  41. Laura posted on October 15, 2014 at 8:23 am (#)

    Hi, just made the recipe – the batter seemed incredibly thick when I made it so had to add quite a bit of soya milk just to make it stirable! It was so thick, the mixture didn’t actually move during baking from how I spread it.. However because I’m English and had to use a converter to change from cups to grams, I think something possibly got lost in translation.. Do you know what the correct equivalent amounts may be?

    Reply

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