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.


  • 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)


  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:

smores brownies 4 words


S’more Brownies



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!


  1. Haha…I just tried my hand at some vegan brownies as well… they aren’t so scary.
    Meg @ Sweet Twist recently posted..10 Days of Cookies – Day 10 – Jumbo Brown Butter Rolo CookiesMy Profile

  2. I have never tried vegan brownies, but this recipe looks delicious! Thanks =)
    Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen recently posted..Italian CanederliMy Profile

  3. Sounds good to me! I’m pinnin’ ‘em.
    Mindy recently posted..Dining Room Progress ReportMy Profile

  4. 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 :-)
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted..Banana Toffee SconesMy Profile

  5. 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. :)
    sally @ sallys baking addiction recently posted..healthy oatmeal raisinet cookies.My Profile

  6. These honestly look too good to be true. Applesauce just went onto my shopping list!
    Kristin recently posted..WTF WednesdayMy Profile

  7. Alright these look YUMMY! I will be making these! Thanks for the recipe!
    Pamela recently posted..Guest Post – Jamie from Love Bakes Good Cakes – Peanut Butter BallsMy Profile

  8. un being vegan makes them totally calorie free I think too, good thing too they look yummy!
    Sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more recently posted..Biscoff And Chocolate Jelly Roll, Or Yule LogMy Profile

  9. 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!
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted..Creamy Hot ChocolateMy Profile

  10. I seriousy will be craving these all day now! I need these in my life soon! :)
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme recently posted..Penne with Swiss Chard and RicottaMy Profile

  11. 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.

  12. Mmmmmm– I had forgotten about your Oreo Truffle Brownies! Man, brownie overload over here!! Looks good!
    Ashton recently posted..Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake SmoothieMy Profile

  13. 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? :) :) :)
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel recently posted..Cinnamon Roll-Stuffed Blondies [Guest Post]My Profile

  14. 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?
    Lisa recently posted..NFL Logo Etched GlassesMy Profile

  15. 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. :)
    Bobbi recently posted..Semi-Homemade Ceviche!My Profile

  16. I love these and I love that they’re vegan! They look really fudgy – just the way I like them!
    Back For Seconds recently posted..Skinny Fudge Brownies with Butterscotch DrizzleMy Profile

  17. 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!
    Averie @ Averie Cooks recently posted..Loaded Baked Tater Tot DipMy Profile

  18. 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.

  19. 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!
    Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl recently posted..What’s In Your Kitchen WednesdayMy Profile

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

  21. 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….

    • 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! :)

      • 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 says:

        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 :)

    • 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.

  22. Kathleen says:

    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?

  23. Erin Koza says:

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

  24. 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)! :)

  25. 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!

  26. 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… thank you for that! ;)
    Lisa@ Cooking with Curls recently posted..Pumpkin Ale Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Glaze & dessert challengeMy Profile

  27. Tina @ Squirrel Acorns says:

    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!!

  28. 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.

  29. Adventurous Vegan says:

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

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

  31. 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

  32. christine says:

    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. :(

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


  1. [...] January 9, 2013 By Dorothy Kern 36 Comments [...]

  2. [...] took my zucchini brownies (the same ones I used as a base for the vegan brownies) and turned them into Spring’s newest favorite chocolate [...]

  3. [...] BUT if you visit me, you’ll know that I love to bake all things…not just pie. I make brownies. And cookies. And lots and lots of magic bars. Oh, and pie too. And I serve it all up with a slice [...]

  4. […] you want to go totally Vegan (no eggs or anything!) you can try this scrumtious looking recipe for Vegan Brownies from Crazy for Crust. In fact, I just may try these out […]

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