Oh joy! These are the best vegan chocolate brownies I’ve ever made. In fact, they may be the best brownies period, yet they are easy to make and downright healthy. I love their deep chocolate flavor, interesting mix of lighter cake with deep chocolate streaks, and the crisp top crust. If you don’t tell people these are vegan brownies, no one will guess.
This recipe shows how easy it is to replace an egg with aquafaba, bean broth from homemade beans or a can. Because brownies are naturally dark, you can use black-bean aquafaba as well as the lighter chickpea aquafaba. The aquafaba provides tenderness and lightness that most egg-free brownies lack. It uses the standard replacement: 2 tablespoons of aquafaba for one whole egg. With no worries about raw eggs, you can safely lick the mixing spoon!
These nutritious brownies contain whole grains, phytonutrients from the cacao, fruit, and a little healthy fat. See the nutritional information below for how much healthier these are than ones loaded with eggs and butter, like Alton Brown’s version. Your budget will love them too at just 33 cents each, assuming 16 brownies from the 8×8 pan.
Active time: 14 minutes. Total time: 55 minutes. Makes one 8×8 pan, about 16 brownies or 8 servings. Vegan, egg-free, dairy-free.
1 cup white whole wheat flour (120 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams)
1/2 cup natural, unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder (36 grams)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (80 grams) (I use Sunspire Organic 42% cacao chips)
1/4 cup well-mashed ripe banana (about 1/2 banana)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil, plus a little for the pan
2 tablespoons black-bean or chickpea aquafaba
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Make sure there is an oven rack in the center position and heat oven to 350°F. Oil an 8x8x2-inch pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine and break up any lumps. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a large spoon or spatula just enough to combine, about 50 strokes.
4. Pour batter into oiled pan and pop it in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes for perfect lighter brownies or a few minutes less for more fudgy ones. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
5. Cut and serve warm or at room temperature. The chocolate flavor deepens as they cool. Store any extra covered at room temperature. Should freeze well, but mine never last that long.
I buy organic raw cacao powder online now because my local grocery store quit selling organic cacao or cocoa powder. My current favorite is Healthworks raw organic cacao powder.
For a fancier presentation, see my recipe for Candy Bar Brownie Pie.
Per serving based on 8 servings per recipe. For comparison, Alton Brown’s Cocoa Brownies each have 466 calories, 27 grams of fat, and 16 grams of saturated fat, assuming the same 8 servings from an 8x8x2-inch pan. That’s 40% more calories, 59% more fat, and a whopping 81% more saturated fat. Per serving, his brownies has 168 mg of cholesterol while mine have none. I chose Alton Brown’s recipe as one for a reasonable, traditional brownie, the kind I would have made it back when I still cooked with eggs and butter (and still had arthritis and migraines).