Intensely chocolatey and rich, these are the vegan brownies that I've been dreaming of! If you’re looking for a decadent and delicious vegan brownie recipe, you’ve come to the right place.
Being a huge chocolate fan, brownies was one of my staple bakes before I was vegan. I’ve tried many vegan brownie recipes over the years, and never quite found a recipe that I loved enough to bake again and again - until we made this one!
There’s all kinds of ways to make vegan brownies. There’s cakey brownies made with just cocoa powder, raw brownies full of nuts and dates, healthy black bean brownies without refined sugar and so on. We even make easy vegan brownies without an oven when we are camping…
But when you want a brownie in all its chocolatey and naughty glory, this is the recipe you need! It’s incredibly decadent, packed full of chocolate and has a dense texture that I simply adore - and hope you will too!
So how do you make vegan brownies without dairy and eggs? It’s easy! Here’s what you’ll need for the recipe and why:
Plain or all purpose flour - When baking we always recommend weighing your ingredients as you get a more accurate result and more consistent texture. If using cups, use the scoop and level method to measure.
Cocoa powder and dark chocolate - Yes, we use both chocolate and cocoa to make this brownie super delicious! We use a dutch process organic cocoa powder, but natural cocoa powder will most likely come out fine too if that's all you have. For the chocolate, we recommend a dairy free dark chocolate with 70% cocoa content, such as this.
Ground flaxseed - Also known as flaxseed meal, this is a great ingredient to combine with water which adds moisture and helps bind when baking without using eggs. We often grind our own from organic flaxseed in a small bullet blender, but you can get it already ground.
Ground almonds - In non vegan brownie recipes a lot of the depth of flavour comes from the eggs and butter. We’ve found ground almonds are the magic ingredient which makes these vegan brownies really rich and extra tasty, but wonderfully animal free!
Vegan butter or spread - Whilst many recipes for vegan brownies use vegetable oil, we really like the extra boost of flavour that the melted vegan butter brings.
Plant milk - we like oat milk, but others should work equally.
Sugar - Granulated or caster sugar.
Salt - If your vegan butter already has salt in it, you can reduce it or leave it out.
There’s no baking powder needed in the recipe. Leaving baking powder or soda out of a brownies recipe can help to create that rich and dense texture and gives a less crumbly or cakey result.
Step by step pictures
Step 1 - To make the ‘flax egg’, stir together the ground flax seed with water.
Step 2 - Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds and salt.
Step 3 - Melt about ⅔ of the chocolate with the vegan butter.
Step 4 - Stir the sugar, ‘flax egg’, plant milk and vanilla extract into the chocolate.
Step 5 - Combine this wet mix and the dry mix into a batter.
Step 6 - Stir in the chopped remaining chocolate (you can save some for the top if you like).
Step 7 - Pour the batter into a lined square 8” (20 cm) baking tin.
Step 8 - Bake brownies at 170°C (340°F) for 25 - 35 minutes.
Check out the tips below on melting chocolate, baking time and cutting the brownies when they are done.
How to melt chocolate
There are different ways to melt the chocolate and vegan butter. The important part is to not overheat it, as the chocolate can start to cook and burn.
Here’s our two favourite ways to melt chocolate:
Hot water bath - Also known as double boiler or bain-marie. Set up a small saucepan with an inch of water and bring it to a gentle simmer. Place a heatproof bowl on top and place chocolate (and vegan butter) in the bowl. Let the chocolate melt slowly and stir occasionally.
The important things with this steam bath method are to keep the bowl from touching the hot water beneath, and to keep the heat so low that you just generate some steam without the pan boiling over.
Microwave - Our go-to quick method, but can go wrong more easily. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-proof bowl. Start with 30 seconds of microwaving, stir through and then continue in 15 second intervals, stirring again after each, until the chocolate is completely melted.
Each microwave oven is different, and will take a different time to melt the chocolate. If you have a high-powered microwave, it might be helpful to use a lower power setting to melt the chocolate gently.
How to know when brownie is done?
We love our brownies moist on the inside, which gives you this fudgy, soft, melt-on-the-tongue feeling. So if these brownies were cake, you would actually like them a bit underdone.
With most cakes you know they are fully cooked when a cake tester or metal skewer stuck inside the center of the cake comes back out clean. This rule doesn’t apply here.
Instead, you know the brownies are done enough as soon as you can gently shake the tin without the batter wobbling notably and a crust has formed evenly on top. Then you know the batter has cooked enough to be solid, but is still moist.
If you test it with a cake tester or skewer, you want to aim for some moist crumbs on it. If the tester is still coming out covered in raw batter, you'll know to cook it for longer.
How to cut brownies
To get best results you’ll want to let the brownies cool down in the tin as they will continue to cook and solidify. When cool you can cut them into squares with a warm knife, that way you will get the neatest pieces.
I do confess that I don’t have the patience to wait long, so I often sneakily cut off a corner piece when it’s still warm!
You can keep the cool brownies in an airtight container for up to four days (though ours always disappear quicker!) As they are quite sticky, you can use some parchment paper to place in between the layers if you want to keep the pieces from sticking together.
To serve as a warm dessert (especially good with some vegan vanilla ice cream!) you can heat a piece in the microwave for up to 30 seconds.
You can also store these vegan brownies in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost them in the fridge overnight, and enjoy!
Once you’ve made one batch of these brownies, you’ll want to make another soon! Here’s some ideas for tasty variations to try before baking:
- Swirl through some peanut butter and jelly for some yummy vegan PB&J brownies
- Add some fresh raspberries for a summery dessert
- Skip the extra chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and use chopped nuts instead
If you are a chocolate lover too, you’re gonna love our other vegan chocolate recipes:
- Preheat the fan oven to 170°C (340°F).
- Stir together ground flaxseeds and water and set aside to create a 'flax egg'.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds and salt ('dry mix'). Try to break up any lumps.
- Melt 4oz / 120 grams of the chocolate together with the margarine (see notes).
- To the melted chocolate, add the sugar, 'flax egg', oat milk and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined ('wet mix').
- Add the wet mix to the dry mix and stir well to create a uniform batter.
- Roughly chop the remaining chocolate and stir it into the batter.
- Pour the batter into a lined square 7-8 inch (about 20 cm) cake tin.
- Bake at 170°C (340°F) for 25-35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out with moist crumbs.
- Leave to cool in the tin, remove the brownie and cut into pieces with a warm knife.