If you love brownies, you’re in luck, because these are amazingly decadent.
When it comes to brownies, mine have to have a chewy and fudgy texture. That’s pretty difficult to achieve without a large quantity of eggs, butter, and sugar, but after numerous attempts, I think I came up with a pretty delicious solution.
Almond meal provides plenty of fat and fiber to these chewy grain-free brownies, while coconut sugar offers a low-glycemic alternative to traditional white sugar. Granulated sugar is essential for creating that delicious crackled crust on the top of the brownies and gives them their chewy texture, but unlike its refined counterpart, coconut sugar still retains many minerals from the coconut palm, including iron, zinc, calcium and potassium.
I tried to develop this recipe exclusively with coconut sugar (because I always like to keep the ingredient list as concise as possible), but in this case a liquid sweetener was also necessary to provide enough moisture and sweetness. My husband likes to act as my brutally-honest-taste-tester, and he didn’t care for these brownies at all until I added the maple syrup– they just aren’t sweet enough for most people without it. However, you’re welcome to experiment with your family’s own taste buds if you want to try to reduce the sugar a bit more. I also added some dark chocolate chips per my husband’s request, making it a more traditional brownie with chunks of chocolate in each bite. However, if you prefer a 100% naturally sweetened treat, feel free to leave them out.
To make these brownies egg-free, I first tried using chia eggs as a substitute. The texture turned out well, but the flavor wasn’t great– they tasted like a “healthy” brownie, which is fine, but I wanted to make a truly crowd-pleasing alternative. The best option I found was using arrowroot starch! Arrowroot is often used to thicken gravy or added to recipes for babies, but it also makes a great binder in these brownies. You could also use Tapioca Starch/Flour if you prefer, though that substitution does affect the flavor slightly.
I hope you enjoy these brownies as much as I do– they have become quite additive in my home!
Chewy Vegan & Paleo Brownies
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
Gently melt the baking chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler and stir until smooth. (Or you can use a heat-safe bowl over a pot of boiling water, like I did– you only need an inch or two of water in the bottom pot.) In a large mixing bowl combine the arrowroot, water, and maple syrup and use a whisk to stir them together, breaking up any lumps. Add in the melted chocolate and oil, along with the coconut sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and stir well. Add in the almond meal, and stir, creating a thick and uniform batter. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly into the bottom of the lined baking dish, and smooth the top. This batter is much thicker and stickier than traditional brownie batter so you’ll definitely have to use the spatula to spread it well. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, until the top looks crinkly and your whole house smells like rich, chocolate brownies.
Now comes the hard part– these brownies are WAY too sticky when hot, so you need to wait for them to cool completely before cutting them into squares. I placed mine in the fridge to speed the process along! Once they are cool, cut them into 16 squares and serve at room temperature. These brownies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week, or in the fridge for longer. (Or as long as they last before you eat them.)
Chewy Vegan & Paleo Brownies
- 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch/flour
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups almond meal
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Gently melt the baking chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler and stir until smooth. (Or you can use a heat-safe bowl over a pot of boiling water, like I did-- you only need an inch or two of water in the bottom pot.) In a large mixing bowl combine the arrowroot, water, and maple syrup and use a whisk to stir them together, breaking up any lumps. Add in the melted chocolate and oil, along with the coconut sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and stir well. Add in the almond meal, and stir, creating a thick and uniform batter. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
- Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly into the bottom of the lined baking dish, and smooth the top. This batter is much thicker and stickier than traditional brownie batter so you'll definitely have to use the spatula to spread it well. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, until the top looks crinkly and your whole house smells like rich, chocolate brownies.
- Now comes the hard part-- these brownies are WAY too sticky when hot, so you need to wait for them to cool completely before cutting them into squares. I placed mine in the fridge to speed the process along! Once they are cool, cut them into 16 squares and serve at room temperature. These brownies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week, or in the fridge for longer. (Or as long as they last before you eat them.)
Per Serving: Calories: 177, Fat: 10g, Carbohydrates: 20g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 3g
Note: I don’t recommend making substitutions in this recipe, as grain-free and egg-free recipes can be very tricky to work with. If you do make any substitutions, please leave a comment below letting us all know what worked for you!
Questions and Reviews
Yummiiieee, these brownies sound amazing. I will try them this weekend!!.
Btw: i have pre ordered your cooking book from Switzerland. I hope to get the special gift although i’m living abroad 🙂
I love your website Megan! Thanks for all the great recipes!!
Those are seriously the most delicious brownies I have ever seen. I can’t wait to make them! Thanks Megan.
Just checking….is that a 1/4 c of arrowroot starch? Can’t wait to make these!
yes, how much arrowroot? thank you!
Yes, it’s a 1/4 cup. I just fixed the recipe!
Hi Megan. I know these are vegan brownies, but what if I wanted to use eggs instead of the arrowroot powder?
I’d like to know that as well!
I would like to know how manta eggs too!
almond meal also known as almond flour?
OMG these look fabulous – i tried making some brownies without eggs or grains a while a go with ground linseeds/flaxseeds but yours look more successful! Relish:)
Thanks for the recipe and hardwork on these Megan- they look amazing! Cant wait to try them as my 1 sweet a week. Do you think they will freeze well so I can enjoy over the month?!
Yes, mine are sitting in the freezer now. They thaw very well!
These look delicious…like “real” brownies 🙂
is it possible to sub eggs instead of arrowroot? Or is there another way around the arrowroot?
Is the almond meal pulp from making almond milk or is it the dehydrated pulp (i.e. almond flour)?
I get confused!
Do you think I can substitute Namaste Foods Gluten Free flour mix for the arrowroot? There is arrowroot starch in it.
Can I substitute maple syrup for honey?
NO– honey did not work for me as it got rock-hard when totally cooled and I couldn’t even cut the outside edges with a knife. The center was still good. But I think the honey hardens more than maple syrup so it was basically a wasted recipe. When made exactly as the recipe says, these are AMAZING and my favourite brownies ever!!!!!!
Can you substitute arrowroot flour for another gluten free flour? That’s 1 flour I do not have.
I definitely have to make these … haven’t tried one of your recipes that I haven’t loved … but question for you.
Any way to make these nut free? Hubby is allergic to nuts and he loves brownies. Thanks!
Will it turn out much differently if I replace the coconut sugar with maple syrup or honey? If those are acceptable, how much of those liquid sweeteners should I add to replace it?
I love your recipes!! Wondering if you had a substitute for almond flour–my son is allergic. Ground sunflower seeds??
Megan, These are by far your best brownies! In fact, they are the best Paleo brownies I have ever made. With having 3 kids and a husband, I have made a lot of brownies. I can’t believe how chewy they are. I would take these any day over butter and white sugar filled brownies. My kids will thank you!
If I use raw cocoa powder, normally about 3:1 ratio equivalent to fudge in another ( unhealthy ) brownie recipe, cab
n I use instead? And if so, how much? Still 3 Oz by weight like the unrelated bakers choc? Or is the bakers choc a different weight when melted?.
I only had coco on hand and made this substitution (9 TLB of coco +3 TLB coconut oil) and added 1/2 cup of raw pecans. DELISH!
I don’t have a choco bar, only cacao. You made it like that plus more coconut oil and came out good? not too oily? im making them for thx giving and wouldn’t like to mess up the dessert, thx!
Perfect I had tons of friends loved it.
I just put this in the oven…but i ran out of almond meal so i ended up mixing it with coconut flour…hope it will turn out ok…! did you try this with coconut flour as well?
I just made these and they are delicious! I added in the chocolate chips and found them a bit too chocolaty though (as if that were even possible right!) The good part about them being so chocolaty is that I had a smaller portion due to the richness! I think next time I will omit the chocolate chips though so it’ll be a little less rich and I can eat the whole pan! (kidding..lol)
Hey there! I just made these heavenly brownies and did the following substitutions:
For every ounce of chocolate I used 3 tablespoons of cacao powder
I added 4 tablespoons water and 2 extra teaspoons coconut oil since I used cacao powder
Instead of arrowroot starch or flour, I used one egg (sorry vegans!)
I omitted the maple syrup because the chocolate chips I used were made with coconut flower sugar (Vivani brand) and the brownies came out perfect to my taste (not too sweet, just extra chocolate-y).
Thank you so much for the inspirational recipe!
so you added 4 tablespoons water and 2 extra teaspoons coconut oil + the coconut oil from the recipe total?
These came out really chewy with a coconut sugar taste. I prefer a milder honey taste so think I would cut back on the sugar and up the liquid sugar just a tad. Thanks for the idea if using cocoa instead of chocolate which I don’t always have. Also, mine didn’t rise as much as the photos brownies. Anyone else have that problem? Did use a 9×9.
this recipe looks great and we will be baking it this
love the crackly top!
thanks for sharing…
For the almond meal, can you use the remainder of the almonds from making almond milk for this (using a juicer you just end up with dry pulp) .
I just got out all my stuff to make these and noticed I have a jar that says “arrowroot” on it….is that the same as arrowroot starch/flour? Sorry…..I’m just learning to cook like this and need a little help 🙂 My jar looks like this though…..
Yes, I think that should work!
Hi Just wondering… can i substitute brown sugar for the coconut sugar in a 1:1 ratio? I dont have coconut sugar.
Yes, I think that should work!
Oh. My. Goodness. Delicious. I used honey instead of syrup and had to use 1/2 of a cup of coconut flour because I ran out of almond meal. These brownies are perfect with a glass of red wine and three episodes of Mad Men. Donald Draper goes well with any snack! Thanks for the recipe!
Hahaha I loved this comment as I totally agree 😉
I re-made these brownies to make them suit my taste better and it was heavenly! I used 2 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate instead of 3 ounces and used an ounce (or 3 tablespoons) of coconut milk in it’s place to give it a milk chocolaty taste! I also cooked it for 35 minutes because I really enjoy it super chewy! I wish they weren’t so high in fat because I could seriously eat the entire pan! Next up you need to create a vegan, gluten free, fat-free, refined sugar free, heck maybe even calorie free recipe..haha.. if ever there were such a brownie I’d be in big trouble!
These were absolutely amazing! This will be a new favorite in our house! Because I didn’t have almond meal, I food processed almonds. I couldn’t get them super fine so my brownies were a bit crunchy, but we liked it! I forgot to add chocolate chips and I must say we didn’t think they were needed, so next time I won’t add them either. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Hi! These brownies look incredible. I had one question though. I tend to also eat low sugar and I can probably get away with the 1/4 cup of maple syrup but I was wondering if the consistency would be ruined if I replaced the majority of the coconut sugar with stevia? Or if you had any other tips I could use?
I was wanting to make these but dont have access to any maple syrup right now. Could honey be substituted ya think, or would it affect the flavor?
I did these with honey and they turned out great! The flavor, I imagine, is a little different. Still good, though!
I made these yesterday and they are DELICIOUS! The middle stays so soft and chewy. The bottoms are rather hard though – but I may have left them in the oven for a little too long…
These were DELICIOUS. Favorite brownie EVER. Thanku!!!
Made these again tonight for my family! Delicious. Perfect.Wow. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!
Great brownies. I used 1/2 cup of black beans in place of the chocolate chips. The beans tasted like chocolate.
This is intriguing– and possibly a silly question… Did you use canned black beans? Or dry? Or did you cook the dry ones? (I’m trying to figure out how they tasted like chocolate chips…. Thanks!
Do you think cashew flour would work instead of the almond meal as I have an allergy to almonds. Thanks these look delish!
These look delicious! I will attempt to replace the arrowroot with potato starch….curious to see how they’ll turn out!
My kids, and me 🙂 loved those brownies, absolutly delicious!! Keep up the good work!
Just made these brownies this past weekend and made them without the additional chocolate chips per other reviewers comments. These turned out super good if you like the fudgy type brownie. They are not a “cakey” type. Also, per Megan’s instructions it really is best to have them completely cooled before slicing, they also warm up quick to room temperature once out of the fridge. Next time I would add walnuts.
Thanks for another great recipe Megan!
I have been dying to try these and finally felt it was a good brownie day today. They sort of failed for me. Now I am sure it was my error, but I didn’t make any substitutions. Though I was cooking with a 2.5 year old… so my mind may have been not fully in the recipe. The only thing (I think) I didn’t do was the parchment paper as I ran out. I will be trying these again, because they obviously will be amazing (like all your recipes!) when I get it right. Do you think the lack of parchment paper could have been the culprit? I didn’t think that would really affect how it cooked (I just used a bit of coconut oil to grease the pan), just how it stuck to the pan and came out easier. Next time I’ll have to make them after bed time 🙂 Thanks in advance, and it will just be a good reason to have another brownie day next week.
Awh man! I was sooo looking forward to these brownies from your mentions in previous posts! (And glad I anxiously awaited them!) I can’t wait to try them out because they look scrummy, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to share them with my boyfriend as he has a nut allergy! Perhaps that’s secretly a good thing because they’ll be so awesome that I won’t want to share :P! I hope that someday you develop the perfect vegan AND nut-free brownie, because I love your recipes! Until then, I might just try some of my own baking experiments! (Perhaps subbing ground pumpkin seeds for the almond meal might just work!)
Thanks for sharing your recipe! I can’t wait to try it out! Yuuuummm!
An earlier commenter said that they substituted 9 TBSP of cocoa and 3 TBSP of coconut oil for the 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate. Just here to say that it worked for me as well!
Also, this recipe is amazing. So reminiscent of the boxed brownies I used to love! Thanks for working so hard to get this right for us. 🙂
I also substituted tapioca starch for the arrowroot and did not find any negative effects flavor-wise.
So I just made these and they’re heavenly! Finding a good chewy vegan brownie recipe is impossible without a load of crap thrown in, so thank you thank you! One question, I used a 9×9 baking dish and mine came out very thin and the edges were crispy since I baked the full 30 minutes, which is fine we still love them, but I was wondering if I could have gone wrong somewhere. Also when I took them out of the oven they were bubbling, is that normal? Thanks again!
Perfect. We used to like boxed brownies but are way too sweet now. Followed the recipe exactly, including chocolate chips and it was great. The batter is super thick, you must use parchment paper. I baked in a 11×7 for 30 min. The top did not crackle as much as I was expecting until they cooled.
I made a batch of these today.
Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Love this blog!! One question, I know you say not to substitute there’s NO arrowroot where I live! I was gonna substitute with tapioca flour and hope for the best but do you think egg would be a better substitution?
Tapioca flour is very similar to arrowroot, so I think it should work similarly! The taste might be just slightly different.
Worked perfectly! I also did the cocoa powder substitution and it worked great. Chewy and delicious!! Thanks so much
Oh em gee! These were SO decadent and delicious! Better than any brownie I have ever tasted! I am in love with this recipe, as well as your “healthiest cookies ever” recipe… two real dessert winners! I purchased your cookbook, and your recipes are amazing! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and creativity 🙂
In place of the unsweetened baking chocolate, can raw organic cacao powder be used? If so, would it still be 3 ounces? Thanks!
I didn’t make these vegan (yay eggs!) so I followed the recipe as per the comments from dina (https://detoxinista.com/2015/04/chewy-vegan-paleo-brownies/#comment-1238236) though I only used ¼ cup water and 2 tbsp coconut oil. I also used Swerve instead of coconut sugar and a maple/agave blend. It turned out really dense and chewy, just how I love my brownies.
Good Morning, Just curious if there is any nutrition stats on these brownies….
I don’t provide nutrition information, but you can use a free calculator on Fitday.com or MyFitnessPal.com to calculate any numbers you might need.
Wowzers I just made these today and they are the best!!! Thank you for sharing, finally I have a paleo treat that actually satisfies me! I added 1/4 cup of dried coconut for fun and it turned out great. Thanks!!
Is there anyway to substitute the almond flour for a different flour?