Amazing Date Brownies (Vegan & Flourless!)

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These Date Brownies are AMAZING! Just like my recipe for the Healthiest Cookies Ever, this healthy brownie recipe has no flour or added sugar. It’s sweetened with only dates! This recipe also happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, and paleo friendly, so people with a wide variety of special dietary needs can enjoy them.

date sweetened flourless brownies broken in half

Why Dates Make the Best Sweetener

While I love using coconut sugar and maple syrup as natural sweeteners, lately I’ve been on a mission to figure out how to use dates as a substitute for sugar in baking. If you ask me, they are probably the healthiest natural sweetener on the planet.

Dates are a great source of iron, potassium, and B-vitamins, and studies have shown that they may have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects. Also, despite their natural sugar content, studies have determined that dates are low-glycemic and a safe sweetener for diabetics. If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant, studies have shown that consistently eating 6 dates a day may help to improve your labor experience.

Each brownie has just 49 calories and 3 grams of natural sugar, for a healthy treat that won’t send your blood sugar skyrocketing.

date sweetened flourless brownies and date split in half

How to Make Date Brownies

The key to getting a fudgy texture in these date brownies is baking them in a mini muffin tin. They’re similar to the popular “2-bite brownies” or mini brownie bites you’ve probably seen at grocery stores.

I don’t recommend trying to bake this brownie batter in a traditional square pan, because I’m afraid the centers would remain forever gooey with an underbaked texture. The key to the perfect texture is using a mini muffin pan, so don’t be tempted to try something different without expecting drastically different sweetened flourless brownie batter scooped into mini cupcake tin

Date Brownie Substitution Ideas

The one thing I think you can play around with in this recipe is what kind of nut butter you use. I’ve tested this recipe with both peanut butter and macadamia nut butter as well, but I recommend using cashew butter in this recipe to keep it Paleo-friendly, and avoid to the acrylamide risk I mentioned in my last post.

Keep in mind that the brownies will taste like whichever nut butter you use. (Macadamia nut butter has the most neutral flavor, but due to its high fat content the resulting brownies are also gooier in texture– which is fine since this is a vegan recipe, but be warned.)

I imagine you could experiment with this recipe even more, but I’m really happy with the texture  and sweetness this particular combination produces, so I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

date sweetened flourless brownies mixed in a food processor

date brownies in stack
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4.94 from 99 votes

Amazing Date Brownies (Vegan & Flourless!)

These Date Brownies are amazingly fudgy, and taste like the real thing-- only they are flourless and sweetened with dates!
Course Dessert
Cuisine gluten-free, vegan
Keyword date brownies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 24 brownies
Calories 49kcal


  • coconut oil , for greasing
  • 3/4 cup Medjool dates , pitted (6 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon golden flax seed , ground
  • 5 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a mini muffin tin with coconut oil to help prevent sticking. 
  • In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, combine the dates and water and process until the dates have broken down into a paste. (They may turn into a ball in the processor, which is also okay.)
  • Add in the cashew butter, ground flax, cacao powder, baking soda, vanilla, and vinegar and process again until a sticky, uniform dough is created. (If you need to add 1 more tablespoon of water to help it blend smoothly, that's okay.) The batter will be thick and sticky. 
  • Use a cookie scooper to help you scoop the dough into the greased mini muffin tin. (Roughly using 1 tablespoon of dough per slot.) Use your fingers to gently flatten each mound of dough. Because the dough is very sticky, it helps to get your fingers wet with water before pressing each mound down so your fingers won't stick to the dough. 
  • Bake until the tops look dry, about 12 to 15 minutes. (The centers will still feel slightly soft to the touch.) Remove from the oven and let the brownies cool completely, at least 30 minutes, before attempting to remove them from the pan. They firm up as they cool, but are very fragile when warm. Run a knife around the edge of each brownie to help loosen them to be removed, then serve immediately or store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 



If you don't mind a bit of added sugar, you can add up to 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips into this recipe for a double chocolate brownie. 


Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 24mg | Potassium: 82mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Date Brownie Nutrition (per brownie): Calories: 49, Fat: 2g, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g

Substitution Notes:

  • As I mentioned above, I believe any nut or seed butter will work with this recipe, but keep in mind that you will definitely be able to taste whichever option you use. So, if you use peanut butter you’ll have a peanut butter-tasting brownie, and if you use sunflower butter, you’ll have a (nut-free!) brownie that tastes like sunflower butter. So, make sure you love the flavor of whichever nut or seed butter that you choose to use. The most neutral-flavored option I’ve tried so far is macadamia nut butter (which is seriously delicious!) but the resulting brownies have a gooier texture, as if they are undercooked.
  • If you use other nut butters, such as almond butter or peanut butter, you might want to lower the oven temperature to 250ºF and double the baking time to help prevent any acrylamide formation. (A potential human carcinogen.)
  • If you can’t tolerate cacao powder, you might want to try using carob as an alternative. You can also use cacao powder and cocoa powder fairly interchangeably in baked goods, so feel free to use cocoa powder if that’s what you have on hand.
  • If you’d like to add any add-ins, I’d just recommend that you keep them small so that the texture is distributed evenly. Cacao nibs, mini chocolate chips, or chopped nuts would all be great options. (I’d use 1/2 cup total.)
  • If you’d prefer to use whole nuts instead of nut butter, I would double the amount called for (so 1/2 cup nut butter = 1 cup whole nuts) and I would grind them in the food processor first, before adding in the dates and water.

hand holding date sweetened flourless brownie broken in half

For more date-sweetened recipes, check out these posts:

Reader Feedback: Would you like to see more date-sweetened recipes in the future? Do you prefer recipes that call for date paste/syrup, or whole dates better? 

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This sounds perfect!! I’ve been loving the cashew butter cookies lately, but am 9 months pregnant so trying to incorporate dates daily. This is a perfect solution-can’t wait to try them out!! Have you tried freezing them? Just wondering if I can eat them out of the freezer like the cookies or if it would require more patience to let them thaw 🙂


I make banana bread and use chopped dates instead of sugar. It tastes fantastic and I avoid the pain of inflammation from the white refined sugar.

I’m allergic to gluten and dairy. I make my banana bread with garbanzo bean flour and coconut oil instead of wheat flour and butter. Then I sub in the dates for sugar. It’s tasty and no one says, ewww to it.

    Khitam Abdelaziz

    I would love your recipe for banan bread with garbanzo flour. I miss banana bread but can’t handle grain based flours anbd I love dates. My email is thanks

    Amber Hamill

    May I have your banana bread recipe too?

    beatrice holz

    Would love to have your banana bread recipe. Have recently switched over to gluten-free, dairy-free, no refined sugars or flours, and it sounds like your banana bread is a winner!


    I would love your banana bread recipe too..


    If you find the time I would also love your banana bread recipe!


    I would also like the banana bread recipe please. Have tried so many none have worked for me so far


Thanks lovely girl, I feel the same way – dates are the healthiest sweetener in my books … where else do you get caramel with fibre and minerals? I’m up for any more date sweetened recipes you want to send our way xxx


If I make my own homemade cashew butter should I use roasted or unroasted cashews?

Heather McClees

I love this recipe, and I just love using dates as a natural sweetener in many of my own recipes! I also love your idea about using macadamia nut butter–yum! I bet these brownies would be perfect with a side of cashew milk too! 🙂


Definitely would love more date sweetened recipes! I try to use date paste as a substitute in many baked goods especially those that call for maple syrup! Have used it in your raspberry muffins with great success! Definitely my sweetener of choice! Going to try these brownies tomorrow…thanks for the great recipe!


    Do you substitute date paste to maple syrup with a 1:1 ratio? I am always hesitant to try this as date paste is thicker and less sweet.

Mary Ryan

I never knew about the peanut butter/almond butter being a carcinogen at high temps…I bake flourless muffins at 375…should I be concerned?


I have a son who cannot tolerate refined sugar or wheat. This is the perfect recipe for him. I use date paste as a sweetener in so many things that I make for him, and he and I are both happy to add this to the list. I would love more date recipes, especially made with date paste. I like to buy organic dates from Costco and make up a big batch of paste to use whenever I need it. It freezes well, and is an amazing spread for grain free pancakes. Heating and thinning with water makes it a bit syrupy and oh so good.


Looks delicious – I already have some homemade date paste made up (dates soaked in filtered water then puréed). How much dates paste does your make once it’s mixed? Thanks!!


Could you substitute apple cider vinegar for balsamic?


Ok, I made this with a slightly twist. I soaked and made my own seed butter from…get ready…Black sesame seeds…baked at 225F, I never bake over that temp…..I never use cashews due to their high inflammatory stress response, so I usually do sprouted seeds or macademia butter…made from scratch in my vitamix…amazing, I also added a whole vanilla bean to kick it up a bit…such a terrific combo! ThAnks for inspiration!

    jayne weber

    What???? Mind blown. I have beige sesame seeds. I wonder if they will also work.


      Absolutely! Greeks use this paste quite a lot, it’s called Taxini (Tahini)


Hi Megan,

Everytime I make one of your recipes (black bean brownies, best banana bread, carrot cake), I always need to leave it longer in the oven than the time requested. Would you know why?

For this recipe, I also had to leave them longer and unfortunately, I burnt them all around as I wanted to leave them until the middle part wasn’t gooey anymore -even if I used the small muffin tin.

I really love your recipes and I am hoping that you would have a solution for my problem.

Thank you!!

    Megan Gilmore

    Do you have an oven thermometer? You might want to test your oven to see how accurate the temperature is. I bought two for my oven when I was writing my cookbooks to make sure my temperatures were accurate, and I found that I have to set my oven to 365ºF to get an accurate temperature of 350ºF. Also, make sure you’re waiting long enough for the oven to totally preheat, because I’ve found that when my oven beeps that it’s reached the correct temperature, it can be up to 50 degrees cooler than the temperature I need. Waiting an extra 10 minutes usually corrects that, but it could mean that baked goods don’t bake at the proper temperature if you were to start baking them right away when the oven beeps. Hope that helps!


First time to post – Megan, love your stuff – fantastic !!
As my 4 y.o going through the ” I love chocolate ” phase and like to have him help and give him a daily dose without giving him sugar.

I did this with TAHINI – as I feel that was the rage nowadays lol – and need to get rid of some tahini I had stored away. Was very delicious and chocolatey and neutral nut flavor.

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m glad to hear it worked with tahini! My almost-4 year old is in the same “I love chocolate” phase– hence why I created these! Glad yours enjoyed them, too. 🙂


Delicious! I used half tahini and half raw almond butter because that’s what I had on hand. Better than regular brownies. You have the best recipes:)

    Megan Gilmore

    Aw, thanks!! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. That combination of tahini and almond butter sounds great!


These are so good!! Thank you!! I used peanut butter and apple cider vinegar. Wonderful and kid approved!!


This recipe looks delicious! I love dates, especially from the middle east.


Hi! I love everything you make and can’t wait to make these. I’ve ran out of flax and have chia seeds, do you have any thoughts on adding the chia instead? Or could I just but no flax and no substitute?

Thank you

    Megan Gilmore

    Ground chia seeds should work just fine! If you omit the flax or chia, the resulting brownies will remain gooey and under-baked, like they didn’t set. (Still taste good, just not the same texture!)


Yum!!! I used apple cider vinegar and they were fantastic!!!


These are so good! Exactly the texture and taste I was hoping for. I want to try to make them into “chips” by putting them in an icing bag and piping them onto a cookie sheet. They would be great for packing for a lunch because there is nothing in them to melt. So, so good!!


    I will be honest, I thought they will not turn out anywhere near the usual choc brownies and was so glad that they turned out beautiful! Texture and taste is so good!
    Sharing on my gluten free recipe FB group.
    Thank you so much!


Is the recipe correct, where it calls for balsamic vinegar? Or is that supposed to be ACV to help them rise? What is the purpose of the balsamic vinegar? Thank you!

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, I love using balsamic vinegar in chocolate recipes because they flavors compliment each other very well. You can use apple cider vinegar if you prefer– the vinegar just adds an acid to react with the baking soda to help the brownies rise.


Thank you for this fabulous recipe! My entire family loved these brownies, and I will make them for a dinner party this weekend! Please keep the date sweetened dessert ideas coming!


These are delicious!! Good work!!


Today I made these and your fish tacos with citrus slaw from your first cookbook. Everyone LOVED the dinner and dessert.


Just made these and they turned out sensational!! Added 1/2 cup of chopped raisins and walnuts.. Thank you for a great recipe.


Fabulous! Even my picky 10-year-old loved them. These have got to be the healthiest brownie recipe. Please keep the date recipes coming!


Absolutely delicious! I used almond butter I already had on hand (your recipe!) and added in about 1/3 c. Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips. Just so good! Thank you for this recipe, Megan.


We just made these and they turned out delicious!. Very moist and a perfect taste with the combination of dates, cashew butter, and cacao. I was so impressed that this recipe contains no flour, eggs, and refined sugar!
This is a ingenious recipe! We will need to make them again tomorrow! Thank you again.


Wow!! Never expected this to taste like a brownie!! Great work!! Thanks for posting great recipes. I really enjoy your website. I don’t have a food processor so used my vitamix. Not bad to use. Just tough to get all of the batter out.
My husband enjoyed them rap since we are trying to be healthy. 😊


These are so good, taste just like real brownies just a little less sweet. Nice to have a healthy alternative that still tastes like the original. Thanks!


This recipe yields a brownie that’s fudgey, sweet, and just chocolatey enough for my taste. Didn’t expect it to be THAT good, really. A keeper.


These are fantastic! made twice now, and we are big peanut butter fans but definitely think they are better with cashew or almond butter. Low on dates so added some raisins to get the right amount and turned out just as good. Love the date sweetened recipes and would be delighted to see some more. Maybe some easy muffins for healthy on the go breakfast.


These are ridiculously good. My boyfriend used your recipe to make me these brownies with the addition of some roughly chopped dark chocolate chunks from a bar. The end product was fudgy and decadent while still being guilt-free! I’m going to make them again tonight. Thank you for “healthifying” nostalgic comfort foods without compromising on flavor! 🙂


Hi Megan,

I love your Date Sweetened Flourless Brownie recipe.

I would love to feature it in our website GreenThickies. I will not be posting the actual recipes, but I will only use one image from the post, title, a small quote and link directly back to your post.

Will that be all right?

Thanks 🙂


    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, it’s fine to share an image without the recipe and a link back. 🙂


OMG! I finished making these about an hour ago. Amazing! I used crunchy almond butter and blitzed up chia seeds rather than the flax because that’s what I had. So good. And that’s from someone who’s not vegan and only just stepping into the healthy desserts world. Love the crunchy top and gooey bottom


I made these brownies last night and they are amazing! My husband absolutely loved them and I am having a hard time just having one per day! Easy to make but just make sure you have the time you need to put them into the mini muffin tins. That took about 15 minutes in my case but it was definitely worth the time. I am sure the second time I will be faster and they will certainly be top of my list for a healthy alternative to the typical brownie recipe!

amy Frame

So delicious! The best vegan brownie recipe I’ve ever tried!
My original idea was to make this for everyone, but as it turns out they’re so tasty I’m just going to eat the entire batch myself haha!

Love your recipies, I look forward to trying more!

Christine L.

I made these brownies today, omg, they are so tasty!!! This recipe will be my go-to for sure. I love the fact that they only contain healthy ingredients. Wow!


A note about making them double chocolate: Lily’s brand makes chocolate chips that are stevia sweetened. So you can still do the double chocolate thing without adding any refined sugar! Can’t wait to try out your recipe!


Thanks! These taste really good!

H bogert

Plove dates and nuts ,interested in any combo. I eat paleo and looking for ideas since I’m new at this way of eating

Brooke Anderson

Blending the dates works a lot better if the water is boiling. Just an fyi. Love this recipe!


I made these this afternoon and they are PERFETION! Seriously!!!


Love all your new date sweetened recipes! The taste and texture of these bite sized brownies are amazing! And loaded with nutrients💪


Thanks for the recipe! We are patiently waiting for them to cool. The batter is kid approved. Lol We decided to melt a little chocolate and coconut oil to drizzle on top! Yum!

Kris Masson

Oh my these are sooooooo good.

Thanks for this recipe it’s a keeper.


Has anyone substituted chia seeds for flax?


These are amazing! I have cut most sweeteners out so this is a lifesaver!I doubled the recipe and used one egg instead of the flax. I think this resulted in a bit more cake like texture, but was still super moist and chocolatey. I added chopped walnut and coconut flakes on top. What a great recipe, thank you!


Greets from Madrid (Spain)
I lovethis récipe. I am trying to do healthy sweets and using dates instead of refined sugar sounds great.
Do you think sunflower oil would work in this recipe?Also, I have thought to mix dates with 1/4 cup of warm orange juice. Would they still be paleo brownies?
Thank you

    Megan Gilmore

    I’ve never tested it with another oil, but it’s worth a shot! You’re always welcome to test your own modifications, I just can’t predict how they will turn out since I can’t try every change myself.

linda smith

OMG!!! These are so good! I found my go to brownie, no more looking!

I used peanut butter and apple cider vinegar

Thank you!!!


Curious is you have to use flax seed? Can I use chia seed instead or no seed at all?

    Megan Gilmore

    Chia seeds work, too, you just need something to work as a binder. If you can have eggs, that also works. 1 tablespoon of flax seed + 3 T water = 1 egg.


    I have subbed ground chia for the flas and it worked great. My hubby couldn’t believe how good this are.

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