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 results.date 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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4.93 from 81 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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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. 

Video

Notes

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. 

Nutrition

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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Comments

Yvonne

Thank you for this great recipe. I cannot wait to try it.
Question: If I substitute applesauce or an egg for the flaxseed, do I omit the water?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, that’s what I would try! You still might need a tablespoon of water if your dates are not soft, but I’d just see how it processes into a batter without the water.

Melissa

These are fantastic! I’ve had to eliminate sugar from my diet and these have been a lifesaver! It’s great to have a dessert sweetened with fruit! Thanks so much for sharing!

Laura

Yes! Please more date sweetened flourless recipes! I am on the lookout for a blueberry muffin in this category.

Liz Guess

I just made these and they are phenomenal!!! I’m not surprised those because everything I’ve cooked from your site is delicious! These are better than normal brownies, I can’t believe there is no traditional sugar or flour! Satisfies the chocolate cravings majority! This is my first comment but I love all your recipes, they help for the food lifestyle I’m trying to achieve (former fast foodie too). Thank you a million times over!

Jessica

Holy cow! I have never left a comment on a recipe before, but I just made these and they were SO GOOD!!! I have been trying date sweetened recipes for a while now and never could mimic the texture of a true brownie until this recipe. I used tahini in place of a nut butter and a real egg. So good and no nut flavor at all. Just a normal tasting amazing brownie. I could eat this whole pan now!

Shelley

I would love to see recipes with dates in any form!! I made these brownies and loved them! I then decided to bring the date amount up to a cup. It worked great! They were chewy even when not frozen! Thanks so much for this recipe, I can have brownies again!!! Thanks for all your recipes!!

Chris

I have made this recipe many times, they are absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for this amazing healthy recipe : )

Cristina

I had my sister law over for lunch and wanted to have a little bite of sweet to offer after our meal, with the caveat that it had to be
date-sweetened and something I’d be comfortable feeding to my 16 month old. These were a hit on all accounts!

Kathryn Lloyd

They look delicious! I don’t have a mini muffin tin. Would you suggest just using a cookie sheet and dropping “blobs” onto it, or using a regular sized muffin tin?

Thx 🙂

Elena

I found your website literally an hours ago and I’m so exited! Amazing healthy simple recipes broken into diet types, it’s everything I’ve been looking for! And I loooove that you give practical tips like freezing the pizza doe.. Thank you so much!

Katie

I’ve tried these twice now. Both times in a regular muffin tin, which seemed fine and the second time with dark cocoa, which I really liked! Great recipe. Your blog is making me believe I can actually reduce my sugar intake and still enjoy my life. I’d love for you to post up a gajar halwa recipe for the instant pot!!

Amna

Hi these look so great! What can I use instead of flax seeds? I’m not vegan. I saw you mentioned in another comment ground chia seed…. would regular ones work? Or an egg? Thanks!!

    Amna

    I went and got flax seed meal for this and omg they were soooo good!!! Tasted just like regular cake, my husband couldn’t believe they were sugar-free. Will have to double the recipe next time because they were gone within hours! Thanks for sharing!

Carmine

These brownies are AMAZING. I modified the recipe a bit and doubled it so I could fit the batter in a square pan. My mod is almond flour instead of ground flax seed because I was out of flax seed. I used unsweetened baking cocoa one time instead of cacao powder because I was out of cacao, which I prefer. For fun I also chopped up a square of unsweetened dark baking chocolate and added that to the mix, which is quite good. Lastly, I was mostly using cashew or almond butter but I tried a version with unsalted organic sesame tahini and it was also very very good.

    Gina Dwyer

    Was your tahini runny, or thicker? Tahini seems to separate, and I’m hoping I don’t have to worry about it for this recipe!

Gina Dwyer

Hi! This recipe looks delicious, and sounds amazing! Love that dates are used as the sweetener! I’m am going to try and make for a sweet treat for friends 🙂

alexia zaia

Just made these and they taste absolutely fantastic! I used Tahini as my seed butter of choice. Next time I make these will be doing them with almond butter!! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Kris

Absolutely incredible recipe! I omitted the balsamic vinegar and baking soda. I got perfect bites of deliciousness!
I made them a second time in an 8 x 8 dish! Turned out great! Thank you again for a great recipe!

Patricia

Holy smokes! I don’t often comment on recipes, but…holy smokes! These are delicious! I used almond butter (it’s what I have on hand) following your instructions, and my brownies turned out dense, fudgy, and with crackled tops just like standard brownies. They are melt-in-your-mouth good. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Thank you!.

Sinead

Cannot wait to try the recipe! Could I use a regular brownie pan if I don’t have a mini muffin tin? or put on a cookie sheet like cookies?

Kelly

These are HANDS DOWN the BEST brownies I have ever eaten. I have been gluten free for 10 years, dairy and refined sugar free since January. I like to have one treat at the end of the day and I’ve never bought anything as good as these. Healthy ingredients, great instructions. I didn’t make any substitutions. The only place I slipped up was I didn’t notice it makes 24…I just divided it up in my 12 hole mini muffin tin. Even my gluten and sugar eating peeps loved them. Thanks so very much ❤️

Sara

These look anazing!!! I’m always looking for the healthy option. I was wondering what I could use if I dint have flax. Can I use chia seeds or an egg?

Rachel

So dang yummy I almost didn’t cook them. I’m going to make just the batter tomorrow to dip strawberries into.

Fatima

Looks amazing! An egg-free brownie recipe yaaaay I’m so happy!

But since I’m allergic to all nuts, is it possible to use coconut butter?
Please say yes lol.

    Megan Gilmore

    Hmmm, I’ve never tried it with coconut butter so I couldn’t say for sure. Since the coconut has fiber and fat, I think it should work? Let me know if you try it!

Jenn L

These are seriously delicious! I may have overdone it on my “pinch” of salt so I made some date caramel sauce to go on top! OMG. And they are definitely kid approved! My 5 year olds love them! I used Dutch processed cocoa and peanut butter but will definitely try cashew butter next time.

Brooke

Great recipe.
DEFinitely would like more date-sweetened recipes!!

Fern

This the the BEST and healthiest recipe ever. There is no egg, no sugar, no oil, etc.
I couldn’t find any recipe that as good as this one. Neve ever! This is the REAL healthy and real yummy. It’s also easy to do and no need for fancy ingredient. I also love that the baker suggestS us other alternative considerately. Enjoy!

Annie Robison

Absolutely delicious!!! I made these for my daughter’s lunch and they are such a perfect size!

Elizabeth Santos

SO good!! I was able to get 18 mini brownies. Definitely will make them again.

Rehab

I tried it ,from the surface it is dry and from the center it look like as it doesn’t cooked
As I eat the dough before cooking
I cooked them more than 30 min

Sunnie

I am following the medical medium protocol and not eating eggs, dairy, gluten or sugar. This hit the spot. We subbed apple cider vinegar, freshly ground pb and brown flaxseeds. It is delicious. And 1 satisfied me rather than overindulging like I used to with regular sugar. Thank you for posting this recipe!

Gabbie

This is by far the best healthy brownie I have ever tried. I have probably tried close to thirty of them and only one come close to this one. This date brownie recipe is my favorite in terms of taste and heath. Great job!

Marcy d

I made these today. Super easy and really delicious. I used peanut butter because that was all I had.

Cheryl Mairs

I brought these for coffee time at church where several people need GF options and they were a big hit!!
I accidentally used 2Tbsp flax meal and balanced it with an extra tablespoon of water.

Debi

These are the best brownies. Thank you for the great recipe!

Summer

I’ve never left a review on any recipe before, though I have made many, many recipes I’ve found online. I just have to say that I am SO IMPRESSED by how these turned out. I didn’t have chia seeds or flax, so I used your 1 egg + 3T water substitute suggestion. The texture is light and fluffy and beautiful! I also live at high altitude, so I was afraid they would collapse, but they did no such thing! Planning on serving them with coconut cream whipped cream for my friend’s birthday tomorrow. Thank you so much, I’m so excited about these!

    Megan Gilmore

    Thanks so much for letting me know! I’m glad you enjoyed them. 🙂

ShaNel

Just made these and they’re delicious!

Michelle

Just made a half batch of this in the blender, and it was super good! I don’t have a mini muffin tin so I just baked it in a large ramekin for longer (20 min) and it turned out perfect, very fudgy and moist. I’ll definitely be making it again.

Dazzle59

I was craving chocolate today and only had cacao power in the house. I was excited to find this recipe! These adorable little brownie bites turned out great! I used sunflower butter and added chopped walnuts. My dough turned out stiff but not too sticky. I don’t have a mini ice cream scoop, so I rolled tablespoon-sized chunks of dough between my hands into balls, then popped them into the mini-muffin tin and flattened slightly. They baked up perfectly, with just the right chewy texture. My only quibble is they weren’t sweet enough! Personal preference. Next time I will add a tablespoon of liquid sweetener like agave or date syrup. Thanks, Detoxinista, for a excellent recipe!

Melissa

These are amazing and everything I hoped for! I made 6 in a regular muffin tin, cooked them for 12 minutes and they were perfect.

Amy

This brownie recipe is amazing! I just had one question though, how would I go about adjusting the sweetness? If I add less dates/water, which ingredients would I add more of?

Abby

AMAZING! So good. Used apple cider and just threw it all in the vitamix (After soaking cut dates in the water, warmed, for a bit). I also liked the flavor of tahini even better than cashew.

Grace Guerin

This sounds delicious and I can’t wait to make them. Can I use paper muffin liners, sized for the mini muffin tin? Or would they stick too much to the paper?

aoife

Has anyone tried hazelnut butter in this recipe?

Melanie

I have made these twice using tahini because that’s all I had and they are delicious!! I also don’t have a mini muffin tin and just used a normal sized one and baked as directed. I top each one with 4-5 mini chocolate chips. I love this recipe!

KrisTina

Amazing! So good, I’d make them over real brownies… if only they weren’t so hard to get out of the muffin tin 😳

    Megan Gilmore

    I guess mini muffin liners could be a possibility? I don’t know why I haven’t tried that yet! Glad you enjoyed the taste!

Carolina

Hi! What are your thoughts on cacao butter instead of a nut butter? Thanks! Can’t wait to try these

    Megan Gilmore

    I haven’t tried that yet, but I’d love to hear if you end up experimenting with it!

UJ

Looks amazing! I can’t wait to try. Can I make these in a 8*8 pan? Do I have to adjust the measurements?

Amy p

Just made these with unsweetened unsalted sunflower butter and they turned out great! Seem to taste very similar to the cashew butter ones I previously made. Although, full disclosure, I eat a lot of sunflower butter so maybe I don’t notice the taste difference as much as others would. In any case, thanks for another awesome recipe!

Kristi

I loved this recipe so much that I’m writing a review! This was my first time using dates as a sweetener, and they did not disappoint. My blender isn’t the greatest, so the dates were probably not as smoothly blended as they should have been. However, this didn’t bother me, and these still tasted like delicious brownies with a hint of peanut butter. (I’m eager to try this with other nuts, but my grocery store options were limited this time.) Even my husband loved these, and he is sometimes skeptical of my healthy versions of treats. This is a five-star recipe that I am definitely going to make over and over again!

NathaliE

These were amazing! So tasty and fudgy

Teresa Nieland

These are UNBELIEVABLE! I’m writing this after stuffing my face with 4 of them, completely guilt-free! My 3 year old granddaughter thinks I’ve lost my mind after I told her she can have another one. We really have to watch her sugar intake due to being highly sensitive, but she doesn’t react adversely to these in the least. I’m lucky to live in San Jose where fresh dates are endless so I will be making these regularly for sure. Thank you for this Megan!

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