Fudgy brownies with chocolate chips and chunks of walnut. These brownies are vegan and can be made without refined sugar. The texture of these brownies are cakey but when you take a bite the brownie will stick like glue to your teeth. Yum. Perfect score on the fudge-o-meter!
Life is crazy at the moment. Trying to balance work and personal, but it’s a bit difficult when each day has only 24 hours. In addition, I want to spend time on treating myself to homemade, healthy food. As I was craving brownies, I decided to test some vegan FUDGY brownies. Now, I’ve shared a recipe for vegan brownies with you guys before. However, that recipe uses tofu. I still believe those are the best vegan brownies ever (soft and fudgy) but as there’s some controversy around soy in your diet, I wanted to experiment on a soy-free, vegan brownie recipe. And this is the version I fell in love with. This recipe makes super fudgy brownies and uses plant based ingredients only. You really have to try these. Really.
Fudgy brownies? Let’s talk ingredients
For these fudgy brownies you’ll need flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, salt, sugar, milk, oil, chocolate and nuts. I used Dutch processed cocoa powder because that’s most common type of cocoa powder in The Netherlands. I don’t recommend to substitute Dutch processed with unsweetened cocoa powder, because you’ll need to adjust ingredients if you sub it.
As for the espresso powder: it’s optional. Espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor, which makes these brownies extra chocolate-y. If you don’t want to use it, you can substitute it with 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon powder or omit it completely. The brownies will still be good, but the chocolate flavor will be a bit weaker.
Plant based milk
Almond milk is my favorite plant based milk to use in vegan baking. It doesn’t have an overpowering flavor and isn’t naturally sweet. Other options are: cashew milk, oat milk and soy milk (if you don’t mind soy in your diet). Keep in mind rice milk and coconut milk (the drink type) are both naturally sweet and have a unique flavor. It won’t destroy the brownies but the flavor might be a bit different. Whichever milk you choose, these fudgy brownies will still taste amazing.
Refined sugar substitutes?
Finally, sugar substitutes. I used caster sugar because that’s what I had on hand. However, some vegans don’t eat refined sugar. So here are two vegan substitute options:
1. Maple syrup
Initionally, I used leftover maple syrup for this brownie recipe. With maple syrup these brownies turn extra soft and taste less sweet. As maple syrup is liquid, you’ll have to change the ingredients if you want to use it instead of sugar: add 220mL maple syrup and lower the milk to 150mL. My final recipe doesn’t have maple syrup because it’s very expensive in the Netherlands (€5 for 250g!), but feel free to use it.
2. Coconut sugar
This is the easiest substitute. You can subsitute it 1:1. As coconut sugar is also very expensive in The Netherlands (€4 for 200g!), I stuck to refined caster sugar.
- 200 g all-purpose flour (or unbleached flour)
- 60 g Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 190 g caster sugar*
- 180 mL unsweetened plant based milk
- 50 mL vegetable oil**
- 200 g dairyfree 70% dark chocolate (+extra for decorating) , chopped
- 80 g walnuts (+extra for decorating), chopped
- Preheat the oven to 160C and line a square baking tray (25x25cm***) with baking paper. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, milk and oil until evenly mixed.
- Add the flour mixture and whisk until you have a few patches of flour left.
- Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and use a spatula to fold until mixed evenly.
- Pour the batter in the baking pan and spread out evenly.
- Scatter some more chocolate chips and walnuts on top.
- Bake the brownies 22-24 minutes at 160C or until a cake tester comes out nearly clean. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into squares.
- *See notes in blog for refined sugar substitutions
- **Any flavorless vegetable oil will do. Olive oil will affect taste.
- ***If you want to use a smaller pan, baking time will increase.