Get all the satisfaction of ooey, gooey delicious brownies without the added oil with these vegan avocado brownies.
By replacing refined oil with healthy, whole-food mashed avocado, you get the same creamy, decadent texture. What you don’t get are the empty calories. Avocado is loaded with healthy, energizing monounsaturated fats, which means you can feel a little better about digging into these delicious treats.
Ready in less than 25 minutes and made with simple vegan ingredients, these brownies will have you ditching that traditional, oil-heavy brownie recipe for good. Serve them with homemade vegan ice cream for an extra decadent treat or enjoy them all on their own.
- Avocados. A bright green, perfectly ripe avocado makes for wonderful recipe pics, but don’t be afraid to use your brown, bruised, or oxidized avos for this recipe either. The texture will still work well and any avocado flavor will be covered up by rich chocolatey sweetness. Just avoid stringy and under-ripe avocados since those will change the texture of the batter.
- Maple Syrup. This is another unrefined ingredient that adds to the decadent complexity of these vegan brownies. Choose dark maple syrup if you want a rich, deep sweetness, or light if you’re after less maple, more chocolate.
- Cocoa Powder. Use only 100% natural, unsweetened cocoa powder (or low-heat processed cacao powder for a richer, more complex flavor). For karmically pure brownies, choose an organic and fair trade product, like Volupta Cocoa Powder.
- Coarse Salt. We are all about that beautiful dichotomy between salty and sweet. Using coarse or flaky salt creates tiny pockets of salty goodness in the deliciously sweet final product.
- Vegan Chocolate Chips. Of course, pockets of hot, melty chocolate are equally as important to the brownie eating experience. Choose semi-sweet or bittersweet baking chips depending on your preferred chocolate variety, or go with stevia-sweetened for less added sugar.
How to Make Avocado Brownies
These amazing treats come together in just ten minutes, so there’s no need to rush the mixing process. Smooth avocado and well-mixed batter are key to achieving that perfect cake-like texture.
1. Scoop your avocado flesh into a large mixing bowl and mash until you’ve achieved a smooth, consistent texture.
2. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract to the avocado and mix well.
3. In a separate mixing bowl add all of your dry ingredients—flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. If using chocolate chips, add these to the dry ingredients as well. Mix well with a whisk.
4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing with a spoon as you go. The batter will become quite thick once all ingredients have been added; if needed, use your hands to knead the batter to assure all ingredients are well mixed.
5. Lightly oil an 8-inch by 8-inch baking pan or baking dish (or 9-inch by 9-inch for thinner, crispier brownies) with olive oil or vegan butter. Alternatively, you can cover the dish with parchment paper for a fully oil-free dish. Add the batter and spread evenly using a rubber spatula.
6. Press vegan chocolate chips or vegan dark chocolate chips onto the top, if desired.
7. Place the pan in a preheated 350-degree oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. You’ll know when the brownies are done because the edges will begin to dry and pull away from the pan.
8. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow the brownies to cool. Cut into your desired serving size and enjoy!
Recipe Tips & Variations
Get the texture right from step one. The key to capturing that smooth, cake-batter-like texture is to get the avocado perfectly smooth in the beginning. If you’re having trouble mashing and mixing to smooth perfection, don’t be afraid to get out the food processor.
Make it gluten-free. This recipe can be made gluten-free by swapping the all-purpose wheat flour with gluten-free all-purpose flour at a one-to-one ratio.
Skip the refined sugar. To avoid refined sugar completely, opt for brown coconut sugar or raw, unrefined brown sugar in place of traditional brown sugar. Raw sugar is completely vegan, unlike refined sugar which is often filtered using bone char.
Mix it up and make them yours! These brownies are just as good with added walnuts, caramel chips, white chocolate chips, or topped with coconut flakes.
How to Store Them
Allow your brownies to cool completely in the open air before storing them. This will assure any extra moisture dissipates and help prevent molding.
Once they are completely cooled, use plastic wrap to cover the pan and store it on your counter. Alternatively, you could pop the brownies out of the pan and place them in an airtight container.
Brownies taste best when stored at room temperature, but they will only stay good for about 3 to 4 days. Alternatively, you can store them in the fridge for up to a week. To store them longer, wrap them in plastic wrap, place them in an airtight container and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Vegan Avocado Brownies
- 2-3 avocados 2 medium/large or 3 small
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour or equal amount of gluten free flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp flaky/course salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips placed either in the brownie batter or on top or both!
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl add the wet ingredients (avocado, maple syrup, vanilla extract) and mix well using an electric hand mixer or hand mixer. Mix until smooth and fully mixed.
- In a separate mixing bowl add all of the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, optional chocolate chips) and mix thoroughly with a whisk.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix in completely using a spoon. You can finish this with your hands, if need be, as the batter becomes quite thick.
- Lightly oil and place batter in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish. Spread the batter evenly throughout, and place optional chocolate chips on top.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes until the edges become dry and pull away from the sides. Let cool, cut, and place on a wire rack. Serve and enjoy!
- Chocolate chips go very well with this and can be used in a variety of ways. They can be added to the batter itself, on top of the finished batter, or both. Another option is after melting them on top to spread them out to form a chocolate frosting layer on top.
- You can also sprinkle with light cocoa powder or cocoa nibs.
- If the batter is too thick simply add your choice of milk (a tablespoon at a time) until reached your desired consistency.
About the Author
Sara Seitz is a freelance writer living with type 1 diabetes. Her search for better health and better control of her blood sugars led her to a plant-based diet. When she isn’t experimenting with new vegan recipes, she’s helping spread the word about how plant-based is better for people and the planet. More articles by Sara.