Who wouldn't like an easy brownie recipe? These brownies are gooey, dense, rich, and super chocolaty. The fudgy interior along with the crispy crinkle top is a combination that sends these brownies over the top. They are vegan, grain-free, and refined sugar-free.
I haven't met a person who wouldn't love brownies. Classic chocolate, swirled with cream cheese, infused with mint, spiked with booze, topped with frosting ... there are so many flavor combinations and each one brings something unique to the table. Even more important than the flavor seems to be the texture - dense-fudgy, soft-chewy, or fluffy-cakey. One isn't necessarily better than the other, but it's important to know how to achieve the result you're after.
So, let's explore the three main types of brownies and what makes them different.
Fudgy brownies are for true chocoholics. They have an intensely rich chocolaty flavor and a gooey, super-moist texture. The fudgy texture comes from a high fat content, specifically from oil (as opposed to butter) and real chocolate (as opposed to just cocoa powder). Neither cooking oils or chocolate aid in aeration, so the brownies stay decadently fudgy and moist. To create the fudgiest brownies ever, chef's use a whisk to prevent air from getting into the batter, and transfer the brownies straight from the oven into the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Chewy brownies are likely the ones you know. They are moist but not quite as gooey as fudgy brownies. The chewiness comes mainly from protein (gluten) and unsaturated oils. To ensure chewy brownies don't fall too deeply into the fudgy category, they often rely on cocoa powder rather than real chocolate. Perhaps most importantly, chewy brownies should be slightly under-baked and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Cakey brownies have a fluffy, airy, light interior just like, well, a cake. The fat content is the lowest while the amount of carbohydrates (coming from low-protein cake flour) is the highest. The addition of both baking soda and baking powder lifts the brownies and form a more cake-like dessert. For extra cakey brownies, it's best to use an electric mixer to get as much air in as possible, and bake the brownies for a few extra minutes.
Note: the recipe included in this article is for fudgy, slightly chewy brownies.
Tips for Making Easy Brownies
As I mentioned above, fudgy brownies rely on a lot of fat, which reflects in the ingredients for this easy brownie recipe, specifically hazelnut flour, hazelnut butter, coconut oil, and chocolate. I used hazelnut flour and hazelnut butter just because I had a lot of hazelnuts on hand, but you can use almonds, cashews, pecans ... I think that sunflower seeds would also work if you need a nut-free version.
If you don't have any real chocolate, you can omit it (or use cacao nibs). I have made these brownies with just cocoa powder and they turned out perfectly fine. If you have the option, go with dutch process cocoa powder, which provides a deeper, smoother chocolate flavor than natural cocoa powder.
To sweeten the brownies, I recommend coconut sugar. Coconut sugar comes from coconut tree sap and has a lower glycemic index than most sweeteners. It has a distinctive flavor similar to brown sugar with a hint of caramel, which complements these brownies really well.
There's nothing complicated about these brownies (hence the "easy brownie recipe"). If you have all the ingredients ready, simply mix everything in a bowl until you get a thick batter. You'll get a sense of how dense these brownies are when you’re mixing up the batter. It’s so thick and so fudgy.
Baking the brownies can be tricky, so here’s how to determine when these brownies are done. Turn the timer to 30 minutes as soon as the brownies go into the oven. Once you begin to smell that captivating scent of chocolate permeate through the kitchen, check the brownies. Even if this is at the 25 minute mark. Use a toothpick, stick it into the center, and pull it out. The brownies need more time if there is wet batter on the toothpick. If there are a few moist crumbs on the toothpick, the brownies are done. Brownies "carry-over bake" quite a bit (meaning that they’ll continue to cook after you take them out of the oven).
Let the brownies cool completely before slicing, especially if you used real chocolate that will set up as the brownies cool.
More Easy Brownie Recipes
Brownies are one of my favorite dessert. I have been experiment with different brownie recipes, and keep coming back to the three listed below.
The first recipe is, of course, for these baked brownies - moist, dense, rich, and so chocolaty. They are the fudgiest (somewhere between a rich truffle torte and a piece of fudge) and the least sweet out of all of them. I love the intense chocolate flavor these brownies pack, which is why they are probably my favorite.
The second recipe is for raw brownies with a chocolate topping. The ingredients are very similar to those for baked brownies, but instead of chocolate chunks in the batter, there is chocolate on top. These brownies are not quite as gooey (they are more on the chewy side) and probably the sweetest out of the three. The textural difference of the melty chocolate and chewy brownies is what makes these brownies my husband's favorite.
The third recipe is for raw brownies with dates and chocolate ganache. The dates provide a fruity sweetness and very chewy texture. You will be totally surprised at how incredibly rich and satisfying these are. I probably make this brownie recipe the most because it's my kids' favorite.
Tools You'll Need
1. Knife Set (6 Pieces, Utopia, Stainless Steel) | 2. Cutting Board (24″x 18″, Michigan Maple Block, Maple) | 3. Mixing Bowls (Set of 3, Pyrex, Glass) | 4. Baking Dish (3 Quart & 2 Quart, Pyrex, Glass) | 5. Measuring Cup (1 Cup, Anchor Hocking) | 6. Measuring Cups (Set of 6, Bellemain, Stainless Steel) | 7. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1Easylife, Stainless Steel)
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- ½ cup hazelnut flour *
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup hazelnut butter , smooth
- ¼ cup coconut oil , melted
- 2 flax eggs **
- ½ cup dark chocolate , shaved
- pinch sea salt
- Mix the dry ingredients. Add the hazelnut flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, and salt into a large bowl, and mix to combine.
- Prepare the batter. Add the maple syrup, hazelnut butter, coconut oil, and flax eggs into the dry ingredients, and mix to combine. The batter will be very thick and fudgy. Add the shaved chocolate and gently fold it in.
- Bake the brownies. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C. Transfer the batter into an 8 x 8 in/20 x 20 cm parchment paper-lined square pan, smooth out the top, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing. The brownies will continue firming up as they cool.
- Store. Leftover brownies keep well in an airtight container on the counter for 7-10 days. For firmer brownies, store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. For longer term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
*To make 2 flax eggs, add 2 Tbsp./14 g flaxseed meal and 5 Tbsp./75 ml water into a small mixing bowl, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
*I used golden flaxseed meal because golden flax seeds have a more subtle flavor than brown flax seeds.
I know it defeats the whole purpose of it being keto, but could I use a different flour instead of the hazelnut flour? Like maybe oat flour? This looks delicious but unfortunately I don’t have nut flour on hand and it is quite expensive.
Hi Alex - I totally understand. I am sure it would work with oat flour, but the amount will most likely be different (because oat flour is more absorbent than almond flour - think porridge and how much oats absorb liquid). So, if you do use oat flour, you will probably have to experiment a little to get the desired result.
Hi. Your brownies are absolutely amazing. May I know if I can replace hazelnut butter with normal unsalted butter? Is super hard to buy any nut butter especially hazelnut butter in Malaysia.
Thank you so much, Annie! Unfortunately, you do need to use nut butter (rather than regular butter). Do you happen to have a high-speed blender or a food processor? Making nut butter at home is really easy (as long as you have either of the appliances). If you can't make nut butter at home, I would recommend purchasing any nut butter you can find.
I am considering to purchase one soon! Thank you for your speedy reply ❤️
Can you get tahini in Malaysia? I would imagine that would work too
Bonjour est il possible de remplacer la farine de noisette par de la farine de noix ?
Yes! You can use any nut flour you like (almond flour works great, for instance). Just make sure you're not using coconut flour (which is technically not nut flour, but I am mentioning it just in case).
Can i use coconut or almond flour instead of hazlenut flour?
Sorry just realised you have aleady mentioned this within the recipe notes. please delete my comments! Thanks
I‘ve made these many times now and they are very delicious! Thank you ^_^
That makes me so happy, Henrike! Thank you so much for the feedback and rating!❤️
What would you recommend to replace the coconut oil with?
Hmm, I haven't tried substituting the oil in this recipe, so I am not sure. Sorry!
Is there any recommend substitution for coconut sugar? Is it possible to add more maple syrup to replace?
Hi Cheah - I don't recommend substituting the coconut sugar with a liquid sweetener (because it would change the texture of the brownies), but you can use any other granulated or powdered sweetener.
I just had to write to get you know how much I enjoy watching your videos and trying out your delicious recipes. In the past week I have made your apple pie lara bars, almond coconut granola bars, raw brownies and your raw carrot cake. All have turned out better than I expected-so delicious! Since I am a woman living on my own I havled the raw brownie recipe and packed them into a parchment lined loaf pan. I cut the brownies into 8 good size squares-tasted just like baked brownies.
I halved the recipe for your raw carrot cake and divided the batter between 6 paper lined muffin cups.Then I spooned the cashew frosting over top. Was incredible how it tasted like a real cream cheese frosting. Thanks for sharing your delicious healthy recipes. Off to the store to buy more dates!!!
Aw, that makes me so happy, Catherine! I really appreciate your wonderful feedback. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your comment!❤️
This turned out to be so delicious! Thank you soso much for the recipe!
Thank you so much for the feedback, Fanni! So happy you enjoyed the brownies 🙂
Hey dear Petra,
Here I am for the Easy Baked Brownies!
I answer to you on Raw Dates Brownies page
I need your help for baking correctly Brownies and not burning them
My oven is recent and I have many programs (modes)
I have both fan and conventional..and I see fan oven (with the blower) bake quickly than conventional which is less "agressive" on crust or on top of the cake..
Fan oven make "golden brown" quickly and crust is well "crunchy" with this function (almost if we put cake just under mid range..)
I heard sometimes there were 20° difference between the 2 oven modes..
So for baked Cheesecakes, Crusts, baked Brownies..you always put "fan oven" or "Conventionnal" ?
And mid range in the oven in any situation?
Because Brownies are better when soft my daughter prefer not too cooked..maybe you too?
Many thanks in advance for your nice help!
Hi Henri - that is correct. When using ovens with both fan-forced and conventional settings, it's best to use conventional when baking long and slow (e.g., for brownies) and fan-forced for fast cooking at high temperatures, especially when you want the surface to brown (e.g., for roasted vegetables).
Ovens vary, but the general rule for using the fan is to set the oven temperature ~ 25°F/15°C lower than what the recipe calls for using in a regular oven. Even then, don't go strictly by cooking time, as ovens vary; rather, check on your food regularly to see how fast it is cooking.
It's also generally best to bake on the middle shelf of the oven to ensure even heat distribution.
Hey dear Petra!
I like the simple way you explain things to me everything become clear!
Do you mean Cclassic oven best for Brownies but for Crusts Pie or Baked Cheesecake in general?
And Fab Oven for All Flour base Cake?
Ok so always Mid Range even for Pre Baked Crust or Whole Pie like Pecan?
It is like Hazelnuts grounded but more finely?
Can I substitute with Hazelnuts mixed in Food processor?
Almond flour is Blanched Almonds grounded finely too?
Which difference with Almond "Meal"?
Maby thanks again dear Petra!
If you could send me a list of your tools, favorites basic products, internet stores to order....(iHerb..etc)..
1. The type of oven setting you use depends on the recipe. Typically, all cakes are best baked in a conventional oven. Cakes can brown too quickly and dry out around the top edges in a fan-forced oven. However, if a recipe instructs you to use a fan-forced setting, by all means, follow the recipe.
2. Yes, hazelnut flour is finely ground hazelnuts. Grinding the hazelnuts in a food processor is just fine.
3. You can read about almond meal vs. almond flour here. I have an entire blog post about it 😉
Hey dear Petra,
Today I tried to make your Easy Brownies, but I had some troubles with 2 things
I follow your recipe exactly but the flax eggs was too watery and didnt thicken even after let sit..
Chia seeds worked so is it possible for next time?
I dont like oil much but here I had some issue when adding to the batter melted,..
The Whole batter became very oily and in the oven it was very wet with bubble everywhere and Brownie had difficulties to bake after 30min still no good..
But when it cold on the counter, it became very hard almost the top!
Do you have tips to fix that?
Substitute Oil with more Nut butter?
You store in fridge or at room temperature?
If Fridge, you leave thrm out a moment before eating to let them soften?
You said 20x20 square pan in the recipe but on pictures it seems rectangular form so maybe you use another pan?
Please let me know
Hi Henri, I am sorry you had trouble with the recipe!
1. That's so odd that the flax egg wouldn't thicken. Did you use ground flax seeds (aka flaxseed meal)? Sure, you can use chia seeds if you'd like. However, I would probably grind the chia seeds first so you don't notice their texture in the brownies.
2. Can you share the brand of coconut oil you used? I have made these brownies so many times and never had the batter bubble in the oven. Have you watched the brownie video? If so, was your batter the same consistency as mine - thick and fudgy?
3. You can do either (see step 4 in the recipe box).
4. I use a rectangular pan sometimes, but the baking area of the rectangular and square pan is the same, so that shouldn't be an issue.
Hey dear Petra,
Happy to read you and I really hope you can help me with this oil issue?
I use it many times the brand "bioplanete" and it is high quality in France so I dont understand?
You use melted oil in double boil method then add to the batter?
It is like if Oil separate of the rest and stay liquid even mixed or in the oven..and Brownie is very oily..
I have both flax meal and chia seeds meal..the 2nd works best and is more compact...done in a few minutes..
I tried both and results the same...
Very liquid batter as soon as I add oil..
Can I use Nut butter instead of Coconut oil in same quantity?
Im sure I wont have the same issue with this option..and way less pure fat..so could be a win win..
I hope you can find a way for me because I already done your RAW BROWNIES and wanted to compare the 3 recipes like you did in your video with the Taste test!
I also made your Coconut Fudge and store in the freezer waiting for my daughter..is there something to do when defrost?
Hi Henri - I have never tried these brownies without coconut oil, but you could certainly try using just nut butter. I just don't know how the brownies will turn out. You can typically experiment quite a bit with raw desserts, but baked desserts are more finicky. I am curious - when you were making the brownie batter, did you mix the wet ingredients (nut butter, maple syrup, flax egg) separately first? Were all those ingredients at room temperature? Were they well-combined? If so, when did the oil "separate"? When you mixed the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients?
Regarding the fudge, you can leave it at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.
Please sorry for my delayed answer, I was with my daughter for holidays!
We really enjoyed your Strawberry Cheesecake! The Macadamia texture and taste is awesome with Strawberries!
I plan to make it again but is it possible to remove Coconut oil?
I can use Coconut Milk thick part instead in same quantities?
We also really like the Coconut Fudge! I use the defrost function in microwave and they turn soft it was awesome in mouth!
I just don't know how the brownies will turn out. You can typically experiment quite a bit with raw desserts, but baked desserts are more finicky.
In video you said you used more Hazelnut Butter because you didint have enough Coconut oil..so it gave me the idea to totally remove oil and substitute with more Hazelnut butter maybe?
But I exactly follow your instructions and the recipe on video...
I melted Coconut oil on double boil method while I prepared dry ingredients first...
Then I added wet ingredients and Coconut oil last...and when I added Coconut oil it became very oily but just like you in the video...
Everything was at room temperature except the Coconut oil maybe warmer because I melted it..but let cool down a bit...
When I put in the glass dish, the oil was everywhere on the sides, on the top, like if it was watery...
Then it was strange in the oven like there was a oul layer on top which didnt cook well...
But when 30min time came, I removed from the oven and still oil everywhere but when the brownie cooled, the oil was like inside the brownie but it was very oily...is it normal?
I really want to success in this recipe so please can you help me?
Hi Henri - so happy you and your daughter enjoyed the cheesecake and the fudge!
What you're describing with the brownies seems like the batter separated. Brownie batter is an emulsion of fat and liquid. The fat is the coconut oil and hazelnut butter; the liquid comes from the water (in the flax eggs) and maple syrup. But think about what happens if you mix oil and water — they stay separate because they don’t want to mix. This is basically the whole point of emulsions: taking these two incompatible substances and making them come together. The emulsion breaks when the fat can no longer hold the water. This can happen for several reasons:
1. Some of the ingredients are colder than the rest. As long as your ingredients are at the same temperature, they should be able to emulsify together.
2. Too much water and not enough fat to 'hold' the water. If you make the brownies next time, mix the dry ingredients with the coconut oil and hazelnut butter first. Then add only the flax eggs. Mix. Then add the maple syrup. Mix.
Please, let me know how it goes if you make the brownies again. The brownies should definitely not be oily.
So happy to read you!
Thanks so much for the added informations step by step for the Easy Brownies!
But do you think it is possible to use Coconut Butter instead of Coconut oil?
Or Coconut Oil in solid form then mix well with the batter instead of melted which is my issue when I add it?
Or more Hazelnut Butter to substitute Coconut oil?
It would be great!
Please let me know
Hi Henri - you could try increasing the amount of hazelnut butter a tad bit, but I wouldn't completely substitute the coconut oil. Coconut oil in a solid form is not a good idea either because it won't mix well with the rest of the ingredients. I would try the coconut oil version once more but really make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature. Also, if you experience any issues, please, take photos and email them to me so I can see what exactly is happening.