raw browniesIt doesn’t matter how many times I’ve made these raw brownies; I’m always amazed at how wonderful they are. I’m not exaggerating when I say these raw vegan brownies will seriously change your life. You’ll never even think about baking brownies again after making this rich, chewy, fudgy chocolate goodness topped with a thick chocolate layer. Why would you?

I must admit that making vegan, gluten-free desserts (without using any pre-made gluten-free flour mixes loaded with starch and gums) hasn’t been that successful for me. No structure from eggs and no structure from gluten is a challenge. But raw desserts are a completely different story. They’re easy to whip up with just a few ingredients and taste amazing.

These raw brownies have been a hit with everyone I have ever made them for. They’re rich, dense, and so unbelievably delicious! But it’s not just the taste that sets these raw brownies apart; this recipe is also unique in the textural contrast. Compared to soft chocolate ganache (a typical topping for brownies), these brownies are topped with chocolate. As you bite through the thick layer of hard chocolate, you experience the soft, fudgy brownie base.

raw brownies recipe

Tips for Making Raw Brownies

Ingredients

Brownies

  • Walnuts: chocolate and nuts are the perfect pair. I use walnuts to get the buttery taste and flaky texture brownies are famous for. They truly work best, but almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts are all great alternatives.
  • Medjool dates: many varieties of dates are harvested worldwide, but Medjool dates are one of the two most commercially produced varieties in North America. The other most commonly produced type of date is Deglet Nour. Medjool dates and Deglet Nour dates work in this recipe, but Medjool dates are far superior. They are sweeter, more tender, have a deeper caramel-like flavor, and melt in your mouth. They actually taste like candy but in an unprocessed sort of way.
  • Cocoa powder: the straightest path to intense chocolate flavor is cocoa powder. While you’ll want to use cacao powder for truly raw brownies, I prefer Dutch-processed cocoa powder. Cacao beans are acidic, with a pH level between 5 and 6, and so is raw cacao powder, which is light brown with an almost reddish tint. In its raw state, cacao powder tastes sharp, fruity, and bright. In Dutch-processed cocoa powder, the cacao beans are soaked in an alkali solution that neutralizes the acidity and renders a smoother, earthier taste and rich flavor. 
  • Hemp hearts: while hemp hearts are optional, they add protein to the brownies. 
  • Salt: salt is a flavor enhancer, so it doesn’t necessarily make the brownies saltier. Instead, it enhances the sweetness of the chocolate.

ingredients for raw brownies

Chocolate

  • Coconut oil: the primary fat in all tempered chocolate is cacao butter. Since the chocolate on top of the no-bake brownies is not tempered, there’s no need to use cacao butter as the primary fat. The untempered chocolate, which melts at room temperature, is also the main reason you need to store the brownies in the refrigerator or the freezer.
  • Cocoa powder: whether you use cacao powder or cocoa powder is up to you. I use the latter.
  • Maple syrup: I don’t typically advise using a liquid sweetener when making chocolate because the liquid can cause the coconut oil to seize. In this case, it happens as well. If you combine the coconut oil and cacao powder first, you’ll notice the mixture is very thin. When you add in the maple syrup, it begins to thicken. If you add more maple syrup than the recipe calls for, the mixture will become unstable and completely seized. So, ensure you follow the exact ratio of ingredients for this recipe to work.
  • Coconut cream: some chocolates contain milk powder to make them creamier. Coconut cream acts similarly. However, unlike milk powder, coconut cream is a liquid ingredient, and adding too much coconut cream can, yet again, make the chocolate completely seize. You can use canned coconut cream, but for truly raw chocolate ganache, use raw coconut cream from fresh coconuts.

ingredients for raw chocolate

How to Make Raw Brownies

As with many of my raw food desserts, you’ll need a powerful food processor to make this recipe. 

  1. Process the brownie ingredients. Add the walnuts to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until the nuts are coarsely ground. Be careful not to over-process the nuts; they should retain some texture. Add the dates, cocoa powder, hemp hearts, and salt to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. You might be tempted to add more dates because the brownie mixture will be tender and slightly crumbly at first, but “crumbly is exactly what you want as long as the mixture sticks together when you press it between your fingers. If the mixture is too dry, pulse it a little bit more. Finally, pulse in the chopped walnuts.
  2. Press the mixture into a pan. Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper-lined baking dish (I used a 6.5″ x 6.5″/16.5 cm x 16.5 cm glass container) and press it into a smooth, even layer. 
  3. Mix the chocolate ganache ingredients. Add the coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and coconut cream to a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
  4. Assemble the brownies. Pour the chocolate ganache on top of the brownies and spread it evenly. Tap out any air bubbles.
  5. Chill. Transfer the brownies to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 1 hour. Once firm to the touch, remove the brownies from the baking dish (by lifting the parchment paper) and cut them into squares. To cut the brownies cleanly, run a sharp knife under hot water for about 20 seconds, wipe off excess water, and press the knife down slowly, making the first cut. Run the knife under hot water again to reheat it. Wipe the blade clean, then make the second cut. Repeat until all the brownies are cut.

raw brownies in a Vitamix food processor

how to make raw brownies

How to Store Raw Brownies

  • Refrigerating: transfer the raw brownies to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freezing: transfer the raw brownies to an airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. The freezer will produce condensation on the chocolate if the brownies are brought to room temperature straight from the freezer. So, for best results, transfer the frozen brownies to the refrigerator 24 hours before serving. 

raw vegan brownies

More Raw Brownies Recipes

  • Raw brownies: chewy, gooey, chocolaty, no-bake brownies without dates – just reading this line makes me want to bite into one! These no-bake brownies are rich and delicious and will satisfy your chocolate cravings.

If you try any of these recipes, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

raw brownies
5 from 12 votes

Raw Brownies

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Chill time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yield: 16 squares
It doesn't matter how many times I've made these raw brownies; I'm always amazed at how wonderful they are. I'm not exaggerating when I say these raw vegan brownies will seriously change your life. You'll never even think about baking brownies again after making this rich, chewy, fudgy chocolate goodness topped with a thick chocolate layer. Why would you?

Ingredients
 

Brownies

  • 2 cups (200 g) walnuts
  • 2 1/2 cups (425 g) Medjool dates, , pitted
  • 3/4 cup (81 g) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) walnuts, , chopped (optional)
  • pinch (1.5 g) sea salt

Chocolate Ganache

Instructions
 

  • Process the brownie ingredients. Add the walnuts to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until the nuts are coarsely ground. Be careful not to over-process the nuts; they should retain some texture. Add the dates, cocoa powder, hemp hearts, and salt to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. You might be tempted to add more dates because the brownie mixture will be tender and slightly crumbly at first, but "crumbly is exactly what you want as long as the mixture sticks together when you press it between your fingers. If the mixture is too dry, pulse it a little bit more. Finally, add the chopped walnuts to the food processor and pulse until just combined
  • Press the mixture into a pan. Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper-lined baking dish (I used a 6.5" x 6.5"/16.5 cm x 16.5 cm glass container) and press it into a smooth, even layer. 
  • Mix the chocolate ganache ingredients. Add the coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and coconut cream to a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Assemble the brownies. Pour the chocolate ganache on top of the brownies and spread it evenly. Tap out any air bubbles.
  • Chill. Transfer the brownies to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 1 hour. Once firm to the touch, remove the brownies from the baking dish (by lifting the parchment paper) and cut them into squares. To cut the brownies cleanly, run a sharp knife under hot water for about 20 seconds, wipe off excess water, and press the knife down slowly, making the first cut. Run the knife under hot water again to reheat it. Wipe the blade clean, then make the second cut. Repeat until all the brownies are cut.
  • Store. Leftover brownies keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. The freezer will produce condensation on the chocolate if the brownies are brought to room temperature straight from the freezer. So, for best results, transfer the frozen brownies to the refrigerator 24 hours before serving. 

Notes

*You can use canned coconut cream, but for truly raw brownies, use raw coconut cream made from fresh coconuts.
**Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please feel free to make your own calculations. Nutrition information is calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 16, Calories: 267kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 18g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 16g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: brownies, raw brownies, raw brownies recipe