Yes, you can make irresistible, moist, and fudgy brownies that are also gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free.
With just 7 ingredients, this chocolatey treat will satisfy your sweet cravings, AND it's super easy to make (Paleo and whole30 approved)
I'm a bit obsessed with this rich brownie recipe because this healthy baked good pairs so well with a hot cup of tea, a coffee drink, or a healthy iced latte.
If you are a serious dark chocolate lover, this gluten-free brownie recipe is for you. They're one of my favorite desserts.
Why you'll love these healthy fudge brownies
- It's a no-fuss brownie batter, ready and baked in less than 25-30 minutes with only seven ingredients.
- Each bite will give you an intense chocolatey flavor reminiscent of chocolate truffles with a dense, fudgy texture and deliciously moist crumbs.
- They're sweetened with dried fruits only and baked with cacao or natural cocoa powder instead of flour, thus gluten-free.
- And it contains healthy fats and no nuts—an excellent school treat or to bring to potlucks.
Ingredients and substitutions
You only need to gather a few simple ingredients to make a sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free flour blend for healthy brownies.
Soft dates & apricots: there is no need for white or brown sugar. Instead, dried fruits like soft dates and apricots add sweetness and extra fiber. They also help with making these dairy-free brownies deliciously moist.
Note: Trader's Joe sells small bags of organic Turkish dried apricots without added sugars at an excellent price—in case you are wondering where to get them.
Cacao or cocoa powder: These delicious brownies are flourless and contain no chocolate or chocolate chips.
Instead, the recipe only calls for natural cacao powder to give them that intense pure chocolate taste and act as the flour in this recipe.
Note: I have used cocoa or cacao powder interchangeably—read about the difference between the two. If you opt for cocoa, choose a full-flavored one with deep chocolate flavors perfect for baking. The non-alkalized cocoa powder from Shiloh Farms tastes divine in this recipe.
Plant milk: I often use pea milk (a nut-free option) to add extra protein, but you can also use hazelnut, cashew, or almond milk to make these brownies dairy-free.
Note: If you are not sensitive to dairy, you can substitute it with regular milk. Although I think regular milk makes these brownies a bit too heavy.
Room temperature eggs: They give these fudgy gluten-free brownies structure, bind everything together, and help lift the batter during baking.
A tad of salt: Although optional, a small amount reduces any bitter flavors and nicely balances the sweet chocolate taste.
Melted coconut oil: I prefer coconut over olive oil or avocado oil. It adds a sweet richness and delicious tenderness.
Step-by-step instructions with pics
(Full instructions with measurements in the recipe card).
STEP 1: Place the dried fruits together with the wet ingredients like coconut oil, milk, and eggs in a blender (you can also use a food processor).
Blend into a paste and transfer to a large bowl.
STEP 2: add the dry ingredients like cocoa or cacao powder and sea salt to the large mixing bowl with the dried fruit paste.
Stir until all lumps have disappeared and you have a dark brown batter.
Note: It's essential to add and mix the cacao powder in small batches.
STEP 3: Transfer the brownie batter to a prepared pan and bake.
How to make these brownies with a shiny crust?
Instead of manually stirring in the dry ingredients, add them to the blender or food processor together with the date paste and blend or mix for a few seconds until you have a beautiful shiny, and chocolatey paste.
To get the best chocolate brownies, allow them to cool sufficiently for at least 10 minutes. They will become more solid as they cool, and the sweet, rich chocolatey flavor will settle in.
How to remove the brownie cake from a greased and cacao-floured baking pan: use a pairing knife and trace it around the edges to ensure the cake is no longer attached to the sides of the pan.
Then flip it over in one swooping motion with a large enough plate on top of the pan to catch the brownie cake—you can always use parchment paper as well.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy them for up to five days.
Or freeze leftovers wrapped in baking parchment paper or plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container for at least a month.
They defrost in a couple of minutes, but they taste even better when frozen, in my opinion.
More healthy recommended desserts
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Gluten and dairy-free browniesMariska Ramondino
- 8-inch square baking pan
- 15 to 20 Medjool dates pitted (350 grams)
- 15 dried Turkish Apricots 110 grams
- ½ cup coconut oil 80 grams, plus some more to grease the baking pan
- 1 cup pea milk or any other unsweetened plant milk 225 ml
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups cacao or cocoa powder 140 grams, plus some more to cover the baking pan
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the dried fruits, coconut oil, milk, and eggs in a (high-speed) blender or food processor. Blend into a paste.
- Transfer the paste to large a bowl.
- In batches, stir in the cacao or cocoa powder and sea salt until no powdery lumps remain and you have a dark brown paste.
- Grease the baking pan with some coconut oil. Shake in a little cocoa or cacao powder and tap out the excess.
- With a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let it cool for about 10 minutes before cutting it into squares.
- They will become more solid once cooled.
- Storing tips: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for longer. No need to defrost. You can enjoy them immediately out of the freezer or let them sit at room temperature for a bit.
- Cut into 9 large pieces or 18 mini brownies.
- How to make these healthy brownies with a shiny crust? Instead of manually stirring in the dry ingredients, add them to the blender or food processor together with the date paste and blend or mix for a few seconds until you have a beautiful shiny, and chocolatey paste.
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Nutrition (% Daily value)
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.
Becky Ginther says
Ooh these sound good! I've come across a lot more recipes lately using dates, which makes sense since they are naturally so sweet.
Patricia - Grab a Plate says
These look and sound amazing! I can't wait to try them, and I love the added dried apricots - that's interesting!
Thank you, Patricia! I definitely recommend adding the apricots;)
Kelsey Harmony says
I'm gluten-free and I love dates so this would be a perfect recipe for me! Thanks for sharing (:
Thank you, Kelsey! I hope you will enjoy them!