You know what food trend I’ve never fully understood?
The one about the hidden vegetables.
The puree-something-your-kids-won’t-eat-and-bury-it-in desserts! Add spinach in chocolate cake! Sneak cauliflower in pasta!
Do whatever you can to trick them into eating nutrition!
I mean, I think I kind of understand it, or at least the premise of it: if you can add good-for-you foods to what someone normally eats without them noticing, then you get them to eat what they should while also eating what they want.
I was curious, I’ll admit it, to see what a pureed vegetable could add to one of my favorite desserts: rich, decadent brownies. I mean, I already knew how delicious sweet potato gnocchi are, after gobbling up a huge bowlful of them for dinner the other night.
So I made a batch of these sweet potato brownies.
(Plus, bonus reason! I had a lone sweet potato in the fridge, begging to be used!)
What did I discover? Something amazing.
Pureed sweet potatoes add a moist texture to the brownies that makes them super dense and fudgy – as a perfect brownie should be!
The sweet potato taste is sweet and subtle, practically nonexistent – all you taste is a deep chocolate flavor that is irresistible with each bite.
Sure, it’s not the healthiest treat (Flour! Butter! Sugar!), but this healthy-ish recipe is so rich and decadent.
The ultimate brownie.
And as it turns out, at least when it comes to these sultry squares of chocolaty delights, that hiding vegetables in dessert can be kind of clever.
So maybe being sneaky isn’t so bad after all…Print
How do you get super fudgy brownies? We add pureed sweet potatoes to the batter for a rich and dense texture.
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup sweet potato puree (from about 1 large sweet potato)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips, optional
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the top. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Remove pan from heat, and stir in the cocoa powder. Set aside and let cool slightly.
- Add the sweet potato, sugar, egg, and vanilla to the cocoa and butter mixture.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir gently, just until no traces of flour remain. Fold in the optional chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pan, evenly smoothing the top with a spoon.
- Place in the oven and bake until the surface looks dry and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 15-20 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Brownies
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Baked Goods
Keywords: brownie, dessert, chocolate, sweet potato, holiday baking
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Cook and Puree the Sweet Potato
Cook the sweet potato in boiling water until soft enough to be easily pierced with a fork, about 10-15 minutes.
You can do this step ahead of time, refrigerating the puree in an airtight container until ready to use.
Step 2 – Prep the Pan and Ingredients
Heat your oven to 350°F.
Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the top of the paper. Set aside.
Step 3 – Combine Butter and Cocoa Powder
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. No need to brown the butter! Just heat until the it is entirely melted. Immediately remove from the heat.
Stir in the cocoa powder with a metal whisk. The mixture will be thick. Set aside and let cool slightly.
Step 4 – Add the Sugar and Wet Ingredients
Step 5 – Whisk Together Dry Ingredients
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Step 6 – Combine Ingredients
Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir gently, just until no traces of flour remain. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.
Step 7 – Bake
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, evenly smoothing the top with a spoon. Sprinkle the top of the mixture with more chips for a pretty presentation.
Place in the oven and bake until the surface looks dry and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 15-20 minutes.
Step 8 – Cool and Serve
Remove from the oven, and let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes before cutting in squares and serving. Enjoy!
An Unexpected Secret Ingredient
To get the fudgiest, chewiest, thickest brownies, We’ve turned to the ingredient you’d least expect:
With nearly a cup of pureed sweet potatoes, our recipe is rich and indulgent. The thing you’d least expect creates the best texture you do expect from a brownie!
Ironic, isn’t it?
You’ll also be equally as happy with our recipe for sweet potato blondies, another decadent dessert with the same surprising ingredient!
How do you like to incorporate veggies in crazy ways in your favorite sweets? Reveal your secrets in the comment section below, and rate this recipe!
Looking for more brownie recipes? We’ll indulge you:
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
- Vegan Chocolate Brownies
- Brownie Bites
- Flourless, Gluten-Free Brownies
- Gluten-Free Cashew Brownies
- Raw Brownies with Chocolate Avocado Frosting
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on February 26, 2010. Last updated: October 23, 2020 at 19:25 pm. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.