Raw Egg-Free Brownies with Chocolate Avocado Frosting

This past week, Tim and I did sort of a cleanse, wherein we ate a mostly raw diet: fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, raw dairy, and dried fruit.

We added homemade chicken soup, nettle and tulsi teas and, at a maximum of once a day, roasted vegetables. Other than that it was, for the first time in our lives, an experience in raw eating.

A top view image of a delicious brownies on an elegant white plate with a fork beside it.

It was interesting. First of all, it wasn’t hard, at least not in the way typical cleanses are. I wasn’t starving, I didn’t get major detox reactions, there was no need to summon all my willpower not to eat a cookie.

A couple times, one of us would say to the other, “Doesn’t a taco sound good?” But for the most part, we felt like there was so much we still could eat:

A bowl of juicy grapefruit; fresh pomegranate arils sprinkled with flax seeds and coconut; caprese salad (tomatoes, raw mozzarella, and fresh basil); morning smoothiesgiant green salads; frozen fruit mixed with nuts in raw milk; homemade pecan nut butter on celery sticks — all along with our soup and roasted vegetables.

So, as you can imagine, we were quite full and satisfied.

A close up image of dates and nuts on different containers.

Also, it was really, well, cleansing, just as we hoped it would be. The week made us feel good — really good — from our skin to our digestion to our energy levels. After the holidays, I had been fighting a little bit of a sore throat/cold/infection, the first one since I changed my diet in 2009.

An image of ground ingredients to be added to a brownie mixture.

This cleanse week killed it, knocked it right out of me.

But there’s something else that has been especially fascinating, something I didn’t expect or plan for: this week has started to open my eyes to the world of raw eating in a bigger way.

An image of a baking dish lined with parchment paper.

It’s really something. You know, there are raw restaurants, raw blogs, raw cookbooks.

And it’s not like you just eat an apple and a carrot and call it a day, either. There are crazy inventive raw recipes available for things like raw donuts, raw cookies, and delicious chocolate avocado pudding, for example.

An image of container with remnants of brownie mixture and a halved avocado right in front of it.

I mean, have you ever had a raw brownie before? This was an idea that had never before occurred, let alone appealed, to me.

And I know they say, when you remove something from your diet for a little while – such as refined sugar, for example – that your tastes change. So I know it’s possible that these brownies won’t seem sweet enough to satisfy the average palate, or chocolatey enough compared to the typical brownie.

A close up image of a moist and yummy brownie on a piece of parchment paper.

But to me, they were amazing, enough to make me wonder why I’ve trained my brain to think I need things sweeter than they have to be. I loved them.

Top view image of yummy brownies on a slab of wood.

I made them twice. And both times, when I saw the simple combination of dates, walnuts, and cocoa powder make a brownie, and the ability of half an avocado with honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon, along with just a pinch of salt, to create a velvety chocolate frosting, I marveled at it.

An image of brownies on an ornately designed plate and a piece of fork beside it.

It’s the same feeling I’ve had looking at a piece of segmented grapefruit or the inside of a pomegranate: what amazing foods we’ve been given. It’s good to celebrate them.

This recipe makes one loaf pan of brownies, or 10 mini brownies bites.

Just for a bit of bonus info, this utilizes all whole foods that bring all kinds of nutritional benefits. Walnuts are high in omega-3s, known to control inflammation. Dates are not only an excellent source of fiber but also B vitamins. There are rich antioxidants in cocoa powder and honey, and the avocado is one of those really amazing sources of good monounsaturated fat, shown to be easily burned by the body for energy.

Top view image of yummy brownies on a slab of wood.

Raw Vegetarian Brownies with Chocolate Avocado Frosting

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 10 brownies 1x


These delicious brownies are made from whole, raw ingredients with a simple combination of dates, walnuts, cocoa powder, and a few other tasty additions.



For the Brownie Layer:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (about 9)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 5 tablespoons raw honey (you can adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • a hefty dash of cinnamon
  • a tiny pinch of salt


To Make the Brownies:

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, with extra paper hanging off the sides so you can lift it out like a sling when the brownies are done.
  2. Combine walnuts, dates and 1/3 cup of cocoa powder in a food processor and blend until the mixture looks like clumpy dirt or potting soil.
  3. Pat this mixture into a compact layer in the bottom of your prepared loaf pan.

To Make the Frosting:

  1. Combine avocado, honey, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor* and blend until smooth. Spread mixture over the brownie layer in the loaf pan, creating an even layer on top.
  2. Freeze the loaf pan for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove parchment from loaf pan, lifting the brownies out in one big piece.
  3. Slice and serve. Note the brownies will be slightly crumbly, so they are best eaten with a spoon or fork.


I didn’t wash out the food processor between the brownie and frosting layers. No need!

  • Category: Vegan
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: Raw, Chocolate, Brownie, vegan

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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.

53 thoughts on “Raw Egg-Free Brownies with Chocolate Avocado Frosting”

  1. This sounds really good. And I’ve been curious about raw eating for awhile. Maybe I should actually do some research about it 🙂 Also, I’m not much into avocados so I’ve been thinking about ways to ‘hide’ them so I get the nutritional benefits of eating them. Might have to give these a try some time very soon!

    • What’s great about this recipe is it only uses half an avocado in the frosting, so the taste is really hidden. : ) Hope you enjoy!

      • I just made it. The frosting is amazing. I did use Stevia instead of honey (not a big honey fan), and I added a drizzle of coconut oil to the “brownie” to help the ingredients stick a bit more. Can’t wait for the finished product to be out of the fridgeQ

  2. ok. so i have made raw avocado chocolate pudding before, i enjoyed the slight sweetness from the honey and just barest hint of an avocado aftertaste. unfortunately, my darling love did not enjoy it. as a result, using avocados in desserts were halted. i am not sold on dates, however, i have been very interested lately in the raw diet, not just for cleansing the system, but being more aware of consuming natural foods as they were intended.

    • yeah, me too. I like finding value in foods I didn’t really think about before—it’s kind of exciting! and regarding dates: I don’t love them by themselves, but they are an awesome way to add sweetness without traditional sugars. I think LARA bars are what really swung me on the dates team.

  3. We love chocolate avocado pudding! But let’s face it: I just about love chocolate anything. I’m so making a mini-batch of these tonight or tomorrow. Did you two make cashew cream? Best. Frosting. Ever.

    And that’s about all I know about cool raw food tricks.

  4. this raw brownie looks insanely good and i loved hearing about your week of healthful raw eating.
    limitations can be really interesting huh?

    happy new year my dear!!


    • thank you, my sweet Oregon friend! and yes, limitations can be a real breeding ground for creativity. I love it. Happy new year to you, too!

  5. Hi Shannalee. What an exciting post AND recipe!!! Im excited to try it. Myself and two oldest daughters started eating raw I think last June. We love chocolate and avocados smoothies! We were eating raw Monday-Fridays and “normal” on Saturday and Sunday’s. But Sadly, got away from it since Thanksgiving. But, we are back on track! Even my 8 and 5 year olds are no strangers to green smoothies. The kids surprised me for Christmas with a Vita mixer!!!! But it seems more like a “family gift” now, lol. We love it!
    One of my favorite food blogs (besides yours) is mynewroots.blogspot.com her writing style reminds me of you a little.

    • You’re kidding, Rachanee! I had no idea! Love that you ladies are doing raw—any great recipes to pass along? : ) And YAY about the Vitamix. I love love love mine and use it all the time! That’s great!

  6. Those brownies sound terrific. And a raw food cleanse sounds better than the juice and herbal tea fasting I’ve done in the past, where all I could do was talk about food, heh. I think I’ll definitely try out the brownie recipe soon. 🙂

  7. I can’t wait to try this! But I looked for dates in the produce section of our local “grocery store” (ahem, Walmart) this morning and couldn’t find them. The closest I could find were dried dates in the dried-fruit section. I’m guessing they wouldn’t work? I’m checking at a better grocery store for the real thing this evening. Fingers crossed.

    • Joylynn, Actually, I used dried dates straight from the bulk section at Whole Foods for this recipe. I’ve never had fresh dates, in fact. Usually when recipes call for dates, I assume it’s OK to used the dried version since that’s so much more common. The one thing I would say is to make sure they’re pure dates, as a lot of packaged versions will add sulfites or chemicals.

  8. It’s so funny that you posted this recipe because I just recently went to a raw vegan café in Lockport and my friend and I talked to the owner foreverrr about it. I could never do it completely, but I am fascinated with the food. She gave us brownies that were very similar to this, only made with pecans instead of walnuts and no frosting. They were sooooooo good though, I couldn’t believe it!

    • Wow, I am so impressed there’s a raw vegan cafe in Lockport (!?). Nashville has none that I know of. : ( And I totally agree with your perspective on it—it’s fascinating and there are some strong benefits, but I would never choose to go all raw for all time. Love that you just so happened to have raw brownies recently, right in time for this, ha! : ) Miss you!

  9. I’ve made a chocolate date slice before and it was waaaay too sweet, but I love the idea of grinding a buttload of walnut in and I love the look of these. The texture looks far more brownie-ish 🙂 Thanks for sharing – this looks great to make in summer or on days when you don’t want to bake, regardless of whether you’re on a raw food stint or not!

    • So true, Zo! It’s hard to remember the heat of summer days right now, but come May and June, these little treats will be just the ticket. : )

  10. I’m just NOW finding this??? I have been on a Daniel fast for three weeks and this would have been PERFECT for my sweet cravings! Nonetheless, this is going into some kind of “Future Daniel Fast” bookmark so I don’t suffer like I did ever again! Really great recipe!

    • Meeso, One of my brother-in-laws was just telling me about the Daniel Fast. It sounds similar to our raw week! You don’t have to wait until another one to make this recipe, though. : ) Try it soon!

  11. Shannalee, you must read my mind. We have been planning to go on 3-4 days raw diet and I have just postponing it for a while. Reading this really gives me a push. and I can totally see the appeal of this brownie.

  12. I just made these, they are awesome!!! Not too sweet, just right! Def great for chocolate cravings 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. Hi!! Just made these tonight and they are a hit! Really great!! I added a sprinkle of coconut flakes on top! And made sure to link your recipe on my blog, carrlee.tumblr.com Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Hi Tiffany, Unfortunately I’ve never tried it with something as a sub for nuts or seeds, so I’m not sure. If you try a version with coconut, let me know how it goes!

  14. Read your comments with great interest. Did a similar sounding cleanse with a wonderful nutritionist about two months ago and it has changed my life. At 65, I experienced the energy surge you mentioned, as well as a digestive turnaround and a wonderful mood lift. I, too, was surprised that for the first time in my life of struggling with diet, I did NOT feel deprived. Yes, I missed that sugar hit or that beef hit once in a while, but it gradually faded away. I learned to find alternates for my typical cravings. I came to love nuts (soaked and dehydrated) and dates (in my smoothies or in energy balls). My taste buds adjusted.

    Just today I was given a piece of Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. The cake was dense and very chocolatey, and the avocado chocolate dressing on it must have been similar to that which you have here. It was not quite chocolate icing, but after a while, I felt that the taste was actually quite creamy, rich and acceptable. I did not taste the avocado. I think it is a wonderful substitute for the awful sugar+butter which so many of us grow up loving and craving as a “treat”.

    I sure love the changes this way of eating has made in my life and my body. I am afraid that I have bored my family with my enthusiasm, but even they appreciate the very visible changes. Unfortunately I have not yet gotten any “takers” within the family. However, I do wish you a continued enjoyable journey into raw or nearly raw eating!!

    So…this “cleanse” process has become a way of life for me, probably on a 90-10 basis. (I am not willing to become a food fascist….I still love meeting non vegan friends for lunch and I happily restrict myself to non creamy veggie soups and appetizers or salads!) The increase in energy and mood lift continues. I never ever thought I could make such a drastic dietary change at this stage in my life, but I, too, found that it was stunningly easy after a week or so.

    I apologize if this is too long. I’ve never posted before and I am not sure of the protocol. I was just excited to share my similar story with you!

    • Hi Kathleen, Thank you so much for your note — I love excited, hope-filled comments like yours! It’s so wonderful to hear the way you’re body’s responded to a change in diet and the way it’s felt easy for you. Our tastebuds do indeed adjust; I know just what you mean. Blessings to you!

  15. I just went to the raw vegan cafe in Lockport today…which is why I am now searching for
    the recipe for these brownies… I think your recipe sounds like it would be the same as the ones I had today. They were awesome!!!!

    • Kristin, There’s no perfect substitute. However, the thing you’re trying to reproduce is a dried, sweet fruit, so the options for testing are endless. Dried raisins, cherries, apricots… all will give a different flavor, but they’re worth testing out! Good luck!

  16. so this is a pretty old post, but i’m hoping you see this anyway. what pattern is that pretty little plate? it looks like royal copenhagen full lace, but without the blue pattern on it. it’s so cute, i just had to ask. yes, i have an obsession with pretty china.

    • Hi Margey, We’re not at home right now, but we’ll be back Thursday, and I’ll try to check for you! Stay tuned. : )

      • Margey, We’re back home and I checked the plate and, bad news, no info! I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help, but the bottom is totally blank. I know we found it at a thrift store back in 2011 (it was one of the plates we used at our wedding banquet), but that’s all I know.

  17. Wow, I just love avocados, and wasn’t even searching for brownie recipes… wow, this is so cool! I have been really reading food labels to try to avoid all the bad stuff out there, so I had completely resigned myself to the fact that I would never eat another brownie without feeling guilty of all the sugar + chemicals that make them so yummy… now, I will definitely have to try this to satisfy my brownie craving!


    • Carolyn, That’s fantastic that you’re reading food labels — it’s eye-opening, isn’t it? Hope you do try these brownies and would love to hear what you think! Thanks for saying hi. : )

  18. Just made these ….. totally dieing waiting for them to be done! Super excited about this and to share with the community on My Kitchen Shrink!

  19. These by far are the best raw brownies I have ever tasted! I just made them tonight and they will be gone in a few days.. 🙂

  20. These were really good, they really cut my sweet cravings. Although the texture wasn’t anything like brownies it was pretty amazing for no sugar, dairy, or flour.

  21. I’m not found of brownies and to tell you the truth I was looking for a flour less cake recipe when I stopped here. I just made your brownies recipe, as I love dates and it is absolutely amazing! The frosting is unbelievably smooth and creamy and the texture of the brownie is perfect (I’ve added half a teaspoon of coconut oil to make the consistency to my liking.) Tomorrow I’ll bring some to work and see if my friends can really tell that this is a raw dessert. Thanks! I’ll start looking for other raw food recipes.

  22. Wow! I have a couple of avocados I need to use right away and checked your index. I am amazed! I was not in any way associating my avocados with brownies…now I am planning dessert. Thank You! *pinned*

  23. Oh my gosh! In the freezer now! Cannot wait to try this gem in 30 minutes. So glad to have found this recipe. We’ve been eating raw for the past 10 days. And now a raw brownie treat! Yum! Thanks for sharing!

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