Think avocados are just for savory dishes? Give these raw brownies a try and then report back to me. I’m confident they’ll change your mind.
So, which is your downfall: sweet or salty?
For me, it’s always been less about the flavor and more about the texture. Sweet or salty, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s rich and creamy!
As a dietitian, it may seem odd when I say that high-fat foods are my favorites, but stick with me here.
Sure, bacon and fried foods are high in fat, but what I’m talking about are foods with healthy fats like peanut butter, cashews, full-fat Greek yogurt, and of course, avocados.
While it may sound like an oxymoron, healthy fats are essential to keep our bodies running smoothly (and our taste buds happy).
Just some of these functions include energy storage, absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, and building cell membranes and walls. They also play key roles in numerous processes, including inflammation, blood clotting, and muscle contractions.
So what exactly are these healthy fats? There are two types in particular that are beneficial for health:
The first is monounsaturated fat. A type of unsaturated fat, these are a key component of the Mediterranean Diet and have been shown to protect heart health. Good food sources include walnuts, avocados and avocado oil, peanut butter, nuts, and seeds.
The second biggie is omega-3 fatty acids. A type of polyunsaturated fat, omega-3’s have been shown to help prevent and even treat heart disease and stroke. They’re also being researched for their potential in supporting brain health and reducing inflammation. You’ll find them in fatty fish (especially salmon), flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
As you can see from the ingredient list, these brownies are packed with healthy fats thanks to walnuts and avocado.
In addition to being nutritious, the walnuts and avocado are also responsible for making this dessert every bit as luxurious as ones made with a more traditional recipe.
Okay, enough about fat. Aren’t brownies also supposed to be sweet?
Absolutely! But we’re accomplishing this without any white sugar. Instead, this recipe uses the natural sugars found in honey and dates.
So, how do these taste?
If you love dense, fudgy brownies then prepare for your eyes to roll back after taking your first bite.
The bitterness of the cocoa balanced out by the honey-sweetened frosting gives these just the right amount of sweetness. Combined with the irresistibly smooth frosting, it’ll be hard not to go back for seconds!
So forget about baking brownies and put your food processor to work. In just 30 minutes, you’ll have the fudgiest, chocolatey gluten-free dessert – no oven, butter, or sugar required!Print
Raw Brownies with Fudgy Chocolate Avocado Frosting
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 10 brownies 1x
Made without butter or flour, these raw brownies are naturally sweetened and topped with an irresistibly fudgy chocolate avocado frosting.
For the Brownie:
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 9 large)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons water
For the Frosting:
- 1/2 ripe medium avocado, mashed
- 5 tablespoons raw honey
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
To Make the Brownies:
- Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, letting a few inches of excess hang off the sides to create a sling for easy removal.
- Combine walnuts, dates, and ⅓ cup cocoa powder in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is soft but crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons water and pulse again until the mixture sticks together well.
- Transfer mixture into prepared pan and pat down firmly into an even, compact layer. Set aside.
To Make the Frosting:
- Place avocado, honey, ¼ cup cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt in the food processor. Pulse until smooth.
- Spread mixture evenly over the brownie layer.
- Place loaf pan in freezer for 30-60 minutes, or until firm.
- Using the parchment sling, lift the brownies out of the loaf pan.
- Slice into 10 pieces and serve immediately. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Brownies
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: Desserts
Keywords: brownie, raw, avocado, frosting, no-bake, vegetarian, dessert
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare Loaf Pan, Pit Dates, and Measure Ingredients
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving some extra hanging off the sides so that the brownies can be lifted out, like a sling. Set aside.
Slice dates in half and remove the pits if this hasn’t been done already. If your dates are dry and no longer soft, reconstitute them in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes until softened.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients.
Note: to make vegan, substitute maple syrup for the honey.
Step 2 – Make Brownie Layer
In a food processor, combine walnuts, dates, and 1/3 cup of cocoa powder. Pulse until soft and crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons of water and pulse again until the mixture sticks together well.
If it’s still crumbly, add additional water 1 teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the desired texture.
Transfer mixture into prepared loaf pan and press down firmly into an even layer. Set aside.
Step 3 – Blend Frosting
Using the same food processor – no need to clean it out first – pulse the ripe avocado, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt until smooth.
Taste and adjust salt, honey, or cinnamon as needed.
Step 4 – Frost and Freeze
Using a rubber spatula, spread the frosting evenly on top of the brownie layer.
Place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes, or until firm.
Step 5 – Slice and Serve
Remove the loaf pan from the freezer. Using the extra parchment paper on the sides, lift them out of the loaf pan.
Slice into 10 equal pieces and serve immediately. Any leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Chocolate and Avocado = The New Chocolate and Peanut Butter
I know, that’s a pretty big claim. After all, how can you compete with such a flawless flavor combination?
Believe me when I tell you that although it is certainly creamy, peanut butter just can’t compete with how buttery and silky-smooth desserts are when they’re made with avocado.
Plus, there’s also the perk of being able to convince yourself that since there’s a vegetable (well, technically a fruit…) in the brownie that it’s really more of a health food than a dessert.
Are you pro avocado in desserts? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to give this recipe a rating after taking your first fudgy, chocolatey bite! You’ll soon be begging for more healthy brownies. Luckily, you can make our other flourless, gluten-free recipe, with another secret ingredient!
Looking for even more sweet avocado recipes to add to your repertoire? We’ve got you covered! Give one of these Foodal originals a try:
- No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Torte with Avocado Mousse
- Banana Avocado Smoothie
- Quick and Easy Vegan Avocado Chocolate Pudding
Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on January 10, 2012. Last updated: July 14, 2021 at 12:22 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
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.
The written contents of this article have been reviewed and verified by a registered dietitian for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as personalized or professional medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.
About Kelli McGrane, MS, RD
Kelli McGrane is a Denver-based registered dietitian with a lifelong love of food. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in nutrition science from Boston University. As a registered dietitian, she believes in the importance of food to nourish not only your body, but your soul as well. Nutrition is very personal, and you won’t find any food rules here, other than to simply enjoy what you eat.
53 thoughts on “Raw Brownies with Fudgy Chocolate Avocado Frosting (Gluten Free and Egg Free)”
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
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.
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.
I want cashew cream!
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!
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!
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!
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. 🙂
Tell me about it. A cleanse that doesn’t leave you starving is the kind of cleanse I like! : )
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.
I found dates (dried) and made the brownies — twice. Love them, and love that they’re good for you!
now I must bake something with avocado + chocolate. THANKS.
HA! : ) You’ll be glad you did!
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!
I’m stuck on a raw cashew and cacao cookie kick. Plan to break the habit with these very soon!
raw cashew and cacao cookies!? sounds great!
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. : )
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!
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.
I love that kind of serendipity, Kulsum! : ) Would love to hear how your raw experience goes!
I just made these, they are awesome!!! Not too sweet, just right! Def great for chocolate cravings 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks for stopping back to say so, Lara!
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!
Is there another sub for the nuts in the brownie? Something other than nuts or seeds? Will shredded coconut or coconut flour work?
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!
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!
I’ve tried several raw brownie recipes (my favorite chocolate pleasure). This is my all-time favorite
Hooray! So glad to hear that, Gina!
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!!!!
I am allergic to dates. Are there any substitutes for them in a raw brownie recipe?
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!
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.
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. : )
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!
So glad, Elyse!
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.. 🙂
Aw, so glad to hear that, Jenn!
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.
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.
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*
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!