Let’s talk about chocolate.
Or more specifically, let’s discuss brownies, because these babies are my favorite.
For the entirety of my living-at-home-with-my-parents life (you know, before I went off to college), brownies came out of a box, were made by Ghirardelli, and were the dessert of choice in our house, if dessert was to be had.
I didn’t care if they came out of a box; my mom made the best brownies ever, and that was that.
The best part was, after the mix was stirred with an egg and some oil, and the batter was poured into its pink silicone baking pan (weird, I know), there was most definitely a bowl with some excess batter left in it that needed to be dealt with. And my sister and I did a real good job of that, let me tell you.
Fast forward to when I was a sophomore in college. I had recently adopted a vegan diet, and I was in desperate need of some home-baked chocolate therapy.
I had been cooking and baking for about a year on my own by then, and I thought hey, brownies can’t really be that hard to make, can they?
Uh, wrong. Minus the butter, eggs, and gobs of oil, they actually turned out to be rather difficult to make. Go figure.
It took me a few tries and a lot of research, but I finally came up with the recipe I’m sharing here today. It’s a gift!
These brownies pack a triple dose of chocolate:
- Melted chocolate chips in the batter.
- Cocoa powder in the batter.
- Whole chocolate chips stirred in last, just before baking.
More chocolate = more better. Holla.
There are a few things I really love about these delicious dessert bites, aside from the fact that they’re super amazing and just so happen to be vegan (brownie points?):
1. The top has that much-sought-after crispy-crackly crust that all brownies should have, if made correctly. Soft, cake-like tops? Nuh-uh. Not for me, and you won’t find any of those here.
2. Then there are the edges. I’m an edge person, and I won’t judge if you’re not. But edges are so good. They bake up a little more in the oven than the center, so they are more chewy and so tasty.
3. Finally, the center. The ever-fudgy and tasty center. I am also a center-piece person, so I could really just eat the whole pan myself. I want them all! But it’s worth taking a moment to specifically shout out the fudgy, chocolately, melty, chewy center. It’s so good!
All together? These are the best (vegan) brownies ever. I’ve made them countless times, so I promise this is true. You won’t miss the butter and eggs one bit.Print
The BEST vegan brownie recipe out there, this triple-punch of chocolate is sure to satisfy any chocolate craving. A crispy-crackly crust covers a moist and fudgy center filled with chocolate chips and walnuts.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp water, divided
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips + an (optional) additional 1/2 cup, divided
- 7 Tbsp cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
- 3 Tbsp applesauce
- 3 Tbsp vegan margarine (1 1/2 oz)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment (or grease very well) and set aside.
- Combine the flours, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the flax and water in a small bowl to make a flax egg, and set aside.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine 2/3 cup chocolate chips with the cocoa powder, applesauce, margarine, and 1/4 cup water. Toss together but don’t worry about mixing thoroughly.
- Place in the microwave and heat in 30-second intervals until the chocolate is mostly melted, stirring well between each interval. This should take no more than 2 minutes total. When it’s melted, you might see some small non-melted looking bits all over – this is okay.
- Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture and stir to mix well. Add the flax egg and the vanilla, and stir until smooth.
- Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, and stir with a large spoon until just combined. The batter may be very thick. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Smooth the top with the back of a large spoon, making sure to press it into all of the corners.
- Bake for 27-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before serving. Try not to eat them all in one sitting!
Keywords: brownies, vegan, chocolate
Once you’ve made a batch of these, I guarantee that they’re going to become a family go-to. But if you’re looking for something a little different, be sure to check our our our gluten-free cashew version, or these (non-vegan) bites!
What’s your favorite vegan dessert to prepare when you’re craving something sweet? Tell us all about it in the comments below, and don’t forget to leave a five-star rating for this recipe if you loved it!
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 23rd, 2014. Last updated: August 10, 2018 at 16:51 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.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).