Healthy Fudgy Christmas Brownies (Vegan + GF)

reading time: 2 min

It's hard to believe that this is actually my very first Christmas recipe this year! (safe for the hot chocolate, if that counts as Christmas related). It's probably also the healthiest Christmas recipe, at least in terms of brownies. These babies are soft, fudgy, moist, fruity and healthy in the most gooey, chocolaty and yummy way!

These brownies are heaven for any allergy sufferers in the family: they are gluten-free, fat-free, egg-free, dairy-free, legume-free, soy-free, as good as sugar-free and vegan of course. They can even be made nut-free.


adapted from Aimee @Wallflower Kitchen

Preparation time: 30 mins
Main ingredients: flour, almonds, cacao, applesauce
difficulty level: easy
makes: 16 brownie squares
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, low-fat, low-sugar, low-sodium


(dry ingredients)
75g wholegrain spelt flour, or any gluten-free flour
75g almond flour (ground almonds - or sub for more flour)
100g unsweetened cacao powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon (the best is Ceylon cinnamon)
1/2 - 1 tsp gingerbread spice (nutmeg, allspice, ginger, anise...)
2 tbsp coconut blossom sugar or raw cane sugar
2 baking powder 
pinch of salt

(wet ingredients)
400g unsweetened applesauce
100ml plant-based milk
100g fresh dates, pitted and puréed
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (optional)
1/2 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, prunes...)   
50g chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts...)
50g vegan chocolate, chopped

As you may have noticed if you looked at the (much more aesthetically pleasing) original recipe by the wonderful Aimee, I basically changed most of the ingredients and opted for a healthier alternative. Luckily, this doesn't only make these brownies into a guilt-free dessert and snack, but it also makes them super dense, moist and filled with delicious and nutritious nuts and fruits. The method is pretty much the same as in the original though.
Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F and lightly grease an 8x8 inch brownie tin.

First, mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: flour, ground almonds, cacao powder, spices, salt, baking powder and a little bit of sugar.

Add in in the wet ingredients: applesauce, milk, date purée, orange juice, blackstrap molasses and vanilla.

Stir to make a smooth batter. Fold in the nuts, dried fruits and chopped chocolate. Transfer the mixture to the baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

- To purée the dates, mix them with the plant-based milk required in the recipe. This makes it easier to blend.
- To make these brownies 100% sugar free, sub the coconut blossom sugar for 1 tbsp vanilla essence, and use an additional 50g of soft dates instead of the chocolate. You could also add in some cacao nibs for some chocolaty crunch.
- These brownies actually taste A LOT better after a few days, so give them time to "ripen". 


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