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These Healthy Brownies are so chocolatey and decadent with the perfect balance of sweetness. They are made with WHOLESOME ingredients like coconut sugar, maple syrup, and gluten-free flour and are one of the best brownie recipes EVER! Plus they are gluten free and dairy free!
Healthy Brownies are actually a pretty popular thing right now since they are not typically healthy but we all love them! This version is made with wholesome ingredients like gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and coconut sugar and the brownies come out perfectly fudgy, and decadent.
Whenever I make these low-calorie brownies everyone goes crazy for them. They taste just like any brownies you would make from a box mix, but only much better with a wonderful balance of cakey vs. fudgy texture and incredible chocolate flavors.
You may also love these dark chocolate sweet potato brownies or these avocado black bean brownies which are also healthy and gluten-free brownie recipes.
What makes these brownies healthy?
- No refined flour
- No refined sugar
- Made from real, whole ingredients.
- Full of healthy fat, fiber, and protein.
- Low-calorie brownies! Only 118 calories per serving.
I mean WOW! I just know you are going to love healthy brownies and want to share them with everyone!
Ingredients needed for healthy brownies
- Gluten-free flour – I used King Arthur’s Measure for Measure gluten-free flour but I have also tried this recipe with almond flour and it works great!
- Coconut sugar – this is an unrefined sugar that contains some more nutrients than white sugar and is known to be more gut health as well. Plus, it’s delicious in these brownies. Don’t worry you cannot taste any coconut in this recipe.
- Peanut Butter – creamy, natural peanut butter where the only ingredients are peanuts and salt. You can also use other creamy nut butter or even sun butter, although I have not tried those in this recipe. I am betting that they would also work fine.
- Cocoa powder – unsweetened cocoa powder. Any brand will work. This gives the brownies that nice deep chocolate flavor.
- Applesauce – unsweetened applesauce helps moisten these brownies but also has a mild enough flavor that you can’t even taste it. You can use store-bought or homemade applesauce.
- Egg – just one large egg is used to hold everything together.
- Maple syrup – acts as a nice sweetener in this recipe and really works well with the other ingredients.
- Vanilla extract – pure vanilla extract works best!
- Baking powder, baking soda, and salt – give some lift to the brownies since they are gluten-free and salt is used to enhance all of the amazing flavors.
- Chocolate chips – I used dark chocolate chips but any will work. Make sure to select gluten-free, dairy-free brands if needed.
How to make healthy brownies
You can make healthy brownies right at home in a few simple steps.
*Be sure to check out the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Mix the wet ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a separate medium bowl.
- Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, and fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper, and top with more chocolate chips, if desired.
- Bake the brownies at 350F degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Per the recipe card below.
Remove, let cool, and enjoy!!!
These gluten-free brownies are so delicious and nobody will even know they are healthy! Trust me! I have made these for so many people, including my kids and they devoured them.
Tips For Success
- Use creamy peanut butter or you could even use a very creamy, drippy almond butter in this brownies recipe. Make sure it is creamy and not chunky.
- Add in some nuts for more crunch and texture. I like chopped walnuts in this recipe.
- Make sure you use “unsweetened” applesauce and unsweetened cocoa powder or this recipe will be way too sweet.
- Don’t overbake! These fudgy healthy brownies continue to cook while they cool so bake per the recipe recommendations and use the toothpick test mentioned in this post to check for proper doneness. This will ensure you get the best fudgy, moist, and delicious texture.
- Let them cool before slicing. I know this is tough since you really want to dig in but letting them cool allows them to set up after baking and makes them firmer and easier to eat.
- Use parchment paper – lining the pan with parchment paper will prevent the batter from sticking to the pan and will help you lift the brownies from the pan once they are done baking.
FAQs for making healthy gluten-free brownies
How do you substitute eggs in brownies?
Want to make these brownies vegan? You can easily substitute the egg with egg replacer or flax egg and you still get that decadent, chocolatey, gooey result you would get with using eggs.
Can you substitute butter for oil in low-calorie brownies?
Absolutely! In this recipe, I left out the butter and canola oil and used peanut butter. You could also use almond butter. This makes these healthy low-calorie brownies that also taste incredible.
How long do you bake brownies?
Any brownie recipe will include a recommended bake time like this one that bakes in about 30-35 minutes. Since ovens vary it is a good practice to use the “toothpick” or “butter knife” test.
To use the “toothpick/butterknife test”, simply insert a toothpick or butter knife into the center of the brownies about 5 minutes before they are supposed to be done (according to whatever recipe you are following). Pull it out quickly and if you have some wet crumbs then you will get a nice cakey, semi-fudgy brownie. If you have some semi-baked batter on the toothpick or knife then you will get a more fudgy, less-cakey brownie.
Keep in mind that these healthy brownies will continue to cook a little after you remove them from the oven. You definitely do not want the toothpick or knife to come out clean since that is an indication that you over-baked your brownies which will yield a drier, non-cakey, non-fudgy brownie.
The method for storing these healthy fudgy brownies depends on how long you wish to store them.
To store brownies for up to a week: Pack them in layers with wax paper/parchment in between each layer in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Freezing brownies is the best way to keep them fresher longer: To freeze brownies it’s a little bit more work but very much worth the effort.
How to freeze healthy brownies
- Wrap each brownie individually in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
- Place the individually wrapped brownies into a freezer-friendly storage bag that tightly seals shut.
- Label and date the brownies. They should be good for a few weeks or even up to a month. When ready to eat, simply thaw them on the counter or warm them in the microwave in 30-second increments until thawed.
More Healthy Dessert Recipes
- Vegan Chocolate Mousse – Only 2 Ingredients
- Gluten-Free Almond Flour Blondies
- Christmas Reindeer Brownies
- Double Chocolate Air Fryer Cookies
Did you try this healthy brownies recipe? If you did, then please leave a comment and rating below. I would love to hear how they turned out!Print
Healthy Brownies – Gluten-Free
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 people 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
These healthy fudgy brownies have an amazingly decadent chocolate flavor and are wonderfully fudgy. They are made with healthier ingredients than traditional brownies and they are so easy to make!
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons packed light coconut sugar – or light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup applesauce – unsweetened
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour or almond flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder – unsweetened
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips – plus more for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine and beat the peanut butter, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Beat in the applesauce until fully mixed in, then beat in the egg until a smooth mixture forms.
- In a separate bowl, fully combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine into a dark, smooth brownie batter. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Transfer the brownie batter to the lined 8 x 8 baking dish and smooth it out evenly. Top with more chocolate chips if desired.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the brownies are puffed up and fluffy. If you like fudgier brownies then take them out around the 30-minute mark. For cakier brownies cook them for the full 35 minutes.
- Remove, let cool for at least 30 minutes, slice, and serve.
Baking Time and Storing Recommendations:
- Use the “toothpick/butterknife test,” insert a toothpick or butter knife into the center of the brownies about 5 minutes before they are supposed to be done (according to whatever recipe you are following) for this recipe it would be around that 35-minute mark.
- Pull it out quickly and if you have some wet crumbs than you will get a sweet cakey, semi-fudgy brownie.
- If you want a fudgy, less-cakey brownie then do the toothpick test around the 30 minute mark. If the toothpick comes out with a semi-baked batter on it, then you will get a more fudgy result.
- To store brownies for up to a week: Pack them in layers with wax paper/parchment in-between each layer in an airtight container. The brownies should stay fresh for a few days or up to a week.
How To Freeze These Brownies:
- Wrap each brownie individually in plastic wrap.Place the individually wrapped brownies into a freezer-friendly plastic bag and tightly seal it.
- Label and date the bag and store it in the freezer for up to a month.
When ready to eat: Remove from the freezer and thaw on the counter or unwrap and place on a safe microwave plate and warm in the microwave in 30-second intervals until fully thawed
How To Make These Brownies Vegan:
Sub the egg with egg replacer or flax egg. If using chocolate chips, then use dairy-free.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: healthy brownies, healthy brownies recipe, brownies
Amy, these look delicious! Can’t wait to make these for my boys today. I don’t have cocoa powder so I am going to use Cacao powder..but I was wondering if this would make the brownies too intense?
Hi Alan, It may make them a little bit more richer but I bet they would still be delicious!
Above the recipe you say you use coconut oil, but then the ingredients lists only coconut sugar. I’m confused. Could you clarify? Thank you.
Hi Sara, Thank you for your comment. You can sub the peanut butter with coconut oil in the event you have a peanut allergy or do not have peanut butter on hand. You could also use almond butter in place of the peanut butter.
What can I use instead of coconut sugar and almond flour?
You can use Brown sugar or maple syrup in place of the coconut sugar. Gluten-free all-purpose flour is a suitable replacement for the almond flour. Let me know how they turn out!
So good! I make them weekly and they totally satisfy my sweet tooth!!
Thank you, Audrey! Me too!
These were great! Made as written except used oat flour instead of almond flour and creamy pb plus a little natural pb as I was a little short of the half cup required. They were really crumbly though. Any idea why?
Hi Nazia, using oat flour instead of the almond flour will make them a bit more crumbly as well as baking them a little longer.
Wow, you have such stunning photos! And these stuffed bell pepers – YUM! These have been on my bucket list for so long – thanks for pushing me to finally give it a try!
Hi! I can’t eat applesauce or anything apple. I cannot process them at all. Is there something I can substitute for applesauce? These sound so good! I want to make them soon! Thank you!
Hi Alene, You could substitute the applesauce with pumpkin puree. I haven’t tried it that way but I bet it would work!