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These Vegan Fudgy Chocolate Brownies are super chocolatey, nutty, and delicious. Made without oil or gluten.

Fudgy Nut and Seed Butter Brownies

This may be my crowning achievement as far as desserts go, and I’ve tested it about a hundred times just to make sure. No added oil, no added refined sugar, no grains, loaded with chocolate, and they’re vegan of course. These brownies are dense and fudgy, and taste great with a variety of nut or seed butters. I like to do a half almond/half hazelnut butter variation that mimics that popular chocolate hazelnut spread in flavor and richness. ~Laura Wright 
*Reprinted from The First Mess cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Laura Wright
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16 brownies
Calories 126kcal


  • ¾ cup smooth nut or seed butter (I like roasted almond, hazelnut, or sunflower butter)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chunks OR chopped chocolate from a 70% dark dairy-free chocolate bar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons whole nuts or seeds, rough-chopped (I like almonds, hazelnuts, or sunflower seeds)


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square pan with a piece of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Set aside.
  • 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the nut or seed butter, maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla.
  • 3. To the nut butter mixture, add the cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Whisk to combine, ensuring that there are no dry lumps of cocoa in the batter.
  • 4. In a double boiler, melt half of the chocolate chunks. Vigorously stir the melted chocolate into the brownie batter until fully incorporated.
  • 5. Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. Smooth the batter out evenly with a spatula, pushing it into the edges and corners of the pan.
  • 6. Scatter the reserved chocolate chunks and rough-chopped nuts over the top. Slide the pan into the oven, and bake the brownies until the top is slightly firm and appears dry and lightly cracked, about 27 to 30 minutes.
  • 7. Cool the brownies completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Then, cover the brownies and place them in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This step is crucial. The brownies will not cut neatly unless they get adequate cooling time.
  • 8. I recommend running a chef’s knife under hot water and drying it off right before slicing the brownies.


*If you don't have a double boiler you can microwave the chocolate for about a minute.


Serving: 1Brownie | Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1.2mg