Healthy Brownies Recipe

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Ever wonder if  healthy brownies were possible? They are! Here’s how.

Brownies are an amazing dessert. I don’t think I’ve ever met a single person who doesn’t like brownies. But what does differ from person to person, is the type of brownie they like.

Brownies come in so many different variations, and each person has a favorite. There is caky, gooey, chewy, peanut butter, mint, chocolate chip, white chocolate chip, cream cheese, black bean, walnut and pecan brownies, just to name a few. But no matter how you like your brownies, it’s always a happy treat when you get one, no matter what type or flavor it is.

Healthy brownies stacked three high on a cutting board.

HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY BROWNIES

It’s not as hard as you might think. It really all comes down to the ingredients you use. These use all natural ingredients including whole wheat pastry flour and sucanat, which you can also sub with coconut sugar.

These aren’t something to eat for breakfast every morning, but I’ll take these over the processed, sugar-filled brownies at the store, any day! Your choice of chocolate chips will be important here. I use Lily’s chocolate chips because they are stevia sweetened so it cuts down on the sugar. But if sugar isn’t your concern here, then the Enjoy Life brand is a great option, and is allergy friendly too.

An up close view of these healthy brownies shows all the details of this delicious dessert.

HOW TO MAKE FUDGY, GOOEY BROWNIES

What makes brownies so fudgy, soft and gooey? Fat. There is no way around it. The more fat and chocolate (from the fat in the chocolate) you use, the gooier your brownies will be. That being said, I didn’t want to make these brownies so high in fat that they would totally dive bomb your entire day’s caloric intake, so I backed off of the fat content slightly. These are on the gooey side with just a hint of cakey-iness to them. A nice middle ground, so to speak. However, if you want them gooier, you can add an extra 1/2 cup of butter and an additional 1 cup of chocolate chips. Other additions such as walnuts can be added as well. 1/2 to 1 cup of nuts should be plenty if they are chopped.

Just cut brownies shown from the side.

 

HOW TO MAKE CAKEY BROWNIES

If you want your healthy brownies to be more cake-like, then you’ll want to reduce the fat a bit and add more flour. For these, you can cut back to 1/4 cup butter and use and additional 1/4 cup of cocoa powder PLUS a 1/2 cup more of flour PLUS a 1/2 cup of milk. Use only the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Other additions such as nuts can be added at a 1/2 to 1 cup, as long as they are chopped.

A view from overhead of the cut brownies.

 

HEALTHY BROWNIE RECIPE WITH COCOA POWDER

Don’t skip the cocoa powder in this recipe, no matter how you make your brownies. While you can certainly melt chocolate chips into the butter to create a solid chocolate flavor, I find that the cocoa powder allows the chocolate chips to just be themselves. Nice little nuggets of chocolate in the middle of a brownie.

HOW TO LINE A BROWNIE PAN

Lining your brownie pan, while not completely necessary, makes life so very much easier when it comes time to remove the brownies from your pan. I highly recommend a square cake pan. It makes cutting the brownies into even pieces easier as well a making it much simpler to fully line your pan. You’ll want to spray your pan, but under the parchment, and over the parchment, with an oil sprayer of some sort. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Oil your pan, then cut two strips of parchment paper to the width of the base of your pan. Don’t worry about the length. Place one piece of the parchment down into the pan, pressing into the corners to score you paper so it stays in place.Step one of lining the pan for this Healthy Brownies Recipe.
  2. Place the second piece of cut parchment going the other directly, and press down in the corners to score your paper so it stays in place.Step two of lining the pan.
  3. Fold the overhang edges over and score them with your fingers so they stay down and out of the way when you pour the batter in. You do not have to score them at the edge of your pan. In fact, it’s easier to score the parchment just above the edge.Step three of lining the pan.
  4. Now spray the parchment with oil just like you did the pan.
    Step four of lining the pan.
  5. Now go ahead and add the batter to the pan, using a spatula to help spread it out as evenly as possible.The batter for this Healthy Brownies Recipe spread evenly over the pan.
  6. Once baked, allow the brownies to cool for a bit. Once cooled down, they should easily lift out of the pan without breaking, by grasping the parchment on opposite corners. Make sure you grasp two pieces of parchment in each hand, then lift the brownies onto a cutting surface.Using the parchment paper to lift the brownies out of the baking pan.
  7. Allow them to cool a bit more before cutting into them. They can still be warm when you cut them, but they will crumble a bit more.The freshly cut brownies, still sitting on the cutting board.

MORE HEALTHY BROWNIES:

Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry

HEALTHY BROWNIES RECIPE:

Healthy brownies stacked three high.

Healthy Brownies

A delicious, no-grain, homemade brownie everyone will love!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 16 brownies
Calories: 215kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

Ingredients

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup Sucanat (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I use Lily's or Enjoy Life brands)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line your pan as instructed above.
    Step three of lining the pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
    Mixing the dry ingredients for this Healthy Brownies Recipe
  • To the dry ingredients, add the melted butter and eggs, and stir well to combine. This batter should be slightly on the thicker side. Lastly, stir in your chocolate chips.
    Adding the wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips in this Healthy Brownies Recipe.
  • Scoop the batter into the parchment lined pan and smooth with a spatula to spread it as evenly as possible.
    The batter for this Healthy Brownies Recipe spread evenly over the pan.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes.
    The baked brownies fresh out of the oven and still in the pan.
  • Lift the brownies out of the pan onto a flat cutting surface and cut three times each direction. If the brownies begin to crumble too much, then they need to cool down a bit more before you continue cutting.
    Using the parchment paper to lift the brownies out of the baking pan.
  • Serve with a glass of milk!
    The freshly cut brownies, still sitting on the cutting board.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 342IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

This post from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 10/26/10. Recipe has been changed to update and improve.

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111 Comments

  1. Sanjeeta kk says:

    Love the marshmallow drooping over the cute chocolaty brownies. Can’t wait for long to try it out.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Sanjeeta – Let me know how they turn out for you!

  2. Kelsey @ Clean Teen Kelsey says:

    these sound so delicious! I’ll definitely be turning to them for the next time I make brownies… if I can part with a whole jar of almond butter, that is. 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kelsey – LOL. Ya, that was tough, but sooooo very worth it!

  3. Tangy @ A Taste of Tangy says:

    given my latest obession with almond butter…i’d have a hard time using a whole container of it at once! LOL but wow those look good and I have heard great things about Elana!! I will definitely be giving these a try the next time I am craving brownies!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Tangy – Elana is fabulous. I can’t enough great things about her blog. Enjoy!

  4. Chrystal Nelson says:

    These look awesome! Just curious, though – what size of baking pan did you use?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Chrystal – It was 9X13.

  5. Yum, those have to taste so good, especially with the almond butter in them!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lynn – Ya, there’s really no way for them to NOT taste good!

  6. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this clean eating recipe with us! I love it. I’m not necessarily a clean eater but I do try to eat as healthy as possible and use healthy substitutions whenever possible (maybe that does make me a clean eater?). these brownies look great. I love the whole cup of honey in there!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Roxan – You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  7. Would it be possible to create a vegetarian-friendly version of the marshmallow “frosting”? Gelatin… Well, you probably already know what it’s made from… Ick.

    Have you tried adding pureed black beans (about 1/2 cup) to brownies? It replaces some of the fat (like from the almond butter), and adds more complex carbohydrates and lots of fiber. 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charlena – I was not able to create a vegetarian frosting. I tried.

      Yes, I did try the black beans, but the flavor was overpowering. Thanks though!

  8. YUMMY !! Thanks so much for sharing this ! Do you think it would change the taste if I used agave in place of the honey or 1/2 and 1/2?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Dawn – The flavor would be fine with the substitution.

  9. These look delish — and, I bought a jar of almond butter and didn’t care for it, so now I can use it up! (No, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I usually love almonds.)
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Molly – lol. I don’t know what’s wrong with you either, but I think you’re fantastic anyway! 😉 I think you’ll love the brownies! Sooooo yummy!

  10. I would love to make these for my mom, but she is allergic to eggs. Is there anything I could substitute for the egg whites?

  11. Charlotte says:

    I was wondering about using natural peanut butter instead of the almond butter? Any thoughts?
    Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charlotte – Yes! That would be yummy!

  12. Just made these today to bring into work! They’re amazing! I can’t believe I haven’t had almond butter before this, but I tasted some while putting the batter together and I’m sold! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kathy – You’re welcome! So happy you enjoyed them! (Let me know what your coworkers think!)

  13. Oh and also, I copied the recipe into livestrong.com where I log my food, and it came out as 7g of protein, not 5g….of course it depends on what brands/exact ingredients you put into the system but hey, even better!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kathy – Great!

  14. OMG, These are delicious! I am NOT a huge chocolate fan but thought that these would be great for my husband and kiddos…turns out that they are great for me too! I love, love, love the use of the almond butter and I used 1/2 & 1/2 honey and agave becuase I am not a huge honey fan either. I think I will try using some cashew butter next time and cut back a bit more on the honey since the cashew butter is sweeter.
    Q: cashwew butter has a much thinner consistency than the almond, do you think that will mess up the texture? This is an easy recipe and a MUST try for anyone who can’t break their brownie habit….I didn’t even have one until now. Tiffany, thanks so much for all of your time spent “experimenting” in the kitchen, your recipes always taste as good as they look.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Karen – Thank you so much! I hope you guys enjoy the brownies! I’ve never tried it with cashew butter, but I don’t see why it couldn’t work. Hope they turn out well for you!

    2. I was just thinking cashew butter would be awesome. And, I too, will use agave. I always have a giant jug of it in the cupboard.

      1. graciouspantry says:

        Laprimus – Wonderful! I’m sure cashew butter would be very tasty.

  15. I tried it out with sunflower butter since my daughter is allergic to nuts. I have to say it was absolutely horrible! I feel bad that I wasted the whole jar of sunflower butter to figure it out. Its a shame because the batter didnt taste that bad. Trial and error 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Maria – I’m so sorry! I have to admit, I’m not familiar with sunflower butter, but thanks for letting everyone know.

  16. Where would I find grain sweetened choc chips in Canada?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Wendy – Hmmm. That’s a great question. I’ve never been there, so I can’t tell you. But the web site is http://www.sunspire.com. You may be able to contact them to find out.

  17. Charlotte says:

    I made these yesterday with peanut butter and I cut the honey to 3/4 c and used plain old choc chips. I did not have any gelatin to make the topping and they were delicious!!!! Will be making them again for sure.
    Thanks so much for the great recipes!!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Charlotte – Fantastic! It’s important to be able to adjust recipes according to what you have on hand. Glad that worked out for you!

  18. These sound absolutely amazing! Can not wait to try! I just found your blog this a.m. and have been on it for over an hour. Thank you so much for this amazing resource 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      April – You’re welcome! Happy to have you as a reader! Happy New Year!

  19. Made these without the frosting/topping the other night. Made a half recipe as I didn’t have enough almond butter. Used an 8 x 8 pan. Turned out wonderful! I cut them into 16 small pieces and froze them in small snack bags. They defrost wonderfully and I’m not tempted by them on the counter all the time! 🙂 Everyone loved them!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Becky – That’s awesome!!! I bet they’re good half frozen too! lol

  20. Simply amazing!!! Great for those chocolate cravings every month;)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Madison – I couldn’t agree more!

  21. These tasted delicious! BUT I had a really big problem with them being completely underdone for the most part. I actually put them in for an extra 25 min and still undercooked 🙁 I followed the directions to a t. what could be wrong?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Nic – Have you checked your oven to be sure it’s cooking at the right temp? If everything else was exact, then I would check that. You can get a cheap oven thermometer at a kitchen supply store. Just set it in your oven and it will tell you if it’s really baking at the temp that the oven says.

  22. These look amazing! But just asking, can the almond butter be replaced with peanut butter? Because almond butter is hard to get and expensive where I am. ):

    1. Anonymous says:

      Portia – Sure! You will get some of the peanut flavor in the brownies, but it will still turn out well. Enjoy!

  23. Shumenansky says:

    Bought a can of raw almonds for 2.50 and made my own almond butter. Had everything else in my pantry. Wow! The best brownies ever. Thanks so much. Glad I made half instead of whole recipe because I could eat the whole pan.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Shumenansky – LOL!!! Ya, that’s the only problem with those. You want them all! Haha! Glad you enjoyed them!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Tracy – Sorry about that! I believe my pan was 9X13.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Desiree – I use raw when I can afford it, but often purchase regular in bulk at costco to save money. Raw is best though as far as I know.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Desiree – I’m glad you like the cookies. Enjoy the brownies!

  27. I wonder if agave could replace the honey? There are approx. 23 less grams of carbohydrate in 1C of agave and it is somewhat similar in its sweetness. A tad more viscous than honey, though. Just wondering. I’d love to try this recipe. Though I have not heard of grain sweetened chocolate chips. I wonder where I could buy them.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Laprimus – You can sub agave for honey in equal amounts with no problems. The chips I get at whole foods. But if you don’t have one in your area, look at SunSpire.com to see where they sell in your area.

  28. graciouspantry says:

    Kellykirby – Fantastic! Glad the kids liked them so much!

  29. graciouspantry says:

    You could try sun butter, would that work? I’ve never tried it, so I’m not sure what it’s consistency is. But I know most allergic people do well with it from what I’ve heard. Best of luck!

    1. Nicole 'n David Stine says:

      i make these w/ peanut butter every time b/c I’m cheap and anybody I’ve ever fed these to LOVES them!!

  30. graciouspantry says:

    That’s awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  31. I have an allergy to honey as well and wondered how these would turn out with stevia? They sound fabulous!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      I’ve never tried and I’m not sure what the conversion is. But it’s certainly worth a shot!

  32. Im allergic to almonds so would have to leave the almond butter out. I’m not allergic to cashews or peanuts (weird I know!) do you think a peanut or cashew butter could work or would they be too oily?

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Should work just fine! Enjoy!

  33. graciouspantry says:

    Wow! I’ll have to look for that!

  34. graciouspantry says:

    I hope they enjoy them. 🙂

  35. graciouspantry says:

    Awesome! So glad you all enjoyed them!

  36. I’m brand new to the world of clean eating.  Unfortunately we are sweet eaters, so I wanted to try something to help convince my husband this wasn’t a terrible road to travel.  These DEF did the trick!  Absolutely delicious!  I didn’t use any of the  topping, just ate the brownies plain.  2 year old AND husband approved.  Can’t wait to continue trying more of your recipes!

  37. Valérie Maire says:

    I love this recipe, for sure I am making some again !

  38. graciouspantry says:

    Hmmm… The only thing I can think of is that you forgot the sweetener?

  39. graciouspantry says:

    Hmmm…. that’s odd. Sounds like something either got mis-measured or was left out. Did you make any substitutions?

  40. graciouspantry says:

    I believe so, as long as you find chocolate chips that are also gluten free.

  41. I hope nobody’s asked this already. Is there anything I could swap the eggs out for? I have an Egg Allergy. Thanks 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      I don’t think it would work with this particular recipe, but I can try to formulate one without. I’ll give it a shot.

  42. Kristin Morris says:

    Hi. I tried to read most comments to check if my question was answered, but at work, that isnt feasable. 🙂
    I am allergic to almonds, what can I use to substitue??
    Thank you so much, and thank you for starting me on clean eating!!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Can you just sub with a different type of nut butter?

  43. Thanks so much for this recipe. I have super picky eaters in my house and these went over fantastic. They prefer them marshmallow free, but I like them both ways. It’s unbelievable that there on none of the usual ingredients besides cocoa in these brownies! SO GOOD! Thanks again!

  44. Hi Tiffany! I just cut the brownies up to get them ready for the topping! I just recently starting eating clean and I’m also trying to get my boyfriend and our 2 year old son on board. I think my boyfriend is pickier than our toddler….
    But I loveee your website! It’s a wonderful resource for those of us (like me) who have no idea where to start. I have loved every single recipe I’ve tried!
    The brownies went over great with my guys! My only question is my gelatin mixture isn’t thickening…I followed the directions so I was wondering if maybe I missed something. I ran out of honey and came up short by just a little bit. Would that have made the difference?

    Thank you!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Brenna – That’s odd. How old was the gelatin?

  45. OH MY LORD, these brownies are amazing! Better than any other “regular” brownie I have ever made!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kristina – Fantastic!! 😀

  46. Finally! A brownie recipe that is clean, healthy, & absolutely delicious!!!!!
    Thank You!!!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kimberly – My pleasure!

  47. Can I make these ahead and freeze?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kelly – Sure!

  48. Should I be using a stand mixer or blender to make the marshmallow topping? I’ve never made marshmallow before… Thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Addie – I just used a hand mixer, but a stand mixer will work too.

  49. Can I omit the chocolate chips. I so dislike them in my brownies

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Joanna – Sure.

  50. Hi, I wuld like to make half of this recipe for me an my husband, I don’t want to make 24 brownies. How do I make the changes. I’m new at this. Thank you.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rita – You just cut the ingredients in half. The baking time is the only thing you’ll have to play by ear. It may need more than half the time.

  51. Do you have a suggestion for an alternative to the almond ingredients? We are going clean but have an all nut allergic child. I appreciate your help.

  52. My child is allergic to all nuts. Now we have never been tested for coconuts, or introduced anything coconut to him. However, I am willing to bet since he is allergic to all nuts that this would be one we need to steer clear of as well. I will try the second link you gave, thanks!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Katrina – Sure! Let me know how they turn out! 🙂

  53. Hi, Tiffany. I just HAD to come by and tell you thanks for such a great recipe! I made these for my husband for Valentine’s Day as a surprise since I hadn’t made brownies for about 3 years. Since Valentine’s Day I have made 6 batches! Both of our adult children and 3 granddaughters love them and I have to hide some so that my husband always has some.
    By the way, I’ve made some double batches and carefully stored them in the freezer until we need more. Thanks, again!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Deborah – Wow!! Haha! That’s fantastic! I’m so happy everyone enjoyed them. 😀

  54. Hey Tiffany! Another great recipe and I can’t wait to try it! however I don’t have a right size pan for this so could I bake this in a 12 cup muffin tray? Any adjustments to the temperature and time? Thanks for your help! (:

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Natalie – Yes, but I would use cupcake papers so they don’t get stuck in the wells. I would start checking them 10 minutes before done time to be sure they don’t over bake. Let me know how they turn out!

  55. Right, I’ll do that. What about the temperature? I’ve just started getting into baking so I’m not sure how these things work.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Natalie – Keep the temperature the same.

  56. These brownies are delicious! I totally feel like I am cheating on my healthy eating but, I’m not!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Dianna – I’m so happy you liked them! 😀 They do feel a bit sinful, but that’s the beauty of clean eating. You don’t have to give up a ton of stuff!

  57. Can’t wait to try recipe soon…..but was wondering, ….why egg whites? Is that for health reasons or just works better? I actually prefer whole egg, but if egg white only then I shall do that….and if whole egg ok, then do u think would still be same amount? Thank you

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole – I did that to help reduce the overall fat content. If you prefer, you can use 2 whole eggs.

  58. Thank you for letting me know about eggs….I am so new to this 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Nicole – My pleasure!

  59. Do you have the nutritional info for these? They sound amazing!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Emma – Sorry, I no longer provide that info. But you can easily enter the recipe into a calculator like the one of MyFitnessPal.com. They have th easiest one I’ve seen so far.

  60. Marilyn McCorriston says:

    So interested to make this for my Mother in Law who just had a stroke. I couldn’t find the nutritional data, can you please
    give me the link?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Marilyn – You would need to enter the recipe into a recipe calculator. MyFitnessPal.com makes it super easy.

  61. I came here looking for the almond butter/honey/egg brownie recipe with no flour. It was here, and now it is gone. Can someone point me in the right direction?

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