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 are 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 substitute 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-ness to them. A nice middle ground, so to speak. However, if you want them gooier, you can add an extra ½ cup of butter and an additional 1 cup of chocolate chips. Other additions such as walnuts can be added as well. ½ 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 an additional 1/4 cup of cocoa powder PLUS a ½ cup more of flour PLUS a ½ cup of milk. Use only 1 cup of chocolate chips. Other additions such as nuts can be added at a ½ 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 as 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.

Step 1

Frit 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 your paper so it stays in place.

Place cut parchment in a brownie pan going one direction.

Step 2

Place the second piece of cut parchment going in the other direction, and press down in the corners to score your paper so it stays in place.

Placing a second piece of parchment into a brownie pan going the opposite direction from the first.

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 3

Now spray the parchment with oil just like you did the pan.

Step three of lining the pan.
Spraying a parchment lined brownie pan with an oil sprayer.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

About The Ingredients

Whole wheat pastry flour – If you can’t find any of this, look for white whole wheat flour, which is more widely available in mainstream grocery stores.

Sucanat – This is the brand name of an unprocessed sugar. You can use other unprocessed sweeteners too such as monk fruit or coconut sugar.

Unsweetened cocoa powder – You can also use cacao powder if you prefer. It’s the cleanest option.

Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt, but use whatever you normally bake with.

Butter – You can use dairy-free butter if you need it. Either way, melt it.

Large eggs – These work best at room temperature.

Chocolate chips – I use Lily’s or Enjoy Life brands. 365 also has a great sugar-free chocolate chip at Whole Foods.

How To Make Healthy Brownies

Step three of lining the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line your pan as instructed above.

Mixing the dry ingredients for this Healthy Brownies Recipe

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

Adding the wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips in 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.

The batter for this Healthy Brownies Recipe spread evenly over the pan.

Scoop the batter into the parchment-lined pan and smooth with a spatula to spread it as evenly as possible.

The baked brownies fresh out of the oven and still in the pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes.

Using the parchment paper to lift the brownies out of the baking pan.

Lift the brownies out of the pan onto a flat cutting surface and cut three times in each direction. If the brownies begin to crumble too much, then they need to cool down a bit more before you continue cutting.

The freshly cut brownies, still sitting on the cutting board.

Serve with a glass of milk!

How To Store Healthy Brownies

These are best kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. But they should be brought to room temperature or warmed for serving. If packed well, these will freeze well for up to 4 months.

Recipe Supplies

If you need a brownie pan, there are some pretty creative ones on Amazon these days. Here are a few I found. (Affiliate links)

Basic square cake pan perfect for brownies, sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Brownie pan that allows for all sides to have a brownie edge, sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Brownie pans that have individual wells for making separate brownie squared, sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)

More Healthy Brownies

Healthy Brownies Recipe Card

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Healthy brownies stacked three high.

Healthy Brownies

A delicious, no-grain, homemade brownie everyone will love!
5 from 2 votes
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:

  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup Sucanat (or coconut sugar)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ 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. Anonymous says:

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

  2. 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.

  3. graciouspantry says:

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

  4. 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!!

  5. graciouspantry says:

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. graciouspantry says:

    Wow! I’ll have to look for that!

  9. graciouspantry says:

    I hope they enjoy them. 🙂

  10. graciouspantry says:

    Awesome! So glad you all enjoyed them!

  11. 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!

  12. Valérie Maire says:

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

  13. graciouspantry says:

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

  14. graciouspantry says:

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

  15. graciouspantry says:

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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!

  19. 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?

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

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kristina – Fantastic!! 😀

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

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kimberly – My pleasure!

  22. Can I make these ahead and freeze?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kelly – Sure!

  23. 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.

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

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Joanna – Sure.

  25. 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.

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