Vegan Brownies (Gluten-free, Oil-free)

These are the worst vegan brownies ever.

If I say they are the best vegan brownies ever than you’ll have super high expectations that we might not be able to meet. Like when everyone raved about how great Titanic was and then I saw it and was completely disappointed because it didn’t live up to the hype. I would hate for that to happen with my new favorite brownies.

Vegan Brownies

Vegan Brownies

Because I’m in heaven. Just heaven. For I have just perfected my new favorite vegan dessert. It’s gooey, fudgy, chocolatey, and delicious! It is dairy-free, gluten-free, oil-free, and egg-free. I had sort of resigned myself to never having a good brownie again since going plant-based. And there was certainly no chance of having a good vegan, gluten-free brownie.

Well, I was wrong. And I am so happy to be wrong on this one.

It all started when I found this recipe at Oh She Glows that was a recipe Angela slightly adapted from the Clean Start cookbook by Terry Walters. I had two perfectly slightly over-ripened bananas calling for me to use them in a sweet treat so I used these recipes as a starting point and made some of my own modifications. One of those was adding some xanthum gum to prevent them from being crumbly. When baking with gluten-free flours you need something to hold it all together. After one try without the xanthum gum and one try with it, I have proclaimed a winner.

Oh happy day. I’m still doing my happy dance as I sit here and eat another brownie.

Vegan Brownies

Vegan Brownies

I was looking for something gluten-free as I’ve found lately that I feel so much better when I avoid wheat. I was intrigued by the use of teff flour in these brownies as teff is the main ingredient in injera, a spongy Ethiopian bread that I love. I bought a package of teff flour by Bob’s Red Mill a while back but never got around to making injera. I am now in love with teff. It doesn’t have a weird taste like some non-wheat flours, cooked just fine, and in addition to being gluten-free, has a great nutritional profile.

According to the Bob’s Red Mill website, whole grain teff, “compared to other grains, has a much larger percentage of bran and germ so it’s a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, iron, amino acids, vitamin C and calcium. The calcium content in teff significantly surpasses that of all other grains.” Hey, that’s good enough for me!

Here’s to an amazing gluten-free, oil-free and seriously yummy vegan brownie! But let’s just pretend they are terrible because I don’t want you to be disappointed if they don’t live up to the hype.

P.S. Through an extensive and well-vetted sampling control process, I have determined that these taste best right out of the oven. Should you desire not to eat the entire pan in one sitting (which I recommend), store them in the refrigerator and pop them in the microwave for about 20 seconds when you are ready for another one.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Vegan Brownies (Gluten-free, Oil-free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Oil-free
Wet Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 16 pitted medjool dates, quartered
  • 2 medium ripe bananas (the riper the bananas, the sweeter this will be)
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown teff flour
  • 1 cup almond meal (if you don’t have almond meal you can grind almonds in your food processor)
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare an 8” x 8” pan. We used a metal non-stick pan that required no preparation. Otherwise use parchment or a small amount of non-stick spray to prevent the brownies from sticking to the pan.
  2. In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend the applesauce, dates, bananas, maple syrup, and vanilla until they are smooth.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the teff flour, almond meal, xanthum gum, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips, being careful not to over mix the batter. The batter will be fairly thick.
  5. Pour the batter into your pan and smooth it out until it is spread evenly.
  6. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. These kept in our refrigerator for 5 days. And it’s amazing we didn’t eat them all before that!
  7. Makes about 16 brownies.


This recipe was submitted to Ricki Heller’s Wellness Weekend and

Healthy Vegan Fridays

Share and share alike!
Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest835Email this to someone

About Plantivores Admin is a hot, new online community and collection of resources dedicated to making a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle more accessible, convenient, and sustainable. We are committed to educating, inspiring, and connecting you with comprehensive resources, tools, products, and services to support your plantivore journey.

23 thoughts on “Vegan Brownies (Gluten-free, Oil-free)

  1. Pingback: Healthy Vegan Friday 67: Best Vegan Recipes Roundup

  2. Pingback: Healthy Vegan Friday #67: Delicious Fall Goodness

  3. Pingback: health vegan friday # 67- spooky halloween foods - the veggie nook | the veggie nook

    • Plantivores Admin Post author

      Thanks Maria! You are most welcome. Please let us know how you like them when you make them.

  4. MarthaLA

    When I kept hens, I always spoke of their eggs as being worth their weight in gold because of the high price of their feed. I’m vegan now. But no richer. And these brownies should be worth their weight in platinum and diamonds. I’m not likely to find out if they are. Organic Medjul dates $5.99; approximately 22 dates/lb. Organic maple syrup 12 oz bottle $7.75. A cup of almonds (meal) in addition to 2/3 cup of walnuts. I’d rather put a tablespoon or so of cocoa powder in my morning oatmeal on occasion, along with my usual 1/8 cup of chopped walnuts, half banana, etc. I find eating vegan saves me money, but not enough to make your recipe; I’d rather put the savings towards more necessary things. Sorry, but I find this ridiculous. But feel free to delete, as I’m sure you will.

  5. Jen

    Well in response to the above comment, I’d like to first, that “haters ‘got to hate.” Yes this specific ingredient list is pricey, but frankly it’s not often I make vegan desserts. So, maybe every once in a while, it won’t break the bank (like a plate of warm brownies at Christmas!)
    That said, whoever said you can’t modify to fit your needs? I’m not gluten sensitive, and not owning any teff flour (yes I’m familiar with it and intrigued) I might just sub wheat flour. Nonetheless you created a healthy brownie that has great texture and hopefully great flavor! With no added oils and no refined sugars.
    So I guess, MarthaLA, If you want to save money, just go buy some greasy deli brownies. Or enjoy your bowl of oatmeal in the dark.

  6. MarthaLA

    Well, Jen, my comment wasn’t snarky. Nor was it hateful in the least. I just didn’t cheer, applaud, say how great, wonderful, fantastic, etc. this recipe is. So no need for you to (over-react) leap in to defend whoever posted this recipe. No need for you to ‘put down’ the terrible person (me) who expressed her point of view in a public forum. I do find it ridiculous to spend so much for so little (quantity) for a brief moment of pleasure. …Maybe if the point was to provide that pleasure to someone, say a child, hospitalized for some dread disease and gluten intolerant. But this was patently, indeed expressedly, for SELF indulgence. Though nothing wrong with some occasional self indulgence.

    And no, I won’t buy greasy deli brownies, never have, never will. (What’s with greasy deli stuff? Not mentioned anywhere, not by me, for sure.) As to enjoying my bowl of oatmeal in the dark, what does that even mean? …Lessee, maybe that I’m unenlightened? Puhleeze. Snarky, Jen.

    I’m not sure how she would be cutting an 8×8 pan of brownies to get 18. 16 would be more realistic. That’s with 1-inch square brownies. Small! At a dollar or more each, at a guess. I’d rather stick a walnut half in a Medjul date, as I do from time to time; have two stuffed dates, if I’m really indulging. SO much closer to a whole plant foods approach. SO VERY MUCH LESS expensive. SO much less trouble. So good. For that matter, I’d rather buy a Betty Crocker brownie mix once or twice a year, if I’m that desparate for self indulgence; I don’t try to be perfect in my veganism. This isn’t religion, and I don’t think an occasional processed snack would be a ‘sin’, nor cancel out an ongoing whole plant foods approach.

    But, Jen, if this fits your budget, and your lifestyle, diet, and desire, and you want to make this recipe or any variation thereof, feel free to indulge in a pan of these brownies on Christmas or any other day of your choice. I didn’t say you or anyone else shouldn’t. Only that I won’t. No hate involved (on my part).

    • Anita

      Maybe you were thinking the worst, MarthaLA….that’s not good for your health!! Thanks, Jen, for the recipe! I have 1 child that has gluten/dairy intolerance, and another that’s allergic to eggs. This recipe is a huge blessing!!

  7. Pingback: Candida diet, whole foods, sugar-free, vegan Wellness Weekend Event | Ricki Heller

  8. Emma

    These look fudge-tastic!! I love teff flour but haven’t used it in much other than for injera. Great to know that it can be used successfully in baked goods.

  9. Pingback: Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts | Plantivores

  10. Stacey

    These look delicious! I’ll make them for Christmas. I’m always looking for new ways to introduce my family and friends into vegan foods. And I’m celiac so these are perfect!

  11. Rachel

    I am about to make these for the third time – I have made over a hundred recipes I have found on Pinterest in the past 2 years, and my husband and I agree that these are by and far the best recipe ever (sweet or savory)!! We are craving them all the time. I did make some changes to meet our dietary choices (sorghum flour, half maple syrup and half almond milk with stevia, and carob powder). I also made a version of it lemon with lemon juice and stevia instead of maple syrup and left the chocolate out – also came out great. I think this is my go-to dessert recipe. THANK YOU!!

    • Plantivores Admin Post author

      Wow Rachel, I am so excited about how excited you are about these! Thank you for your kind words and I love how you’ve taken this recipe and made it your own. The lemon version sounds really yummy too!


      • Rachel

        I don’t have a blog. For the lemon, it is pretty much identical to this recipe:
        might be good to try blueberries or poppy seeds
        Wet Ingredients
        1/2 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
        7 pitted large medjool dates, quartered
        1 medium ripe bananas
        1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about three lemons) and zest from lemons
        1 tsp vanilla extract
        four vials liquid stevia

        Dry Ingredients
        1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp white sorghum flour
        1/2 cup almond meal
        2 tsp baking powder
        1/2 tsp baking soda
        1/4 tsp salt

        Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare an 8” x 8” pan. Line pan with parchment around all edges.
        In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend the applesauce, dates, bananas, lemon juice, and vanilla until they are smooth.
        In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
        Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix the batter. The batter will be fairly thick.
        Pour the batter into your pan and smooth it out until it is spread evenly.
        Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (generally takes longer to bake).

        Frosting Ingredients:
        1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours or overnight)
        5 large Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
        3 Tbsp lemon juice and zest from one lemon
        1 Tbsp soy milk
        1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
        3 drops liquid stevia

        1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

  12. Pingback: Plant-Based (Vegan) Passover Recipe Roundup | Plantivores

  13. Marte

    Omg this looks incredible!! I’m 15 and vegan and i absolutely cant wait to try this! Can i just ask though, is there a substitution for teff flour? Can i just use regular gluten free flour? And is the xanthum gum neccessery? Thank so much for this recipe!

    • Plantivores Admin Post author

      Hi Marte. Thanks for writing! I have never made these using anything other than what is written in the recipe so I can’t guarantee how they will come out. You could probably substitute for both the teff and almond meal with a gluten-free flour mix. You might need to adjust the proportions of your liquid as different flours absorb liquids differently. Try it first as written and if it is too wet, add in more gf flour a tablespoon at a time. If it is too dry, add more applesauce. If the gf mix you use doesn’t already contain xantham gum, you will need to add it. The gluten in flour is what binds baked goods together, so not having it in gf flour will leave you with a crumbly mess instead of a moist, sticky brownie. Please let me know how it turns out if you decide to go this route. Thanks! Wendy


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: