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Looking for the PERFECT classic vegan brownies? These vegan brownies are as fudge-y, gooey and delicious as the classic brownies you remember from childhood. They’re made with just 8 simple ingredients with 10 minutes of prep work! Once you take the first bite, your sweet tooth will be satisfied!
Although there’s a time and place for healthy brownies like our easy black bean brownies and vegan aquafaba brownies, there’s nothing that beats a rich and chocolatey fudge brownie, especially when it’s homemade AND vegan! If you follow Sweet Simple Vegan on Instagram, you’ll know I worked to perfect this classic vegan brownies recipe for two months with extensive testing! I wanted to put together a vegan brownie that was both fudgy AND cakey, just like the boxed brownie mixes I grew up with.
This post in made in collaboration with my friends over at Florida Crystals.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Vegan butter: These brownies are made with melted vegan butter. Although most of our recipes that call for melted butter can be substituted with oil, we don’t recommend it in this recipe. Oil does not absorb as well into the brownie batter and will make these brownies oily.
- Sugar: For this recipe we used Florida Crystals organic cane sugar. Florida Crystals is actually the only source for organic cane sugar grown AND harvested in the USA. As you may know, non-organic sugars are often not vegan, as they can be processed through bone char.
- Vanilla: Optional, but does add a depth of flavor and hint of additional sweetness.
- Applesauce: We used unsweetened applesauce as our vegan egg substitute in these brownies. It not only helps bind the brownie batter together, but also adds moisture, natural sweetness and keeps this recipe egg-free!
- Flour: These vegan brownies contain wheat-based all-purpose flour. We have not tested this recipe using gluten-free flour, but if you’d like to give it a try, we’d recommend using a cup for cup gluten-free flour. Or, give one of our many delicious gluten-free brownie recipes a try!
- Cocoa powder: The ingredient that gives these brownies their rich, chocolate fudgy taste. Make sure to use a Dutch process cocoa powder or baking cocoa powder. When shopping for cocoa powder, avoid brands that contain added sugar.
- Baking powder: The leavening agent that helps these brownies lift during the bake and creates that cakey consistency!
- Chocolate: You’ll need 1 oz. of good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped. We like to use one with about 60-70% cocoa. If preferred, you can also substitute 1 oz. of mini vegan chocolate chips or make our homemade vegan chocolate bars to use, too!
Fun fact: the Florida Crystals farming process is essentially zero waste. Each stalk of sugarcane produces:
- Solid fuel called bagasse which produces electricity for the facility and can light up to 53,000 homes! It is also used to make compostable containers that compost in 71 days– how cool is that?!
- Water which is reheated and reused on site the they need little to no water from outside sources.
- Sugar and molasses, of course.
How to Make the Best Vegan Brownies
- Melt the vegan butter. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the vegan butter completely.
- Mix together the wet ingredients. Place the sugar in a large mixing bowl and pour the melted butter over. Stir together until uniform. Add in the applesauce and vanilla extract and set aside.
- Mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and chopped chocolate.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry. Using a spatula, mix until combined. Work everything through until it becomes nice and uniform. It will be similar to a thick cookie dough.
- Bake. Transfer the vegan brownies to a lined 9×9 aluminum pan. Spread the vegan brownie batter evenly. It will seem like it is very thick/too dry but don’t worry, this is how it’s supposed to be! Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly crispy on the edges.
- Serve. Cool the brownies, then slice and serve with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt if desired!
These classic vegan brownies are not gluten-free, but we have several vegan and gluten-free brownie recipes for you to try! You may like our Vegan Cheesecake Brownies, Black Bean Brownies, Vegan Aquafaba Brownies, Red Velvet Brownies, Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies, or Black Bean Fudge Brownies!
Vegan brownies use a higher fat to flour ratio compared to other baked goods such as vegan cake. This is what makes them incredibly fudgy and delicious. Vegan brownies can become oily if the fat does not absorb well enough into the flour before baking. In our experience, vegan butter absorbs much better into the brownie batter than oils such as coconut oil, avocado oil, or vegetable oil.
Crumbly brownies are often a result of overmixing the brownie batter. For the best gooey, fudgy brownies, you want to mix the batter together until just combined.
Vegan brownies will store best in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Brownies that have been refrigerated will become denser and more fudgy, but still delicious!
Can you freeze vegan brownies?
Absolutely! If you’ve made more brownies than you can eat or you simply want to stash a few brownies away for when a chocolate craving strikes, these brownies freeze like a dream! Allow your vegan brownies to cool completely then cut into individual brownie squares. Wrap each brownie in plastic wrap, then place together in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Tips for Success
- Vegan brownies are done when a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Unlike when baking cakes or quick breads, it is okay for the toothpick to not come out completely clean. However, if the batter still appears very wet, keep baking! We have found through our extensive testing that these vegan brownies are always done between 25 to 30 minutes.
- Allow them to cool! Although warm brownies are DELICIOUS and sometimes impossible to resist, they are very difficult to slice. These vegan brownies will continue to set after removing them from the oven and are easiest to slice once cool.
- How to slice vegan brownies: If you are planning to serve these vegan brownies to friends and family, you’ll want to cut them as clean as possible. For best clean cuts, use a large, sharp knife. Just before slicing, run the knife under hot water, wipe it dry, then slice, wiping the knife between each slice.
- Measure the flour correctly. A very common mistake people make when measuring flour is scooping the flour from the bag with the measuring cup. Although this is convenient, it packs too much flour into the cup and will make your vegan brownies dry and crumbly. Learn how to measure flour accurately with this helpful article.
More Chocolate Vegan Desserts You May Enjoy:
- Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread
- Chocolate Soufflé Cake
- Vegan Chocolate Mousse
- Vegan Chocolate Peanut Fudge
- Homemade Vegan Chocolate Bars
- Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cookies
Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!