Ultimate Vegan Brownies
Ultimate is not something that I throw around lightly, especially for vegan brownies. I've had my share of vegan and regular brownies and been baffled by how lacking vegan versions are. Growing up on my Grandmother's brownies, I learned that a good brownie should be dense, fudgy and soft; not light, cakey and dry. Why is it so hard to emulate a traditional brownie recipe that simply consists of a few simple ingredients? Hint: it's due to the egg, which emulsifies, binds, slightly leavens then bakes up as part of the actual base of the brownie itself. To emulate this takes an expedition deep into the innards of brownie science, oh and for me, about seven years of failing until figuring this out.
Vegan brownies need extra special attention paid to flavor and textureI started by emulating two eggs with water and golden flax meal. I then added some baking soda to the flour to emulate egg's subtle leavening tendencies. Cocoa powder along with semi-sweet chocolate and espresso powder allows the complex chocolate flavors to truly shine. I tested these brownies with canola oil but later settled on Vegan Butter or margarine because it allowed the flavor to mingle and slightly evolve along the flavor profile, rather than diminishing in a downward spiral which was the case with canola oil. This is why chocolate baked goods with canola oil rarely match up to chocolate baked goods with Vegan Butter or margarine. In order to make dense, soft vegan baked goods like brownies and cookies that are similar to their egg-laden counterparts, the dough must be extremely thick because the egg is not going to be there to act as a structure builder as flour does. Thus, you have to add extra flour so it can take over for the egg. The result of this vegan brownie R&D is a dense, fudgy, soft brownie with a complex chocolate flavor.
Update: I originally developed this recipe to call for 35 minutes of baking on the lowest oven rack position in your oven. Many commenters came forward with their results and it started to become clear that a shorter baking time on the middle oven rack position could actually improve the flavor and texture of the brownies. After some additional testing, I've confirmed that baking on the middle rack for 25 minutes actually yeilds softer, chewier, fudgy, more flavorful brownies with fruitier chocolate notes! It looks like the longer baking time I originally called for was cooking off some of these more volatile chocolate flavors. I'm thrilled that your helpful input was able to help me make this recipe even better!
Find more Chocolate recipes on Veganbaking.net
Ultimate Vegan Brownie Recipe3 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons golden flax meal
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
7 Tablespoons cocoa powder
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup boiling water
1 ½ cups sugar
6 Tablespoons (80 grams) Regular Vegan Butter or non-hydrogenated stick margarine, melted (not tub margarine)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
1) Prepare the flax meal, your oven and your baking dishIn a small mixing bowl whisk together the water and flax meal. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so the mixture gets goopy. Ensure your oven rack is in the middle rack position. Preheat your oven to 350F (177C). Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper allowing excess parchment paper on opposite sides so you can pull the brownies out of the baking dish later.
2) Whisk together the four and baking sodaIn a medium mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour and baking soda. Set aside.
3) Mix the vegan brownie doughIn another medium mixing bowl add the cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate, espresso powder and salt. Add the boiling water and using a spoon, mix in the ingredients into a paste, making sure that all of the chocolate pieces are melted. Add the sugar, Vegan Butter, vanilla extract, flax meal mixture from Step 1 into the chocolate mixture and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in the walnuts if you're using them. Using a spoon, mix in the flour until well combined. The mixture will become extremely thick and you may need to use your hands to mix. Refrain from mixing this dough with an electric mixer at this point; this will overwork the dough and activate too much gluten, negatively affecting the texture of the brownies.
4) Transfer the brownie batter to a baking dish and bake to perfectionTransfer the batter to the baking dish. You may need to use your fingers or a spatula to press the thick dough into place. Bake for 25 minutes on your oven's middle rack. Transfer the baking dish to a wire cooling rack and allow it to cool for about an hour.
5) Allow the vegan brownies to cool completelyTransfer the brownies to a cooling rack by lifting them out of the baking dish by taking hold of the exposed parchment paper on each side. Allow them to cool completely before slicing into squares.
This recipe makes one 8 x 8 inch baking dish of Ultimate Vegan Brownies.
A big thanks goes out to (never home)maker for the above picture.
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My husband commented here, so I use his account for my comment. haha. By the way, my husband bought one of these as he said from the local store here. In the first place, I had no interest in eating sweets cause I don't like sweets better than him, that was after I taste one bite of brownies. And I feel in love with it. And now, were going to buy ingredients to make our brownies.
It was very amazing. I always wanted to make such brownies like that. I really love eating sweets especially brownies. There's a local store here that sells brownies, and I always spend time there to have a break and have a coffee. I will try to make one just like your brownies. Thanks a lo!
I cannot say enough good things about these, they are absolutely delicious. I brought them into work the other day, and by lunch the tray was empty.
I can't get enough of these brownies!
More like Crownies
These get the golden crown for best vegan brownies. I've found my new weakness.
Fab-tastic brownies! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.
These are the best brownies ever! I cannot say enough good things about these, they are absolutely delicious. I brought them into work the other day, and by lunch the tray was empty. The crew at appliance repair Green Bay even asked me to make more soon!
Nothing like a good brownie
Come on, you can't beat a good brownie, and honestly these are top notch! Just make sure you take it easy cause these go straight to you waist......
Warner Pet Products
I love brownies, but I'm thinking of these vegan brownies for my dogs. I suppose these still have cocoa in them so perhaps it won't be suitable for dogs. I just feel bad for my dog when he sees me eating a brownie!
Simply Amazing. My wife and I have been looking for ways to eat healthy while still having some of our favorite treats. Been trying to stay away from the major weight gain that is quarantine. Still very moist and tasty! Highly recommend.
An amazing recipe me and my girlfriend baked these last Friday and wanted to let you know they were amazing.
The brownies actually taste better than the non-vegan ones. The recipe is great.
I made these for my friend's son, who has a dairy allergy. Absolutely incredible and no idea they are even vegan!
These Brownies are Dope
It looks very tasty. I will ask my sister again to baked tomorrow. This time it would be these brownies by following the recipe we have here. I know this Vegan brownies won't let me down.
I saw this recipe yesterday and I let my mom baked one batch of these brownies for me earlier today. Good thing the ingredients are available and the recipe is easy to follow. I ate a bunch and it satisfies my cravings. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Looking forward for more.
Wow. These taste better than most brownies I've had before
That are so yummy brownies!
The best brownies
These brownies are so delicious! I will never use another brownie recipe. I was skeptical the first time I made them with the amount of flour. It seems like a lot! However I trusted the recipe and mixed the dough with my hands. They are the absolute perfect brownie. The best I've ever eaten, vegan or non-vegan!! I am excited to start experimenting a bit. I'm thinking about substituting some almond flour in for the flour, using part coconut oil for the fat, and adding in shredded coconut.
I skip the parchment and just serve them in the pan. A little sticking doesn't bother me.
Thanks for the great recipe, I wish I could give this 10 stars!
These were fabulous. Some substitutions: I used Miyoko's cultured vegan butter and only did 3/4 cups of sugar. I also substituted the espresso powder for 2-3 tablespoons of strong brewed coffee left over from my morning. Used Trader Joe's semi-sweet chocolate chips and although they didn't melt all the way when I added in the boiling water that just added a little extra chocolatey bit to the brownies. Very fudgy and decadent.
Made these three times now
Excellent recipe, probably the best brownies I've tasted. I suspect that vegan brownies are a good choice to make because your aren't trying to make something light and fluffy without eggs, you are making something nice, gooey and chocolatey.
I have found best result when using a ceramic tray rather than a metal baking try. When using a metal try the sides seem to rise making more of a cake.
Previous post mentioned not being able to melt the chocolate. I put the chocolate in the microwave until it just starts to melt and then carry on with the rest of the recipe as instructed.
The one mistake I have made in the passed was using slightly too much water. It needs hardly any, the mixture seems way too thick but just persevere with it for maximum gooeyness!
Definitely the best vegan brownies
The espresso and cacoa powder is exactly right. Perfect moisture and gooey ness. Walnuts... blam.
I didn’t even have chocolate pieces to throw in there and it was still... yum!
I confess, I made mine with infused coconut oil (homemade vegan cannabutter). And before judgement, no it wasn’t that that made this recipe delicious! Cane sugar was the way to go too! Thank you!
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I have tried so many different vegan recipes that resulted in fails. I was about to give up when I found this gem. These are perfect!! Slight crisp on the outside and so gooey inside. They have the taste and consistency of a traditional brownie. I followed the recipe and I would not change a thing! Thank you!!
This has become my default recipe. It actually produces legit, BROWNIES! Not cake. Yay!
I make these for my non-vegan co-workers and they inhale them.
Am now going to attempt to make these using a gluten-free flour mix. We shall see... Hopefully it will be a win right off, and I won't have to go down the baking rabbit hole, experimenting with different flours and combos....
Thanks so much!
I am so happy I stumbled upon this recipe yesterday. We were having company over (non-vegans), and I really wanted to find a brownie recipe for dessert that would impress. I've been vegan for nearly 13 years, and this is the best recipe I've tried! Usually my brownies end up cakey or crumbly but these were truly brownies as brownies are meant to be.
A couple of changes I made: I didn't have espresso powder, so I replaced the water in the recipe with a shot of espresso. And rather than try to melt the chocolate by pouring hot liquid over it, I simply melted it in the microwave on a low heat setting. And I don't know if my flaxseeds were "golden", they looked more of a dark brown to me. :)
Took the brownies out of the oven after exactly 25 minutes, then transferred to a cooling rack as instructed. We ate them about an hour and a half later. They turned out completely perfect!!
These are truly exceptional and most people have NO idea they are vegan. I have made them many times with a few little tweaks to the recipe. My suggestion is to cut the sugar by at least half. I usually double the recipe but use only 1 cup of sugar. The chocolate is sweet enough on its own.