Chocolate Zucchini Brownies (100% whole grain, dairy-free)

The most gooey chocolate zucchini brownies ever! You’d never guess these are healthy and made with whole grains, zucchini and that applesauce takes the place of oil!

Some other bloggers and I are posting healthier dishes today and taking a minute to help spread awareness on childhood obesity. Now brownies don’t exactly help with the issue but if you’re going to have dessert, why not make it healthier if you really can’t taste a difference? :)

These chocolate zucchini brownies have no added fat (except what’s in the chocolate chips) and are full of zucchini and whole grains (but really do not taste like it!) so you can feel good about giving these to your children.

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies - 100% whole grain, dairy-free, and have no added fat other than what is in the chocolate chips! So gooey and chocolatey, nobody will have a clue that these are made healthier!

Really, unless your kids watch you make these, there’s no way that they’ll be able to tell that these chocolate brownies have zucchini in them. Or that they’re whole wheat or whole spelt. The original recipe from The Baltic Maid used a little more sugar but I found these plenty sweet. And if you have portion control issues, these halve beautifully! Use a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan and bake for only 14 minutes. I highly recommend not decreasing the amount of chocolate chips in the batter. You can definitely skip the ones on top but these zucchini brownies rely on the sweetness and flavor from the chocolate chips!

I’m not one to be afraid of a little coconut oil, olive oil or any of the “healthier” fats, but these do add calories to the final product. Calories which help contribute to weight gain. The obesity rate in elementary school children (ages 6-11) has quadrupled over the past four decades and a third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. And these kids are more likely to be obese as adults.

100% Whole Grain + Dairy-free Chocolate Zucchini Brownies - nobody will have a clue that these are made healthier!

That’s why it’s important to instill healthy eating habits in our kids from the very beginning. Why set them up for failure?

The other bloggers and I are so excited to be working with Partnership for a Healthier America, which is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to end childhood obesity, to help bring awareness to this issue. So what healthy change are you going to make this school year? I don’t have kids yet but I’m going to do my best to keep bringing you healthier recipes! Less sugar, no processed junk, and whole grain or gluten / grain-free.

Be sure to check out the other back to school dishes!

Zucchini Chocolate Brownies (100% whole grain, dairy-free)

Rated 4.9 by 41 readers
Chocolate Zucchini Brownies (100% whole grain, dairy-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 16 brownies


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar or unrefined sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup (125 grams) whole wheat flour or whole spelt flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder (regular cocoa powder would also work - I just prefer the darker taste of Dutch-process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (about 300 – 320 grams) peeled and grated zucchini
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips + 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to sprinkle on top (for dairy-free, use Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line an 8"x8" pan with parchment paper or spray with baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla, coconut sugar, and apple sauce and let this sit for 5 minutes to let the coconut sugar dissolve.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder (sifted if lumpy!), baking soda and salt. Make sure there are no clumps before going on to the next step.
  4. Add the dry mix to the wet, gently stir until combined. Be sure not to over mix!
  5. Then fold in the zucchini and 1 cup chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and even the surface with a spatula.
  7. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips on top.
  8. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes (14 minutes for the half batch) or until a toothpick inserted in the middle doesn't come out gooey. It might still be sticky - just not have raw batter on it.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to one week in the refrigerator. I recommend storing them in the refrigerator right from the beginning due to their high moisture content.

Adapted from Healthy Zucchini Brownies – The Baltic Maid

Recipe by  |

100% Whole Grain + Dairy-free Chocolate Zucchini Brownies - nobody will have a clue that these are made healthier!

I did not receive compensation for this post and all opinions expressed are my own. This giveaway has been sponsored by Partnership for a Healthier America and All-Clad (thank you so much!) For further information, please read my disclosure statement.

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289 comments on “Chocolate Zucchini Brownies (100% whole grain, dairy-free)” — Add one!

  • Tracy Harp says
    January 11, 2016 @ 9:28 pm

    We went plant based last January and this brownie has become our occasional treat! Instead of eggs I have used flax eggs (1 Tbsp ground flax with 3 Tbsp water per egg) and last time tried an aqua faba substitute (the liquid that drains off of chick peas). Both work fabulously!! These brownies are rich and moist. Our favorite way to eat them is topped with fresh strawberries.

    • Erin replies to Tracy Harp
      January 15, 2016 @ 9:43 am

      How awesome that your vegan subs worked out well! Thanks for sharing your tips with us. :)

  • Kelly says
    January 6, 2016 @ 1:34 am

    I made these tonight and they are delicious! I was making them on a whim from my pantry and only had granulted sugar so I used that. I also only had a bag of mixed chocolate chips and peanut butter chips and let me just tell you… I don’t regret using that combo! In the future I’m going to try to pare down the refined sugar even more and use the coconut sugar and maybe a different kind of chocolate chip, but for now I’m enjoying these and feeling pretty satisfied with myself that they are pretty healthy!

    • Erin replies to Kelly
      January 7, 2016 @ 9:52 am

      Mixed chocolate and peanut butter chips sounds amazing! I’ll definitely have to try that. :) I’m happy that they came out well for you. Thanks a bunch for your feedback and let me know how the different chocolate chip versions go!

  • Char says
    December 29, 2015 @ 10:33 am

    Hi, do you think we can sub applesauce for the eggs and still get a good result? Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Char
      December 30, 2015 @ 2:48 am

      Hi, there! I haven’t tried that sub so I’m not sure if it’d work out. I’m pretty sure it’d make the brownies a bit more cakey and a lot less fudgy, though. Sorry I don’t have a more definite answer for you!

  • Sarah says
    November 4, 2015 @ 3:04 am

    How many calories are in each brownie and can you substitute whole wheat flour for almond flour?

    • Erin replies to Sarah
      November 4, 2015 @ 3:37 pm

      I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here and it’ll give you what you’re looking for. :) Almond flour isn’t interchangeable with wheat. If you need these to be gluten-free, I’d recommend oat flour (though I haven’t tried it myself).

  • Shae says
    October 14, 2015 @ 2:57 am

    THESE ARE THE BEST BROWNIES I’VE EVER MADE! I was looking for alternative ways to make desserts and cam across this recipe i tried it and they were perfect, i have made them multiple time since. One time i used half chocolate chips and half butterscoth for a party everyone was in awe….Tonight i made them and substituted the applesauce for pumpkin puree and added nutmeg and cinnamon to turn them into delicious fall brownies….MY FAVORITE RECIPE! thank you so much ive had so many people ask me for the recipe.

    • Erin replies to Shae
      October 14, 2015 @ 5:35 pm

      Wow! I’m so happy that you’ve been enjoying them so much. And I love your experimenting! The pumpkin puree version sounds like something I need to try. :) Thanks a ton for your feedback and for sharing your variations!


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