9/2020 note: I’ve changed the brownie base. It now uses my famous almond flour brownies as the base instead of the previous recipe, which used almond flour + a little coconut flour.
I’ve teamed up with Taylor from Food Faith Fitness and Lindsay from Cotter Crunch today to bring you some fun and healthy Halloween ideas! We’ll get to my brownies in a minute, but first…
And now for my contribution! I originally wanted to make a paleo brownie version of these grain-free spiderweb cupcakes. In those, white chocolate is used to make spiderwebs but since white chocolate is pretty far from paleo, I tried making the same spiderweb effect using a coconut butter based frosting. It just doesn’t flow like white chocolate, making spiderwebs impossible.
So I came up with these bloody eyeball brownies which I think are way more fun than spiderwebs! Don’t you just love it when something like that turns around for the better?! I first made the eyeballs with bananas but they didn’t look all that convincing.
Then I remembered Shanna’s creepy eyeball martinis from last year and got myself down to the store to get some canned lychees! They look SO much better than bananas. Lychees + chocolate + strawberry is admittedly a weird combination but I went with it because it looks so creepy. I recommend eating the eyeball first before going to town on the brownie!
The coconut butter frosting is super simple but I prefer to avoid added steps and ingredients when possible. So I assembled a few eyeball brownies without the frosting but the red didn’t pop at all. If you don’t have coconut butter, you can use any firm frosting you’d like. What was great about this one was that it hardened in the refrigerator and when it came time to decorate the brownies in the morning, it was like a canvas. If I didn’t like how the strawberry jam blood fell, I could just start over.
I assembled my brownies in the morning and when I looked at them again around 10pm, they still looked perfect. But I can’t guarantee yours will! I think it’ll probably depend on your jam.
As written, this recipe only makes 9 brownies. If you want to use a 9″x13″ pan, you can double the recipe and bake them for about 30 minutes. That results in some ridiculously thick brownies which you can see in the second picture. If I needed a ton of eyeball brownies, I’d probably double the recipe and bake them in TWO 9″x13″ pans and reduce the baking time. These are so dense and fudgy (you can’t tell by the pictures, but they’re almost like straight up fudge!) that it may not be the best idea for little ones to be eating such huge brownies. Or you could simply use a smaller circular cookie cutter! And if you hate this whole bloody eyeball thing, you can enjoy the brownies as is. They don’t need any add-ins, frosting, or anything.
If you’d like a different base, try these Paleo Delicata Squash Brownies from Fearless Dining!
Bloody Eyeball Brownies (paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 9 brownies
- 1 1/3 cups (133 grams) finely ground blanched almond flour (this is called ground almonds in many countries)
- 3/4 cup (86 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (196 grams) refined coconut oil, melted (you can use unrefined if you don't mind the coconut taste) or butter for a non-paleo version if you can have dairy
- 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) coconut sugar - it's best to weigh this! (granulated sugar for a non-paleo version)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large (50 grams each, out of shell) eggs, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons (90 grams) coconut butter (not coconut oil!)
- 1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey
- 3 tablespoons canned coconut milk
- a dash of salt, optional
- Canned lychees
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup strawberry jam
For the brownies:
For the frosting:
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line an 8"×8" (20cmx20cm) pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the melted butter or coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla extract. Once combined, add the eggs one at a time, and stir just until combined (don't use a hand mixer like in the video!).
- Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir just until almost no streaks of flour remain. Do not overmix!
- Bake for 23 minutes. The brownies will puff up a little bit and may crack a little bit around the edges and the top will appear dry and crisp (not at all wet). When you remove it from the oven and tilt the pan, it may appear to move a little but shouldn't look super jiggly. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out wet. A toothpick inserted into the sides will come out with some moist crumbs on it, but not totally raw batter. The brownies will continue to bake as they sit in the pan and will firm up as they cool.
- Let cool completely and then chill until they firm up and they become fudge-like. This makes cutting out circles easier.
- Notes!For the frosting:
- If your coconut butter is hard, very gently heat it until it's soft enough to combine with the other ingredients. I did mine at 30% power in the microwave for a few seconds. It just needs to be soft! Not melted. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. If your coconut butter melted a little bit, the frosting may look clumpy and greyish. Don't worry as it it'll turn white and solid looking once it comes to room temperature!
- Cut out circles using a biscuit cutter (mine was 2.5"). Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting over the top of the brownies. Place the brownies in the refrigerator for at least an hour so that the frosting firms up. This isn't necessary but it makes the decorating process easier. Refrigerate until almost ready to serve.
- Rinse the lychees and pat them dry with paper towels. Place a blueberry in the center of the lychee and place on a paper towel lined plate until all the eyeballs are ready. Place the eyeballs on the frosted cupcakes. Spread about 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons of jam over the eye.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
49 comments on “Bloody Eyeball Brownies (paleo, gluten-free)” — Add one!
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What a GREAT Halloween treat! You’d never catch me eating one but I know the kids would love it – what fun!
Did you use sweetened canned coconut milk for the icing? I used unsweetened and it tasted terrible. I made a double batch of brownies and frosted half of them. The second batch of icing I added 4 tbsp of confectioners sugar to try to add some sweetness but it went all grainy and greasy. I would also add that for me, using the unsalted butter in place of coconut oil in the brownie batter, that they were too greasy/oily. Next time I would reduce the butter/oil back by 1/3 or 1/4, like use 1/2 cup plus a tablespoon for a single batch. Otherwise the brownies taste pretty good, but I’m wondering what I screwed up with the icing.
I’m sorry for just now seeing your question! I didn’t use sweetened canned coconut milk (I’ve never even seen that so I’m sure). You used coconut butter and not coconut oil for the frosting, right? Because it’s naturally a bit sweet and with the honey and coconut milk, which are also a bit sweet, it’s nothing but naturally sweet ingredients. I’m sorry you thought it was terrible!
I shouldn’t have used the word terrible, that was too strong. Yes, I used coconut butter (nutiva coconut manna brand). Not my taste I guess. The brownie base was very good though!
About how many brownies did you get from the 8×8 pan? I would like to make them for our work party at an eye dr office lol
I got 9! It’s up in the yield. :)
These are so cool, they would be a huge hit at any Halloween party. SO many cute recipes, so little time.
Isn’t that the truth!
Ewww…I literally cringe at the site…these are PERFECT for halloween!
Hopefully they’re not too off-putting! ;)
These are the cutest!!! You guys did an amazing job!
Thanks so much!
What a fun idea!! I love creative Halloween ideas, and these are great. My son would go crazy for getting to eat an eyeball :)
Haha. I figured boys may like these especially well. :D
Oh MAN i love how creepy and gory these are!! what a great idea using lychees as well. i love those little guys. so good
I think those eyeballs are looking at me! lol. All the recipes are so gross yet delicious! I can’t wait to try these fun treats!
I hope you’ll enjoy them!
Gross! ;) And PERFECT for Halloween!
Thanks, Tonia! :)
You guys came up with some great creepy ideas! That eyeball makes me cringe – but knowing it’s a lychee makes me want to eat the whole thing. :)
Thank you! And wow. I’m surprised and happy that they gave you such a strong reaction!
You’re eyeball brownis looks really gross but in a good way lol for Halloween, I mean really real looking! Super creative! Love all the cute ideas!
Haha. Thanks for thinking they look gross! My job here is done. :D
I absolutely LOVE this recipe! Finally a halloween treat that I can make my kids without all of the junk! Great job!
I had a feeling you’d like them! :)
These are so deliciously creepy, I love it! Fabulous roundup, too!
Thanks, Kimberly! We did our best. :)
I want to have kids just to make these!
Haha. I know how you feel! ;)
Good call on going with the canned lychees!! I never would have thought of that. Boy are these creepy! I would still eat them, though :)
Haha. That’s good! They’re certainly worth eating. :D
These are so cute! I’m going to try and get my son to let me make these for his birthday. I think he’d love them!
I hope he will and has a happy birthday! :)
Holy Cow! These look incredible! What a gruesome yet delicious treat!
Thanks, Lauren! :)
Erin, I totally appreciate all the thought and time that went into these! I’m a huge fan of fun halloween treats, so I could definitely see myself making these!
Aww, thanks! I ate so many brownies in the process I thought I was going to be sick. So I certainly appreciate your appreciation. :D
These are ghoulishly perfect for Halloween! How fun :-)
you guys did such an awesome job with this epic roundup! These brownies are adorable and i love that they are made paleo :)
Thanks, Rachel! :)
So fun to do this with you girl, and I totally adore these brownies!!! Pinning them!
I agree! now if only we could have a halloween party together! Pretty sure I’d be having too much fun with that lychee sauce!
Yes to a healthier Halloween party! :D
Same to you! :)
Wow! These brownies look amazing!
Thanks, Medeja! :)