Zucchini Brownies (gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free options)

The gooiest zucchini brownies ever! You’d never guess these are made a little healthier and made with whole grains (but can also be made with all-purpose or gluten-free flour) or that zucchini and that applesauce takes the place of oil! Scroll to the bottom of the post for a how-to recipe video.

I don’t like zucchini at all. I’m also not a fan of “hiding” veggies in my dessert recipes, because I can always tell that they’re in there. That’s not the case with these brownies!

These healthy zucchini brownies still have sugar in them, but they’re not quite as bad as your usual brownie recipe. If you want something especially naughty, try these gluten-free brownies, which are really the best brownies ever – gluten-free or not! They can also be made with whole wheat flour.

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 (can also be made with all-purpose flour), 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

* I love healthy fats and usually load up my recipes with them. But in this one, it’s just not needed!

Really, unless your kids watch you make these, or you grate the zucchini coarsely, there’s no way that they’ll be able to tell that these brownies have zucchini in them. Or that they’re whole wheat or whole spelt. The gluten-free version also doesn’t taste gluten-free!

Want some more kid-friendly recipes? Try my no-bake oatmeal cookies. They’re whole grain and naturally gluten-free + vegan. And perfect for the lunch box!

This whole wheat banana bread is also a favorite and you can always toss in some walnuts or chocolate chips for something different.

And if you have portion control issues, these brownies 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!

100% Whole Grain (can also be made with all-purpose flour) + Dairy-free Chocolate Zucchini Brownies - nobody will have a clue that these are made healthier

I’m pretty sure you’d be disappointed if you didn’t use the chocolate in the batter. And I definitely don’t want that!

Be sure to use Dutch-process cocoa powder in these zucchini brownies. If you use the regular natural kind (like Hershey’s) these zucchini brownies will likely come out cakey instead of nice and fudgy like you see!

Besides, once you have some Dutch-process cocoa powder, you’ll be able to make these whole wheat chocolate cupcakes! They’re seriously just as delicious as traditional cupcakes made with all-purpose flour.

If you don’t mind the brownies being cakey and want to use regular cocoa powder, then go for it! Some commenters have mentioned making them with regular cocoa powder and loving them.

Click here to view, comment or share the video on Facebook! Or check it out below. Thank you. :)

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

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Rated 4.9 by 66 readers
Zucchini Brownies (gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free options)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs (50 grams each, out of shell)
  • 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 or Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour for the gluten-free version
  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder (using regular cocoa powder may result in cakey brownies)
  • 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)

Directions

  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.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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474 comments on “Zucchini Brownies (gluten-free, whole grain, dairy-free options)” — Add one!

  • Paige hamilton says
    July 5, 2018 @ 3:35 am

    Super delicious! I used coconut flour instead. They are a little crumbly because of it, but stick together for the most part. Didn’t bother my husband, the brownie lover in the house. These are perfect with milk or lactose free milk in my case ;)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Paige hamilton
      July 5, 2018 @ 10:54 am

      Oh, wow. I’m shocked that they worked with coconut flour! Did you make any adjustments? Coconut flour isn’t really interchangeable with wheat flour so that’s why I’m asking. Thanks for letting me know your results!

      Reply
  • Cynthia says
    May 28, 2018 @ 11:29 pm

    I made these with the dutch processed cocoa but they still tasted and looked cakey. Still pretty good though. My dutch process cocoa had the same color as the regular cocoa. I bought it in Earthfare.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Cynthia
      June 2, 2018 @ 4:33 pm

      Hmm. Interesting! I’m not sure why your cocoa powder had a lighter color but I don’t think it explains anything. I’m happy that they were still tasty. :)

      Reply
  • stephanie paulus says
    May 21, 2018 @ 7:39 pm

    I made the recipe with trim healthy mama gentle sweet (1 cup)in place of sugar, spelt for the flour and left out the chocolate chips and whoo hoo they are only 1 point per square for weight watchers (12 serv). (I just had regular cocoa) so they tasted just like a chocolate wacky cake. Definitely a keeper.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to stephanie paulus
      May 23, 2018 @ 9:09 pm

      That’s great! I’m so happy that they came out well with your sweetener and that you’ll be making them again. :) Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • Jessica says
    May 20, 2018 @ 8:57 am

    I made these using wholemeal flour and raw sugar as I am allergic to coconut and almond and they turned out Great!! I added a little extra chips just because I love dark chocolate and they turned out well. I also double the batch to make them a bit thubkcker but I also used a larger tin. I Will be usibg this recipe from now on for when I feel like something a little naughty but also a little guilt free!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jessica
      May 21, 2018 @ 12:32 pm

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed them and that you’ll be making them again! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)

      Reply
  • Lisa says
    May 16, 2018 @ 8:34 pm

    Just wondering what the nutritional values are for this recipe. Like how many carbs, sugars etc. I really want to make these.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Lisa
      May 18, 2018 @ 11:16 am

      I don’t have that info but you could use this recipe analyzer if you’d like for the nutritional profile. :)

      Reply
  • Sandy says
    April 16, 2018 @ 3:53 am

    I’m looking for a recipe that I can use Bobs red mill gluten free all purpose baking flour. Would this work in these brownies? The ingredients in the flour are garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, white sorghum four and favs bean flour

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Sandy
      April 16, 2018 @ 8:44 pm

      I’ve never tried that – only the 1 to 1 GF Baking Flour that comes in a blue bag. I think it’d probably work in these. But since I haven’t tried it, I can’t say for sure. Sorry about that!

      Reply
  • Maria says
    April 11, 2018 @ 4:39 pm

    Made this!!!! It was DELICIOUS! My kids loved it! They don’t even know they are eating zucchini plus no oil….it’s great. We will be baking these brownies more often. I follow the recipe except for one thing. Since I saw some of the reviews of an eggy taste, I adding one whole egg and 3 Tablespoons of another egg. It was perfect!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Maria
      April 12, 2018 @ 7:48 pm

      I’m happy that they came out well for you and that your kids enjoyed them! Thanks for the tip on the egg. :)

      Reply
  • Kylie
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    March 23, 2018 @ 5:55 am

    I just made these. They smell and look great but have an eggy taste to them. I used all the same amounts of the ingredients so unsure why? Maybe they need to cook longer? The skewer came out clean but it’s gooey to cut into.
    I also used dark chocolate powder as i had it in the cupboard and normal chocolate chips but i cant see that making much of a difference

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kylie
      March 24, 2018 @ 1:10 pm

      hmm. The chips and cocoa powder shouldn’t have made a difference. I don’t recall anyone saying that these taste eggy so I’m not really sure what could have caused that! Do you by any chance live outside of the US? Large eggs in the US are smaller than in Europe, where 50 grams would actually be an XL egg. Do they taste less eggy after sitting a bit?

      Reply
      • Kylie replies to Erin
        March 25, 2018 @ 8:56 am

        I live in Australia so not sure about the egg sized but they weren’t very big ones
        I haven’t tried them again yet but my friend likes them and said they just have a funny after taste but I assumed that would happen since its so different to anything we’ve eaten before. Still a great recipe and easier to make than I expected!
        Hoping i grow used to the slightly different texture and taste since they’re so much healthier:)

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Kylie
          March 27, 2018 @ 9:33 pm

          Well I’m happy you still liked them! If you want something that tastes 100% like regular brownies, try these gluten-free brownies. You can use whole wheat flour in them and they’re every bit as fudgy as regular brownies. :)

      • Cynthia replies to Erin
        May 23, 2018 @ 12:13 am

        Hi. I read that dutch processed cocoa powder should only be used with baking powder but your recipe calls for baking soda. Will it still come out correctly?

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Cynthia
          May 23, 2018 @ 9:06 pm

          Yes. That’s how all the reviewers made it – with baking soda. :)

  • Lys
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    February 24, 2018 @ 8:41 pm

    Just made it last night because I suddenly need to use up all my zucchini and remember I had this recipe pinned for ages already. It taste a bit too eggy on the crust side I dont know why, cut down the sugar into half cup and it still taste amazing, thanks for the great amount of chocolate on it. Thank you for being my saviour last night.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Lys
      February 25, 2018 @ 9:56 pm

      I’m so happy you enjoyed them! I’ve never had them taste eggy on the crust side. Maybe use the full amount of sugar next time? No idea! I’m happy you found a nice way to use up your zucchini. :) Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • Heather says
    February 21, 2018 @ 2:35 pm

    I’m excited to try to make these, but I just bought some almond flour and coconut flour for other recipes and thought I’d try to use one of them in this recipe too(that stuff is expensive so I don’t want it to go to waste!) I wonder if anyone has tried it? I don’t have the Dutch process cocoa powder either but I think I will prefer the cakey texture anyway.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Heather
      February 21, 2018 @ 2:43 pm

      Hi! I do most of my baking with almond and coconut flours these days and don’t recommend experimenting with them here. They’re not at all interchangeable with wheat! I have tons of recipes that use both, though. You can find them in my paleo recipes section. :)

      Reply
      • Heather replies to Erin
        February 21, 2018 @ 3:04 pm

        Thanks! I will check out those other recipes and stick to wheat for this one. I’m new to this alternative flour game. 😉

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Heather
          February 23, 2018 @ 8:20 pm

          You’re welcome! I’ve been baking with almond and coconut flour for years and converting a wheat recipe to use those two flours still usually takes me about a dozen tries. So definitely look for recipes that already call for them. It’ll save you a lot of time and money. ;)

  • Hayley
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    February 4, 2018 @ 8:35 am

    Sooo good! I was worried looking at all the zucchini in the batter but these are amazing. Could not be more impressed!

    The one change I made – used a really ripe banana in place of applesauce, just because it’s what I happened to have on hand!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Hayley
      February 4, 2018 @ 8:49 pm

      I’m so happy that the banana worked out well! Thanks for the tip. :)

      Reply
  • Chelsea says
    January 20, 2018 @ 8:01 am

    These look incredible! For the gluten-free version, can I use Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free flour? Would that work with this recipe? It does not contain xanthum gum in it though. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Chelsea
      January 21, 2018 @ 10:03 am

      I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. That mix uses a blend of different flours than the one in the blue bag so I’m really not sure. Sorry about that! I’d love to hear how it goes if you try it out. :)

      Reply
  • Kinny Lau
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    December 12, 2017 @ 4:31 pm

    I’ve made these TWICE with amazing results! Don’t care much for the taste of baking soda, so I subbed with 2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp baking soda instead. It worked like a dream. This recipe is awesome even with the zucchini skin on. At first the mixture got pretty stiff once I incorporated the dry ingredients. Now I use a little of the zucchini juice in the bowl to moisten the batter so I can stir without over-mixing things. I read another reader’s suggestion about yoghurt and used that instead of applesauce and again this is a perfect sub. An 8 by 8 brownie is not big enough for me, so I bake 1.5 times of this recipe in a 9 by 9 pan. I’d rate this a million stars, but your site only allows 5 ;) Thanks for a great recipe!

    Reply
    • Cassie
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      replies to Kinny Lau
      December 13, 2017 @ 4:19 pm

      I’ve made these brownies for family/guests that are dairy free/soy free and they absolutely LOVE them… I’ve even eaten quite a bit myself. Is there a way to make this vegan? I’m thinking an egg substitute? As all of the other ingredients seem ok. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
      • Erin replies to Cassie
        December 13, 2017 @ 4:40 pm

        I’m happy to hear that your family has been enjoying them! I’ve never tried these with an egg substitute and I haven’t had the best luck with egg subs in brownies. So I honestly have no idea if they’d work in these. Sorry about that! If you decide to try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes. :) Thanks for your comment!

        Reply
    • Erin replies to Kinny Lau
      December 13, 2017 @ 4:20 pm

      Oooh! Making 1.5x the recipe in a 9×9 must yield some nice and thick brownies. I’ll have to try that! It’s good to hear from another person that yogurt works well as a sub for applesauce. I’ll have to try that! And thanks for rating the recipe “just” 5 stars. ;) Thanks a bunch for your comment!

      Reply
      • Cynthia replies to Erin
        May 25, 2018 @ 2:09 am

        Can a 9×13 pan be used?

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Cynthia
          May 28, 2018 @ 6:06 pm

          Sorry for just now seeing this! You could probably double the recipe for a 9×13 and just keep a close eye on the baking time (but I haven’t tried it).

  • Shana says
    September 27, 2017 @ 12:01 am

    These are INSANE!!! My kids absolutely devoured them – these will be our only brownie recipe from now on. Love!! :)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Shana
      September 27, 2017 @ 7:20 pm

      Oh, wow. So happy that you’ve found a new favorite brownie recipe! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)

      Reply
  • Sarah
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    September 25, 2017 @ 10:03 pm

    Just made these with a few changes.
    I used 3/4 cup of Truvia baking blend, 350g unpeeled zucchini and a total of 220g enjoy life chocolate (mix of chunks and mini chips).
    Nutrition info for 1/16th of recipe came out to 136 calories each (6f/20c/4p)
    They were incredible!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Sarah
      September 27, 2017 @ 7:15 pm

      That’s great to know that it works well with Truvia! Thanks for sharing your nutritional analysis and for your comment. :) I’m so happy you liked them!

      Reply
  • Jessica says
    September 21, 2017 @ 8:27 pm

    Hello! Those look scrumptious! May I please ask or do you know how many weight watchers smart points are these per serving?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jessica
      September 21, 2017 @ 9:29 pm

      Hi there! Unfortunately I have no idea. :( Sorry about that!

      Reply
  • Kattia says
    September 14, 2017 @ 6:42 am

    I Ann just making this that looks delicious but I have to doble the recipe and then make another batch for the size I wanted I in my secound batch I totally forgot the bakin soda I’m worry how they will turn because I made the recipe x 7 oh!!! Noooooo

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kattia
      September 15, 2017 @ 8:51 am

      Oh no! I hope that they came out well. I wouldn’t recommend doing a recipe x7 for next time! I would at most double it.

      Reply
  • Megan says
    August 6, 2017 @ 1:31 am

    Could I use a 9″x9″ baking pan instead? Or will brownies be too thin?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Megan
      August 6, 2017 @ 8:55 am

      They’re pretty thick so I think it’d work! Just check them a little earlier than called for.

      Reply
  • Katie says
    July 31, 2017 @ 12:25 am

    Are these ok to freeze?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Katie
      July 31, 2017 @ 11:10 am

      I haven’t tried it but I’m pretty sure that’d be fine!

      Reply
  • Molly says
    July 30, 2017 @ 1:43 am

    I discovered this recipe about 3 years ago and it has become one of my very favorite summer time recipes. It has an incredible chocolate flavor, comes together super fast, and isn’t terrible for you. Last time I made the recipe I found out my applesauce was moldy after I had already set my heart on making these and subbed plain yogurt with good results. I’ve also tried with the zucchini skin still on, also a success. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Molly
      August 1, 2017 @ 10:20 pm

      That’s great that plain yogurt works out well! I would have never thought to try that. And I’m so happy that you’ve been enjoying the recipe the past few years! Thanks a bunch for your nice comment. :)

      Reply
  • kirsten
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    July 20, 2017 @ 2:34 am

    what a great, fudgy, nutrient dense recipe! as a dietitian, i am always on the hunt for healthy dessert recipes that still taste good. i have made quite a few of your recipes and have enjoyed all of them (especially the pumpkin pie bars and the caramel apple cheesecake bars). i did modify the recipe a litle; reduced sugar to 1/2 cup and i also left the skin of the zucchini on since that’s where a majority of the nutrients are. admittedly by doing so it made it that much more obvious that there was zucchini in the batter but since i’m the only one eating these brownies, i really don’t care about that. came out extremely fudgy which is how i like my brownies! will definitely be making again!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to kirsten
      July 22, 2017 @ 10:10 am

      I’m so happy that you’ve been enjoying the recipes! Great to know that this recipe works well with less sugar. I’ll have to try that, too! And good idea to not peel the zucchini if you don’t have picky kids around. :) Thanks for your comment and sorry for just now seeing it!

      Reply
  • Jess says
    July 16, 2017 @ 10:35 pm

    Can either the loaf pan or 8×8 be used? Are the textures the same for both? The description says the loaf pan but the recipe calls for the 8×8.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jess
      July 16, 2017 @ 11:21 pm

      A sentence went missing! I have no idea what happened. Sorry about that! The loaf pan is if you want to halve the recipe. Then the texture is the same. If you want to make the full recipe, you need to use an 8×8. Sorry for the confusion!

      Reply
  • Maddi says
    July 1, 2017 @ 6:47 am

    I really want to make these tomorrow, but I was wondering if anyone happens to have the calories count for the recipe as is? Either way I’m making them 😂 but it’d be nice to know. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Maddi
      July 1, 2017 @ 9:00 pm

      I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. :) Hope you’ll enjoy them!

      Reply
  • Deborah says
    June 23, 2017 @ 3:13 am

    My son is allergic to eggs as well, and I’ve yet to nail a good brownie recipe w/o eggs. Think this would work with Ener-G egg replacer, or a flax egg?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Deborah
      June 24, 2017 @ 2:15 pm

      I’m sorry but I haven’t tried it so I really have no idea. I’d love to hear how it goes if you try it out!

      Reply
  • Stephanie says
    June 22, 2017 @ 11:49 pm

    Wow these are absolutely amazing!!!! Brownies are my favorite dessert and these exceeded all expectations! I thought I would share how I changed the recipe in case anyone is wondering about changing these items:) Here are my substitutes:
    -Instead of all sugar, I used 1/2 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of sugar. I think next time I will use only honey.
    -I used brown rice flour
    -I used the highest % of dark chocolate I could find and cut into chunks instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

    I squeezed the liquid out of 1 1/2c of zucchini and left it as is for the last 1/2c. Mine zucchini was quite wet, so I thought it would make the brownie too moist. These changes did not compromise the taste or texture. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Stephanie
      June 24, 2017 @ 2:14 pm

      So happy you liked them! And awesome that your subs all worked out. I’m sure that’ll help some others who are wondering the same thing! Thanks for your feedback. :)

      Reply

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