The gooiest zucchini brownies ever! You’d never guess these are healthy and made with whole grains (but can also be made with all-purpose or gluten-free flour), zucchini and that applesauce takes the place of oil! With a 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.
* 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!
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.
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Zucchini Chocolate Brownies (100% whole grain, gluten-free, dairy-free options)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 16 brownies
- 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)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line an 8"x8" pan with parchment paper or spray with baking spray.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the dry mix to the wet, gently stir until combined. Be sure not to over mix!
- Then fold in the zucchini and 1 cup chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the pan and even the surface with a spatula.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips on top.
- 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.
- 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.