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

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.

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)

Rated 4.9 by 63 readers
Zucchini Brownies (gluten-free, whole grain, 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)


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

  • 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!

    • 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. :)

  • Kinny Lau
    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!

    • Cassie
      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!

      • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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!! :)

    • 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. :)

  • Sarah
    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!

    • 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!

  • 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?

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

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

  • 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

    • 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.

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

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

    • 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.

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

    Are these ok to freeze?

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

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

  • 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!

    • 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. :)

  • kirsten
    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!

    • 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!

  • 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.

    • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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?

    • 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!

  • 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!

    • 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. :)


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