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! With gluten-free and dairy-free options.
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.
Have more zucchini to use? This chocolate zucchini bread also looks great!
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.
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516 comments on “Zucchini Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free options)” — Add one!
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OMG I’ve died and gone to heaven 💖
These are absolutely divine
Thank you for sharing this recipe certainly will be making these again
I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed them so much! And awesome that you want to make them again. Thanks a bunch for your feedback. :)
My family is in love! I used regular flour, Hershey’s cocoa, and Xylitol as the sugar,and they are amazing!! Baked for about 35 minutes and are a cross between a cake and a brownie, still fudgy! Wish I could post a picture!
I’m so glad that they worked well with those ingredients! I’m surprised that xylitol worked out. I never have much luck with low-carb sweeteners. Thanks a ton for your feedback!
When you made this recipe how did you deal with the zook? Did you leave it or did you squeeze some liquid out?
I’m so sorry for just now seeing your comment! I left it as is. If you think your zucchini is super moist, you could squeeze some out.
Can this be made without eggs?
I’m so sorry for just now seeing your question! I haven’t tried it but another commenter used flax eggs and said it worked.
Oh my goodness! These are the best brownies ever! I have been wheat free for 2 1/2 years, and these made with gluten free flour were Amazing!! Thank you.
You’re welcome! I’m so glad you liked them. :) And sorry for my slow reply (I was on vacation).
Made these a couple days ago (some adjustments made- no cocoa powder, used 150g of dark chocolate) and they turned out great but pretty cakey… I believe the cause was too long in the oven. I will bake for 20 minutes instead of 30 next time and hopefully get a less cakey texture. Thanks for the recipe, love the healthier option!
I’m sorry for just now seeing your comment! It somehow ended up in the spam folder. No cocoa powder is a huge adjustment! I recommend trying the recipe again with the cocoa powder and seeing how they come out. :) I’m glad you enjoyed them, though! Thanks a bunch for your comment.
Wondering if anyone has tried cacao powder with these and what the result was. I love them as per the recipe but I’d love the nutritional benefits of cacao (and I’m scared to waste good zucchini!)!
Hello! I’m so sorry for just now replying to your question. I was on vacation and just got back. I haven’t tried it but I’m pretty sure it’d work. If you try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes! Sorry again for the slow answer.
These are SO delicious! I served them topped with whipped cream and sprinkles for a friends birthday and they were a hit! Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome! I’m glad that they were a hit and hope your friend had a nice birthday. :) Thanks for your comment and I’m sorry for just now seeing it!
I made these exactly as stated in the recipe and they are absolutely incredible. Moist, chocolatey. They don’t feel like health(ier) food, which is great. I’m serving them for company tonight and trying really hard not to eat them all before the guests arrive!!
I’m so glad that they came out well! I hope that your company ended up with a few to eat. ;) Thanks a bunch for your comment!
They were delicious! But they came out cakey even though I used Dutch processed cocoa powder.
I’m happy you enjoyed them! I’m guessing the moisture content of the zucchini may also play a role. More liquid means more cakey. Thanks for your comment! :)
They were yummy -nutrition information?
I’m so happy you liked them! :) I don’t have the nutritional info but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile. Thanks for your comment!
I just want to say that I made these last week and they were spot on amazing! My kids didnt care for the taste of bananas so maybe next time Ill make it without it. But anyways I loved it!
Oh my goodness! I had (and still have) a ton of zucchini to use up, so I made two batches of these last night. They are incredible – probably the best brownies I have had in years! And the best part is – I am vegan, and all I did was substitute flax eggs for the eggs, and they are wonderful. I even used sprouted spelt flour, and you would never think they are whole grain and relatively healthy. I will be making these again – soon. Thanks for the great recipe!
You’re welcome! That’s awesome that your flax egg version worked. I think I tried a GF + chia egg version and it wasn’t so good. Thanks a bunch for the tip and your comment!
These were delicious! I was glad I weighed the zucchini because my 2 cups were coming out to only 200g or so. I used about 95g of eggs and didn’t have any issue with egginess. Thank you for the recipe.
You’re welcome! I’m happy it came out well and that the grams were helpful. :) Thanks for your comment!
Wow. These are amazingly rich and delicious. And the husband had ZERO clue that there was a vegetable in his brownie!! Printing this now as it will be a favorite. Thanks for a great recipe!!!
You’re welcome! I love that your husband didn’t know that there were some hidden veggies in the brownies. :) That’s definitely always a good thing. Thanks for your comment!
Have you tried using substituting oat flour in these?
I haven’t, sorry. If you try it out, I’d love to hear how it works!
I tried mixing mine with 1/2 c coconut flour, 1/2 c whole wheat flour and they are delicious!
Thanks for the tip! So you used 1/2 cup coconut flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour in place of 1 cup of whole wheat flour? I’m amazed that that worked because coconut flour absorbs SO much more liquid than wheat! Thanks again.
This is a great recipe! My only complaint is that they came out more like cake than brownies. I still love them but I wonder how to adapt the recipe to make them more dense and chewy. Maybe less flour? Or would I add less egg? Let me know if you have any ideas!
It seems like they’ve come out cakey for a few people. You used Dutch-process cocoa, right? If not, see the note about that in the recipe. If you did, maybe your zucchini was super watery? More liquid would mean more cakey. The hard thing about zucchini recipes is that the moisture content varies so much, meaning the end result will vary a bit (which drives me crazy! I like absolute precision when baking).
Five stars. Great recipe and an easterly solution for how to use an extra zucchini to make something chocolatey and delicious!
Thanks! I’m happy you found them a good solution for excess zucchini. :)
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 ;)
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!
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.
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. :)
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.
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!
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!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed them and that you’ll be making them again! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)
Just wondering what the nutritional values are for this recipe. Like how many carbs, sugars etc. I really want to make these.
I don’t have that info but you could use this recipe analyzer if you’d like for the nutritional profile. :)
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
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!
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!
I’m happy that they came out well for you and that your kids enjoyed them! Thanks for the tip on the egg. :)
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
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?
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:)
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. :)
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?
Yes. That’s how all the reviewers made it – with baking soda. :)
I read this too Cynthia and was wondering about it. Dutch cocoa powder is made with an alkaline substance to eliminate the acidity of normal cocoa but without this acidity, baking soda has nothing to react to and so will chemically do nothing in this recipe. Just wondering what the rationale behind sticking to baking soda is? Thanks
Good point! I’ll omit it the next time I make them and see how they compare. And I’m very sorry for my super slow reply!
Agreed on the baking soda. It makes no sense here. Must not be enough to adversely affect the taste, but it has nothing acidic to react with, so it’s just something a bit salty added to the batter. Sub for baking powder or leave it out completely.
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.
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!
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.
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. :)
Thanks! I will check out those other recipes and stick to wheat for this one. I’m new to this alternative flour game. 😉
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. ;)
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!
I’m so happy that the banana worked out well! Thanks for the tip. :)
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!
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. :)
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!
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!
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!
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!
Can a 9×13 pan be used?
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).
These are INSANE!!! My kids absolutely devoured them – these will be our only brownie recipe from now on. Love!! :)
Oh, wow. So happy that you’ve found a new favorite brownie recipe! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)
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!
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!
Hello! Those look scrumptious! May I please ask or do you know how many weight watchers smart points are these per serving?
Hi there! Unfortunately I have no idea. :( Sorry about that!
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
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.
Could I use a 9″x9″ baking pan instead? Or will brownies be too thin?
They’re pretty thick so I think it’d work! Just check them a little earlier than called for.
Are these ok to freeze?
I haven’t tried it but I’m pretty sure that’d be fine!
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!
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. :)
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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!
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. :)