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!
11 comments are awaiting moderation!
Healthy treats for grandkids!
Love giveaways! Thanks!
less sugar for us!
I am cutting out most gluten products from my family’s diet. I have been gradually switching us to using all organic produce and proteins and I am making sure we are eating high protein foods.
I have decided to feed my family with more organic foods this school year.
I will introduce more veggies into our diet. We are mostly meat and potato people.
I’m trying to instill a healthy lifestyle and way of thinking into my babygirl. I want it to b be second nature to them.
I want the pans and the brownies…
I need to learn how to tell my family no for my kids. They are constantly offering crap to eat and it makes me crazy… oh it makes me crazy. It’s such a fine fine line though.
These look really good. I’ll have to make them when no one is around to see the zuc get added in.
Cutting back on sugar this year!
We are trying to bump up the veg portion on the kids plate. And, as always, trying to (re)introduce new vegetables into the rotation.
I love that these have whole grain and a vegetable, they look incredible! What wonderful giveaway too thanks Erin!
We are eliminating all GMO grain and veggies from our diet. Really trying to clean up our diet
Learning new ways for recipes. Thanks for the giveaway.
We are adding more veggies to our diet- you can never get enough, and definitely cooking at home more.
These look so tasty. Now, I’m looking forward to seeing if there is more zucchini or other sqash in my CSA this week. YUM!
We are definitely going to be eating healthier this year. Less processed foods and more of the good stuff! Can’t wait to try this one out.
Hard to believe these have zucchini in them. They look so rich and decadent! Delish!
Wow! I need to make gluten-free desserts, because my SO is a celiac, but as a teacher, treats like this really beat candy as a reward.
This school year I will only give my students good things to eat. (and learn!)
I cannot wait to try these brownies! I cutting back on the processed foods for my family.
These look delicious! I wouldn’t need to hide what’s in them from my kids as much as their father!
I don’t have kids but my nephew is in the service and he has asked for healthy goodies in his care packages.
Will make this with the zucchini given by a friend… looks delicious!
Can’t wait to try.
We are eating less processed foods, buying organic when it is available and not eating out.
I hope to serve my family less processed foods.
This looks amazing. We are trying to can and freeze out summer bounty so we have high quality food during winter to become locavores!
Going to make these brownies right now. We are buying less processed items and if we want brownies, we will NOT be buying the boxed mix or stuff out of the grocery bakery. I also want to get my older kids helping out in the kitchen more. Thanks Erin!
Those sound like some great changes! And those brownies from the grocery store bakery are always so tempting with that glossy ganache on top. But homemade are even better. ;) And I really hope you enjoy these brownies!
These brownies are a hit! My boys had no idea there was zucchini in them. My husband did, and he liked them too :) I used sucanat, spelt flour (my first time using spelt), and dark chocolate chunks. Adding this to my fave recipe folder! Wish I had grown some zucchini this year! ;)
I’m so happy to hear that you all liked them! And good for your husband for liking them even though he could tell there was zucchini in there. I would say grate the zucchini finer next time, but if he didn’t mind, I guess it doesn’t matter. ;) Thanks so much for the feedback!
We have started preparing meals one day a week and feeezing them so all the prep work is done, this cuts back on the junk eating.
Yum. I bought some zucchini today so I am going to try this tomorrow. It looks good.
I want to make healthier after school snacks instead of using prepackaged snacks. Thanks for your inspiration!
I am going to start making and freezing healthy options to have for a quick breakfast or dinner!
These looks Yummy!
Beautiful! Great theme to fight childhood obesity and wonderful giveaway!
I’ve been thinking about the combination of chocolate and zucchini lately,,,this time of year brings that out in me, lol! Your brownies look so good and I love that you’ve made them healthier!
Thank you for sharing such a great recipe.
I’m encouraging my family to focus more on fruits and vegetables for our snacks and even with our regular meals. :-)
Our family is trying to eat more veggies and cook more
We’ll be eating more raw fruits and vegetables
Make things only with whole grains.
I’m trying to include more veggies, less carbs in our meals!
My family has adopted a low carb approach to meals. My husband and I are very low carb, but our little one is still growing so she gets a little more carbs than us. In one year, she has become more active and eating healthy has helped her weight slowly become more heatlhy and less overweight!!
These brownies look fantastic!! Brownies are my weakness so I am excited about giving these healthier ones a try!!
More high-quality dinners and less heavy dessert!
I’ve been cutting back on processed foods and trying to convince my boyfriend to go on walks at night instead of TV watching!
I’m trying to switch out regular sugar with stevia or other non-refined natural sweeteners! Trying to eat healthier altogether!
These look amazing! I’ll definitely have to try them because I’ve been really craving sweets lately.
Wow, these look fantastic! I am going to make these tomorrow STAT!
Make sure breakfast is eaten every day!