Zucchini Brownies (gluten-free, 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! 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!

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!

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.

Have more zucchini to use? This chocolate zucchini bread also looks great!


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

Rated 4.9 by 74 readers
Zucchini Brownies (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)


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

11 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Sharon says
    August 26, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    Healthy treats for grandkids!

  • Karyl says
    August 26, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

    Love giveaways! Thanks!

  • Steph says
    August 26, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

    less sugar for us!

  • Taryn
    August 26, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

    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.

  • Blessie Nelson says
    August 26, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    I have decided to feed my family with more organic foods this school year.

  • Linda Moody says
    August 26, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    I will introduce more veggies into our diet. We are mostly meat and potato people.

  • althea Odom says
    August 26, 2013 @ 8:12 am

    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.

  • Lisa@CreoleContessa
    August 26, 2013 @ 6:21 am

    I want the pans and the brownies…

  • Melissa @ Bless this Mess says
    August 26, 2013 @ 5:11 am

    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.

  • Mirii says
    August 26, 2013 @ 4:45 am

    These look really good. I’ll have to make them when no one is around to see the zuc get added in.

  • Kristen M
    August 26, 2013 @ 4:06 am

    Cutting back on sugar this year!

  • Seana C says
    August 26, 2013 @ 3:43 am

    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.

  • Suzanne
    August 26, 2013 @ 2:44 am

    I love that these have whole grain and a vegetable, they look incredible! What wonderful giveaway too thanks Erin!

  • Bydand says
    August 26, 2013 @ 2:08 am

    We are eliminating all GMO grain and veggies from our diet. Really trying to clean up our diet

  • Thriftyredhead says
    August 26, 2013 @ 12:57 am

    Learning new ways for recipes. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Monica says
    August 25, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

    We are adding more veggies to our diet- you can never get enough, and definitely cooking at home more.

  • Cindy S says
    August 25, 2013 @ 11:30 pm

    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!

  • Traci says
    August 25, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

    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.

  • Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} says
    August 25, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

    Hard to believe these have zucchini in them. They look so rich and decadent! Delish!

  • Sunny says
    August 25, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

    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!)

  • Tina says
    August 25, 2013 @ 6:37 pm

    I cannot wait to try these brownies! I cutting back on the processed foods for my family.

  • Ashley
    August 25, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

    These look delicious! I wouldn’t need to hide what’s in them from my kids as much as their father!

  • Laura R says
    August 25, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    I don’t have kids but my nephew is in the service and he has asked for healthy goodies in his care packages.

  • Christina Graeme says
    August 25, 2013 @ 7:14 am

    Will make this with the zucchini given by a friend… looks delicious!

  • Ken says
    August 25, 2013 @ 2:18 am

    Can’t wait to try.

  • Vickie Kipp says
    August 25, 2013 @ 1:42 am

    We are eating less processed foods, buying organic when it is available and not eating out.

  • Rebecca says
    August 25, 2013 @ 1:39 am

    I hope to serve my family less processed foods.

  • Emily says
    August 25, 2013 @ 12:18 am

    This looks amazing. We are trying to can and freeze out summer bounty so we have high quality food during winter to become locavores!

  • Carissa says
    August 24, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

    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!

    • Erin replies to Carissa
      August 24, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

      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!

      • Carissa replies to Erin
        August 25, 2013 @ 1:41 am

        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! ;)

        • Erin replies to Carissa
          August 25, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

          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!

  • Prickly Pinecone says
    August 24, 2013 @ 6:43 am

    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.

  • Lori T says
    August 24, 2013 @ 6:02 am

    Yum. I bought some zucchini today so I am going to try this tomorrow. It looks good.

  • Traci says
    August 23, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

    I want to make healthier after school snacks instead of using prepackaged snacks. Thanks for your inspiration!

  • Sara says
    August 23, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

    I am going to start making and freezing healthy options to have for a quick breakfast or dinner!

  • Jesse says
    August 23, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

    These looks Yummy!

  • Patty
    August 23, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

    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!

  • Emmy says
    August 23, 2013 @ 1:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a great recipe.

  • Melissa W. says
    August 23, 2013 @ 6:33 am

    I’m encouraging my family to focus more on fruits and vegetables for our snacks and even with our regular meals. :-)

  • erin says
    August 23, 2013 @ 4:40 am

    Eating mindfully!

  • meredith says
    August 23, 2013 @ 3:04 am

    Our family is trying to eat more veggies and cook more

  • Emily says
    August 23, 2013 @ 1:58 am

    We’ll be eating more raw fruits and vegetables

  • Cori says
    August 22, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

    Make things only with whole grains.

  • F Kane says
    August 22, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

    I’m trying to include more veggies, less carbs in our meals!

  • Barbara Valentine
    August 22, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

    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!!

  • Kara D says
    August 22, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

    More high-quality dinners and less heavy dessert!

  • Amanda J says
    August 22, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

    I’ve been cutting back on processed foods and trying to convince my boyfriend to go on walks at night instead of TV watching!

  • claudia ellis says
    August 22, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    I’m trying to switch out regular sugar with stevia or other non-refined natural sweeteners! Trying to eat healthier altogether!

  • bel says
    August 22, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

    These look amazing! I’ll definitely have to try them because I’ve been really craving sweets lately.

  • Christine says
    August 22, 2013 @ 4:48 am

    Wow, these look fantastic! I am going to make these tomorrow STAT!

  • Robbie Armstrong says
    August 22, 2013 @ 3:00 am

    looks yummy

  • Danielle says
    August 22, 2013 @ 1:39 am

    Make sure breakfast is eaten every day!


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