Grain-free Fudge Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free)

Not only are these the fudgiest brownies ever, but these grain-free and dairy-free fudge brownies are entirely date sweetened and have a healthier peanut butter chocolate fudge frosting!

First of all, I just have to say this – if you put these brownies in the fridge, they are like straight up fudge. Seriously. They do not taste grain-free! I took these pictures when the brownies were at room temperature because it was sunny (a rarity around here at this time of the year!) and I was sleepy and wanted to nap. But now I’m kicking myself for not waiting so you could see what they look like refrigerated!

I’ve been working on this recipe since I started grain-free baking about a year and a half ago. But the other day I realized… there’s no fat in there. Why have I never added fat?!

These grain-free and dairy-free fudge brownies are date-sweetened and incredibly fudgy!

The brownies below are the fat-free version. Or I guess I should say the added-fat free version. If you want to make those, just omit the coconut oil from the recipe. I’m sure these would also work well with only 2 tablespoons of oil! The oil-free version is good and all but why have fat-free good brownies when you could have the best ever fudgy brownies?!

I used coconut oil in these brownies and don’t know if any other fats would work. So go with coconut oil! And I only have access to refined coconut oil (which has absolutely no coconut taste) so if you use unrefined, I don’t know if it’d have a slight coconut taste or not. But even if it did, I bet these would still be delicious!

The most amazing thing about these brownies is that they’re entirely date sweetened! No honey, no coconut sugar, no maple syrup. Just dates!

Grain-free and dairy-free fudge brownies – this version has no added fat!

You whip the batter up in the food processor, meaning that the dates are totally processed to a paste and nobody will have a clue that there are dates in there!.

I don’t normally like recipes with just coconut flour in them, but these are an exception. And I’m afraid that there are no subs for coconut flour here. You have to use coconut flour. It’s expensive but you use so little at a time!

I also used Dutch process cocoa powder, just because that’s all we have over here. When I was in the US this summer and did some baking, I was a little surprised by the difference between Dutch-process and normal or even Hershey’s dark cocoa powder. I definitely recommend getting some of the Dutch-process kind! It just makes baked goods taste more intense and somehow more developed. If that makes any sense.

These are the fudgiest brownies you'll ever have! And they just happen to be grain-free and dairy-free.

I’ve also tried these with prunes but I found them a bit gross. You could definitely taste the prunes! Stick with dates. :) I just used normal dates because I’ve never seen Medjool dates around here, so if you want to use Medjool, get out your scale and go by weight.

After posting my healthier Halloween sugar cookies, I asked on Facebook what other Halloween goodies people would like to see healthified. The first answer I got was anything with chocolate and peanut butter – so I jazzed these fudge brownies up with a little peanut butter! It’s in both the batter and the frosting. While you can’t really taste it in the brownies, you can taste it in the frosting, although it’s not super peanut butter-y.

The frosting is the same one I used in my spiderweb cupcakes but I doubled the peanut butter. And the frosting does have a tablespoon of honey in it. I couldn’t make that date sweetened. It just didn’t work.

Grain-free Fudge Brownies

The frosting is like dark chocolate peanut buttery fudge when refrigerated. When at room temperature, you can see what a mess it is. I didn’t refrigerate my brownies before cutting them, but you should to avoid a mess. And if you don’t want to use peanut butter, you can use any nut butter or maybe even coconut butter (not coconut oil!) And for a nut-free version, I bet SunButter would work just fine!

You can see my pathetic attempt at Halloween-ifying these fudge brownies. At least it was quick, easy, and free of super processed junk! It was just a little white chocolate but you could use anything that’s pipe-able.

If you try these, let me know how they come out! I’d love to hear what you think. :D

Grain-free Fudge Brownies

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Rated 5.0 by 29 readers
Grain-free Fudge Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8 brownies

Ingredients

    Brownies:

  • 80 grams (this is 11 regular, non-Medjool) dates1
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (the kind with no added fat or sugar!)
  • 2 tablespoons milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup (38 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (21 grams) coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (64 grams) natural peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (~12 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare a 9" x 5" loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper for easy removal of brownies. If you don't have parchment paper, you can spray the pan with baking spray.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor fitted with the S-blade, process the dates until it becomes pasty. It'll be spreadable, but not a liquid.
  3. Add the vanilla, peanut butter, milk and coconut oil and blend until homogeneous.
  4. Add the egg and pulse just until combined. Do not over mix here!
  5. Add the remaining ingredients (coconut flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder) and pulse once or twice to get it mostly combined, and then use a plastic spatula and finish mixing it in.
  6. Bake the brownies for 10 – 12 minutes or just until the top appears set. If you press down into the brownies with your finger, they will be very, very soft.
  7. Let cool completely before frosting.
  8. For the frosting, melt the coconut oil, natural peanut butter and cocoa powder in a small pan over low heat. When completely melted and smooth, take the pan off the heat, add the honey and stir until well combined.
  9. Frost the brownies and place the loaf pan back in the refrigerator to allow the frosting to set (to allow for easier cutting).
  10. Once the frosting is set, cut the brownies and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. If you want to use Medjool dates, please go by weight!

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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169 comments on “Grain-free Fudge Brownies (gluten-free, dairy-free)” — Add one!

  • Gwen
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    September 16, 2018 @ 6:13 am

    Um yum! Thank you for making a recipe with the EXACT ingredients that I wanted to use to make healthy brownies – you saved me the trouble of figuring it out myself :). I didn’t have coconut flour, so used oat flour. The only other change I made was adding a little sea salt and cinnamon, and on the frosting I used coconut sugar and also added vanilla and cinnamon. I put the brownies in the freezer so I could frost them sooner and then put them in again to cool with the frosting. Super delish!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Gwen
      September 17, 2018 @ 9:40 pm

      That’s awesome! I’m so happy that they worked out well for you. And with oat flour?! Interesting! Did you use the same amount? Thanks for the tip and your feedback!

      Reply
      • Gwen
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        replies to Erin
        October 14, 2018 @ 5:17 am

        Hi Erin,

        Yes, I used the same amount and have also made your banana chocolate muffins (awesome) and a modified version of your apple muffins all using oat flour :). Love your site, thank you for all your work developing healthier dessert recipes that taste amazing!

        Reply
        • Gwen replies to Gwen
          October 14, 2018 @ 5:18 am

          I’m about another batch right now!

  • Siobhan says
    April 8, 2018 @ 2:28 am

    I made these today with a few changes and loved it very much. The changes were to sub coconut palm sugar for honey (goes so well with chocolate; and a somewhat dubious study indicates the gi index is lower, so possibly less impact on blood sugar). I also subbed almond flour for coconut flour, because that’s what I have on hand, and used almond butter with the peanut butter for a rounder flavour. Then I added a good amount each of chocolate chips and hazelnuts for decadence, and increased the amount of Cocoa powder by 2 tbls. My partner didn’t notice the absence of processed sugar. His only comment: ” Absolutely delicious.” Thank you so much for thinkng of such a great recipe, I know I played with it a bit, but replacing those 1-2 cups of sugar in most brownie recipes, having that protein from the nut butter, and using dates makes all the difference in having something nutricious and decadent! We loved it.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Siobhan
      April 10, 2018 @ 6:11 pm

      I’m happy that they came out well with all your changes! Your version sounds delicious. :) I’ve also got to try these with almond butter! And great to know what almond flour also works. Thanks a bunch for your comment!

      Reply
  • Annie says
    January 14, 2018 @ 7:51 pm

    Do you think substituting applesauce for some of the oil would work? These look delicious!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Annie
      January 15, 2018 @ 6:23 pm

      I’m not sure. I usually don’t like the results of that sub so I haven’t tried it in these brownies. Sorry about that! Let me know how it goes if you try it out. :)

      Reply
      • Annie replies to Erin
        January 27, 2018 @ 2:59 am

        I subbed unsweetened applesauce for all the oil and they were STILL delicious! The consistency was a little different (actually more like brownies) whereas with coconut oil they seem to be like fudge. Either way, so so so good! Thanks, Erin!

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Annie
          January 28, 2018 @ 9:45 pm

          Oooh! Interesting. I’ll have to try it with applesauce then! More brownie-like could be good. :) Thanks for the tip! So happy that they came out well.

    • Pippa replies to Annie
      February 19, 2018 @ 1:18 pm

      I have subbed these twice before once with avocado instead of coconut oil and another with vegan nutlex margarine ! Both fab !!!

      Reply
      • Erin replies to Pippa
        February 20, 2018 @ 8:57 pm

        Awesome! So happy that your subs worked out well. :) Thanks for sharing!

        Reply
  • Leslie Handy
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    January 8, 2018 @ 3:41 am

    I made these and I cannot stop eating them! They are absolutely amazing and I’m sharing the recipe with everyone!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Leslie Handy
      January 14, 2018 @ 5:38 pm

      Sorry for just now seeing your comment! I don’t know where the week went. And I’m so happy you liked the cookies! Thanks a bunch for sharing the recipe with everyone. I hope your friends will enjoy them, too!

      Reply
  • Kristi says
    October 31, 2017 @ 6:11 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I tried this a few weeks ago and loved it! I am making it again today, since it is Halloween and I want to have something healthy but yummy to eat while I say no to candy all day.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kristi
      November 1, 2017 @ 1:36 pm

      I think these are a much better alternative to candy. :) I’m so happy you enjoyed them and are making them again! Thanks for your comment. :)

      Reply
  • Jolie Nantz says
    October 24, 2017 @ 2:42 am

    Can’t wait to make these tomorrow! I am changing my diet to avoid taking meds for hypothyroidism and was looking for a mostly sugarless and gluten-free dessert:)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jolie Nantz
      October 25, 2017 @ 1:19 pm

      I hope you’ll enjoy them! I’d love to hear how they come out. :)

      Reply
  • Colleen says
    September 25, 2017 @ 6:36 pm

    I’ve been making these for years and love them!! I always double it for an 8×8 pan :) I have found that other data work as well as coconut oil. I’m not at all a paleo person, just a healthy eater. I’ve successfully used olive oil and butter, and am thinking of trying Greek yogurt next.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Colleen
      September 25, 2017 @ 9:43 pm

      Wow! I love how much you’ve experimented with this recipe. :) How long do you normally bake them for in an 8×8? I tried it recently and must have messed them up somehow because they came out so dry. Thanks for your comment! :)

      Reply
  • Mandy
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    June 7, 2017 @ 5:39 pm

    Amazing! I just made these as I’ve been looking for interesting coconut flour recipes – this recipe is a winner! I can’t eat eggs so replaced with flaxseed and I had to replace the peanut butter with cashew butter

    I also had them slightly warmed and made some of the frosting into a sauce – melt in the mouth dessert fantastic with non-dairy vanilla ice cream

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Mandy
      June 11, 2017 @ 10:27 pm

      Sorry I just now saw your comment! I’m happy you found a good solution for the eggs and cashew butter. :) I’ll have to try that myself! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)

      Reply
  • Theresa says
    May 4, 2017 @ 7:05 am

    Do you have the nutritional info for these? They look wonderful.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Theresa
      May 4, 2017 @ 10:45 pm

      Thanks! I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. :)

      Reply
  • Kiera says
    March 20, 2017 @ 2:14 am

    Could I use something other than dates (or prunes) to sweeten this? I don’t have a food processor or anything else to blend them. I like this recipe because it uses coconut flour and not teff flour.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kiera
      March 20, 2017 @ 9:23 pm

      I hate to say it but unfortunately not! The dates are the base of the recipe and subbing another sweetener wouldn’t work. Sorry about that!

      Reply
  • Katie says
    January 4, 2017 @ 4:06 pm

    Can I use almond flour or regular flour if I don’t have coconut flour?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Katie
      January 4, 2017 @ 6:32 pm

      Coconut flour is unfortunately not interchangeable with any other flour as it absorbs so much more liquid. Sorry about that!

      Reply
  • Sheri Mulroe
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    August 18, 2016 @ 1:01 am

    I made these last weekend and double the recipe to fit an 8×8 pan. They we okay once they cooled down on the counter but they were AMAZING after being in the freezer! They tasted like a regular sugar, flour, butter brownie. I use past tense because they are all gone! I didn’t make the peanut butter frosting but I will next time. Thank you so much!!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Sheri Mulroe
      August 18, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

      That’s awesome! I like refrigerating my brownies for a fudgier texture but I haven’t ever tried freezing them. Thanks for your tip and for your feedback!

      Reply
  • Robin says
    August 17, 2016 @ 9:36 pm

    Question, if I am using different brands of coconut flour or almond flour than your recipes call for, should I go by the measurement in your recipe (such as 1/4c., etc.), or the weight in grams?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Robin
      August 18, 2016 @ 5:05 pm

      I’d go by weight in grams! It’s always the most accurate way. :)

      Reply
  • Kim
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    June 12, 2016 @ 11:31 pm

    I am making these today for the third time! My daughter is having to follow a strict diet for now and these are so helpful as an occasional treat for her!! The texture is fantastic and it’s just sweet enough to feel like dessert. We have to use almond butter and I used 1T of coconut sugar instead of honey for the topping. I also add some vanilla. So good….thank you!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Kim
      June 13, 2016 @ 9:41 am

      I’m happy that you found a recipe that your daughter can enjoy and that you like them enough to make them three times! And it’s great to know that coconut sugar works in the topping. :) Thanks so much for your feedback!

      Reply
  • Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living
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    May 16, 2016 @ 3:07 pm

    Erin, these brownies are seriously amazing! I want a constant supply of them in my fridge. I’m definitely going to make a double batch next time!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living
      May 17, 2016 @ 10:13 pm

      Aww, yay! So happy you liked them. What’s weird is that I tried a double batch recently and they were awful. I must have made a mistake! I hope you have better luck. :)

      Reply
  • Sara says
    May 9, 2016 @ 6:22 pm

    One question about this recipe- I’m making for a friend who is avoiding dairy AND eggs… any suggestions for a substitution? I was going to try 1/2 of a mashed banana or just try leaving it out altogether… thoughts?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Sara
      May 11, 2016 @ 11:06 am

      So sorry I’m just now seeing your comment! I wouldn’t recommend just leaving out the eggs and not adding another binder. Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with adding mashed banana as an egg sub. Perhaps a flax egg would work? I’m sorry I’m not more of a help!

      Reply
      • Sara
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        replies to Erin
        May 11, 2016 @ 3:08 pm

        Thanks! And no worries… it forced me to do some experimenting :) I tried half a mashed banana, and while it wasn’t bad, I wouldn’t recommend it… it made the brownies taste more like banana and less like a brownie… of course, we still ate the whole pan :)
        Will try a flax egg as you recommended next time around!

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Sara
          May 12, 2016 @ 9:55 pm

          I’m happy they were still edible! Hopefully the flax egg version will come out better. :) Thanks for letting me know how the banana sub came out!

        • Rachel replies to Sara
          February 27, 2017 @ 5:48 am

          I wonder if applesauce would work

        • Kes
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          replies to Sara
          April 11, 2017 @ 11:36 pm

          Flax eggs work very well. The brownies may be more crumbly than egg brownies (not sure) but thw texture and flavor is very good ans fudgy.

        • Erin replies to Kes
          April 12, 2017 @ 11:25 am

          Thanks a bunch for your tip! :)

  • Shelley
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    February 9, 2016 @ 4:33 pm

    I made these last night. They were quite good. I need to add a little water to the dates. I think the dates i bought were low quality. I also left them in the oven too long ( I should have heeded your warning)! The only thing I didn’t care for was the peanut butter frosting. I am making these again today. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Shelley
      February 10, 2016 @ 8:44 pm

      I hope your next attempt will go better! That’s strange you needed to add some water to the dates. I haven’t had that issue before. Thanks so much for your feedback! :)

      Reply
  • Bell says
    January 14, 2016 @ 8:25 am

    Do you think I could use sesame paste instead of peanut butter?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Bell
      January 14, 2016 @ 4:21 pm

      I’ve never used sesame paste so I honestly have no idea. Sorry about that! I hope you’ll enjoy them if you try it out. :)

      Reply
  • Sara says
    January 11, 2016 @ 7:40 pm

    AMAZING recipe- I changed a few things because of food sensitivities:
    Used 1/4 almond butter instead of peanut butter, 1/4 butter instead of coconut oil, replaced cocoa powder with raw cacao powder, and just used 11 medjool dates… turned out SO well!
    Only complaint is that it was small so I wish I did 2 batches!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Sara
      January 15, 2016 @ 9:23 am

      I need to come up with a recipe that fits an 8×8 well! And I’m so happy you enjoyed the brownies and that they came out well with your changes. :) Thanks a ton for your feedback!

      Reply
      • Sara
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        replies to Erin
        January 27, 2016 @ 10:10 pm

        Thank YOU for the recipe! I had serious doubts about any “healthy junk food” recipes, but you proved me wrong!! Very happy to come across this and looking forward to trying more of your recipes!!

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Sara
          January 29, 2016 @ 9:48 pm

          Well I hope you’ll enjoy the others just as much! I used to have doubts about healthy desserts, too. There are a lot of bad ones out there! I think they kind of scared me. Thanks a bunch for your nice comment. :)

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