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These are the BEST dairy free brownies ever! They're so easy to make, super fudgy with the perfect crinkle top just like bakery brownies! They're made entirely with cocoa powder (no melted chocolate) and all you need are 8 ingredients and one bowl!
I promise you I'm not exaggerating when I say a pan of these dairy free brownies does not last a full 24 hours in my house.
That being said, they stay gooey and fudgy for days after they're baked, and you can make them with regular dairy ingredients too!
I am constantly getting requests from my friends and family for these brownies - they're the best chocolate brownies I've ever had and making brownies from scratch has never been easier!
Why These Dairy Free Brownies Work
- These brownies are made with cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate. Cocoa powder has no extra ingredients, so it delivers a rich, bold chocolate flavour. Using all cocoa powder means you'll have that velvety, fudgy texture for days after the brownies are baked.
- All you need is 8 simple pantry ingredients and one bowl to make this recipe - no mixer required!
- This recipe is super budget friendly since it only uses 2 eggs (many brownie recipes use 4) and cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate (which can be pricey).
- These brownies are completely dairy free but dozens of readers have made them with regular butter and they turn out just as delicious!
- Butter: you can use regular butter or dairy free butter for this recipe.
- Cocoa powder: unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder works best for these dairy free brownies, but you can use natural cocoa powder if that's what you have on hand.
- Flour: This recipe uses all purpose flour. I don't recommend substituting this as the recipe hasn't been tested with other types of flours, although some readers have said they turned out great with gluten free 1-1 baking flour.
- Eggs: I haven't tested these brownies with any egg substitutes, so I can't say how they would turn out.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
STEP ONE: Prepare an 8x8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Leave some hanging over the sides to make it easier to remove the brownies from the pan later. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
STEP TWO: In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Add in the brown sugar and white sugar and whisk well until the mixture pulls away easily from the sides of the bowl as you mix.
STEP THREE: Whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs.
STEP FOUR: Add in the salt, flour, and cocoa powder and whisk until just combined (do not over mix).
STEP FIVE: Pour the batter in the prepared pan, spreading it around in an even layer and bake for 30-40 minutes. (See tips below for how to tell if brownies are ready).
How do you know when brownies are done baking?
I will admit, it can be very hard to tell when the dairy free brownies are done baking! Luckily I've outlined a few important tips below to set you up for brownie success.
The top is cracked. You know that classic crinkly top that a brownie gets? Watch for that! There might not be a TON of cracks but overall it's got to be crinkly throughout the surface.
Shake the pan: The middle shouldn't jiggle. If the middle of the pan jiggles, they are definitely not ready!
Toothpick test: this one is tricky but it's the best tip. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the dairy free brownies. If it comes out covered in wet batter, bake them a little longer (4 minutes at a time).
You want the toothpick to come out with what looks like a few wet crumb pieces on it, but not completely covered in wet batter. You do not want to toothpick to be clean!
Start checking them early. You want to start checking on the brownies after about 30 minutes. If you wait 40 minutes to check on them, depending on your oven, they could be over-done already.
If they aren't ready after 30 minutes, check them every 4 minutes or so until they are. Don't worry about opening the oven a few times.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Yes! A 9x13 pan is roughly double the size of an 8x8 pan, so you can double all ingredients. The brownies will bake slightly faster, so start checking them around 25 minutes (they should take around 25-35 to bake).
I strongly suggest using a metal baking pan for brownies. The brownies will cook much more evenly and in my experience the end result is overall much better. Using a glass pan will affect the bake time slightly.
These brownies can be frozen! Wrap the individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and then tin foil. Place in a Ziploc freezer bag.
- Properly measure your flour and cocoa powder - If you over-measure your flour or cocoa powder, the dairy free brownies won't be as gooey and chewy, and will be more cake-like. I strongly recommend weighing both ingredients with a kitchen scale or using the scoop and level method.
- Don't over-mix - The texture of brownies is be largely affected by how much you mix the batter. Brownies are one of the few desserts that I don't use my standing mixer for, because I want to be really careful about how much I'm mixing them. When you add in the dry ingredients, use a whisk to mix the brownies just until you don't see anymore dry ingredients, then stop.
- Don't over-bake - Over-baking your brownies will lead to tough brownies - no one wants that! See tips above on how to tell if brownies are done baking.
- Let the brownies cool completely before slicing them - I know it's hard, but I urge you to resist! Because the brownies are super fudgy, they need some time to set and firm up before you can neatly slice them. Otherwise you'll have a big gooey mess on your hands.
These dairy free brownies should be stored un-sliced in the baking pan covered tightly with tin foil for up to 4 days (although they've never lasted that long in my house).
If you've already sliced them, they can be stored covered in an air tight container at room temperature.
More Brownie Recipes You'll Love
Dairy Free Brownies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper. Leave parchment paper hanging over the sides of the pan so that you can easily remove the brownies from the pan later.
- Melt the vegan butter in the microwave or in a small pan over the stove. Transfer the melted butter to a medium sized bowl.
- Add in both the sugars and use a whisk to whisk the butter and sugars together. Keep whisking until the mixture resembles a paste that pulls away cleanly from the side of the bowl when you mix it. (this contributes to the crinkly top in the brownies)
- Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again.
- Pour the dry ingredients (cocoa powder, salt, and flour) into the bowl and mix with the whisk until just combined (it should only take about a minute). This is important, because over-mixing at this stage will affect the texture of the brownies!
- Pour the batter into the lined baking pan using a spatula to scrape all the batter out of the bowl.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes*. Begin checking the brownies at 30 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the middle. The top of the brownies should be crinkly and the toothpick should not come out clean (over-baking the brownies will make them tough). The brownies are ready when the toothpick has a few wet crumbs, but not wet batter.
- Let the brownies cool completely before slicing (they need time to set and if you cut them too early they will make a gooey mess). Enjoy!
The calorie information provided for this recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.