Chewy vegan brownies - these eggless and dairy free brownies are perfect if you like a dense, chewy, fudgy, intensely chocolatey brownie. Easy to make and so satisfying!
This vegan brownie recipe has been a while in the making. I've tried quite a few different brownie recipes and although most of them have been very tasty (there is only so far wrong you can go in the flavour department when chocolate is involved!), none of them have quite had the right texture for me.
I like my brownies dense, fudgy and chewy. Not soft and gooey, (though I won't say no to gooey brownie and ice cream!) and definitely not cakey; cakey brownies can get in the sea.
They need to have a satisfying level of chew, an almost fudgy texture and an intense chocolate flavour. And after a lot of testing these chewy vegan brownies tick all of those boxes!
These are the brownies that I have been missing since going vegan; and they are non-vegan approved too! I took them to a party and the whole lot disappeared incredibly quickly with lots of compliments; several non-vegans even said that they were the best brownies they had ever had!
What Do You Need To Make Chewy Vegan Brownies?:
Cocoa Butter: The secret to achieving the best dense and chewy texture is cocoa butter (also labelled cacao butter). As it is so solid at room temperature it helps to keep the brownies firm without the eggs and also contributes towards the chocolatey flavour.
It is easy to find online (Holland and Barrett sell it too), but if you can't get hold of it, or don't mind a sliiiightly softer textured brownie (but still fudgy and delicious!) then they will also work using either coconut oil or vegan block butter instead.
Non-Dairy Yogurt: A bit of non-dairy yogurt helps to replace the protein from the eggs. I used the Coconut Collaborative unsweetened vanilla flavour one which is very thick but as it is only a small quantity then a thinner one should work as well. Either coconut or soy based yogurt is fine.
Non-Dairy Milk: Non-dairy milk replaces the moisture from the eggs. Soy milk is best for baking and is pretty much all I use as it has the highest protein content but any variety will work.
Sugar: Sugar doesn't just provide sweetness in these brownies, it is also essential for the texture so don't reduce it! The crisp brownie crust is achieved by making sure that the sugar is fully dissolved before baking; we do this by heating it up with the milk and yogurt.
Chocolate: Using part cocoa powder and part melted chocolate in these brownies ensures a deep chocolate flavour, and the chocolate also helps to create that fudgy, dense texture.
Espresso Powder: A bit of instant espresso powder really helps to deepen the chocolate flavour. You can't taste it at all but the brownies taste much better if you do add it so don't omit it unless you have to.
Flour: Vegan brownies need to use a bit more flour than non-vegan ones to maintain structure. Don't worry though, these aren't cakey in the slightest!
Baking Powder: A small amount of baking powder replaces the lift usually provided by the eggs. Not too much though, we don't want to veer into cake territory!
Cocoa Powder: Using both melted chocolate and cocoa powder gives the best, deepest chocolate flavour. I use a dark Dutch process one.
Vanilla Extract: Optional but recommended for the best flavour.
Salt: Pretty much all sweet things, but especially chocolate ones, benefit from the addition of a little salt to balance the sweetness and bring out the flavour more.
I purposefully kept these plain as I wanted to nail the basic brownie recipe, but do feel free to add in a couple of handfuls of chopped chocolate/chocolate chips or chopped nuts.
How To Make Chewy Vegan Brownies:
(For ingredients and full instructions see the recipe card below)
*For the best results make sure that you follow the recipe closely. As always, I highly recommend using the gram measurements (with a digital scale), rather than the cup conversions. Cup measurements are simply not accurate enough for baking and I cannot guarantee the best results if you use them.*
Start by sifting together the dry ingredients - plain flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Place the sugar, non-dairy yogurt and milk in a pan over a low heat and stir regularly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot and glossy looking but not yet simmering.
Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, cocoa butter (or coconut oil/vegan butter) and vanilla extract.
Stir until everything is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the dry ingredients and stir until no dry lumps remain (add any mix-ins now) then pour the batter (it will be quite thick) into a 20cm/8inch square metal tin that you have greased and lined with baking parchment.
Spread the batter as level as you can and smooth the top with a spatula or spoon. Bake for 20-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out gunky with moist crumbs but no wet batter. If it comes out clean that means that they are over-baked so make sure that you keep an eye on them.
Leave the brownies to cool in the tin before slicing. They will be difficult to slice neatly when warm but if you are able to wait until they are cold you will be able to get neat squares.
Can I Freeze Them?:
Yes, these brownies freeze well.
Tips For Making The Best Brownies:
- You absolutely do not want to overbake brownies. Make sure that you take them out of the oven when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out a bit gunky with moist crumbs (but not wet batter). If the skewer comes out clean they they are overdone and might be dry, so keep a close eye on them.
- Use a metal rather than a glass pan. Glass dishes retain more heat and it is easier to overbake the brownies as they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.
- Let the brownies cool completely before slicing them, that way you will be able to get neat squares.
- If you want a softer, just-baked texture (or want to refresh them after they have been sitting around for a few days) then pop a brownie square in the microwave for 10 seconds. Warmed up like this they are also perfect for topping with ice cream!
More Vegan Chocolatey Goodness:
- Vegan chocolate fudge cake
- No-bake vegan chocolate ginger tart
- Vegan mulled wine brownies (These brownies have a softer, more gooey texture than these chewy vegan brownies and can also be made plain. I recommend trying them if you prefer a less chewy brownie).
- Rich and creamy vegan chocolate ice cream
- Vegan steamed chocolate pudding
- Easy vegan chocolate cake
- Thick, creamy vegan gingerbread hot chocolate
- Vegan chocolate, orange and almond cake
And if there are only a couple of you in need of brownies then you will love my small batch vegan brownies recipe! It makes just four delicious brownies!
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Chewy Vegan Brownies
- 150 g (1 ¼ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 70 g (¾cup + 1 Tbsp) cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 120 ml (½ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (soy is best)
- 80 g (⅓ cup) unsweetened non-dairy yogurt (coconut or soy)
- 300 g (1 ½ cups) caster (superfine) sugar
- 100 g (3 ½ oz) dark chocolate (I used 70%) chopped
- 60 g (2 oz) cocoa/cacao butter (or coconut oil or vegan block butter) chopped
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm/8inch square metal cake tin and line with baking parchment.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder and salt and set aside.
- Place the milk, yogurt and sugar in a medium sized pan over a low heat. Stir often until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot and glossy looking but not yet simmering.
- Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate and cocoa butter and the vanilla extract. Stir until melted and smooth.
- Tip in the dry ingredients and stir until no dry lumps remain. The batter will be quite thick. If you wish to add any mix-ins such as chocolate chips or chopped nuts then mix them in now.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared tin and spread it level. Smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out gunky with moist crumbs but no wet batter. If it comes out clean that means they are over-baked so keep an eye on them.
- Leave the brownies to cool completely in the tin before slicing into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.