No bake vegan brownie with almond butter frosting

This no bake vegan brownie is one of my most made recipes, and a personal favourite. It is tried and tested over many years, and perfect to hit that sweet spot whether your frost it or not.

 They are deliciously moist, decadent and fudgy- and healthier than most brownies recipes you’ll find. Oh! And they also happen to be only 8 ingredients, gluten free, dairy free, grain free, paleo, vegan, and egg free- and YES, they still taste amazing.

I use a mixture of pecans, dates and cacao as the main ingredients, but you’ll need a few other staples, too.

Here’s what you’ll need to whip up your own no bake vegan brownies

  • Pecans. Raw or activated, whatever you prefer (walnuts work too).
  • Raw cacao powder (or cocoa)
  • Medjool dates, or any soft fresh dates. I personally avoid dried dates however you can use these too, just soak them in hot water first.
  • coconut flour. Coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture and helps to create a chewy texture.
  • Pure maple syrup ir your preferred sticky sweetener
  • Roasted almond butter
  • Coconut cream
  • Coconut oil

What equipment do I need?

  • A food processor
  • measuring cups
  • Dehydrator (optional)

Why you will love this recipe

  • Its freaking DELICIOUS
  • They are so easy to make, and require only 8 ingredients
  • The recipe is allergy friendly for pretty much everyone, except those with tree nut allergies
  • Its a crowd pleaser, and you’ll make it again and again
  • They freezes well

Pecans are too expensive here, though. What can I use instead?

Why I don’t think pecans are the only nut you can use to make this no bake vegan brownie, they are the best choice. But yeah, in Australia they are EXPENSIVE (especially if they are organic), and likely have a lot of miles on them. So, what can you use instead?

First and foremost, i DO recommend using pecans. No other nut works as well, in both texture and flavour. However, you could try;

  • Walnuts. I have tried this, and it works wonderfully for the texture. the flavour is slightly more bitter, so beware.
  • Almond meal. This will alter both the texture AND taste, but if its all you have, you can make it work.

Can i just use dried dates instead?

Yes, you can! A few notes though;

  1. Dried dates will need to first be soaked in warm water before you use them. In order to get the right texture at the end, you will need to squeeze excess water from the dates before using them. Water logged dates will make a dense, sticky brownie. Not what we are after.
  2. Did you know, most dried dates contain up to 40% “vegetable oil’? Yep, I know- I was shocked, too. Most likely, the vegetable oil is genetically modified CANOLA or SOY BEAN oil (unless you buy organic), and is thus a far less healthy option than fresh dates.
  3. My recommendation? Source Medjool dates, in bulk, from a middle eastern grocer. They are often far cheaper, fresher, and free from hidden vegetable oils.

Fudgy raw vegan brownies

How to make the our no bake vegan brownie

Step 1. Activate the pecans.

You may wish to skip this step if you don’t have a dehydrator, but activating your nuts, seeds and grains will really boost the nutrition of your food, and help you to avoid ‘anti-nutrients’ that contribute to mineral deficiencies and gut irritation.

I like to buy all my nuts (and seeds) in bulk, and spend a few days soaking and activating them so that I have a pantry full of activated nuts for the month ahead- doing it this way requires far less effort than activating nuts every time i need them for a recipe, and ensures my dehydrator is full when I use it.

So, this is what you do to activate PECANS (note; the process will slightly for different nuts and seeds).

  • Add pecans to a large bowl, and cover liberally with filtered water, and 1 tsp salt. If you live in a cold climate, you will want to make the water about 20 degrees C. Leave to soak for 6-8 hours.
  • Now, dehydrate the pecans. Drain, and rinse well, then place in your dehydrator for around 18 hours, at 46 degrees C. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could dry the nuts in the oven on the lowest setting- the time will vary, but you want the nuts to be completely dry.
  • Store nuts in airtight containers in the fridge or panty until needed.

See? Simple! Just follow my advise and do the bulk-nuts method, otherwise you will forever put off making these no bake vegan brownies, and that would be a shame.

Step 2. Make the brownie base.

Using a for processor, you need to add the pecans and grind to form small crumbs- you are not after a flour texture, but you want them to be small. Next, add the coconut flour, salt and cacao and pulse to combine. Set aside.

Prepare the dates

I use medjool dates for this recipe, and I don’t recommend suing dried dates and you won’t get the same texture. However, if that is all you have, simply soak them in warm water to soften before use. carefully remove all pits. With the food processor running, add in the dates, then drizzle in the maple syrup.

By now, you should have a large, slightly sticky dough ball. If your ingredients are not sticking together, you’ll need to add more dates- likewise, if the dough is very sticky, add more coconut flour.

Press into your lined baking tray

You will want a small baking tray (mine is only 15cm square) that is lined with baking paper, or a silicone one will work well too. Pressing in the dough requires some attention, because you don’t want to compact it down- lightly press the dough so that its firm and even, but not so much that you create a dense base. Just like when baking a cake, you want to create the perfect texture- and a light hand will help you do that here.

Step 3. Make the almond butter frosting.

This is the easiest part of these no bake vegan brownies- simply throw all the ingredients into your (clean) food processor or blender, and fizz until uniform. Alternatively, you could mix it all up in a bowl if you live in a hot climate (and have liquid coconut oil)- but this is rather hard when its cold!

Thats it! You’ll want to set the brownie in the fridge for a few hours before eating it, or even if the freezer if you’re making it ahead of time.


Slice up the no bake vegan brownie and store it in an airtight container in the fridge (for up to 1 week) or the freezer (for up tp month). If you live in a cold climate, this can be stored in the pantry in the cooler months, too.

After more delicious no bake snacks? You might like to try:

We hope you enjoy this raw chocolate pecan brownie as much as we do. We love hearing your feedback and comments, and doing so helps others find this recipe too.


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No bake vegan brownies with almond butter frosting

  • Author: panaceaspantry
  • Prep Time: 10 mins plus setting time
  • Total Time: 59 minute
  • Yield: 8-12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


A descendent no bake vegan brownie that that be made in under 10 minutes. This is a healthy recipe made from whole foods, and a total crowd pleaser.



220g (2 cups) raw pecans
260g pitted (12-14, 1 ½ cups) Medjool dates, pitted (or any soft date)
½ tsp. Good quality salt
75g (2/3 cup) raw cacao powder
55g (½ cup) coconut flour
75g (¼ cup) pure maple syrup


140g (1/2 cup) roasted almond butter
62g (¼ cup) coconut cream (full fat), thick part only
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
75g (¼ cup) pure maple syrup


  1. Add pecans, coconut flour, cacao and salt to a high-speed food processor. Blend until a rough flour has formed.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until a sticky ball forms. Press the mixture into a prepared tin (we use a 15cm square tin, lined with baking paper).

Make the frosting

  1. Gently melt the coconut oil & set aside to cool
  2. Combine all your frosting ingredients in a high-speed blender (excluding the coconut oil) & blend until well combined
  3. Add the melted coconut oil & blend again. Pour the mixture over your brownie & then transfer to the fridge or freezer to set
  4. To serve; remove from freezer and allow to defrost for 5 minutes. Remove from tin, then cut into 10 bars. Enjoy straight away or store in the fridge (for up to 5 days) or the freezer (for up to a month).



  • Rice malt syrup can be exchanged for pure maple syrup, coconut nectar or agave. I have only made it with rice malt syrup and maple syrup however, so can only vouch for them.
  • Pecans can be exchanged for raw walnuts
  • Raw cacao powder can be exchanged for cocoa
  • Roasted almond butter can be exchanged for your preferred nut or seed butter

Keywords: No bake, paleo, vegan, plant based, gluten free, grain free, egg free

    1. Hi Katherine,

      The recipe works best with coconut flour, but yes- you can substitute for almond meal (or preferred nut meal). The texture will be slightly different, but still delicious.

  1. These are my favourite brownies and the frosting is the best I’ve ever had. I’m so glad I found this recipe. I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes

    1. Hi Jen- they are my favourite too!I have loving them for years nd so glad to hear you’re a fan.

  2. Absolute winner of a recipe! I love how quick this was to put together – and the fudgey consistency was so good! Shared it at my gym class today and everyone was very happy to replace the calories they just burned ASAP – he he. I will make this over and over and over I am sure.

    1. I’m so glad to hear this Kathryn. I’m glad you’re keeping those calories coming in at gym, hehe.

  3. I made these delicious brownies and they were sensational. Such an easy recipe, packed full of flavour! ❤️❤️❤️ I will certainly be making theses again!! 🙌🏼🙌🏼