This is the BEST raw vegan brownie EVER. I have been making these for years, and we ever sold them for a while in bakeries and markets. Fudgy, decadent, no bake, whole food based and healthy.
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I have been making this raw vegan chocolate brownie for YEARS over on Instagram (since 2015!) and they are still one of the most popular recipes there. Tried and tested. Loved by me and everyone else who makes/eats them. Wholesome. Moorish, Easy.
They even graced the cover of the Nourish magazine in 2016!
They are deliciously moist, decadent and fudgy- and healthier than most brownies recipes you’ll find.
You need only 9 ingredients AND they are gluten free, dairy free, grain free, paleo, vegan, and egg free and DELICIOUS.
I use a mixture of pecans, dates and cacao as the main ingredients, but you’ll need a few other staples, too.
INGREDIENTS for the BEST RAW VEGAN BROWNIE
- Pecans. Raw or activated, whatever you prefer (walnuts work too).
- Raw cacao powder (or dutch pressed cocoa if you prefer)
- Medjool dates, or any soft fresh dates. If you want to avoid vegetable oils then do not use dried dates- they contain up to 40% vegetable oil.
- Coconut flour. Coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture and helps to create a chewy texture. There is no stright up swap for coconut flour in this recipe.
- Pure maple syrup or your preferred sticky sweetener. Maple syrup gave the best texture and flavour in my testing of these no bake chocolate brownies.
- Vanilla extract, paste or powder. Vanilla brings the flavour of chocolate alive, and a little goes a long way here.
- Coconut oil
- Salt. Flavour, always!
- Smooth nut butter of choice– almond butter, peanut butter or sunflower butter all work great.
What equipment do I need?
- A food processor
- A 15cm tin/mould- similar sizes will work too
- measuring cups
- Dehydrator (optional)
Why you will love this recipe
- These raw vegan brownie is so DELICIOUS, you’ll please everyone
- They are so easy to make, and require only 9 ingredients
- The recipe is allergy friendly for pretty much everyone, except those with tree nut allergies
- They freeze well
Pecans are too expensive here, though. What can I use instead?
Pecans are expensive if you live in Australia- they are a special occasion nut in my opinion.
So, if you want to make this amazing fudgy raw brownie more regularly, some cheaper options are;
- 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 it’s all you have, you can make it work. Ensure you swap by weight, not volume.
Can i just use dried dates instead?
Yes, you can! A few notes though;
- 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.
- 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.
- My recommendation? Source Medjool dates, in bulk, from a middle eastern grocer. They are often far cheaper, fresher, and free from hidden vegetable oils.
How to make the our no bake vegan brownie
Step 1. Activate the pecans.
You can 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, but if you are using dried dates simply soak them in warm water for 5 minutes to soften before use. Carefully remove all pits and squeeze out all excess water. 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 chocolate ganache
The ganache frosting is optional but adds a decadent touch- its a gorgeous way to mix up textures and flavours in the mouth.
Melt coconut oil by stovetop or microwave until just liquid. Add to a bowl with remaining ingredients. Whisk until smooth. Pour over base.
Top with anything you like- salt flakes, dried rose petals, chopped nuts or leave as is.
Set in the fridge or freezer next until that devious, decadent raw brownie is set.
Remove your now set raw vegan brownie from the tin 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.
Sourcing ingredients for the best raw vegan brownie
Its true- this amazing no bake brownie is on the expensive side to make. Here is how I source my ingredients;
- Buy in bulk! I always source my nuts in bulk when I can. Nuts do not have a long shelf life, so I store excess in the fridge or freezer.
- I buy my organic cacao, dates and nut butters from Part&Parcel store. The store has a small annual fee that then gives you access to so many amazing products for 20% less than RRP. My code JADE10 gives you a further discount.
- Source local ingredients. If you live in Australia like me, walnuts will be a much more affordable option.
Has this fudgy raw vegan brownie got you hungry for more healthy chocolate snacks? You might like to try;
- Healthy fruit nut slice
- Easy berry gummies
- Raw blueberry swirl cheesecake
- Nut free chocolate bliss balls
- Honey oat banana muffins
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.
The best raw vegan brownie recipe ever. Double chocolate, fudgy, filled with whole foods and so easy to make. Enjoy this crowd pleaser!
- 220g (2 cups) raw pecans
- ½ tsp. Good quality salt
- 75g (2/3 cup) raw cacao powder
- 55g (½ cup) coconut flour
- 260g pitted (12-14, 1 ½ cups) Medjool dates, pitted (or any soft date)
- 75g (¼ cup) pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Chocolate ganache icing
- 97g (1/2 cup) virgin coconut oil
- 55g (1/2 cup) cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 75g (1/4 cup) pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp almond butter (or preferred nut or seed butter)
- NOTE: the pictures in the post contain the raw vegan brownie with an old frosting recipe. I have updates this recipe in 2022 but if you would like to make the original frosting see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- I recommend using scales for this recipe. Raw or no bake recipes are generally forgiving, however the weight of dates can change ALOT and make the results also vary a lot. If scales are not an option please use the spoon and scrap method when measuring and pack dates very well into the cups.
- Add pecans, coconut flour, cacao and salt to a high-speed food processor. Blend until a rough flour has formed- some small pieces of visible nuts are perfectly fine, and add some texture diversity.
- Add pitted dates, maple and optional vanilla and blend until a moist mixture forms. To test take a small piece and squeeze in teh palm of your hands- the mixture should compress and hold together well, but not be so sticky that it leaves remnants on your hands. If the mix is too try add extra dates (1 at a time). If the mixture is too wet/sticky, add an extra Tbsp of coconut flour. Press the mixture into a prepared tin (we use a 15cm square tin, lined with baking paper). I like to use a spoon to press every down firmly so that it holds together well.
Make the frosting
- Gently melt the coconut oil (on a stovetop or in the microwave) & set aside to cool. You want coconut oil that is liquid but not hot to the touch, only warm.
- Pour the warm coconut oil into a small mixing bowl with the remaining ganache ingredients. Whisk to combine until smooth and uniform then pour over the raw brownie base.
- Transfer to the fridge or freezer to set
- 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. During recipe tests maple syrup produced the best result in taste and texture.
- 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
This is the original frosting seen in many of the images seen in this post.
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
- Gently melt the coconut oil & set aside to cool- you want a liquid oil but not one that is hot to the touch, only warm.
- Combine all your frosting ingredients in a high-speed blender (excluding the coconut oil) & blend until well combined
- Add the melted coconut oil & blend again. Pour the mixture over your brownie & then transfer to the fridge or freezer to set