Applesauce Brownies


5 from 361 votes
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Applesauce brownies are fudgy brownies that replace the flour and butter with applesauce! One bowl and just 4 ingredients, they are a healthier chocolate dessert! 

When it comes to healthy desserts, we can never say no to no bake brownie bites, cookie dough bites, and these brownies made with applesauce.

applesauce brownies

I’ve been meaning to do a brownie recipe with applesauce after making these pumpkin brownies. While pumpkin has a firmer texture, I thought the applesauce would make it even more gooey and fudgy…and I was correct. 

While applesauce is often used to replace fat and oil in baking recipes, it can also work to keep desserts moist, too. I often use applesauce in other recipes, like quick bread and oatmeal cookies, but this was a first when it came to a chocolate dessert. 

I was pleasantly surprised with both the taste and texture of them, especially when I’m in need of a healthy chocolate fix. Not only are they vegan and gluten free, but are also paleo, too!

Now, these aren’t your real deal box mix kind of brownies, but when you are looking for a guilt free fix, this ticks the boxes!

How do you make applesauce brownies

The Ingredients

  • Unsweetened applesauce– Be sure your applesauce is completely unsweetened, with no added sugar. You are welcome to use a homemade one, but ensure it is a smooth texture. 
  • Almond butter OR peanut butter– Drippy and smooth almond butter (or peanut butter) with no added sugar or salt. 
  • Cocoa Powder– Unsweetened cocoa powder. You can use dark cocoa powder if you’d like a richer flavor. 
  • Liquid stevia– Optional, but recommended to give the brownies some sweetness. I used 5-6 drops, but use more if you’d prefer sweeter brownies. 

The Instructions

Start by mixing together all your ingredients, until a batter remains. Carefully transfer the brownie batter into a lined 9 x 4-inch pan. Bake the brownies for 18-20 minutes, until firm on top. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan completely, before slicing up. 

brownie recipe with applesauce

Frosting Ideas 

These brownies taste delicious on their own, but take it up a notch by adding a simple frosting on top!

  • Coconut Cream ganache– Mix 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 cup of warm coconut milk (from a can) and spread over the cooled brownies.
  • Chocolate Glaze– Mix powdered sugar with cocoa powder and thin out with milk or water.
  • Applesauce frosting– My go-to frosting! This homemade frosting needs just 4 ingredients and uses even more applesauce! 

Tips for perfect applesauce brownies

  • Applesauce brownies are not sweet, so add extra sweetener to compensate. 
  • Do not overbake the brownies, as they continue to firm up once they cool down.
  • The applesauce yields a very fragile texture (once cooked). I recommend once the brownies have cooled down, to refrigerate them for a further 30 minutes, to firm up more.
  • For an extra chocolate hit, fold through some dairy free chocolate chips or even some crushed walnuts.
  • If you’d like to make these brownies nut free, use smooth sunflower seed butter or tahini. 

Storing and Freezing Brownies

  • To store: These brownies must always be stored in the refrigerator, to remain fudgy and firm. They will keep well for up to 2 weeks. 
  • To freeze: Place leftover brownies in a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to eating. 

applesauce brownies

More healthy desserts you’ll enjoy

Watch how to make it

chocolate brownie with applesauce

Applesauce Brownies (3 Ingredients!)

5 from 361 votes
A delicious, three ingredient brownie recipe made with unsweetened applesauce! These fudgy and gooey brownies are healthy and flourless, and completely vegan, gluten free, and paleo!
Servings: 9 brownies
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes



  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a 9 x 4-inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients until a smooth batter remains.
  • Transfer the brownie batter to the loaf pan and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a cooked on top.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan completely, before frosting, if desired.


I used 5 drops of liquid stevia. You can use as much or as little as you'd like.
Frost the brownies with applesauce chocolate frosting.
TO STORE: These brownies must always be stored in the refrigerator, to remain fudgy and firm. They will keep well for up to 2 weeks. 
TO FREEZE: Place leftover brownies in a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to eating. 


Serving: 1brownieCalories: 96kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSodium: 3mgPotassium: 221mgFiber: 4gVitamin A: 8IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 4g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!


Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. THis recipe was super easy and super yummy! I cooked mine in a square cake pan 8×8 and used the protein PowerReviews frosting. Very impressed with the turnout ?

  2. My husband and I are on day 1 of detoxing from holiday indulging…and this was a great way to ease into it! I used about 1/3 cup of cocoa powder and we skipped the icing. The first bite was a bit bitter like others have mentioned, but I love dark chocolate and really enjoyed the overall taste and texture! Definitely a great healthy option when you want something super chocolatey!

  3. These look fantastic….I see they must be refrigerated….what solution would you offer me if I told you my husband requires warm-able brownies because he prefers his cold ice cream to compliment his ooey-gooey warm brownies (without risking a bowl full of chocolate-y/nut buttery goo)?? 😉

  4. Hey there! I am at work today and plan on making these tomorrow when I get home!! Yay! They look incredible.
    Here is my question I hope you can help me out with. I don’t have any of the smaller pans you mentioned 🙁 I have only a standard loaf pan or square 8×8 or 9×9 , or a big cake pan. Do you know how I could best convert this awesome recipe for one of my pans?

    thank you so much

    1. Hi Jenn! I think making it in either of those pans is fine, just keep an eye on the baking time 🙂

  5. I have made this a couple of times now (without frosting). The first few bites I found to be a bit bitter for my taste, but the more I ate it (and the longer I go without consuming refined sugars) the more I enjoyed the dark chocolate taste. I have been adding some ground chipotle pepper to the mix to give it a nice little kick. Great recipe!

      1. May I ask how much sweetener you added? Glad you are enjoying yours. When I made some without sweetener I found the result completely inedible but the site owner says he did recommend some sweetener. I didn’t see that bit!

  6. Very bitter results. I haven’t added frosting but the basic brownie is so bitter I think it’s beyond rescue.
    Where did I go wrong?

    1. Julie, with all due respect, the recipe states that it will be dark and rich toasting. If it’s too bitter, it may be due to your cocoa powder you used. I also mentioned in the post that if you want a sweet brownie, add sweetener to it.

      1. aH, I didn’t see the bit about sweetener, just thought the applesauce would be enough! Silly me.

  7. Hi

    This ask for almond butter. Here where I live don’t sell almond butter. I don’t like nut version of butter. Here do sell coconut butter. Will that be okay work with this recipe (also banana version too….I love banana)?

  8. Help! I made these and had to throw them away as they were extremely bitter. I used Hershey’s CoCo Powder. This was the second brownie recipe I tried that called for CoCo powder and both were too bitter to eat. Any thoughts?

      1. The recipe only mentions the frosting (which I did create with melted choc chips), are you suggesting a sweetener in the brownies? If so, what? I don’t want to use anything like Stevia or sugar substitute.

      2. I had the same issue, but I was also using the dark chocolate cocoa instead of regular. I made a second batch with a bit of maple syrup (like 2 tablespoons worth). Worked perfect!

  9. I cannot thank you enough for this recipe and the sweet potato/pumpkin variations. As someone who unfortunately developed a banana allergy in her 20s (yea, it really sucks), it is so hard to find recipes without bananas/frozen bananas etc. I miss their flavour and versatility so much. so to sum up, thank you!!!

  10. I just made your apple blondies this week and I cannot wait to make this chocolate version next week 🙂 My partner and my friends are always surprised when they taste the recipes I make from your website and I tell them the ingredients! It`s great to be able to eat desserts which satisfy my sweet tooth but are really healthy and won`t make me feel guilty lol Keep going!

    1. 😀 Oh I can totally relate, Diana- I was shocked the other week when I realised my favorite brownie had the same caloric content as THE ENTIRE PAN!!!!!

      Thanks so much for your kind words 🙂

  11. I know you said to cool them off first, but I couldn’t wait, and they were phenomenal!!! I can’t wait to see how they taste after some time in the fridge. Thank you so much for the recipe!!!

  12. I scanned the recipe pics/titles looking for the protein chocolate frosting recipe… Link please? We’re on Whole30, but it’s my 2yo’s birthday today. Making these for his “cake”… We’ll do it without frosting today, but I’d love to have it for later. 🙂

  13. There is nothing worse than baking a cake that requires setting overnight! I definitely need a pint of ice cream in the meantime.

  14. That was a funny story. I think once in college i made banana brownies and they were such a disaster, no one ate them. But yeah, I’ll try applesauce. I think with using healthier ingredients, you really have to cut out the flour to avoid dryness.. you’re right. WIll try this

  15. There’s no such thing as something being too banana-y. That’s just blasphemy. And applesauce is my jam. Back in the day when I used to make my own, I probably at around 6 apples worth of applesauce a day 😆

  16. So fudgy oh em geeeee. In undergrad I’d eat those squeeze packs of applesauce all the time and Ray made fun of me for essentially eating baby food.

  17. Hehe your adventures with your mom and Niki are pretty hilarious! And these look so good; apples are right up there with pumpkin for me! And 3 ingredients? YES! Do you make your own nut butter or buy it? What’s your favorite brand?

  18. Hi there. I’m French (although to be exact, I hailed from South Korea but I was adopted when I was almost 6 years old) and here in France, we love applesauce! And I’ve been following a healthy lifestyle with a low-carb diet for 2 months and a half now. So hail to your lovely recipe that looks amazing! 🙂 This is the first recipe I’m gonna make from your wonderful website. Gonna tell you how it went, I promise! I love applesauce (in French, it’s called “compote de pommes”). Long live the “baby food”! 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  19. I can see how gooey these brownies turned out. I like recipes that use applesauce, and have subbed it for half the amount of oil when baking cupcakes.

  20. I love recipes that use applesauce! I always end up with too much on my hands. Bonus point is if it involves chocolate!

  21. You can tell how gooey/decadent these turn out just from the photos!! Brownies are all about that gooey factor, in my opinion. As a banana lover I’d never have the issue of too banana-y, but I’d imagine these would do the trick for those people. They look incredible!

      1. These brownies are good if you don’t mind the apple sauce taste. Otherwise, if you are a chocolate lover like me and do not mind adding dairy to the recipe, I suggest adding melted dark chocolate or add melted chocolate with some Greek yogurt until the chocolate taste is richer.Otherwise, it’s a good recipe

  22. These sound delicious, Arman! I love that Niki made good use of that leftover applesauce. Tell her if she ever runs short, we have plenty of mashed apples around here. And mashed peas. And mashed macaroni and cheese. (I swear it’s a real thing!)

  23. Glad you mentioned Sept 11 – such a tough day to process each year! Also, I have more applesauce than know what to do with so I think I’m trying these today – the kids thank you in advance 🙂