Healthy Brownies


5 from 1582 votes
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These healthy brownies are perfectly fudgy, gooey, and have those gorgeous crackly tops! Topped with a healthy frosting, there is no flour, no eggs, and no refined sugar needed! 

Healthy brownies

As someone who loves brownies, having a healthy option makes things easier.

Desserts should be part of any diet, and if you can tweak them slightly to be healthier (without sacrificing on taste!), even better. This healthy brownie recipe is the perfect example of it. I made a few small swaps and the end result is something that tastes just as good as any brownie out there!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • There is no flour, eggs, or refined sugar needed, and use simple and affordable ingredients.  
  • Everything is made in just one bowl, so there is minimal clean up and mess. 
  • They come together in less than 30 minutes, and can be enjoyed with or without frosting. 
  • The fudginess is on another level- it will be hard to stop at one! 

How to make healthy brownies? 

The Ingredients.

  • Unsweetened applesauce– A fabulous replacement for oil or butter, and keeps the brownies extra fudgy. 
  • Almond butter– Smooth almond butter with no added sugar.
  • Maple syrup– Agave nectar or honey will also work. 
  • Brown sugar substitute OR coconut sugar– All the brown sugar flavor, minus the calories or carbs. Skip the expensive store bought kind and make your own.
  • Cocoa powder– 100% unsweetened and Dutch processed cocoa powder. For a richer flavor, use dark cocoa. 
  • Salt– Brings out all the natural sweetness of the other ingredients. 
  • Baking soda– Leavening agent used to give the brownies some rise and depth. 
  • Vanilla extract– A must for any good brownie recipe. 
  • Chocolate chips– Optional, but I love folding through some dairy free or sugar free chocolate chips
  • Frosting– Optional, but I love a thick layer of frosting. Try some healthy frosting or 2 ingredient frosting

The Instructions. 

Start by adding the applesauce, almond butter, and maple syrup into a large bowl and whisking together until smooth. Add the brown sugar substitute, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and vanilla extract, and mix until fully combined. Fold through the chocolate chips.

Next, transfer the batter into a greased 8-inch pan and bake for 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool completely.

Now, once the brownies have cooled, spread the frosting over the top. Let it sit for ten minutes, before slicing and serving. 

healthy brownie

Expert tips for success

  • Do not over-bake the brownies as they will continue to cook as they are cooling down. However, if you prefer cakier brownies, you can bake the full 35 minutes. 
  • For a richer flavor, use dark cocoa powder and add the optional chocolate chips.
  • Avoid over mixing the batter, as doing so will not yield a crackly top. 

Substitutions and dietary swaps

  • Use other nut or seed butters. Substitute the almond butter for peanut butter, tahini, or sunflower seed butter. 
  • Cut the sugar completely. Replace the maple syrup with sugar free maple syrup.
  • Swap out the applesauce. Pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree, and mashed bananas work. 
  • Lower the carbs. Use pumpkin instead of applesauce, sugar free maple syrup, and a keto chocolate frosting

Storing and freezing instructions

  • To store: Brownies can be stored at room temperature, covered, for up to three days. If you’d like them to keep longer, store them in the refrigerator and they’ll keep for at least one week. 
  • To freeze: Place the leftovers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to six months. 

More healthy brownie recipes to try

Frequently Asked Questions

Are brownies healthy?

While most brownies are packed with sugar, butter, and oil, these homemade ones are healthy and perfect to enjoy regularly. These ones have no flour, no butter, no oil, and no added sugar, yet taste incredible.

What can I use instead of applesauce?

If you don’t have applesauce, you can use mashed overripe banana or pumpkin puree.

Do I need to add the frosting?

The frosting is completely optional. They taste just as delicious without it.

I don’t have a brown sugar substitute. What can I use instead?

Brown sugar, coconut sugar, white sugar, and raw sugar can all be used.

healthy brownie recipe

Healthy Brownies (No flour!)

5 from 1582 votes
Servings: 12 brownies
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes



  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the applesauce, almond butter, and maple syrup and whisk together until smooth. Add the coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Fold through the chocolate chips.
  • Transfer the batter into the lined pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out mostly clean.
  • Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool completely, before adding the optional frosting.


TO STORE: Brownies can be stored at room temperature, covered, for up to three days. If you’d like them to keep longer, store them in the refrigerator and they’ll keep for at least one week. 
TO FREEZE: Place the leftovers in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to six months.


Serving: 1BrownieCalories: 100kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSodium: 191mgPotassium: 168mgFiber: 2gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 9g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

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. The texture of that frosting is killing me! When it comes to recipes I’m the one typically making the changes. Also whenever my kids give feedback it’s usually very accurate so I take that really seriously!

        1. Hi Diana! I don’t think so- From memory, liquid stevia needs several drops to have the same sweetness level of two tablespoons

        2. Plus I read on a different sight that if you sweeten something chocolate with anything stevia based it accentuates stevia’s bitter aftertaste.

        3. 5 stars
          Oh my god! I was so skeptical at first however these are mind blowing. Eaten straight out of the oven they are gooey and give you that chocolate hit. Even once cooled and cut into portions they were still moist and really luxurious. Incredible that there is no gluten in which means my mother can eat these. I love that they are healthier ingredients so they feel like a guilt-free treat, so happy I found this recipe will be making this time after time, thank you sooooo much!

  2. These are, without a doubt, the most visually appealing thing you’ve ever posted. They remind me of my all time favorite cafeteria dessert as a kid. Those brownies were crack.
    I am mixed about bananas in desserts. I think I prefer applesauce or pumpkin because I don’t have I wait for them to ripen!

        1. Hi there – if you substitute banana or pumpkin do you go by mass? Or just still aim for 2 cups?
          I mean, google says 2 cups of bananas weighs 600g, 2 cups of pumpkin weighs 450g, and 2 cups of sweet potatoes weigh 400g

  3. I love how you create these unbelievably appealing frostings – Fortunately, I love the taste of bananas in recipes.

  4. Amazing recipe and gorgeous photos, Arman! Oh feedback haha….being a dancer I get hit with all sorts of criticism basically everyday, but I really do appreciate constructive feedback that helps me in the long run. 🙂

  5. These look AWESOME. I’m a texture snob and these look to be the perfect texture. PS ate eggs yesterday and was hungry 30 mins later. <–true story. Needed avocado apparently.

  6. These look really gooey and I want them. I actually don’t mind banana taste in baked goods, but loads of chocolate instead is even better!

  7. Thanks for the update, the hit the nail on the head- I hate too much banana taste! Will definitely make these soon!

  8. You are a protein powder wizard, mate. Nay, you are a protein powder Harry Potter. I want to stuff my face with those brownies…right now!