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Gluten free and naturally sweetened—with these Healthy Brownies, you can have your cake brownies and eat them too!

healthy brownie made with cocoa powder and coconut sugar cut into squares

Any time I have attempted to reform my diet, even for a temporary period, I meet the same insurmountable barrier: chocolate.

It’s both my greatest food weakness and my greatest source of food happiness.

Rather than attempt to give it up, drive myself crazy with cravings, then feel bad when I slip, I find it far more pleasant to create healthier chocolate desserts like today’s healthy brownies.

easy healthy brownies without dates topped with frosting and chocolate chips

Although I don’t adhere to a specific diet (Paleo, vegan, gluten-free, etc.), I am certainly no stranger to the feeling that my body sometimes needs a bit of a reset— especially following the holidays when I realize that I’ve been subsisting primarily on cheese boards, Brownie Cookies, and champagne.

I suspect a few of you may share the same feeling, and that’s where this easy, healthy brownie recipe comes into play.

(These Avocado Brownies or Black Bean Brownies are other great healthy brownie options.)

dairy free healthy brownies made without banana and no oil

5 Star Review

“Like a little bit of heaven in each bite! Delicious!”

— Geneva —

How to Make Healthy Brownies

Made with almond butter, unsweetened cocoa, hefty hunks of dark chocolate, and a rich fudge frosting, this recipe is gooey, decadent, and…healthy?!

Yep, it’s true!

Flourless, gluten free (and grain free), dairy free, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup and coconut sugar (no sugar of the granulated variety here!), these healthy brownies will satisfy any chocolate craving in a wholesome way.


For another healthy brownie option that sneaks in a serving of veggies, check out these Sweet Potato Brownies.

The best healthy brownies gluten free with fudge frosting

The Ingredients

  • Almond Butter. Provides the brownies with all the richness and fat they need without adding any butter, vegetable oil, or canola oil to the recipe. Almond butter is packed with vitamin E and contains healthy monounsaturated fats.

Ingredient Note

Not all almond butters are created equal, so check your labels. To keep these brownies healthy, choose a natural almond butter with a simple ingredient list and no added sweeteners or preservatives.

  • Coconut Sugar + Maple Syrup. My choices for natural sweeteners that take the place of refined granulated sugar.

Substitution Tip

If you don’t keep coconut sugar in your pantry, you can swap it for light brown sugar.

  • Cocoa Powder. The trick to making traditional brownies (like my One Bowl Brownies and Brownie Bites) and healthy brownies such as these ultra-decadent.
  • Egg. Adds richness, improves texture, and gives the brownies a little lift and chew.
  • Vanilla Extract. Balances and intensifies the chocolate flavor.
  • Chocolate Chips. Get stirred into the batter and sprinkled on top.
  • Fudge Frosting. Made with a few of the wholesome ingredients above, along with almond milk and coconut oil to make it rich and spreadable, this easy fudge frosting is the perfect way to finish off these healthy brownies.

The Directions

mixing healthy brownie batter in a bowl without flour
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, prepare the brownie batter.
a bowl of naturally sweetened healthy brownie batter with chocolate chips
  1. Fold in the chocolate chips.
brownie batter healthy pressed into a square pan
  1. Spread the batter into a greased and lined 8×8 square baking pan.
a pan of freshly baked low calorie healthy brownies paleo
  1. Bake healthy brownies at 350 degrees F for 17 minutes. Let cool.
a saucepan of melting chocolate
  1. Prepare the frosting in a small saucepan on the stovetop.


The mixture will look very separate at first but will come together as you continue to stir.

one bowl healthy brownie batter in a baking pan lined with parchment paper
  1. Spread the frosting over the brownies and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips. Allow the frosting to set, then slice and serve. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Keep the brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Enjoy leftovers at room temperature or, to make them extra fudgy, warm slightly in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Cover the brownies uncut in the pan with foil and store frozen for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Storage Tips

You may also freeze individual cut brownies in plastic wrap and heavy-duty foil.

What to Serve with Healthy Brownies

Add one (or more) of these other healthy desserts to your dessert spread. No one will ever guess they’re heathy.

Recommended Tools

a slice of a low calorie brownie with a bite out of it

OK, over and out. We have some (healthy) chocolate to eat!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are These Healthy Brownies Paleo?

Yes. While I do not follow or study the Paleo diet, the recipe, as it is written, does happen to be Paleo-friendly. Just be sure to opt for coconut sugar and source dairy-free chocolate chips.

How Can I Make Healthy Brownies Vegan?

I have not tried making this healthy brownie recipe vegan, so it would be an experiment. You could try swapping the egg for a flax egg; however, I’m not sure how that would impact the texture of the recipe. If you’re looking for a tested and proven vegan option, try these Vegan Brownies.

Can I Make These Healthy Brownies Without Almond Butter?

I can’t recommend omitting nut butter from this recipe since it is crucial to its taste and texture. If you have an allergy, you could play around with sunflower butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, or other allergy-friendly alternatives depending upon your needs. If you give this a try, I’d love to hear about your results.

Healthy Brownies

5 from 35 votes
The BEST healthy brownies ever! Rich and fudgy, these easy brownies contain no flour, no oil and no refined sugar. Gluten free and grain free!

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 17 minutes
Total: 32 minutes

Servings: 16 brownies


For the Brownies:

For the Fudge Frosting:


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8×8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Line with parchment paper so that it overhangs two of the sides like handles, then coat again with spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond butter, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the coconut sugar to absorb some of the moisture. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the top. Stir to combine.
  • With a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in the chocolate chips. The batter will be very thick.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, then with a spatula or your fingers, press the batter into an even layer.
  • Bake for 17 minutes, until the top is lightly dry and barely begins to puff. Let the brownies cool completely.
  • For the frosting, melt the chocolate with the almond butter and coconut oil in a small saucepan, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat, then stir in the almond milk and vanilla until very smooth and evenly combined. The mixture will look very separate at first but will come together as you continue to stir.
  • Spread the frosting over the top of the cooled brownies. Top with additional chocolate chips as desired. Refrigerate until the frosting is set, about 10 additional minutes. Slice and serve.


  • TO STORE: Keep the brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Enjoy leftovers at room temperature or, to make them extra fudgy, warm them slightly in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: These healthy brownies may be frozen for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • *DIETARY NOTE: If you would like to make these healthy brownies Paleo, make sure to opt for coconut sugar and source dairy-free chocolate chips.


Serving: 1(of 16)Calories: 261kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 6gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 13mgPotassium: 278mgFiber: 4gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 27IUCalcium: 83mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. These were so delicious! Thank you for creating a recipe that’s flourless. I had to sub almond butter for peanut butter. I noticed the consistency when completed broke off easily, is that normal?5 stars

    1. Hi May! So glad you enjoyed them! I have not had that experience before so unsure why you encountered that.

  2. Erin, thank you for the recipe. These brownies are amazingly delicious, chewy, and chocolatey!!!😋 I ran out of my homemade almond butter for the frosting so I replaced it with Tahini and added some orange juice and orange zest and it turned out great and pairs nicely with the brownies!! I will definitely make these again! Thanks so much for sharing the great recipe with us!🙌🏻♥️5 stars

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