Chewy Brownies (dairy-free)

Thick, rich, chewy brownies made from scratch and ready in just 45 minutes. These irresistible bars may be dairy-free but they taste just as good as their buttery counterpart.

Chewy Brownies |

Something wonderful happened two days ago. I ate pasta with shaved parmesan on it for the first time in 6 months!! ??

Back in March I said goodbye to ALL things dairy and soy. It was rough, especially at first. I was hungry and moody but wanted so badly to help our little baby get better. Thankfully he has. It was not an easy journey and to be honest I’m not sure it’s entirely over. We’re in a re-introduction phase and we’re taking things extra slow. Keeping my fingers crossed that butter, yogurt and milk are on the horizon for the both of us.

About 2 months into the elimination “diet” I was craving chocolate… hard. Most chocolate either contains milk or soy whether it’s intentional or just trace amounts from shared equipment. I found this out the hard way. Baby was upset and I was regretting my decision to indulge even if it was just tiny piece.

Chewy Brownies |

That’s where these brownies came in. They’re made with oil (coconut or canola) and have cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate. I added some chopped Enjoy Life chunks to them so that they would taste more like what we’re used to eating, and guess what? They were delicious! Chewy, fudgy, with a thin flakey layer of meringue on top. Craving satisfied.

To bake the brownies you’ll need an 8×8-inch metal baking pan. DO NOT USE GLASS. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that brownies should always be baked in a metal pan. Trust me.

Because I had to keep these dairy-free, I lined my baking pan with parchment paper. I found that they stuck (just a little bit) to aluminum foil. It was annoying enough for me to make them again just see if parchment would solve the problem. It did!

Chewy Brownies |

To make the brownies you’ll start by adding the oil, sugars and vanilla to a bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Using the stand mixer or a hand mixer, mix on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add two eggs and one yolk, mix on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Let the batter rest for 3 minutes, then beat for 30 seconds. Repeat two more times. This process helps give the brownies that coveted shiny meringue crust.

Chewy Brownies |

In a separate mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. I’ve made this recipe several times now and I have used Scharffenberger, Guittard Cocoa Rouge, and Ghirardelli powders. You can’t go wrong. I also like adding a ¼ teaspoon of espresso powder which helps add depth to the flavor of the brownies. It’s not enough to taste it or to get you wired, I promise. Give everything a good whisk, then with the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and chopped chocolate, then mix for 30 seconds after you see the last streak of white.

Chewy Brownies |

Bake the brownies for 25-35 minutes. Keep an eye on them and use a cake tester or toothpick to check for doneness around the 25 minute mark. Every oven is different, every pan is different and every altitude/climate is different. Baking times are specific to you and your kitchen. When they are set in the middle, remove them and let them cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving them. They will still be warm and gooey but they won’t fall apart when you cut them.

Enjoy with a big glass of milk, or in my case, almond milk!

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Chewy Brownies |

Chewy Brownies

Thick, rich, chewy brownies made from scratch and ready in just 45 minutes. These irresistible bars may be dairy-free but they taste just as good as their buttery counterpart.
4.57 from 73 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Brownies & Bars
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 8 x8-inch pan
Author: Natalie Dicks
Print Recipe


  • 3/4 c. refined coconut oil or canola oil
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar - packed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs + 1 yolk
  • 2/3 c. cocoa powder - sifted
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. espresso powder - optional
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped chocolate*


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl (using a hand held mixer), add the oil, sugars and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  • Add the eggs and yolk one at a time, mixing after each addition, then mix for 30 seconds. Let the mixture rest for 3 minutes, the repeat by mixing for 30 seconds. Repeat two more times.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking powder, and espresso powder (optional). Slowly add the dry ingredients along with the chopped chocolate and continue mixing for 30 seconds after the last white streak disappears.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven to bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.


* I used Enjoy Life Mega Chunks and chopped them a little, you can also use a bar of your favorite dairy-free chocolate.

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About the Author


Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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  1. Just a question for you. What glass not not alumni? I’ve always used glass and have not problem with my Brownies? They are always delicious….

    1. 5 stars
      I haven’t made these yet but wondering about the coarse salt… you mean kosher salt? And if I sub regular salt how much would I use?

      1. You could certainly use kosher salt! If using regular table salt, you’d still use the same amount for this small of a measurement.

  2. Hello,

    I would like to try this recipe, but was wondering if I can reduce the sugar (white and brown) and by how much as it seems there is too much sugar (1 1/4 cups sugar for 1/2 cup flour)?  

    Thank you. 

    1. I just wanted to comment that I made the recipe as stated except I added a cheesecake layer- it was very sweet and the brownie center didn’t set- it looked like it was just melted chocolate although the outside was done. Is this normal or did I do something wrong? Perhaps the cheesecake layer prevented it from baking properly.  When I ate one, the inside is literally just chocolate and the bottom is like a normal chewy brownie. Do you have any suggestions in regards to the center and the sweetness (can I reduce sugar without affecting texture?)

  3. Hi, these didn’t work although I followed the recipe exactly as in your recipe card. They’re too cakey 🙁 

  4. Hi, these are definitely the best homemade brownies I have ever made…. I used dark brown sugar, and olive oil as that was what i had on hand, and along with the dairy free chocolate chunks, I added some dark chocolate (dairy free) chips as well. They are so gooey and delicious, just the way we like them. Thank you for posting your recipe!!

  5. I made these yesterday and I love them!! I subbed the sugars for 1 cup of coconut sugar and I swirled some peanut butter through the top. They came out so delicious!! 

  6. Did you use all purpose flour or almond flour? The recipe says on, but the picture/advertisement is for the other. Thanks!!

  7. I would not make these again. The flavour and texture is not very nice. They are too dry and crumbly even though I only cooked them for 25 minutes. They do not have a fudgey centre and flakey exterior. The taste is a little bit off too, perhaps too much coco. Maybe reduce oil and using something like almond milk instead would help.

  8. 5 stars
    I had never made dairy free brownies before but my friend can’t have dairy so I made for her birthday and I will always use this recipe from now on 
    Thank you 

  9. 5 stars
    Hey I made these today and they were so good and chewy !!! thank you so much !! The brownies that I made before were always cakey or undercook but this one was chewy and fudgy !! I even added m&m ‘ s , lotus cookies and crushed peppermint candy . I did not add any chocolate chunks as I did not have any chocolate bars at hand . I also substituted the espresso powder for my hazelnut freeze dried coffee because its my favourite coffee !
    Next im going to make this for my fiance and see what I can do to take it further !

    1. I love what you’ve added! Thank you for sharing that with me! I am glad you found this recipe!

    1. I keep mine out on the counter & keep the lid on the pan or stick in a big baggie, whichever you prefer.

  10. 4 stars
    ok, i will say i was skeptical at first, after reading the reviews, but, being as I have cooked gluten/grain/sugar free for years, and needed a “normal” recipe that was dairy free, and am totally out of practice with regular recipes, I figured i would try yours out. I followed your directions to the letter too (not normal for me lol!) My only issue was this did take decidedly longer to cook for me (i did use a glass pan, cuz thats all i had, and was baking in my toaster oven… so… maybe some of the issue there?) BUT, my taste testers declared the brownies AMAZING…so many thanks! When i do the real bake next weekend for a birthday party i might use my regular oven though….
    Oh, and for those that were saying it was too sweet, i used unsweetened chocolate chips (Camino brand) for the chocolate, I am thinking that would help temper the sweet?

    1. Thank you for sharing that! I’m guessing it was the toaster issue, mixed with the glass pan that made it have to cook longer. Glad your testers thought it was amazing 🙂

  11. 4 stars
    In terms of sweetness and texture they turned out perfect! Unfortunately I really didn’t like the taste of the coconut oil. I’m making them again, but with olive oil. Good recipe though 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe and the brownies were really good. I used olive oil instead. Thank you for this recipe! 😊