Ultimate Vegan Brownies

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(Updated: April 02, 2015)
Rating 
 
4.0

Delicious - can shortening be used?

Thank you for this recipe - we love the taste and texture of these brownies. I think the walnuts compliment them very well. I also appreciate that they can be frozen – there are only 2 of us in our household and we like to enjoy them slowly.

I was wondering whether it might be possible to substitute the vegan butter/stick margarine with vegetable shortening? I can't be sure if the stick margarine I use is free from hydrogenated fats and am not quite prepared to take the plunge making vegan butter. However, I do have access to a hydrogenated oil-free shortening called Trex, made from solid vegetable fat. The instructions for substituting butter with Trex are to use 20% less, so perhaps I could use 16g water in addition to 64g Trex to make up for the lack of water?

Many thanks.

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Rating 
 
5.0

I have found the one!

I have tried many a vegan brownie recipe. All with their outlandish claims that their brownie is just like a non-vegan brownie and it's HEALTHY! Well, all of those versions with their black beans and zucchini tasted like CHALK. When I found this recipe, a part of my rejoiced. You really seem to know a lot about the science behind baking, so I decided to give brownies one last shot. Unfortunately, I was unable to find an organic vegan semi-sweet baking bar. Although you say that semi-sweet chips won't work, I took a chance and used Equal Exchange's semi-sweet chips (I called the company and they confirmed their chips are vegan and not processed in a facility with any dairy). THESE WERE FABULOUS. In fact, I am about to make them again. I used earth balance baking sticks my first time. I would like to make my own vegan butter but lecithin is not easy to come by so. Some day....

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Rating 
 
5.0

O.M.G.

I made these for the first time today. They taste fantastic! and are SUPER moist!! I changed up the recipe a little bit: I boiled coffee-flavored stout instead of water (to pour over the chocolate). I didn't have any stick margarine, just Earth Balance in the tub, so I took and chance and used that but also added a tablespoon of coconut oil just in case there wasn't enough fat. I didn't have espresso powder so I used instant coffee (it's all I had) and everything turned out great! :) :) :)

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Rating 
 
5.0

So freaking good. My sister's cheese and meat loving boyfriend loves them! As does everyone who tries them. They are phenomenal brownies vegan or non-vegan. Just the best brownies ever. And simple to throw together!

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Rating 
 
5.0

DOUBLE THUMBS UP. world's best vegan brownies. amen.

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OMG

Best brownies ever. I added about 1/2 cup of soy milk and some desiccated coconut and they were PERFECT.

Has to be the best recipe I have ever tried. The basic mix works wonders and allows for small changes. Thank you so much :D

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Rating 
 
5.0

Excellent with added raspberries

I've made these 3 times now, and they are truly fantastic. I wrote up my last attempt at making them at http://chocoholicphilosopher.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/rich-chocolate-brownies-with-raspberries.html

I added frozen raspberries and choc chips instead of the walnuts, and they disappeared very quickly, served to mixed company of vegans, vegetarians and omnivores.

Owner's reply

So honored that you wrote about them Lucy! I'm thrilled that they worked out for you. The raspberry addition sounds amazing!

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Rating 
 
4.0

Terrific Texture, Slight Off Taste

My family and I are new to being vegan (less than 2 weeks). I made these tonight and I have to say the texture is amazing! My comparison is the Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous Brownies, which are the absolute gold standard in my book. My only issue, other than feeling like 35 minutes of baking was maybe 5 minutes too long, is the slight off taste the brownies have. They taste like... I'm guessing it's flax, a kind of seedy almost rancid taste. It's like the way wood polish or teak oil smells. I bought whole golden flax seeds in bulk this afternoon and ground my 2T right before I used them. I'm wondering if I might get rid of that taste by using the egg replacer EnerG. Will that affect the perfect brownie texture (chewy on the inside, crispy on the edges)?

Owner's reply

Thanks for the feedback on the brownies EmmaPeel! Regarding the baking time, I just performed some additional tests on the recipe and updated the recipe to call for a reduced baking time of 25 minutes. Thanks to other helpful commenters, the original 35 minute baking dime was a little too long.

Regarding the flax taste, I believe your flax seeds may have been too old. Fresh flax seeds don't have a rancid taste. Flax seed is extremely perishable so if they're stored at room temperature for any more than a couple months they can develop linseed oil flavors as the oils rapidly oxidize. All it takes is a few months between coming off the plant and being used in your kitchen for them to become rancid. I recommend looking into another source of whole golden flax seeds to get around this issue in the future. Good luck!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Sounds Good, I Want To Try It

I can't wait to try it! Where do you get Vegan Butter from? Would Olive Oil with Himalayan Rock Salt work too? I might call my margerine company, and see if their margarine is Vegan. And I don't know where to get Semi-Sweet Chocolate from (that doesn't maybe contain a trace of milk), so I might just use my Sweet Williams (Vegan) Chocolate Chips, Which don't contain any traces of milk or other ingredient. By the way, in New Zealand's supermarket, I found something called, "EggSub", which is egg-free (hopefully Vegan). If it turns out to be Vegan, should I use it? I think it has tapioca flour in it. Or should I just look at my Organic Store for some Golden Flaxseed?

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Rating 
 
5.0

amazing

everyone loves these brownies. they are so chewy and delicious. one comment is that i baked two at once. yes. two! one with walnuts and one without. the one i baked in a glass pan baked perfectly at the temp/time above. the one in the teflon pan burnt slightly. do you know if you can freeze these once you bake them? thanks so much!

Owner's reply

So glad the brownies worked out ayo! Feel free to freeze them by sealing them in a gallon freezer bag after they're cooled and cut. I usually always freeze them because it keeps me from eating too many at once!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Actually the Best

This are actually the best vegan brownies I have ever made. The only things I changed were using brown sugar, baking powder (was out of baking soda,) no walnuts, and using coffee instead of water. The consistency is perfect, and they taste amazing. Oh! I also baked them on the top rack for only 22 minutes, and the texture was ideal. Thanks for the recipe!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Best Brownies Ever!

I made an account here just so I could leave a review on these! They are A-MAZING! So easy to make and I don't think anybody would be able to tell these are vegan without being told.
I've always loved brownies but hated to make them, due to the double boiling to melt the chocolate in almost all recipes (just a pet peeve of mine.) So the fact that this recipe didn't require that is a huge bonus! I baked for about 25 mins as other users suggested and they are perfect!

Thank you so much!

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Rating 
 
4.0

Good, but I do think the baking time is off

I really do think that there's a typo in the recipe, or else the OP's oven runs very cool--I baked mine for 27 minutes and they were a little dry. I think 25 minutes is probably perfect in a regular oven; at any rate, start checking at 22 minutes or so, and these will be perfect. I made these yesterday and they're the best vegan brownies I've ever had, hands down. Used a little more than 1/4C strong hot coffee instead of the boiling water and espresso powder and replaced some margarine with coconut oil because I ran out (this may have affected the texture but I usually have good results with coconut oil). Thanks a lot for the recipe. They'll get made again!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum yum!!

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I would like to know if its ok to use pre-grounded brown flax?

Thanks!

Owner's reply

Hi Monica! I don't recommend buying pre-ground flax seeds because it's almost always oxidized, which is not only unhealthy, but can make your desserts taste like linseed oil (linseed oil is actually oxidized flax oil). If you absolutely had to use it though, it might work in a pinch. Good luck!

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Less Sugar-How Much Water?

Hi there! I really want to bake these but I want to reduce the sugar down to 1 cup, How much more water do I need to add to balance the moisture?

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Rating 
 
5.0

Amazing!

These are to die for! Made them often and they are always a hit. Thanks so much :)

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Rating 
 
5.0

Recipe works great with Enjoy Life chocolate

This recipe worked beautifully! Thanks so much for sharing the results of your experiments. This is the first recipe I have tried on your site and I look forward to trying your others.

I used Enjoy Life brand vegan chocolate, which is manufactured specifically to be free of common allergens. I used their Mega Chunks, which melted in the microwave to a perfect liquid chocolate, after reading on another site that this chocolate melts so well that it can be used in chocolate molds. I still added the boiling water and followed every other step in the recipe. My vegan butter was Earth Balance brand sticks.

This recipe got lots of complements from others, who didn't know it was vegan.

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Rating 
 
5.0

They are Ultimate!

I'm giving these 5 starts, because even through I overcooked them (at just 30 minutes, not 35), everyone still loved them. I've looked long and hard to find a "from scratch" brownie recipe that rivaled the box - these are it! I can't wait to make these again -- baking for 20-25 minutes. They will be even more decadent (they way they were intended to be, I'm sure). :)

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Rating 
 
3.0

Good, but not ultimate (in my opinion)

These were good: chocolatey and slightly buttery-tasting, but I didn't like the texture, which was slightly crumbly and light, not binded enough for me. My sister said they were dry, and this may be the way to describe them since they are not as moist as I think a brownie should be. I am slightly annoyed by all the hype over these because I don't see the "chewiness," etc. in my results. I am going to guess that maybe intuition trumps scientific know how in the kitchen and probably lots of other places because I've liked other recipes better (on ohsheglows.com and vegweb.com) that were less fussy over the ingredients. I don't mean to be mean. I just want to say what I feel like would otherwise go unsaid. I don't like elephants in the room.

Owner's reply

Thanks for your honest opinion on the brownies Marla! In my kitchen they turn out moist, fudgy and chewy and not dry. There's probably some sort of variation going on somewhere; this recipe is a little more complicated than most which can result in inconsistent results. Glad you were able to find your preferred brownie recipe!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Amazing! Nobody believed they were vegan

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I want to double this recipe for a party. Have you tried and how did you adjust baking pan and time?
Thanks!

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Rating 
 
5.0

No one misses dairy with recipes like this!

Great Recipe. I had one question. Is there a way to make M&M brownies with this recipe? Would you substitute some for the chocolate chips or would the just be additional? Thank You

Owner's reply

Hi Harry, if you were going to add extra stuff such as M&Ms to these brownies they'd go in after the dough is fully mixed. Treat the M&Ms like nuts or any other addition. This brownie dough is really thick but you should be able to get away with gently kneading them into the dough without breaking them or causing them to bleed colors. Good luck!

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Rating 
 
4.0

awesome!

This is a great simple recipe. I didn't add walnuts. I did a 9 tbsp cocoa powder+7 tbsp sugar+1 tbsp vegan butter substitute for the semi-chocolate since I didn't have any. I baked it for 22 minutes. It was outstanding--chewy and moist inside, and sorta crunchy outside. It was just the way we liked it. I tried another recipe sometime back and wasn't happy the way it turned out. I'll definitely use this recipe again. Thank you!

Owner's reply

Hi allvegan, I haven't tried making these without the chocolate. So glad you were able to nail it and still have them turn out outstanding. Thanks for sharing!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Delicious... filled my craving!

I was craving a Clementine Bakery delectable brownie, but didn't want to make the trek out to Brooklyn to get one. So upon surfing the net, I decided upon this recipe due to all the stellar reviews. I was a bit dubious, since the brownies at Clementine Bakery are very special. Lo and behold, I am gladly satisfied and surprised that these brownies came out fantastic. Really wonderful chocolatey stuff. I don't think your pictures do it justice, however, so here's a link to mine: https://scontent-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1/1922506_10153902436585088_329271101_n.jpg. Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

Owner's reply

I'm so happy you enjoyed the brownies Diana! Great pic! They look oh so moist and gooey. I love Clementine Bakery! I used to live in Brooklyn and had their amazing eats at the Vegan Shop-up. Now I wish that I had had a chance to experience their brownies when I lived out there!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Amazing

These were fabulous! I've been vegan for 14 years and had given up on brownies long ago. These were chewy moist brownies and I will be saving this recipe for sure.

Owner's reply

Thanks Melody! I'm so happy you enjoyed the brownies.

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Rating 
 
5.0

THANK YOU! These are delicious!

Thanks for this wonderful recipe, Mattie! I am new to vegan baking and these are both delicious and easy to make (the "hardest" part was finding the golden flax meal the first time). Even my skeptical "meatatarian" husband did NOT know these were vegan. I also found your tips (separate post) about the science of vegan baking & "veganizing" recipes both enlightening and hilarious ("if a recipe calls for 6 eggs, just walk away", indeed). and appreciate your positive and helpful comments and feedback to other reviewers!

Owner's reply

So glad you enjoyed the brownies Nancy! I've had it with tracking down hard to find ingredients and now I don't hesitate to just order stuff online. The only problem is that now my house is turning into a health food store!

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Weight or fluid ounces?

Can you please specify how much of the chocolate chips to add? Is it fluid ounces or weight ounces? Also, I don't have a weigher so could you just convert it? A cup of chocolate chips? Half a cup?? Thanks!!

Owner's reply

Hi ecrivezmaria, chocolate is a solid so it's measured as ounces by weight, not by liquid. So the measurement is weight ounces. Four ounces of chocolate is roughly a commercial bar of high quality chocolate. I don't recommend using chocolate chips in baking unless they're specifically called for. This is because chocolate chips are usually inferior quality compared to the higher quality chocolate available for baking and in bar form.

If you absolutely had to use chocolate chips, 4 ounces is 3/4 cup. Good luck!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Ultimate is right!

I've made these brownies a handful of times and seriously, this is the best recipe I've found (vegan or otherwise). My last batch turned out dry and crumbly (like a sad, dense cake) but that was my fault as I didn't have vegan butter in the house, and substituted canola oil spread. Otherwise, they always turn out perfectly - moist inside, chewy but not overcooked on the outside and decadently fudgey. Thanks for the excellent recipe. I look forward to checking out the rest of the site.

Owner's reply

So glad you like the brownies Isabelle! Thanks for sharing!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Decadent

I made these for valentine's day for my husband. We really enjoyed them and I will send some to work with him to get some non-vegan thoughts. I made the following modifications:
- I substituted a 3oz bar of dark chocolate with espresso beans for the semi-sweet chocolate because we didn't have semi-sweet chocolate in the house
- instead of the walnuts, I added 1/3 cup raw cashews and 1/3 cup cocoa nibs
- I forgot to add the espresso powder
- I completely forgot to put the pan on the lower rack and instead baked it for 15 min on the upper rack until I realized my mistake. I only ended up baking for 30 min total.
I think they turned out really well. The outer edge is chewy, just how I would imagine a regular brownie to be, and the rest of the brownie is really moist. I did not have any problems with these turning out too dry, despite failing to follow some of the instructions.
The 1/4 cup hot water did not melt all the chocolate, possibly because I did not chop it up small enough, but that's ok because there are tiny pieces of heavenly chocolate throughout the brownies. Overall, I find these to be quite sweet and in the future I would try to make some modifications for the amount of sugar. I do not think that warrants giving this recipe a lower rating, though, as that is personal preference. I do not eat a lot of sugar on a daily basis and have cut out foods with added sugar, so I feel like I am a bit more sensitive to sweet foods. I will probably try some changes to the amount of sugar in the future, but I wanted to make sure I didn't make too many modifications on the first go round with this recipe.
This will likely be my go-to vegan brownie recipe, as I feel pretty comfortable about making some changes without affecting the quality too much.

Owner's reply

Thanks for the great feedback sunny! It looks like the changes you made to the recipe are relatively minor and probably reflect mostly how the brownies turn out in normal circumstances. I just updated the recipe to call for chopping the chocolate into 1/4 inch pieces instead of 1/2 inch pieces. This will allow the chocolate to melt more adequately. I've been doing some minor tests with baking times lately and so far I haven't been having over-baking issues like some others have mentioned. I still want to run a few more tests though just to be sure.

If you reduce the sugar, be on the lookout for a drier texture, as sugar holds onto moisture. You should consider adding a tiny bit more water to the recipe if you reduce the sugar in order to compensate for this. Good luck!

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