Ultimate Vegan Brownies

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Rating 
 
3.0

Ultimate Vegan Brownie

Love your Ultimate Vegan Brownies. That said, mine were a bit dry and crumbly. How do you suggest I correct this? Probably it was due to the modifications i made. First, Earth Balance Buttery Sticks were not available, however EB Vegan Buttery (tub) Spread was so I used it. Second, I don't have a mixer and so I mixed it by hand.

Any comments: We like our brownies to have a more fudgy texture.

Owner's reply

Sorry the brownies didn't work out for you sbriggs! This recipe was designed for use with a vegan butter such as Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or Vegan Butter. If you choose to use tub vegan butter, it'll turn out excessively dry due to the higher water ratio. In this case the water bakes off, resulting in a drier brownie. My advice is to always have either Buttery Sticks or Vegan Butter in your freezer for baking. In fact, I recommend just forgetting about the possibility of using tub margarine for baking- it's just not going to offer the same results as butter.

The mixing is an important step too because it allows the water-based ingredients to emulsify with the fats, which makes for a more moist, fudgy texture that'll resist letting go of water during baking. This will also lead to a more moist brownie. If you don't have a mixer I recommend just hand mixing like crazy during this step until you have a smooth, consistent mass.

I know these small details wouldn't seem like they'd make a difference but believe me, after spending seven years on this recipe, I think I've experienced it all! Good luck if you decide to make another crack at it in the future!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Can't imagine it gets any better!

Followed recipe exactly with two exceptions: omitted walnuts and used gluten free all-purpose flour due to family members with allergies. WOW these were awesome. I don't ever cook with gf flour, so I was skeptical...but they came out PERFECTLY!!! I am adding this to my recipe collection :) Thank you so much!

Owner's reply

So glad the brownies worked out for you with gluten-free flour Claire! Thanks for sharing!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Just made these today for Christmas, and they are amazing! I added a little orange peel to the mix to give it some zest. The best vegan chocolate brownie I have ever made!

Bless up!

Maximus

Owner's reply

Wow! Orange zest sounds like a great idea in brownies! So glad they worked out for you Maximus!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Top notch!

These are truly incredible. I added 3/4 tsp of chipotle powder for some heat, and used toasted pecans instead of walnuts. I also love someone else's suggestion of adding crushed peppermint candies. Yum!

I'd like to note that I used 4 oz. of dark chocolate chips, and the boiling water didn't melt them all the way so I ended up having to place the bowl with the chocolate paste into the preheating oven. I think this caused the paste to burn ever-so-slightly, but thankfully it wasn't evident in the finished product. If I end up using chocolate chips the next time I make this, I'll probably melt them on the stove with the vegan butter over low heat, and sift the cocoa powder with the flour instead of adding it to the melted chocolate. Hopefully that won't mess with the end result.

This is a recipe I will continue to play with since it is a winner!

Owner's reply

So glad you enjoyed the brownies Juneberry! Chocolate chips have a little bit more cocoa butter than regular chocolate so they're a little bit more resistant to melting. This is so that the chocolate chips hold their shape in things like cookies during baking. It makes sense to me that they might melt a little slower with my method.

I designed the recipe to melt the chocolate this way so the chocolate would melt perfectly to the point of not being burnt. This method makes it so that you don't have to jury rig a double boiler. As long as you keep an eye on it, you could use a metal mixing bowl and just place it over the stove for a brief moment, or use a glass mixing bowl and place it in the microwave for a bit. My concern with melting the chocolate with the Vegan Butter is that the water in the Vegan Butter will cause the chocolate to seize, which might negatively affect the texture of the brownies.

Thanks and happy baking!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Perfect, and so easy!

Like some others have commented, mine came out slightly on the dry side (but still, delicious.) The top was gloriously crusty and the insides just a bit gooey. I waited until they were fully cooled to cut them, which I might not do next time. But wow. These don't taste vegan at all! No eggs or cream to get in the way of chocolate tastiness :)

Owner's reply

So happy that the brownies worked out for you Rebecca!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Heavenly Chocolate Perfection

I'll start of by saying I'm not a vegan, I made these because a friend was going to a party and all the dishes had to be vegan. I love brownies, my go to comfort food is a brownie it's fair to say I have eaten many many brownies in my time on this planet. These are by far the best I have ever had. From that perfect crunch when you first bite into them to the fudgie center, heaven just heaven. I made 5 pans of them for the party with the expectation of some coming back to me, exactly 3 brownies made it home. I will be making these again and again, and did I say again. The only change I made was to bake them 30 minutes instead of 35 as my oven tends to run a bit hot.

Owner's reply

Thanks so much for the great comment on the brownies raveynsheart! I'm thrilled to know that only three brownies make it back after five pans. I've learned over the years that the best indication of how good something is is how much is left over at the end of the night. Thanks again!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Ultimate Vegan Brownies

I agree with a prior comment that vegan or not this is the best brownie recipe I have made. Just as intended, crispy on the outside and fudgy on the inside. Only modification I made was I used 4 oz unsweetened chocolate plus 4 tablespoons sugar in lieu of the semi-sweet chocolate and ΒΌ c water and I omitted the coffee, did not use nuts. I watched the baking time due to the drying concerns but had no difficulty. Day 1 and the next day they were perfect. I will make again soon for Christmas gifts and have linked on my website http://www.veganaugusta.com/desserts/ to share with others. Thanks for the great recipe and great tip about the dough needing to be like dough and not like batter!

Owner's reply

So glad you liked the brownies Cindy! That's interesting that you got it to work well with the unsweetened chocolate with extra sugar. Nice! Veganaugusta looks awesome! Such a wealth of great information.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Absolutely Amazing!!!

These brownies are so delicious!!! They're by far the best brownies I've ever had! I've made them several times and have taken them to parties. Everyone has loved them! Thank you for sharing the recipe! :) I do have one question though. Instead of using walnuts, could I use candy canes to make like a peppermint bark brownie?

Owner's reply

So glad you like the brownies Hadley! I have to beg you, please make the brownies with candy canes instead of walnuts! That sounds amazing! I think it would work fine.

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Would you modify these in any way at 5,500 feet?

Owner's reply

Great question erin! It's my understanding that high altitude mainly effects baked goods that rise. So the less the rise, the less the problems. Fortunately, these brownies barely utilize rising so the only thing I'd recommend is to pull them out of the oven a minute or so earlier than the recipe calls for, to compensate for slightly drier air. Good luck and let me know how they turn out if you give it a go!

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Rating 
 
5.0

DELICIOUS!!!!

Followed recipe exactly. Why mess with perfection? You did the work, and I reap the benefits. Stayed up late baking these. It is now 12:30 am................but I wanted to let them cool per your instructions. You can't even tell they are vegan. Yummmy!!!! Had to stop myself. There's always tomorrow. Thank you so much

Owner's reply

So glad you liked the brownies Shryee!

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Rating 
 
4.0

Yummy but dry - I must have made one too many alte


Thanks for this recipe and the clear instructions. I strayed from the recipe in a few ways:
- Used a flax / almond LSA mix instead of the golden flax meal, and baking powder instead of baking soda as this is what I had
- I used half plain flour and half wholemeal
- I used a 100g bar of ordinary dark chocolate as didn't have semi-sweet.
- I only used 3/4 cup of sugar as I always reduce this and the sweetness was great - probably also thanks to the sweetness of the chocolate that I used.

Also, I found I didn't need to use a hand blender to mix the chocolate + cocoa powder + margarine + sugar; it all mixed in really smoothly with the boiling water.

With the above, they've come out with a great flavour and the exterior has a good bite to it, but unfortunately they're pretty dry in the middle, and hard to eat without large gulps of tea. This is probably due to one or more of my variations above! Next time I might add a mashed banana to the chocolate mixture (using a blender this time) as I love the taste and have found it adds great gooey-ness in baking.

As I was making the chocolate mixture, I wasn't too sure if tablespoons of cocoa and margarine should be heaped or not as I don't have proper measuring spoons, but I erred on the side of level. Perhaps more margarine would be good next time. I did use heaped tbsps of the flax mix though, because it wasn't 100% flax (it's partly almond meal and ground sunflower).

Thanks again :) I'll definitely revisit this recipe and make little tweaks till I perfect it.

Owner's reply

Thanks for the feedback Cat! The only alteration that could have made a difference in having them come out excessively dry is reducing the sugar. Nowadays I feel that I favor dessert complexity over sweetness in vegan desserts so I don't try to overdo it with the sugar. sugar is hygroscopic which means it binds to water. Reducing it by half will definitely result in a drier end product as the water-based ingredients in the recipe are less bound to sugar and more apt to evaporate during baking.

Having said that, there have been reports lately of these brownies turning out on the dry side (which is peculiar because I haven't changed the recipe- global warming perhaps?) but I plan to do a few tests in the near future to make sure everything is on par. I'll be sure to update the recipe with my findings to make sure it remains as good as it can possibly be. Thanks for sharing your results!

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Rating 
 
3.0

Overbaked :-(

Hello Mattie!

your recipe and the way you explain every step is perfect. Only the baking time/temperature does not seem to work properly. They came out overbaked with a slighty black (=burnt) base.
I placed the tray on the lowest postition, like you recommend/say in the recipe.

I put the brownies in a air tight container overnight, hoping they migh develop some softness. The next day they were even harder, like very old bread. Fail.

My oven is a basic oven, electricity, constant accurate temperature, no convection, no circulating air or similar.
Could it be that your 350 F aren't "true" 350 F, but more like 330-340F?
My old oven used to be cooler than the number on the knob promised.

I will give it another try, bake only for 25 Min at 330 and see how they turn out.

I still give this recipe three stars, mainly because I don't want to ruin your good overall rating and secondly because I really enjoy your writing. Only the outcome was a disappointment.

Maybe I should mention I did not substitute or replace any of your ingredients. This can't be the reason for the failure either.

warm regards,
Paula

Owner's reply

Thanks for the feedback Paula! I'm going to make these brownies again due to more reports of them turning out a bit dry. I just moved to another place with a completely different oven and I'll be sure to use a second thermometer in the oven to make sure my baking temperatures are as legit as possible. I'll be sure to update the recipe if I find that temperature needs to be reduced or a tiny bit of water needs to be added to reduce dryness. Thanks!

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(Updated: November 02, 2013)
Rating 
 
5.0

Delish

I made these last night and HAD to sample them before taking them to a BBQ later today. Absolutely delicious. I omitted the espresso powder, as I didn't have any and they were still great! Highly recommend. Thanks!

Owner's reply

So glad you enjoyed the brownies Rhi!

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Rating 
 
1.0

Where did we go wrong.

Dear Mattie,

We had high expectations of these brownies given the high recommendations and clear instructions. We used the same ingredients and followed the instructions but to our disappointment ours turned dry and pretty tasteless. Would you have any idea why this might be?

Owner's reply

Sorry they didn't work out Paivi! Due to the involvement of this recipe, it's possible that I didn't make something clear enough which may have caused you to add too little of one ingredient or two much of another. Or, your oven is running a little on the hot side and it dried them out. These brownies are pretty sensitive to over baking.

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Rating 
 
5.0

Wow!!

Thank you for this great recipe!!
I changed a few things to make it healthier (whole wheat flour, black bean pure instead of margarine and date pure and agave syrup instead of suger) - and they were so delicious.
Also I used chickpeas flour instead of flax seed and macadamia nuts.
I have to say - these are the best brownies I've ever made, better than all vegan and non-vegan ones, really fudgy and rich. Thank you so much!

Owner's reply

Wow Leni! That's quite a customization! So glad the brownies turned out so well for you!

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Question

I have unsweetened 100% cacao Ghirardelli baking bars. Should I add a little extra sugar or just try it as is?

Owner's reply

Hi AlyCat! In this case I recommend using about half the 100% unsweetened baking chocolate and adding a little bit of sugar, say 1 Tablespoon. Good luck!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Never Had a Better Brownie!

Made these for a cat shelter fundraiser and they were a huge hit (especially among my family). I omitted the espresso and used vegan chocolate chips for the semi sweet chocolate. I melted half of the chips in with the batter and left the rest whole. This was the first time I've used golden flax. I can see why it is preferred over regular flax. Even on its own it is so much nicer, no bitter taste. I've been putting it on my soy yogurt too. I love it. The amount suggested for walnuts seemed right, but I might add even more next time. The brownies were nice and chewy inside and crispy outside. They were as good if not better than the ones I get at my favorite vegan restaurant. Thanks so much for this recipe, Mattie. I can't wait to try some of your other recipes!

Other Info

Owner's reply

So glad these brownies worked out so well for you Maria! That's interesting that you used half melted chocolate chips for the batter and half unmelted. Great idea!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Amazing...especially with Oreos!!!

These turned out absolutely perfect. Like many on this page, I've been vegan for about a year and the brownies were just never the same. But this recipe was even better than egg brownies! All of my friends think so too. I subbed 1/2 C crushed up Oreos for the nuts and I didn't have espresso powder so I didn't use it. Oh my god. So amazing. Perfect texture, perfect taste. Mmmm.

Owner's reply

You made these brownies with Oreos instead of nuts?! That's brilliant! I wouldn't have thought of that in a thousand years. So happy they worked out for you. Thanks Marina!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Absolutely scrumptious!

I'm not really a brownie person, but these were absolutely scrumptious! Just the right chewyness and chocolatelyness...do I have to share?

Owner's reply

So glad the brownies worked out for you Nancy!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Delicious!

Thanks for the vegan recipe! Made the following changes for a bit of a healthier version:

- 3 Tbsp. applesauce + 3 Tbsp. mashed avocado instead of butter
- coconut sugar instead of regular white
- whole spelt flour instead of white wheat (wheat allergy)
- omitted espresso

Final product... delicious! Thanks again!

Owner's reply

Wow that's a very interesting adaptation on the brownies mj! So glad it worked out well!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Wow!!!

All I can say is wow! I am eating one now and it is delicious. I added 2 tablespoons Brewers Yeast to it for an extra nutritional punch and because I am a breastfeeding mom and add it where I can to help boost my milk supply. I left out the coffee and I was conservative on the sugar. I replaced the nuts with a few extra vegan chocolate chips left whole due to a nut allergy in my house. Even with these small changes they were still incredible. The dough was very thick and I used my hands to mix it and press it in the pan and it created the perfect texture! Not only is it chocolate yummy with the flax and brewers yeast this is also a healthy treat. Thanks so much it is my new go to brownie.

Owner's reply

So glad these brownies worked so well for you Sandy! I'm fascinated that you added brewers yeast to them and they still came out awesome. Good to know!

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Rating 
 
5.0

best ever brownies

never had such a good brownies of course i added a 1/2 of rice milk came out ohhhh amaizing

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Rating 
 
5.0

This is the one!

In the 2 years since we went vegan, a decent brownie has eluded me - and I'm a good cook! These were just perfect! I made two batches, one with nuts and one without, and everyone in my family loved them. The only changes I made were to leave out the espresso (not coffee drinkers) and subbing pecans because I discovered I was out of walnuts. I will make these often!

Owner's reply

So glad these brownies worked out for you worldmom! The espresso powder is to increase chocolate complexity and I agree- you'd have to be crazy to drink coffee made from it! I just use it when I bake with chocolate.

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Mine are currently in the oven.

Just wanted to check the quantity of boiling water, really 1/4 cup?

It wasn't enough to melt my chocolate, so I used a bain-marie.

Also, I ended up with a soft dough, that needed about 1/4 cup soya milk to slacken down to a thick batter? Thanks!!!

Owner's reply

Hi Treaclemine! Hopefully your brownies worked out. The 1/4 cup boiling water is usually able to melt my chocolate if I work fast and whisk like mad. If other people comment on that being an issue I'll consider updating the recipe. Glad you were able to get it all melted with a bain marie. The batter is actually supposed to be a dough- extremely thick due to the absence of eggs to pull it all together. This ensures that the brownies are the appropriate texture after baking. Thanks for your feedback!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Very Surprised!

I made these for my daughter in law and her boyfriend. I am not vegan but these were so good I will probably use this recipe from now on. I did not have espresso powder but used coffee beans and ground them and the flax seeds together, worked fine. I had no problem with over/under doneness, they came out perfect.

Owner's reply

So glad these brownies worked out well for you Gigi2009! Great idea on using coffee beans and grinding them with the flax seeds. I should look into utilizing ground coffee beans in baking more. I think it could be more effective in building flavor than using crappy store bought dehydrated espresso;)

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We made these as instructed, for the full 35 minutes. Our oven must bake faster than others (we had it on convection-multi at 325). The brownies came out sad and overcooked :((((

They were good aside form that, next time we will bake for less time.

Baker's little helper added a warm dark chocolate ganache on top, which then solidified, and they improved.

Owner's reply

Hi BakerEric! I'm so sorry the brownies overcooked. Do you happen to have a JennAir oven with MultiMode Convection? A quick Google of "convection-multi" brought up that feature. At any rate, I don't recommend convection for baking under pretty much any circumstances because it consists of a fan that blows the hot air which is supposed to result in more even baking according to the oven manufacturers. But what it actually does is dry out the surface of your baked item, then promptly overcooks the entire thing. It works by raising the relative heat of your oven (think of the opposite of 'wind chill'). The vast majority of baking recipes are designed for non-convection (no air circulation) unless specifically stated.

Many sources say you can reduce baking times and/or temperature by 25 degrees and employ the convection setting but I disagree due to baking requiring particularly specific procedures in order for the right chemical reactions to take place.

I really wish it would work for baking though- I would be able to save so much time! Glad you were able to make them edible in the end. Thanks for your feedback!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Ultimate!!

Without doubt the best brownies ever! Squidgy, fudgy, rich and delicious - I will definitely be making these again! Thank you!

Owner's reply

So happy you love the brownies poppyloveseddie! Thanks for sharing!

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Rating 
 
5.0

Love!

These brownies are sooooo good! I even prefer them to the ones from my favorite vegan bakery in Brooklyn. Plus, they're super easy to make. I didn't have flax on hand so I substituted for eggs with 1/2 cup of applesauce and 2 tsp of baking powder and they still came out great! And I happen to be very particular about my brownies.

Owner's reply

Thrilled these brownies worked out so well for you Kristen! I haven't tried them with applesauce yet so it's great to know you had success.

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Rating 
 
5.0

I could eat the whole pan myself!my

My husband and I have been eating vegan about nine months and have finally started indulging in some higher calorie goodies. We've both lost a good bit of weight and come off cholesterol meds, so we felt eager to reward ourselves in a way that wouldn't be cheating on our vegan diet. Your brownies were a hit! we substituted whole wheat flour, but they were delicious. I can't compare since I haven't tried them with regular flour, but we both loved them! Thanks for posting this great recipe!!

Owner's reply

Congrats on the healthy life changes Mjmiles! So glad these brownies work so well for your occasional indulgences!

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Rating 
 
5.0

So Good!

Best brownie recipe ever, vegan or not! I have been searching for a year, thank you Mattie!! I am wondering if anyone has tried the recipe with part/all whole wheat pastry flour?

Owner's reply

So glad you like the brownies Lilew! My guess is that you could probably get away with substituting half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. Let me know how it works out if you give it a shot!

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