The BEST Vegan Gluten-free Brownies that are oil-free and so rich, chocolatey, fudgy, not cakey and moist. Dairy-free, egg-free and made with only 8 ingredients and all made in a food processor.
Warning: the following post will produce extreme salivation. You have been warned. To me, a brownie that decides to call itself a brownie should require these characteristics: dense, fudgy, chewy and very chocolatey. Cakey brownies, step aside. You are not brownies, you are cake. Accept it and move on. These are the vegan brownies you want in your life.
These are some of the best brownies I've ever had and I'm soooo not exaggerating. In fact, I was totally shocked at how amazing they were. It doesn't matter if they are vegan brownies or gluten-free brownies. What is shocking about that statement is that these are filled with ingredients that you would NEVER expect in a brownie recipe. Ya know, like the expected all-purpose flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Sooooo, what's the main ingredient?
Yes, sunflower kernels make it possible for all of you nut-free folks out there. You can now have your brownies and eat them too. I know I am your best buddy now.
These vegan double chocolate sunflower brownies are gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, coconut-free and kid-friendly. Bonus that these only have 8 ingredients (+ water)! They are also some of the healthiest brownies I've made to date and are the best tasting. How is that even possible?! They are phenomenal. I hate to sound cliche, but they truly are the best brownies I've ever had. Fudgy, not cakey, so smooth and chocolatey.
Even Mr. Picky's eyes widened after a bite. I wish you could have seen his face when I told him the ingredients.
These vegan brownies also feature a superfood mix. I was recently given the opportunity to try Oriya Organics and work with them. I have to tell you that honestly, the majority of companies that contact me, I turn down. Reason being, I am extremely picky about products, especially protein powders or superfood mixes. They almost always contain a ton of chemicals or weird sweeteners or artifical ingredients.
So, that should assure you guys that I would never suggest a product that I personally wouldn't try myself. Well, I am here to tell you that even though I'm not a big protein powder user, but rather prefer to eat my food whole, this is probably the cleanest superfood mix I've ever come across. There is absolutely NO sweeteners or chemicals. In fact, here is what is in their "Superfood Protein Medley":
Organic whole grain brown rice protein, organic hemp protein, organic sprouted chia seeds, organic chlorella and organic spirulina......that's IT. Impressive right?
The taste? Well, it doesn't taste like much really, which is a plus and why it will essentially work in any baking or smoothies or whatever you want to use it for. It just tastes like brown rice flour. It blended in beautifully and the finished baked brownies had no trace of taste. I used enough to blend up the batter, but not too much to leave an off taste or texture. I'm not into smoothies really, but if you are, this would be an awesome product.
Oriya Organics products are vegan, non-gmo, raw, organic and gluten-free. Additionally, their products are packaged in an organic, GMP/HACCP certified facility that does not handle any peanut, soy, dairy, wheat/gluten or tree nut products of any kind.
Oriya Organics: "At Oriya Organics, we are on a mission to bring nature’s
greatest organic superfoods to the world. All of our products consist of nutrient-
dense, whole food ingredients that are unprocessed and unaltered in any way. We
never use synthetic nutrients, artificial ingredients, fillers or sweeteners of any kind
in any of our products. We don’t try to improve upon nature – we just bring you the
best of what nature has to offer."
So, when I wanted to create a recipe featuring their ingredient, I KNEW this would be flipping awesome in baking....I mean, it has brown rice flour and chia seeds in it! Those are vegan/gluten-free staples. It is super healthy and has a neutral flavor, so it's kind of a dream product and I'm ecstatic to use it in a lot more baking now.
A huge thank you to Oriya Organics for sponsoring this post and allowing me to give my honest, unbiased opinion and review.
Looking for other vegan gluten-free brownies? Try these.
- Perfect Fudgy Coconut Butter Brownies
- Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Brownies
- Nutty Raw Brownies with Raspberry Glaze
- Raw Nutella Brownies with Chocolate Hazelnut Cream
You know you are just dying to try these Vegan Double Chocolate Sunflower Brownies and I'm just dying to hear what you think! Please, please leave me feedback below after you make them, I love having the feedback here on my blog. I'd also love to see your awesome creation on Instagram too, so tag me #thevegan8 so I don't miss your lovely photo!
- 1 cup raw, unsalted sunflower kernels (140 g)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (37 g)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup pure maple syrup (120 mL)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons Oriya Organics Superfood Protein Medley (18 g, see Notes below for subs)
- 2 tablespoons oat flour (16 g, or sub with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour if you can't tolerate oats)
- ¼ heaping cup dairy-free chocolate chips (60 g)
- NOTE: You can make these without protein powder! See subs below under NOTES. This makes a small amount (in a loaf pan), so if you want a larger batch, double the recipe and use an 8x8 pan. I also tested a batch using a ¼ cup all-purpose flour, leaving out the oat flour & protein powder and they were delicious as well, although the texture was slightly more cakey/puffy because of it. I preferred the more dense/fudgy texture using the protein powder and oat flour, but both are delicious.I can only guarantee results of this recipe based on how it's written with the ingredients I used and the subs I tested. If you try other powders or ingredients, I can't vouch for what the result will be unfortunately.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit, 177 Celsius) and spray a 9X5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. I tried some with parchment paper and don't like how they stuck to the paper and were more fragile. I much prefer spraying the pan versus paper because they bake up more firmly this way.
- Next, add just the sunflower kernels to a food processor and process for 30 seconds to 1 minute until a flour is formed. Next, add the cocoa powder (scoop with your cup and then level off), baking powder and salt and process again until just mixed.
- Add the syrup, vanilla and water and process for 3 minutes or so until completely smooth. I literally set my timer. Scrape the sides down and process for a few more seconds. It should be completely smooth and no chunks of sunflower kernels left before adding the flours next.
- Add the protein powder and oat flour (or all-purpose flour) and process again until it is all blended and thick like a smooth nut-butter consistency. Add the batter to a bowl and make sure to scrape out all of that chocolatey goodness. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly to the corners. Place extra chocolate chips on top if desired. You know you want to.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes depending on your oven. I would suggest checking yours at 35 minutes. I took mine out closer to 40 minutes. Here is the thing, these will not look done based on the top of the brownies, but will form that shiny firm top AFTER they are out of the oven cooling. Do not check for a clean toothpick either, it will not come out clean. It shouldn't be soaking wet batter, but more of a sticky batter on the toothpick. You are looking for the edges to be firm and have slightly pulled away from the pan, that is when they are ready. If you are doing a version with all of all-purpose flour in place of the oat and brown rice/protein flours, then they were done at 35 minutes and just slightly more cakey/puffy.
- Remove them and you must let them cool for 45 minutes to an hour, with no exception. They will fall apart if you try to remove them earlier. I let mine cool an hour and then carefully cut them with a smooth sharp knife. Gently remove the first brownie and then the others by sliding a spatula underneath.Then they will firm up considerably even more as they sit on a plate. They will be firm, moist and super fudgy. YUM. Store them at room temperature wrapped tightly in foil.
Regarding subs: If you do not use protein powders, then sub with equal parts brown rice flour for the protein powder (3 tablespoons). Brown rice flour has a similar taste and texture as this protein powder and will produce similar results. I have not tried this with other protein powders, so I cannot vouch for the results.
If you are not concerned with it being gluten-free, then you can use all-purpose flour in place of the protein powder (3 tablespoons). They will cook a bit faster, being done at 35 minutes, and slightly more cakey/puffed up. I definitely preferred the protein powder/brown rice flour texture, as they were more dense/fudgy.