Vegan Fudgy Sunflower Brownies

Vegan Fudgy Sunflower Brownies

The BEST Vegan Gluten-free Brownies that are oil-free and so rich, chocolatey, fudgy, (not cakey) and are incredibly 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.

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)!

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 protein powder. 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.  Update: the product I was sent to use in this is no longer sold, so I have removed it from this post to avoid confusion.

Looking for other vegan gluten-free brownies? Try these.

UPDATE: I originally wrote this recipe using the Oriya protein powder. However, I NO longer use the protein powder and haven't for a long time, I only use the flours listed below now. The specific protein powder that I used in the recipe is no longer available and therefore do NOT recommend protein powders in the recipe anymore because so many will yield an unpleasant aftertaste, so please use the flours listed.

4.89 from 9 votes

Vegan Double Chocolate Sunflower Brownies

These Double Chocolate Fudgy Vegan Brownies are seriously some of the best brownies I have ever had. They embody everything a brownie should have, which is dense, fudgy, chewy and very chocolatey. Make these for your family and friends and then tell them they are vegan and gluten-free and oil-free. They won't believe you!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 brownies


  • 1 cup 140g raw, unsalted sunflower kernels (Do NOT use roasted or you will get an aftertaste!)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 36 g
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon 2g fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup 160g pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons 10g vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons 90g water
  • 3 tablespoons 30g brown rice flour (Or sub with 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Update: I no longer use the Oriya protein powder and only use the brown rice flour. I can't vouch for results with any other protein powders.)
  • 2 tablespoons 16g oat flour (or sub with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour if you can't tolerate oats)
  • 1/4 heaping cup 60g + extra on top dairy-free chocolate chips
  • NOTE: This makes a small amount in a loaf pan, so if you want a larger batch, double the recipe and use an 8x8 pan. If you want to use all regular all-purpose flour, then leave out the oat flour and brown rice flour and just use 1/4 cup (32g) all-purpose flour in place of both. The texture was slightly more cakey/puffy with the all-purpose flour. I preferred the more dense/fudgy texture using the gluten-free flours, but both are delicious.


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit, 177 Celsius) and spray WELL 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. If it's not all mixed and smooth, GUESS WHAT, you will end up with dry crumbly brownies since the fat from the sunflower kernels is what makes these so fudgy!
  4. Add the brown rice flour 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.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly to the corners. Place extra chocolate chips on top. You know you want to.
  6. 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 flours, then they were done at 35 minutes and just slightly more cakey/puffy.
  7. 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.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition per brownie: 229 calories | 12.1g fat | 5.3g protein | 29.2g carbs | 4.3g fiber | 16.1g sugar | 78mg sodium


  1. Ohh these look so unbelievably good. I'm racking my brains as we speak to work out if I already have these ingredients in the house to make them right away...
      Oh I hope you do! Let me know, thank you so much Natalie!!
  2. Chocolate and sunflower seeds.....these are made for me!
      Yay! I hope you make them and love them!
  3. OH MY GOODNESS!! I was literally licking my lips while reading this. Send me that entire pan right now, LOL! My in laws are coming to town this weekend and I am for sure going to whip these up! I just need to get my hands on some rice flour because that protein powder isn't sold here, though that powder does sound like it has SO much goodness in it!I am seriously SO impressed that these brownies are made with sunflower seeds!! DELICIOUS! <3
      Licking your lips, hahahaha! That was funny Ceara! I am so glad these photos produced that effect, that is the point for sure!! Oh goodness, I can't wait to hear what you and your in-laws think!! Yeaaaahhhh!!! I haven't tested it with the brown rice flour, but honestly it is so similar to the taste and texture of the protein powder, I think it should work just fine. Brown rice flourt doesn't have chia seeds of course like the protein powder does, but given all the sunflower seeds and fudgy-ness I still think they should hold together just fine, just make sure to let them completely cool and be careful removing them. Once they completely cool after that, they are really firm!
  4. looks yummy!
  5. Yup, salivated reading this, you are THE BOMB! Your adorableness is only matched by your incredible recipes! I soooo look forward to reading your stuff, I love the way you write and the food speaks for itself! Since I'm a brownie fanatic and can't have sugar, this is awesome!!! Def ordering that protein medley, thanks for that too! So happy I found you :-)
      Oh my gosh Dianne, your comment just made my day!! I can't tell you how much your compliments mean to me and that you look forward to my posts, thank you! I know I'm a total dork and goofy the way I write, but that is how I am in real life, so the fact you love it means so much to me!! SO glad you found me too! :)
  6. Totally yummers, girl!! Amazing how rich, shiny, and fudgey they look - they pop off of the screen! Wish they'd pop into my mouth...
      Aww thanks Annie! No tricks either...they really are that shiny and fudgy!!! Haha!
  7. These look insanely chocolatey! In a good way of course. Love that you used sunflower seeds, especially as they're so much cheaper than nuts and maple syrup is expensive here so it balances it out :D Definitely going on the must-make list for when I'm feeling indulgent!
      Thank you so much Emma! They are so super chocolatey and fudgy! I think you will love them!
  8. I think I just died and went to food heaven. OMG! These look so amazing! Speechless!
      Wow, thank you so much Harriet!! That is how I felt after a bite of them, haha!
  9. Gorgeous brownies, the ingredient list is amazing. How can something so decadent be good for you. Love it.
      SO sweet, thank you Suzanne!
  10. Seriously?! You're killing me with these pictures! I was having a chocolate craving and then I saw these and I'm kind of thinking that I must be a chocolate addict. What a fabulous recipe Brandi. Thank you.
      Aww thanks so much for the compliments Linda! So glad you love the photos! The recipe really is surprising at how amazing and fudgy these turned out! We were all amazed over here at the results!
  11. WOW! These look so fudgy and out of this world chocolately. This couldn't have come at a better time either since right this week my chocolate cravings have kicked in double time. I think I could faceplant in a big pile of these and be one happy girl.
  12. Just made these and they are amazing! Definitely a keeper. Licking the bowl made it even more worthwhile. Thank you. Thank you.
      Wonderful Tisha! I'm ecstatic you already made them and loved them! Now you understand why I was making such a big deal about them, haha! Thank you so much for the feedback!!
  13. OH MY GOSH! You seriously posted this at the perfect time, after my discovery of my nut reactions. I MUST try these!
    • It is strange but only in the best way, that Britt and I tend to comment one after the other!
        Haha, twinsies!!
      Yes, it's destiny! You MUST make these!!
  14. TOTALLY checking out this superfood melody! ha ha aha! EXCUSE ME... Medley! ha ha ha ha ha ha!PS: Why are you such a FOOD GENIUS?!?!?!
      Awww shucks, thanks Gigi, you are too kind!!!
  15. Oh my WORD, these brownies look amazing! I seriously want to reach into my computer screen and eat every last one. WOW! That protein powder sounds so good too. I like that it doesn't have a flavor too.
  16. So even though I am up to my ears in brownie trials I think it's only fair to make all kinds of brownies as to not make anyone else's brownies feel left out...I mean it's only fair right?! I wouldn't want to offend any chocolate flavored dessert. God forbid chocolate would get angry at me! Salivating...
  17. Well good thing you warned. I had my napkin all ready to wipe up my drool :D These look amazing Brandi. Pinning right away!!
      Hahaha Vanessa, that was funny! Thank you so much!
  18. these look killer, lady.
      Aww thanks so much Caitlin!
  19. I've read this post just before dinner... Not a smart decision, as I'm about to devour my screen at first and make dinner only afterwards. :D
      Haha! Thank you Nori!!
  20. I have to say these do look positively fudgy! What a beautiful recipe. And I love using sunflower seeds, but never tried them in a brownie like this before. I feel like they are a little hypnotic tbh -- I just can't seem to be able to look away from that dark moist fudgy center! <3 <3 <3
      Thank you so much for the compliments Audrey!! You don't even taste the sunflower kernels at all, that's the best part, they honestly just taste like the best, richest brownies ever! They taste just like the ones I've had from bakeries or that my Mom made, yet sooo much healthier!
  21. Holy smokes!!!! Chocolate heaven! These look fantastic. I've never heard of that brand of protein powder, but it sounds wonderful - love the ingredients. Can't wait to try this recipe!
      Thank you so much Mandy! You don't have to use the protein powder if you don't want to, just use brown rice flour instead. They are incredible!
  22. Had to take a quick break from working to make these once I saw them on Instagram. I was skeptical because I don't like sunflower seeds BUT waaaay too intrigued not to give the recipe a try. Well, I wasn't disappointed! They are all the things a brownie should be - sweet, rich, chewy, moist, fudgy, delicious and easy to make! And the use of sunflower kernels is just too clever! I used oat flour to keep them gluten free and opted to use 3 tablespoons brown rice flour in place of the suggested protein powder.
      So awesome to hear Nicolle! I'm so happy these were everything you thought a brownie should be! I wasn't kidding when I said that either in my post! They really are the most perfect brownie to me! So glad you loved them and it is shocking that they taste NOTHING like sunflower kernels, it is totally undetectable, it just tastes super chocolatey, so I'm glad you still took the chance. Also, glad to hear my sub suggestion of using brown rice flour in place of the protein powder worked perfectly too. Thanks so much for the feedback! :)
  23. Absolutely delicious. My first Vegan 8 recipe and it will now be my "go-to" when I need a fudgy chocolate fix. I substituted with a vegan chocolate protein powder that I always have on hand and used whole wheat pastry flour instead of oat flour. I also doubled the amount of chocolate chips (oh, yes!) All substitutions worked perfectly fine. I baked for 35 mins exactly and cooled/let sit for two hours before cutting into them. The texture was amazing. Fudgy, not too sweet and just so delicious. My seven year old son (a picky eater) devoured his brownie - as did his skeptical father. A slam dunk. Can't wait to try more recipes from The Vegan 8. Thanks!
      Wow! Thank you so much for such awesome feedback Sarah! So happy these were a "slam dunk" by your son and hubby!! Glad that your on-hand protein powder worked in place of the protein powder I ised and that my alternate sub of using the 1 TBSP regular flour in place of the oat flour worked too! Thank you very much for making them and leaving feedback
  24. These brownies look irresistibly delicious and so fudge-y too. I never have tried a vegan brownie before - but you make me want to now!
      The best part is these are JUST AS amazing as traditional butter and egg filled brownies, seriously, you cannot tell a difference. They are the best brownies I think I've ever had or made but yet they are so much healthier. My goal is to make my vegan desserts taste just as fabulous as traditional and these do, I hope you try them!
  25. [...] a hornet at me for posting another decadent dessert after just posting those wildly already popular Double Chocolate Sunflower Brownies last week, I have a few good reasons. First, I have a huge birthday coming up in about a month and I [...]
  26. Just made these brownies and they turned out amazing!! I've been looking for a healthier fudgey brownie recipe for so long, and this recipe is perfect! So dense, moist, chocolately, you'd never know they were vegan and oil free - thanks so much for the awesome recipe!
      Yay! I'm so happy to hear that Claire! Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback!!
  27. i was excited until I got to the powder containing spiraling and chlorella. I am allergic to these.
      Hi Kayti! That is why I have listed 2 other options. I realize many people don't have or don't want to use protein powder, so just look at the NOTES section of the recipe and there are 2 other ways you can make it :)
  28. These look just perfect. I too don't have access to the powder and oats aren't gluten free so I'll be milling a mix of rice flour with chia seeds and my own gluten free flour mix. Can't wait for my chocoholic husbands birthda tto try it Pre testing will be mandatory :) Thank you so much for this gorgeous recipe.
      Hi Anni! Wonderful! I can't wait to hear what you think! FYI, I used certified Bob's Red Mill gluten-free oats to make my oat flour, so they are gluten-free, but you can certainly try making your own rice flour blend. So many people have made these with slight flour variations, all with great results! :)
  29. As Insta-promised, I'm commenting on your recipe! ;) These are truly my new favorite dessert! After developing a milk allergy, I decided to make the move to veganism and I feel great! On the downside, I have had the hardest time finding tasty treats for my horrible sweet tooth. These are gooey and chocolate-y PLUS dairy and guilt free! The syrup in it also gives it this wonderful flavor I can't even describe. I did the flour substitutes--all purpose flour and brown rice flour and my only difficulty was getting a really even consistency. But once baked, it wasn't even a problem. Add some extra DF chocolate chips on top and I'm in heaven. It's kid (and husband) approved! Thanks for the best recipe!
  30. Made these last night --big hit with entire family! Yummy
      Awesome Julie! Thank you so much for letting me know, so glad to hear!
  31. In the oven NOW! Thanks for this inspiration! I'm just starting to learn how to bake with alternatives due to allergies to wheat, eggs, dairy, so any recipe that is tried and true is near and dear to my heart. I added my own protein powder, but also ordered some of the one you specified, because it looks great! Mine was hemp protein, and I added chia seeds. I hope it turns out well! Will check back in and let you know. Thanks!
  32. Sooooo, I got these out of the oven. They smelled fantastic. After an hour, they hadn't set up like I had hoped, even though they were very cool and the pan was cooled off. I actually found the sunflower taste to be way too strong, so I think I might like to mix those with something else. Any suggestions? I love sunflower seeds, and maybe mine weren't as fresh as they could have been, but I just found the flavor a bit overwhelming. Also, not sure why they didn't set up more. Anyhow, I will try this recipe again for sure, but will modify it. I wonder what else I could use? I could cut the sunflower quantity in half and add something else, but not sure what? Gluten free flour mix maybe? I welcome everyone's thoughts.
      Hi Leslie! I just came back to see your first comment and now I see what the issue is…hemp protein powder and chia seeds!! How many chia seeds did you add? I actually never use chia seeds because I find the flavor just so bitter and overpowering. Both and hemp and chia are really strong in flavor. That is what you are tasting, it’s not the sunflower kernels. I definitely would not have added the chia seeds especially. Did you not use the oat flour? These setup really firm after cooling some, so your subs definitely changed the result. Unfortunately, I can only guarantee results with the ingredients I tested above. Sorry! Just trying to help troubleshoot your subs! All the reviews above have been stellar and I don’t think these taste like sunflower at ALL. All the cocoa powder and chocolate chips mask any sunflower flavor. I don’t even love sunflower kernels and I don’t even taste them. They just taste like rich brownies, so I'm afraid your subs & addition affected the results it sounds like.
      • I did half sunflower seeds and half almond flour and they turned out great! Firm and moist! Perfectly tasty, too!
      • I just wanted to agree with Leslie - these do have a very strong sunflower seed taste. I made them as specified - no substitutions, no additions, no subtractions. They are fudgy and tasty, but everyone agreed (I had about 10 people for dinner who tried them) there definitely is a strong sunflower seed taste and if you don't like that, then this is not the right recipe for you. If you can get past the sunflower seed taste, they are very fudgy.
          Hi Shelby! I definitely named them sunflower brownies because of the large amount of sunflowers used in the recipe so people will know. However, out of 100's of feedbacks, this is only the 2nd time I've ever heard that, lol! As you can see all these reviews! I personally do not taste sunflower kernels at ALL, so I guess it boils down to a super sensitive taste to sunflower kernels. I would also make sure you are using raw sunflower kernels and not roasted because that could be it, too. But since you are super sensitive to sunflower taste, I have these other brownies that are just as popular as these that you could try! :)
  33. Ok.. I must've done something wrong.. Probably with the degrees.. Did you mean 350 degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit? Because I put them at 250 degrees Celsius in the oven (it only goes up to 275) and they were totally burned after 10 minutes The dough looked so good and now I ended up with a black and hard cake
      Hi Saditoxo! That's why, it should be 350 Fahrenheit. You had the temp way too high. 350 is a very standard Fahrenheit degree. So the equivalent to Celsius for you would be 177. Then the cooking time of 35-40 minutes should work. I will update the notes to say Fahrenheit.
      • Okay thank you I'll definitely try these again !
  34. Hi Brandi you genius! I made these tonight as a treat for myself and my husband because he is a chocoholic- usually of the unhealthy type- but since I've changed my diet, he has tried some of my foods (like nice creams!) and was shocked to realize he liked them better than the original version! So when he requested healthy brownies I knew it was the perfect opportunity to slip this recipe in! I had to make subs, coconut flour for oat flour, whey protein powder, rice malt syrup for maple, ground almond meal to stretch the recipe instead of doubling the sunflower seeds, and no chocolate chips meant cacao crackle instead! I baked it for less time- 20 minutes at 200C and it was slightly drier- I should have taken it out at 15minutes! But I didn't need to wait too long to cut into that chocolate goodness! And my hubby loved them! THANK YOU!!!
      Awww thanks so much for such wonderful feedback!! I'm so happy to hear you and hubby loved these so much!! Yes, coconut flour is MUCH more absorbent than any other flour, so I would use a lot less and try that instead!
  35. Seriously delicious in every way. I've made these several times and they've come out perfectly each time, although I cannot find the protein powder in my neck of the woods. I subbed in rice flour and it seemed to do the trick.I have to tell you a funny story about the first time I made these. I set them to cool near an open kitchen window. My husband and I impatiently waited in the living room for them to cool when we heard a strange sawing noise coming from the kitchen. A squirrel had attached himself to the screen and was gnawing a hole trying to get in! I can only guess the smell of the baking sunflower seeds was too much to resist. So now we have a half inch hole in the screen as a reminder of the day the squirrel tried to break in and eat our brownies. LOL.Anyway, these are great and my go-to recipe for brownies. They are dark, chewy, not too sweet and a chocoholic's dream. My non-vegan daughter and my brother both love them, too and never guessed they were vegan. I wouldn't think of making any other kind of brownies now! Thank you for the recipe, Brandi... genius as usual!
      This was some of the best feedback I've ever received and soooo funny Caroline! Thank you so much for sharing, hahaha! I'm so happy these brownies are your favorite and your family members loved them too! Always so awesome when non-vegans have no clue it's not traditionally made with the bad ingredients!
  36. These were great! The chocolate chips mix well with the rest of the brownie to give them a rich, chocolate-y flavor. Had to hide them away after the first brownie and a you have nutrition facts for these? I substituted gluten-free flour (mostly brown rice flour with some other types of flours like sorghum, tapioca) for the protein powder. Also used an 8x5 loaf pan and took them out after 35 min. Great, easy recipe!
      Awesome! Thank you so much for such wonderful feedback Layla! I really appreciate the kind words!!
      Oh and yes, the nutrition is above under NOTES on the recipe :)
  37. Dear Brandi,Im new kids on cooking :) I like your brownie recipe. Just want to ask how we mix the ingredient? Do we use mixer or food procssor? Thank you and have a great day!
      Hi Kartika! I have noted to use a food processor in the directions, that it the best way to get the mixture super creamy :) Let me know how they turn out! Thank you!
  38. […] Vegan Double Chocolate Sunflower Brownies via The Vegan 8. […]
  39. These look SO good! Can the sunflower kernels be subbed with sunflower butter? If so, how much would you recommend?
      Hi Jessica! I have only tried it the above way, so I'm just not sure exactly how much sunbutter it would equal to. Maybe 1/3-1/2 cup?? I'm not sure. The dough should be thick but spreadable...similar to how it looks in the processor bowl photo above. Let me know if you try it! Sorry, it's just hard to say since I've only tested it the above way.
  40. These were INCREDIBLE! Iwanted brownies but I wanted them now so I heated and just threw everything in the Vitamix. I didn't have oat flour so I just
      Awesome Amalie! I'm so happy to hear you loved these so much! Looks like part of your comment got cutoff, but thank you for the feedback nonetheless!
  41. Sooooo goooooood! Made them using 1/4C gluten-free all purpose flour and they baked up beautifully! Thanks, Brandi! (FYI- I did a search to purchase the superfood powder and noticed there was a recall last summer, just in case anyone has any leftover from that long ago-
      Awesome Colleen! I'm so happy to hear you loved these so much! And yikes about the recall!! I just read up on it on your link...thanks for sharing. I didn't have any issues with mine thank God!
      Oh and at the time I did this post it was about a year later after that recall, so I'm guessing they got it all worked out :)
  42. Made these and they're delicious. Only had whole wheat flour and baking powder that expired in 2010 but they still turned out fabulous and fudgy. Yay! Posting it on Instagram!
      Awesome Kim! I'm so happy to hear that they worked out so well with the wheat flour, thank you so much for the feedback!
  43. These look amazing! They're definitely going to be the guest of honor for my girls' night tomorrow. But I have one question: If I'm a little short on sunflower seeds, might I supplement with something else? I have hemp seeds and nuts aplenty.
  44. Tonight I really wanted brownies to go with your awesome PB sweet potato ice cream. Over the years I've done many google searches for vegan brownies, but have never been very satisfied with the results since they all have a lot of oil or earth balance, and applesauce doesn't always work as a perfect substitute. I thought surely you must have come up with a better way, so I searched your blog and sure enough, here it is!The only problem was I didn't have any sunflower seeds, so I considered using another nut, but I also have an abundance of pulp from almond milk, so I went with that. The only other change was to reduce the water by 2 tbsp, figuring the almond pulp added enough extra moisture. They came out great! Not only do I now have a delicious brownie ice cream sundae but also a great sense of accomplishment for using some more almond pulp! ?
      I'm so happy you loved these brownies so much and to go with the ice cream!! I'm so happy to hear the almond pulp was a good sub for the sunflower seeds too, that's wonderful! Thank you so much for making them and leaving feedback!
  45. I made these brownies for my friends birthday and I am not exaggerating....I think they are actually the best brownies I have EVER put in my mouth! And I am quite the brownie snob. I definitely scraped the pan with a spoon to eat the fudgy leftovers that stuck to it and I am NOT ASHAMED ?Seriously though Brandi, I can honestly not believe how decadent and unhealthy these taste!!! I was literally dancing in my kitchen because I was so excited. None of my friends at school are vegan and they were blown away that these were actually good for you and had no butter or eggs! My roommate actually jokingly told me to never make them again or she would eat the whole batch haha. You nailed this one!!!!
      Caitlin, your feedback and beautiful photo you shared on Instagram was like the best feedback ever and described perfectly how I feel about these brownies! Thank you so much for making them and sharing them! So happy they were such a hit with everybody! P.S. I'm a total brownie snob too, lol!
  46. Hi there, These look so yummy can you tell me where I can get the protein powder? Thank you so much
      Hi DeeAnna! I have listed in the notes a couple of different subs if you don't have the protein powder or don't want to order it. :) You can sub the protein powder with 3 tablespoons brown rice flour and that will yield nearly the same result, since that's the main ingredient of the protein powder anyways. Otherwise if you wanted to order the protein powder, there is a link to it further above in the post. It's important to use a non-flavored rice protein powder since the one I used had virtually no taste and worked so well, so the easiest sub would just be brown rice flour which you can find at most grocery stores these days. I hope that helps!! ?
  47. […] 13.) Vegan Double Chocolate Sunflower Brownies from Brandi at The Vegan 8 […]
  48. OMG seriously wow these look ridiculous as in freaking delicious. I just want to clarify you say if you omit the protein powder use all purpose flour instead of the oat flour and protein powder? Maybe I am confused. If I don't want to use the protein powder can I just leave it out but still use the oat flour? So in other words can I follow the original recipe as it but just omit the protein powder?Thanks,Riley
    • Oh nevermind I understand now. If I leave out the protein powder I replace that with brown rice flour or all purpose flour. Sorry about that don't know why I confused.
        Hi Riley! Yes, you have two options for completely omitting the protein powder. You can simply sub the protein powder for brown rice flour (3 T) OR you can leave out both the protein powder and the oat flour and just use 1/4 cup all purpose flour instead of those 2. I prefer the brown rice flour option because they are more fudgy, but both are delicious! Let me know how they turn out! ?
  49. I made my own brown rice and oat flour mixture in my Nutra Bullet, and the brownie mix was delicious! It's baking in the oven now...can't wait to taste the completed product! (I may play around with the recipe and replace the maple syrup with dates...or just reduce the amount next time just because it seems like alot of sugar)...must say though that the batter was heavenly just as it was ?
      Wonderful! It needs that much syrup for them to taste correctly since there is a lot of cocoa powder, otherwise they can come off tasting bitter. You are certainly welcome to try it with date syrup, it will change the texture and make them more gooey/raw, but I would think would still be yummy. So glad you love it!
  50. I tried this recipe the other day,unfortunately my kids cut into them before they were cooked all the way and made them look all a mess? however, they were still delicious, if not photo worthy. I realized too late that I used the wrong sunflower seeds, I used Roasted,unsalted. Which made for a pretty strong seed flavor. But the texture was perfect and I still loved it. I can't wait to try it again with the raw, unsalted seeds!
      Haha, I don't blame the kids :) I'm so happy they were enjoyed, even before they were done! Thank you so much for making them and the feedback!
  51. At first I thought, really - sunflower seeds...not! But holy moly everyone devoured these and absolutely loved the flavor and how moist they were. I used the brown rice flour and it tasted delectable. Big big hit.
      Haha, yes it sounds like they wouldn't be that great based off the ingredient list, but they really surprise everybody! So happy these were such a hit, thank you for the feedback!
  52. I made these and they turned out amazing. I could taste the sunflower seeds but only because I knew they were in there. My husband is sitting next to me enjoying these babies and can't even guess what they're made of! Such a good source of fat in a dessert, great recipe! Thank you :)
      Wow, thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! I'm so happy to hear your hubby loved them too! Yes, you never know the sunflower seeds are in there, unless you "know", haha! I honestly cannot taste them and my hubby had no clue either. Just rich chocolate. Thanks so much for the feedback!
  53. I had sunflower seed BUTTER sitting in my pantry for months that I was never too fond of... I came across this recipe and was so inspired! I didt have brown rice flour but what I ended up using was very similar, and the batter is addicting! Thank you:)
      Wonderful, so glad you like them! I am not sure how much sunflower butter you would need for the recipe for the right results, but I'm glad you made it work!
    • Ooh. Hi! Do you happen to recall how much sunbutter you used? my little one is allergic to nuts and I can only get my hands on nut free sunbutter and not nut free sunflower seeds (they always have traces of nuts :-() thank you!
        Hi Gabi, I'm not sure since I've only made this using the seeds, never actual sunbutter, but if I had to guess, I would say about 1/2 cup. Just look for the final brownie batter to be like a nut butter consistency. It should be thick, but not stiff. Hope that helps!
  54. I've got these in your oven now! The batter is very tasty and I can't wait till they are done!! Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!! ??*my*
  55. I have been trying to find a good vegan brownie recipe for a while now. All the others I've tried have been too cake-like inside, or too dry and not moist and fudgey, or the tops weren't crunchy or shiny enough, etc etc. This is the only one I've found that is exactly what I believe a brownie should be - dense and fudge-like inside, crisp and shiny on the top, without any strange beany or fruity flavours anywhere. Thank you so much for posting this. My brownie search is finally over.
      Thank you so much Pam for this amazing feedback! I'm so happy you loved these brownies as much as I do! They really are just as I love them to be too, dense, fudgey and chocolatey! Thank you so much!
  56. This recipe is amazing!!!! Thank you! ? I've made them in various ways and they always taste lovely! I want to make a double batch in an 8 x 8 tin. Any idea as to what temp/time I could try? Keep up the amazing work! Your one very talented lady xxxx
      Awww thank you so much Gemma, so kind of you! I honestly would just follow the same heat temp and directions since doubling it will be so much like just using 2 loaf pans, so I would keep it the same and follow the same directions.
  57. […] Sunflower Double chocolate Brownies. by the Vegan 8  […]
  58. Made these last night for a Christmas party and they were a hit! Everyone was amazed that they were vegan. Going to make them again for Christmas and try my hand at the chocolate chip cookies too. :)
      Yay! So happy to hear this, thank you so much Linda for letting me know!!
  59. I made these last night after my husband threatened to order brownies from Papa John's (the horror!) He was very skeptical about sunflower seeds in brownies, but after I read him your admonishment of cakey brownies "Cakey brownies, step aside. You are not brownies, you are cake. Accept it and move on." he was SOLD! I had to make a double batch because he just laughed at the size of the original batch (he can eat a lot of brownies). I only had one cup of sunflower seeds, so I used them plus one cup of almond flour that was leftover from another recipe and needed to be used up. I used the Bob's Red Mill GF 1-to-1 baking mix in place of the oat flour + protein powder. I also added pecan pieces because my I helped my sister shell some last weekend and I had some that she gave me. The brownies were excellent! My husband said they were not sweet enough (typical) but the texture was spot-on. I personally thought they were the perfect sweetness (which usually means he won't think they are sweet enough).thank you Vegan 8! You are my hero!!
      Wow, thanks so much for the wonderful feedback Gira! Wow, really! Your hubby must like things very sweet, lol! You can always throw in extra chocolate chips next time for him :)
  60. These are FANTASTIC! Be careful not to eat the whole pan in one sitting! absolutely delicious!
      Haha! Oh, I'm so happy to hear that, thank you so much Silvana! :)
  61. OMG. What can I say... Thank you a million times!!! Your recipe was right on spot, my birthday present: my birthday brownies :) I'm eating them all by myself hahaMy notes: I baked in an 8inch square pan and therefore I think I needed less time -- 30 min. They were crispy outside and amaaaaaazingly gooey inside! Since I also didn't have choc chips, I just choipped some bitter chocolate and used them. Worked just fine, too!So, that was it, I've got a mouth full of delicious brownie now :P
      Haha, loved this feedback Barbara, thank you so much! I'm so happy you loved these so much and Happy birthday!!!
  62. WOW! These are great. Just made them today after drooling over the pictures the other day. So quick and easy to make. I was able to mix the batter in my vitamix and pour right into the pan, stir in chocolate chips and bake! So extra points for using "one bowl" so to speak. They came perfect! I used the subs for the protein powder and used 3 T of brown rice flour instead. My kids approve too!
      SO happy to hear that Jenn! Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback, I really appreciate it! Glad it's kid approved too! They are my daughter's favorite :)
  63. Brandi, What a fabulous recipe! I am shocked at how delicious these turned out. You are absolutely right; these brownies are fudgy, dense, and there's not the slightest taste of sunflower seeds! My husband is anti-vegan and even he was surprised and pleased with the results. I used the rice flour substitution but I tried 1T of ground chia seeds and 2T of rice flour. No other changes but mine were perfectly done in 32min. This will be my new go-to for when I need a chocolate fix. Thanks so much.
      Yay Shirlie!! I'm so happy you and your hubby both loved these! Thank you so much for making them and leaving feedback!
  64. Do you know if anyone has made these without a food processor? I decided to go through my saved vegan8 recipes to see how necessary my food processor is (I do love it, but as I mentioned earlier I live in a hotel, and move my whole life in the back of my jeep every few months. I have accumulated was too much stuff, and desperately need to down size). What percent of the time do you use the food processor do you think I'm your recipes? I'm still kind of new to making them! Thanks!
      Hi Vanessa! The sunflower seeds definitely need a food processor in order to process them and the whole mixture into a smooth batter...otherwise it will be gritty. You could try using sunbutter instead I guess and just really whisk the ingredients well until smooth, I'm guessing you would need 6-8 tablespoons sunbutter. As far as my recipes go, I use my food processor more than any other appliance. I use it for desserts and veggie burgers and hummus and dips, etc. I couldn't live without it so I'd say it's pretty important. Obviously not all recipes require it, but many use it. I rely on it more than my Vitamix, but use both.
      • Thanks. I think I will try to hang on to it (I do love my food processor, I can't deny). As I went through more recipes last night I realized how many used it.
  65. Ok, I've made these twice now, and they've been absolutely delicious both times, but they look nothing like the picture, lol. They will not stay together, when you try to cut them, they just fall apart and crumble even though they are moist? It's crazy! I didn't have the protein powder, so I substituted the brown rice flour like you suggested, but otherwise followed the recipe. But like I said, they were still really good! ? Kathy @notjustsmoothies
    • Hi Kathy! I'm so glad you love these!! Hmmm, that's really strange, you're the first person ever to mention that. I've had dozens and dozens make these and their pics look like mine above and each time I make them, they always turn out the same. The sunbutter is what holds them together. The only reason they would be crumbly is if you are removing them too soon after coming out of the oven, but they are so firm after completely cooked after they cook, even the next day. I make them all the time. Do you use parchment paper or spray your pan? I made them one time with parchment paper and they stick bad to the paper, making them crumble when you try to remove them. Maybe you need to cook them longer? The edges should be really firm and crisp up.
      • Thanks Brandi for your reply. I didn't use parchment paper, I sprayed an 8x8 square glass dish, since I doubled the recipe. I cooked them the max time and let them cool completely in the pan. I did mix the the sunflower seeds in a vitamix since I don't have a food processor & blended all the ingredients in a bowl by hand, so don't know if that would make a difference? They were so good though and everyone loved them! I also tried to rate this recipe but when I clicked on the star it didn't do anything? ?
          Hi Kathy! Ok, I knew there was something that had to be slightly different, yes, all the ingredients should be blended up all together because the sunflower seeds should be completely pureed with the dry ingredients and liquids, when it is then blended up for a couple of minutes with everything, it becomes very sticky/pudding-like and cohesive. It causes it to bake up very firmly. :) You should still be able to do all of that in your vitamix and the bars should turn out much firmer next time. Thank you so much Kathy! :)
            Oh and yes, I got the stars, thank you! It went through :)
          • Ok, thanks so much Brandi, I will try that! I was thinking the sunflower seeds were just supposed to be made into a flour and not a butter. I hope it won't be too thick for the vitamix. Is there a good food processor you could recommend? I've been wanting to get one but there's so many different kinds, sizes, and prices, I don't know where to start! ? Thanks again and I'm glad the stars went through? ?
            Yes, I got the star rating, thank you so much! Yes, the first step is grinding it up into a flour, but then you need to blend it all together with ALL the ingredients so it becomes really smooth and a pudding consistency, it becomes sticky and gooey like a nut butter almost. They bake up and become really firm that way :) My vitamix is the thin container and I have trouble doing thick textures in it, only my food processor works. I use this one and absolutely LOVE it! It's an 11 cup, so perfect size to get a lot done. It is a bit pricey, but works: If you want something better prices, this is another one I had for years and loved it too!
  66. Would another protein powder work? Looking at Garden of Life Organic plant protein.
      I've only tried it with the one above, but the best option would be to just use brown rice flour if you have that, in place of the protein powder. Is the Garden of Life one flavorless? You don't want one that is flavored and sweetened or it will affect the taste. The one I used had no sweetener or flavors.
  67. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Or as my husband said, "Oh, snap!" :). Best brownies I've had since going vegan 2 years ago. Definitely a keeper!
      Haha, yay!! SO happy to hear that Dawn, thank you so much for the feedback! And I laughed at your husband's response, haha!
  68. I just made these and unfortunately they came out nothing like the photos :( I baked them for 30 minutes and they came out really dry and crumbly, I wanted to cry!I didn't have oat flour, so used coconut flour instead and ran out of sunflower seeds so added a bit more coconut flour to make up for the lacking you think it could have been that??
      Hi Noemi! Oh my gosh, yes, that's exactly why. As you can see all of the above rave reviews and 5 stars on the recipe, so please don't rate it negatively when you changed it. Coconut flour is VERY absorbent, like 5 times as much as other flours and by you replacing the oat and some sunflower seeds with all that coconut flour will ruin the brownies and made them as you described. The sunflower seeds are what provide so much moisture and fudginess to the brownies, so they can't be replaced with flour, especially coconut flour, which will just further dry them out. The recipe needs to be followed as listed or even with the subs I mentioned in the notes, as those were all tested, in order for them to turn out correctly. Give them a try with the right amounts and ingredients and you will notice a BIG difference :)
      • Thank you so so much! It does sound like a foolproof recipe, I knew I did something wrong! I will have to go buy sunflower seeds and try them again :)
          You are so welcome! I want you to love them and see how yummy and fudgy they are, so definitely try them again :)
          You are so welcome! I want you to love them and see how yummy and fudgy they are, so definitely try them again :)
          • I made them again and it worked so much better! You're right, it really was the coconut flour! I also subbed in plain flour and they were fluffier and a bit crumbly but also chewy and absolutely delicious! So so happy I tried them again :)
            Wonderful to hear! The best version is with the brown rice flour, it gives the fudgiest results, but regular flour would be a decent sub but will make them more cakey, less fudgy. Also, make sure to completely blend it all together and let them cool completely as noted because they should be nice and firm. So glad you tried them again, thank you for letting me know! :)
  69. Holy crap these are so freaking delicious I can barely stand it! I was loving the batter so much I didn't want to bake them. I think I liked every last morsel out of the blender and off the spatula... I used Sunwarrior Plain Brown Rice Protein powder and baked them in a 8" round pan in the toaster oven for about 35 minuets (I'm operating in a half functional kitchen right now) but that seemed to work - though it would be nice to have them a tad thicker. It was soooooo hard not to cut them until they cooled, but I did manage to refrain myself. Talk about an exercise in will power. Now it's going to be hard not to eat the entire pan today! Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for such deliciousness. You really made my day :)
      That is so awesome to hear Sarah, I'm so happy you loved these so much! I love them so much too! Thank you for the feedback!
  70. These look amazing! Is it possible to make them without a food processor? I have a NutriBullet so I could still grind up the sunflower seeds, and maybe use the blend setting for the maple syrup and vanilla part? And my mixer for the rest? I really want to make these for a thanksgiving dessert! Thanks!
      Hi Abbie, it's really important that the entire mixture (all of the ingredients) are really mixed well together so it's totally smooth. Mixing everything together is what makes it a really thick/smooth chocolate batter. This is what will affect how they bake up and hold together, so as long as you can do that, I think it should work. Let me know how they turn out!
  71. OMG! These look mouth-watering. Not a natural vegan myself I look for good vegan recipes for the calorie loss! I only have to look at a cake to put weight on. It sounds good!
      Thank you Anne! These just taste every bit as rich as traditional brownies, they don't "taste vegan" or anything, haha! A large amount of my readers make them for friends/family and they aren't vegan. These are a huge hit with people, so you should definitely try them!
  72. Wow these are so good!!!! I used 3T pastry flour instead of protein powder. I also added 1T coconut sugar to make it just a little sweeter and topped it with chopped pecans. I could have eaten the whole pan by myself!!!! Are there any special instructions if I want to double the recipe and use a 8x8 pan? Do I just double everything? Anyone tried this yet
      Sorry I missed this comment before Kate! I'm so happy to hear you loved them so much! I know I'm way late on this, but yes, just double the recipe for an 8x8 pan...basically the same cooking time.
  73. evidently that Oriya Organics Superfood Protein Medley is no longer available on their web site. What as a substitution? Thank you Mary Jean
      Sorry I missed this before Mary Jean! The subs for protein powder are listed right next to the ingredient. Says "see Notes below for subs" :)
  74. oops sorry---see it under a different name and also see your substitution note at the bottom of the recipe. ">)
  75. Hithese look delicious. I have 2 queries : Can I use oat flour throughout,instead of rice flour? Can the maple syrup be replaced with honey as the former isnt easily available where I live.
      Hi Tia! I would not recommend oat flour instead of rice flour because I think that will make them TOO gooey because they are already very fudgy, which is why I didn't use all oat flour. You can try it but just know it's not going to be the intended result. As far as honey goes, again, honey is VERY thick and sticky so it will make these exceptionally gooey. Maple syrup is much thinner and honey is a totally different taste so you can always try but I can't vouch for the result. Let me know if you try it! I think agave would be a much better sub than maple syrup, but be sure to up the chocolate chips.
  76. These were the best brownies that I have ever had! I didnt use the protein powder and swapped to plain flour, but wow! Even hubby and the kids loved them. Being so rich and decadent its easy not to eat too many ;)

      Thank you so much Nicole for taking the time to leave such an amazing review! Love that they whole family loved these so much! Thank you for the awesome feedback!
  77. Morgan
    Made these yesterday and wow are they good! The best brownies I've ever made (vegan or not). I followed the recipe to a T including the protein powder. I used part of a vega one vanilla protein packet and it worked. I left it sit for an hour like she said and I was shocked when I cut it open. All the fudge-y goodness! It's also so easy to make and I didn't dirty tons of bowls. I'm going to make this for everyone I can.

      Yay, yay, yay! Makes me so happy to hear this Morgan! Thank you very much for the awesome review both here and on Instagram, it is so appreciated!
  78. I made the Sunflower Brownies for the third time this week. I cannot keep them in my house. Since finding the Vegan 8, my life has changed. My daughter is eating healthy, easy food that I prepare because it tastes great! I had a hard time getting her to eat ANYthing healthy before. Thank you so much for the awesome, easy recipes! I have not made any of your recipes that we have not liked yet! Blessings to you and your family!
      This is the best review ever Seanah!! So so happy you loved these brownies so much and thank you very much for your kind words. I can't tell you how happy your words made me and what it means to hear how much you are loving the recipes. Thank you so much!
  79. This recipe is so easy and so yummie! Even my boyfriend liked these brownies. I made 1.5x the recipe and put it in a muffin tray. Twelve delicious brownie-muffins in 20-25 minutes. Wonderful. Brandi, I am hooked on your recipes. Thank you so much!!

      Thank you so much Andrea for taking the time to leave the review! I really appreciate it! SO happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes :)
  80. Love love love this recipe! My go to chocolate fix recipe. Thanks girl!

      Thank you so much Melanie, I'm so happy to hear that!
  81. These are UNREAL....we tripled the recipe and made a pan-full of these. If you follow your directions to the letter, they come out PERFECTLY. We did make one modification and instead of Oat Flour we tried Coffee Flour (yes, its a thing) and the outcome was great.My wife's first comment after trying them...."o.k., I'm vegan now"!Thank you, wonderful recipe.
      Hahaha, this is the best comment ever Christopher! I love that these brownies instantly converted her, I laughed out loud! I'm SO happy you both loved these so much! You described exactly how I feel about them too and why they are my favorite brownie on the blog (I have many!), although I do love them all. Would you believe that I have a brownie recipe in my upcoming cookbook that is even better (in my opinion) because it mimics that true classic brownie like the boxed kind with the thick texture and top! Anyways, thanks so much for the awesome feedback! If you get a chance to leave the star rating, that would be awesome, they help me out so much!
  82. Thank you for making a vegan recipe without oil!!!!! I love coconut but it is high in saturated fat and you just can’t get around that. No mayter what saturated fat clogs your arteries and is just as bad as trans fat. Being dairy free, most of my desserts have to be vegan... so finding one that isn’t ridiculously high in bad fats makes dessert much more enjoyable.
  83. The best vegan brownies, just fallen in love for this recipe and I will repeated over and over, but I need to mentioned that I put agave syrup instead of maple, also I mixed cocoa with karob and I like to add on top when I serve them homemade peanut butter (sugar free, salt free, any oil free- just peanuts roasted by me and then blended very well until they become a thick but smooth paste), also on top of them some home made granola; my secret is to keep them into the fridge before u eat them!
      Yay! SO very happy to hear how much you loved these Cristina! Thank you so much for the awesome review! Peanut butter on top sounds so delicious!
  84. I made these this afternoon, followed the recipe exactly and in the oven for 35 mins but they turned out dry and crumbly. There are parts of it that is a little gooey so I can imagine how nice they would be. I guess less time in the oven next time.
      Hi Amanda, did you process all of the ingredients as noted in a food processor?? These brownies are nothing but super fudgy and gooey, not dry and crumbly at all. Not even the slightest dry. All I can think is that your oven is way off or somehow the ingredients were not processed fully into the liquid because it is all the fat from the sunflower seeds that give them all their incredible moisture as well as binding. They are very, very fudgy and firm. As noted they firm up a ton as they cool. These all have perfect rave reviews from all other readers as you can see above, so I'm not sure what happened on your end! I've made them dozens of times and they are extremely fudgy every time and I even go to the full 40 mins baking time.
      • Hi Brandi, yes I put them in for 3 mins like you said. I had the timer going and it looked super smooth. Not sure why then, maybe ill try them again and pull them out of the oven earlier, or process them longer. I've had a lot of your other recipes which are amazing so it must be something on my end. Just disappointed I didn't get to eat these yummy looking ones in your pics!
  85. Just wondering if I can use white rice flour instead of brown? And to make it all gluten free, can I make it with gluten free flour instead of oat flour? Thank you for all the good recipes.
      Hi Stina! I honestly don't know since I haven't tested it with a gluten-free blend, only the 3 flours I listed above. I'm sure it would work but my guess is since there is starches in GF blends it would make them cakier, but I would assume they'd still be good. Give it a try and let me know!
  86. These are so freaking good! My picky son loves them too! Thanks Brandi :)
      Woohoo, wonderful to hear Silvana, thank you!! If you could click the star rating next time, that would be awesome, they help me out, thank you so much!
  87. I made these tonight subbing all the flour with bob’s red mill gluten free flour and they came out perfect! I also just used a Nutributllet and made the entire batter in the belnder(blended the seeds first as recommended). So easy and delicious! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!
      Yay! So glad to hear that! Thank you for the lovely review! Would you mind adding the star rating too, thank you so much!!
  88. I made these today for my gluten free but non-vegan sister's birthday, and the first words out of her mouth were "it's like the abyss is a friend". 😂😂😂 She loves them!
      Haha! So funny! So glad they were a hit!!

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