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Healthy Fudge Brownies

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Healthy Brownies.

It’s chocolate. And fudge. How could I not be obsessed?

healthy brownies

I couldn’t capture the fudginess. Brownies just aren’t as photogenic as Cake Batter Milkshakes.

Please don’t hold this against them: even a professional photographer would have a hard time showing just how fudgey these secretly healthy brownies are.

vegan brownies


Healthy Brownies

(Makes 12-16 brownies)

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup spelt or white flour (For gluten-free, try the famous Black Bean Brownies)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar or xylitol
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp soft tofu or mori-nu firm or lite firm (click for Soy-Free Recipe)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 6 tbsp melted coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • optional: chocolate chips!

Combine dry ingredients, and mix very well. In a blender, combine wet ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour wet over dry and stir, then pour into an 8-inch square pan, greased well or lined with parchment. Cook for 15-18 minutes at 325 F. I’m not sure why this is the case, but these brownies taste ten times sweeter and richer if you don’t eat them until the next day! (Seriously.) My fudgey variation: If you want them extremely fudgey– as in “so gooey you need a fork to eat them”—cook the batter for only 8-9 minutes. Then put the pan of still-undercooked brownies in the fridge to cool and firm up considerably overnight.

View Healthy Brownies Nutrition Information


If you’re feeling generous, you can share. Or, just make two pans. (P.S. I kinda miss my long hair! I’m growing it out again.)

Do you have an absolute favorite dessert?

Maybe a dessert from a restaurant? Or an old family recipe? My favorite desserts have two characteristics: chocolate and fudgey. This explains why my favorite recipe is my raw chocolate fudge cake and my favorite restaurant dessert is Candle Cafe’s chocolate mousse pie. It’s on my “to-do” list to try and recreate that mousse pie.

But my next experiment is a S’mores version of these bars.

healthy brownies

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. oh katie, I can feel and taste and SEE the fudgey-ness FOR SURE in these pictures! You captured it! I am in love with these 🙂 You are my go-to healthy dessert girl!!

    1. Emily says:

      Me too! I KNOW when I make a CCK recipe, that I will love it. I tried these brownies after you first posted them, and I seriously like them BETTER than normal brownies!

      The fact that they have only 100 calories and healthy ingredients? Icing on the cake, or brownies ;).

      1. M. says:

        When I first saw the recipe, I jotted it down, but I didn’t have any immediate plans to make it. But then I read this comment, that says it’s better than regular brownies, and suddenly I was intrigued and had to make them to see for myself!

        I admit that I was skeptical at first. But now? Incredibly enough, I agree! These are so fudgy that they’re almost more like fudge than brownies, even. Definitely not for someone who likes their brownies cakey. But I’d much rather have a fudgy brownie than a cakey one.

        Thanks, CCK. I will definitely be making these again and again!

      2. clara says:

        hey, i love your recipes, and your healthy approach to life! i was just wondering do you ever worry about calories/your weight, or are you pretty care free?

        1. Thanks Clara!! 🙂
          I am not 100% carefree… but I’ve come a long way! Most days, I am happy with my body. I don’t know if you saw this page, but I wrote more about it all here:

          As for calories, I pretty much don’t count them. But sometimes I have to be careful to get enough food because of how active I am. So if I’m feeling sluggish on a particular day, I’ll try to think back to everything I ate that day (or the day before) and see if maybe the reason I’m tired is that I wasn’t eating enough.

  2. Lisa Fine says:

    I can tell they’re fudgy, mostly. But maybe you can send some to all of us to taste-test and be sure? 🙂

    I love brownies, especially topped with some coconut ice cream, or Rice Dream ice cream.

    Love the photo of you and your dad.

  3. And I’M obsessed with YOU. I am SO trying those brownies!! Fudgey and chocolate is SO the best thing ever!! Mmm chocolate fudge cake/brownies/cookies are ALL my gave desserts! 😀

    P.S. GORGEOUS photo of your and your dad!! 🙂

  4. YES YES YES! My favourite dessert– my absolute most favourite dessert is… errr… I don’t know actually. (Sorry for my dry sense of humour. Oops.) There’s banana cake, chocolate cake, fudge cake, brownies, carrot cake, scones, blondies, … the list goes on! 😀

    By the way, your dad looks really good! He’s got the “George Clooney”/”Robin Williams” look if you know what I mean!

    1. LOL! I will have to tell him that. It will make his day!

  5. My absolute favorite dessert? Oh, it’s so shameful… but I LOVE cookie cake. You know, the giant chocolate chip cookies with the super processed icing words on it that they sell at – what am I saying? Everyone knows what cookie cake is.

    But usually I tell people my second favorite dessert, to save face, which is warm gingerbread topped with lemon ice cream. Not sorbet – ice cream. It’s an important distinction.

    1. Emily says:

      I still need to try Katie’s chocolate chip cookie pie! It looks like the cookie cakes from my childhood. Maybe that’s next on the list, if I can stop eating these brownies long enough to make something else!

  6. Melissa says:

    Fudgy brownies are the ONLY kind, IMO. If I want cake, I’ll eat cake. Ptttoey on you, cakey brownies! These look soooo goooood, Katie. NOM.

    Current favorite dessert I can eat a home is Liz Lovely Gluten Free chocolate mint cookies! I keep them frozen and eat them frozen, too. Soooo fudgy. The GF chcolate moose ones are also fantastic as are the regular snickerdudes! Find them. Eat them.

    I really like raw desserts at restaurants. The most epic desserts I’ve ever had have been raw. I had a really amazing pumpkin pie in a raw place in Florida – it was carrots(!) and brazil nuts, no pumpkin at all. Craziness. I also have had many many amazing coconut cream pies at various raw places. Coconut cream is my favsies so I always get it. 🙂

    Green Owl in Madison, WI makes a great cooked coconut cream and The Cheese Factory in Wisconsin Dells has the best cupcakes ever. Chocolate cake that’s rich and dense but fluffy with impeccable chocolate buttercream. They also do a great maple walnut cookie and the best vegan burrito I’ve ever had. 😉 Epic epic food. We always swing into the Dells when we’re driving from St. Paul to my folks in Wisconsin just to eat there.

    I need to stop before I get going on the dark chocolate and pear crepes I had in Portland! Haha. I love food. It’s a good thing I also love running! 😉

    1. I need to get to Portland!

      1. Melissa says:

        Go in October! I’m running the marathon on the 9th and I’ll be in town a week. 😉 We could NOMMMMM like a boss. 😀

        1. Haha I am so glad someone else likes the word NOM. Can you believe I caught flak for using it on my 2-bite brownie post? What’s wrong with nom??? 🙁

          1. Melissa says:

            What? Don’t people have a sense of humor? I actually have a bondiband for running that has a little shark on it… and the words “OM NOM NOM” underneath his little gaping mouth. I love it! I wear it on long runs when I plan to eat a bunch afterward. Hah.

    2. Serena says:

      Oh, how I love brownies. And like Melissa just said, FUDGY is the way to GO 🙂

  7. Angela says:

    I bought the tofu yesterday and now the apples are on the stove. Can’t wait to it out. Apples…please cook quicker.

    My fav dessert – anything involving chocolate…brownies…ice cream…

  8. Oh my gosh I have to try these this weekend. Brownies are my FAVORITE! I actually avoid making them because I can eat an entire pan in a few days… I tried to make vegan brownies before with applesauce and they were dry and cakey. I like gooey fudgey brownies and these look like they will be perfect! Is the tofu what makes them fudgey??

    1. I think it’s maybe part of it… but even more than that, it’s probably the fact that I undercook them! 😉

  9. VeggieGirl says:

    Great minds think alike! We both posted chocolatey desserts today. Although yours is FAR superior!

  10. Vegan Gal says:

    As you know, this is my new FAVORITE brownie recipe. Favorite. It is amazing and I highly recomend it to everyone who reads this!

    I’ve tried all sorts of healthy brownie recipes and all the other ones pale in comparison.
    And now I’ll stop sounding like an infomercial, but I really am obsessed with these!

    I think I’ll have to make another batch today, now that you posted this.

  11. Emily says:

    Haha Katie, I’m obsessed with these brownies too! I tried your “fudgey version” after you posted it on the 2-bite brownie post, and I fell in LOVE :).

  12. Jenny says:

    Ooh, can’t wait to try THESE! Chocolate fudge… Fudgey chocolate… Whichever – count me in. 😀 I’ve seen you write it on previous recipes about using Dutch-processed cocoa if you want the result to taste like a boxed version – is that because the boxed mixes always use it?! I guess that wouldn’t be too surprising, if that’s the case… since cocoa’s less bitter once alkalized a bit, huh? (Destroys a lot of the antioxidants in lovely chocolate, though…)

    My mom has a secret chocolate fudge cake recipe that she makes every year on my birthday that I’m in love with. 🙂 It doesn’t taste like a traditional chocolate cake and almost has a tang… It’s SUPER moist! It’s definitely worth the year-long wait, too, haha.

    1. Yup! If you read the box of store-bought brownie mixes, hot cocoas, and cakes, they’ll all say “dutch cocoa processed with alkali.” If that’s the taste you’re used to, I don’t want to lead anyone on and say that these brownies taste like that. They don’t (unless you use that cocoa), but they’re delicious in their own right! (And, as you pointed out, healthier!)

  13. Gen says:

    YUM! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, Katie! 😀

  14. Jaz says:

    wow am i glad i discovered your blog! although i’m not strictly vegetarian/vegan myself, i cook that way most of the time, because it makes my body feel much more wonderful! i’m so excited to try out some of these recipes. i have a question though. when you give an ingredient quantity in “T” are you referring to teaspoons or tablespoons?

    1. Angela says:

      “T” means Tablespoons and “t” means teaspoons. Hope that helps!

    2. I’m so glad you found my blog! 🙂

  15. Sarah C says:

    I made these the other day, and I loved them so much! Almost too much…
    But I didn’t try your extremely fudgey version… If you highly recommend it, well then I think you have convinced me. But honestly, Katie, they were so good even the normal way!

    Oh, and my favorite dessert usually has something to do with peanut butter. Growing up, it was Reeses cups. So good!

  16. Mmmm brownies I love brownies. I actually made vegan brownies with tofu once and they were the best I ever had! I should try this next time I get some tofu. yumminess
    ps yumminess should also be a word

  17. My favorite dessert is anything chocolate. Seriously. Add peanut butter to the mix and it’s that much more magical!

    My favorite specific dessert is probably the Raw Chocolate Pie from Spiral Diner. Amazing!

    I am loving your two-bite brownie recipe. Think I’m going to make more today!

    1. Woah, wait, raw chocolate pie?! I get their emails… they’ve never mentioned that. Must get my butt off to Spiral Diner! I haven’t been in ages :(.

  18. I have to admit – I’ve been hesitant to try baking with tofu. These look so delicious that I think I’m going to have to “bite the bullet”and try it!

    1. One commenter said she subbed banana for the tofu and it worked. I can’t personally vouch for the results, though!

      1. Melanie says:

        Any idea how much banana? If not, I’ll experiment and get back to you. I love all your recipes, but I don’t think I ever make them as written, so why start now?

        1. Hmmm… the commenter didn’t say. Maybe an equal amount? (so 1.5oz?) But really, I have no clue lol! I’d LOVE to hear your experiment results if you try!

      2. Great idea! I have that on-hand, too… Thanks!

  19. Mellie says:

    Yum! The fudgier, the better! I don’t have an absolute favorite dessert. Cookie dough, brownie batter, and cake batter are pretty high up on the list.

  20. katie! the fudge on top of those things seriously is glistening! your photog skills are right on par with your baking prowess! 🙂

    fav desserts for me are kinda random: pumpkin pie (mostly the crust), chocolate junk cake (family recipe), cinnamon buns, chocolate lave cake….too many really.

    that picture with you dad is super cute. 🙂
    looking forward to that s’mores recipe when it comes.

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