Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies

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We’ve been having a total love affair with these raw brownies for the past couple weeks. A little nibble here, a little nibble there. I’m actually amazed that they’ve lasted this long, but just a small square is enough to satisfy my chocolate cravings. That’s how you know a chocolate dessert is the real deal. Plus, if the dancing in my belly is any indication, they are a big hit.

Lately, our evenings go something like this: We put on the hockey game (we’re avidly following both the Pens and Habs series which is basically another full time job) and I’m on my laptop doing some nursery planning as I scream at the TV. Eric is searching the freezer for these brownies. Nursery planning leads me to the uneasy discovery that I have zero home décor ability (not to mention decision making skills), but I still hold onto the hope that I can turn the room into the DIY nursery of my dreams. I curse those picture perfect rooms on Pinterest as I eat my brownie and watch hockey. Eric reassures me that the dresser we picked up at the second hand store is going to be transformed into something amazing for the baby’s room. I’ve always wanted to be a crafty goddess, so now I’m excited to start this project and see what I’m really made of.

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And O.M.G., these brownies. This raw brownie dough is made up with protein-packed hemp hearts, walnuts, Medjool dates, raw cacao powder (cocoa powder works too!), vanilla, and Himalayan sea salt. Just throw it into the food processor and voila. To add some crunch, I pulsed in some cacao nibs and chopped walnuts. The crunch is essential! The result is a chocolaty brownie-like dough all without the using the oven, flour, sugar, or butter.

But I didn’t stop with the brownie dough. Of course not. Go big or go home. I poured on homemade chocolate for a second layer. The chocolate hardens into a thick shell, giving these brownies a wonderful snappy texture – best enjoyed straight from the freezer. The contrast of the firm chocolate shell and the chewy brownie is just heaven!

This recipe is quite versatile though so have fun playing around with it. I imagine you could make several different variations on these just by changing the nuts/seeds, extracts, topping, etc.

veganrawbrownies

5 from 44 reviews
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Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, refined sugar-free, soy-free

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Who knew brownies could be packed with protein, healthy omega 3 fatty acids, fibre, and antioxidants? These raw brownies are made with wholesome natural ingredients, but the flavour isn’t sacrificed one bit. Best of all, they are thrown together without an oven! Recipe inspired by Sweet Talk Blog.

Yield
16-20 small squares
Prep Time
Cook time
0 Minutes
Chill time
30 minutes

Ingredients:

FOR THE BROWNIES:
  • 1 cup raw walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
  • 1.5 cups pitted Medjool dates* (approx. 275g)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine grain sea salt
  • heaping 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
  • heaping 1/4 cup raw walnut pieces
FOR THE HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or agave nectar for a raw sweetener)
  • small pinch pink Himalayan sea salt (or fine grain sea salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. For the brownie: Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, one piece going each way to make it easy to lift out the brownies later on.
  2. In a food processor, process the walnuts into a fine crumb.
  3. Add the hemp seeds and the pitted dates and process until finely chopped and sticky. It should look like a Larabar in texture and appearance.
  4. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, and pink salt and process until thoroughly combined.
  5. Stir or pulse in the nibs and chopped walnuts until just combined.
  6. Evenly press the mixture into prepared square pan until smooth. You can roll it out with a pastry roller until smooth. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  7. For the chocolate topping: Melt the coconut oil over low heat in a medium pot. Remove from heat and whisk in the cacao powder, syrup, salt, and vanilla until combined and smooth.
  8. Remove the brownies from the freezer and pour on the chocolate topping. Spread out evenly. Carefully transfer the pan to the freezer on a flat, even surface. Chill for 20 + minutes or until the topping is firm enough to slice
  9. Run hot water over a knife for a minute or so, wipe quickly with towel, and carefully slide the knife into the brownies to slice (warming up the knife helps it slice more evenly without much cracking).
  10. Store leftovers in the freezer for a chocolate treat anytime.

Tips:

You’ll want to use soft, fresh Medjool dates for this recipe to make it easier on the processor. If your dates are firm, try soaking them in water for 30-60 minutes (and then draining well) before use.

Instead of the raw chocolate topping, you can melt 3/4 cup non-dairy chocolate chips in lieu of the homemade chocolate.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

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Grace June 14, 2017
Recipe Rating:

These are positively AMAZING! Thanks so much! These are super healthy and taste really good. All of my siblings were devouring them :P

Reply

Efi June 10, 2017

Which food processor do you use? I don’t know which one I should buy

Reply

Angela Liddon June 16, 2017

Hi Efi, you can check out my Amazon store to see all my fave kitchen appliances, including the food processor I use. :) Hope this helps!

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Anna Lee March 29, 2017
Recipe Rating:

Hands down THE best brownies I’ve ever had. I’m not a huge fan of brownies in general, but I always like having something I can snack on stashed away in the freezer, so I decided to give these a shot. They couldn’t be anymore perfect! They remind me of a little your super seed chocolate bites. Great recipe!!!

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Julia December 18, 2016

Do you have any suggestions for making this nut free? Seeds are OK. I was thinking of replacing the walnuts with sunflower or pumpkin seeds, but since they both have strong tastes I wanted to see if anyone else tried this without the walnuts.

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Liz Westerhaus November 1, 2016
Recipe Rating:

LOVE everything on this website. SO good. My go-to for all recipes!

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Angela Liddon November 2, 2016

Aw, that’s so lovely to hear, Liz!! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my recipes. :)

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Lindsey September 25, 2016
Recipe Rating:

Waiting (im)patiently as these firm up in the freezer! Oh man that chocolate ganache is crazy good… I used sunflower seeds instead of hemp seeds because it’s what was around, added some unsweetened coconut flakes to the brownie, and sprinkled the top with nibs + shredded coconut for party presentation :D

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Lindsey September 25, 2016

Salty, sweet and so DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recipe!

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Taryn August 11, 2016
Recipe Rating:

These are seriously delicious! I used 1 cup blanched almonds and 1/2 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds instead of the walnuts/hemp seeds and I am so in love. They taste so decadent it’s hard to believe they’re healthy!

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Angela Liddon August 17, 2016

They’re a big fave of ours too, Taryn! I’m glad you enjoyed them. :)

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Tiffany August 5, 2016
Recipe Rating:

Simply amazingly delicious!!! I just made these tonight and they are out-of-control awesomeness! Thank you, thank you Angela!!

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umay0ga July 16, 2016

Yum! Am waiting for these little darlings to set in the freezer now… So excited! Have not had any chocolate cravings in this pregnancy until just now, so cannot wait to tuck in to something so wholesome x

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Angela Liddon July 18, 2016

I hope these satisfy the craving for you!

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Katie June 17, 2016

They look amazing! I love the idea of double chocolate. Is there a substitution for walnuts?

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Angela Liddon July 15, 2016

Hi Katie, You can absolutely substitute the walnuts! Pecans are definitely the most popular swap and lots of people have had success with it, but I’d think any of your favourite nuts would be a good choice. Peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds…all would add their own unique spin to the recipe. It’s a pretty versatile one! Good luck if you try anything, and I’d love it if you’d report back.

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Nancy April 28, 2016

Hi Angela, a BIG Thank you for your recipes! we (my husband especially) love them and my 15 mos loves your green monster!
Just a question, Hulled hemp seeds are actually unavailable where we are living, so do you have any substitution suggestion?
Thank you again!

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Elizabeth April 16, 2016
Recipe Rating:

I made these brownies today (love!) and added some cinnamon to the chocolate topping. Wow, did it make the flavors sing–kind of gave it a Mexican chocolate twist. I’ve recently committed totally to a plant-based diet, and your site has been an inspiration. Thanks for all of the wonderful recipes!

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Angela Liddon April 18, 2016

Hi Elizabeth, I am so happy to hear that my blog has been a source of inspiration for you. Thank you for the lovely comment, and enjoy those brownies!

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Jelli April 15, 2016

Yum! Granted, these don’t compare to “real” brownies, in my opinion, but as far as a healthy version go, they’re delish. I didn’t have dates so I used prunes with great results. Also added a little honey to the topping, though I realize that might be taboo. Thanks for the recipe.

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Angela Liddon April 15, 2016

Hi there, I’m glad to hear the prunes worked out well! Thanks for the lovely comment.

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Kristie January 25, 2016
Recipe Rating:

Hi Angela, I LOVE these brownies, and I believe I saw them in your protein-rich pregnancy sample meal plan. I’m wondering if you’ve done any research on the safety of raw cacao nibs during pregnancy?

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Will January 5, 2016
Recipe Rating:

I ate them. they tasted good. mission success

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Marianne November 21, 2015
Recipe Rating:

Oh. I substituted pecans for walnuts. Sorry, didn’t have any walnuts. It was fabulous.

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Marianne November 21, 2015
Recipe Rating:

I just made these!! This is the best recipe yet!! I only added chopped pecans on top the chocolate before it set. It was perfect. I wish I could share the pic with you. Also. I couldn’t find my small springform since I halved the recipe so I lined a small round cake pain with plastic wrap and once it set and was solid (about an hour), it pulled right out.

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carol burgess September 2, 2015
Recipe Rating:

First time at raw brownies, turned out brilliant be great for a treat, a little bit salty though would definitely use less next time. Loved the crunchy bits (I used pecans in chopped nuts at the end) and you couldn’t taste the hemp seeds ! A definite keeper !

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Karyn August 17, 2015
Recipe Rating:

These are divine. My family wanted brownies & I did not want to partake, so a handy search brought me here. Your recipes always save me! Thanks SO much!

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Meggan July 27, 2015

I made these the other night and they are fantastic! You only need a little piece to satisfy and even the non restrictive eating housemates enjoy them. Thanks much for the recipe.

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Katinka July 12, 2015
Recipe Rating:

Hi Angela!

I made them today and they are great great great! Thank you so much for this incredible recipe – as well as all the others. ;-)

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Pam Allen May 26, 2015
Recipe Rating:

I have made the raw chocolate brownie recipe so many times. I adore it, so do my family and friends. I also recommend your site to my clients who often require healthy eating options. Thanks so much for your fabulous recipes. You clearly demonstrate that healthy is yummy!!

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Nancy DePutter May 8, 2015
Recipe Rating:

Best brownies hands down! Wanted to make a cake for friend’s birthday but didn’t have enough time, or enough ingredients so I whipped these up and they were fantastic.
Had to post them on my blog too! Thank you!!

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