Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies



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.



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.


Two-Layer Raw Chocolate Brownies

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


4.9 from 34 reviews

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.

16-20 small squares
Freeze time
30 minutes
Prep Time
Cook time
0 Minutes
Total Time


  • 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
  • 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


  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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{ 229 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica Rose May 8, 2014

OMG Brownies indeed…how do you stop at eating just one though??


Anne @AVeganAdventure May 8, 2014

These look dangerous to have around — not that it will stop me from making them! They look like a little piece of chocolate heaven!


Holly May 8, 2014

This looks so yummy!!
Love a good vegan brownie!
xo Holly xo


Lindsay @ VeganYumminess May 8, 2014

Oh yuuuuuuuummm! I have given in to way too many pregnancy cravings lately, but that’s okay. This recipe is going on my to-make-asap list. :) Hope pregnancy is treating you well, Angela. Thanks for all the amazing recipes!


Angela May 8, 2014

You are in the homestretch now! If a little indulgence gets you through it then so be it, hah. So excited for you. :)


Katie @ 24 Carrot Life May 8, 2014

I don’t know how I still haven’t tried raw brownies, but these are definitely going to be my first attempt. The chocolate on top!! I have faith that you will be the DIY goddess you want to be and the nursery will look great!


Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine May 8, 2014

Ohhhhh yummy! Can’t wait to try these!


Brynn May 8, 2014

Nursery planning can be so stressful. I went to Pottery Barn Kids and they told me they offer in-home design! A consultant came over, measured the room, talked ideas, colors, layout, wants, needs and everything in between. By the end I had a Pinterest board and floor plan made for me. It was such a huge help and relief!


Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health May 8, 2014

i cant wait to make these…so many goodness in this brownie


Erica { } May 8, 2014

Finally – a recipe that doesn’t make me feel like a terrible person for eating raw brownie batter!


David Jones October 10, 2015
Recipe Rating:

Couldn’t agree with you more!


Chicago Jogger May 8, 2014

Yum, these looks amazing! I made a similar raw brownie this winter, but added in tart cherries.


Sharon May 8, 2014

Whew! These look incredible… I’m having serious pregnancy cravings and I’m not even pregnant!! LoL! :)


Leanne May 8, 2014

Um, YUM! I cannot wait to make these. I have also dropped MANY hints that what I want for Mother’s Day is the OSG cookbook. Here’s hoping he takes the hints and that he can find it in our town!


AGS May 8, 2014

You will have a lovely nursery. I didn’t put one together for baby #1. . . he was in our room for quite a few months anyway. For baby #2, I finally organized, and though it’s not all matching it finally looks like a “kids” room. Not sure what we’ll do with baby #3 on the way. But I’ve shifted from nursery, to focusing on play room at this point. One you decide color scheme and main features, you can sift through pinterest pretty quickly. If you don’t have a houzz account already, I found that much more useful – pinterest is too much like a rabbit hole to me.

My point is that you can get by without a formal nursery. . . but I’m sure whatever you come up with will be fantastic. Good luck – but please keep coming up with yummy treats to share with us during the decision process. We all appreciate it!!


Lisa May 8, 2014

Angela – these look so delicious! I love the chocolate shell you layer on top of the fudgy bottom of the brownie. Talk about a chocolate lover’s dream come true! :)


Lauren May 8, 2014

Wow – these look incredible!! They look really similar to a brownie I had a few weeks ago from my favourite cafe – Wild Food Cafe (in London). Anyway this brownie was amazing and I have been craving one like it ever since so thank you for this recipe!! I will have to get making them soon!!


Tiffany L May 8, 2014

Those brownies look so good, though I’m not a fan of hemp seeds (there’s a flavor I just can’t get past). What do you suggest to replace the hemp seeds? Also, I made a double batch of your other brownies last night (the brownies 2 ways recipe–I made the first recipe) for a work lunch…and I tasted them this AM and they are so so so so delicious and decadent.

Not sure if you’ve seen the blog Young House Love. They have 2 kids now and have done blog posts on both nurseries/bedrooms…they may be able to offer some helpful DIY ideas. Not to add to the obsession, but I’m sure whatever you do will be fantastic.


Sara P May 11, 2014

Angela’s word should be the last one on this, of course, but I suspect you could swap in chia seeds, sunflower seeds, an almond/flaxseed combination, or walnuts, depending on what you like and what you’ve got in the house.


Samantha May 18, 2014

I was wondering the same thing about what to sub for hemp. What did you end up trying?


Susan October 1, 2014

Hello – I’m a little late in responding to this, but I just made the brownies and, so you know, you won’t taste the hemp seeds/hearts whatsoever!! I don’t care for their taste either, so you can trust me on this one! ;)

Thank you, Angela – it’s a really delicious recipe!!


Ellice June 11, 2014

I was wondering about something to replace the hemp seeds for as well, did you come up with something?


Katie May 5, 2015
Recipe Rating:

I just made these and swapped the walnuts for pecans and hemp seeds for chia seeds, but only 1/4 cup of chia. They are absolutely delicious! :)


Caitlin May 8, 2014

my belly would dance if i ate these, too. they look amazing, angela.

i think i’d be feeling the same exact way as you planning the nursery. i am such an indecisive person.


Abby @ The Frosted Vegan May 8, 2014

This looks like it is amazing! Those 2 layers instead of one?! I’m in!


Giovanna May 8, 2014

These brownies look amazing! I am making them for sure!
So happy to know that you are doing great with your pregnancy, good luck with the baby room!


Meg May 8, 2014

These look amazing! I saw that my local Bulk Barn is now carrying bulk cacao nibs and I almost had the happiest panic attack of my life!! I think this is the first thing I’m going to make with them!


Polly @ Tasty Food Project May 8, 2014

Wow, this looks heavenly! I can’t believe it’s raw and vegan!


Karissa @ Vegan À La Mode May 8, 2014

These look incredible!! As soon as I finish off my batch of the gluten-free brownies from your cookbook I will be making these :)


Emily @ It Comes Naturally Blog May 8, 2014

Mmm…Love the two layer thing you’ve got going on! Why go for one layer when you can have two?!


Jill May 8, 2014

Yum! And your evenings sound great (Go HAWKS!)


Trisha_K May 13, 2014

I agree – Go Blackhawks! And why are the games so late…? I can never stay up to watch a whole game. :(


Marie May 8, 2014

could we use carob powder or melted carob chips for this? Or is the cacao a “healthier” (or less processed) choice? thanks!


Baby June May 8, 2014

Those look stunning! Love how they’re raw, raw dessert recipes are always so easy and delicious, not to mention healthy enough for snacktime. :)


Alyssa // Runway Chef May 8, 2014

I’ve been a little hesitant to try a healthy brownie recipe, but these have definitely convinced me….I mean 2 layers of chocolate?! Yes please!


Tina Muir May 8, 2014

ooooh this looks wonderful! I move with my boyfriend soon and he hates chocolate things….so I need to get it out my system! These look relatively healthy for you too so I do not have to worry about it sabotaging my half marathon goals for a few weeks! Thanks Angela!


Dani @ The Life Aromatic May 8, 2014

These look amazing!!! Adding them to a list of vegan goodies for a party this weekend…


maria tadic May 8, 2014

These look so great! I love that they’re raw and only a few ingredients! I wanna add in some raw almond butter to the topping!


Averie @ Averie Cooks May 8, 2014

They look like winners! My very first ever post that I blogged about over 5 years ago was Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies made with dates, walnuts, cocoa, agave, vanilla…similar ingredient list. With raw desserts as you know, there’s so much flexibility. Just dump it in the food proc and see what happens :) Yours are perfect & pinned!


Librarian Lavender May 8, 2014

I love the taste of raw chocolate and these brownies are looking so good!


Allison @ Clean Wellness May 8, 2014

I love the lighting for this post’s photos. It’s kind of moody! Very cool. I don’t really like cacao nibs on their own, so sweetening them up with the dates is a great idea!

And my sister-in-law totally did the same thing with the nursery planning. I think it’s called “nesting.” There is so much cool stuff out there, I half wonder if I should transform my bedroom into a nursery!


Katie May 8, 2014

Hi Angela – any nut free brownie ingredient suggestions that would work well with this receipe?


Amy May 8, 2014

I made these immediately because I have really been wanting chocolate lately. I’ve never had a raw brownie before and these were absolutely wonderful and I enjoyed it tremendously! I followed the recipe exactly and I will definitely be making these again and again. Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe.


kinsey May 8, 2014

I am confused as to why the walnuts are listed twice. Is that a typo or supposed to be another ingredient for the 2nd walnut listing? These look great!


Ashleyy May 9, 2014

The large amount is for the base, they essentially get processed into powder. Then the second bit is for texture and chunks in the brownie….is how I figure it anyway!


Shelby May 8, 2014

Heading into the kitchen to make these NOW.


Laura May 8, 2014

These look absolutely amazing! Love raw desserts-the more chocolatey the better!


Mandy Dugas May 8, 2014

Hey yay! Two layer raw brownies!! I just transitioned into a raw diet and I think I might make these asap! Thanks for the idea Ang! Go food blogger go!

Mandy @

PS – I’m loving your baby page! If you have time get your hands on a copy of Joel Robbins book Pregnancy, Childbirth & Children’s Diets. Best read a healthy woman could…read!!


Stephanie @ Mr and Meatless May 8, 2014

These look delicious! I’m always looking for a satisfying healthy chocolate treat.


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