Vegan Zucchini Brownies Recipe: A Healthier Dessert Alternative
Learn how to make a delicious and easy zucchini brownies. This vegan dessert recipe makes a fudgy brownie thanks to the vegan chocolate chips. It is dairy free and doesn’t have eggs, so it’s safe for vegetarians and vegans, as well as those with food sensitivities to those ingredients.
My mom and I both love brownies and she enjoys baking them as a treat. Unfortunately, she now has to watch her calcium intake due to several health issues. Her physician has told her to avoid milk and other dairy products whenever possible. This vegan zucchini brownies recipe is a wonderful compromise. It allows her to still bake one of her favorite desserts without worrying about dairy content. It’s also a healthier alternative to the traditional brownies she grew up making, as there are vegetables hidden inside.
Vegan Zucchini Brownies
If you’ve ever had a garden or know someone who has had one, then you know that two zucchini plants can yield approximately 1,832 zucchinis in one season. That might be a slight exaggeration, but you will really have to get creative with zucchini if you don’t want to waste any of it.
This vegan zucchini brownies recipe is a delicious way to use extra zucchini, whether you garden or you stock up while it’s in season and on sale. If you’ve never had a dessert with zucchini in it, you’ll have to trust me on this. Using zucchini is the easiest way to sneak some veggies into a delicious chocolatey treat.
If you have picky kids, or even a picky partner, then make this while you’re alone in the kitchen the first time you make it. After your family declares how amazing these zucchini brownies are, then tell them that you put zucchini in it. They won’t let you make it any other way again!
Before I share my recipe on how to make zucchini brownies, I first want to answer common questions about making homemade brownies with zucchini as well as share several baking tips and tricks.
How Do I Make Sure My Brownies Are Moist?
There are several ways to make sure your brownies stay moist after baking. Here are some tips to make moist brownies:
- Don’t overmix your batter. Stir until it is just mixed and pour into the pan. The zucchini that you add has a lot of water content, which will help make this zucchini brownies recipe naturally moist.
- Use the right sized pan for the recipe. If you use a larger pan, your brownies may dry out. It’s important to spread out the batter into an even layer.
- It’s best to bake brownies in a glass or light metal pan. A dark metal can can retain more heat, which can dry out your brownies.
- Don’t over bake your brownies because this can cause them to get dry. Bake at the correct temperature called for in the recipe and for the time specified in the recipe for best results.
Do You Add Baking Soda to Vegan Brownies?
Most brownie recipes call for both baking soda and baking powder. They both work together to make the batter rise while it’s baking, which gives you a more cake-like brownie.
This vegan zucchini brownies recipe only uses baking powder. As a result, this recipe is more fudgy than a cake.
What Makes Brownies Fudgy vs Cakey?
This vegan zucchini brownies recipe is more fudgy than cakey. That’s because eggs, brown sugar, and baking soda all make brownies rise more and make a cakey recipe.
Since this is a vegan brownie recipe, we aren’t using an egg. Therefore, this vegan dessert recipe is naturally more fudgy than cakey.
Why Should I Use Zucchini to Make Brownies?
There are several great reasons to use zucchini to make brownies. They include:
- Zucchini has very little flavor, so it’s almost undetected in most recipes. It goes well with chocolate for cake or zucchini brownies because it almost melts into the batter and doesn’t alter the taste.
- The texture of zucchini is perfect for baked goods. It helps give some bulk to the recipe so you can use less flour while adding some veggies, thus getting more vitamins into your diet.
- Zucchini is high in antioxidants. It also aids in digestion and may help reduce blood sugar levels and improve heart health. Therefore, it’s an easy way to add extra nutrition and health benefits to your dessert recipes.
Do You Peel Zucchini for Baking?
There is no need to peel zucchini for baking. The shredded zucchini almost melts into this vegan zucchini brownies batter as it’s baking, and the peel is safe to eat.
You may see a few green flecks from the skin in your baked desserts afterwards, but for the most part they will be fairly uniform in color.
How to Shred Zucchini to Make Brownies
To shred zucchini, start by washing the zucchini and trimming off both ends. Then slice it lengthwise and scoop out the large seeds. Shred using a cheese grater or a food processor.
How Many Zucchinis is 2 Cups Grated?
Whether you are shopping from your garden or from the store, it’s important to have 2 cups of shredded zucchini for your zucchini brownies recipe. One medium zucchini is about 1 to 1.5 cups, so you’ll need two medium zucchini for this vegan dessert recipe.
If you have leftover zucchini, you can grate the rest and add it to another meal to sneak in more veggies. You can also freeze it for later to make zucchini brownies when zucchini is out of season.
Can You Freeze Shredded Zucchini?
Yes, you can absolutely freeze shredded zucchini. Most baked goods recipes call for 2 cups of shredded zucchini, so I shred it and freeze 2 cups in a bag. Then I can make this zucchini brownies recipe any time of the year.
When you want to use it, remove the bag from the freezer and let it thaw in a strainer. You want to let excess water drip through the strainer, but don’t squeeze out extra water because you do want some water to keep your recipe moist. You can freeze zucchini for up to 6 months.
Vegan Zucchini Brownie Ingredients:
The ingredients used to make this vegan dessert are a little different from your traditional brownie recipe as it’s made without dairy or eggs. Here are the ingredients you will need to make these homemade brownies:
- Coconut oil
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Cocoa powder
- Baking powder
- Shredded zucchini
- Vegan chocolate chips: You can use either semi-sweet or 98% sugar free vegan chocolate chips. I used 98% sugar free vegan chocolate chips as the are sweetened with stevia and have less sugar.
- Non-dairy milk: I used almond milk, however you can use another non-dairy milk per your preference.
How to Make Vegan Zucchini Brownies
Here is how to make dairy and egg free, vegan zucchini brownies as a healthier dessert alternative:
- Before you begin, preheat the oven to 375°F. Prep the zucchini by shredding it either by hand or in a food processor. Then line an 8″ x 12″ baking dish with parchment paper.
- Now combine the coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients.
- Next measure out the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Place into the microwave and heat at 50% power for 30 seconds. Remove the chocolate and stir, then reheat for an additional 10-30 seconds until the chocolate melts completely when stirred.
- Then add melted chocolate to the bowl with the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir to combine.
- Now measure out and add the cocoa powder and baking powder to the brownie batter mixture. Stir again to combine.
- Then follow with all-purpose flour. Add the flour to the batter little by little, mixing with a spatula as you go, until everything is well combined. The batter will be dry and crumbly at this point.
- Stir in the shredded zucchini next and mix well.
- Once everything is combined, add the almond milk or other non-dairy milk of your choice. Start with ¼ cup of non-dairy milk, adding up to ⅓ cup if needed. You want the vegan zucchini brownie batter to be moist, but not overly light.
- Now spread the brownie batter into your prepared baking dish on top of the parchment paper. Spread out the batter so that is evenly spread throughout the pan.
- Next, bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the brownies.
- Finally, allow the brownies to cool for 10 minutes. Then cut and enjoy.
- ½ cup Coconut oil
- 1 cup Brown sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups All-purpose flour
- ½ cup Cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking powder
- 2 cups Shredded zucchini
- 1 cup Sugar free semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
- ¼-⅓ cup Almond milk
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Shred the zucchini and line an 8″ x 12″ baking dish with parchment paper.
- Combine the coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients.
- Place the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate chips at 50% power for 30 seconds. Remove the chocolate and stir, then reheat for an additional 10-30 seconds until the chocolate melts completely when stirred.
- Add melted chocolate to the bowl with the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir to combine.
- Then add the cocoa powder and baking powder to the bowl with the other ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Add the flour to the batter little by little, mixing with a spatula as you go, until everything is well combined. The batter will be dry and crumbly at this point.
- Stir in the shredded zucchini next and mix well.
- Now add the almond milk. Start with ¼ cup, adding up to ⅓ cup if needed, so batter is moist but not too light.
- Evenly spread the brownie batter into your prepared baking dish.
- Then bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the brownies.
- Allow the brownies to cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 298Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g
This recipe originally appeared on Becca Ink.