These vegan fudge brownies are indistinguishable from traditional brownies: fudgy, chewy, and they have that signature shiny crackly brownie top!
Better than the Best Vegan Brownies
I first shared my original vegan brownie recipe back in 2018 after years of trying to create a vegan brownie recipe that could rival traditional brownies. While I'm still extremely happy with that 5-star reviewed recipe, I wanted to see if I could make vegan fudge brownies that were even fudgier, a little thicker and could be made without any special equipment. That's right, these new and improved vegan fudge brownies are made in one bowl and only require a bit of hand whisking - no mixer required!
When I started developing a vegan brownie recipe I wanted it to be as close to the traditional brownies I grew up eating. These aren't healthy brownies, they are made with sugar, vegan butter, chocolate, and flour, and aquafaba is used to replace the eggs.
This recipe uses both Dutch-process cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder in these brownies. Natural cocoa powder has a more intense chocolate flavor, often fruity and acidic with reddish color while Dutch-process cocoa powder, which is alkalized, adds a rich dark chocolate color and earthy flavor. In baking, natural cocoa powder, which is acidic, is often paired with baking soda, which is alkaline, as a leavening agent and Dutch-processed cocoa powder, which had been alkalized, is paired with baking powder. Because the amount of baking powder is so low in this recipe you can use just Dutch-process cocoa or just natural cocoa instead of combining them if you wish.
Along with granulated sugar, this recipe uses brown sugar to help give the brownies a fudgy interior. Brown sugar is made with granulated sugar mixed with molasses which is hydrophilic and hygroscopic, meaning it attracts and holds onto moisture. These properties help give the brownies a soft and fudgy interior. Light brown sugar or dark brown sugar also called muscavado sugar can be used in this recipe.
There are many vegan butter alternatives on the market now. In vegan baking I often use Country Crock Plant Butter these days. I used to used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks and both options will work well in this recipe. There are also culture and European style vegan butters that will work perfectly in this recipe. Oil such as coconut oil or olive oil will not work the same as butter and will result in a very oily brownie, so I only recommend vegan butter for this.
Vanilla extract brings out the flavor of baked goods, especially anything chocolate flavored like these vegan brownies. Don't skip the vanilla! Vanilla extract can be replaced with vanilla paste or the seeds scraped from a vanilla bean. Espresso powder is optional but it brings out the flavor of the chocolate. I like to keep little packets of instant espresso powder on hand in my pantry for using in my chocolate flavored bakes.
What is Aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the leftover and reduced cooking liquid from chickpeas or the reserved liquid from canned chickpeas. It is thick and gelatinous and can sometimes replace eggs in recipes. For instance, aquafaba can be whipped into meringue just like egg whites.
Aquafaba is the secret ingredient to achieve that elusive shiny crackly brownie top that most vegan brownie recipes are lacking. There is no need to whip the aquafaba and sugar first before adding the other wet ingredients, but it is important to whisk the wet mixture for a full 2 minutes to get a shiny top o
How to Make Vegan Fudge Brownies
Step 1: Make the Brownie Batter
To make the batter start by melting the vegan butter over low heat. Meanwhile chop the dark chocolate is using a bar or measure out dark chocolate chips or pieces. Add the chocolate to the hot melted butter and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
At this point stir in any mix-ins like walnuts or mini chocolate chips and save some for the top.
Step 2: Bake the Brownies
Spread the vegan brownie batter into your prepared pan with a rubber spatula. If you added mix-ins sprinkle the top of the brownie batter with the mix-ins you saved.
Bake them at 350˚F/175˚C for about 20-25 minutes until the top is shiny and crackly and a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
Step 3: Cool and Slice
Tips for Making Vegan Fudge Brownies
Weigh the ingredients
I always recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh ingredients when baking. It is the most accurate way to bake and ensures that you will get the correct results from any recipe.
Sift the dry ingredients
Since these brownies are made in just one bowl by hand, sifting the dry ingredients together into the bowl ensure there are no lumps of cocoa powder or leavener and makes it easier to combine the dry and wet mixtures evenly.
It can be especially hard to judge the doneness of brownies because they are gooey and fudgy. If you overbake them they can dry out and become more like cake in texture. You can tell when they are ready when the top is shiny and the edges are slightly puffed up and a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. All ovens are different so test them at 20 minutes especially if you want extra fudgy brownies. In my oven, they are ready at about 22 minutes.
Use a Thermometer
Because all ovens are different it is always a good idea to use an oven thermometer so you know the true temperature of your oven. They are inexpensive and widely available.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the leftover and reduced cooking liquid from chickpeas or the reserved liquid from canned chickpeas. It is thick and gelatinous. Read more about and learn how to make your own aquafaba from scratch here.
Can these vegan fudge brownies be made gluten-free?
Can they be frozen?
Yes, these can be frozen after they are baked. Once they are cooled and sliced, flash freeze the brownies on a sheet pan then transfer them to freezer-safe bags. They will keep frozen for about 6 months. Thaw to room temperature to enjoy.
What mix-ins would work well in this recipe?
If you like to add things to brownies feel free to add in mini chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, chopped walnuts or other tree nuts, or dried fruit like dark cherries or raspberries. I would add ½ cup of mix-ins to this recipe and save some to sprinkle on the top of the brownies. This brownie base is also great for swirling in vegan cheesecake filling or peanut butter into the batter before its baked.
For more delicious vegan chocolate desserts check out these recipes:
- The Original Best Vegan Brownies
- Vegan German Cake
- Vegan Chocolate Cake with Whipped Ganache Frosting
- Vegan Tahini and Dark Chocolate Scotcheroos
- Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cranberry Walnut Cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies with Mocha Ganache
Love this recipe?
If you made my Vegan Fudge Brownie recipe I would love to hear your feedback! Please leave a star-rating review of the recipe and let me know what you think in a comment below. This small act is a great way to show your support for the food blogs you read and love.
Please tag me in your photos on Instagram so I can see your creations. I might miss it if you only tag me the caption because those notifications fall off quickly, but I can always find it if I’m tagged in the photo itself.Print
This post contains affiliate links to ingredients and products relevant to this recipe. If you choose to purchase linked products I would earn a modest commission, which helps offset the costs of keeping Fare Isle going. Learn more about my affiliate policy here. Thank you for your continued support!