Sink your teeth into these fudgy paleo brownies! Made with just a few simple ingredients, they’re rich, moist, and bursting with an intense chocolate flavor. No one will ever guess that these brownies are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free!
Fudgy paleo brownies that taste like the real deal!
If you’re looking for a paleo-friendly brownie that tastes like the real thing, you’ve got to try this gluten-free brownie recipe! It’s inspired by Stella Park’s glossy fudge brownies, which honestly may be the best brownies ever. But don’t worry, I’ve made some smart swaps to render them gluten-free and refined sugar-free—all without sacrificing any flavor or texture.
Specifically, I used almond flour instead of all-purpose flour, avocado oil instead of brown butter, keto chocolate chips sweetened with coconut sugar instead of regular chocolate chips, and coconut sugar to replace the white sugar in these gluten-free brownies.
The result? A batch of rich, moist, and super-chocolatey brownies that even have a shiny top! They’re so good, even my non-paleo friends (a.k.a. the “normies”) devoured them and asked for seconds. Trust me, you won’t regret making these brownies!
Tips for how to make these paleo brownies
- Weigh the ingredients on a kitchen scale! When dry ingredients are measured using measuring cups, the yield is always inconsistent—so the best way to make sure you get perfect baked goods is to weigh the ingredients using a kitchen scale. My baking recipes always have the ingredient weights listed in the recipe card below—just hit the metric button!
- Beat the eggs and coconut sugar until fluffy! Whipping the eggs and sugar on high speed in a stand mixer for at least 8 minutes ensures that the sugar is fully dissolved in the batter, ensuring a shiny top and a fudgy center to your brownies!
- Don’t skimp on the cocoa! The main ingredient that gives this paleo brownie recipe a rich, chocolatey flavor is a large amount of unsweetened cocoa. I like using Dutch processed cocoa and I sift it, along with the almond flour, to remove any lumps.
- Bake the brownies in a metal pan! To ensure even baking, I use this 8 x 8-inch square metal pan. If you use a glass pan, your brownies may take longer to bake and they won’t brown as evenly!
- Blanched and finely ground almond flour: Almond flour gives these brownies a richness and nuttiness that is unbeatable. Note that I said almond flour and not almond meal. Don’t use almond meal in this recipe; it’s too coarse and your brownies will have the wrong texture. If you want nut-free brownies, you can substitute a similar amount (in grams) of cassava flour for the almond flour. However, the cassava flour version won’t be quite as moist and it won’t develop as shiny a top.
- Dutch process cocoa powder: My favorite brand is Guittard Unsweetened Rouge Cocoa Powder. It can be kinda lumpy, so make sure you sift it!
- 70% dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips: My current favorite dark chocolate chips are the coconut sugar sweetened 72% cacao Guittard Sante chocolate chips.
- Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar gives these brownies a mellow brown sugar vibe. You can also use granulated maple sugar if you want. And no, I wouldn’t use maple syrup or honey because you’ll have to adjust the amount and account for the additional liquid.
- Avocado oil: To keep these dairy-free, I use avocado oil in place of butter. However, the brownie tops don’t get as crackly as with butter. If you don’t want to use avocado oil, you can substitute refined coconut oil or ghee.
- Eggs: For this recipe, I use 2 large eggs plus a large egg yolk to add richness and to bind everything together. This recipe won’t work properly without ’em!
- Coffee: I use 2 tablespoons of store-bought Chameleon Cold Brew coffee, but feel free to use whatever you brew in the morning. If you leave out the coffee, increase the total amount of eggs to 3 (no extra yolk) or add 2 tablespoons of water. You can also add 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder + 2 tablespoons of water.
- Vanilla extract
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt: Every dessert recipe needs a smidge of salt to balance the sweetness.
How to make paleo brownies
Heat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle. Line an 8 x 8-inch metal square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the coconut sugar, salt, eggs, egg yolk, coffee, and vanilla.
Whip on high (8 on a Kitchenaid stand mixer) until lighter in color and thick, about 8 minutes.
While the batter is mixing, combine the avocado oil and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup.
Then, microwave the chocolate chips and oil on high for 1 minute and whisk well until smooth. Set aside.
Next, sift together the cocoa powder and almond flour. Set aside.
When the egg and sugar mixture is finished mixing, reduce the mixer speed to low and pour in the melted chocolate and avocado oil mixture. Increase the speed to medium low and mix until combined.
Turn off the mixer and pour in the sifted cocoa and almond flour.
Mix on medium low until incorporated.
Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and use a spatula to stir everything together to ensure the batter is uniform.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Pop the pan in the oven…
…and bake the brownies for about 27 to 30 minutes or until the tops are shiny and a toothpick inserted into the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. You can also check that the internal temperature is 205°F (96°C) on an instant read thermometer.
Cool the brownie in the pan until it reaches room temperature.
Then, remove the cooled brownies from the pan using the sides of the parchment paper and slice them into 16 even squares.
Psst! I know the photos show me cutting the brownies into nine squares to make them look pretty in photos, but they’re incredibly rich and satisfying, so cutting them into 16 squares results in the perfect serving size!
Brownie storage instructions
Store the almond flour brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Keep a piece of parchment paper between the layers of brownie squares.
Frequently asked questions
I haven’t tried an egg-free version but I don’t think this brownie batter will work without them. If you end up using flax eggs or another egg substitute with success, please let me know in the comments below.
Yes! I have substituted cassava flour for the almond flour weight for weight and it works. The resulting brownies are not quite as shiny on top and the texture is not quite as moist, but it still tastes great!
Sure! However, you do need to hold the hand mixer in place for at least 8 minutes so the eggs and sugar get to the proper fluffy consistency.
Yes! I made a test batch substituting 1¼ cups ( 264 grams) granulated allulose in place of the coconut sugar and it turned out great! I haven’t tried erythritol or stevia so I’m not sure how those would work.
Yes! I personally prefer these brownies without any mix-ins, but feel free to add about ¾ cup toasted walnuts, toasted pecans, or chocolate chips! If you want to add flaky sea salt, sprinkle some on top after the brownie has cooled to room temperature.
You can double the ingredients and bake it in a metal 9 x 13-inch baking dish for the same amount of time, 27 to 30 minutes.
More paleo chocolate dessert recipes
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).
- Heat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle. Line an 8 x 8-inch metal square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the coconut sugar, salt, eggs, egg yolk, coffee, and vanilla. Whip on high speed (8 on a Kitchenaid stand mixer) until lighter in color and thickened, about 8 minutes.
- While the batter is mixing, combine the avocado oil and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl of measuring cup. Microwave the chocolate chips and oil on high for 1 minute and whisk well until smooth. Set aside.
- Next, sift together the cocoa powder and almond flour. Set aside.
- When the egg and sugar mixture is finished mixing, reduce the mixer speed to low and pour in the melted chocolate and avocado oil mixture. Increase the speed to medium low and mix until combined.
- Turn off the mixer and pour in the sifted cocoa and almond flour. Mix on medium low until incorporated.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and use a spatula to stir everything together to ensure the batter is uniform.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 27 to 30 minutes or until the tops are shiny and crackly and a toothpick inserted into the batter comes out with a few crumbs on it. You can also check that the internal temperature is 205°F (96°C) on an instant read thermometer.
- Cool the brownie in the pan until room temperature. Once cooled, use the parchment paper on the sides of the pan to remove the brownies onto a cutting board. Cut the brownies into 16 even squares and serve!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.