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!

A hand is holding a square of paleo brownies above a cutting board filled with the remaining paleo brownies.

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.

A hand is removing the corner square of a paleo brownie from a group of nine brownies.

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.

A white plate is stacked with three squares of paleo 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!

Ingredients

Overhead shot of the measured out raw ingredients to make paleo brownies.
  • 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.

Four shot showing how to cut a piece of parchment paper to fit perfectly in an 8 x8 inch metal square baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the coconut sugar, salt, eggs, egg yolk, coffee, and vanilla.

Adding coconut sugar, salt, raw eggs, an egg yolk, coffee, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl for a stand mixer.

Whip on high (8 on a Kitchenaid stand mixer) until lighter in color and thick, about 8 minutes.

The egg and coconut sugar mixture that has lightened in color and has a fluffy texture after being mixed at high speed for 8 minutes in a stand mixer.

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.

Adding dark chocolate chips to a glass measuring cup with avocado oil, microwaving it for 1 minute, and then stirring it until it is uniform.

Next, sift together the cocoa powder and almond flour. Set aside.

Someone in a blue apron is sifting unsweetened cocoa powder and almond flour into a glass mixing bowl.

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.

Pouring melted chocolate chips and avocado oil into a stand mixer filled with paleo brownie batter.

Turn off the mixer and pour in the sifted cocoa and almond flour.

The sifted almond flour and unsweetened cocoa powder is added to the bowl of stand mixer with paleo brownie batter.

Mix on medium low until incorporated.

Paleo brownie batter in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.

Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and use a spatula to stir everything together to ensure the batter is uniform.

The paleo brownie batter after everything is mixed in properly.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

An Asian woman in glasses is pouring paleo brownie batter into a parchment lined square baking pan made out of aluminum.

Pop the pan in the oven…

Placing a square pan of paleo brownie batter into an open 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.

A square pan of paleo brownies is cooling on a wire rack.

Cool the brownie in the pan until it reaches room temperature.

An overhead view of a corner of a pan of paleo brownies cooling on a wire rack.

Then, remove the cooled brownies from the pan using the sides of the parchment paper and slice them into 16 even squares.

A chef's knife is cutting paleo brownies into 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!

A hand is removing the right top corner brownie from the rest of the cut up brownies.

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

Can you make these brownies vegan or egg-free?

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.

Can you make these nut-free?

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!

Can you use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer?

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.

Can you make keto brownies?

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.

Can you add nuts, chocolate chips, and/or flaky sea salt?

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.

How can you double the recipe?

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.


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).


Paleo Brownies

4.92 from 12 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Cooling time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 16
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!

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • 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!

Notes

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Keep a piece of parchment paper between the layers of brownie squares.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 191kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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5 Comments

    1. That would change the dry to wet ingredient ratio and I don’t know what the new measurements would be. It also helps create the fudgy texture.

  1. 5 stars
    These brownies are unreal. Wonderfully fudgy and soft. I brought them to Chinese New Year dinner, and even though they were the only non-traditional dessert offered, they were the first to go! I brought them to the next family dinner as well, and my aunt apparently took a bunch home and refused to let her husband or kids have any!

    Noting that I used Whole Foods 365 brand coconut sugar, and 200g was equal to about 1 2/3 cup, so I’m glad for Michelle’s tip to weigh ingredients instead of using measuring cups.