These dairy-free brownies are what your indulgent dreams are made of — dense, fudgy, perfectly sweet, and with the ideal crackly top. Melted chocolate and cocoa make them chocolate-y and rich, and pecans add a bit of texture.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Chocolate: this should be between 40-60% cocoa solids for the best texture and flavour in the brownies. Using a semi-sweet chocolate makes for the best crackly top. Most chocolate within this range won't contain any dairy products but it's best to read the ingredient list to be sure.
- Butter: use a good dairy-free butter in a block or stick form rather than one that comes in a tub. It's meant for baking and will have both a better flavour and texture (spreadable varieties can make the brownies greasy).
- Pecans: any nuts you like will work in place of pecans. Walnuts of course are classic, but you also can't go wrong with peanuts and chocolate!
Step 1: melt the butter and chocolate together over a double boiler.
Step 2: beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture.
Step 3: Add the sugars, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Whisk again until smooth.
Step 4: mix in the flour, then fold in the pecans (if using).
Step 5: transfer the batter to a prepared baking tin.
Step 6: bake for about 25 minutes and cool completely before slicing.
- Under-bake slightly: check brownies with a toothpick after 23 minutes. You want it to come out with some batter on it or else your brownies could turn out super dry. A touch underdone is best for maximum fudginess!
- Don't reduce the amounts: there is a lot of sugar in this recipe, but that's what's needed for the classic brownie texture and crackled top. If you reduce the sugar, they'll be dry and cakey.
- Cool fully: the brownies will be too soft to cut until they're completely cooled. You can, of course, eat them with a spoon right out of the pan if you can't wait.
It's important to use the right kind of chocolate. While you can use a darker chocolate, or even milk chocolate, note that it will change how to brownies look and taste. Semi-sweet baking chocolate is ideal, or a bar chocolate at about 50% cocoa solids. Don't use chocolate chips.
We haven't tried making this recipe in a brownie pan or anything except a square baking tin. You can use a slightly larger or smaller container, but note that the baking time will change slightly so you'll have to watch the brownies as they're in the oven.
Make sure the eggs and everything else is at room temperature. Cold eggs in particular can cause the chocolate to seize. To quickly warm up refrigerated eggs, submerge them in a bowlful of warm water for 10 minutes.
How to Store
Storage: once cooled fully, store the brownies sliced or unsliced in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Freezing: we like to slice them into individual portions, then keep them in an airtight container in the freezer. Frozen brownies will keep for up to two months. To thaw, simply remove from the container and place on the counter for one hour.
Are brownies usually dairy free?
Most brownies are made with dairy butter, but you can make your own dairy-free brownies and sometimes buy them from the store.
Do chocolate brownies contain milk?
Brownies don't usually use milk, but they do typically contain butter, another dairy product.
What makes brownies chewy vs cakey?
A chewy brownie will contain a bit more fat and a higher ratio of brown sugar to white. A cakey brownie might have less sugar overall and may use more baking powder.
If you make this Dairy-free Brownie recipe or any other chocolate recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Dairy-Free Brownies With Pecans
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl must be heat-safe
- Small saucepan
- ½ cup dairy-free butter
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup pecans chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180°C). Line an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the dairy-free butter and chocolate in a large heat-safe bowl.
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer over medium heat.
- Place the bowl of chocolate and butter on top of the pot of water (the water shouldn't touch the bowl).
- Let the steam from the water warm the underside of the bowl (double boiler-style) until the chocolate and butter are melted.
- Once the chocolate mixture is melted, turn off the heat. Whisk in the eggs, then add the sugars, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Whisk again until smooth.
- Next, stir in the flour until the mixture is smooth. Add the pecans and stir to combine.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and bake the brownies for 23 to 25 minutes.
- Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, then slice to serve. Once cool, store in the fridge.