These Vegan Peanut Butter Brownies are dense, intensely chocolaty, oh so fudgy just like a chocolate bar. I dare you to stop at one!! The best part is that these chocolate brownies are egg-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and better for you too!
December is here and so is Christmas baking. Yayyy! So have you decided what will you make for Christmas?
Apart from cookies and brownies I am going to make this easy condensed milk fudge as edible gifts for my family and friends.
Honestly, Christmas is just an excuse for me to share this wonderful peanut butter brownies with you. This Christmas treat your kids with this wonderful version of brownies which are as good as the indulging ones.
This is one of my favorite way to eat peanut butter apart from smearing it on a piece of bread.
Like most other kids my son loves everything sweet. His never-ending demands of cookies and cakes always keep me busy experimenting with healthier and better versions of the same.
He loves these oats berry multi grain muffins for breakfast as well as eats these vegan banana chocolate muffins as after school snack. To sneak more veggies in his meal I make these healthy chocolate zucchini muffins too.
I am happy that these peanut butter chocolate brownies impressed him. I made it on his recent playdate and his friends ate it happily.
It’s absolutely true that healthy ingredient brownies always differ from the indulging ones.
It is very difficult to mimic the same decadence. But these chocolate peanut butter brownies come really close.
In my opinion, this brownie recipe is an absolute winner because it does not have all-purpose flour, the extra processed sugars or butter. Saying that it is still moist, fudgy and yum with no compromise on taste.
How do brownies with peanut butter taste?
These vegan brownies taste a bit earthy because of the ingredients used.
They are one of the best tasting better for you brownies.
It is a simple peanut butter brownie recipe with peanut butter hidden inside the brownies. It is not heavily frosted with peanut butter or swirled up.
These brownies have a subtle hint of peanut butter and not very overpowering with peanut taste.
So what is healthy according to you?
If you ask me then just substituting all-purpose flour with whole wheat or oat flour is not enough. What about all the sugar. As brownies have a lot of cocoa, the sweetness is equally required. This recipe definitely ditches a lot of processed sugar with raw sugar and agave instead. You can make these brownies sugar free but I prefer sticking to natural sugar when making for kids.
Ingredients for making Peanut Butter Brownies –
These chocolate brownies are made with simple ingredients.
Unlike the classic chocolate brownies, the ingredient list is healthier.
- I have used organic creamy unsweetened peanut butter instead of regular butter.
- All-purpose flour is substituted with whole wheat and oat flour. Multigrain flour works well too.
- I have swapped the whooping amount of sugar that goes into making a brownie with a combination of homemade applesauce, agave nectar, and raw sugar.
- These brownies get an extra protein & omega boost from flaxseed meal.
- I have used homemade unsweetened applesauce to make these brownies very moist. You may use store-bought apple sauce too.
- For a rich taste, I have made these chocolate peanut butter brownies using cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate.
- I may be biased towards using cocoa powder in my brownie recipes. But it works like a charm as you can see in this recipe for Eggless Brownies or thee delicious Vegan Hot Chocolate Brownies.
- As it’s the festive season, I have quickly decorated them as Christmas tree brownies with chocolate drizzle and some accents. The decoration part took less than 15 minutes. How easy and pretty is that!!
Steps to make easy Peanut Butter Brownies at home –
- Start by preparing the pan for making brownies.
- Brush the sides of the pan with oil and dust it with flour.
- Cut and add a round parchment paper to the base of the pan.
- Measure and sift dry ingredients in on bowl.
- Place all liquid ingredients in a blender to make mixing easy.
- I have used creamy peanut butter and very thick. So, I quickly blend the wet ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Pour that mixture over the dry ingredients and gently fold in with a spatula until smooth.
- You don’t need a whisk or beater to mix the batter because we want super fudgy and dense brownies. If you whip the batter it will fill a lot of air in the batter and they will turn cake-like brownies.
- Then bake it, cool it, decorate it. Tadaa, easy peasy Christmasy brownies are ready!
Pan size used to make brownies –
I have used 9” round springform pan
Any 8” or 9” square or round pan works great. The cooking time and thickness may vary a bit.
Brownies are generally made in a square pan. As I wanted it to be Christmas Tree brownies I used a round pan.
I have used a springform pan to make brownies.
If you are baking in another pan that is not springform, make sure you double line it with an overhang of parchment for easy removal as it’s done for any other brownies.
How to decorate brownies?
You can decorate it the way you want, so many possibilities, just be creative 🙂
You may top it with nuts, cranberries or extra chocolate chips.
For Christmas themed brownies I decided to bake it in a round pan and cut it in wedges.
Then drizzle it with green candy melts and add sprinkles.
I have used lollipop sticks, instead, you can use ice cream sticks, pretzels, candy cane too.
You can go for Buttercream as well – check out my Simple Buttercream recipe.
Please note –
I have used green Wilton candy melts chocolate to decorate these peanut butter brownies. But those are not VEGAN.
You can use a Vegan White Chocolate – melt it and add in desired candy colors.
Do not use gel colors, chocolate will seize, only oil-based candy colors work with chocolate.
Put some Vegan colorful sprinkles on top. Vegan sprinkles are easily available online.
Let’s start with homemade applesauce
I have used unsweetened applesauce. You can use store-bought applesauce or replace it with banana purée too.
A dash of cinnamon just adds so much flavor to applesauce, you will be tempted to eat it all just by itself –
Have a teaspoon or two when sweet cravings strike – Ahaaa so healthy and a great option to satiate your cravings.
Here is a quick recipe for homemade Applesauce –
For easy Instant Pot Applesauce method follow this link –
Instant Pot Applesauce (No peeling required)
For stove top applesauce method refer to the recipe given below
- 3 medium-size apples
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
- Heat water in a saucepan.
- Meantime, peel, core and dice the apples
- Once the water starts to simmer add lemon juice and apples to it. Add in cinnamon.
- Cover loosely and let it cook until softened – for 15-20 minutes on low-medium flame.
- Stir occasionally in between.
- Add more water if required.
- Let it cool down and blend it until a smooth puree.
If you have whole cinnamon spice, add it since the beginning and discard it before blending the apples. Lemon juice is used to prevent apples from turning black.
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy holiday! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow 🙂
Highly recommended healthy desserts for you –
Eggless Whole wheat strawberry banana oat muffins
Breakfast oats berry multigrain muffins
Vegan Banana Chocolate muffins
I hope you like this recipe and do give it a try. I would love to hear from you. If you have tried any of my recipes do drop in feedback in the comment section or on my Facebook page carveyourcraving in the messages section.
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Recipe of Homemade Peanut Butter Brownies –
1 cup size used = 240 ml.
This recipe was published on Dec 6, 2015. Republished on Dec 16th, 2019 with a better recipe.
Vegan Peanut Butter Brownies
- 1 cup / 140 grams multigrain or wheat flour
- ¼ cup / 30 grams oat flour*
- ¼ cup / 52 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup raw sugar *
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon / 8 grams flaxseed meal*
- 3 tablespoon warm water*
- 1 cup / 230 ml unsweetened applesauce* homemade or store-bought
- ¾ cup / 231 grams agave nectar
- 5 tablespoon /88 grams peanut butter *
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil* or of your choice
- ¼ cup water or more*
- Preheat oven to 350-degree F /180-degree C.
- Now create flaxseed meal gel by mixing 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal to 3 tablespoon water, keep aside for 5 minutes. It will turn gel-like.
- Sift dry ingredients in one bowl.
- Quick blend peanut butter, avocado oil, applesauce and flaxseed meal gel, agave nectar, water to form a smooth paste. We are doing this as peanut butter is quite thick and it's difficult to fold it in the batter.
- Now add the blended paste and to the dry ingredients, mix well with a spatula/ spoon until lump-free.
- Use the cut and fold method. Do not beat with a whisk or over mix.
- Taste test the batter and pour it in the prepared pan.
- Tap it gently on the surface and bake on the middle rack for 28-32 minutes or until the toothpick comes out with fewer crumbs and not batter.
- Mine was done at a 29-minute mark. Do not over bake. Let it cool on a cooling rack.
- Place in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight and then cut for clean-cut edges.
- Store in the fridge for up to 4 days .
- In the freezer for 1 month wrapped individually in cling wrap and foil.
- These chocolate brownies taste great straight out of the fridge, but tastes even heavenly if you warm it 15-20 seconds in the microwave and serve it with some ice cream .
Helpful tips to make the best peanut butter brownies-
- Use creamy peanut butter and not chunky one.
- We do not want a cake, we want brownies so just mix the batter with a spatula and not with a whisk.
- The batter is supposed to be thick, if its too thick ,add some water -1 tablespoon at a time. The reason being flour quality differs and absorbs different amounts of liquid.
- Do not over bake the brownies.
- Brownies are done when the toothpick inserted comes out with few moist crumbs and not sticky batter.
Pan size used to make brownies-I have used 9” round springform pan Any 8” or 9” square or round pan works great. The cooking time and thickness may vary a bit. Brownies are generally made in a square pan. As I wanted it to be Christmas Tree brownies I used a round pan. I have used a springform pan to make brownies. If you are baking in another pan that is not springform, make sure you double line it with an overhang of parchment for easy removal as it’s done for any other brownies.
How to decorate brownies?You can decorate it the way you want, so many possibilities, just be creative 🙂 You may top it with nuts, cranberries or extra chocolate chips. For Christmas themed brownies I decided to bake it in a round pan and cut it in wedges. Then drizzle it with green candy melts and add sprinkles. I have used lollipop sticks, instead, you can use ice cream sticks, pretzels, candy cane too. You can go for Buttercream as well - check out my Simple Buttercream recipe. Please note- I have used green Wilton candy melts chocolate to decorate these peanut butter chocolate brownies. But those are not VEGAN. You can use a Vegan White Chocolate - melt it and add in desired candy colors. Do not use gel colors, chocolate will seize, only oil-based candy colors work with chocolate. Put some Vegan colorful sprinkles on top. Vegan sprinkles are easily available online.
Nice recipe Kushboo, great.
Can I substitute agave nectar to honey. Pls clarify.
Yes you can Vidhya. I used to bake with honey. But there are researches that say to consume honey cold and not heated. So stopped doing so.
Hey Suzi , I understand your concern about honey. But I don’t know why it’s still widely used in cooking especially Asian. It’s used extensively in baking too. I have made a switch to plant based sweetners last year and so can you . Sub honey with agave or maple syrup. Thanks for stopping by.
Hi.. can these brownies also be prepared in the microwave using borosil glass dish instead of the baking pan?
Smita you can bake these brownies in the microwave on convection mode and not microwave mode. If using glass pan bake it at 325 deg f or 165 deg C .
I made these for my daughters birthday as favors . I got call from their parents praising how amazing the brownies were . Thanks a lot !
That’s awesome Mirella .A very happy birthday to your daughter. Thanks for a lovely feedback!
Wow , I have been looking for serious healthy brownies for my husband . He loved it. Thank you. Keep posting healthy goodies
Glad you both enjoyed them. Thanks for a lovely feedback
Made it , turned out perfect . Kids ate it all. Thank you for a wonderful recipe. Your recipes always work .Kudos!
Happy to know that, it’s indeed a healthy treat.
I have heard that honey becomes toxic on heating. Can you suggest some substitute besides Agave nectar?
is it , didn’t know , time to do some research. Wonder then why is it used by baker’s and cooks in Asian cuisine or in cakes and bread baking. Wondering how herbal cough syrups are made then and the entire world having herbal tea with honey in it . You can use banana or date puree. Experiment , it should work.
Very well written. Awesome recipie.
thank you Akanksha