I love to bake, and I especially love to bake over the holidays. Since most of the traditional baked goods recipes are full of sugar, I am always searching for healthier versions of the sweet treats that my family loves. I recently made these Fudgy Avocado Brownies with Frosting (hear me out), and they were a hit!
They were extremely moist (and like their name, fudgy), and just the right amount of sweet. The avocado in the recipe replaces using any butter or cream, and you don’t even taste it. Instead, they create a creamy and chewy texture that is really good — Even my husband liked them, and he’s got a sweet tooth. What makes this recipe especially appealing to me is that it is paleo, gluten free and doesn’t include refined sugar or dairy. I just love showing my children that you can make yummy treats that are better for you.
When I made this recipe, I baked the brownies at night, and opted to frost them in the morning. I have to say, overnight the brownies settled, and became even better and more dense than when I pulled them out of the oven. I highly suggest letting your brownies sit for a few hours before frosting them.
I hope you guys like this recipe as much as I do! Let me know if you make them, and how they turn out!
Fudgy Avocado Brownies with Frosting | Yields 9 brownies
Recipe from Half Baked Harvest
- 4 Ounces Enjoy Life vegan chocolate chips chopped + divided
- 2 Ripe avocados pitted + skins removed
- 3/4 Cup coconut sugar
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla
- 2 Organic eggs
- 1/2 Cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 Cup almond flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon salt
- Cacao Nibs (to sprinkle on top, optional)
- 1/3 Cup real maple syrup
- 1/4 Cup coconut oil
- 2 Ounces Enjoy Life vegan chocolate chips
- 1/3 Cup cacao powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
- Melt 2 ounces vegan chocolate chips in the microwave or over a double broiler until melted and smooth. Add the avocado, coconut sugar and vanilla to a food processor and puree until completely smooth and no clumps of avocado remain. It helps to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.
- Pour in the melted chocolate and puree until smooth and combined. Add the eggs and process until the eggs are combined. Now add the cacao powder, almond flour and salt. Pulse until the mixture is just combined. Remove the blade and stir in the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate chips.
- Evenly spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the brownies are just set. DO NOT over bake or these will become cakey. Allow to cool before frosting.
- In a small sauce pan, melt together the maple syrup, coconut oil and dark chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cacao power + a pinch of salt. Pour the frosting over the brownies and spread in an even layer.
- Sprinkle with any desired toppings. Place the brownies in the fridge and allow the frosting to set 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Cut in bars and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.
I recently made these Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, and I am so excited to be sharing the recipe with you guys! They are a healthier twist on traditional chocolate peanut butter cups, and let me tell you, they taste amazing. They are just sweet enough to cure any sugar craving, but have zero refined sugar in them (which I love).
Aside from the fact that they are just plain delicious, this recipe also has some other great selling points: First, you can make and store these cups in the freezer for up to a month, making them the perfect last-minute dessert to keep on hand. Second, they require no actual baking — And it is almost impossible to mess them up, so anyone can make these! Finally, the recipe is paleo, gluten free and can easily be done dairy free and vegan by using vegan chocolate chips (like I did) — Making the recipe a great option to bring to a party, because it complies with a lot of different dietary restrictions.
Overall, this recipe was a big win! I feel so much better keeping treats like this in my house because I know that I’m feeding my family a dessert that is not processed, or packed with artificial flavors and sugar.
I hope you guys like these as much as I do! Please let me know if you try making them, and how they turn out for you!
No-Bake-Baking Chocolate Almond Butter Cups | Yields 12 | Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 Cup of smooth organic almond butter
- ½ Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1Tbsp of organic coconut oil
- 1Tbsp of agave syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Cup of chocolate chips, melted … I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- Place almond butter, coconut, coconut oil, agave syrup and salt in a food processor and puree until smooth
- Using a mini muffin tin (I used this BPA free one), place a spoonful of the mixture into each cup
- Evenly pour the melted chocolate on top of each spoonful of the mixture (so the cup is about half mixture and half chocolate)
- Freeze the muffin tin for 30 minutes until hard
- Using a knife, pop each individual cup out of the muffin tin
- Store your cups in the freezer in an air tight container
It may be hard to believe, but these delicious looking brownies are made of zucchini! I will admit, I was a little skeptical of how this recipe would turn out when I first came across it (vegetable brownies just don’t have an appealing ring to them), but they really did turn out amazing!
The truth is, these brownies don’t taste like your run-of-the-mill brownies … But once you get over expecting a more traditional dessert, they are really good! They satisfy your sweet tooth, and are super moist (surprisingly so!). Think of them like a yummy desert hybrid of traditional zucchini bread, combined with a fudgy brownie.
I also really like this recipe because it is free from white sugar, white flour and dairy, and is a healthier dessert option for my family. I served mine up with fresh raspberries, and everyone loved them!
Let me know if you try this recipe, and how you like it!
Chocolate Frosted Zucchini Brownies
Serves: 8 brownies | Grain Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Dairy Free Option
Recipe adapted from Rachel Masfield
- 6 tablespoons of butter (or applesauce if you prefer to cut down on the calories and make them dairy free)
- 3 organic eggs
- 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
- 5 cups shredded zucchini (squeezed really well in paper towel to get rid of moisture)
- 1 box of Simple Mills almond flour chocolate cake mix (or other almond flour cake mix)
- ¾ cup of coconut palm sugar
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking dish with butter, coconut oil or a non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and butter (or applesauce).
- Mix in zucchini then fold in chocolate cake mix and coconut sugar.
- Mix well until there are no clumps and batter is smooth.
- Fold in dark chocolate chips and bake in oven for 35-40 minutes (until toothpick turns out clean).
- Now begin making the chocolate frosting: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, mix together the chocolate chips, milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract.
- Stir until melted and completely smooth and creamy.
- Let the pan cool for about 15 minutes, you can also place in fridge to harden but I like mine smooth and more melted-like (it hardens easily!).
- Spread on top of brownies once brownies are done and cooled and enjoy!
- Brownies will stay good for 5 days or so in airtight container on counter or in fridge and leftover frosting should be stored in fridge.
Hostess tip for all you ladies entertaining this summer: homemade doesn’t have to be hard. Don’t over complicate things. It’s easy to get caught up in the baking, recipe creating, décor hunting, color pairing madness of holidays, but you know what? It’s summer. ‘Tis the season of family fun and casual holidays.
You can whip up a signature recipe or two and still have time to actually hangout with everyone that’s lounging in your backyard too, especially with a dessert like a classic berries and cream in a mason jar. Like a parfait without the granola or trifle without the angel food cake, this layered dish has a patriotic flair without any baking or prep mess! Here’s how it’s done:
Ingredients (for each mason jar):
– 1/2 cup strawberries
– 1/3 cup blueberries
– whipped cream mixture to layer in between (cool whip, store bought or homemade, + 1/8 tsp vanilla extract + 1 spoonful of plain yogurt for each mason jar)
1. Create whipped cream mixture by mixing the three ingredients with a spoon until blended and vanilla is distributed.
2. Layer cream, one set of berries, cream, and top with last set of berries.
3. Grab a spoon and enjoy!
Do you have any 4th of July staples?