These vegan fudge brownies are proof that spectacularly fudgy, messily gooey, intensely chocolatey brownies can be made without butter or eggs. While they may not taste exactly identical to a traditional brownie—really, c’mon—they’re lovably delicious and even fooled several non-vegans.Angie Zoobkoff

Eight vegan fudge brownies on a marble surface.

Vegan Fudge Brownies

5 / 8 votes
These vegan fudge brownies, made with cocoa powder, and bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates, are proof that egg and dairy-free brownies can still be rich, fudgy, and oh-so-chocolatey.
David Leite
Servings24 brownies
Calories165 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time3 hours 35 minutes
Total Time3 hours 55 minutes


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar*
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chunks or chips*


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and adjust the oven rack to the lowest position.
  • Line a 13-by-9-inch (33-by-23-cm) baking pan with parchment paper, making sure there’s some overhang past the edges of the pan. Brush the parchment with oil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the boiling water, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, and espresso powder, if using, until well combined and the chocolate melts. Stir in the sugar, oil, and vanilla.
  • Using a rubber spatula, stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the surface is crackly and a toothpick inserted halfway between the edges and center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Let the brownies cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 hours.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: If you bake your brownies in a glass baking dish, cool them for 10 minutes in the dish, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

  • Using the parchment overhang, lift the brownies from the pan and let the brownies cool completely on the wire rack, at least 1 hour and preferably overnight. Seriously. We can’t overstate the importance of these brownies being completely cool before you dive in. And they’re even better the next day, so you may as well just resist the temptation and wait until tomorrow.
  • Cut into squares and serve. (Brownies can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.)


*What You Need To Know About Ingredients For Vegan Brownies

Following a strict vegan diet? Check the labels on your chocolate chips and sugar. Some chocolate chips have dairy in them. And not all granulated sugars are processed in a vegan manner (although to our knowledge all organic granulated sugar is vegan).
Vegan for Everybody Cookbook

Adapted From

Vegan for Everybody

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Serving: 1 brownieCalories: 165 kcalCarbohydrates: 33 gProtein: 2 gFat: 4 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 1 mgSodium: 76 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 22 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 America’s Test Kitchen. Photo © 2017 Carl Tremblay. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I’ll start by saying I am well-versed in vegan baked goods. My mother is vegan and a desserts lover, so we scour the internet for recipes and visit bakeries where vegan options are available. My ideal brownie is one that walks that line between fudge and cake with a good lean into the fudge side. I can say, without a doubt, THESE ARE AMAZING BROWNIES. Not amazing “vegan” brownies, just amazing brownies period. They are moist, fudgy, dense, and so chocolatey. And that crackly top! I honestly would put these up there on par with my top favorite brownies, vegan or not. Non-vegans taste tested these without knowing, and gave rave reviews. So just, make them. I’ll get off my soap box now.

I didn’t have espresso powder so I added one packet of instant coffee granules instead. Worked great.

I baked them for 35 minutes (next time I would pull them out at maybe 33 as at 30 they were too underdone but at 35 they were slightly starting to dry more—yes, I’m that nit picky with brownies).

I didn’t have vegan chocolate chips so I chopped up a 70% dark chocolate bar. So good.

As for servings, hard to tell as I ate 1/4 of it without issue in one day…

Rich, indulgent, intensely dark chocolate brownies with a dense chewy texture and a lovely crunchy lid. I cut the pan into 24 small pieces and they were a huge hit. I came home the next day to find my teen sitting on the couch with a container half full of brownies working on devouring the rest. These are perfect straight out of the pan or with a sprinkle of cocoa and a few raspberries on top.

I used semisweet chocolate as I was serving kids. If it was for more adults, I would use a bittersweet or dark chocolate for the chips.

It took me 15 minutes to measure, mix and get the batter into the pan. They lasted 4 days and the texture is still the same as the first brownie that came out of the pan. I had hoped to freeze some but that has proved unnecessary.

These brownies are as advertised—chewy, very fudgy, and super chocolatey! The only thing that would make them better is if they used 1 bowl. (Which I’m sure you could totally do. Shhh.)

Don’t let the veganness scare you. You don’t need butter or eggs to make nearly perfect brownies. You only need about 15 minutes to throw these puppies together, but they’re not for instant gratification since you do need them to cool before digging in.

And checking these brownies for doneness was a bit tricky. Every time I tested with a toothpick, it came out chocolatey. Could I be hitting a chocolate chip each time? After 37 minutes, I pulled them. The top was crackly and the sides were beginning to pull away. The pan cooled completely after 2 hours in the pan. I did let them hang on wire rack for just a bit to make sure they were totally cool.

First cut, I noticed how fudgy they were. Not bad, just not expected! They were really oily too. The oiliness subsided after a day or 2, but the fudgyness hung around. Four days is the longest they should hang around. They do stale a bit, but nothing that a quick zap in the microwave can’t handle.

I skipped the espresso powder and I missed it. I think it would do wonders for the flavor, especially since I accidentally used regular baking cocoa. The flavor isn’t terrible with baking cocoa, but I think the Dutch-processed would be better. I used bittersweet chocolate chips since I thought semi-sweet could be too sweet with all that sugar added.

These are keepers!

Who says you need eggs or butter to make luscious, darkly chocolate brownies? Not me. I would make these again in a heartbeat. They were fudgy (follow the directions on cooling these before eating for the best texture) and had just the right balance of sweetness and dark chocolate flavor. The next day we had them warmed in the microwave for just a few seconds and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (not vegan but delicious).

We will be making these again. I have some friends who eat vegan who will be thrilled to have brownies they can enjoy.

I used a blend of Dutch process cocoa and natural cocoa. It was what my store carried and it worked fine. The brownies rose slightly and had a great texture and flavor. My unsweetened chocolate was a thin bar–I broke it into small pieces with my fingers instead of chopping it. It melted just fine. I didn’t use the optional espresso powder.

Full disclosure: I can’t eat chocolate as it gives me killer migraines. My husband and son agreed to be my taste testers if I made the brownies. They took their tasting duties very seriously.

I read the recipe ahead of time, but somehow I missed the directions to cool the brownies for 3 hours. I saw that part when they were ready to come out of the oven at 8:30 pm. My tasters didn’t want to wait for cool brownies, so they ate them warm. I cooled them in the pan for 15 minutes and then moved them to a rack to cool (hoping they would be cool by the time we went to bed). After 2 hours the middle of the brownies was still slightly warm, but I covered them and went to bed.

The brownies had a thin, crackly crust on top (something I have never been able to achieve with from-scratch brownies). When they were still warm, the brownies weren’t very fudgy. They were closer to cakey with chewy edges. I was afraid I had overbaked them.

The next day the brownies were fudgier and darker in flavor–much improved.

I baked the brownies 30 minutes and a toothpick came out with thick, wet batter on it. I baked them another 5 minutes and tested again. The toothpick had less batter, but it was still batter and not really crumbs, moist or otherwise. The top was felt set when I pressed lightly with a finger. I decided to take the brownies out of the oven to not risk over baking them. I’m glad I didn’t bake them longer.

The third and fourth days after baking the brownies were a tiny bit drier on top and around the edges, but still fudgy in the middle.

This recipe produced a deeply rich chocolate brownie that pleased two of my most opinionated brownie consumers. They are strongly on the fudgy side of all things brownie. I wanted to try this partly to run it past them as well as to have a vegan brownie in my arsenal for where folks are especially pleased to see something vegan on the table—they disappeared!

Everything worked. If there is one small flaw, it’s just that you need to allot more time than usual for these to cool (and it is easy to miss that the cooling time is 2 PLUS 1 hours after you have pulled them from the oven). Even if you are a little impatient for the 3 hours to pass, they are terrific, but do try and give them the full time in order to make the neatest slicing you can without any falling apart.

I also found that since I gave them an extra 4 minutes (just under 40 minutes total) to get a clean toothpick test, the top was a little crisper, so careful cutting with a serrated knife might work best for clean cut pieces though no-one seemed to mind the imperfect edges.

I used all Guittard chocolates* and Medaglia D’Oro espresso powder. I think the espresso powder gives a nice backing to the intense chocolate flavor.

Although I do not think these will hang around very long (unless I hide some in the freezer), they were just as good on day two as they were the evening they were made. I plan to ration them with coffee for as long as possible! Any worries about the amount of sugar being too sweet were dismissed by the results and this is a large batch (13-by-9-inch and not your normal 8-inch square pan).

Guittard Rouge was the only Dutch-process cocoa I found, but is one of my favourite chocolates, along with Valrhona — if I am making something with chocolate, I want it to be really good chocolate!

Because I had to bring some to an event, I had to decide whether to cut a little early. They were lovely, just not as pretty. When I came home late that evening, it was easier to make perfect cuts.

No one should feel like these are a vegan compromise—they are an intensely lush, deep chocolate experience that should please anyone and worth using really good chocolate for.

These vegan fudgy brownies are the most fudgiest, richest brownie recipe I have come across yet. These are the ultimate “treat yo self” treat to enjoy either by yourself (we all have days where we don’t want to share) or with your friends and family.

Okay, I let it cool for like 45 minutes while I went and got a pedicure and immediately dove in ‘cause slightly warm brownies is heaven on Earth.

You could absolutely make 24 brownies with this pan, but being the woman that I am, I cut mine into 16 brownies. A bigger brownie was necessary for my sanity.

I started with 30 minutes of baking and when I checked at the end of the 30 it was still incredibly raw in the middle. I ended up having to add another 15 minutes to the bake time.

I’m currently eating a brownie a day post baking (nothing but dedication from me) and the crumb texture is still amazingly fudgy.

These vegan brownies have a delicious, rich, chocolate flavor and are as moist and chewy as any other non-vegan brownie I’ve eaten before.

I didn’t use espresso powder and I used 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (Hershey’s Chipits) as this is what I had on-hand. (They are not vegan.)

They were even better the next day. There won’t be any left by tomorrow by the way my family is tearing into them, I assure you!

This is a decent basic brownie recipe made with vegan ingredients. They come out moist, fudgy, and chewy around the edges–the most important attributes in any brownie, I think. You wouldn’t notice that they were vegan (as if that’s a bad thing); none of my co-workers did, anyway. But don’t be fooled into thinking that these are healthier than regular brownies; they have the same amount of white flour and sugar as any basic brownie recipe. I was quite surprised by that as I had anticipated all sorts of trendy ingredients.

I didn’t change anything in the recipe except to use a silicone pan. I can imagine these brownies being a lifesaver for those of us with the willpower to cut out anything from our diets (not me…) or with a food intolerance. After 3 days, they were still quite good. They were a little drier, perhaps, but still fudgy and chewy. I think it’s a decent recipe but not really anything special, evidenced by the fact that I made them 3 days ago and there are still some left. All in all, a good recipe to have in your arsenal for when you need it.

First vegan recipe I’ve ever made and it was a knockout! These brownies are amazing! Minimal effort = huge reward in a super chocolaty and chewy brownie.

I think the addition of the baking powder gave these brownies the perfect chewy texture to make sure you never miss the butter and eggs. The boiling water really helped to meld the chocolate components. I will be making these again and again…

Espresso powder was used (which really intensifies the chocolate).

These will not last more than 24 hours!

These brownies are a great option for a quick brownie fix. There is no melting butter or chocolate and it only uses a couple of bowls.

I didn’t use the instant espresso powder because I didn’t have it on hand, but I think it would have provided a nice depth to the chocolate flavor.

All in all, this would be a good back-pocket brownie that will please vegans and omnivores alike.

Was I skeptical about eggless, butterless brownies made with boiling water? YOU BET YOUR BEATERS. To my surprise, I turned out a dense, fudgy, crackle-topped panful of brownies about as close to the box-mix bake sale winners we all remember from classroom parties, high school graduations, and staff lounge coffee breaks the world over.

One sticky bit (literally): Don’t lose these delicious brownies to the pan! The oil is CRUCIAL.

These stayed perfectly gooey overnight. As I noted above, I didn’t find the flavor much different from non-vegan brownies. I skipped the espresso powder, and forgot to add the vanilla. It was easy to find semisweet chocolate chunks without milk; I was surprised.

These are everything they promise to be…! I love vegan cooking (but I’m not strict) and have always been a fan of vegan baked goods. These didn’t disappoint—they are the ANSWER to a chocolate craving. And they’re easy to make, too.

I’d recommend keeping to the longer bake time (I baked mine for 30 minutes and they could have done with the full 35, maybe more), and I also thought the amount of sugar was too high, but it certainly didn’t make us eat these any slower. They are simply irresistible. And they only got chewier and more addictive as the days went on. Our strict vegan friends fully approved as well. Will definitely make these again.

I cooled these overnight. I did not use instant espresso. After cooling overnight, these were still extremely fudgy and quite difficult to cut, but I did manage. Texture-wise: Day 1, these were soft and fudgy and just perfect. Day 2, same, maybe sliiightly more chewy. Day 3, definitely chewier and starting to get a little crisp. Day 4, crisp and needing to get eaten before they turned into hardened chocolate bars (however, caveat, I had these on a cake stand and did not cover them, so of course they dried out a bit faster than if I had).

The yield was 24 delicious chewy chocolaty vegan brownies.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. I followed the recipe with the metrics, and it’s incredibly cakey, even though i took them out of the oven after 20 min. What a waste of ingredients and good chocolate. Maybe this has only been with the volumetric recipe but still posted with metric as well? ugh.

    1. I’m sorry to hear this, Sarah. The ingredient weights came directly from America’s Test Kitchen, which is rigorous in its testing, as are we. If they were already past the fudgy stage at 20 minutes, I’d recommend checking to see if your oven is calibrated to the correct temperature. That is a very short cook time for these brownies.