These thick, rich and chocolate-y brownies have a little secret – they are filled with zucchini and vegan! The best part is that nobody will know unless you tell them!
Can brownies be made vegan? Why, yes they can. Can vegan brownies taste like normal ones and still pack a punch of veggies? Absolutely!
These brownies were eye-opening. Not only were they vegan (note that I used normal butter in the frosting, but can be made vegan with vegan butter substitutes), but they also contained a ton of shredded zucchini! There were no eggs, no oil and no additional dairy products. Sound too good to be true?
Well, don’t just trust me. Trust the kids. I took these to a friend’s house after an afternoon of swimming, and I tested this out with the kids. We had a 3 year old and two 6 year olds eat this after dinner (plus 4 adults, including myself). Neither the children nor the adults left any crumbs on their plates.
I was almost positive that I would be able to detect the zucchini in the brownies – either visually or texturally but was proven wrong. Not a trace of zucchini was seen or felt. They seemed to just disappear. Poof!
If you still have a ton of zucchini laying around or simply want a fabulous, healthier brownie recipe, you’ve come to the right place.
Vegan zucchini brownies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded zucchini 1 large or 2 small zucchinis
- 3-5 Tablespoons water
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted (can use vegan butter if you're trying to make these vegan)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a standard 9"x13" baking pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together the applesauce, sugar and vanilla. Transfer this to the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until a few dry streaks remain. Add in the shredded zucchini. The batter will be very thick.
- Add the water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, to slightly thin out the batter. You don't want it watery - still thick but spreadable enough for the pan (I added about 3 Tablespoons of water).
- Bake in your preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is a bit springy when you touch it. Do not use the toothpick test - you will want these slightly gooey in the middle.
- While the brownies are cooling, make the frosting. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. If the frosting looks too runny, add more powdered sugar. If it appears too thick, add more milk (but only a little bit at a time). Spread it on top of the cooled brownies.
- Chill the brownies in the refrigerator in order to allow the frosting to set. Cut and serve once the frosting has hardened on top.
Can I use melted coconut oil in place of vegan butter?
I haven’t tried it but it should work. Please let me know the results if you do substitute with coconut oil.