For a while now, I’ve been wanting to make a brownie that is so easy that it can be made quickly, with minimal equipment, and with ingredients I always have on hand. I imagined the texture and flavor I wanted and worked backward from there. And friends, I can’t tell you how happy I am with the results! Let’s make ooey-gooey vegan brownies!
The base of this 4-ingredient, 30-minute, 1-bowl recipe is dates, which create the fudgy texture, naturally sweeten the brownies, and bind the batter as well.
Next comes nut butter. It’s less important which nut butter you use and more important how fresh and creamy it is. When you use peanut butter made with just peanuts and salt, you get a luxurious, creamy texture and it literally pours out of the jar. This is what you’re going for! If you’re peanut-free, I think almond, cashew, or even sesame butter (tahini) would work well here.
After nut butter comes raw cacao powder for rich, chocolate flavor.
Next is a little oil to thin the batter and make the brownies even more fudgy. If you’re oil-free, you could try subbing something like more nut or seed butter, or applesauce.
Once mixed, you can add optional ingredients like dairy-free chocolate chips and raw walnuts! I highly recommend an addition of some kind for texture and added sweetness.
After a short bake in the oven, these little gems are ready! Let cool briefly, slice, and dig in. The amazing thing is they’re delicious warm, room temperature, and cold. So store them at home or take them along with you throughout the day when you need a sweet, energizing snack.
We hope you LOVE these brownies! They’re:
Easy to make
& So delicious
These would make the perfect treat to have on hand when sweet cravings strike. They would also be delicious to share at gatherings or make a lovely gift.
If you’re into brownies, also be sure to check out our No-Bake Vegan Brownies with Chocolate Ganache, Peanut Butter Black Bean Brownies, Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies, and Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies! (Yes, we have a thing for brownies.)
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
4-Ingredient Easy Vegan Brownies
- 2 cups tightly packed dates, pitted (measured after pitting // make sure they’re fresh! If dry, soak in warm water 10 minutes, drain, then add to processor)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup salted peanut butter* (if unsalted, add a healthy pinch of salt to the batter)
- 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil* (if avoiding coconut oil, see notes)
- 1/3 cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips (optional // we like Enjoy Life)
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped raw walnuts (optional // or other nut of choice)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a standard loaf pan (or similar size pan) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add dates to food processor and blend until small bits or a ball forms. If your food processor has a difficult time processing the dates, ensure there are no pits in the dates and that your dates are fresh and sticky. If too dry they can have a difficult time blending. (It may also be an issue of food processor strength if it has a hard time blending.)
- Once blended, separate the dates into chunks using a spoon. Then add hot water and blend until a sticky date paste forms. Scrape down sides as needed.
- Add peanut butter, coconut oil, and cacao powder and pulse until a sticky batter forms. It should be tacky and thick (scrape down sides as needed). Lastly add chocolate chips and walnuts (optional) and pulse to incorporate.
- Transfer batter to lined loaf pan and spread into an even layer. For a smooth top, lay some parchment paper on top and use a flat-bottomed object (like a drinking glass) to press into an even layer.
- Bake on the center rack for 15 minutes – the edges should be slightly dry. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then carefully lift out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper and let cool on a plate or cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before slicing. The longer they cool, the firmer they will become.
- Enjoy warm or cooled. Store leftovers covered at room temperature up to 3 days, in the refrigerator up to 5-6 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month (let thaw before enjoying).
*If you’re oil-free, you could try subbing something like more nut or seed butter, or potentially applesauce.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.