4-Ingredient Easy Vegan Brownies

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Stack of easy vegan brownies made with dates and walnuts

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!

Cutting board with ingredients for making our easy vegan brownies recipe

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.

Food processor with ingredients for making easy gluten-free vegan brownies

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.

Food processor with vegan brownie batter with chocolate chips and pecans

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.

Parchment-lined loaf pan filled with a batch of our easy vegan brownies

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.

Batch of easy vegan brownies on a wood cutting board alongside ingredients used to make them

We hope you LOVE these brownies! They’re:

Easy to make
Naturally sweetened
Super chocolaty
& 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!

Stack of brownies for a simple gluten-free vegan dessert

4-Ingredient Easy Vegan Brownies

Incredibly rich, vegan, easy brownies made with just 4 ingredients and 1 bowl! Naturally sweetened, grain- and gluten-free, and so satisfying!
Author Minimalist Baker
Stack of three Easy Vegan Brownies on a wood cutting board
4.70 from 169 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 (Brownies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 5-6 Days


  • 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 peanut-free, I think almond, cashew, or even sesame butter (tahini) would work well here.
*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.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 brownie Calories: 215 Carbohydrates: 36.7 g Protein: 3.6 g Fat: 8.1 g Saturated Fat: 3 g Sodium: 46 mg Potassium: 405 mg Fiber: 3.9 g Sugar: 30.4 g

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My Rating:

  1. Darlene says

    Ì followed this recipe exactly as it was laid out. I didn’t add chocolate chips and used pecans and baked for 15 minutes. I used pitted plump dates. The taste and texture was spot on!

  2. Tracy says

    I just want to sit here and cry about how good these are. We are demolishing them around here. Also, cocoa powder matters. We ran out of our better stuff and had to use a less liked one. The better the cocoa, the better the brownie but still incredible with any.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, YAY! We’re so happy you love these brownies, Tracy! Thank you for sharing your experience! xo

  3. Becky says

    I am a HUGE fan of Minimalist Baker and have been for a long time. I’m so confident in the recipes I find here that I have been known to make a recipe for the first time ever for a meal for guests because I’m sure it’ll be fabulous, especially when it’s a very highly rated recipe. However, this recipe was a huge disappointment. It sounded like something I could whip up in no time with just 4 ingredients and no mess to deal with being a single bowl. I read the comments about if the food processor had difficulty mixing the ingredients it could be due to dry dates, pits in the dates, or food processor strength. I thought these were odd remarks since I’ve never seen it mentioned on similar date based recipes, but it didn’t worry me since I have a new huge Cuisinart workhorse of a food processor that has never so much as skipped a beat. I had a fresh new package of pitted dates so no issue there. This recipe completely bogged down my food processor to the point I was worried I would burn up the motor if I kept trying to get it to blend this. I put the batter into the parchment lined pan and put parchment paper over the top to smooth it down. Then I baked it, let it cool 10 mins, and took it out of the pan and put it on a cooling rack after removing the parchment paper from the bottom. There was so much waste of ingredients between what was stuck to the food processor bowl, stuck to the parchment paper used to tamp down the top, and stuck to the parchment paper that lined the pan. And in the end mine were thinner than shown in the picture and weren’t like a brownie in my book — in texture or flavor. It reminds me more of a date ball.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe, Becky. We hope the next one goes better for you!

  4. Nikki says

    These are a slam dunk! Mine came out super fudgy even after baking them a second time (still deelish). It would be good to in general to measure dates by weight because you can continue to pack more and more down into a measuring cup especially when they are very juicy – and that’s probably why mine are so fudgy and needed more baking time. The texture is still great after baking it more, just was difficult to shape in the pan and to try and cut it them before refrigerating.

    I didn’t have walnuts so I used pecans and that was a win. You also manage to get a hint of classic boxed brownie flavor from it as well. Bravo!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for the lovely review, Nikki! We’re glad you enjoyed them overall! For the dates, toggle over to “metric” underneath the ingredients header for a weight measurement. xo

  5. Shalini says

    This recipe is amazing! I was skeptical of no flour or vegan butter, but it worked like a charm. I did add Enjoy Life chocolate chips and in the warm weather, it keeps the brownies very gooey and fudge-like.

  6. Stacy says

    I REALLY want to try this recipe…but I have a question. I don’t care for my brownies to be too fudgy (to me that’s mushy…lol). Any recommendations on how to balance it?

    Thanks so much for the recipe, I have enjoyed many of your others and look forward to trying this. I was hesitant to ask this question, mainly because this is your recipe you are sharing, which I truly do appreciate.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Stacy, these definitely are a more fudgy brownie, so you might prefer one of our other brownie recipes instead! But you could try adding almond flour to these to dry them out a bit.

  7. Laurie says

    Very yummy and chocolatey!! I made them with almond butter and sliced almonds since we had no pb or walnuts. Very good and easy! Thanks!

  8. Sofia says

    Made these brownies and the taste is great but can’t get them to bake up, center is still super fudgy/ raw and I’ve now baked them for almost 3x the amount of time you suggested. I used a glass loaf pan. Any suggestions for getting them to actually bake and set? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sofia, these definitely are a fudgy consistency, but shouldn’t be unpleasant. Did you soak your dates? If so, making sure to drain well and pat dry is important for the right texture! Otherwise, using a metal pan would be preferable over glass. Hope that helps!

  9. sharon says

    Actually there are 6 ingredients plus water. A bit misleading but looking forward to trying them. Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sharon, The chocolate chips and walnuts are optional. We don’t include optional ingredients in our ingredient counts.

  10. Sherry says

    Have you tried carob powder in place of cacao powder? Just wondering because I’m allergic to cocoa and chocolate.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sherry, we haven’t tried carob in this recipe, but it might work. We’d love to hear if you try it out!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karen, blenders can have trouble with dates. Even with high-quality brands like Vitamix. If you try it, we’d suggest pulsing slowly to avoid overheating.

  11. Shalyse says

    Just a small note: they’re called 4 ingredient brownies, but I’m counting 5?
    Otherwise, looking forward to trying these!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, we don’t count water in the ingredient count, which could be the discrepancy. Hope you love them!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Andrew, blenders can have trouble with dates. Even with high-quality brands like Vitamix. If you try it, we’d suggest pulsing slowly to avoid overheating.

  12. Vicky says

    With 2 1/2 cups plus of ingredients, it seems like too much for a loaf pan. Wouldn’t an 8×8 square pan work? Or an 8” pie plate?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Vicky, a loaf pan works well for this one! But for thinner brownies, you could definitely try those pans. They may not need to bake quite as long. Let us know how it goes!

  13. tartanhabit says

    I usually buy the clam shell 12oz Del Real medjool dates. Is this likely to yield 2 cups do you know? They are quite pricey and 2 packs would be a bit much to spend on brownies so I’m hoping 1 would cover the amount needed.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, 12 ounces is equivalent to 340 grams and this recipe calls for 400 grams. You could definitely scale it down a bit by adjusting the number of servings. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We don’t think the texture would be the same, but let us know if you give it a try!

  14. Pat says

    I love this site and I have made so many of your recipes. Every time I meet a vegetarian or vegan I pass along your site. I know you have to make money for your time and effort, but there to manny Ads and imo downgrade the feel of your site. It took me 5 minutes to write this because of the page refresh for more Ads.

  15. Judy says

    I have been on the search for recipes that cut out as much refined sugars as possible and don’t sacrifice denying myself the occasional treat. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer I have been determined to eat clean & having recipes such as yours in my arsenal has made the transition that much easier. Such an easy recipe, delicious! Thank you 😊

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy them, Nicole! Thank you for the lovely review! xoxo

  16. Lacey says

    These are to die for! They are similar to another recipe I’ve been making for years, but are far better some how. I always replace the water with whatever coffee is left from the morning. I use salted almond butter and a healthy pinch or two of salt. And I put them in my mini muffin or regular muffin pan. More crispy edges! Seriously phenomenal!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Lacey!

  17. emily says

    These were delicious! I love dates so much. I made these exactly as written and they came out fantastic, and super super easy to make. Perfect brownie!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Emily. We are so glad you enjoyed them! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  18. Henri says

    Hey these brownies look amazing and eady to make!

    For Oil Free option.you say more Nut Butter or Applesauce but can I have the exact quantities please?


    Can I have the dimensions of your Loaf Pan please?

    Otherwise I have glass dishes of 5×7 or 9×6 and 8×8 Square Pan so what would work too please?


    Oven still traditionnal for Brownies?

    (Low and high heaters or only low heater? Because Brownies can burn quickly!)

    Many thanks!

    Henri 😉

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’d suggest 2 Tbsp additional nut butter or applesauce. A standard loaf pan is 9 inches x 5 inches or 8 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches. We’d suggest using the 9 x 6 or 5 x 7, depending how tall you want them to be. Yes, we use a traditional oven for all of our recipes. Enjoy!

  19. Renee says

    This was my first time making a vegan brownie, I am so impressed! The flavour is so spot on with a regular brownie. I’ll be making these again. Thank you!

  20. Emily says

    These are incredible! So quick and easy to make with ingredients I always have on hand. And they turn out just like soft gooey brownies! I’ve made these 3 times already in the last 2 weeks.

  21. Henri says

    Hey it is me Henri your french loyal follower!

    I already asked you some details for your other recipes

    Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart
    Raspberry Chocolate Tart
    Snickers Cheesecake

    And now I discover you Date Brownies and I love Dates so much!


    Im a huge Dates lover and eat them as a Daily STAPLE!

    I know ans have many varieties at home

    Some are perfect for Caramel or Creamy fillings..others for Cheesecakes crust base..

    And for your Brownies you recommend sticky shinny ones or Classic semi dry Medjool?

    I have some Sukari or Barhi no need water or soak them as they are so Creamy soft and melt like Caramel in mouth!

    But are most expensive of course…quality has a price!

    As you use 400g of Dates I need to choose the right one..


    Can I use a 10×8 Pyrex glass dish or a 8×8 square pan to make your Brownie recipe?

    Or a classic round Springform pan?

    I found those 2..one is deeper but can be used for your other recipes maybe?




    Possible to substitute obviously..in same quantity of nut butter?


    What do you use as oven function?

    Traditionnal Static (Low and high resistances) or

    Fan oven (Low and high resistances heaters + blower)?

    The fan oven more potent..need to be careful with Brownies, Pies crust ..


    What % CHOCOLATE do you use?

    Bars or Chips?

    Many thanks for your nice help!

    Henri 🙂

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Henri, we haven’t tried this recipe with sukkari or barhi dates, in our experience they are not as moist as medjool but we think sukkari might work if you can’t find medjool. If not using a loaf pan and using an 8×8 or larger pan, you would want to double the recipe or only fill half the pan. The nut butter is important here for achieving the right texture, we can’t guarantee results if you reduce it. The Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips we used are 69%. Let us know how it goes if you try the recipe!