5-Minute Espresso Walnut Brownies

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Stack of homemade Raw Brownies

I learned something this week: Cocoa powder isn’t raw, it’s cooked. Therefore, just because a brownie isn’t baked like these fudgy beauties doesn’t mean they’re truly raw. This is good to know.

Batch of homemade Espresso Walnut Brownies on a baking sheet

You see I’ve been learning a lot about whole foods lately. It all started with my stumbling upon Sprouted Kitchen where whole foods are tasty, and then ordering the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook. Since then I’ve been treating the thing like it’s my new foodie bible, because it is.

After that profound discovery came My New Roots, which I could rattle on about for hours. But for the sake of being concise, Sarah Britton is a whole foods genius and I want to shrink down to pocket size so I can ride around in her chef coat pocket and learn everything she knows about holistic cooking.

Think she’d mind? (OK, raise your hand if you think riding around in a little pocket would be super fun?!)

Espresso and dates for making our delicious Raw Brownies recipe

Sarah’s taught me a lot about food recently. How medjool dates are best, organic is worth budging for, and cocoa powder is not the same thing as cacao powder, just to name a few.

As Sarah explains, COCOA (koe-koe) powder is cooked which strips it of 90-some percent of its nutrients. However, raw CACAO (kuh-cow) powder is rife with health benefits like calcium, iron, and beta carotene. And it’s one of the top sources of magnesium found in nature.

So you see, cocoa and cacao are very different things, which is important to know if you’re shooting for optimum health like I am (trying to) these days.

Walnuts and almonds for making Raw Walnut Brownies

Unfortunately I was not able to get my hands on raw cacao powder before making these no-bake fudgy brownies, so they are not technically raw. But I have just placed an Amazon order for a bag today so the next time raw brownies appear on this blog they will be so healthy they’ll boast too many health benefits to count.

Oh goody.

But in the meantime, if you don’t have cacao powder you can make these brownies. And if you DO have cacao powder you can make them, too. Yours will just be healthier. But don’t go rubbing it in our faces or we’ll come and eat all your brownies. And how would you like that? Well, that’s what you get for gloating…

Coffee beans and a parchment-lined pan with a batch of our Raw Espresso Brownies

These brownies may not contain any butter, sugar, or flour, but they are some of the best I’ve had. They are moist, rich, dense, full of intense chocolate flavor and a hint of espresso. The walnut chunks make it, in my opinion, but if they’re not your thing leave them out.

I’ve already eaten half the batch since making them last week and have another healthy recipe utilizing them coming up later in the week so stay tuned. You don’t want to miss this ooey-gooey chocolaty treat.

Tall stack of our super simple Espresso Walnut Brownies recipe

5-Minute Espresso Walnut Brownies {No-Bake}

A no-bake, fudgy brownie that's refined-sugar-, gluten-, and dairy-free. Rich, moist, dense, and full of chocolate espresso flavor.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Tall stack of Vegan Espresso Walnut Brownies
4.88 from 48 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 20 (brownies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 2 Months
Does it keep? 2 Weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts (divided)
  • 1 cup raw unsalted almonds (roughly chopped)
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups medjool or deglet noor dates (pitted)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder OR raw cacao if you have it
  • 1-2 tsp espresso powder or finely ground coffee (depending on preference)
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Instructions

  • Place 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup almonds in food processor and process until finely ground (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Add the cocoa powder or cacao, espresso powder and sea salt. Pulse to combine and then transfer to bowl and set aside.
  • Add the dates to the food processor and process until small bits remain. Remove from bowl and set aside.
  • Add nut and cocoa mixture back into food processor and while processing, drop small handfuls of the date pieces down into the food processor spout. Process until a dough consistency is achieved, adding more dates if the mixture does not hold together when squeezed in your hand.
  • Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined cake pan or loaf pan and add remaining roughly chopped walnuts (1/2 cup as original recipe is written). Toss to combine and evenly distribute, and then press down with you hands until it is flat and firm.
  • Place in freezer or fridge to chill before cutting. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh. Will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks and in the freezer for at least 2 months.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate based on the lesser amounts of dates and espresso powder.

Nutrition (1 of 20 servings)

Serving: 1 brownies Calories: 120 Carbohydrates: 12.6 g Protein: 3.1 g Fat: 8 g Saturated Fat: 0.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 13 mg Potassium: 251 mg Fiber: 3.1 g Sugar: 8 g Vitamin A: 18.5 IU Vitamin C: 0.1 mg Calcium: 43 mg Iron: 1.4 mg

adapted from My New Roots 

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  1. Emma Darragh says

    These are divine! So easy, so quick. I’m putting the extras in the freezer to pull out when I need a chocolate fix!

  2. Kelly says

    Dana! HOLY COW AND OMGAH!!!! This is the best recipe EVER for brownies. I’m not even a vegan. First, I subbed pecans for walnuts (allergy). Added a little vanilla extract (habit). Didn’t use all the dates (2 cups) then didn’t add the extra nuts in at end (brownie overall had no as many ‘nut chunks’-just preference). For the cacao I could only find Hershey’s Special Dark Cacao they call it. Unfortunately it’s processed. I’ll go to Whole Foods next time for the real thing. My boys loved them and I can’t wait to make these for guests. Fifteen stars!!! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  3. Tess says

    Absolutely delicious! Made these for the family and everyone agreed they tasted like a cross between a rich brownie and a flourless chocolate cake. I assumed this would taste like a date/nut energy bar but it definitely did not.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gary, it’s pretty essential is this recipe! We have found that a blender doesn’t work well for the dates. It wouldn’t be quite the same, but you could possible chop everything very finely and combine in a mixing bowl?

  4. Carrie says

    Absolutely scrumptious and easy to make! I plan to make these for my family every week as a healthy snack. I increased sea salt to 1/2 teaspoon.

  5. Emily R Hylden says

    oh my goodness! I’d tried a similar version of “raw” brownies before, with bananas and almond butter in addition to all the stuff here, but found them cloying. The *simplicity* and perfection of this recipe is tops! LOVE IT.

  6. Sher says

    This is tasty, but it came out really really crumbly and did not hold together in a brownie-like fashion. Not sure what I did wrong, but it is definitely the tastiest crumble. :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work, but other readers have also used cashews or pecans in place of walnuts which will work as well!

  7. Anne says

    These were amazing!
    I did use a little less than 2 1/2 cups dates, but otherwise followed the recipe. They really hit my chocolate sweet craving!

  8. Lindsay says

    I always want to ride around in YOUR pocket, and have made so many of your recipes in the last year since discovering gluten, egg, and almond sensitivities and giving myself a self-inflicted food education. I’m happy to learn from you about My new Roots. My other go-to cookbook/website is Nourishing Meals… she sacrifices a tad of your good flavor for choices with more health benefits but accomplishes both well. That is how I found raw cacao, and I’m with you in the excitement for more vitamins!
    Since I am avoiding almonds for a sensitivity, should I try this with all walnuts??

  9. Jessica says

    These are so amazing!! I have made this recipe countless times and am always in love with it. I find it best to use the food processor just enough, and not go overboard, or they lose their good texture. I also add extra salt and coffee in mine to enhance the flavor. I usually keep a few days worth in the fridge, and freeze the rest. It’s supwr good frozen to; that makes it last longer than a few seconds in my mouth!

  10. MangoFoodie says

    These are so dang good I love them! Also I highly recommend warming a piece up right before you eat them, but either way is delicious:)

  11. Janis | CuddlingYaks.com says

    I’m begging you to pleeease include a cup to gram converter on your blog (or include both in recipes! :-o) – it takes me ages to find the correct weight, ratio, … especially for things like dates :-( BUT, I love the blog and recipes, thanks so much!

  12. Chris says

    I wonder why I hadn’t made these earlier! They are really easy to prepare and, well, really easy to devour! I agree that the walnut chunks, but also the salt, make them. I put the mixture in a 2lb loaf pan and managed to get 20 pieces. Next on the list is the banana cream pie! So excited. Thanks again Dana for sharing all these great recipes!

  13. Christina says

    I guess there’s no way to do this nut-free, huh?? Living with so many allergies (wheat, nuts, avocado, to name a few) and trying to eat healthy = tough work! These look amazing, though!

  14. Emilie says

    I would not describe this as a “brownie” at all! It is nothing like a brownie.

    However it is a pretty darn good nut/date bar and tastes yummy and fresh. I used pecans since I am allergic to walnuts and also cacao.

  15. Andy says

    Just made these! Better than any other version of brownie I have made in the past… I will use less coffee next time… Thx for the recipe, tucking this one in my bake book!

  16. Lanes says

    Made these brownies yesterday. Was dubious about the end result but they are really good – hard to imagine you’re eating something that’s quite good for you! I made mine with cocoa powder rather than cacao (!?!?) so might try the cacao version next time. I recommend these to anyone coming off refined sugar – they’re an excellent replacement.

  17. Heidi says

    These are the bomb…made them as a Valentines treat. Just wow. I did add a little vanilla extract and cinnamon, in addition to using freshly ground decaf beans.
    Again..,really wonderful. And I am a date-hater.

  18. Sarah says

    These are so easy to make. I used 3/4c of oats and 1/4c cashews in place of the walnuts and just used cheap dates adding water, olive oil and maple syrup until I got the right consistency. And a bit of vanilla extract.

  19. Joey says

    These brownies rule hardcore. The second time I made them I subbed pecans for walnuts and added a splash of rum, and they were even better. But what is it with raw foodists claiming to avoid processed food, yet so many raw recipes call for a food processor?

  20. Karen Costello-McFeat says

    Thank you so much for these delicious recipes. They have totally made my day. I’m on quite a restricted diet and was despairing of ever having any treats (or being able to invite anyone to dinner). I look forward to trying these out!

  21. Rishika says

    These were delicious although for me, I found the date flavour came through a bit. Next time I will just add more cocoa powder. They really were amazing for a no bake vegan brownie. Thank you so much for sharing!

  22. Georgia says

    I came across this recipe while looking up healthy recipes for my partner’s low-iodine diet and I must say this is a 5* treat!

    I didn’t have almonds in hand at the time, so I used whatever unsalted nuts I had at home, plus two teaspoons of freshly ground Starbucks Anniversary Blend coffee :)

    The result was perfect! Definitely a keeper, although I almost burnt my food processor trying to tame those dates but it was surely worth it! Thanks Dana!

  23. Zayaan says

    Hi there!

    Thank you so much!!! Tomorrow is Eid and I needed something urgently for the diabetics. My mother convinced me to used Safari pitted dates ( no moisture) and so everything was crumbly and very bitter. Also, my blender, mixer and processor broke while making this, lol. Eventually, I found Medjool dates but it was honey that made everything stick together.

    Thanks again, from your South African fan!

  24. Alex Loves Walnut Brownies says

    ohk.. so this is the website my girlfriend used to copy while making walnut brownis for me. When I ask she usually tell me its her own recipe. lier.. she just read this recipe.

  25. Jodi says

    I think these look amazing..I’d like to try to decrease the sugar and increase the fat..so I will use a flax egg and stevia instead of dates…and add in some coconut oil…..we will see how this works…..

  26. Laura Olinger says

    I made these brownies last week to bring into my yoga students and they were gobbled up after class. Big win!

  27. john says

    Cocoa powder and cacao powder is the same.
    What is considered “raw” cacao is suppose to be a cocoa powder that has been in a process that never exceeded 110 degrees Fahrenheit…which is already an almost impossible scenario, since cocoa beans are grown in the Equator, and you may exceed that temperature while drying in the patio under the sun covered with black linens (to heat it up and allow the fermentation of the bean)….and yes, you need to dry them, otherwise they will rotten in a few days, and the shell will be too difficult to peel off.

    Back to cocoa powder….
    ALL cocoa powder comes from the cocoa bean, which without the shell is called cocoa nib (a.k.a. cacao nib). The first step is grinding of the nib (which again, when you grind something to such small particle size you will create a lot of friction with -that’s right – heat!). That will give you the cocoa/cacao paste (a.k.a. cacao mass or liquor), which has about 50 to 56% fat (cocoa butter) in it…and ALL cocoa powders have to go through that stage.

    Next stage is to take some of that butter away, which the raw community claims can be done through “cold pressing”. For any that don’t understand that term, cold pressing is done with oils like olive oil to preserve the oil almost intact by cooling the press plates while applying pressure (pressure generates heat, therefore it needs to be cooled). But here is a reminder, olive oil is liquid in room temperature, cocoa butter is SOLID, and it STARTS melting at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit … so, you cannot control and cool it to a point where it will be still in a solid phase, because it cannot be pressed and “flow” out.

    Last operation is to grind the solids left in the press, again – heat…and there is your cocoa powder or cacao powder

  28. Robyn says

    I made these tonight & am now officially hooked! They’re really good & I think they taste like a fudgy brownie. I halved the recipe (since I know my husband won’t eat them) & I got 8 decent sized pieces from the batch. I will be making these again (& possibly without the espresso so my little one can have them, too)! Thanks!

  29. Audrey-Bean says

    I am kind of surprised these hold together so well–I’m glad I came across this recipe. These are good as a breakfast bar or healthy snack.

    Mine have barely a hint of sweetness, so it’s hard for me to consider it a brownie. It does look like a brownie but doesn’t resemble the texture or flavor of a traditional brownie.

  30. Monique Lorena says

    Have you tried this recipe or any of the recipes that call for dates with figs instead? I am definitely willing to try it myself, but I just thought I would see what your take it on it was, in regards to texture and taste.

  31. Meggie says

    !!!!!! I just made these, and luckily about half of the dough ended up in the pan, the rest I devoured. I’m BEYOND happy that I can share these with my family without the usual eye-rolls they dole out when presented with my vegan fare.

  32. Jackie says

    I was wondering if these taste similar to the brownie Lara bars? I’ve been looking for a healthy brownie recipe similar to this one, however I don’t really like the taste or texture of the brownie Lara bars. Before I buy the ingredients for this I wanted to know if they are similar?

  33. Ozum says

    Oh MY!! I just made these and they are delicious! I had a container of dates I needed to use so I used a little more dates than the recipe suggested. I also added more coffee. So good! Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can, but it will make them more moist, so maybe cut back on the dates a little OR add more nuts. Hope that helps!

  34. ishita says

    A TOTAL HIT. These are better than brownies, I’d say. NO GUILT.
    Can you help me with your recipes that have a shelf life of 15 days or more when stored in air tight containers on the kitchen shelf, please.

    Thanks :)

  35. Ellen Lederman says

    Yum! Love the way you tweaked the original with coffee, making it a wonderful mocha. Loved the healthiness of the ingredients.

    But—they were so crumbly. Maybe I spread them too thin in a 8 inch square pan? You just said to put them in a pan and press down flat…that’s what I did.

    Do you think adding some coconut oil to the batter would help? I try not to use too much oil, but think it’s okay and necessary to use some.

    Your blog is now one of my must reads! Love your writing and photos. And I’ve got to say—-you may not be a vegan, but you sure are vegan friendly!

    • Ozum says

      Crumbly means you didn’t add enough dates. The more dates you add the chewier they get. I added more dates so they are extra chewy.

  36. Marta says

    I’ve just made these and – unfortunately – brownies seem to be a little bit too “greasy”. Have I blended them too long? Or maybe something else? Anyway, they taste pretty good, though I had to use lots of paper towels to remove “oil” from the top and the bottom. Any advice?

    • michele says

      if you blend the walnuts a touch too long they will release natural oils, which is possibly what happened here (same thing happened to me when making a cake crust that had similar ingredients to those listed for these brownies) :)

  37. Brittany says

    These look great! However, you need to be careful with the medjool dates, they have a crazy amount of sugar in them, even though they say its “natural” … 2 and a half cups will send your sugar consumption through the roof!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      These are, of course, mean to be eaten in moderation as with any dessert. Thanks for the insight, Brittany.

  38. Jaimee says

    These are amazing! Dense and chewy, chocolatey and sweet. Just finished making my second batch (this week).
    :)

  39. Mycale E says

    At 8:45 last night I realized that the double batch of brownies that I made for a company BBQ were a oily hot mess. Into the trash they went, such a waste of great chocolate. A single tear slid down my face. Out of butter and out of cream cheese(shame on me), my choices were either run to store for more or find a substitue using the ingredients I had on hand. Dana to the rescue! These turned out beautifully and were easy to adjust to work with the just shy of two cups of dates that I had on hand. They’re rich fudgy squares of vegan happiness!

    Without the walnut bits, the coconut filling from your Oreo Cookie Pancakes would go perfectly with these. Boom! Chocolate Espresso Coconut Brownies

  40. suzie-kate says

    AWEEEESSSOOMMMMMEEE!! I’ll be trying these later! can i skip the coffee though? i’m off caffeine and not a massive fan anyways! what a lush recipe can’t wait to whip these up :) xxxx

  41. Claire says

    These brownies are delicious, especially with ice cream or whipped cream. Mine were a bit dry/crumbly, so the addition of moist ice cream was perfect. To keep it vegan, we ate them with soy milk ice cream. So good and easy. I kept them in the freezer for 2 weeks and they tasted great.

  42. Ashton says

    Super yummy! Hard to make with a food processor, (I had to use a Ninja blender with the food processor attachment…does not work the same) but it can be done. The brownies just have a different texture and you have to scrape the sides of the blender a lot and add little bits of water as you go.

    I omitted the espresso in favour of cinnamon (I was not shy on the cinnamon) and they are awesome.
    Thanks Dana!

  43. Mar says

    These look devilish delicious! Just as a suggestion, to avoid an extra step you could do step #3 first (processing the dates). Doing the dates before starting the brownies so you don’t have to take out the mixture and then put it back to add the dates.

  44. Jelli says

    Dana, I just bought a cacao pod at the grocery last week and am currently fermenting the beans in the sun to make cacao powder. I’d love to try making these brownies with it. Here, the pods only cost about $1 so it will be fun trying a whole bunch of new things with them! Thanks for the recipe.

  45. Holly says

    This is my new ‘go-to’ recipe for brownies! Delicious! I sprinkled a little sea salt and cocoa to the surface of the brownies after pressing them in. The salty-chocolate taste is uber delicious!

  46. Dawn Hall says

    OMG! These are so simple and absolutely perfect. I added a about 2 tbs of coconut oil to loosen the dates while processing…. I love not feeling guilty about these and getting good protein.

  47. Lindsey says

    I made these this weekend for a vegan potluck I hosted yesterday. The brownie flavor is spot on, they are delicious! I agree with the user above that the espresso isn’t a strong flavor; I may add more next time. I love coffee :)

    It was my first time using dates, and they nearly murdered my food processor :( Luckily, after the motor cooled down, it worked again. Should I have soaked my dates first? I see that a lot of date recipes say to soak them.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lindsey, good question. You shouldn’t have to soak your dates but if your food processor has questionable power, it wouldn’t hurt. Also, if your dates seem to be hard or aren’t as fresh as they were when you first purchased them, soaking them in a little water for 15 min – 1 hour will bring them back to life. Hope that helps!

      • Lindsey says

        That could have been the problem. I bought them just a day in advance, but from a bulk store where the bin isn’t sealed and they were quite firm. They probably just needed a little re-hydrating. Dates are new to me, so I’m still learning :) Thanks for your reply!

  48. Mari says

    I loveeeee this blog! I found you recently and I can’t get ober how much I love everything you make. Its helping me alot in making healthier food choices. One question…could almond meal be replaced for the almonds in this recipe? If so how much should be used? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks Mari! Glad you found us and you’ve been enjoying our recipes thus far. As for the almond meal question, I’d say add 1/2 cup then 1 TBSP at a time until you reach the right consistency. Hope that helps!

  49. Flora says

    you are my absolute favourite food blog, i just tried this recipe and its amazing!!! all my friends loved them and couldn’t believe it when i told them they were vegan, sugar-free and actually healthy! seriously the best recipe, i love that it’s so simple and easy. thank you so much!!

  50. Aura says

    I decided to whip this up for a visit with my sister-in-law in tomorrow. I soon realized I had only enough dates to make a half batch and worse they had dried out. Undaunted I soaked them in water for awhile then nuked them in the microwave in an effort to soften them. This worked… ish? It ended up taking over 30 minutes fiddling them in a magic bullet to get them chopped but I persevered! Then I realized my cocoa powder “may contain milk” (my sister-in-law is a strict vegan) so I used some vegan chocolate chips instead. The results taste A-MAZING!!
    Except I think the dates might have gotten too moist or maybe the cocoa powder would have helped dry things out because when I scooped the results into the pan it was more like pudding. Is that normal pre-refrigeration phase?
    Long story short, she just had to cancel so now I keep looking at the pan in the fridge and thinking maybe I should grab a spoon… but then I may never find out if they solidify in the fridge because I will probably eat the whole thing.

  51. Renee says

    The brownies look delicious! Great photography.

    ALSO: cocoa and cacao are the same thing. Cocoa is a british slang derivative of the original cacahuatl. Even though cacahuatl is only an approximation of what the natives of central america called the cacao seeds.

    AAAAND if cacao labeled “raw,” the term “raw” being unregulated, is not particularly raw at all. In fact, truly raw cacao is acrid and tastes like fermented socks. Even after fermentation (which can heat the cacao up and over 200 degrees Fahrenheit), the cacao, when unroasted, is not a tasty or particularly healthy treat. Unroasted cacao potentially carries pathogens/harmful bacteria which are usually killed in the roasting process.

    Also, cacao is generally only lightly toasted, and no nutrients are destroyed during the roasting process.

    Idk if it’s just David Wolfe’s “research” that got this whole raw cacao thing going, but please know: “raw” chocolate sold in stores is often exactly the same as roasted cacao, especially raw cocoa butter and powders.

    Sounds sneaky. Because it is. Ok, there are some people who really believe that the cacao they are using to make their “raw” products is in fact truly raw. But, seriously, they have never actually interacted with the raw product right off of the tree. If they had they would understand the challenges of making cacao raw and still edible.

    Thanks for letting me rant on this. I just think people should know.

    • Anna says

      Excellent, you anticipated my comment. I would like to add that minerals like magnesium and calcium are not altered by heat and do not disappear when heated. In general, exactly how much nutrients are lost due to heating, or in fact made available to us through the process of heating up the food is a complex issue. Raw is a good thing sometimes, and sometimes not.

  52. Maria says

    I’m on a diet, but I think I’m going to make that brownie – it will be perfect for my chocolate craving (and in the same way I will not consume so much calories)!

  53. meg says

    Love this! I have a persistent sweet tooth, and I’ve been looking for healthy ways to satisfy my after-dinner cravings. This is going on my short list of new favorite desserts!

  54. Ilana says

    Just made these for a ton of people- everyone loved them! Maybe would add a little more espresso next time, I couldn’t really taste it. And had a difficult time cleaning the dates out of my food processor- lots of scrubbing! But couldn’t believe how healthy these were, for next time, what espresso powder would you recommend? Love your site and recipes- I made your Vegan Apple Crisp tonight too!

  55. Mariam says

    I tried a small batch of these, just kin
    d of eye-balling it. Delicious! I tasted it before the espresso and salt and it was okay… Add the sea salt and espresoo, wooaah!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think this brand has been the best one I’ve seen so far, considering price. But I haven’t actually tried it yet – it just seemed to have the best reviews online.

      • Heather says

        I use the Navitas brand from Amazon as I am unable to purchase cacao powder locally. The Navitas brand is a superior tasting cacao powder, in my opinion. I’ve tried recipes calling for cacao, substituting cocoa because I didn’t have cacao powder at the time. Because of the cocoa’s bitterness, the recipe was overwhelming and I had to half the cocoa called for. I redid the recipe with cacao and the rich deep chocolatey flavor was right on. Cacao has a very rounded chocolate smell and taste to it. Cacao also tastes awesome in smoothies. it’s chocolate lover’s heaven! Even when I’m not making a raw recipe, I reach for my cacao powder first!

    • marie says

      Live Superfoods (www.livesuperfoods) has a very high quality raw cacao powder, and other products, at a really good price. Like it better than Navitas. Worth checking out.

  56. Jamieanne says

    I just made these yesterday as a healthier Valentine’s Day treat and wow, they were amazing! Even better than the real thing! Thanks for sharing! :)

  57. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe says

    Well you learn something new every day – thanks for the lesson! I love treats like this – very enjoyable without the unhealthy butter and sugar (but don’t get me wrong, I love butter and sugar). My food processor gave up on me last night (*sigh*) but as soon as it’s back in working order I’m going to give this recipe a try!

  58. The Belvedere-Alyssa says

    Just found your blog- what a great space! Such lovely pictures and recipes. We also live our life in a ‘minimalist’ frame of mind when it comes to cooking- nice to find others who share the same thinking!

  59. Kay says

    This is the yummiest treat I’ve had in ages!! I don’t usually have a sweet tooth but this made me want to gobble the whole lot myself. Even the texture was spot on. Thank you.

  60. thelittleloaf says

    Isn’t Sara’s blog fabulous? I didn’t know about the difference between cocoa and cacao powder – am now fascinated to try the latter!

  61. Michele says

    LOVE Sarah Britton! watch her ted talk :) she’s so stinking charming in addition to being just a wealth of knowledge. I love her.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks Jacklyn! So helpful. I was already familiar with oh she glows but will have to check out the other blog you mentioned. Glad I can bring a smile to your face :D

  62. Sarah says

    Have no fear of the dates! They taste almost like caramel when they are blended like this, and give raw brownies that perfect gooey texture. Great recipe!

  63. Mariam says

    These look good but I can’t quite get my head around raw bownoes made with dates! Luckily for me though I’m Arab so we always have a huge bag of Medjool dates, so I just might give it a go!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Mariam, I’m not really a date fan either but they don’t have a strong taste in this recipe. They just add a sweetness and “stickiness” to the batter so they’ll bind. Hope you give them a try!

      • Mariam says

        I actually bought a chocolate raw food bar made with dates and nuts just to taste and I loved it, so I’m really excited to try these and other energy balls made with dates!

  64. Kathryn says

    You’ll have to fight to evict me from Sarah’s pocket first! I feel like I’ve been learning a lot of similar things recently and I love it; it’s a whole new world and everything just seems so much more delicious. I normally make treats like these with oats so I’m super excited to see a recipe just using nuts. Definitely trying these!

  65. Averie @ Averie Cooks says

    My very first blog post 4 years ago was raw vegan brownies with cocoa powder, walnuts, dates, and agave. It was quite the gem from a food photography perspective :) But the recipe still works. Love your brownies!

  66. Susan Pantle says

    Looks like an interesting recipe. Not a date fan, but see how they could be good in this mixture!! Taking the date dive, will try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Susan, I’m not particularly a date fan either, but they’re undetectable in this recipe! They merely add a natural sweetness and “stickiness” to the batter so they’ll bind. Hope you give them a try!

      • montse says

        Hi!
        these are delcious but i can’t work out how they can serve 20- i can only get 8 thickish ones from these amount of ingredients…am i doing something wrong?
        Thank you!

  67. Stephanie says

    I just recently discovered your site and I am in LOVE with your recipes…ok…I haven’t actually tried any of them yet…but, they look amazing and THIS one may get made today!!! One question – what size pan do you “squish” them into? Maybe it doesn’t matter, but, just thought I’d ask.
    I, too, will be picturing you riding around in someone’s pocket today! My oldest son always wants to know what I would chose for my super-power and I always say “invisibility”. But, I may have to reconsider and chose “the ability to shrink or grow to any size”, cause that could just be fun!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Stephanie, the size of the pan depends on how thick you want them. If you want them to be THICK use a loaf pan. If you want them to be thinner, use a 9×13. Hope that helps!

  68. De says

    these look yummy and I’m not even a huge brownie fan lol the health factor could be what entices me about this. & I’ll always remember how to pronounce CACAO now thanks to this post :)

  69. Melanie Thomassian says

    Oh I love the edits you’ve made to the original. I have tried out Sarah’s recipe a number of times, and it is always a hit in my home! But, I like what you’ve changed and will give this recipe a go next time. Thank you Dana! :)

  70. Becca says

    Oh.My. If it wasn’t 5am, I would be ripping open my cabinet drawers to franticly grab all that is needed to make this recipe. My BFF gets into town today, so perhaps I DO have to run to the store in my skivvies to go pick up the dates (not pick up a “date” har har). Hopefully my stomach doesn’t take hold of my mind before I drop the kiddoes off at school. I am sure we will be sampling this tonight. Does this count as part of my January De-Tox? Maybe I need to push the whole de-tox thing to February. It IS a shorter month. PS: I also will be chuckling to myself all day about shrinking and riding around in a pocket.

  71. E says

    Kind of bummed that all the recent ones require a food processor!
    Student living means my fanciest tool is an imersion blender. These look rad though! Any tips on not spending a fortune on medjool dates?

    • Jacklyn says

      Try stores with bulk bins! I get mine at Bulk Barn (Canadian) for a fraction of what they cost at grocery stores. My last 2 trips to the store I have not been able to find them so I sure hope this doesn’t mean they have stopped carrying them!

      • Michelle says

        Costco has a pretty good size container of these dates 3.5 Lbs for $7.99. I use what I need and keep the rest in the freezer.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      E, you can also just get deglet noor, which is about half the price of medjool. Hope that helps!

    • Victoria says

      I just use ordinary dried dates, but I soak them in some hot water for a minute to pump up the moisture factor before draining and adding to recipe. Definitely a cheaper option and tastes just as good!