Here we go, brownies, they seem so boring and normal and aren’t there a billion brownie recipes out there already? (This version from my girl Sarah has me wanting to try them next). Growing up, when my mom and I craved something specific, it was usually chocolate. Sometimes chocolate chips or a chocolate bar would do the trick, but I also have memories of a quick brownie box mix being pulled out, mixed up and popped into the oven for a fast batch of brownies. Boxed brownies do the trick in a pinch, but now that I’ve got a good amount of baking experience under my belt, I’ve found it’s worth the extra time to make a batch from scratch. So, it was time to find my own perfect brownie recipe, without butter or eggs. Impossible? No way!
Within the last couple of years of experimenting with vegan/healthy (er) baking, I’ve had a hard time replicating a batch of brownies that I really, truly enjoyed. Each batch either comes out too dry or too crumbly, not quite fudgy or moist (that word, I know!) enough and not deemed to be a batch worth wasting frosting over. I was starting to give up hope on finding a solid, easy recipe to crown with the ‘perfect vegan brownie’ title. Behold, the recipe that changed my mind! The frosting is modified from the vegan chocolate baking queen herself, Fran Costigan, and isn’t detrimental, but extra frosting never hurt anyone. Be sure to keep an eye on the brownies, over baking can cause them to become too dry and will lose that fudgy texture, so as a rule of thumb, I underbake my brownies just slightly to prevent this from happening. Happy Monday, here’s to brownies!
Cocoa Brownies with Chocolate Fudge Frosting
- For the brownies:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup coconut oil melted
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 7 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
- For the frosting:
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Pinch of salt
To prepare the brownies: Preheat oven to 350, grease an 8x8 pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat together the granulated sugar, baking soda, vanilla, and coconut oil. After all is incorporated, add the apple cider vinegar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and milk. Beat until mixture is smooth and pourable. If the batter is too thick, add another tablespoon or so of milk and beat again.
Pour batter into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Set aside to cool before frosting.
For the frosting: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together while mixture starts to thicken and slightly bubble, this should take about 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue whisking for another 2-3 minutes, or until frosting is thick. Let cool slightly before frosting brownies.