Black Forest Brownies with Cherries and Coconut – Healthy, Oil-Free, No Sugar Added Chocolate Vegan Baking Dessert Recipe
Medium | Servings: 12 | Ready In: 70 minutes | Yield: one 9 x 9 pan
Chocolate, cherries, and coconut come together for a flavor twist on a classic recipe in these Black Forest Brownies. Oil-free and free of any refined sugar or syrups, these plant-based vegan treats are naturally sweetened with dates and banana. Make a batch of this kid-friendly dessert for something the whole family will love. If you like this, you’ll also love 5-Minute Chocolate Banana “I-Scream!”, Cherry Pecan Grain-free Granola, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana “Monkey”Bars,
- 1 cup (200g) pitted dates
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) warm water
- 3/4 cup (90g) whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup (60g) dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon (6.5g) ground flax meal
- 1/2 cup (114g) unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup (180g) ripe banana, mashed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened cherries
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flake
How It’s Done
Preheat your oven to 350. Line a 9×9 square baking pan with foil or parchment paper.
Soak the Dates: Combine the dates and 1/2 cup warm water. Let soak at least 5 minutes, to soften the dates.
For Whole Wheat Dry Ingredients: Sift together the dry ingredients: whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
For the Oil-Free Wet Ingredients: Combine the dates (and their soaking liquid), black beans, flax meal, applesauce, mashed banana, and vanilla in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.
To make the Black Forest Vegan Brownie Batter: Add the pureed wet mixture to the sifted dry ingredients. Add the dried cherries. Stir together until combined. Spread brownie mixture evenly in the pan. Sprinkle on the coconut flake.
Bake at 350, 50-60 min. Bars are ready when a toothpick can cleanly be inserted and removed. The top will also start to crack. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing.
Cut into 16bars and serve.
Yield: 16bars (9×9 pan)
Chef Katie’s Tips:
Freeze your Ripe Bananas: Save over-ripe bananas in the freezer: Simply peel, break into pieces, and store in a plastic bag. When ready to make this recipe, thaw out in your refrigerator overnight.
Weigh your Ingredients: For consistent results, use a digital kitchen scale for precise measuring. This small investment will save you time from fooling with measuring cups. It will also help make you a better baker.
Sift the Dry: It’s always important to sift together the dry ingredients for a lighter, fluffier batter. This is even more important, though, when working with whole wheat flour. If you don’t have a sifter, use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients and add some air into the flour mix.
Gluten-Free? Simply swap out the whole wheat pastry flour for a gluten-free flour blend.
No Refined Sugars or Syrups: I’m on a mission to avoid using sugar, maple syrup, and other refined sweeteners. These ingredients leave you feeling hungry and can spike a sweet-tooth craving that pushes you to overeat. For this recipe, whole foods, natural sweetness comes from unsweetened applesauce, banana, and dates.
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 1 g||2 %|
|Saturated Fat 0 g||2 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 153 mg||6 %|
|Potassium 192 mg||5 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 26 g||9 %|
|Dietary Fiber 5 g||19 %|
|Sugars 15 g|
|Protein 3 g||6 %|
|Vitamin A||5 %|
|Vitamin C||3 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Shopping and Gear List
- Sincerely Nuts Chopped Dates – One Lb. Bag
- Bob’s Red Mill Pastry Flour Whole Wheat – 5 lb
- Rodelle Organic Baking Cocoa Powder Dutch Processed 25 Oz.
- 8oz bag, Sunrise Fresh Dried Cherries, No Sugar Added, Dark Sweet Cherries
- Lets Do Organics: Organic Coconut Flakes, 7 oz (3 pack)
- Kirkland Saigon Cinnamon 10.7 Oz Bottles( Pack of 2) – 21.4 Oz Total