Dairy Free Brownies

While I love to bake with butter, not everyone is able to eat it! These dairy free brownies are made with oil instead of butter, which make them naturally dairy-free and give them a deliciously fudgy texture.

It’s really a win-win for everyone! They’re so decadent and delicious that people can’t tell they’re dairy free. This recipe is adapted from Inspired Taste.

image of dairy free brownies stacked on a plate

What Does Dairy Free Mean?

Some people don’t know what dairy free means and panic when they see the eggs in this recipe. But don’t worry!! Eggs are not dairy. 

While eggs are an animal product, they are technically a protein!

When people refer to dairy, it really means milk or anything made from milk. This includes cheese, cream, butter and yogurt. 

The key takeaway here is that this recipe is that it doesn’t use butter or milk chocolate! It uses oil as its fat and allergen friendly chocolate that doesn’t contain milk products.

Making Brownies with Crispy Tops

I don’t know about you guys, but a brownie isn’t a brownie unless it has a crunchy top! I want a brownie to crinkle when I bite into it.

image of a dairy free brownie being held in the air to show how chewy and fudgy it is

That crackly top is basically a thin layer of meringue that rises to the surface of the brownies as they bake. The key to creating that meringue layer is to whip a ton of air into your eggs and sugar!

In this brownie recipe I whip the eggs on their own first, then whip them up with granulated sugar until the mixture is thick and looks almost creamy just like the picture below.

image of eggs and sugar being whipped together to make brownies with a crinkly top

This is definitely easiest to do with a hand mixer or stand mixer, but it is possible to do by hand with a whisk too! Just be ready to get a really good arm workout.

Using This Recipe to Make Gluten Free Dairy Free Brownies

I did one final batch of recipe testing to make these brownies gluten free and dairy free!

image of 3 batches of dairy free brownies made during recipe testing

You can swap in your favorite gluten free flour blend cup for cup in this recipe!

I personally prefer King Arthur’s gluten free flour blend, and find that 1/2 cup of GF flour weighs about 65 grams.

In addition to swapping the flour, there are two additional steps you need to take when making these brownies gluten free.

image of dairy free and eggless brownies cut into squares on parchment paper

Gluten Free Baking Tip #1: Overmix Your Batter

The first step is to vigorously mix your brownie batter for a few minutes once you’ve added in the gluten free flour to help give it structure. I know this goes against everything you’ve ever heard about baking, but over mixing your batter is key when making anything gluten free.

It will help the brownies rise better as they bake and give them a better texture.

image of gluten free and dairy free brownie batter being stirred

Gluten Free Baking Tip #2: Let Your Batter Rest

The second step I recommend is letting your batter rest for about 30 minutes before baking your brownies.

Gluten free flour blends can have a hard time absorbing moisture and fats. Letting the batter sit before baking it gives the flour more time to absorb all that goodness.

This helps thicken the batter, and prevents your brownies from having a gritty texture.

Substitutions & Swaps in These Dairy Free Brownies

This recipe uses quite a few ingredients and I know you might not have all of them on hand. Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered.

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe.

  • Granulated Sugar – The mix of granulated and brown sugar gives these brownies a crispy top and a wonderful flavor. However, you can use brown sugar in its place!
  • Large Eggs – If you have an egg allergy you can use 2 flaxseed eggs instead.
  • Flavorless Oil – You can use any flavorless oil in this recipe. Canola, vegetable, or sunflower oil would work great!
  • Vanilla Extract – The vanilla extract adds an extra little oomph of flavor and helps enhance the chocolate in these brownies. However, if you don’t have any you can omit this ingredient.
  • All Purpose Flour – You can use a gluten free flour blend in place of the all purpose flour in this recipe. Just be sure to use a good blend like King Arthur’s GF flour.
  • Baking Cocoa Powder – Use unsweetened baking cocoa in this recipe! Dutch-processed or regular baking cocoa both work great.
  • Chocolate Chips – Use vegan chocolate chips or chunks, which are dairy free! You can find them in the baking section of most grocery stores. I usually use the Enjoy life brand.

Doubling This Recipe

If you want to double this recipe, go for it! Simply double the ingredients and make as instructed.

I recommend baking a double batch in a 9 inch x 13 inch pan to help them bake through properly. Bake the brownies at 350 F for 25-30 minutes. They will be slightly thicker but just as delicious!

image of dairy free brownies cut and stacked on top of each other

Making These Dairy Free Brownies in Advance

These dairy free brownies keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. Store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

You can also freeze these brownies for up to two months! Freeze them uncut on a sheet pan until they’re firm to the touch, then wrap them in a layer of plastic wrap and then foil.

When you’re ready to eat the brownies place them in the fridge overnight, then unwrap and enjoy the following day.

How To Make The Best Dairy Free Brownies

  • Be sure your ingredients are at room temperature. It helps them mix together better.
  • Bake these brownies in a metal pan, not a glass pan! Glass gets hotter than metal pans. If you have to bake these in a glass pan, bake them at 325 F.
  • Really whip up your eggs and sugar before adding the other ingredients to get crispy tops on your brownies.
  • Chill your brownies before cutting into them! It will make them much easier to cut.
  • Use a warm, sharp knife to get clean slices. Fill a tall cup with hot water and drip a sharp knife into it. Dry the knife fully, then make a slice. Repeat with each cut and wipe the blade clean after each cut.
  • If you want to make this recipe in a 9 x 13 inch pan, double the recipe and bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes.
  • To make eggless dairy free brownies, use 2 flaxseed eggs.
  • To make gluten free dairy free brownies, swap in your favorite gluten free flour blend for the AP flour this recipe calls for. Be sure to overmix your batter and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this recipe for dairy free brownies, I’d love to hear what think of it!

Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment.

Other Recipes You Might Enjoy:

Yield: 16

Dairy Free Brownies

image of dairy free brownies stacked on a plate

These brownies are fudgy, decadent and dairy-free! They're made from scratch and use oil instead of butter, which makes them naturally dairy-free & gives them a delicious texture.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

Dairy Free Brownies

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature (112 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 1/2 cup flavorless oil (see notes above) (170 grams)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (2 grams)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (65 grams)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (33 grams)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (>1 gram)

Optional Mix-Ins

  • 1/2 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips or chunks (88 grams)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (62 grams)

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) and line an 8 inch x 8 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. Place 2 large eggs a large bowl and mix on high with a hand mixer or stand mixer. You can also vigorously whisk by hand. Mix for about 30 seconds until the eggs are foamy.
    3. Add in 1 cup of granulated sugar and mix on high for 1 minute. The mixture should get lighter in color and look creamy.
    4. Mix in 1/2 cup oil, 2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp salt on a medium high speed.
    5. Sift in 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup cocoa and 1/4 tsp baking powder.
    6. OPTIONAL STEP: Add in 1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chunks and 1/2 cup of chopped nuts if desired.
    7. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula. Once mixed the batter should be somewhat thick!
    8. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 21-24 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. In my oven the sweet spot is 22 minutes, but every oven bakes a bit differently!
    9. Remove from the oven and cool fully before cutting.

Notes

Making These Dairy Free Brownies in Advance

These dairy free brownies keep at room temperature for up to 3 days. Store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.

You can also freeze these brownies for up to two months! Freeze them uncut on a sheet pan until they’re firm to the touch, then wrap them in a layer of plastic wrap and then foil.

When you're ready to eat the brownies place them in the fridge overnight, then unwrap and enjoy the following day.

Doubling This Recipe

If you want to double this recipe, go for it! Simply double the ingredients and make as instructed.

Bake a double batch in a 9 inch x 13 inch pan at 350 F for 25-30 minutes. They will be slightly thicker but just as delicious!

How To Make The Best Dairy Free Brownies

  • Be sure your ingredients are at room temperature. It helps them mix together better.
  • Bake these brownies in a metal pan, not a glass pan! Glass gets hotter than metal pans. If you have to bake these in a glass pan, bake them at 325 F.
  • Really whip up your eggs and sugar before adding the other ingredients to get crispy tops on your brownies.
  • Chill your brownies before cutting into them! It will make them much easier to cut.
  • Use a warm, sharp knife to get clean slices. Fill a tall cup with hot water and drip a sharp knife into it. Dry the knife fully, then make a slice. Repeat with each cut and wipe the blade clean after each cut.
  • If you want to make this recipe in a 9 x 13 inch pan, double the recipe and bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes.
  • To make eggless dairy free brownies, use 2 flaxseed eggs instead.
  • To make gluten free dairy free brownies, swap in your favorite gluten free flour blend for the AP flour this recipe calls for. Be sure to overmix your batter and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 170Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 24mgSodium 91mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 1gSugar 15gProtein 2g

One thought on “Dairy Free Brownies

  1. Thanks for another allergen friendly recipe!
    Do you use any brown sugar in this? I didn’t notice in the actual recipe but you did mention a sugar mix above.
    Thank you!

Let me know what you think!