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Fudgy Brownies

Fudgy but firm brownies with a crackly top and a melt in your mouth texture. Simple, delicious, and vegan!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword brownie, dessert, vegan
Prep Time - 20 mins
Cook Time - 39 mins
Total Time - 1 hr
Servings - 16 Squares


  • 8x8" baking dish or 9x13" baking dish


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or 1:1 GF baking blend)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or 1 tsp kosher salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or any neutral flavor oil)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee (can omit, but helps enhance chocolate flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray oil or grease an 8x8" baking dish. Cut a piece of parchment the width of the dish and long enough to hang over the sides. More information on this parchment sling in the blog post. An 8x8" dish will give you a 1 1/2" thick brownie. You can bake it in a 9x13" dish which will make a 3/4" brownie. I prefer the thicker one.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. In a measuring cup mix together the apple sauce, canola oil, vanilla, and instant coffee.
  • In a sauce pot, bring water and sugar to a full boil. Reduce heat to medium, should have constant bubbles but only in a few parts of the pan, and cook for 5 minutes. Bring back to a boil then remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. See blog post for pictures and more details. (If using an electric or glass top stove, remove the pan from the boiling temp burner and transfer to a cooler burner for the simmer stage.) Pay close attention to the cooking times and set timers for the simmer and cool stage.
  • Mix the wet ingredients and the warm sugar mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until there are no dry clumps remaining. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread and flatten. Bake for 40-45 minutes for an 8x8" dish, 35-40 minutes for a 9x13" dish. An inserted toothpick should come out mostly clean.
  • Don't skip this step.
    Once brownies are removed from the oven allow them to cool completely or at least most of the way. If you cut into the brownies before they've cooled they will be too gooey and fall apart. You can always warm them up a little in a microwave or air fryer, but they should cool initially. This also allows excess water to evaporate and the center to finish cooking while it cools.


See blog post for details on the sugar cooking step and the parchment sling.