Meatless Monday Challenge

30-Minute Dairy-Free Brownies

on July 12, 2022
last updated August 7, 2023
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These dairy-free brownies are chewy chocolate decadence, and only require 30 minutes, one bowl, and simple pantry ingredients.
stack of dairy free brownies surrounded by flowers

Want all the decadence of chocolatey brownies without the dairy-induced belly ache? These Dairy-Free Brownies are a chocolate lover’s dream, with rich flavor and chunks of dark chocolate chips.

With no dairy substitutes like non-dairy milk or vegan butter, these brownies are easy to whip up with common pantry ingredients, one bowl, and just 30 minutes!

dairy free brownies on a pink backdrop

Dairy-Free Brownies Ingredients

Here’s everything you need:

  • Oil. Vegetable, canola, coconut, or grapeseed.
  • Apple sauce. Plain and unsweetened.
  • Granulated sugar. Super-fine is my favorite!
  • All-purpose flour. Though all-purpose flour is much preferred in this recipe, if you wish to substitute whole wheat, you can.
  • Cocoa powder. Unsweetened is best, and dark cocoa powder will ensure there is no dairy.
  • Salt. You can also opt to add extra flaky sea salt on top!
  • Eggs. Just two will help bind the brownies together, lift them, and add extra moisture.
  • Vanilla extract. For a little extra flavor.
  • Dark chocolate chips. Make sure they are dairy-free by checking the ingredients–not all brands of dark chocolate chips are made without dairy!
applesauce, granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, dark chocolate chips, oil, eggs, and unsweetened dark cocoa powder

Dairy-Free Brownies Tips and Tricks

Cream Together Your Sugar, Oil, and Applesauce

The first step to getting a great consistency to your brownies starts with the sugar, oil, and applesauce. Add them to a large mixing bowl and use a hand mixer on high to cream together.

Continue to whisk for about 45 seconds to 1 minute to aerate the sugar, creating a light and airy base for your brownie batter.

adding sugar, oil, and apple sauce

Add Your Dry Ingredients

Next, simply add your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, and salt) and use the hand mixer again until combined.

At this point, you will have a very thick and dry batter.

adding flour, cocoa powder, and salt to brownie batter

Then Your Wet Ingredients

Next, comes the eggs and vanilla extract. It’s best to add the eggs last to avoid over-beating them. Overbeating can change the texture of your brownies.

Green tip: Look for pasture-raised eggs (over free-range or cage-free) to support agriculture that is less reliant on chemicals and fossil fuels.

It’s always best practice to crack your eggs in a separate bowl first to avoid eggshells in your batter, or even worse, a bloody egg!

Once you crack your eggs into the bowl, use your hand mixer once more, on the middle setting to integrate the egg and vanilla. Mix until just combined, leaving you with a thinner, smooth batter (think pancake batter).

Note: these brownies are dairy-free, not to be confused with vegan! They do contain eggs. If you’re looking for vegan brownies, check out this outrageously delicious and crazy easy Vegan Mug Brownie.

adding eggs and vanilla extract to dairy-free brownie batter

Add Half of Your Chips

Now, add just half of your chocolate chips into the batter and fold to integrate. Transfer to a 9×9-inch baking dish that is greased or lined with parchment paper. Use a spatula to spread the batter out evenly into your dish.

folding half of the chocolate chips into batter

Add the Rest On Top

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top to ensure the best distribution of chocolate chips throughout your dairy-free brownies.

adding more chocolate chips to the top of brownies in a baking dish

Storing Your Dairy-Free Brownies

You can store your brownies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days. If you still have some leftovers after 4 days, transfer them to the refrigerator.

In the fridge, these brownies will last up to a week!

You can also opt to freeze some to keep them fresh for up to 6 months. Simply allow them to thaw at room temperature before biting into one.

rose petals falling on a stack of dairy free brownies

Dairy-Free Brownies Frequently Asked Questions

Are brownie mixes dairy-free?

Some are! It depends on the brand. Check your ingredients for things like milk and butter. Dry mixes may also require that you add dairy to them (mostly milk), but you can opt to use a dairy-free option.

Can lactose intolerant eat brownies?

These dairy-free brownies are safe for those with lactose intolerance.

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Why You Should Make These Dairy-Free Brownies

  • They’re easy. Just one bowl and 30 minutes are all you need! Plus, no dairy alternatives are required!
  • They’re extra chocolatey. Between the dark cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips, these will certainly satisfy your chocolate craving!
  • The consistency. These lie somewhere right in the center of fudgy and cakey, with a chewy bite and dense chocolate texture.

If you’re loving these Decadent Dairy-Free Brownies and want more dairy-free desserts, check out these 4-Ingredient Banana Bread and Peach Cobbler Egg Rolls.

stack of dairy free brownies surrounded by flowers

30-Minute Dairy-Free Brownies

5 from 4 votes
Marley Goldin
These dairy-free brownies are chewy chocolate decadence, and only require 30 minutes, one bowl, and simple pantry ingredients.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 9 brownies



  • ¼ cup oil (vegetable, coconut, or canola)
  • ¼ cup plain unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
  • 1 pinch sea salt for topping ((optional))


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare a 9×9-inch square baking pan by greasing it or lining it with a reusable mat or parchment paper
  • To a large mixing bowl, add oil, apple sauce, and sugar, and use a hand mixer on high to cream together (about 45 seconds).
  • Next, add your flour, cocoa powder, and salt and whisk to combine.
  • Add your eggs and vanilla extract and whisk again until smooth.
  • Fold roughly half of the chocolate chips into the batter, conserving the other half to sprinkle on top.
  • Pour your dairy-free brownie batter into your prepped pan and use a spatula to spread the batter out to fill the pan. Sprinkle the conserved chocolate chips on top and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Option to add sea salt on top. Allow the brownies to cool before slicing into them. Enjoy!

Pro Tips

Course Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Brownies, Chocolate, Dairy-Free
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