Vegan date brownies were the very first dessert that I made when I became vegan. They also helped inspire the name of this blog, and many date-sweetened desserts that followed! You really need to try them to believe how good they are - decadent and rich without using flour or processed sugar.
📖 Recipe Overview
- Made With Only 7 Wholesome Ingredients - They're made using simple plant-based ingredients, a lot of which may already live in your pantry! They're also naturally gluten-free and grain-free.
- No Baking & No Oven Needed - There's no risk of burning your brownies with this simple recipe. The food processor pretty much does all the work for you.
- Fudgy & Rich Consistency - Using ingredients like nut butter and juicy medjool dates keeps these brownies rich and moist without eggs, butter, or oil.
- Customizable - You can top these vegan brownies with any frosting you like, or switch up the flavors according to your taste and dietary preferences.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
You only need a handful of simple ingredients to make my no-bake vegan brownie recipe. Here’s what to grab:
- Medjool Dates - Use plump fresh dates if you can, I run through how to select the best dates possible in my chocolate dates recipe.
- Walnuts - These add some healthy fats and richness to the brownies.
- Hazelnut Butter - You can use storebought or homemade nut butter. If you're not a fan of hazelnut, almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter are good too!
- Espresso Powder - This is completely optional, but it adds depth and enhances the chocolate flavor, without making the brownies taste like coffee.
- Cocoa Powder - You can use Dutch-processed cocoa powder for a rich dark chocolate flavor, or raw cacao powder for a slightly more bitter taste. Either way, make sure your cocoa is unsweetened.
- Sea Salt & Vanilla - You can use vanilla powder, vanilla extract or paste, or even scrape out a vanilla pod. Vanilla and salt enhance the sweetness and flavor of the brownies.
🥣 How To Make Date Brownies
You're just a few simple steps away from devouring these delicious fudgy no-bake brownies, here's how they're made:
Step 1: Blitz the walnuts, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and sea salt in your food processor to a fine crumb consistency.
Step 2: Add the dates, hazelnut butter, and vanilla and blend again until the ingredients stick together to form a dough consistency.
Step 3: Press the raw brownie mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Smooth it down using the back of a spoon.
Step 5: Spread the frosting on top of the brownies in an even layer using an offset spatula.
Step 6: Swirl the chocolate frosting to create a wavy effect using a spoon.
Step 7: Top the brownies with toasted hazelnuts and freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries.
Step 8: Chill the frosted brownies for a couple of hours, and then slice them into individual servings.
I highly recommend storing your brownies in the fridge to help them stay fresh for longer.
They will keep in a sealed container for up to a week in the fridge. But it's absolutely fine to keep them out at room temperature for a day - granted you don't live in a warmer climate!
Yes, these no bake brownies store well in the freezer. Simply place them in an airtight container separated by sheets of parchment paper and freeze for up to 3 months.
Absolutely! I often use pecans in place of walnuts depending on what I have to hand at home. I tend not to recommend almonds as they are a very hard nut and don't give the nicest consistency.
🍫 More Vegan Brownies
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- 200 g (1 ¾ cups) walnuts
- 80 g cocoa powder, unsweetened, *see notes
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 300 g (2.04 cups) medjool dates, pitted, about 15 dates, *see notes
- 200 g (¾ cup + 2 tbsp) hazelnut butter, *see notes
- ½ teaspoon vanilla powder, *see notes
- 1 batch vegan ganache, or nutella, for frosting
- toasted hazelnuts, optional
- freeze-dried raspberries , optional
- Add the walnuts, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt to a food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes until they resemble a fine crumb consistency.
- Add the dates, hazelnut butter, and vanilla and blend again until the ingredients stick together to form a dough consistency.
- Press the raw brownie mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper, and smooth it down using the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to firm up slightly for 1-2 hours.
- Spread the frosting on top of the brownies in an even layer using an offset spatula. Top the brownies with toasted hazelnuts and freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries if using.
- Place the frosted brownies back in the fridge for another hour to help the ganache firm up, then slice them into individual servings.
- Storage: They will keep in a sealed container for up to a week in the fridge. But it's absolutely fine to keep them out at room temperature for a day - granted you don't live in a warmer climate!To freeze, place them in an airtight container separated by sheets of parchment paper and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Use Dutch-processed cocoa for a deep chocolate flavor, or raw cacao powder for a slightly more bitter taste.
- If your dates are on the drier side, simply soak them in boiled water for 20 minutes and drain them before using.
- You can use pecans if you don't have walnuts to hand.
- Hazelnut butter: If you're not a fan of hazelnuts you can make these with any nut butter of your choice. Cashew butter, almond butter, or peanut butter work well.
- Vanilla powder can be swapped for a teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, or a scraped-out vanilla pod.
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*This recipe was originally published in September 2021. The recipe has since been improved and updated to minimize the ingredients used and simplify the instructions.