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.
These homemade no-bake brownies are incredibly fudgy and rich thanks to hazelnut butter, which also makes them taste like Ferrero Rocher!
I love to frost them with vegan ganache, but you can also top them with homemade nutella, or simply enjoy them as is.
📖 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.
If you prefer baked brownies, try my fudgy vegan brownies, gluten-free brownies, or biscoff brownies!
🧾 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
Find the complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
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 4: Make a batch of vegan chocolate ganache or vegan nutella. Meanwhile, chill the brownies in the fridge to help them firm up.
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.
📝 Recipe Tips
Soak your dates in hot water! If your dates are on the drier side, simply soak them in boiled water for 20 minutes and drain them before using. This step will make it easier for your food processor.
Make sure you use pitted dates. As date pits are extremely tough and can damage your food processor and your teeth!
Customize them to your preference. If you can't find hazelnut butter, or want to make these brownies a little more budget-friendly you can swap it for peanut butter.
Use a large sharp knife for slicing. I recommend this with all brownies and slices. A blunt knife will make it really tough to get nice clean-cut slices.
Make a small batch. You can easily half the recipe and make these brownies in an 8" loaf pan.
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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No Bake Date Brownies
- 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.
- Make a batch of vegan chocolate ganache or vegan nutella while the brownies chill and firm up in the fridge.
- 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.