Perfect Brownies (Paleo & Nut-Free)

Happy Hump Day! Chicago has been soaked with a steady, relentless drizzle for a few days now, and I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of needing a nap. Maybe you didn’t know this, but brownies fix everything.


I shared my recipe for Pumpkin Brownies back in October and they are a hit with my girlfriend Lia, who makes them for all kinds of occasions. Although those are a go-to for me as well,  I am always searching for new ways to work chocolate into my Paleo lifestyle. These nut-free, fudgy, rich brownies are definitely earning a spot in my dessert rotation.

Not only are these brownies a perfect mid-week pick-me-up, they are also great for school/office treats due to the fact that they are allergen-friendly! These bad boys are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, and tree nut-free. I know there are a lot of coconut haters out there, but don’t let the coconut-heavy ingredients list deter you- you cannot taste any coconut in the finished product!

Adding ground espresso is a top secret trick I stole from Ina Garten that really helps complement the depth and richness of chocolate in baked goods. If you want more of a mocha flavor in your finished product, up the espresso powder or add a tablespoon of strongly brewed coffee.

These brownies store really well in the fridge or freezer, and I would venture to say they taste even better the day after you make them! I don’t know why. Science? They are delicious at room temp, straight from the fridge, for breakfast… I hope you try these and love them as much as I do. Enjoy!

Perfect Brownies

Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes 8-12 servings

For the brownies:

1 C coconut sugar

1/2 C coconut flour, sifted

3/4 C cocoa powder, sifted

1 t ground espresso

1 t sea salt

3/4 C coconut oil, melted

2 T avocado oil (or more coconut oil)

2 t pure vanilla extract

3 eggs, room temperature

For the icing:

1 C semisweet paleo chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar

1/4 C coconut oil

1 t pure vanilla extract

Pinch sea salt

Tip** Setting the eggs out an hour or two ahead of time will make a big difference in your finished product- using cold eggs will harden the coconut oil, making it hard to incorporate all ingredients when you mix!


Preheat oven to 350° and line 8 x 8 glass pan with parchment paper.

In large mixing bowl, combine and mix coconut sugar, sifted coconut flour, cocoa powder, ground espresso, and salt. In separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together oil(s), vanilla, and eggs. Pour wet mixture into dry, and fold together until just combined, making sure not to over-mix.

Bake in preheated oven for 17-20 mins, until set in the middle. The brownies will continue to bake when you remove them from the oven, so don’t over-bake! Set aside and cool for at least an hour before making icing.

To make icing, combine chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and coconut oil in medium microwave-safe mixing bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between, until melted (about 90-120 seconds total). Add vanilla extract and salt. Let sit for 5 minutes to partially set.

Pour chocolate icing over cooled brownies, using a butter knife to spread gently. Let them sit at room temp until the icing hardens, or put in fridge or freezer to speed it up. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Store leftovers in air tight container in fridge for up to a week, or in freezer for up to 6 months.

Tip** After icing, put the whole pan in the freezer for 10-20 minutes for a perfect, clean cut!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Pam says:

    Interesting that you said that the brownies could be eaten for breakfast. I just told Gramps that he couldn’t have them for breakfast this morning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In a perfect world, I’d eat brownies for breakfast every day


  2. Patricia Moll says:

    Your grandmother and I love reading your blog. You have become an amazing cook/baker and we are so very proud of you! We were talking about you last night at dinner and how wonderful it is that you are creating healthy choices, a goal we all need to reach towards! I am looking forward to baking these this weekend. Brownies were one of your grandfather’s favorite desserts. Pam, I’m with Ray, eggs are a breakfast food so this recipe must be a breakfast option. Especially with coffee. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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