Fudgy, chewy, ultra-chocolatey Oil Free Brownies that also happen to be gluten free! They are easy to make in 1 bowl.

stack of brownies on gray background

These brownies are a delightful dessert that everyone will enjoy. They are a bit lighter than the Best Ever Vegan Brownies, which are much fudgier and richer. A little more cake-like, but not overly so. They aren’t super sweet, and they have no added oil like vegan butter or coconut oil. But they don’t taste like diet food, I promise!

Want more brownie recipes? Check out my Coconut Oil Brownies, Vegan Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies or Chewy Vegan Brownies!

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

  • Ground flaxseeds – Ground chia seeds may work as well.
  • Soy milk – Other milks work too, such as almond, oat, coconut or hemp.
  • Applesauce – Unsweetened is best here.
  • Granulated sugar – May also use coconut sugar, if desired.
  • Vanilla 
  • Almond flour – This is really essential to the recipe since there is no oil used. Without it, the brownies will be very dry and taste fat free.
  • Gluten free all purpose flour – I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Flour and also tested them with King Arthur Gluten Free Flour. Both worked well!
  • Cocoa powder
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Optional for folding in: non-dairy chocolate chips, walnuts or both!
cut brownies white background

How to make healthy brownies

It’s so easy to make them in 1 bowl!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the ground flaxseeds and soy milk in a medium sized bowl and let sit for a few minutes to thicken.
  3. Now add the applesauce, sugar and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Add in the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and stir until just combined.
  5. Fold in optionals nuts or chocolate chips. Spread evenly into the pan and bake for 25 minutes.
close up image of three brownies

Want more gluten free vegan desserts?

square image of three brownies with walnuts
4.72 stars (7 ratings)

Oil Free Brownies

Fudgy, chewy, ultra-chocolatey Oil Free Brownies that also happen to be gluten free! They are easy to make in 1 bowl.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 9 servings


  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 cup soy milk *or almond/coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar *or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour *I used Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or non-dairy chocolate chips, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper for easy removal of the brownies.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the ground flaxseeds and soy milk. Let them sit for about 2 minutes to thicken slightly.
  • To the bowl with the flaxseed/milk mixture, add the applesauce, sugar and vanilla. Stir well to combine. Now add the almond flour, gluten free flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and stir everything together until just combined.
  • Fold in the optional walnuts or chocolate chips (or a mixture of both), if desired.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top evenly. Bake for 25 minutes. Let the brownies cool for 15-30 minutes if possible before serving.


  1. Store leftover brownies covered at room temperature for 2-3 days, in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or freeze them.
  2. Almond flour is necessary for providing fat and texture since there is no oil/butter involved. There is no good substitution.
  3. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour, but other all purpose gluten free flours should work as well. If you aren’t gluten free, you can substitute regular flour.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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  1. Could you just substitute the all purpose flour in your other vegan brownie recipe for the Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 and that would make them gluten free? 

  2. I have been using store bought gluten free brownie mix, and it never turned out good. So I decided to make from scratch  and tried your recipe. And I LOVE IT. It was easy enough for my 6-year-old daughter to follow, and turned out great. I like the flavor and texture. My allergic-to-everything kids loved it. Thank you.

  3. I love all recipes nora, but this brownie recipe wasn’t my favorite. It is ok, but not wow. I think if it had melted chocolate in the batter it would have gotten the traditional crisp topping and perhaps a little more gooey.

    1. Sorry to hear that Maggie! These are certainly a “healthier” and lighter brownie, so I can understand if they weren’t the rich brownie you were looking for. Have you tried my Best Ever Vegan Brownies? You can even sub a gluten free mix to make them gluten free, and they are very fudgy and get that crinkle top. Thanks!

  4. I didn’t have gluten free flour or almond flour so I made some almond meal and added in 1/2 cup chickpea flour. I’m so happy when I can use what I have on hand!

    These are soooo moist and delish! Thank you, Nora, I’m thrilled to have a gf recipe for my one gf friend.

  5. If I were to substitute the almond flour for an oil, how much would I use? Is there a type you would most recommend? Would you recommend omitting the oil and just buying almond flour?

    1. For this recipe, I created it specifically using almond flour and not oil, so it’s hard to say what would happen if you added oil and omitted the almond flour.

  6. These are really good brownies! They are easy to whip up and come out of the oven with a lovely shine on top. I would describe the texture as more cakey than fudgy, but the cocoa flavor still comes through strong. I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup rather than 3/4 and the brownies were still sweet, especially with chocolate chips mixed in. 

  7. So excited to try this! Could I sub in oil for the apple sauce, and add in a cup of GF flour (omitting the almond flour)?

  8. That looks easy ish enough:) will give it a go, wonder if you can substitute the regular gf flour with millet or coconut flour for non wheat diet?

    1. Thanks! I have honestly never used millet flour so I’m not sure but coconut flour won’t work the same. You could use whole wheat pastry flour, white flour or probably oat flour, but I haven’t tested those.

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