Dark Fudgey Paleo Brownies

dark chocolate at it’s finest

In November, right after I had finished my first Whole30 and first 30 days of paleo eating I decided to share my new found diet with The Dr.’s family when we went to Illinois for Thanksgiving.  I made the Civilized Caveman’s AMAZING Banana Bread but used Sunbutter (made from ground sunflower seeds) rather than the almond butter it calls for.  It was delish, however when I woke up the next morning to slice some up I noticed that the inside was BRIGHT GREEN.  I was horrified and immediately jumped on his website to see what I did wrong! Lo and behold, after some research, I discovered that sun flower seeds and baking soda react and turn the baked goods green! It has to do with chlorophyl that remains in the seed and the chemical reaction during the baking process.

It got me to thinking about going back down to Chicago to celebrate St. Patty’s Day this weekend and how I should make some brownies… or greenies 🙂  I attempted to make them turn green, but unfortunately they never turned green this time! I think it is probably because they are SO SO SO chocolately and it trumps the green.  However, they were decadently delicious so I just had to share!

After taking a pretty long break from baking seemed to take forever to make (even though in reality it was like 15 minutes total) but I am so used to cooking which is a lot more fast paced.  Never thought I would start liking cooking so much more than baking! Coming from a former brownie/cookie/bar/cake/cupcake/muffin addict this is a pretty big statement.

I recommend making these, then eating them.  Pretty revolutionary huh? And if you have time, or patience, or want a little something extra maybe slather them with this Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting from CCK!

Scroll down or click here for the recipe, adapted from TGIPaleo

before sprinkling of chocolate chips

final product, yum!

Sweet Potatoes and Smiles,

-The Freckled Foodie

Dark Fudgey Paleo Brownies

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 18 brownies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Recipe type: Dessert


  • 1 large, ripe avocado
  • 1/4 c sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 c honey (raw)
  • 4 oz unsweetened, 100% dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 c unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour (sifted)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • sprinkling of mini chocolate chips (optional, but Enjoy Life brand are dairy, soy, and gluten free)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut avocado in half, peel and add to food processor
  3. Process until VERY smooth
  4. Melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave or over a double boiler (stir frequently to ensure the chocolate doesn’t scorch)
  5. Transfer avocado to large bowl and add all remaining ingredients except chocolate chips
  6. Use hand mixer and whip until very well combined and fluffy, 3-5 minutes should be enough
  7. Spread batter into greased or foil-lined 8×11 pan (8×8 or 9×9 would work as well but you’ll have to increase baking time)
  8. Sprinkle the top with mini chocolate chips, as many as you see fit
  9. Bake for 26-28 minutes, remove when toothpick comes out clean
  10. Let cool before cutting
  11. These taste best chilled from the fridge and taste even better 2-3 days later!

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Comments: 37

  1. Lindsey Weber March 19, 2013 at 9:01 pm Reply

    Do you know what the nutritional facts of these are? I can not wait to try them!

    • thefreckledfoodie March 20, 2013 at 6:23 am Reply

      Hey Lindsey!

      I don’t count any calories or track my food, just make sure I have protein, veggies, and healthy fat at every meal. I know you can google a “recipe builder” for nutrition facts and enter the ingredients and servings and it will tell you what the breakdown is. Hope that helps!

  2. jessica March 20, 2013 at 2:37 am Reply

    How many cals and carbs in this?

  3. Debbie March 20, 2013 at 7:46 am Reply

    Would you be able to substitute walnuts for the chocolate bits?

  4. Jaime March 22, 2013 at 3:34 am Reply

    Hi, Love the look of this recipe, but it calls for too much honey, is there anything I can substitue or halve it with… ie stevia?

    • thefreckledfoodie March 22, 2013 at 7:48 am Reply

      You could for sure halve it, check if it is sweet enough and then add a little stevia to taste. The batter may be a bit thicker but it shouldn’t effect it 🙂

      • Jaime March 23, 2013 at 2:24 am Reply

        Thank you x

  5. Lindsey Weber March 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm Reply

    I went into my fitness pal and this is what I got for anyone interested:
    With 18 as the serving size and I didn’t sprinkle anything extra on the top of mine so you would have to add that in.
    96 calories
    8 carbs
    6 fat
    3 protein
    6 sugar
    These are in the oven…I seriously had to keep myself from licking out the inside of the bowl. It tasted so delicious!

  6. Andria April 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm Reply

    Would Peanut butter work in place of sunflower seed butter?

    • thefreckledfoodie April 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm Reply

      Yes peanut butter would work, so would any nut butter. Cashew, almond, macadamia nut 🙂

  7. Helen April 27, 2013 at 8:54 am Reply

    Woah… Just baked these. The batter before cooking (I was naughty and licked the spoon) was divine!! Just out of the oven and they taste amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    • thefreckledfoodie April 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm Reply

      Oh yeah, the batter is so good you could eat the entire batch with a spoon! You are so welcome and I am glad you liked them!

  8. Bethany May 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm Reply

    I just tried this recipe and I too could not stop licking the batter! The brownies turned out really good and my husband who is picky said they tasted like regular brownies! Love this!!

  9. Rosanna June 4, 2013 at 4:21 am Reply

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have made it twice in a few days and every one LOVES them 🙂 They come out so well and are its so hard to stop after just one!

    • thefreckledfoodie June 4, 2013 at 7:15 am Reply

      I am the same way with them! I try not to make them too often because I will eat the whole pan!

  10. Hope June 5, 2013 at 9:42 am Reply

    Oh gosh. I am on the Whole 30 plan (Day 24) and wanted to celebrate my 30 days with a “Paleofied” sweet following. I simply LOVE brownies and this is definitely on the to-make list for next week. I’ve never felt better in my life as I’ve felt since I started this diet. It’s unbelievable! I am going to do a modified Paleo though. I *need* cheese..haha!

    • thefreckledfoodie June 5, 2013 at 9:48 am Reply

      Congrats on almost finishing, I’m glad you feel so great! I sometimes have a bit of goat cheese, so don’t be worried. That’s what living is all about, the treats every once in a while 🙂

  11. […] Fudgey-brownie goodness from the Freckled Foodie. […]

  12. […] Paleo Fudgy Brownies – With avocado and sunflower seed butter! […]

  13. Belle August 31, 2013 at 10:49 am Reply

    Hey! I was reading this recipe and was getting super excited to try it when I realized it has eggs in it! Could you give me ideas for substituting the eggs? I just recently found out that I can’t eat them :/

    …it would be wonderful if you could get back to me on this! I’ve been looking all over your website for the past hour and it all looks SO good.


    • thefreckledfoodie September 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm Reply

      Belle, I haven’t tried this recipe with an egg replacer, but a flax-egg or chia-egg may work but I don’t know for sure. You might have to experiment and then let me and the other readers know how it goes! You could check out this page as well http://www.thepaleomom.com/tag/replacer

      • lowcarbingdee September 3, 2013 at 11:19 pm Reply

        for the egg replacer: i would use 2 very ripe bananas, puree them then add to your wet ingredients. the bananas will keep these brownies creamier vs. using apple sauce which tends to fluff baked goods up. i have a friend with egg allergies and will let you know how these turn out when i make them!
        ~~ dee

      • lowcarbingdee September 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm Reply

        EGG FREE version: okay i made these this weekend especially for my friend’s daughter who has an egg allergy. these turned out AMAZING!
        so follow the regular recipe, except NO EGGS and make adjustments to these ingredients as follows:
        * use total of 3/4 cup honey (this was to hide the banana taste)
        * use total of 6oz melted enjoy life chocolate chips inplace of the melted choc in batter (the extra 2oz was needed to hide the taste of banana)
        * use 2 extra ripe bananas — pureed to liquid (to replace the eggs)
        * this took twice as long to cook — 45 to 55 minutes until my toothpick came out mostly clean

        ** OPTIONAL: once you take these out of the oven, sprinkle with 1/2 of enjoy life choc chips. when they melt, spread it across like frosting.

        *** stick these in the fridge to setup. i think both versions taste best after they have set in the fridge for 4-6 hours.

        P.S. — the little girl (and everyone else) LOVED these!!

  14. lowcarbingdee September 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm Reply

    okay these are unbelieveable!!! i fooled my kids and my husband! haahaa!! we eat a paleo lifestyle to stay gluten free and dairy free. i do alot of baking with almond flour and i’ve never come close to a brownie that tastes more like to “real” thing than these! Amazing! Even better tasting the next day from the fridge. to keep it dairy free, i used enjoy life choc chips for the 4oz melted chocolate. and when the brownies were hot from the oven i sprinkled another 4oz of choc chips ontop of them, when melted i spread it out as frosting! oh yum!!
    who knew avocados would make a great brownie?!? haahaa
    great job!

    • thefreckledfoodie September 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm Reply

      Thanks for sharing your tweaks, I always love to hear when people make changes and they go well!

  15. Etta July 15, 2014 at 10:39 am Reply

    Okay these are super delicious and amazing. I wanted to post something for all of you out there who are looking for a true brownie recipe though. These turned out fluffy, and chocolate cake/bread consistency. Fluffy and airy and light. Definitely wouldn’t call them brownies. If youre looking for a dense, fudgy, thick, brownie recipe this might not be the best pick… I dont know what could be added to make them more chewy and brownie like… i just die for fudgy brownies! But these were totally delish as a cake. I couldn’t believe how they tasted. Will definitely be using this exact recipe, doubled, for cakes in the future! Thanks!

    • thefreckledfoodie August 5, 2014 at 7:23 am Reply

      Etta, thanks for sharing your results! Mine turned out fudgey, maybe it’s a difference in elevation or ingredients?

  16. Tracy November 27, 2014 at 10:26 am Reply

    I am making these for our whole30 thanksgiving today and as someone who has never baked before I have two ( probably silly) questions:
    1) what would subbing almond flour for coconut flour do to the end result?
    2) are these meant to be refrigerated for storage or kept on a non-refrigerated container? I know it says served chilled and didn’t know how that impacted the best way to store them.
    Thank you and happy holidays!

    • thefreckledfoodie November 28, 2014 at 10:14 am Reply

      Tracy, this answer is probably too late but almond flour and coconut flour are not 1:1 substitutes as coconut flour is much more drying (needs more eggs). They are best kept refrigerated but can be left on the counter for a day or two covered.

  17. Susan Rien May 5, 2017 at 3:20 pm Reply

    This recipe looks awesome! But I am allergic to coconut. What amount of almond flour would I use and how many eggs?

    • thefreckledfoodie May 8, 2017 at 12:30 pm Reply

      Hi Susan, since coconut flour and almond flour are SO different in terms of how they impact a recipe I can’t really give you a swap. I would recommend searching for a paleo brownie that is coconut free!

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