Frosted Black Forest Brownies Vegan Gluten Free

Ah, New Year’s Eve! A time to reflect on the year just gone, and make goals and resolutions for the year to come. A time to clean up your diet and replace sweets with salad… maybe?! Maybe for someone else, that is!

Frosted Black Forest Brownies Vegan Gluten Free

I’m not a great one for resolutions. I recognise the value of making time to stop and reflect, but reflecting is not a past-time I’m keen on. That’s the beauty of being married to a planner. He sits the whole family down (yes, even the 4-year old) and gets us to relate personal highlights and challenges of last year, while making plans and anticipating the challenges of the year ahead. A good way to spend New Year’s Day, reflecting and planning together as a family. Don’t tell him, but I was also at the same time, plotting a new blog post.

Frosted Black Forest Brownies Vegan Gluten FreeFrosted Black Forest Brownies Vegan Gluten Free

I needed a new recipe to use up the cherries we’d been given recently. My brother and his family had been down for Christmas, and generously shared some of the cherries they’d picked by hand. We still had Christmas leftovers filling the fridge, so weren’t eating the fruit as fast as necessary. I’d had my eye on this brownie recipe for a while, and decided it was time to make it. It came together surprisingly fast. I’d had a bit of success using aquafaba and flax seed together, so tried it again in these. The gamble paid off.

Frosted Black Forest Brownies Vegan Gluten Free

Replacing most of the oil with applesauce also worked. I like to think of it as hedging my bets. If we’re not using eggs, then why not use all the known egg replacers we can find (flax seed, aquafaba and applesauce)?! I didn’t have coconut sugar on hand, but you can use that instead of brown sugar, if you like. The frosting itself is made without sugar, a recipe I stumbled across via Instagram last year. It works well here, as the brownie itself is not super sweet, so the frosting increases the sugar content, but without making them too rich.

Frosted Black Forest Brownies Vegan Gluten FreeFrosted Black Forest Brownies Vegan Gluten Free

You won’t be seeing lots of salad around here in January, but let’s kick off with a slightly healthy dessert!

Frosted Black Forest Brownies Vegan Gluten Free

Frosted Black Forest Brownies {vegan, gf}
In-season cherries add a burst of fruity freshness to every bite of this slightly healthy dessert!

Makes 9 large or 16 small

2 teaspoons flax seed meal
6 tablespoons aquafaba
1/3 cup apple puree (applesauce)
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup maple syrup or rice malt syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or kirsch
¾ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
¼ cup almond meal (almond flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
200g pitted fresh cherries, halved
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips

For the frosting:
1 cup (approx. 10 large) fresh Medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons natural smooth peanut butter
1 x 270ml can coconut cream, chilled
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract or kirsch
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Roasted coconut chips, to decorate (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees F). Grease and line a 20cm square (8×8-inch) baking dish with baking paper.

To make the vegan super egg (*see Notes), sprinkle the flax meal over aquafaba in a small bowl and whisk with a fork then let it sit for 10 minutes until thick. In separate bowl, combine the applesauce, coconut oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add flax/aquafaba mixture, whisk to combine.

Sift gluten-free flour, almond meal, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add in pitted cherries and chocolate chips and stir to coat. Pour in wet mix and stir to combine using a spatula. Pour brownie batter into baking dish, smooth with spatula.

Place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until just firm. Let it cool at room temperature before frosting.

For the frosting: A day or two prior, place a can of coconut cream upside down in fridge. To extract cream, up-end can, open and pour off coconut water, reserving in a cup or bowl. Scrape out solidified cream that remains in the can.

Place pitted dates in bowl of a food processor or blender first, and process until smooth. Add all other ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. Add a little reserved coconut water if too thick.

Spread cooled brownies with frosting mixture, making generous swirls as you go. Sprinkle with coconut chips to decorate (if desired). Cut into squares and enjoy!

Adapted from The Hearty Soul

*If you want to use eggs, replace the aquafaba and flax seed meal with 2 large eggs.

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #sweettucker.

6 thoughts on “Frosted Black Forest Brownies {vegan, gf}”

    1. Hi Adrienne, I think probably berries or just leave the fruit out altogether. But if you use berries, try to use fresh, as frozen ones come with too much liquid and will make your brownies very gooey. Hope that helps. xx

  1. Hey, great recipe, I want to try it tomorrow, but I wonder, what could I use instead of aquafaba? Should I just put the flaxseed meal in water? Thank you for your answer!

      1. Thanks for the answer, I made it this morning. I used a little more apple sauce and added one avocado to the frosting. I also used some kirsch for moisturising the sponge. Added some blueberries on top and it came out perfectly, just like the picture 😀 The non-vegan loved it, I’ll be making it again for sure, thanks again ! 🙂 🙂

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