Suuuper Fudgy Cocoa Brownies 🍫🎥 gluten free, keto & paleo

These paleo and keto brownies are extra fudgy, super easy, just 5 ingredients and 1g net carb a pop! Now that’s what we call the ideal low carb chocolate dessert! The recipe was first published on January 8th ’18, and has been updated to provide more info on various sweeteners.

Stacked Fudgy Paleo & Keto Brownies
Suuuper Fudgy Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Brownies

The Ultimate Paleo & Keto Brownies 🍫

Suuuper Fudgy!

Ridiculously decadent, suuuper fudgy and intensely chocolatey, these keto brownies are one indulgent low carb chocolate treat. Plus, they’re suuuper easy and with staple (grain-free) pantry ingredients.

And guess what? Just 1g net carb per brownie. (Drumroll please!) 🥁

p.s. these are very chocolatey, as in proper chocolate! So ideal for you dark-chocolate-lovers out there.

Oh, and if you’re into brownies and cheesecake (who isn’t?!), do check out our keto cheesecake brownies based off these guys.

Gluten Free, Low Carb & Keto Cheesecake Brownies 🍫 Just 1.5g net carbs! #keto #ketodessert #lowcarb #brownies #glutenfree #chocolate #cheesecake #healthyrecipes
Gluten Free, Low Carb & Keto Cheesecake Brownies 🍫 Just 1.5g net carbs! #keto #ketodessert #lowcarb #brownies #glutenfree #chocolate #cheesecake #healthyrecipes

The Origins 🔍

This recipe happens to be a keto adaptation based off Alice Medrich’s famous cocoa brownies, incidentally one of the most popular brownie recipes on the web. And the keto result varies little from the original, albeit perhaps a little less chewy and more melt-in-your-mouth sorta thing (courtesy of the lack of gluten).

Fun fact: Medrich’s original recipe called for beating vigorously with 40 strokes (exactly!) to incorporate the batter. Now that’s what we call precision.

Whisking a paleo and keto brownie batter
Suuuper Fudgy Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Brownies
Freshly baked keto brownies with flakey sea salt
Suuuper Fudgy Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Brownies

A Couple (Very Simple!) Rules

We’ll start with the most important one: do not over-bake the brownies! Timing might just be the most important rule when making any type of brownie, so you don’t end up with a dry and crumbly mess. Keep an eye out for them, and take them out once the center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out moist (but not drenching).

We even prefer to slightly undercook them and chill them in the fridge before cutting. That’s the secret for extra fudgy brownies.

I’ve also noticed that when using powdered erythritol rather than xylitol (my favorite), you also need to decrease the baking time by about 5 minutes as they cook faster.

You’ll also want to use eggs at room temp. Reason being that if your cocoa/butter mixture is not hot enough (and your eggs are very cold), they’ll solidify the butter and your batter will be too thick (doesn’t affect the end results, just annoying to spoon rather than pour!).

And if possible, refrigerate the batter overnight. This is an old Medrich rule, but it does work a charm to get a richer texture (as the flavors have had a chance to mingle). Though if not possible, honestly don’t sweat it– we’ve done them either way multiple times. Just keep in mind that your batter will solidify in the fridge (as the butter sets), totally normal and just pop the baking dish in the oven as is.

Stacked keto brownies with a glass of milk
Suuuper Fudgy Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Brownies

The Chocolate 🍫

Cocoa brownies are generally regarded as second best to their ‘molten chocolate bar’ counterparts, given that they’re generally more cake-like than fudgy. But that’s most definitely not the case here, as these are some of the fudgiest brownies you’ll ever make.

Albeit ‘healthier‘, as you can control the chocolate and fat input completely, so no added refined sugars, preservatives etc. And of course, cocoa powder is much less expensive than chocolate bars (particularly keto ones!). So think of these keto brownies as wallet-friendly too.

Cocoa or cacao? Both work great, just know that quality really matters here. Our favorite will forever be the Dutch-processed alkaline cocoa Valrhona, known to be one of (if not the) best cocoas in the world. But feel free to use a raw cacao powder (arguably more nutritional perks here), though keep in mind that your brownies will be lighter in color and more reddish in hue. Both are well and good, as long as they’re unsweetened.

p.s. a lightly sprinkle of flakey sea salt works wonders to cut through the chocolate in these guys! And Maldon flakes are the undisputed best, by a mile.

The Flours

This recipe uses almond flour only (💥💃🎆!!). Yup, that’s it! Having said that, you can always sub half of the almond for hazelnut flour (think Nutella), if you wanna spiff things up a notch or give them a little twist.

In terms of brands, for the almond either Anthony’s or WellBees work great. Both are super fine grinds.

The Sweetener 🍯

You’ve got a couple options here. Xylitol has become my top choice (no aftertaste, best and chewier texture), Lakanto (barely any aftertaste, and many of you also love the Golden version), and powdered Swerve (some cooling sensation, but still great). Xylitol takes (much) longer to dry out though so your brownies will be extra delicate (think gooey) right after baking.

If using erythritol in any form, because it needs a little extra help to dissolve than xylitol (and they vary so much from brand to brand because of different fillers and so on!), you’ll want to be sure to use a powdered form. If you only have granular on hand, don’t sweat it, and simply blend it in your (very dry!) bullet or blender until powdered. Easy-peasy!

And one more thing to keep in mind, is that a few of you who have used erythritol (Swerve in particular) report back periodically that your batter ends up thick. This seems to be improved by microwaving rather than using a water bath, and using powdered rather than regular. Though there seems to be no hard rule here. Doesn’t seem to affect much the taste in the end, so just spread the batter rather than pour it in. But if you’re finding your brownies feel too thick, simply add in an extra egg (just don’t over-whisk or they could become more cakey).

Fun fact: it might also be our taste buds here, but we’ve noticed that stevia-based sweeteners (such as Pyure) don’t work so great when chocolate is involved as the aftertaste is accentuated. So we cannot recommend enough that you don’t use stevia-based sweeteners here.

Oh, and if just paleo or gluten free (or not restricted by sugars), simply sub 1-to-1 with coconut or regular sugar.

And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty!) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕

Freshly cut keto brownies with flakey sea salt
Suuuper Fudgy Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Brownies
Taking a piece of a keto brownie piece
Suuuper Fudgy Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Brownies

The Recipe Video

Suuuper Fudgy Gluten Free, Paleo & Keto Brownies

Suuuper Fudgy Paleo & Keto Brownies

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, grain free, keto, low carb, paleo
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 16 brownies
Calories: 102 kcal

These paleo and keto brownies are extra fudgy, super easy, just 5 ingredients and 1g net carb a pop! Now that's what we call an ideal low carb chocolate dessert! 

Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.

Print

Ingredients

  • 130 g unsalted grass-fed butter or 8 TBS coconut oil + 1 TBS coconut cream if paleo
  • 140-200 g xylitol powdered erythritol or coconut sugar if paleo*
  • 80 g cocoa powder **
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs at room temperature***
  • 70 g almond flour

To garnish

Serving suggestions

Instructions

  1. See recipe video for guidance!

  2. Position a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Line with parchment paper the bottom and sides of a 8x8-inch baking pan. Set aside. 

  3. Add butter, sweetener, cocoa powder and salt to a medium heatproof bowl. Melt over a water bath whisking constantly (or use the microwave, in small increments). You'll want to heat it up until most of the sweetener has melted and the mixture is well incorporated (note that erythritol, unlike xylitol, won't dissolve much at this point). Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.

  4. Add one egg at a time, whisking well after each one until completely incorporated. The texture should appear smooth, with all the sweetener dissolving into the mixture. And if using erythritol, and your batter ends up too thick, you may want to add an extra egg. Just be sure not to over-whisk, or your brownies could end up more cakey rather than fudgy. 

  5. Add the almond flour, whisking vigorously until fully blended (about a minute).

  6. Bake for 15-25 minutes (we do about 23 with xylitol and 17 with erythritol), or until the center is just set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out moist. This really does vary (a lot!!) from oven to oven (think convection etc), so give them a check from minute 15 the first time around, and remember that you'll brownies will continue to cook while they cool. 

  7. Sprinkle with flakey sea salt (optional) and allow to cool completely on a rack. Lift brownies using the edges of the parchment paper and cut into desired size (we do 16!). To get extra clean edges, place in the freezer for 10 minutes prior to cutting. 

Recipe Notes

*Please see section on sweeteners for deets and possible substitutions (very important, as various sweeteners behave very differently here!). Just keep in mind that stevia doesn't work (at all!) for these! 

And if using powdered erythritol, and your batter ends up too thick, you may want to add an extra egg. Just be sure not to over-whisk, or your brownies could end up more cakey rather than fudgy. 

**If measuring the cocoa with tablespoons rather than grams, be mindful of how you scoop as you can end up with a lot more cocoa powder than needed. Drop the cocoa powder into the tablespoon and level it, rather than scooping it out of the bag with the tablespoon (which can lead to overpacked tablespoons!). 

**Use eggs at room temp. Reason being that if your cocoa/butter mixture is not hot enough (and your eggs are very cold), they'll solidify the butter and your batter will be too thick once you add in the almond flour (doesn't affect the end results, just annoying to spoon rather than pour!). 

Nutrition Facts
Suuuper Fudgy Paleo & Keto Brownies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 102 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 139mg 6%
Potassium 83mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 4.7%
Calcium 2.1%
Iron 5.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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518 comments

  1. Michelle Baker says:

    Just made these for the first time and they were great! Much needed fix to my chocolate cravings! Thank you so much for sharing!! Will be trying more of ur Keto recipes ❤️

  2. AEW says:

    These are amazing! Omw! I used erythritol, 1/2 cup almond flour, and 1/4 cup coconut flour. Other than that I followed the recipe to a T. I did refrigerate overnight, and only baked them for 15 minutes. I will probably increase the sweetener to 1 cup next time, as they were a bit on the bittersweet side. I didnt mind that, but my family prefers things a bit sweeter. To counteract that I mixed a few Tbsp of confectioners style erythritol with a bit of heavy cream and swirled it on top of the cooled brownies. It hardened up like royal icing, and added just the right touch of extra sweetness. They remind me so much of the fudge my aunt used to make. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  3. Kathleen says:

    These were delicious! We’re mostly a health-conscious household (so not full on keto/ low-carb), so we used regular palm sugar for the sweetener (about 2/3). We also used the coconut oil/ cream combo. Total baking time was 20 minutes. What an amazing recipe — these taste as good if not even better than “regular” brownies!! We are totally hooked and will definitely try more recipes from your website. Thank you thank you for this fantastic brownie recipe.

  4. Kate says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, my husband and children are enjoying a ton!!

    I was wondering for the sake of saving time; if I were to double the recipe and freeze half would the freezing process ruin the results?

    Thank you so much for all your hard work and taking the time to be so detail oriented. I have learned a lot about baking from your blog.

  5. Julie says:

    These are delicious! I followed the recipe exactly as written with xylitol and even weighed the ingredients. I did overbake them by a few minutes but they were still super fudgy. The only thing they were missing is that classic crackly brownie top. I’m glad I used the xylitol because I didn’t experience any aftertaste. I’m going to try freezing them since it’s just me to eat them all.

  6. Rebecca says:

    So Im using real american birch xylitol but it isn’t dissolving…Will it dissolve in the oven I hope? And its 2/3 of 1 cup or 1 cup plus 2/3?

  7. Stephanje says:

    Hiiii. I’m excited to try this recipe and I was picking up the recipes and accidentally grabbed swerves icing sugar instead of confectioners. Will I still be able to use this? Thank you!

  8. Amrit says:

    Hi, thanks for the recipe, these turn out lovely! It’s the first time I’ve baked something and I was so pleased with the result!
    First time, I used to ingredients as you said, although I did change the sweetener and they turned out fine.
    The second time, I used half the almond flour and half coconut flour as the first patch had quite a nutty taste. This did help a lot. I also added some chocolate chips (non keto, but it fit my macros).

    What I wanted to ask is if there’s any way to incorporate protein powder into these to I can hit my protein macros a bit easier whilst still having a sweet treat. They’re more fun to make than buying Grenade Carb Kill bars or Quest bars. Could I mix up the cocoa powder and use some chocolate whey protein instead?

    Thanks,
    A

  9. Martin says:

    Hi Paola – I’ve made these a few times and can’t seem to get them right. The brownies end up being a little too cakey and they are tough to swallow. They are moist but not fudgey. And the top is not crispy like your pictures. I followed the recipe and instructions very closely. Any thoughts on what I could be doing wrong? Thanks in advance! – Martin

    • Paola says:

      Oh no sorry to hear Martin! What sweetener are you using? Any other subs? I’ve found that to be the greatest variant for readers

  10. Angelin Chan says:

    I just made these yesterday and left the batter to be refrigerated overnight. This morning, I popped them into the oven and baked for about 25 minutes. I used monkfruit sweetener. Then left them to cool before cutting. They taste sooooo good! Amazing recipe. I have to stop myself from gobbling all of them down!

  11. Katherine Correll says:

    I can understand someone being confused and asking a question but the rudeness and confrontation of some people are unnecessary. There are too many good reviews to think that your issue is with the recipe. THINK before you type rude comments.

    • Paola says:

      Thank you Katherine! I think some peeps forget there’s a real person (with feelings!) behind the blog 🙈😘

  12. Julia says:

    Omg I love these brownies! They are soo good! My boyfriend and I make them all the time haha. Sometimes we chop up some Keto-friendly (dark, sugar free) chocolate and some nuts and put in too

  13. Amberlocs says:

    These were absolutely superb. Decadent and fudge-y, especially warmed up in the microwave on a cold day/night. Great job.

    On another note, you have the patience of a saint (some of these questions, my word…)

  14. Ryan says:

    So the recipe calls for coconut sugar as an option, but I’m reading everywhere that it’s not keto and actually makes these 11g carbs each. Is that correct? If so, that’s a bummer.

    • Paola says:

      Hi Ryan! It states VERY clearly that coconut sugar is an option if ‘you’re not restricted by sugar’ (paleo etc). For keto there is a whole explanation on the sugar alcohols you use 😉

  15. Kala says:

    I made these brownies two days ago and they are really good and easy to make. I used less sweetener, around 120 g and sunflower seed flour instead of almond flour. As it is said, with erythritol it was really thick, so I just used less flour, maybe 50 g or even less (it was really thick anyway tho). I can’t taste sunflower at all, which is good. I’m going to make it again on Saturday for birthday party, I will use even less sweetener though, maybe 90-100 g, because I think I doesn’t need that much of it.
    Thanks for the recipe!:)

  16. Amanda says:

    Hi Paola!
    I tried these with xylosweet sweetener and I did turn it into powder form, used 3 eggs because too thick at first and left them in for 15 mins but mine came out dry and crumbly. What do you advise? Pls help me perfect these!

    • Paola says:

      Oh no sorry to hear that! I use XyloSweet too and works great, so I don’t think its that… It does sound like they were overbaked, but since you only did 15 minutes what size was your pan? Could your oven be running hotter? Any chance you could’ve packed in the cocoa too tightly? Those are the things off the top of my head that I can think of?

      • Amanda says:

        Could of been tightly packed cocoa but I also just bought a new oven a couple days ago so could also be hotter, thank you!

        • Paola says:

          I cannot recommend enough getting an oven thermometer (they’re like 8 bucks!) as you’d be surprised how most ovens are not calibrated properly (mine included!) xo!

  17. Olga Jimenez says:

    Hello Paola! This recipe looks pretty good, i’ll try it tomorrow.
    I wonder If anything changes is i use a Pyrex, glass pan for this brownies.
    I have both granulated and confectioner Swerve erythritol, do you have any preference for this recipe?
    Please let me know.
    I see very yummy things to try on your WP.

  18. Kate Paterson says:

    I made these with xylitol and cooked for 15 mins, and they are DIVINE! Never made brownies this good, even when I was eating carbs.
    BUT I put the ingredients into MFP and it comes out at 11.5g carbs each if I divide into 16 pieces. Are you sure of your nutritional info? It seems quite a bit different (and I will be gutted if it IS 11.5g!)

    • Paola says:

      Hi Kate! Your app is counting the sugar alcohols from xylitol as regular carbs (most peeps substract them completely… though obviously still consume in moderation 😉 xo!

  19. Esther says:

    Useless recipe. Everything must be weighed out in grams. This means you need a kitchen scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons with a conversion capabilities. Try topping that scale up with one teaspoon of butter and cocoa powder at a time til you get it right. It can be one hot mess. Beware recipes and books full of recipes that are only address regions outside the U.S.

    • Paola says:

      Before being rude Esther, please try reading! You can just click on US Cups below the ingredients (IN ALL THE RECIPES) 😉

      p.s. professional baking is ALWAYS done with scales…! AND ALL OUR BOOKS AND RECIPES have ingredients in both grams and cups.. 😂🙈

      • Victoria Gonzalez Barra says:

        It’s actually far better to have a recipe in grams so you can use a scale and be more exact in your measurments, so i love it. Also, you can very easily google conversion. There’s no need to be rude just because it doesn’t fit you.

      • crystal says:

        I’ve been on here a few times, how the heck did I miss the cup conversion? haha

        Thanks for the recipe.

    • Dawn says:

      I live in the US and I have a conversion to grams for baking! I rarely use cups to measure. Much more exact and I just reset my scale and add next ingredient. I’ve been baking this way for years. Way more precise. Thank you for showing grams!

      • Jackie says:

        I’m another one that really appreciates these recipes in grams ..saves me having to do it while preparing. Everything goes in a bowl on a scale..easy peasy! I’m in Canada…

          • Suzette says:

            Me, too, Paola…..I’m in Florida and I prefer weighing all of my ingredients as opposed to measuring. Also, like you said, less cleanup….who doesn’t love that! Ignore the rude people. <3

          • Paola says:

            Aww thank you Suzette! Lovely people always outweigh the not-so-positive peeps 😂

    • Casey says:

      Perhaps if the negative people would direct their energy and focus to the current moment e.g. to what they’re actually reading – they would not ask redundant questions or make rude comments, because they would see that Paola puts a lot of thought and details in her recipes…it’s all there just read without projecting….

  20. Annabel says:

    Hello!
    This recipe sounds really amazing! 😍 But I only have coconut sugar and I’m confused how much do I have to use?!? 140g or 200g?
    Please let me know, thanks!! 🙂

  21. Ariel Eaton says:

    You are a godsend! My husband’s biggest problem with Keto was no more pizza and no more sugar. Your recipes mean we still get to have our weekly pizza night and now these brownies 😋🤤 cold, these taste like fudge (amazing!!!) and warm, they taste like a rich chocolate biscotti brownie. They’re absolutely delicious! Thank you so much!! I will be buying your cookbook to further support your amazing efforts. Please don’t ever stop!

  22. Dawn says:

    I posted my comments on the wrong recipe but here it is again. I used Sweve. The batter was much too thick and didn’t thin out but got so clumpy I couldn’t use the whisk. I tried water bath and microwave both. Both times same result. It was awful so I just trashed it. I know it has to be the Sweve. However, it says right on the package that it’s xylitol which is supposed to work. I couldn’t find powdered erythritol any where. What are some brand names of it that I can try to research maybe through Amazon. They look amazing and I have to believe I can get it right.

    • Paola says:

      Dawn I answered your comment already in the previous post and I’m going to ask you that you actually take the time to read through the post as the bather being thick with erythritol is explained thoroughly.

      And again, SWERVE ISN’T XYLITOL, ITS ERYTHRITOL (I’m using caps because you keep repeating this ;)!). You can make your own powdered erythritol by running it in a blender.

      Again 3, ALL THIS IS IN THE POST! xo!

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