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

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*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 139mg6%
Potassium 83mg2%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 235IU5%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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1,003 comments

  1. Anna Perez says:

    I refrigerated my batter overnight. It took almost 30 minutes to bake at 350 Fahrenheit. The oil Rose to the top well it was baking.

  2. Esther Anders says:

    I have powdered monk fruit sweetener, since erythritol sometimes gives me a bad reaction, would that work? I would love to try these, they look amazing.

    • Val says:

      I have noticed that monk fruit sweeteners are mostly erythritol with a little bit of monk fruit. So you may want to check the ingredients list.

  3. Stacey says:

    You are my HERO!! I consider myself an accomplished baker, until i became Keto….. absolutely NOTHING worked for me. Normal baking rules do not apply…ever. Lol. Since coming across your site, I now do baking binges, and this is because you’ve done all the work already. So infinite Thank you!!! I make everything as written, and it always turns out great ( it also helps that i spend the day before reading every little tip & trick you’ve written.)

    Made these on the weekend along with the cinnamon buns (rolls?) lol. Needed a serious fix…… so…. i used the cinn glaze and spread it on top of the Brownies…OMFG.
    Face melting awesomeness, TYVM! So Thanks again, and thank you for making it easy to stay Keto!! sugar need not apply. Stay Safe & And Lots of Love from the North!

  4. PJ Cohen says:

    These were exactly as described. They are fudgy and moist. Using xylitol is absolutely the way to go…I’ve baked with stevia and erithrinol before and with items containing chocolate, they give off a very distinct aftertaste which seems to get worse the following day. With the xylitol these brownies taste just perfect, no aftertaste at all. Thank you, Paola, for the easy to follow instructions and great tips.

  5. Megyn says:

    Hey I made these as I am new to Keto, They turned out amazing. SO GOOD! However, I was wondering if you could explain the net carbs being 1g each on these. I halved the ingredients to make a smaller batch. ( 65g Butter, 100g Xylitol, 40g Cocoa Powder, 1 egg, 35g Almond flour) Once made, I divided them into 12 pieces. So dividing the ingredients I used into 12 (5.4g Butter, 8.3g Xylitol, 3.3g cocoa powder, 1/12 egg, 2.9g Almond Flour) and put that into the app I’m using and its saying 8g net carbs from the Xylitol each slice of what I made. So was wondering if I’m working the Net Carbs out wrong, or the app is wrong? As there is no fiber to take away from the carbs in the Xylitol. I’d really love your help. AS THEY ARE SO NICE!!!

  6. Nikki Hutchinson says:

    Any suggestions for baking this in high altitude? I miss brownies and cannot find the right recipe!

  7. Kimmy says:

    I used swerve and it does have a bad cooling effect :/ if it is eaten cold will this go away? They have amazing potential we just can’t deal with the cooling. Thank you!!

  8. Leann says:

    How hot was your coconut oil and cocoa powder mixture? If the temperature was too high you may have scrambled the eggs instead of tempering them by letting the oil cool first.

  9. Connie says:

    Hi, I have been trying to make this but each time when I added my first egg, the whole thing turned cuddled, do not understand why. I used coconut oil, coconut sugar and cacao powder, didn’t use coconut cream. I had 1 time success but I didn’t do anything differently, I didn’t add coconut cream too. Plssssss HELP, thanks

  10. Lydia says:

    I tried this recipe yesterday and followed all the tips (whisking exactly 40 times, placing the batter in the fridge overnight) and they came out SO LOVELY. I used powdered erythritol & reduced it to about 100g, sweet enough for me. So excited to try the cheesecake brownie version next!

    • It depends on how sweet you want them Dee! 140g is for more ‘Keto adapted’ palates and 200g will give you the traditional sweetness (which many keto peeps will find ‘too sweet’). I hope this makes sense xo!

  11. Mary says:

    Hi! These were so great! Just had them tonight and so satisfying 🙂 I’m wondering what to substitute for less cocoa powder? Just for less bitterness. Maybe more almond flour? Thanks for the recipe! My husband and I loved it for our movie night!

  12. JeffP says:

    Just a warning, if you have dogs, use a different sweetener other than Xylitol. Its deathly poisonous to dogs and not worth having in the house if you have them.

  13. Carolyn Davis says:

    Love LOVE Love these brownies –make it all the time –tips : undercook it !!! (I do 14 minutes in a glass square 8X8 dish–(tastes more like fudge) –when I pull it out it looks a bit undercooked –but be patient –it cooks after it is out of the oven and now comes out perfect every time, Another tip: I add a few drops of liquid stevia into the receipe to cut the “cold” aftertaste of the sweetner and it works ! –I use Lanktanto monkfruit sugar (Costco sells it now) and put it in my baking coffee grinder to powder it –works for all erythritol products too. And of course we always add toasted walnuts in and on top–having made this about 100 times–it is our favorite ! as so many of her recipes are –this is my favorite Keto blog ever and I serve this to non-keto eaters all the time –no one has ever said anything except “more please”.

    • Joanne says:

      I used powdered Erythritol for the sweetener and had the issue of the “cool aftertaste” and felt it was a little too strong for my liking. Which liquid stevia did you use? Thanks for sharing the tip!

  14. Anony Ronny says:

    Great recipe. I followed everything to the letter. Converted grams to ounces to accommodate my kitchen scale. I used 140 grams of erithrytol. I’ll use a little more next time for a touch more sweetness. My only additions were: a handful of chopped walnuts, 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum and about 1-2 tbls of almond milk.

    There was less batter than I expected, but they came out just fine. Once you spread it out evenly, the pan fills out just fine.

    I lightly sprinkled Himalayan pink salt over the top; what a great idea.

  15. Wannabe Baker says:

    Would aspartame do the trick instead of xylitol? I’m desperate to make these but I can’t find xylitol anywhere.

  16. Angelica Prada Rocha says:

    Is there any way I can add Flaxseed or Chia seeds? Would they change the fudgy of the brownies?

  17. Lina says:

    I made these using all the lower end portions for the ingredients and when I plug it into my counter it’s 0 net carbs per serving 🙌. Great recipe!

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