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.
The Ultimate Paleo & Keto Brownies 🍫
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You’ve got a couple options here. Xylitol and allulose (use the higher amount as its less sweet1) have 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 my taste buds here, but I’ve noticed that stevia-based sweeteners (such as Pyure) don’t work so great when chocolate is involved as the aftertaste is accentuated. So I 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! 🐕
And… the video story!
(1g net carb!) Suuuper Fudgy Keto Brownies
- 130 g unsalted grass-fed butter or 8 TBS coconut oil + 1 TBS coconut cream if paleo
- 140-200 g xylitol allulose (use higher amount), 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
- flakey sea salt optional (but highly suggested!)
- unsweetened macadamia milk nice 'n cold!
- See recipe video for guidance!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the almond flour, whisking vigorously until fully blended (about a minute).
- 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.
- 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.
I love these. I learned a trick to increase the depth of flavor and intensify the taste…
add about 1/2 tsp of finely ground dark roast coffee beans. Amazing!
Love this recipe! I’ve made this twice so far and this time I added some chopped pecans for nutty brownies.
If you forget to bring your eggs to room temperature, here’s a tip.
Crack your eggs into a small bowl. Add a little bit of the chocolate mixture into it. I added a few tablespoons. Then beat the eggs and small amount of chocolate mixture. What you’re doing is tempering the eggs so they don’t scramble when you add it to the bowl with all the chocolate mixture. Once your small bowl is mixed, you can continue with the recipe adding a little of the eggs at a time in step 4.
I was wondering if we need to make the batter first, and then bake it the next day?
YES! Keep it in the fridge though xo!
Where is the video?
Mick, if you’re running an ad blocker that’s the likely reason why you can’t see it as they block the video plugin too (it’s at the bottom of the recipe card)
Has anyone used their slow cooker for these? I’m about to make them but my options are slow cooker, bench top over or air Fryer…
Tbh I haven’t tried in anything but the oven, but I think the air fryer will be your best choice (as it’s essentially a mini convection oven btw!). Gut instinct says they might be ready a bit quicker (??).
Hi, can I use dark chocolate cacao powder instead ? Would it be tastier? Or should I use half cacao powder and half dark cacao instead? Because I love dark chocolate.
Also can I use powdered sugar in the same amount if I dont have erythrol?
Hi there JI! Tbh I’ve never heard of dark chocolate cocoa (would you mind sharing the brand, I’m intrigued!), but you should be good to go. That said, I’m a huuuuge dark chocolate fan too and *highly!!!* recommend that you try Valrhona- it’s just *chef’s kiss* :). xo!
Sure, it is Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder. Will be trying that since I have at home. Shall try Valrhona next time too!
Thank you for sharing JI! That one’s good (I used to bake with it in college!) but trust me on Valrhona, its a bit more pricey but there’s a reason its known as probably the best cocoa in the world xo!!
I’ve made these before and love them! Want to make them again this weekend, but I’m a lazy baker… Do these freeze well? That way I can bake a lot at once and keep them in the freezer for when the cravings hit!
They freeze *great*!! Most keto baked goods surprisingly do great in the freezer. Enjoy!
They freeze incredibly well! Every time I make them I freeze half the batch. The frozen taste as good as the fresh baked.
Thank you Cat!! Btw when I make the cheesecake version with the swirls imo they even taste better actually frozen 🤷♀️
These taste exactly like sugar packed brownies I use to have as a kid but without the guilt! I can’t believe how amazingly yummy these were!
Key was definitely to follow instructions precisely for these heavenly treats 😍
Ohhh my days!!! Just made these and they are HEAVEN!! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes; you have brightened up many a day with tasty deliciousness! Xxx
I’ve been making your recipes for a few months now and I have to say, lady, you know your stuff. This brownie recipe was the shit, serious chocolate with such a richness and depth. I topped it with espresso salt and POW. Masterpiece. I’ll be back, love your stuff.
These are the best, most unbelievably deliciously, divine brownies ever!!!
I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.
Thank you for sharing your magic!
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed Claire! xo and happy baking!
I can’t wait to try these, Paola, but I’d appreciate advice on making them dairy-free. What ingredient or combination of ingredients should I substitute for the butter? Refined coconut oil? cocoa butter? grapeseed oil? Would it make sense to add more liquid to make up for the water in butter?
I love that allulose has zero aftertaste, but eating more than a small quantity gives some family members GI side effects. Would you expect that to be mitigated by using smaller amounts of two sweeteners? perhaps xylitol? Or would the potential GI effect of a sugar alcohol be additive to that of allulose? What about a product that blends allulose and monkfruit, like Besti? What do you recommend?
Loving these. I’ve added lemon zest before and today I’ve added orange zest.m
We made these brownies today with my boyfriend..ok we have NO words. The brownies are the BEST! SO tasty and fudgy it blew out mind. We’ve tried so many different recipes, from vegan and keto to very unhealthy ones..We will only make this recipe from now on! Everyone who tried it asked for the recipe!
Thank you for sharing this amazing brownie recipe.
Much love from Greece!
Omg. These are to die for!! I threw in a few fresh raspberries. Thank you!!
I used Lakanto Monk Fruit as my Sweetener….these were truly amazing!
The only negative, is that I can’t stop eating them!
They were delicious, however, why does the amount of butter jump up to 18 tbs for a 2x recipe, but the coconut oil stays the same in the amount for the 2x recipe?
I made these and they were really crumbly even after they set when I used the 18 tbs of butter. Delicious flavour, but the second time I made them, I put in a TBS of coconut flour and 1 TSP of xanthan gum. Much better result. Also the cooking time was much longer for me. About 25 minutes both times as they were just dough when I wanted to pull them out at 18 minutes.
I’ll leave three stars because I am giving you the benefit of the doubt, but for me, what happened was it thickened up and wound up tasting like a salt brick.
Any chance you used salted butter Lars?
I added a teaspoon of gelatin and used about 1 c. Allulose and these were perfect! Fudgy and smooth.