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*
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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689 comments

  1. bostongg says:

    Outstanding! I made the recipe as is. cooked for 20 mins..then 5 minutes more. Wanted more gooey…will cook a little less next time.

  2. Jed Primo-Morales says:

    Just as suggestion since it seems folks are having issues with getting it to how you made it. Incorporating a few images showing how it looked for you at each step in the instructions so we know what visually expect during preparation. And did you hand whisk or use a hand mixer with whisk attachment to incorporate ingredients together?

  3. Melissa says:

    These brownies are really delicious. I can not even explain how rich & decadent these things taste. I used Hershey’s cocoa powder & they still turned out rich & amazing. Much better that regular flour brownies for sure!! Next time I make a batch I will use the cocoa powder recommend. They were also super simple to make!

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe 🙂

  4. Sarah says:

    IF YOU USE SALTED BUTTER DO NOT ADD SALT! These would have been perfect if I would have left the salt out 😘 they’re rich, chewy, and great with vanilla almond milk! Mmmm…

  5. Cristen says:

    Paola, I am in LOVE with you! THANK YOU for your AMAZING recipes, they have been life-changing. I am also extremely grateful for the care and detail you put into your posts and videos, as I have learned so much. I have made 4 of your recipes in the past 2 days and I cannot wait to keep trying other recipes. We made these DECADENT brownies last night…we were a bit impatient, so we did not chill the batter overnight, per your suggestion. And we used the powdered Monkfruit (+ 1 extra egg = perfect batter), as we have already had a doggy incident with xylitol, she is fine but our wallet is a little lighter after an emergency vet visit, so I refuse to use it. Two questions for you…1. How do you get that traditional brownie, flaky top? 2. We stored the brownies in the fridge and now it is more like fudge than a brownie. Still DELICIOUS but not the brownie I was hoping to have tonight with your vanilla ice-cream. How would you recommend re-heating the brownies? We don’t own a microwave, so I wanted to know what your thoughts were for warming up in the oven for a couple minutes at 250F?

  6. Louis says:

    Umm…what am I doing wrong? Recipe to the letter, and this is mortar and far from pourable. Is there a step/ingredient missing from the list?

    Help!

  7. Kira says:

    The consistency is perfect but OMG it turned out sickeningly sweet. I kept checking to make sure there wasn’t a spelling mistake. Double checked everything, and there was no sugar either in the cocoa nor in anything else. I used erythritol, probably around 140g. Can I use a quarter of that or something and add some more almond meal instead?

  8. Hi Paola,. Thank you for this lovely recipe. I have made it 4 or 5 times. I use em temp butter , mix with Pyure sweetners. Then add the other ingredients with 3 eggs due to sweetners. I toast the nuts. Place 2/3s of the batter in my pan, then toasted nuts followed by the ready of the batter. Sprinkle a few Lillies chips on top and bake 19-20 mins. They still look wet in the middle when I pull them from the oven. I let them cool then refrigerate before cutting. They are moist dense extremely chocolaty and Totally delish almost like fudge. We previously made a more cake like brownie that we froze to get more texture. There is no going back, these are just too good. Thank you again.
    Sincerely
    Gaye

  9. Brandy says:

    I made these tonight and they turned out really good. I didn’t follow your advice about not scooping the chocolate, so I had to try again. Made a second batch following your instructions and they were perfect. Thank you for all of the extra details. It really helped. Too bad I didn’t read them all the first time.

  10. Rina says:

    Hi, I’ve made this recipe, thank you – it is truly an amazing one!
    However I’m concerned about the sweetener xylitol as my calculations show that each slice will touch at least 10g net carbs, as it’s a sugar alcohol unlike stevia and Erythritol .
    I didn’t know any better – had mixed half and half as had run out but I think this needs to be updated . Otherwise amazing recipe! Highly recommend it/ keto-wise might be a little high on the carb side.. But rather have this on the odd day then spinach ! Lol

  11. Amanda says:

    I need a dairy free version so I can’t use butter. I have oil but I dont have coconut cream. What should I use to sub for the butter? Thanks!

  12. Kimberly says:

    The consistency of these brownies were lovely. I thought l read the recipe thoroughly evidently not. I do NOT recommend using any salt if you use salted butter. Unsalted butter is best however i didnt have it on hand anyway. Thanks so much for the recipe. Im going to retry in the near future!!!!

  13. Laura says:

    Made these tonight. They were more like baked goo than anything else. And the servings are tiny! This should be 8 servings and not 16. Wouldn’t recommend these to anyone.

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Hi Laura! If you ended up with brownie goo it sounds like a very simple case of under-baking. As simple as that 😉 xo!

  14. Jenny Musa says:

    I made these and they really nice. It’s best for me when it cold out of the fridge. Thank you for this awesome recipe.

  15. Milena says:

    Mine came out super fudge-y: pretty much like fudge. I did use swerve and adjusted as stated by adding an extra egg and lowering the cooking time. I think it just needed an extra minute or two in the oven but I LOVED them overall! I always hear it up and eat it with low carb ice cream. And yes- these last because a little square is quite satisfying!!
    I do want to THANK YOU for taking your time to explain the different sweetness and the effects they have on the outcome as well as the cooking time!!! Much appreciated!!!!

  16. Leigh says:

    I was reading through the comments and I never saw anywhere that someone only used monkfruit as the sweetener? It is the only non-stevia product I have on hand. Will this work? Also what measurement would you suggest if this is a possibility? Thank you for your time these sound incredible! Especially to a brownie fiend!

  17. Jae says:

    I made these brownies using coconut sugar. My expectation for good taste was quite low. These brownies were really good! They were almost perfect. In my next batch, I’ll make without any salt.
    Thank you very much for the recipe.

  18. Whitney says:

    Just made these and they are soooo good! Very rich and easy to cut into squares. The sea salt is a great touch and I highly recommend using some sugar free or dark chocolate chips on top.

  19. Mia says:

    This is my second time making these. I Just want to say thank you for your recipes and blog. You and your team have made my Keto WOE less mundane. I purchased your ebook the other day and I love it! I recommend it others to purchase as it is chock full of practical recipes.

    The comments on this blog LOL, people should read the recipe and notes as it seems like every question on here is answered in her recipe and notes LOL.

    Anyway, please keep adding more recipes!

  20. Alesha says:

    Thank you for this recipe! Just made these, and they came out soooo good! I used erythritol/monk blend. I also added walnuts to mine. I noticed that my batter was thicker than expected but did not have a third egg to add, so I added a couple tablespoons of almond milk. Mine needed to bake for about 30 mins. They were done but still nice and fudgy! Perfect treat when my chocolate craving calls.

  21. Bailey says:

    I followed this recipe EXACTLY the way it was written, but it didn’t turn out the way I expected it to for some reason. I was expecting it to have a more fudgy, softer texture versus the crackly texture I got. I’m wondering where I went wrong here. As a huge brownie fan, I’m feeling really disappointed. My mom loved them, but after this long on Keto, I think she’s so hard up that she’d really enjoy anything that resembled a brownie at this point.

  22. Kathleen says:

    Thank you for the recipe, I made 2 batches, first batch had salt and heavy cream to thin out batter. Desired texture was achieved but too salty. 2nd batch was just right minus the salt. Will definitely be making again and sharing! 😊

  23. Hayley Babbitt says:

    Hi! I really want to try these out, however, I often have a hard time baking keto treats because of my sweetener. I either use Truvia (Stevia I guess) or Pyure (also a brand of “pure” Stevia). Does anyone know if I can still use these in baking as a sugar substitute? Thanks!

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      I never suggest baking chocolate with stevia (bad aftertaste). Read the section on sweeteners in the post Hayley 😉 xo

  24. Georgia says:

    Hi, I so desperately want to make these but when I put the xylitol sweetener in keto tracker it says 6g a serving of carb…and ands that’s without anything else.

    Should I be using a specific brand? My xylitol says 100g of carbs per 100g…

    Thanks!

  25. scott says:

    I think I’m going to have to try again. My first batch came out like “Coco cornbread”, very mealy and definitely not fudgy. Hmmm.

    Also, when baked my brownies seemed to be swimming in butter. Not sure why, since I KNOW I can measure… 🙂

    I did process my Erythritol in a spice grinder to powder it. Worked like a charm.

    • El P says:

      Same thing happened to mine!! Guess I should’ve put the almond flour in a food processor but what’s with the butter/oil on top? And my batter was NOT pourable, it was a big thick blob that got all stuck to the whisk…these were a nightmare for me to make…the first Keto brownies I attempted to make was a recipe with avocados, coconut sugar, and natural peanut butter and a few other things and they were awful…I’m starting to thinking Keto baking is not my forte! Lol

    • Andrea says:

      I did them today, and honestly it was a disappointment. They were literally swimming in butter inside the oven. I measured everything but the result was nothing like the recipe pictures. I just throw away precious monkfruit, almond flour and cocoa 🙁 .

      • Paola van der Hulst says:

        Andrea this is something that happens with ALL brownies of the batter isn’t emulsified properly (the butter separates from the eggs). You need to properly whisk it 🤷‍♀️ Sorry this happened, I get your pain!

    • Amber says:

      Have you tried again, Scott? I had the same result of “swimming in butter” and “mealy brownies” using no powdered sweetener, just a few drops of liquid sucralose instead. The chocolate butter mixture melted really smooth, but as soon as I added a non-cold egg, it totally thickened up, and didn’t loosen at all with the second egg, but started to release butter out of the “batter” (it was actually a dough consistency). I didn’t think it would be a problem, so I proceeded to add the almond flour and baked it for 18 minutes and took it out to cool. I guess 18 minutes may have been too long, but with the dough practically being set going into the oven, there were no visual cues to watch for the keep it from over baking. I want to try again, and maybe next time I’ll use xylitol to see if that helps matters. I wasn’t crazy about the taste using sucralose, though I generally like it in everything else. I’m on the fence at this point. I really want a decadent brownie!

      Thanks for the recipe, Paola! I’m hoping for some magic next time. 🙂

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