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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745 comments

  1. Jessica says:

    Smells great as they are cooking but it’s been 25 mins and there’s a pool in the center of the pan. I did use a silicone baking liner instead of parchment but I’m nervous 😬

    • How did the work out Jessica? Tbh I’ve never baked in a silicon pan, so not sure how it would work (I’m assuming they would take loner because the metal helps to conduct heat?).. Honestly not sure though! xo!

  2. Blahvo says:

    My first attempt using Almond flour and it was excellent! It looked like a lot of oil before I baked them and was tempted to drain some of it out but glad I didn’t. Everything was great, thank you!

  3. Lizzy says:

    Hi! I made the brownies i used 120 g or eritritol, which a bit less that requested. However, the turned out too sweet… what could have gone wrong??

    • Hi Lizzy! Check first that the sweetener you used isn’t 2:1 to sugar (some erythritrols with added stevia and monk fruit are). Otherwise it might just be that your taste buds are SUPER Keto adapted (good for you!) and you simply need to cut the sweetener even more 😉 xo!

  4. Jody says:

    I have been eating Keto for the last 4 months and so far lost 10kg!!! Your recipes have contributed to my success. Everything I have made from your website is soooo good and in fact we are having your Pad Thai tonight. I’ve just made this brownie and OMG it’s the best. Thank you so much for all of the amazing recipes, you make our lives so much easier.

  5. kristie says:

    ok, UPDATE!!! so after pouring off the extra coconut oil and baking longer, the brownies went in the fridge for 15 min and were delicious. the whole family loved them. So aside from some adjustments (really just pouring off excess oil and baking for longer) These are amazing! Nailed it, once again! SO glad you’re here for us all! I rec your site to all new Keto peeps out there.

    • LOL! But that still doesn’t sound ideal! It’s happened a couple times for other readers (even with butter), and its because the fat wasn’t emulsified properly with the eggs (gotta whisk a bit more!) xo Kristie!!

  6. Zoe says:

    Incredibly rich and fudgy with a perfect chocolate brownie flavor. For the sweetener I measured out 140 g of granulated Swerve then blended it in my Nutri Bullet to make it a powder. Before adding the almond flour the batter was super thick like the recipe said it might be, like a cookie dough consistency. I was being lazy and just splashed in a couple tablespoons of heavy whipping cream in before adding the almond flour so it didn’t get any thicker. I also added 1 tbsp of 85% cocoa chocolate, chopped into chunks, right into the batter before baking. I baked it for 19 minutes and it came out perfect! While the brownies were still warm I ate one with a big scoop of Keto coconut milk vanilla ice cream from Chocolate Covered Katie. It was the best brownie sundae I’ve ever had!

  7. Laura Herrera says:

    I want to know why Stevia would not work for these brownies. I have all ingredients but the only sweetener I have is Stevia.

  8. Susan says:

    Sooo good!!!!!! Love the not so sweet, dark chocolate taste. Great recipe, easy to make and I will definitely be baking these again.

  9. Janean says:

    I am allergic to almond and have been looking for good substitutions for desserts. How could I make this with lupin flour, or flaxmeal?

  10. Donna says:

    So I put the batter in the fridge overnight but then it was rock hard and let it sit for about 5 hours and still not really soft again.

    Not sure if that was the way it was to be but nothing was mentioned about re-microwaving or anything after it is in the fridge at night unless I missed it.

    Any help on how you did it would be great

  11. Stanely says:

    It is possible to substitute grass fed butter to ghee butter as my daughter has lactose intolerance. If so , what will be the ratio ?

  12. Sk says:

    I used 100g of sweetner because i dont love the taste. Substituted almond with coconut flour and used 3 eggs. Oh my……this is what ive been missing..next time i will add some chopped nuts but i had one piece hot from oven with cream, it was seriously like a lively chocolate pudding. Ive never been so excited about a keto recipe and mine made 24 squares so even better. Thankyou for this recipe. I love it!

  13. Nikki says:

    I’m all out of xylitol and erythritol. All I have on hand is generic granulated splenda. How would I convert the xylitol grams to granulated splenda grams? Seems it can’t be 1:1 because so far I’ve filled a bowl full of the granulated splenda and it weighs only 55 grams. I’m guessing it’s about 2-3 cups.

  14. Sammie says:

    Oh wow, just made these with xylitol and they’re fabulous! Best Keto Brownie ever!! My only problem now, will be staying away from them, because they’re bite sized, it’s going to be too easy to keep snacking on them! Thank you for a fantastic recipe! I’ve tried several Brownie recipes on varying sites, with and without avocado and they all disappointed till this one… thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  15. Miquela says:

    These brownies are amazing! I used swerve and add some HWC because it was a little thick. They turned out great.

  16. Cindy says:

    What’s left of the batter is in the oven. Whisk? That turned out to be near impossible. I ended up putting all of it into the stand mixer. I’d had all the ingredients measured out before I started. Well see what happens.

  17. Rhonda C says:

    I made these with mostly xylitol and a little erythritol because I ran out of xylitol, and they are delicious! They take care of the little bit of sweet tooth I have left. I keep them in the freezer and eat them frozen. They’re so good!
    Thanks for the excellent recipe!

  18. Becky Rosales says:

    Ok, I didn’t rate this because well something must have went terribly wrong and I want to give it another chance. these brownies smelled DELICIOUS when they were baking so naturally i could barely wait to try them after dinner. however they were SOOOOO salty it was as if i succeeded in making an ocean flavored black bread! I don’t know what i did wrong but based on other reviews it must have been almost criminal!!

    advice??

  19. Andrea says:

    Thank you Paola,
    This recipe is great! my husband and I are transitioning from eating everything to decreasing our carb intake, significantly. Him, having a big-time sweet tooth was dying for some sweets. I made these brownies and he just kept complimenting the recipe, he was in heaven.
    So, for those transitioning from sugar to sweeteners, I can say that for this recipe, I used 180g of Lakanto (erythritol & monk fruit). I spent a LONG time beating the butter, cocoa, and Lakanto on a water bath and the lakanto seemed to never dissolve, yet the batter was very manageable. Eventually, I just set it to the side, let it cool down and added the eggs… the batter turned into a thick ball!! So I added another egg, the same thing continued to happen. I added a third egg and instead of using a whisk, I used a spatula to mix and the batter was again quite manageable.
    The brownies came out rich and sweet. Next time I will try the recipe using 160g for my perfect level of sweetness.
    The only thing, I noticed with the brownies ( I know is due to the sweeteners) is that there was no after taste, but there was a cooling sensation after I chew them. I have used swerve before (on a different recipe) and never felt this cooling sensation but I have read on the previous comments that others have felt it when using erythritol.
    I have never used “pure monk fruit”, does anyone knows what the ratios are for baking? Or if it is a good alternative to baking when used in its pure form?
    Thanks,
    Andrea.

  20. Rachel says:

    For extra fat, I added half a block of cream cheese mixed with vanilla, cream, and sweetener to taste. I then swirled it through the batter to give it a marble effect! It turned out great.

  21. Ariel Eaton says:

    These are such a life saver! Tonight I tried using 1/2 cup erythritol and 2 tsp Inulin to cut some of the cooling effect and it worked perfectly. I always undercook them so they’re more like fudge once they cool and I can’t wait! Sixteen squares is what I get and it’s always just the right amount of chocolate kick to keep my cravings at bay. God bless you!

  22. Mrs Herren says:

    Perhaps I had my hopes up too high. My kids really enjoyed this sweet treat, since sweet has gone out the window since DH and I started keto. I thought they were “meh” I mean, if there were more carbs I would never waste my carbs on these. They satisfied my sweet tooth, but they just weren’t that good.

    With that being said, it could just be that I need to just stay away from keto desserts because it is possible that I am expecting keto desserts to taste more like regular desserts. Perhaps I just did something wrong 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️

  23. Jennifer Oakley says:

    This is an awesome brownie recipe! I tend to accumulate recipes in an attempt to find the perfect one, so this weekend I made small batches of 6 different low carb/keto brownie recipes I’d found on various blog sites. This recipe was the hands down winner – everyone in my family liked it!

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      What a wonderful review Jennifer! So happy to hear the brownies came out on top lol 😉 thanks so much for reporting back!

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