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. T says:

    Grainy, tasted like dirt. Was fudgey but no sweetness at all. Used Stevia as xylitol and erithritol are expensive here however batter tasted good but cooked it was yuck.

  2. Lindsey Levine says:

    I am very confused how the net carbs have been calculated. 1 cup of xylitol powdered erythritol has 192 carbs divided by 16 is 15.5 carbs – what am I doing wrong? Even if I go with the 2/3 cup sugar it’s well over 7 carbs.

  3. Hannah says:

    Made these tonight with pyure sweetener because I didn’t want to open my monk fruit until this was gone. Just tasted them and oh wow! They are the best brownies ever! Amazing! I will have to hide them from my kids I do not want to share! This is now my go to recipe for brownies! So far everything I’ve made from your site is incredible thank you!!!

  4. Kat says:

    I have been gluten free for quite some time and I can honestly say these are some of THE BEST gf brownies I’ve ever had. I was a bit hesitant since the reviews are so extreme, but looking at the directions and whatnot, it looked like they should work.

    Because my only dietary need is gluten, I browned the butter (who doesn’t love browned butter?) and added coconut sugar 1for1… it was AMAZING! I’m definitely making these for our family reunion coming up where my dad’s side of the family is celiac and haven’t been able to enjoy many blissful foods in years!
    Thank you!

    • Lol! I think you’ll find extreme reviews in ANY keto recipe (ingredients, particularly sweeteners vary A LOT!)…. but I think you’ll find that out of the over 700 comments, most are as positive as yours 😉 xo!

  5. Christina says:

    These turned out good, I did a half batch. I used cocoa butter in place of butter and I did use Pyure, but only half the amount instead. No bitter aftertaste, not crystalized, etc.

  6. Cat says:

    I would really like to know what recipe some people used to make these brownies they say tasted like burnt play doh or weren’t chocolate-y enough. I followed the recipe exactly, used Lakanto classic monk fruit and Anthony’s Dutch processed cocoa, weighed all the ingredients and had the best keto brownies I have ever tasted. I probably bake them a minute or two too long and they weren’t as fudgy as I would have liked, but that’s my fault and it did not affect the taste one bit! Best brownies ever!

    These also freeze beautifully! I take out a few, keep them in a container on the counter and eat half of one every evening. (The next batch will be cut into 32 rather than 16.) These are my guilty pleasure that’s basically guilt free. 😂

    Okay, I did sprinkle a few walnuts on top, simply because I like the crunch of nuts in my brownies, but that was the only thing I did that wasn’t in the recipe. Can’t wait to make the peanut butter swirl version. Dark chocolate Reese’s cup brownies? Count me in!

  7. Katherine says:

    Ooof these came out awful! No chocolate flavor- like a wet bland sponge soaked in butter. I used half grass fed butter, half coconut oil, and Swerve powdered. Dutch process cocoa. The batter tasted a bit better than the baked product. Very disappointed to have wasted such expensive ingredients.

    • I’m sorry you didn’t like them Katherine! But what I really want to know is what cocoa did you use?!! Because if 80g worth don’t make it taste like chocolate…. I don’t know what will lol! In fact, the general ‘complaint’ from the milk-chocolate lovers in the comments is that these are even too chocolatey! So let’s advice against your brand of cocoa pls! Xo!

  8. Shauna says:

    I put the mix in the fridge overnight and am getting ready to bake now. Do I need to add more time since the batter is so cold? Thank you for your amazing recipes!

  9. Deanna says:

    The were absolutely amazing! I normally do not leave a rating on anything but I was extremely happy with these brownies. They are as claimed, super Fudgy, yum.
    Thank you

  10. Kimberleigh says:

    Paola,
    FABulous brownies aside, I just have to say that YOU are awesome! Always kind generous and gracious in every way. Thank you for being an online example to us all. We learn much from you that goes far beyond the low carb kitchen.
    Much appreciated: )

  11. Sara says:

    It came out of the oven made my kitchen smell delish!! I have been craving chocolate for a while but dont want to ruin my diet. Found this recipe that looked really promising!! I let it cool for a while on my counter before taking a bite that i was looking forward to! I waited for my kids to get in bed or i would hear “can i have some?” On repeat.
    Not even 5 minutes after they were suggled up I grabbed that knife to cut of a small corner where I would start on the delish i-must-have of a brownie! I popped it in my mouth and – – holy fuck what did I just eat?!
    No not burnt dirt, no not play dough, I thought it was brownie!
    I had to make sure, yeah it was the brownie I was looking forward to eating. Yeah it tasted nasty!
    I had to spit and rinse!
    I followed every step, i have the ingredients, i worked my oven correctly. Whats wrong with this picture?
    Im really considering cheating on my diet tonight because of this burnt dirt playdoh cooked thing.
    Ew. Just ew!!!
    🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢

    • Hi Sara! I’m sorry to hear they came out so bad… but while I thoroughly enjoyed the story line of the epic disaster, I need more to go on to help you diagnose the problem than ‘they tasted horrendous’. Remember I’m not in the kitchen with you guys!

      Lets start with what sweetener did you use love? If there’s any stevia in it it would DEF account for a bitter after taste… or some erythritrols also give strong cooling effects (and can crystalize) xo!

  12. Michelle Susar says:

    Just made this – haven’t actually tried yet, but they took an extra 10 minutes to bake. Otherwise, they are definitely fudge brownies. 🙂

  13. Sam Madan says:

    I was just going through the raw ingredients list and it doesn’t seem to add all up to 1g net carbs (calculated for a serving size). For example one tsp of xylitol is just 4g in net carbs. Does putting it together or heating it somehow change the nutritional content? Thanks.

  14. Ellen says:

    Watch out! Here comes the old lady grammar police! A real oddity I have noticed in recent years is people getting certain expressions backwards. Such as, in this case, saying you can substitute almond flour for hazelnut, when what you mean is actually the opposite. At least, I think that’s what you mean — to use some hazelnut instead of all almond flour? That is substituting some of your almond flour with hazelnut flour. Or substituting some hazelnut flour for some of the almond flour. I have really been scratching my head over this one! I’ve finally kind of accepted “I could care less” instead of the more logical “I couldn’t care less,” which is what we said when I was young (I’m 66, and from the south.) But really, substituting something for something else means to use some of that something (hazelnut flour) instead of the almond flour. Similarly, you can substitute (usually) some brown sugar for part or all of the white sugar which many brownie recipes call for. Doesn’t that make sense to you? Oh, and one more — people nowadays say something is based OFF of something instead of based ON something. Another weird reversal. Good brownies, though! And I have to use flax eggs. Thank goodness they work.

    • Ellen you got my brain in a twist loooool!!! OK so what I mean is that you can also use hazelnut in place of the almond (is that better?!). I mean, English is also my second language… and while I did study in the US (and took AP English language AND literature) I’m aware I make frequent mistakes 😉 xo!

  15. Cristal says:

    Ok I followed recipe to the Tee.. but decided to add a little xanthem gum. It was so grainy when I did final stir. The only other thing I could think of that I did different too is I added 4 tablespoons of regular unsalted butter bc I ran out of ghee. Anyways they were not gooey at all they crumbled quite a bit after baking. Was it the xanthem gum?

    • Trina says:

      I’ve done this recipe a handful of times and the one time I had this problem, I did 2 things different: I tried a storebrand cocoa, and used a ceramic Corningware pan instead of my usual metal baking pan. Not sure why they ended up that way but they were still goos with milk, as suggested.

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