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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758 comments

  1. Amber says:

    I wish I knew what I did wrong? I watched the video and my mixture is a lot more melted in the beginning, maybe the sugar cocoa butter mixture melted too long?

    I didn’t pack any of my ingredients (i poured them into my measuring cups). I used powdered (confectioners) swerve. Bobs Mill super fine almond flour.

    Mine came out like sponges?

    Good base flavor though.

  2. Rebecca says:

    THANK YOU!!!
    I have been looking everywhere for a keto/low carb brownie recipe that doesn’t include a chocolate bar!
    You are amazing!

  3. annette says:

    what would be your recommendations on using Stevia.. just started this program last week and bought a huge bag of stevia. Now realizing not many recipes use this sweeter. How much would you recommend on using for this recipe….so that i can use it up and get rid of it!!

  4. Alyssa Wadsworth says:

    So I am a little confused about the whole 1 carb brownies. Seems like a lie. I used xylitol like they suggest and cocoa powder with the same carb count and according to my calculations each brownie would be around 12 carbs. Now if you used a sweetener with no carbs that would be a different story but they recommended a sweetener that is fairly high compared to the alternative. Did anyone else try and calculate it and find that same problem? I found this recipe very misleading. The brownies were okay but not worth almost half my daily carbs.

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      No need to accuse me of being ‘misleading’…. it’s common practice to subtract sugar alcohols form total carbs as they’re not an actual sugar xo! so many keto newbies this week lol 😉

  5. Amanda says:

    Made these for the first time and they were delicious! Notes/tweaks:
    -added 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    -used 1/4 cup xylitol and 3/4 cups of a monkfruit/erithrytol blend
    -used unsalted butter

    Batter was quite thick, but still spread nicely in the pan (which I simply greased with coconut oil, didn’t bother with parchment. Refrigerated overnight, and cooked for 21 mins (checking at 15 mins, then every 3 mins after).

    For first stage, I melted butter in the microwave and then stirred in sugar and the rest.

    Thanks for the great recipe! One question- has anyone tried adding a touch of baking powder to make these rise? I don’t mind them them as are but a bit more volume would make the batch last a bit longer 🙂

  6. Gisele says:

    I just made these and came out very good, the only thing is that they didn’t get crispy or textured on top. How can I get that?

    • Jackie Martin says:

      I made with a mix of erythritol (with inulin, swerve and monk) and they’re perfectly fine. I did find they were a little dry (which I think was mentioned in recipe) so I doubled eggs (and increased baking time a smidge)

  7. Lisa says:

    Decadence! The Maldon salt flakes are delightful. I’m glad you suggested 16 servings as opposed to the 9 I was planning to do. These things are super rich and fudgy. A little goes a long way.

    • Lisa says:

      OMG! These got even better after several hours. The top hardened up to give me that crunchy exterior I love in my brownies.

  8. Anastasia says:

    Thank you very much for the recipe, I am a beginner keto diet, and I am learning a lot about baking from your blog.
    Greetings from Greece.

  9. Andrew Dupree says:

    Can someone please tell me the conversion to cups please. It wont let me change it for some reason and I’m really wanting to try these. Not very good baking. Thanks

    • Lynn Kershaw-Smith says:

      Is the recipe open in a browser window? If I am using my phone and follow a Pinterest link I can’t click on things such as a convert to cups link. If this is the problem then you just need to open in Chrome or your chosen browser.

    • Paola Van Der Hulst says:

      That definitely doesn’t sound right. What sweetener did you use Joshua? If they were super dry it also means overbooked xo!

  10. Anna says:

    LOVE these brownies!! My 7 year old daughter said they tasted like the real thing. Great texture and and super easy to make. Couldn’t stick to Keto without this website.

  11. Julie O says:

    I can’t remember if I’ve reviewed this recipe before but I’m making it again tonight and it’s just that good that I have to say something again! Last time I dumped cold butter, xylitol, and cocoa powder into a glass bowl set over a pot of water and it stayed very lumpy and unmelted for what seemed like an eternity. This time I melted the butter in the microwave first then added the xylitol and then the cocoa powder. It worked perfectly and the mixture stayed perfectly smooth through adding everything else. I did forget to add salt but that’s probably for the best since I used salted Kerrygold butter. Thank you so much for this recipe! I prefer it to regular brownies now.

  12. Maggie says:

    Just made these, only mods I made was to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of Lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate chips at the end. I used powdered Swerve, and as warned , the batter was thick. I didn’t have an extra egg so I added 1 tablespoon of heavy cream instead. Baked for 18 minutes and they came out perfect!!! Fudgy and perfectly balanced. So amazing. This recipe is definitely a keeper. You can’t even tell they’re not the conventional brownie. Thank you so so much, my search for the perfect fudgy keto brownie is over! Will try your recipe for moist keto chocolate cake next!

    • Stayc says:

      Just made these with the Monk sweetener. I used 3g. I didn’t have enough butter at room temp so I used what I had (6 tablespoons) and 2 tablespoon coconut oil. I also increased the almond flour by 1/8 due to lack of other sweeteners measurement. It came out tasty, but a little dry. Next time I will probably stick with the 3/4 cup almond flour.

  13. Candace says:

    Just made these today.. bought the cocoa powder you recommended and used xylitol as the sweetener (1 cup).. measured everything with a scale in grams.. Deliciousness.. as another commenter said, I licked the bowl clean! Left them in the full 25 mins and came out extra moist, soft in the middle.. fudgy and tasty. Very rich chocolate flavor.. I tried your cream cheese brownies before and they didn’t come out right but these were beautiful and I’m so happy.. better than boxed for sure! And easy!! My new go-to brownie recipe 🙂

  14. Michelle Baker says:

    Just made these for the first time and they were great! Much needed fix to my chocolate cravings! Thank you so much for sharing!! Will be trying more of ur Keto recipes ❤️

  15. AEW says:

    These are amazing! Omw! I used erythritol, 1/2 cup almond flour, and 1/4 cup coconut flour. Other than that I followed the recipe to a T. I did refrigerate overnight, and only baked them for 15 minutes. I will probably increase the sweetener to 1 cup next time, as they were a bit on the bittersweet side. I didnt mind that, but my family prefers things a bit sweeter. To counteract that I mixed a few Tbsp of confectioners style erythritol with a bit of heavy cream and swirled it on top of the cooled brownies. It hardened up like royal icing, and added just the right touch of extra sweetness. They remind me so much of the fudge my aunt used to make. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  16. Kathleen says:

    These were delicious! We’re mostly a health-conscious household (so not full on keto/ low-carb), so we used regular palm sugar for the sweetener (about 2/3). We also used the coconut oil/ cream combo. Total baking time was 20 minutes. What an amazing recipe — these taste as good if not even better than “regular” brownies!! We are totally hooked and will definitely try more recipes from your website. Thank you thank you for this fantastic brownie recipe.

  17. Kate says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, my husband and children are enjoying a ton!!

    I was wondering for the sake of saving time; if I were to double the recipe and freeze half would the freezing process ruin the results?

    Thank you so much for all your hard work and taking the time to be so detail oriented. I have learned a lot about baking from your blog.

  18. Julie says:

    These are delicious! I followed the recipe exactly as written with xylitol and even weighed the ingredients. I did overbake them by a few minutes but they were still super fudgy. The only thing they were missing is that classic crackly brownie top. I’m glad I used the xylitol because I didn’t experience any aftertaste. I’m going to try freezing them since it’s just me to eat them all.

  19. Rebecca says:

    So Im using real american birch xylitol but it isn’t dissolving…Will it dissolve in the oven I hope? And its 2/3 of 1 cup or 1 cup plus 2/3?

  20. Stephanje says:

    Hiiii. I’m excited to try this recipe and I was picking up the recipes and accidentally grabbed swerves icing sugar instead of confectioners. Will I still be able to use this? Thank you!

  21. Amrit says:

    Hi, thanks for the recipe, these turn out lovely! It’s the first time I’ve baked something and I was so pleased with the result!
    First time, I used to ingredients as you said, although I did change the sweetener and they turned out fine.
    The second time, I used half the almond flour and half coconut flour as the first patch had quite a nutty taste. This did help a lot. I also added some chocolate chips (non keto, but it fit my macros).

    What I wanted to ask is if there’s any way to incorporate protein powder into these to I can hit my protein macros a bit easier whilst still having a sweet treat. They’re more fun to make than buying Grenade Carb Kill bars or Quest bars. Could I mix up the cocoa powder and use some chocolate whey protein instead?

    Thanks,
    A

  22. Martin says:

    Hi Paola – I’ve made these a few times and can’t seem to get them right. The brownies end up being a little too cakey and they are tough to swallow. They are moist but not fudgey. And the top is not crispy like your pictures. I followed the recipe and instructions very closely. Any thoughts on what I could be doing wrong? Thanks in advance! – Martin

    • Paola says:

      Oh no sorry to hear Martin! What sweetener are you using? Any other subs? I’ve found that to be the greatest variant for readers

  23. Heather says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I just started keto a week ago and these will be a life saver for me. I used half hazelnut flour and they turned out nutty and delicious. I think I over baked them just a bit but the flavor was awesome!
    Also I am sorry for the crummy responses some people leave in the comments. I’m shocked by how rude people can be online 🙁

  24. Angelin Chan says:

    I just made these yesterday and left the batter to be refrigerated overnight. This morning, I popped them into the oven and baked for about 25 minutes. I used monkfruit sweetener. Then left them to cool before cutting. They taste sooooo good! Amazing recipe. I have to stop myself from gobbling all of them down!

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