Need something sweet, chocolatey, and diet-friendly? Or, are you just looking to try something new?

I used this recipe for Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Fudgy brownies from and it checked off all the boxes. It satisfied my sweet tooth and was something out of my normal comfort zone.

I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, and I enjoy it even more when my experiments are chocolatey and delicious!


For the brownies:

1 cup raw walnut pieces
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
1.5 cups pitted Medjool dates

1/2 cup raw cacao powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or fine grain sea salt
heaping 2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
heaping 1/4 cup raw walnut pieces

For the icing:

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or agave nectar for a raw sweetener)
small pinch pink Himalayan sea salt (or fine grain sea salt)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the brownies:

  1. Line a 8-inch square pan with parchment or wax paper (this will help with removing the brownies from the pan later).
  2. In a food processor, pulverize the walnuts into a fine crumbly texture.
  3. Add the hemp seeds and pitted dates, blend until they are the sticky consistency of a Lara Bar (or the inside of a Fig Newton, for reference).
  4. Mix in the cacao/cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt to the mixture and blend until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Add cacao nibs and extra walnut pieces until just barely blended.
  6. Press the mixture into the lined pan evenly. You can use a roller if needed, but I used my (clean!) fingers and it worked just fine. The mixture is sticky but with enough light pats I was able to flatten it into the pan.
  7. Place pan of brownies in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. While the brownies are freezing, make the icing.

For the Icing:

  1. Melt the coconut oil over low heat in a medium pot. Remove from heat and whisk in the cacao powder, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla until combined and smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture over the chilled brownies evenly and place the pan back into the freezer to set. Freeze for at least 20 minutes or until the icing has hardened enough to slice.
  3. Voila! Your fudgy brownies are ready to eat and enjoy. Store these brownies in the freezer to keep them from becoming a melty mess (as the coconut oil has a rather low melting point).


When you’re ready to slice the brownies, run a sharp knife under hot water first. It will help cut the brownies without cracking the icing!

Fresh Medjool dates are best for this recipe. If you have dates that are firm, soak them in water for an hour before, but be sure to drain them well.


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