Sunday, May 26, 2013

Chocolate Walnut Brownies (Grain-Free, Gluten-Free)

I thought you might like a simple gluten-free brownie recipe to share with friends and family this holiday weekend. This recipe is unique in that it contains NO flour at all. Walnuts and cocoa powder make up the bulk of the recipe! You can find these brownies in my Nourishing Meals cookbook along with many other healthy gluten-free and grain-free recipes.

If you need more visuals other than the photos here, you can check out a recent cooking video we did making these brownies! Just scroll's the last video on the page. There are plenty more recipes and ideas on our new and improved website for living GMO-free and gluten-free. Check it out and let us know what you think. There is also much more to come!

Grain-Free Chocolate Walnut Brownies

This grain-free brownie recipe can be whipped up in a snap! Only a food processor is needed, meaning not too many dishes to wash! There is no need to add any extra oil or butter because the ground walnuts provide plenty of fats—and heart healthy ones at that. Serve brownies with one of my coconut milk ice cream recipes for a decadent dessert treat.

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups raw walnuts
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Wet Ingredients:
2 large organic eggs
½ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish with coconut oil.

Place the walnuts into a food processor fitted with the “s” blade. Process until very finely ground, stopping just before they turn into nut butter. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and pulse again to combine. Add the wet ingredients and process again until smooth. You will still have tiny chunks of walnuts visible and this is fine.

Pour batter into baking dish. Spread evenly into pan with a rubber spatula or spoon. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes before slicing.

Yield: 16 servings

Variation: Replace the walnuts with raw pecans.

More Chocolate Recipes:

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Can you make these without eggs? Thanks!

  2. These look so amazing! Could you substitute applesauce for the eggs?
    I'm relatively new at adjusting everything for an autoimmune issue.
    Thank you for any help you can offer.

  3. These look amazing! I am relatively new at making substitutions for an allergy protocol. Could you subtitute apple sauce for the eggs? Thank you for any help you can offer.

  4. I made these twice and they are incredible - Really! I could eat the whole pan at one sitting - but depending on the chocolate I use they can be pretty potent and one night I had a hard time falling asleep! Thanks for the grain free recipe!

  5. Hi. I was also wondering if you could substitute something else for the eggs? Will be starting an elimination diet phase soon and am scared I won't be able to go without sweet things.

    1. I just made them with flax and water instead of eggs. They seemed ok; maybe not as cakey as if you used eggs, but tasted good. (They are kind of gooey.)

    2. Update on the flax and water replacement. I just made them again, and used what I would call "1.5" eggs, instead of 2. Much better! Still a bit extra moist, but definitely a cake-like quality to them now.

  6. So, if the recipe just came out yesterday, how have you made them twice Deb? :)

    I just made them right now but we didn't have walnuts so I made them with almond flour. I am waiting for them to cook in the oven. If the taste of the batter is any indication of what the finished brownie will taste like, we are in for a great dessert. I have whipped cream and homemade chocolate syrup to top them with.

  7. Hi everyone! For those of you who asked about egg's highly unlikely that this recipe would work without eggs. Sorry!

    Rachel- there are many people who have made this recipe before I posted it yesterday because it is in my book, Nourishing Meals. I mentioned this at the top of the post. I'm curious to hear how they came out with almond flour! :)

    1. I just made these with my favorite egg substitute (ground flax and water), and they seemed to work. Kind of gooey, though, and I baked them an extra 15 minutes. Maybe this is because of not using eggs? But even if they weren't supposed to be gooey, they still tasted good!

  8. These brownies look awesome, Ali! I saw them in your video on cooking GMO free so I'm happy to see them here, too. Will definitely be making them and will also share on All Gluten-Free Desserts soon! :-)


  9. My son has a serious nut allergy. Can pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or something else be substituted for the nuts?

  10. Made the six different recipes on your updated site for our feast this weekend. Family & friends loved it. Thank you for sharing Ali :D

  11. Saw this recipe 2 weeks ago and have already made it twice! This time, I doubled it. Love this recipe - so easy and tastes just like a real brownie.

  12. I just made these and am amazed! They are easier to make than "regular" brownies and taste, and feel so much better. Thanks!


  13. I made these brownies after seeing the post. They are perfect- light, moist, not too sweet. Succulent with fresh berries and really decadent with whipped cream. I made them a second time a couple days later. I've emailed the recipe out to three different friends. Wow. Thanks Ali! You are always inspiring.

  14. I absolutely LOVE this cookbook!!! I haven't made any of the deserts yet but plan to try this one tomorrow. Nourshing Meals cookbook takes you from smoothies, salad dressings soups lunches dinners apps! It's to die for and my kids have enjoied everything I've made out of here! Everyone must check it out! I purchased it at my naturopaths office it was exactly what I was looking for!!!

  15. I am always SO excited to try out your recipes, particularly your baking recipes. I really started baking GF and vegan with your first book. I've been rather sad lately that so many of your baking recipes have eggs in them now, in the new book and the blog. I'm happy for the grain-free folks who are getting great grain-free recipes with eggs in them, but I'm still sad! Can you keep us egg-free folks in mind too! Many thanks for all the yumminess and cooking wisdom.

  16. I made this for Father's Day and it was amazing!

  17. Any way to make these with Stevia instead of maple syrup? I'm not able to use any other sweeteners right now and would love to make something like this!

  18. Some thoughts:

    This is an amazing recipe! Thank you for posting it.

    Regarding eggs - Some have suggested flax. I have another suggestion: chia seeds. You will have to google it to find the "recipe" for how to use them as a substitute. I've used them in other recipes and it worked great.

    Also, I used half maple syrup and half honey. Tasty! (It was to save money - honey is cheaper here).

    For the poster who queried about stevia; look around on the interent to see if there are any stevia/brownie recipes. That might give you an idea if it can be done. But the recipe might not work right because you'll be missing the moisture from the sweeteners?

    Maybe the equivalent in ripe bananas would give you moisture and sweetness? Or using soaked and pureed dates? Re-post if you try either of these and it works. Curious minds want to know...

  19. I am not GF but my husband is, and honestly I rarely enjoy anything GF. But everything from your blog is awesome, and these brownies are in my top 10. So good and super easy to make

  20. These brownies were fantastic! Tasted like they were out of a box (which used to be great) but I no longer eat grains or diary! I used 1/4 cup syrup and 1/4 cup Just Like Sugar sweetener instead of 1/2 syrup and was great. Was looking to reduce the sugar content. Will make this again and again!

  21. After spending 2hrs searching for a gluten free brownie recipe that used no type of flour whether it be almond or tuff, I happened on your page. I'm making desserts for a retreat, and no one thinks about people with special dietary needs, so I'm making the gluten free, low sugar, low fat, and nut free desserts. I wanted a recipe that used honey as the sweetener, but these will do until I can get the modification down. This will pair nicely with the quinoa cookies I'm making.


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)