Chocolate and beetroot make heavenly partners in these delicious fudgy brownies. You don’t taste the beetroot at all but it’s there adding moisture for extra gooey fudginess and of course all those hidden vegetable nutrients too. The rich chocolate flavour really stands out and since they are dairy-free and egg-free, they are also vegan, as well as being gluten-free too!
My family really love chocolate brownies and I had happily used the same brownie recipe throughout my first decade of parenting. But I wanted to develop a healthier brownie recipe that was vegan and gluten-free so that we could all enjoy it.
This recipe went through a LOT of testing and I can happily report that it gets 100 out of 10 from all my little quality assurance testers! 😁
Why You Will Love This Beet Brownie Recipe
These chocolate beetroot brownies are:
- Rich and intensely chocolatey;
- Moist and fudgy (thanks to the beetroot!);
- A great way to hide beetroot into food for kids that perhaps might not willingly eat it otherwise! The rich chocolate flavour completely hides any beetroot flavour!
- Healthier than most chocolate brownies (thanks again to the beetroot, but also the nuts and seeds and un-refined sugar).
- Dairy-free, egg-free, vegan and gluten-free!
Is there really such a thing as a “healthy brownie recipe”? I don’t think so, but this beet brownie recipes comes as close as you can get to healthy brownies!
Everyone craves sweet treats every now and then so with this vegan beetroot brownie recipe, at least you are getting some goodness with your sweet treat, and a lot less refined sugar than a regular brownie recipe. The goodness comes from:
- Beetroot – This underrated root vegetable is full of antioxidants, fibre, iron, potassium and vitamin C. It also has a very low glycaemic load of 5, meaning that it provides long-lasting energy. See this Healthline article for more amazing nutritional information about beetroots.
- Less refined sugar – I like to use dark muscovado sugar which is less refined than plain white sugar. This means that it retains some of the mineral content (trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron from the molasses), that is lost in the refining process. See this very informative WebMD article for more information about dark muscovado sugar.
- Almonds and flax seeds – As well as providing richness to the recipe, these nuts and seeds provide essential healthy fats that you need for your body.
- Cooked Beetroot - I use the vacuum-packed cooked beetroots as they sit in my fridge for weeks ready for whenever I feel like making these brownies! You could use home cooked fresh beetroot instead if you prefer. Just make sure that it is cooked until very soft so that it blends easily to a completely smooth beetroot puree.
- Dark Chocolate - use good quality chocolate with at least 70% cocoa quantity or more. I use Lindt dark chocolate which is accidentally vegan. You could use vegan dark chocolate chips that would mean you don’t even need to cut the chocolate into small pieces!
- Dark Muscovado Sugar – the rich flavour of dark muscovado sugar works really well with these brownies. You could use rapadura sugar or coconut sugar instead if you prefer, or regular brown sugar (for a more refined option). Note, I don’t recommend swapping to a syrup (like maple syrup) because it will change the texture of the brownies considerably.
- Coconut Oil – you could use vegan butter if you prefer.
- Gluten-Free Plain Flour – I use Dove’s Farm but any good gluten-free plain flour mix will work. Alternatively, you could use a mixture of individual gluten-free flours. If you do that, remember to use a mixture not just one, and use some whole grain flours (like rice flour, sorghum flour, oat flour) and some starches (like tapioca flour or arrowroot powder). Note, coconut flour is much more absorbent than other flours so I wouldn’t use that for this recipe.
- Ground Almonds (almond flour) – This adds richness to the brownies. You could use an equal weight of almond butter instead if you prefer.
- Ground Flax Seeds (linseeds) - mixed with a little water, ground flax seeds become what is known as “flax egg”. They serve as the egg substitute in this recipe. You could use commercial egg replacer instead if you prefer.
- Oat Milk - or substitute with or almond milk or any other plant-based milk that you prefer.
- Cacao Powder - I like to use raw cacao powder for its health benefits (basically, it’s less refined than cocoa powder so retains more nutrients, particularly iron) but you could use with plain cocoa powder instead.
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for full list of ingredients and their quantities.
Don't be put off by the long recipe card! I have included lots of extra information to make sure you get it exactly as it's meant to be. The basic method for making these vegan brownies is very simple!
Mix the ground flax seeds and water to make the “flax egg”. Set aside.
Next melt the chocolate with the coconut oil. To do this:
- Break up the dark chocolate into small pieces and mix them with the coconut oil in a jug or small bowl.
- Microwave in short bursts (30 secs), stirring between each, until melted. You need to do this short bursts of microwaving and then stirring because otherwise the chocolate will seize and go all bitty, which you don’t want!
- Set aside.
Next, whizz the dry ingredients briefly in a food processor. Set aside.
Then, whizz the wet ingredients (including the cooked beets), flax mixture and the melted dark chocolate mixture in the food processor.
Add the dry ingredients back into the food processor. Whizz briefly. Then pour into a square brownie tin lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 30-40 minutes in a preheated oven set at 180°C / 350°F until cooked.
There are three ways you can check whether it is cooked enough.
- Feel the top with your hand. It should feel slightly firm but springy on top (not wobbly and unset).
- Stick a skewer into the mixture. It should come out almost clean but with a few crumbs stuck to it. You don’t want it completely clean (like you would expect for a cake) because you want it to remain fudgy inside not cakey. But you also don’t want it to come out with wet brownie batter on the skewer as that would mean it hasn’t cooked enough yet.
- If you usually use a thermometer to check whether it’s cooked, you should aim for about 80-90°C (175-195°F) internal temperature.
This is a summary only. Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this page for full detailed instructions. Thermomix instructions are also included in the recipe card.
If you'd like to watch how these brownies are made, click on the YouTube link below for a video.
Alternatively, you can watch the web story.
This gluten-free, vegan beetroot brownie recipe is extremely adaptable.
- If you're not a fan of coconut oil, switch to grapeseed or vegetable oil instead.
- If you want to make these nut-free (for school lunchboxes or to make for a nut-allergy sufferer), just switch the almond flour for the same weight of a regular gluten-free flour blend. I have tried both versions and they are very similar in taste and texture. (The almond flour is included in my version since it adds some healthy fats and protein).
- I use the vacuum packed cooked beetroots for this recipe. There are usually some in my fridge and it makes it really easy. Feel free to cook up some fresh beetroot yourself if you prefer. Just boil the peeled beetroot in a pan of water until it is really soft when you check with a fork. Then, blend the cooked beetroot to a smooth puree before using in the recipe.
- When you line the tin, make sure to use extra parchment paper so that some hangs over the sides. You can then use it as handles for lifting out the cooling brownies.
- I really like the accuracy of using a thermometer to check if the brownies are ready. That way, you always know for sure that you're taking them out at the right time. Make sure to stick the thermometer in the middle (not right to the bottom of the tin) and leave it there for a few seconds so that it can properly register the temperature. You want the temperature to read 80-90°C (175-195°F) depending on how soft and squidgy you like them!
- When you take these chocolate beetroot brownies out of the oven, they will still be quite soft and may fall apart if you try to take them out of the tin straight away. So, leave them in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring onto the wire rack. Be careful not to leave for longer though, as you don't want them to continue cooking in the heat of the tin!
- For lifting out of the tin once they are cooked:
- using the extra parchment paper hanging over the sides as handles, carefully lift the baking paper out of the tin and set it on the cooling rack; or
- set the cooling rack over the top of the tin and tip it over. The brownies should drop out and then you need a second cooling rack to put over them to flip them over the right way.
These vegan beetroot brownies will keep in an air-tight container at room temperature for a few days, It depends on how warm your kitchen is and how long you cooked them for (because the cooking time affects how moist they are)) but eat them up quickly as their moistness will attract mould after a few days.
Serve these delicious brownies on their own as a teatime treat, or add some berries and vegan ice cream or cream and serve as a druel-worthy gluten-free and vegan dessert!
Fudginess depends on the fat to flour ratio. Since part of the flour portion of this recipe is almond flour, these brownies have a higher fat to flour ratio which means that they will naturally be more fudgy. The moisture from the beetroot also helps to make them super ooey gooey fudgy!
No the beetroot flavour is completely undectectable in these brownies. The beetroot adds a slight earthiness but the dark chocolate is so rich that it completely masks the flavour of the brownies.
📖 Recipe 📖
Chocolate Beetroot Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
- 2 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 60 ml water
- 150 g vegan dark chocolate, broken into pieces (or chocolate chips)
- 100 g coconut oil, (or grapeseed oil)
- 150 g ground almonds
- 120 g dark muscovado sugar, (or rapadura or coconut sugar)
- 50 g gluten-free plain flour blend, (I use Dove's Farm)
- 40 g cacao powder, (or cocoa powder)
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt, (I use Himalayan pink salt)
- 140 ml oat milk, (or any plant-based milk)
- 120 g well cooked soft beetroot, cut into chunks (or pre-cooked vacuum-packed beetroot)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Set the oven to 180°C / 350°F and line a 22cm/8" square brownie tin with baking parchment (or use non-stick mini loaf tins, lightly greased).
- Mix the flax seeds and water and set aside for 10 minutes while you start the rest of the recipe.2 tablespoon ground flax seeds, 60 ml water
- Break up the chocolate into pieces and put in a glass jug with the coconut oil. Melt by microwaving in 30 second intervals, stirring well between each. (It usually takes me about 1-2 minutes depending on how quickly I take it out of the microwave each time).150 g vegan dark chocolate, 100 g coconut oil
- Whizz the dry ingredients in a food processor briefly until well combined with no lumps. (Thermomix setting: 15 secs / sp. 5). Set aside.150 g ground almonds, 120 g dark muscovado sugar, 50 g gluten-free plain flour blend, 40 g cacao powder, 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder, ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- Whizz the wet ingredients (including the cooked beetroot), the flax mixture and the melted chocolate and oil mixture in the same food processor (no need to wash it out) until smooth with only very small lumps of beetroot (don’t worry, these won’t show in the finished brownie). (Thermomix setting: 30 secs / sp. 8).140 ml oat milk, 120 g well cooked soft beetroot, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the dry ingredients back into the food processor with the wet ingredients. Whizz together briefly (or pulse) until the ingredients are all combined. (Thermomix setting: 15 secs / sp. 5).
- Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and put it in the oven. Bake for around 30-40 minutes at 180°C / 350°F.
- To check if it is ready, feel the top. You want it to be quite firm but springy. I like to use a thermometer to gauge the inside temperature. I stick it in the middle (not going down to the base), leave it there for 30 seconds and it should read about 80-90°C (175-195°F).
- Once out of the oven, leave the brownies in the tin for 5 minutes to firm up, then take them out of the tin (see notes below for some tips on this). Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
- I use the vacuum packed cooked beetroots for this recipe just because it is easier and I usually have some in my fridge. Feel free to cook up some beetroot yourself if you prefer. Just boil in a pan of water until really soft when tested with a fork. Then whizz to a smooth puree in the food processor before adding the other wet ingredients.
- You can make these nut-free by substituting the almond flour for more plain gluten-free flour.
- Do not try to melt the chocolate and coconut oil in one 1 minute microwave session. It may seem unnecessary and pointless stirring the chocolate after 30 seconds when it has only melted a tiny bit, but this prevents the chocolate from seizing and going all bitty.
- Line the tin with more parchment paper than you need so that you have some hanging over the edges. You can use these as handles for lifting the cooked brownie out of the tin.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐ star rating ⭐ on the recipe card!
If you like this gluten-free and vegan beetroot brownie recipe, you may like these other delicious vegan and gluten-free baking recipes too:
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