I consider these to be snacking brownies, rather than full-on dessert brownies. They’re vegan, gluten-free, flourless, and pretty lightly sweetened. They depend on steamed sweet potato for much of their fudgyness and even some of their sweetness. In other words, they’re pretty virtuous as far as brownies go. But not too annoyingly so, since they’re still plenty delicious. They’d make for a great lunchbox snack for kids or a midnight bite for students. They freeze well, too, so it’s good to keep a batch in the freezer to satisfy any kind of sweet tooth emergency.
We are huge fans of using sweet potatoes as an ingredient for good vegan desserts – see these truffles, this pudding, and this nougat. They do so many things: they bind, contribute moistness, add a bit of sweetness, but also largely act as a blank flavor slate. We are currently obsessed with steamed sweet potatoes and found that that method of cooking works beautifully for these brownies. Sweet potatoes come out incredibly silky when steamed, and the process also hydrates them quite a bit, which is crucial for that fudgyness in the brownies. Steaming generally cooks sweet potatoes faster than roasting them, so that’s another little bonus. Just a note that we used a Japanese, white-fleshed sweet potato for this photoshoot because that’s all they had at the store somehow. You can definitely use a regular, orange sweet potato.
Hope you’ll give these a try! Have a great rest of your week :)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1 medium sweet potato - steamed until fork-tender and peeled
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or soft coconut oil, plus more for oiling the tin
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- generous pinch of sea salt
- dairy-free dark chocolate chips - for topping
- optional: nuts, and/or coconut flakes - for topping (we also used rose petals, which should be added after baking)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175° C). Prepare a 12 hole muffin tin by oiling each hole with olive oil or soft coconut oil.
- In a small bowl, combine the ground flax with 6 tablespoons of water. Whisk together and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large bowl, mash the sweet potato until smooth. You should have about 1¾ - 2 cups of sweet potato flesh. Add the oil, vanilla, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Mix everything together until smooth. Fold in the flax mixture, which should be thickened to a raw egg-like consistency at this point. You can also do all this mashing and mixing in a food processor if you prefer.
- Distribute the brownie mixture in the oiled muffin tin, patting it down into the muffin holes somewhat evenly. I like to use slightly dampened hands for this, but you can also use a wetted spoon. Top each brownie with some chocolate chips and any other topping of choice, if using. Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until the brownies are dry to the touch on the outside but still quite fudgy inside. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before removing the brownies from the pan. Keep refrigerated or frozen in an air-tight container.