These Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut and Oat Brownies are an easy and healthy recipe made with clean, real food ingredients. They're the perfect plant-based dessert that's flourless and made with a homemade raw chocolate frosting!
Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut and Oat Brownies
Today I have for you another clean, healthy brownie recipe to add to your arsenal - Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut and Oat Brownies!
Although I thought I'd never stray from my Flourless Zucchini Brownies that I make very frequently, these Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut and Oat Brownies I came up with are pretty hard to pass up.
It's another chocolate, gluten-free and vegan treat I can enjoy without any guilt and will easily satisfy a brownie craving...especially when they are covered with the thick raw cacao topping.
Even though the rest of my family doesn't necessarily need to eat gluten-free, I don't like making desserts for them using white flour, even though when I do, I buy organic, unbleached white flour.
I like that I can make them brownies that are healthy and that doesn't use any flour at all.
Here are the typical ingredients found in a traditional homemade Walnut Brownie recipe (the boxed versions are even worse):
S.A.D. Standard American Diet Walnut Brownie Ingredients:
Walnut Brownie Ingredients: 1/2 CUP BUTTER, 1 CUP GRANULATED SUGAR, 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT, 2 EGGS, 1/2 CUP ALL-PURPOSE (WHITE) FLOUR, 1/3 CUP UNSWEETENED COCOA, 1/4 TSP BAKING POWDER, 1/4 TSP SALT, 1/2 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS
Chocolate Frosting Ingredients: 1 1/3 CUP CONFECTIONER'S SUGAR, 3 TBS MARGARINE, 2 TBS COCOA, 2 TBS MILK, 1/4 TSP VANILLA, 1/4 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS
In summary, that's 2 1/3 cups of refined sugar, 1/2 cup of butter and it contains white flour, milk, and eggs.
My healthier version is plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, flourless, contains no refined sugar and is paleo-friendly.
Expert Tips + Ingredient Substitutions For Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut and Oat Brownies
Here are some expert tips to make this recipe perfectly:
Oats + Dates. The second step in the recipe isn't necessary, but one that I prefer. Instead of using the large, whole pieces of oats (which makes the brownies extra crunchy, almost like having coconut flakes in them), I put them in my Vitamix and lightly pulse them to break them down into smaller pieces (approximately 20 - 25 long pulses). I also add the dates (pitted) when I do this because it helps break them into smaller pieces too, as opposed to dicing them by hand.
You have to be careful though, to not over-process the oats because they will turn into oat flour. So in trying to prevent this from happening, the dates may not get processed into tiny enough pieces. Just take them out and cut the larger pieces of dates into smaller pieces. It also helps to process them with the oats because they get a little powdering coating on them (from the oats) and they aren't as sticky to handle when trying to cut them.
Coconut Oil. When making the chocolate frosting, you need to find a medium with the coconut oil. You don't want it to be completely liquid/melted (it will be too thin and not like frosting) and you don't want it to be completely solid (it will be too thick and not spread) but somewhere in the middle, like soft and semi-melted. You will know when it's right because it will either be too thick or too thin otherwise. But it should have a similar consistency of traditional frosting and spread easily on the brownies with a knife. In addition, if you don't like the taste or smell of coconut oil, use organic refined coconut oil which has zero coconut taste or flavor.
Brownie Texture. Try to keep an eye on them in the oven. If you want them to be more of a chewy texture, don't leave them in as long. If you want more of a harder, crunchy, cookie-like texture leave them in a little longer, just taking care they don't burn.
Cooling Time. Make sure the brownies have cooled ~completely~ before adding the icing. The heat from the brownies will melt the coconut oil in the frosting and it will become runny. And keep them in the refrigerator too or the same thing will happen if they are left out at room temperature and the icing gets too warm.
Want More Healthy Plant-Based Dessert Recipes?
Check out these:
- Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Chip Brownies
- Raw Cinnamon Brownies
- Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Oat Bars
- or my CLEAN DESSERTS Cookbook with 72 plant-based vegan + gluten-free no-bake dessert recipes made with clean, real food ingredients just like this one that you will love!
Gluten-Free Vegan Walnut and Oat Brownies
For the oats + dates:
- 3/4 cups organic gluten-free quick rolled oats
- 1/4 cup organic Medjool dates (pitted)
For the brownie mixture:
- 1/2 cup organic raw cacao powder
- 1/3 cup organic walnuts (chopped)
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup organic coconut oil (melted/liquid)
- 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons organic ground flax seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
For the flax egg:
- 4 tablespoons organic ground flax seeds
- 2 tablespoons water (filtered/purified) (filtered/purified)
For the chocolate frosting:
- 1/2 cup organic raw cacao powder
- 4 tablespoons organic coconut oil (soft/semi-melted)
- 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare an 8 x 8 baking dish lined with parchment paper and set aside.
Prepare the flax eggs:
- Add all ingredients for the flax eggs to a small mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Set aside to thicken while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Prepare the oats + dates:
- Add the oats and dates (pitted) to a food processor and process with 20-25 long pulses, or just enough to dice up the dates and break down the oats into smaller pieces, taking care to not over-process because the oats will turn into oat flour.
- If the dates are not in small enough pieces, remove them from the food processor and dice them into smaller pieces.
- Transfer the oats + dates to a medium-size mixing bowl.
Prepare the brownie mixture:
- Add all the ingredients for the brownie mixture to the mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
- Re-whisk the flax egg, add it to the mixing bowl and re-stir the brownie mixture.
- Transfer the brownie mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly, using your hands to pat it down as the mixture will be thick.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20--25 minutes, or until the center is cooked.
- Important: Allow the brownies to cool completely before adding the frosting.
Prepare the chocolate frosting:
- Add all ingredients for the chocolate frosting to a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined and the mixture is smooth.
- Spread it evenly on top of the brownies then cut into 16 squares.
- Store the brownies in an air-tight BPA-free container in the refrigerator until ready to serve..
Hi, I'm Karielyn! I'm the published cookbook author of CLEAN DESSERTS and content creator of The Healthy Family and Home™ website since 2012. I specialize in creating easy, healthy plant-based and Medical Medium® compliant recipes that are gluten-free + vegan and made with clean, real food ingredients that you can feel good about eating.
I have just started my new clean eating way of eating and made these yesterday. They were fabulous, and the children loved them. Definitely will do them again. Can they freeze well? Cheers, Lisa
Hi there Lisa! Congratulations on making a change to healthier eating..yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed the brownies and that your children loved them as well.
I've never had any leftover to freeze, but I don't see why they wouldn't do well. The icing will get hard and solid because of the coconut oil, but if you leave them out at room temperature for a little bit (maybe 5 - 10 minutes or so?) the icing will soften up. But don't leave them out too long because then the icing might get too soft and melt, again because of the coconut oil.
Thanks so much for trying out the recipe and for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed them 😉
May I suggest that you put the "yield x amount of servings" on your recipes. I have 7 grandchildren so I really need to know how many servings a recipe makes. Thanks
Hi Melody! I make these in an 8 x 8 glass dish and if you cut them into regular square sizes, you should get about 16 squares. You could also cut them into smaller squares to get more servings.
Thanks so much and I hope your grandchildren like them. You're a good grandmother for making them healthy treats 😉