chewy fudge brownies {dairy-free}

In Dorie Greenspan’s new bi-monthly column in The Washington Post she said “you’d have to be a card-carrying curmudgeon to hate Valentine’s Day”. While there’s something to be said for showing your love every moment you can, rather than cramming it all into one day (and paying way too much for red roses), some days we all just need a little extra boost. Those moments when your mind is too heavy, or perhaps your eyes just too tired from lack of sleep (two things that happened to be ailing me yesterday). Maybe that’s how we should look at Valentine’s Day. A bonus love day, of sorts. It’s also a good reason to make these Chewy Fudge Brownies.

It’s surreal being in love again, and I find myself stopping to take deeper breaths. Trying to appreciate the moments, rather than worry about it all going away. I remember talking to my friend David before I moved, wondering if I’d ever be loved again. He told me to stop thinking about it, and it’d happen when I least expected. Well, he was certainly right about the latter. And in a way, I had stopped thinking about. I’d resolved myself to possibly meeting someone who I could have interesting conversations with, and didn’t mind my kids (plus a cat AND a dog). But really, I thought about settling into some corner of the world once the kids were off to college. A small flat was all I needed, along with a little kitchen and a wi-fi connection. I could live out a peaceful, perhaps even happy existence in a bubble of my own making.

Those were the thoughts swirling in my mind just two months ago. Then I decided to crack the door open to see if I was really ready to go into that shell. I worked up the courage to send a message to him. And he said yes. And then we talked, a lot. Like a teenager in high school, hours passed, my shoulder propping the phone to my ear.

Easy, Homemade Fudge Brownies {dairy free} |

There was the pot roast that I first cooked for him, and a version of these brownies were for dessert. Those brownies had a hint of mint milk chocolate in them. I decided to share this recipe instead because I’m betting there are some sweethearts out there that have a dairy sensitivity or allergy. It was an easy swap to use canola oil instead of butter (grapeseed oil would work, too). My friend Silvana’s multi-purpose flour blend also made making it gluten-free super easy on one occasion. And if you want to go with a butter version, I’ve made a note on what to do at the end of the recipe.

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Why a quarter sheet pan, when most brownie recipes call for an 8-inch square one? I first started adapting my own brownie recipes to make a larger batch for bake sales at our school store. I figure you can never have too many brownies, and if you find yourself needing a last minute treat to bring into school for Valentine’s Day, then you’ll have enough for the whole class with this recipe.

Chewy Fudge Brownies

Makes 30 two-inch square brownies

Music Pairing: Distant Camera by Neil Young

250 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup (187 ml) canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 ml) pure vanilla extract

3 large (150 grams) eggs

1 1/4 cups (262 grams) granulated natural cane sugar

1/2 cup (75 grams) whole wheat pastry flour (all purpose white flour works fine, too)

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (37 grams) dark cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) fleur de sel

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the bottom and sides of an 9-inch by 13-inch by 1-inch rectangular baking pan (also called a 1/4 sheet pan, you can usually find them at Home Goods for $6 to $10). Grease one side of the parchment with a nonstick cooking spray (I use a spray grapeseed oil), and fit it (ungreased side down) into the pan.

Add the chocolate to a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high power in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each cycle, until the chocolate is melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. The timing depends on the wattage of your microwave. Add the oil and the vanilla extract, and whisk to combine; set aside to cool slightly.

Add the eggs and sugar to a clean, large bowl. Whisk until they become thick and pale yellow, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Sprinkle the flour, cocoa, and salt on top, and fold the mixture using a rubber spatula, just until there are no visible traces of flour.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly to the sides. You can give the pan a tap on the counter to help it settle, too. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the center is set and the edges gently pull slightly away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely (at least two hours) before cutting into 30 two-inch squares.

Gluten-Free Adaptation: I’ve been using my friend Silvana’s Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Baking Mix in many of my own recipes. If you have the mix (I highly recommend it!), you can omit the grain flour, and use 100 grams of her gluten free mix.

Buttery Adaption: If you prefer to use butter, simply swap in 12 tablespoons/168 grams butter. Add the butter to the bowl with the chocolate, and melt as directed in the recipe.

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Try these brownie recipes, too!

Here’s some more chocolate inspiration for this Valentine’s Day:

The Lemon Bowl: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Creamy Cheese Frosting
Feed Me Phoebe: Dark Chocolate Beauty Bark with Chia Seeds, Pepitas and Goji Berries
The Heritage Cook: Gluten-Free Black & White Brownies with Orange Glaze
Virtually Homemade: Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Coconut
Creative Culinary: Raspberry Boccone Dolce (Pavlova with Chocolate and Raspberries)
Daisy at Home: Mocha Mousse Marshmallow Cake
The Mom 100: Molten Chocolate Peanut Butter Cakes
Dishin & Dishes: Espresso Truffles
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
The Cultural Dish: Moroccan Pots de Creme
Red or Green: Dark Chocolate Truffles- 4 Flavors
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chocolate-Coconut-Cashew Bark with Sea Salt
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Chocolate and Pretzel Bark with Sea Salt
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Fudgy, Chewy Brownies {dairy free}
Haute Apple Pie: Mississippi Mud Pie
Taste with the Eyes: Chocolate Mint Parfaits with Chocolate Hearts
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Everyday Chocolate Granola
FN Dish: Melt Hearts with Handmade Chocolate Sweets — Comfort Food Feast



  • Renee

    Hey Jennie. Curious about your recent increase in gluten-free cooking. Was someone starting to show signs of an allergy or just a health choice?

  • Jennifer Perillo


    I think coconut oil would work well, too. I just don’t use it that often because Isabella doesn’t like coconut, and it does impart coconut essence into anything you bake with it.


  • Mallory @forkvsspoon

    Jennie – the brownies look amazing – we have a bake sale at work tomorrow and why not give these a go – can never have too many brownies or brownie recipes . secondly, so darn happy for you!

  • Jennifer Perillo


    Part of my foray into gluten free cooking and baking was to test out my friend’s product. I’ve been looking for an option for all of you here that would be an easy swap, and hadn’t found any I loved until Silvana started selling her mix. Now I find myself baking GF more often. I like to be inclusive when baking things for school, and also think it’s a little better for us to have some moderation in our diet.


  • Patsy

    Jennie – Bliss comes to mind when I think of you and ‘C’ now. I’m so very, very happy for you both! Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy 🙂

  • Jennifer Perillo


    Yes, I have, using Silvana’s mix. They’re a little lighter in texture, but I really loved them this way, and the many taste testers at school were so surprised to hear they were gluten free.


  • vikki

    long time lurker and recipe user ,i lost my mum maybe 9 months before you lost mikey and i came across your website when i wasnt really looking for anything . But reading your words struck a chord with me watching my dada go through so many emotions and struggles ,while dealing with my own grief . And then about 7 months ago he met a lovely lady and is now happy once again and i as his daughter am happy for him . So reading that you are once again happy and have love in your life makes me happy also even though we don’t know each other .
    i wish you nothing but joy and happiness in this next stage of you and your girls life x

  • Elena

    Hi! I love your blog and all your recipes! Thank you for sharing. How is this diary free when chocolate chips have milk as an ingredient? Are you using special chocolate chips?

  • Jennifer Perillo

    Hi Elena,

    Only milk chocolate chips consistently contain milk solids. As for, semi-sweet chips, milk fat content varies by brand. I know Nestle does contain milk, but I use Guittard which does not, although it is processed on equipment that also produces milk chocolate chips. Therefore, it’s is a true dairy allergy you would need to use an alternative, such as Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips which are available in many health food stores.


  • Heidi

    Hi Jennifer!

    It’s about the amount of sugar in the recipe… It says: 1 3/4 cups (262 grams) … but I believe that something must be wrong there because 1 3/4 cups should be around 350 grams. Which one is right, the volume or the weight? Which one should I use?


  • Jennifer Perillo


    Thanks so much for catching that—it should be 1 1/4 cups, making the metric weight the correct measurement. I’m going to fix it now, and apologies for the error.


  • Heidi

    Hello again Jennie!

    I made them today and they were really delicious! Thanks for the recipe! Mine where quite lighter in color at the top though… I figure it has to do with the cocoa brand I used. Can you please tell me wich one did you use for those on the picture? Thank you.

  • Samantha

    Thank you for the recipe. I just moved in with a good friend with a dairy allergy and I was looking for a recipe without butter. This turned out great. I did make just a few modifications. I did not have dairy free chocolate so I upped the cocoa powder to 1 cup (I use Hershey’s special dark) and added another 1/4 cup of sugar to off set the bitterness of the cocoa powder.

    Thanks again!