Almond Butter Brownies are rich, dense and ultra chewy with an almond butter swirl and flaky sea salt. They’re also made with olive oil instead of butter so they’re dairy-free!
When it comes to brownies, they tend to fall into 3 different categories – cakey, fudgy or chewy. These almond butter brownies are definitely the chewy variety but with a hint of fudginess!
The brownies are similar to the brownies I use to make these peanut butter brownie ice cream sandwiches, except this recipe uses almond butter.
And, speaking of almond butter, it’s in the batter and swirled around the top for an extra rich and nutty brownie!
*This recipe was originally published in February 2020. It has been updated with new photos, text and more detailed instructions. The ingredients remain the same.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- These brownies are dairy-free! The recipe calls for oil instead of butter and uses non-dairy dark chocolate chunks.
- There’s no electric mixer required to make these brownies – just a few bowls, a whisk and a baking pan.
- The brownies are chocolatey and dense with a moist centre and chewy edges. They’re also a nice balance of sweet and salty (thanks to the flaky sea salt on top).
- While they’re rich and decadent, they also include some wholesome ingredients like whole wheat flour, coconut sugar and raw almond butter.
Details on the ingredients
Chocolate – The base of the brownie batter starts with melted chocolate. To keep the brownies dairy-free, I used non-dairy dark chocolate chunks but you can use any type of dairy-free chocolate.
Oil – Brownies usually include a good dose of fat, so this recipe includes 1⁄2 cup of oil. As these brownies are dairy-free, oil is a good replacement for butter. You can use olive oil or extra virgin.
Almond butter – For additional fat in the brownie batter as well as a nutty flavour, ¼ cup of almond butter is melted together with the chocolate and the oil. Another ¼ cup is also swirled into the top of the brownies. For this reason, you should use a drippy almond butter (or one that has softened at room temperature), so it easily swirls into the batter.
Sugar – The recipe calls for a combination of coconut sugar and cane sugar. This not only adds sweetness to the brownies but contributes to the texture and consistency. Both sugars can be found in the organic section of most grocery stores. If you can’t find coconut and cane sugar, you can substitute brown and granulated sugar.
Eggs – There are 3 eggs in the brownie batter, which adds to the chewy texture. I recommend bringing the eggs to room temperature so they easily mix with the melted chocolate/sugar mixture.
Vanilla – Enhances the flavour of the other ingredients. For the best flavour, use real vanilla extract and not artificial.
Salt – Also enhances the flavour of the other ingredients. The recipe calls for kosher or table salt for the brownie batter and flaky sea salt to finish them off. Sea salt is more of a finishing salt, so I don’t recommend substituting table salt to sprinkle on top of the brownies.
Flour – Flour helps give the brownies structure. This recipe calls for whole wheat flour, which is more absorbent than white flour. I haven’t tested this recipe with all purpose white flour.
Baking powder – Since these brownies are dense instead of cakey, we’re using just a little baking powder for leavening.
How to make dairy-free brownies with almond butter
Preheat your oven to 350F and line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
Melt together the chocolate chips, oil and almond butter.
Whisk in the sugars, then the eggs (one at a time) and vanilla.
Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. Don’t over mix.
Pour batter into your prepared pan and spread out evenly.
Add dollops of almond butter over the top of the batter and swirl around with a knife. Sprinkle on some sea salt.
Bake for 27-29 minutes, or until the brownies are set on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle still has a few crumbs on it.
Let cool completely and cut into squares.
- If you don’t have coconut and cane sugar, you can use a combination of brown and granulated sugar. Just note that brown sugar adds more moisture to the brownies so they will need a few extra minutes of baking time.
- If you don’t need these brownies to be dairy-free, you can use chocolate with dairy. In my experience, this will make the batter thicker and it will bake a few minutes faster.
- You can use peanut butter in place of almond butter. Just make sure it’s natural and smooth.
- Add some nuts to the batter such as chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans.
- Frost the brownies with chocolate frosting like this avocado chocolate frosting.
- If frosted, top with crushed nuts or sprinkles.
Frequently asked questions
The baking time for these brownies is 27-29 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when the top of the brownies looks set and a little glossy. The edges will also start to pull away from the pan. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the centre of the brownies. It should come out with some crumbs stuck to it. Pulling them out of the oven at this point will result in a chewy brownie. For a more fudgy texture, pull them out a minute or two earlier.
This recipe has only been tested with whole wheat flour. As whole wheat flour is more absorbent than white flour, if you try to substitute, you may need to increase the amount of white flour used.
These brownies include whole wheat flour, which helps with the structure of the brownies. While there are many recipes out there for almond butter flourless brownies, a flourless version of this recipe has not been tested.
Yes. This recipe calls for a 9-inch square pan, but you can also use an 8-inch pan. As the brownies will be thicker in the smaller pan, you will need to increase the baking time by about 5 minutes. Be sure to check for doneness by using the toothpick test.
Storage and freezing
These almond butter brownies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last for 2-3 days.
To make them last longer, you can store them in the fridge for 5-7 days. (They will be extra chewy if stored in the fridge).
To freeze, just let them cool completely, cut into squares and arrange in a single layer in an airtight container. If storing in layers, just place parchment or wax paper in between the layers. They should last in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, defrost at room temperature.
Key recipe tips
- Smooth nut butter. I prefer to use smooth natural almond butter (or peanut butter). If you use chunky, it will change the texture of the brownies and you’ll have trouble swirling the nut butter into the batter.
- Room temperature ingredients. Letting your nut butter rest at room temperature will make it easier to melt into the chocolate mixture and swirl into the top of the brownie batter. Room temperature eggs will also mix into the batter more easily.
- Melting the chocolate. I melt the chocolate, oil and almond butter together in the microwave. I do this in two 30-second intervals, stirring in between and after until smooth. Be careful not to overheat as the chocolate can burn. This is particularly important if you are heating the mixture on the stovetop.
- Measuring flour. To correctly measure the flour for this recipe, use the spoon and level method. If you just scoop the flour out of your container with the measuring cup, this will result in too much flour being used in the brownies.
- Avoid over mixing the batter. This will create air bubbles in the batter. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just incorporated.
- Consistency of batter. The batter is thick but isn’t as thick as other brownie batters due to the dairy-free chocolate. If you use another type of chocolate, this may make the batter thicker.
- Parchment paper. I like to grease the pan and line it with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. This will allow you to easily lift the baked brownies out of the pan once cooled.
- Let cool before cutting. I know it may be tempting to cut into the brownies right away, but letting them cool will give them time to set up.
- Don’t overbake. Be careful not to overbake the brownies as they will dry out.
Other brownie recipes
- For an extra fudgy brownie, try these tahini brownies, oat flour brownies or these raspberry brownies.
- For a festive brownie, I highly recommend these peppermint brownies.
- And if you love blonde brownies (blondies!), you’ll love these almond flour blondies or these Christmas blondies.
Other chocolate desserts
- Sweet Potato Cake with Chocolate Coconut Frosting is a super moist cake, spiced with cinnamon and topped with a dairy-free coconut whip.
- Chocolate Oat Bars have a rich and fudgy chocolate filling with layers of oats, coconut and warming chai spices.
- Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake is rich and decadent, but believe it or not, it’s made with all sorts of ‘good-for-you’ ingredients!
If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!
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Almond Butter Brownies (Dairy-Free)
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cooling Time: 3 hours
- Cook Time: 29 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 44 minutes
- Yield: 16 brownies
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Almond Butter Brownies are rich, dense and ultra chewy with an almond butter swirl and flaky sea salt! They’re also made with olive oil instead of butter so they’re dairy-free.
- 1 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips/chunks
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (or olive oil)
- 1/4 + 1/4 cup natural almond butter, room temperature (divided)
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour, spooned and levelled
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher or table)
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate, oil and 1/4 cup of almond butter. Microwave on two 30-second intervals, stirring in between and after until mixture is smooth and runny. Be careful not to overheat as the chocolate can burn.
- Add in the sugars and whisk until combined. The mixture will be gritty.
- Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until just incorporated. (Don’t over mix).
- Pour into the prepared pan and spread out in an even layer.
- Add dollops of the remaining 1/4 cup of almond butter to the top of the batter and use a knife to swirl it around. Sprinkle on the sea salt.
- Bake for 27-29 minutes (see note 4 below), or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with a few crumbs on it.
- Let cool completely before cutting into squares.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature and enjoy within 2-3 days.
- You can use peanut butter in place of almond butter. Just make sure it’s natural and smooth.
- You can substitute brown sugar for coconut sugar and granulated sugar for cane sugar.
- If you don’t need these brownies to be dairy-free, you can use chocolate with dairy.
- Making substitutions will change the texture of the batter and affect the baking time. For instance, brown sugar adds more moisture so the brownies will need a few extra minutes of baking time. Dairy chocolate, on the other hand, creates a thicker batter so the brownies will bake faster.
- Be careful not to over bake the brownies as they will dry out. The brownies are ready when the top is set and they start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Use the toothpick test to check for doneness.
- Be sure to check out the other sections above the recipe card for more detailed advice and suggestions for making this recipe.
This recipe was adapted from NYT Cooking.
Keywords: almond butter brownies, dairy-free brownies
Thanks Leanne for the brownies – They are sooooo good ! Chocolate and almond butter- delicious combination!
You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed them 🙂
Oh yum! Almond butter is one of my favourites! Love that these are dairy -free too
I love brownies and these look wonderful Leanne! Such a pretty touch with the swirls on top!
These look so delicious!! Love the pattern on top. I’d definitely be interested in trying them out with an egg alternative.
Thanks Fiona! Let me know if you try them with an egg alternative!
How amazing do these sound!! Can’t wait to make them for the family.
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
Salty sweets are everything! I love the sound of these brownies and they look so perfectly chocolatey!
Tasia ~ two sugar bugs says
That almond butter swirl is just beautiful! And that sea salt must compliment the chocolate and almond butter so well. I know my family will love them. Thanks for another great recipe Leanne!
Thank you Tasia! Sea salt always goes well with chocolate!
I love everything about these! The almond butter swirl is beautiful and these look so chocolatey and sound so easy to make! They’re my favorite kind of treat. 🙂
Thanks Marcie! Brownies are a favourite treat in our house too!
Milena Perrine says
I once tasted a brownie with almond butter and really enjoyed it. Cannot wait to give your recipe a try, I have such a weakness for both brownies and almond butter. Your decorative design on top looks beautiful too! Pinned.
Thanks for pinning Milena! Appreciate it!
Looks INCREDIBLE! I love salted brownies that are dairy free. Now if I could have these in front of me that would be AMAZING.
These look amazing…salted brownies and dairy free! Winning combination for me. Definetly making these this weekend. Pictures are amazing as well.
Hope you like them! Thanks Terry!