Hazelnut Chocolate Brownies {vegan + gf!}

Let’s chat for a minute, ok? We haven’t talked about this together yet and we need to just get it out of the way.

I’m vegan-ISH now. Heavy on the ish. And listen up – I know that die hard vegans want to throat punch me for being anything but whole hog vegan.

I can’t believe I just typed that.

Yes I can.

Here is the down and dirty truth of the situation. Severely limiting my animal product intake and relying heavily on plant based foods just makes me feel effing fantastic.

No, Salt + Charm is not going to turn into a vegan food blog. I still cook lots of meat for my babies and my friends – because it makes them happy and I am just not going to be all evangelical about my food choices.

But we do need to eat more green things. 

So obviously these brownies are not green. But they are vegan and GF. They are fantastically rich and fudgy but not dense and weird like most gluten free things are. I have made a few iterations of these little babies and eventually settled on this dark chocolate + hazelnut version.

No wheat, no dairy, no eggs, no refined sugars… YOU GUYS it’s basically like eating nothing. So eat the whole pan, I won’t judge.

You can throw these together in under 20 minutes, throw them in the oven and then go watch Grey’s re-runs. {but not the one where Derek… you know… find a happy one… because brownie making is a happy little thing. On second thought, maybe an episode of New Girl is a better choice.} 

OK so let’s talk details. {full recipe below… but here is the cliff notes version}

Stir together some hazelnut butter {or almond butter if you want to keep these a little more budget friendly} + maple syrup + unsweetened apple sauce + vanilla. Use a whisk. Get rid of all the little lumps and bumps.

Then add 6 T coconut flour or chick pea flour + cacao + baking soda + fine sea salt + and vegan chocolate chunks. Stir together with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, let it hang all out over the sides. This will allow you to pull the whole thing out when it’s over so it will not drive you crazy trying to cut it.

Spread the batter evenly into the lined pan and then sprinkle some coarsely chopped hazelnuts and more chocolate chunks on the top. Throw some flaked sea salt on there for good measure because: FLAKED SEA SALT DUH.

Bake on 350 for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick comes out clean-ish. Cool off on the counter and then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Cut the little babies and then eeeeeat until you can’t eat any more.

I have fed these to my herbivore AND my carnivore friends. They all swoon over them, so don’t be afraid to make these even if you don’t give two shits about veganism. They are that good.

If you make these, and I certainly hope you do, snap a picture and tag @saltandcharm in an IG post! And talk to me… use that comment box below and tell me who you are + what you’re eating these days + what you’d like to see more of around S+C!

I sure do love you all! {especially YOU!}


All photos by Matthew Ray.


1 1/2 cup hazelnut butter
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
6 tablespoons coconut flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup (divided) vegan chocolate chunks
6-8 tablespoons raw hazelnuts, rough chopped
flaked sea salt (or coarse sea salt)


1. Preheat your oven to 350.
2. In a double boiler (mixing bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water), melt 1/2 cup of the vegan chocolate chunks. Stir while melting and remove when melted.
3. Combine hazelnut butter, maple syrup, applesauce and vanilla to a bowl and whisk well to combine.
4. Add cacao, coconut flour, baking soda, salt and melted chocolate to the bowl and stir to combine.
5. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment and then spread your mixture evenly into the pan.
6. Sprinkle the coarsely chopped hazelnuts, remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chunks and a good sprinkle of flaked sea salt over the top.
7. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick comes out mostly clean.
8. Allow to cool completely on the counter and then chill in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.
9. Cut + devour. {share some with your people because that’s what we do around here}

0 thoughts on “Hazelnut Chocolate Brownies {vegan + gf!}

  1. Kary Ross says:

    I’m so thrilled to read this recipe!! And I cannot wait to try!! I’m vegan and my husband is vegan and gf. I have to be very careful of hidden dairy in the cocoa but the cacao powder seems to be a better choice and safe from dairy. Where or what brand vegan choc chunks do you use??? We use Enjoy Life due to our granddaughters nut allergy. So these will be made with peanut butter and peanuts if we serve them with our whole family. Thank you and please post more!! So many of gf flour recipes use a blend with rice flour. We cannot eat rice in any form. Again, I’m thrillled to see this recipe. I’ll definitely tag SaltandCharm!!

    • Abbye McGee says:

      Hi, Kary! I’m so glad you’re going to give these a try! They are so easy and soooo good. Yes, the cacao powder has zero dairy so you are safe! And I also use the Enjoy Life Vegan Choc Chunks… thanks for stopping by! Let me know how they turn out!!

  2. Margie says:

    Abs!! I Am SO going to attempt those vegan brownies!!! 😍 Love that you’re adding in all things planty! 🌱

  3. Lora Plauche says:

    I made these for my daughter ‘s birthday. She and her friends (and me) ate them all. I should have doubled the recipe!! Somehow they are light and rich at the same time…I think it’s magic. I used Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut butter. I am baking off another pan as I type. Go make them!!