This dairy-free coconut brownies recipe is a house favorite. It’s a sample dessert from my flagship book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, that I couldn’t resist sharing online. I like my brownies to be soft and fudgy (not cakey!), but with the perfect light crackle on top. These naturally dairy-free coconut brownies fit the bill, and are also rich, indulgent, chocolaty, and positively delicious.
The Best Dairy-Free Brownies with Various Recipe Options
And did I mention the recipe is easy and versatile, too? It takes minutes to pull together, and you can customize it with or without your favorite add ins. I’ve included one of my favorite variations, in addition to gluten-free options. Yes, I’ve made these many times with a several different flours. And I have even more options and tips in the FAQs below.
Can I Omit the Coconut?
Coconut gives this particular recipe the right level of fudginess and flavor. It’s what makes these dairy-free coconut brownies. For coconut-free brownies, see my Classic Dairy-Free Brownies Recipe. That version has been perfected without any type of coconut.
Where’s the Baking Soda or Baking Powder?
In my opinion, traditional brownies should never contain leavener. There are variations, particularly with egg-free brownies and vegan brownies, where leavener can help. But adding it to these dairy-free coconut brownies would make them cakier. I prefer a soft, chewy, and fudgy texture.
Can I Use Coconut Butter Instead of Coconut Oil?
It might work fine, but it isn’t something that I’ve tested. Coconut butter is more dense and less fat, so it will create a different texture. You might need to use a touch more coconut butter for the best consistency. But again, I can’t make recommendations without testing it.
What Type of Coconut Oil Should I Use?
Since they are supposed to be dairy-free coconut brownies, I use regular unrefined coconut oil. You can use refined coconut oil. It will perform the same, but doesn’t have the coconut flavor.
Can I Reduce the Sugar in these Coconut Brownies?
Sugar contributes to both the flavor and the texture. It creates those wonderful chewy bonds. Keep that in mind if you opt to lower the sugar. I think you can reduce it to 3/4 cup for a dark chocolate style brownie that’s a little less fudgy and chewy, but I wouldn’t reduce it more than that. And please keep in mind that I haven’t tested that amount! I think these coconut brownies are perfectly sweet.
Can I Use a Different Sweetener?
You can use another granulated sweetener, like brown sugar, evaporated cane juice, or coconut sugar. If you are using a coarse sugar, like coconut sugar, you might want to grind it into a powder first. This step is optional, but coconut sugar doesn’t dissolve as easily. I don’t recommend substituting a liquid sweetener.
Will Sugar-Free Sweeteners Work?
I don’t have experience with sugar-free sweeteners. There are some granular sugar-free sweetener baking blends, like King Arthur Baking Sugar Alternative and All-Purpose In The Raw Zero Calorie Sweetener that could work just fine. But I’m sure the results will vary.
What Type of Pan Do You Use?
I use a metal, non-stick, 8×8-inch baking pan. There are disagreements about whether glass or metal is better for baking brownies, but most lean toward metal. Glass pans don’t conduct heat as well, causing brownies to overbake around the edges while remaining undercooked in the middle. This can also cause the center to sink too much. But darker metal pans can cause the brownies to heat too quickly. If you have lighter colored metal pans, that works best. If you have a dark metal pan, you might want to reduce the oven temperature by 325°F. These dairy-free brownies will sink a touch as they cool, but should remain relatively flat on top.
Special Diet Notes: Coconut Brownies
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
- ¾ cup flour (see Flour Note & Gluten-Free Options below)
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup cocoa powder, lightly packed
- ¼ teaspoon salt (increase to ½ teaspoon for more flavor depth)
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper overhanging on two opposite sides.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut, cocoa powder, and salt until no cocoa lumps remain.
- Put the sugar, oil, and vanilla in a mixing bowl, and whisk or beat with a hand mixer to combine. Add the eggs and whisk or beat to combine. Stir in the flour blend until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Evenly spread the batter into your prepared pan.
- Bake the coconut brownies for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The toothpick might have some melted chocolate on it from the chocolate chips.
- Let the coconut brownies cool completely on a wire rack, loosen the sides, and then lift them out of the pan (using the parchment). Cut the brownies into fourths each way for 16 squares, or into thirds each way for 9 large squares.
Peanut Butter Coconut Brownies Option: Add 2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter with the eggs.