Fudgy Olive Oil Brownies

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This fudgy olive oil brownies recipe is surprisingly easy and delivers rich, chocolaty goodness – minus the butter! Everyone will love this simple treat.

Here’s a fun simple baking recipe we’re so excited to share with you! These fudgy olive oil brownies are rich and chewy: without the use of dairy. We’ve been re-focusing on the Mediterranean diet and it emphasizes cooking with olive oil. So I wondered: could it be possible to make brownies with olive oil? These dairy free brownies were born.

Jump to the recipe—now.

Why we love these dairy free fudgy olive oil brownies

This brownie recipe is one I created for my nephews as a baking project. I was curious about using olive oil in baked goods and they wanted to include their favorite ingredient, peanut butter. Turns out, nut butter works surprisingly well in olive oil brownies: it adds a chewy texture and robust flavor, complementing the oil perfectly. I referenced this tahini olive oil brownies recipe as a proof of concept, but changed it up quite a bit. The result? A chewy, rich, fudgy chocolate brownie recipe using olive oil! Here’s why we love these brownies:

  • They’re easy to make, with no stand mixer or special equipment required
  • They use healthy fats like olive oil and peanut butter
  • They feature dark chocolate (my favorite food group!)
  • They are rich and chewy, and you don’t notice there’s no dairy! Everyone will love them, no matter their diet.

What people are saying

We passed this recipe by a few readers as recipe testers before sharing it with you. Here’s what they had to say!

  • “The BEST homemade brownies! Fudgy and moist, with a deep chocolaty flavor. I’ll never buy a box mix again…. so easy to make and so delicious!” -Julie
  • “These brownies are sooo rich and fudgy!! Yet somehow I think they’d also appeal to those who prefer cake-like brownies. The chocolate flavor dominates but there’s also a very welcome taste of peanut butter that comes through perfectly.” -Andrea
  • “The brownies baking in the oven were hands down the best air freshener! No heavy oil taste and the peanut butter cuts out some of the richness of a brownie (in a good way). As my kiddo said with a full mouth, “These are really good!” 10/10 would make again.” -Claire-Anne
  • “SO good! So good, in fact, one kid said this “must be” the go-to brownie going forward. We had them still warm and later for dessert, with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. Both were awesome!” -Nicole
List of ingredients for olive oil brownies.

Ingredients you need

These dairy free brownies have simple ingredients and no “tricks” or substitutions, aside from the olive oil and peanut butter standing in for the traditional butter. However, many brownie experts like our friend Tessa at Handle the Heat use both oil and butter in a brownie recipe, so the true swap here might be peanut butter! Here’s what you need:

  • Dutch process or dark cocoa powder: This is the key ingredient! It’s a special type of cocoa powder is treated with an alkali to make it pH neutral, giving it a darker color and milder flavor. This type has deep rich notes instead of the lighter fruity notes that you’ll get with regular cocoa powder. It’s available at most grocery stores!
  • All purpose flour: You’ll need just a hint of flour for this recipe. Almond flour should work for gluten-free.
  • Olive oil: Use only extra virgin olive oil.
  • Creamy peanut butter: Peanut butter brings a rich, savory flavor and offsets any bitter notes from the olive oil. You could use almost butter as well, or any other nut butter. Use sunflower butter for nut free.
  • Dark chocolate chips: Most dark chocolate chips brands are vegan, but make sure the package says dairy-free. We like the brand Guittard 63%.
  • Granulated and brown sugar: A mix of sugar types adds nuance to the flavor.
  • Eggs: Eggs make a smooth batter and bind it together. For an egg free version, go to vegan brownies.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla adds the final nuance to the flavor.
  • Salt: Salt balances the sweet flavor.

Keep in mind, these dairy free brownies do contain eggs. Head here for our vegan brownie recipe for a full vegan recipe!

Fudgy olive oil brownies close up shot.

Can you use olive oil in brownies?

Olive oil works as a replacement for vegetable oil in most brownie recipes. However, it does have a bitter aftertaste, which can compete with the other flavors in baked goods. We suggest using the brownies recipe below, which is customized for olive oil in combination with nut butter.

Since this recipe uses less olive oil than a 1:1 replacement in a standard brownie recipe, it tones down the bitter flavor, which is also offset by the rich melted chocolate and nut butter. The reduced quantity of olive oil in this recipe also helps you save money, since olive oil is more expensive than vegetable oils and most brownie recipes call for a large quantity (½ cup in a pan this size).

Gluten free variation

We’ve had readers test the gluten free variation of this recipe with almond flour and it worked well! Here are notes from reader Lexi:

“I made the brownies and oh my gosh, they are so good! I actually ended up making two batches. One batch I made gluten free with almond flour and almond butter. They turned out very well with a great fudgy texture. Very chocolaty, not too sweet. They were perfect! You couldn’t even tell they were gluten free.

The second batch I made as the recipe was written, with AP flour and peanut butter. They were equally as delicious! They had a slightly chewier texture than the gluten free batch, just as fudgy. Great chocolaty flavor with a hint of peanut butter, a little sweet. Very well balanced.

We actually had a really hard time picking a favorite. I will definitely be making both versions again!”

How to make fudgy olive oil brownies (dairy free!)

Brownies are quick and simple, and don’t even require a mixer! This brownie recipe comes together like most:

First, mix together the dry ingredients: cocoa powder, flour, and salt.

Bowl with whisk and cocoa powder flour and salt.

Then, melt the olive oil, peanut butter, and chocolate chips on the stovetop over low heat until completely melted and smooth.

Saucepan with melted chocolate and peanut butter.

Pour the melted chocolate into a mixing bowl. Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar, then the eggs and vanilla extract. Switch to a spatula and mix in the dry ingredients until a very thick dough forms.

Brownie batter ingredients in a bowl with whisk.

Fold in the remaining chocolate chips. Then pour the batter into an 8 x 8″ pan prepared with parchment paper. The batter will be very thick, which is as expected.

Pouring brownie batter into a prepared pan.

Bake 30 minutes until set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean (though there will be some melted chocolate if you hit a chocolate chip!). Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then use the parchment to lift out the brownies to cool further.

Baked olive oil brownies (dairy free) in pan.

Serving and storage info

Cut the brownies into 16 slices and serve them warm from the oven, or room temperature. Our favorite is room temperature, because the texture is a little more set. But if you just can’t wait, feel free to dig in!

These dairy free brownies store up to 5 days at room temperature. We recommend wrapping them in aluminum foil or they can become slightly dry. For longer term storage, place them in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Just make sure to let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving, since the texture becomes solidified when cold.

A few more brownies recipes

We hope you love these brownies as much as we do! They are a new family favorite. Here are a few more fun brownies recipes to try:

01

Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies

These amazing sweet potato brownies will wow everyone! Fudgy and chewy, they’re loaded with flavor…good stuff, too. One swap and…

Sweet potato brownies

02

Gluten Free Brownies

This gluten free brownies recipe is everything: thick, chewy, rich, moist, and absolutely irresistible! No one will guess they’re flourless.…

Gluten Free Brownies

03

Zucchini Brownies

This zucchini brownies recipe comes out ultra moist with deep chocolaty flavor! Bookmark this one for a deliciously simple treat.…

Zucchini Brownies

Dietary notes

These dairy free olive oil brownies are dairy-free. For vegan, go to vegan brownies or zucchini brownies. For gluten free, go to gluten free brownies.

Print

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Description

This fudgy olive oil brownies recipe is surprisingly easy and delivers rich, chocolaty goodness – minus the butter! Everyone will love this simple treat.


  • ¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour (or almond flour, for gluten-free)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter (or other nut or sunflower butter)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips* plus one handful, divided (we like Guittard 63%)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8″ baking dish with a piece of parchment paper, cut so that it extends on two sides to easily remove the brownies from the pan. Grease the exposed parts of the pan with butter or oil to prevent sticking. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the Dutch process cocoa powder, all purpose flour, and kosher salt.
  3. Place ½ cup chocolate chips, ⅓ cup peanut butter, and the olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat and heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour into a medium mixing bowl. 
  4. Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar, then the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla extract. Switch to a spatula and stir in the dry ingredients until a very thick batter forms. Stir in the remaining ½ cup chocolate chips. 
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle another handful or two of chocolate chips over the top. 
  6. Bake 30 minutes until set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean (though there will be some melted chocolate if you hit a chocolate chip!). Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then use the parchment to lift out the brownies to cool further. Slice into 16 pieces and enjoy warm or cool to room temperature. 
  7. Store at room temperature wrapped in foil for up to 5 days or refrigerated for 10 days. Allow to come to room temperature before enjoying (the brownies solidify when cold).

Notes

*Most dark chocolate chips are dairy free, but look for a “dairy-free” marking on the package.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Dairy free brownies, olive oil brownies, can you use olive oil in brownies,

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