This easy, one-bowl recipe produces the best refined sugar free brownies! Naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup, these brownies are intensely rich, fudgy, and chocolatey and come together in just 35 minutes – perfect for when you need a chocolate fix in a pinch.
The best fudgy refined sugar free brownies
There’s just something so satisfying about biting into a chewy fudge brownie. Would you agree?
I’ve been making these Refined Sugar Free Brownies for YEARS and use this base all the time for all of the brownie recipes on Naturally Sweet Kitchen. But I’ve yet to post the original recipe, so here it is!
These are seriously the best naturally sweetened brownies in the world. They’re rich, chocolatey, super fudgy and dense and perfectly sweet. They hit that chocolate craving spot every single time.
I just know they’re going to be a staple in your kitchen too!
Ingredients in refined sugar free brownies
Just 10 simple ingredients come together to make these deliciously fudgy brownies:
- Unsalted butter: The main fat used in this recipe is melted butter, which makes the brownies incredibly flavourful and fudgy.
- Dark chocolate: Good quality chocolate only please! Ideally 70% or higher cocoa solids for the ultimate flavour and chew.
- Coconut sugar: One of the natural sweeteners used to sweeten these refined sugar free brownies and give them a chewier texture.
- Maple syrup: My secret ingredient. I love how the touch of maple syrup adds so much flavour!
- Eggs: Absolutely essential for the best brownies.
- Vanilla extract: Adds a touch of sweet flavour.
- Plain flour: Regular all-purpose flour provides structure; we use just a little so the brownies aren’t crumbly and cakey.
- Cacao powder: For an extra kick of chocolate flavour! Cacao is preferred for richness, but cocoa will work in a pinch.
- Sea salt: A little salt helps season the brownies and brings out the sweetness.
- Espresso powder: A dash of espresso powder really helps pull out the chocolate flavour in these brownies.
How to make refined sugar free brownies from scratch
Making these brownies couldn’t be easier! It’s a one-bowl wonder recipe and goes like this:
1. Melt the chocolate and butter
Make yourself a bain marie and melt together the chocolate and the butter. Let it cool.
2. Mix in the wet ingredients
Once the butter and chocolate is cool, whisk in your wet ingredients.
3. Mix in the dry ingredients
Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and fold everything together into a smooth batter.
4. Bake the refined sugar free brownies
Pour the batter into a square baking tin and bake them up until they’re super fudgy and delicious!
Full details are in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Refined Sugar Free Brownies FAQ
Have a question about baking refined sugar free brownies (or really any brownie)? I’ve got your answer. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, leave it in the comments!
What makes brownies fudgy versus cakey?
Fudgy brownies rely on a higher fat to flour ratio. If you want fudgier brownies, always make sure you have a higher butter, chocolate, and egg yolk ratio to flour. Also watch your baking times: for a fudgier brownie, always slightly under-bake your brownies and let them cool completely in the tin.
Cakey brownies contain a higher flour to fat ratio. They also usually have a leavening agent in them (baking powder or soda) to give them a little lift and make them lighter in texture. You can also cook them a little longer to dry them out.
Can you reduce the sugar in brownies?
You can reduce sugar in a brownie recipe, but do keep in mind that this will change the final result of the brownie. Sugar makes brownies light and tender. If you remove too much, they can fall flat and can be gummy in texture. They will also be significantly less sweet.
Instead of reducing the sugar, I would recommend making these Refined Sugar Free Brownies, which use natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar.
What can I substitute for sugar in brownies?
I wouldn’t recommend substituting OUT the sugar in a brownie recipe. As stated above, sugar provides brownies with their light texture and it also gives the brownies their sweetness. Brownies, even refined sugar free brownies, are a dessert after all!
However, if you want to swap in a natural sweetener for the refined sugar, I recommend using a dry sweetener like coconut sugar or date sugar. These two easily swap out for granulated sugar without having to play with the ratios of the wet ingredients.
What does adding an extra egg do to brownies?
Adding an extra egg gives brownies more moisture, creating a fudgier crumb. The extra egg yolk provides more fat to make them fudgier, denser and chewier, while the white can help produce a more cake-like, light texture.
How long should brownies cool before removing from the pan?
Always let your Refined Sugar Free Brownies (and any other brownie recipe!) cool completely in the tin – about 1-2 hours. This will help achieve the fudgiest brownies and make them easier to cut.
How do you cut refined sugar free brownies nicely?
First, let your brownies cool completely; this will prevent the middles from running out and making a big mucky mess.
Once they’re cool and solid, take them out of the tin and place them on a cutting board. Then simply use a large knife (I recommend a chef’s knife or long serrated knife) and in one swift downward motion, slice through from the top of the brownie to the bottom.
To slice the opposite direction, rotate your cutting board. Make sure there’s no space between your other cuts then repeat the same process as before.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
- Use good quality chocolate; it makes all the difference. Choose a 70% or higher dark chocolate and you’ll get that rich flavour you crave.
- When lining your baking tray, make sure you have a few extra inches of paper hanging over either side. This will help you easily remove the refined sugar free brownies from the tray once cooled.
- Don’t go crazy with the mixing. Over-whipping the batter once you add the eggs creates too much air and can result in humps at the edge of the pan. Only mix until everything is smooth and then stop!
- Add some chocolate chips. I love adding extra dark chocolate chips to these brownies to make them suuuuper chocolatey and rich!
- Don’t over-bake them. The brownies are done when the edges just start to pull away from the sides of the tin. If you insert a toothpick at the centre, there should be a little batter stuck to it. The brownies will continue cooking as they cool in the tin.
Looking for more refined sugar free traybakes?
Salted Caramel Pecan Brownies
Mint Chocolate Brownies
Peanut Butter Flapjacks
London Fog Flapjacks
Chocolate Orange Shortbread Bars
Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Honey and Lemon Shortbread Bars
Irish Coffee Blondies
Chocolate Raspberry Bars
If you make this recipe, let me know by snapping a picture and tagging me on Instagram @naturallysweet_kitchen. I love seeing your creations and sharing them in my Stories. Or let me know you love this Refined Sugar Free Brownies recipe by leaving a comment and rating below!
Refined Sugar Free Brownies
This easy, one-bowl recipe produces the best chewy and fudgy refined sugar free brownies, sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup.
- 100 g unsalted butter, cubed
- 60 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 100 g coconut sugar
- 90 ml pure maple syrup
- 2 large eggs, cold
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 70 g plain flour
- 40 g cacao powder
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp espresso powder (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and lightly grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) square baking tin with non-stick parchment paper. Leave a couple inches of paper hanging over the sides of the pan for easy removal.
Create a bain marie by placing a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Add the butter and dark chocolate to the bowl and melt together, stirring with a rubber spatula to combine. Once the ingredients are melted, remove the bowl from the heat and allow it to cool for 7-10 minutes. It should be just warm to the touch.
Add the coconut sugar and maple syrup and whisk together well. Crack in the eggs and add the vanilla and whisk to combine. Don’t overmix at this point or you’ll get humps in your brownies.
Sift in the flour, cacao powder, salt, and espresso powder. Stir everything together using a rubber spatula until smooth and all the streaks of dry ingredients have disappeared.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Drag the batter into the corners and level the top. Bake the brownies for 18-21 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when the brownies just start to pull away from the sides of the tin and they look dry on top. Do not overcook these brownies or they will be dry instead of fudgy.
Place the tin on a wire rack and allow the brownies to cool completely in the tin. Once they’re cool, remove them from the tin and slice into 9 equal squares. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt, if desired.
These brownies will keep sealed in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.