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Fudgy, decadent olive oil brownies are a delicious, dairy free variation on traditional homemade ones. This brownie recipe with oil instead of butter comes together in just 10 minutes, and bake into a chocolate lover’s dream dessert.
Let’s get the most obvious question out of the way first. Can you use olive oil in brownies?
YES! You absolutely can. In fact, it’s a great replacement for butter in many recipes, like my rosemary olive oil cake for example. And, as you can see in the picture, it works like a charm.
These were born out of necessity, I had a craving for brownies, and had just run out of butter. I always have a big jug of local olive oil on hand, and gave it a shot.
Those first ones were less than ideal, I admit. But over the past months (yes there’s been a lot of brownie eating), I’ve perfected these olive oil brownies. They’re fudgy, tender, and absolutely chocolate heaven.
Oil for Brownies – What kinds to use
SO fun fact, swapping olive oil in for butter didn’t quite work 1 for 1 in my tests. The texture of the brownies wasn’t quite right and I had to tweak it.
That being said, now that I’ve mastered this version with olive oil, it’s not possible to also substitute alternatives like vegetable or coconut oil.
When it comes to choosing the oil, I’d only recommend avoiding peanut oil and sesame oil. They both have a significant flavor. Others, such as avocado, canola, and of course, olive, have flavors as well, but they tend to actually compliment chocolate!
Ingredients for Brownies with Oil
Beyond the oil, most of the ingredients you’ll need are pretty normal for brownies. Check out this list for tips on picking the best ingredients, and optional substitutions.
- All purpose flour– Just your standard flour here, I use unbleached.
- Baking powder – we want enough leavening that these don’t become bricks!
- Salt – I use Morton’s coarse kosher salt in all my recipes.
- Cocoa powder – You can choose either dutch processed or natural cocoa powder for this. Read more about both in my Cooking with Chocolate guide.
- Brown sugar – I love the way brown sugar tastes with chocolate (like my hot cocoa mix recipe), but you can also use muscovado. I haven’t tested this with others.
- White sugar – I used a natural cane sugar in this, granulated, not coarse.
- Hot coffee – coffee does this amazing thing to chocolate, just like salt, it highlights and enhances flavor notes in the cocoa. If you prefer, use hot water instead.
- Melted chocolate – I used a semi sweet baking bar. You can use whatever chocolate you like, but I do not recommend going over a 70% cocoa content, or your brownies may not taste sweet enough.
- Olive oil – duh! Use an extra virgin olive oil you like.
- Egg – an egg provides structure to the brownie, without it, the texture really suffers. I have not tried this with any egg replacements.
Of course, if all that isn’t chocolatey enough, you can add up to ½ cup of chocolate chips to the batter before baking. That makes it extra fudgy and gooey! You can also add nuts.
As a note, to keep these dairy free, ensure you’re not choosing a chocolate product that contains milk. Most dark chocolates (such as baking bars) do not.
Tips for making this Brownie Recipe with Oil
Alright foodie friends, I’m willing to bet most of you have made a brownie or two in your lifetime. But if you’re not used to making them from scratch, or with oil, here are a few tips to get your olive oil brownies out of the oven perfectly every time.
- Grease, or line, a 9×9 baking dish for easy scooping.
- Avoid chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage than 70%, otherwise the brownies will not be sweet enough.
- Melt the chocolate and brew the coffee first so they’re ready when you are.
- Melt chocolate by breaking it into pieces in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on high for 30 seconds and stir. Then microwave for 10 second bursts, stirring between each, until melted.
- Don’t overmix! Keep your brownies tender by folding the flour into the wet mixture gently with a silicone spatula.
- Pull them just before you think you should. Instead of waiting for a toothpick to come out clean, pull your pan from the oven when a few fudgy crumbs stick to it. They’ll cook a little more as they rest in the pan, and you’ll be guaranteed gooey, fudgy perfection.
- Let them cool. I know this one is hard, but the texture of your brownies will be better if you let them cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before eating.
Frequently Asked Questions
I do my best to think of questions I might have had reading this recipe, but if I missed yours, please ask it in the comments below.
Can I use a bigger or smaller pan? I call for a 9×9 baking dish, but an 8×8 or a 9×10 casserole dish would work as well. For a 9×13 size pan, I’d make 1 ½ the recipe, or even double it. Be aware that adjusting the pan size can affect baking times and the consistency of the final baked good.
How long can I store these? They’ll keep on the counter, covered, for about 4 to 5 days.
How I save time AND make Olive Oil brownies from scratch
One thing I’m often asked is how I have time to make all my family meals and snacks from scratch. I’ll be honest, the answer is – I’m not perfect and I just do my best!
My freezer is my best friend. I might whip up a batch, or two, of these in one day, then let them cool and slice them. I’d then freeze the individual slices on a baking sheet, and once frozen, transfer them to a silicone bag or freezer safe container.
Then when I want a brownie, I just pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute (may vary based on your model), and boom, warm and gooey brownies as good as they were out of the oven.
I hope you enjoy this brownie recipe with oil as much as we do. Being able to whip up a batch of fudgy brownies from scratch is a skill I’m grateful for, especially when I know there’s a big bag waiting for me in the freezer whenever the craving strikes. Don’t forget to check out these other amazing chocolate desserts to satisfy your chocolate addiction while you’re here!
- Triple Chocolate Tart
- Chocolate Covered Bacon
- Decadent Chocolate Zucchini Cake
- Chocolate Filled Bread
- Dark Chocolate Fudge Sauce
- Chocolate Panna Cotta
I’d love to hear what you think, feel free to tag me on Instagram @theflourhandprint so I can see how it went! Until next time, Happy Eating!
- 135 grams all purpose flour 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons
- 27 grams cocoa powder 1/4 cup
- 143 grams brown sugar 3/4 cups, loosely packed
- 169 grams granulated sugar 3/4 cups
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces hot coffee* 1/2 cup
- 4 ounces chocolate 70% cocoa or less
- 2.5 ounces olive oil 1/3 cup
- 1 large egg
- If needed, make the coffee, it should be at least warm. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, then repeat, pausing every 10 seconds to stir and prevent scorching.
- Grease or line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
- Combine the cocoa powder, both sugars, and the hot coffee in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add in the oil, egg, and melted chocolate and whisk until smoothly combined.
- Add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and fold until all the flour is mixed in.
- Pour into the pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Pull them out while a few crumbs still stick to a toothpick inserted into the middle, and let cool at least 20 minutes.
Nutrition information and cooking times are provided as a best estimate. Values may vary based upon ingredients and equipment.