Ultimate Fudgy Vegan Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The holidays are upon us, which means it's time to throw your diet books and green juices out the window and enjoy all the comfort food you want. In other words, welcome to my life. And what better way to kick off the holidays than with double chocolate brownies!

In case brownies weren't chocolaty enough for you, I topped them with a chocolate buttercream frosting (vegan, obvi). 

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Before we get to the recipe, let's talk brownies for a second. Because not all brownies are made the same. Some people prefer their brownies more cake-like, while others prefer them on the fudgier side. I am decidedly in the latter camp because, after all, if I wanted to eat cake-y brownies, I would just eat chocolate cake, amirite? (I am right). 

There is an in-betweener level of brownie for those of you who are undecided: the chewy brownie. If the fudgy brownie is dense and and has a moist chocolate inside, and the cakey brownie has moist crumbs and a fluffy inside, then the chewy brownie is somewhat moist and a little but not too gooey. Basically, the chewy brownie is for all those Goldilocks who can't make up their minds. 

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Typically, fudgy brownies have a higher ratio of fat to flour than cakey brownies. If you know me and my proclivity for high-fat foods, this should come as no surprise. That's why I use cashew butter, vegan butter, dark chocolate, and flax eggs, and just a wee bit of flour. For cakey brownies, you'd use more flour and some baking powder to get that cakey rise. 

I hope you're in the fudgy brownie camp because that's what these are! And if that weren't chocolatey and decadent enough for you, I made a chocolate (vegan)buttercream frosting. So, it kind of feels like you're eating cake, but you're definitely not eating cakey brownies. Now you get the best of both worlds--cake and brownies. 

And if you want to make these look festive, add some pomegranate jewels and fresh cranberries! Normally, fresh cranberries are way too tart to eat alone, but the sugary sweetness of these brownies acts a nice complement (as long as you don't add too many cranberries). Fresh cranberries not your thing? Try dried cranberries! 

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Happy baking, friends! What are you baking for the holidays? 

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Ultimate Fudgy Vegan Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, melted

  • 1/4 cup unsalted cashew butter

  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup or pure maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, melted

  • 2 flax eggs*

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • Toppings: Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (see below), cranberries, pomegranate seeds, flaky sea salt

*To make one flax egg, mix together 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal with 2 1/2 tablespoons of warm water Let sit for 10-15 minutes to thicken. 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides for easy removal.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted vegan butter, cashew butter, brown sugar, brown rice syrup or maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt until smooth and well incorporated.

  3. To the same bowl, gradually add in the cocoa powder. Whisk to combine to remove clumps and until the batter is smooth.

  4. Next, stir in the melted chocolate into the brownie batter until fully incorporated.

  5. Whisk in the flax eggs until well incorporated.

  6. Finally, gradually incorporate in the flour, working in 1/4 cup increments and using a wooden spoon. Fold until just incorporated and do not overmix.

  7. Pour the batter into prepared pan and smooth out with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool brownies completely on a wire rack for 1-2 hours. For dense fudgy brownies, store in the refrigerator.

  8. Frost cooled brownies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and, if desired, cranberries, pomegranate seeds, and flaky sea salt.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 8 tablespoons vegan butter, softened to room temperature

  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar

  • 2 - 4 tablespoons almond milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter for a few seconds.

  2. Gradually beat in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of almond milk. Beat until you reached your desired consistency of frosting, adding more almond milk if the frosting is too thick and more powdered sugar if it is too thin.