♫ Listening to: 8:02PM by For Squirrels ♫
These organic vegan brownies are lower in fat than your average brwonie recipe, and if you cut them into squirrel shapes, they’ll be cuter than average brownies too! This brownie recipe is so quick and easy to make that you can decide the night before that you want to bring a special treat to work the next day, and make it happen without sacrificing sleep.
This brownie recipe also works perfectly if you bake it in a brownie edges pan (the only adjustments to the recipe would be to grease the pan before pouring the batter into it). The pro is that you get all edge brownies. The con is that you don’t get squirrel-shaped brownies. This sounds like a conundrum that I’m glad is yours and not mine.
This recipe makes 12 adorable squirrel brownies (or 24 boring square brownies).
Chocolate Brownie Ingredients
prep time: 15 minutes; bake time: 30 minutes; cool time: 2 hours or overnight
- ⅓ cup (80g / 75ml) sunflower oil (or sub any vegetable oil)
- 1 ¾ cup (400g) organic, vegan, or raw sugar*
- 1 cup (230g / 240ml) vanilla nondairy milk
- ½ tablespoon (5g / 7ml) apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (4g / 5ml) vanilla extract
- 2 cups (265g) unbleached flour
- ½ cup (50g) cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon (1g) salt (optional)
Chocolate Brownie Directions
Cut them into squares or another shape if you don't have a squirrel cutter.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Mix the wet ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer until the sugar dissolves: ⅓ cup of vegetable oil, 1 ¾ cup (400g) of sugar, 1 cup of nondairy milk (I used organic soymilk from Whole Foods because their 365 brand is cheap af), ½ tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and the teaspoon of vanilla extract. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can mix by hand or use a handheld electric mixer.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl: 2 cups unbleached flour (if you want to make them healthier, you can use half whole wheat pastry flour), ½ cup cocoa powder (try to find fair-trade cocoa if you can), 1 teaspoon (5g) baking soda, 1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder (I use aluminum-free), and ¼ teaspoon pink sea salt (any salt is fine, but this kind has trace minerals in it).
Mix the dry and wet ingredients together just until incorporated (until you no longer see any dry spots).
Bake for 30 minutes (or until you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean).
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
Remove brownies from the pan by grabbing the edges of the parchment paper and lifting them onto a cutting board, and leave there until the brownies have cooled completely.
Cut out as many shapes out of the pan of brownies as you can using your cookie cutter of choice (I used a squirrel cutter).
Trim any excess that the cutter didn’t manage to get off (if you have a higher quality cookie cutter, you likely won’t need to do this, but I got mine for 10¢ at a yard sale).
Stamp your shape onto the thicker parts of the brownie and then trace around the lines with a skinny knife. You only need to do this if your cookie cutter isn’t tall enough. The metal cookie cutters are usually a lot better at this task.
Serve the squirrels to your friends.
How can I convert this recipe into a chocolate chip brownie recipe?
Easy! If you want to make these into chocolate chip brownies, just add half a cup of vegan chocolate chips to the batter right before you pour the batter into the pan. Then once the batter is in the pan, sprinkle another ¼ cup of vegan chocolate chips on top before it goes into the oven. Cut them into 15-24 squares once they cool.
Can I make these brownies more festive for a birthday?
If you want to make birthday brownies, instead of squirrel brownies, just sprinkle vegan sprinkles all over the top of the batter right before you bake them.
I can’t trust myself to have this many brownies in the house. Can I divide this recipe in half and bake it in a 9” square pan?
For sure! I’ve made this recipe in a square brownie pan. The only difference is that I had to bake them 5 additional minutes.
I only have dutch processed cocoa powder. Can I use that instead?
If you want to make vegan brownies using dutch cocoa powder, check out my cheesecake brownies recipe and just use the brownie part of the recipe.
* I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook, but I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to purchase all ingredients organic. Therefore, I only specify organic on ingredients when buying the organic (or non-GMO) version is the only way to ensure that the item is vegan.