These fudgy, gooey, flourless sweet potato brownies taste rich and decadent but are full of plant-based nutrients, naturally gluten-free, low-calorie, oil-free, and can be made refined sugar-free. A great way to satisfy chocolate cravings in a healthy(ish) way.
Fudgy and Rich Nutrient-Dense Sweet Potato Brownies
If you’re looking for a fudgy brownie recipe without eggs, refined sugar, or flour, you’ve found it—and all thanks to a particular ingredient: sweet potato. I’ve previously ‘hidden’ several other veggies/ pulses in my vegan, gluten-free brownies to make black bean brownies, zucchini brownies, sweet pea brownies, and flourless chickpea brownies/blondies! This time, it’s the turn of these paleo sweet potato brownies. It turns out that adding veggies doesn’t just add extra nutrients to your brownies but a ton of textural benefits, too, and all without affecting the flavor much!
In this vegan sweet potato brownie recipe, I’ve swapped out empty calories (like plain flour and refined sugars) for wholesome ingredients like banana, sweet potato, oats, and ground nuts or seeds. The result is a sweet potato dessert that’s dairy-free, egg-free, paleo-friendly, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, low-fat, and yet definitely not lacking in flavor or nutrients (like fiber, omegas, and various vitamins and minerals)!
Best of all, this healthy brownie recipe requires just 8 simple ingredients and minimal effort! And you’d never guess that it’s as healthy or wholesome as it is! Interested in more vegan brownie recipes? You might also enjoy these no-bake brownies, cheesecake brownies, or caramel chocolate brownies!
- Sweet potato: I used white Japanese sweet potatoes, which are starchier, and work best. However, you can also use orange sweet potato (check the recipe notes as the oat flour will need to be increased).
- Banana: Mashed banana (or applesauce/peach puree) will work well as an egg replacement and create a fudgy texture in these thick brownies.
- Sugar: You can use coconut sugar, date sugar, or a sugar-free keto sweetener like Erythritol. Of course, you can also use regular sugar. I haven’t tried with liquid sweeteners like maple syrup – let me know if you do.
- Oat flour: Create your own oat flour by grinding the oats (regular or gluten-free) in an electric coffee/spice grinder or high-speed blender into a floury consistency. Alternatively, you could use ground almonds (ground in the same way) in these flourless brownies. Avoid coconut flour, which is more absorbent.
- Plant-based milk: Use the plant milk of your choice for these dairy-free brownies: almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk (gluten-free), etc.
- Cocoa powder: You can use cocoa powder OR Dutch-processed cocoa powder (which is very dark and gives Oreo’s their signature flavor).
- Hemp seeds: You can use shelled hemp seeds or another ground seed/nut (like ground almonds).
- Baking powder: This will help leaven and provide some lift and texture.
- Cinnamon: Optional but helps to enhance the flavor.
Optional add-ins and recipe variations:
- Coffee: Adding a teaspoon of instant coffee/espresso powder is a great way to enhance the depth of chocolate flavor without making these healthy brownies taste like coffee.
- Vanilla extract: Add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract for extra depth.
- Nuts: Sprinkle the batter with chopped nuts before baking to add extra texture to the sweet potato brownies.
- Chocolate chips: Double up on chocolate with a handful of your favorite dairy-free chocolate chips to fold into or sprinkle over the brownies before baking.
- Nutmeg: Add a pinch of nutmeg along with the cinnamon for winter warming flavor.
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Sweet Potato Brownies?
- First, preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line your baking pan with parchment paper.
I used a pan that’s 9×6-inches (23×15 cm). However, this makes a lot of batter, so you could also use an 8×8-inch pan or slightly larger (though the brownies will be thinner).
- Next, add all wet brownie ingredients to a food processor and process, then add the dry ingredients and process the mixture into a smooth batter.
You could probably also do this manually in a large mixing bowl (using mashed sweet potatoes and bananas). Note that the batter will be very thick and a little sticky (almost thick, paste-like).
- Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean (a little crumbly is fine, but it shouldn’t be wet).
If you use a different sized pan, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. A larger pan means a shorter baking time. Likewise, the time can vary slightly from oven to oven.
- Remove the oat flour brownies from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes (they will be fragile straight out of the oven, so need that time to firm up, ready to cut). Then, slice into 8 bars (or possibly 9 if you’re using an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch pan) and enjoy!
How to Serve?
As delicious as a brownie is on its own, there are several other ways to enjoy vegan sweet potato brownies for even more of a decadent treat.
- Warmed up and topped with a scoop of vegan ice cream, like vanilla, caramel, or chocolate ice cream.
- Drizzled with a bit of dairy-free cream and optionally topped with some fresh berries.
- Drizzled with nut butter (like almond butter or vegan Nutella), caramel sauce, OR a fruit compote.
How to Make Ahead and Store
Make ahead: There are several ways you can prepare these healthy brownies in advance. The easiest way to cut down on prep is to prepare the sweet potato mash in advance. Once cooked, you can store it in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also prepare the sweet potato brownie batter and store it covered in the fridge for up to a day before baking (bring it back to room temp for 20-30 minutes before baking).
Store: Allow the sweet potato brownies to cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. They taste even better on day 2!
Freeze: I recommend slicing and flash freezing the brownies on a baking tray (with space between) until solid. Then transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag and store for up to 3 months.
Reheat: If you want to enjoy the sweet potato brownie warm, then heat it in the microwave for 15-30 seconds.
Are sweet potato brownies healthy?
These brownies are packed with fiber, healthy omegas, plant-based vitamins and minerals, and more! My version is even refined sugar-free! So while I would still serve them as a treat, they’re definitely healthier than regular brownies!
Can you taste the potato?
No! And that’s not just me saying so. Having posted this recipe across social media, I’ve had tons of comments letting me know about friends and family who could not guess the ‘secret ingredient’ in these paleo sweet potato brownies.
Can I substitute the sweet potato?
You may be able to experiment with squash like pumpkin or butternut squash. Though, the liquid content may vary and require more oat flour.
What is the quickest way to cook the sweet potato?
The microwave method is certainly the quickest. Simply prod your potatoes all over and then wrap them in a slightly damp paper towel. Microwave for 3 minutes, flip, and repeat. If they aren’t fork-tender, then continue in 40-60 second spurts until ready. The time will vary based on how big the potatoes are.
Then, allow cooling slightly before peeling/ scooping the flesh from the peel. Voilà!
Do brownies need to be refrigerated?
While they will last a couple of days at room temperature. I prefer to store them in the refrigerator for ultimate freshness and thick, fudgy consistency.
Recipe Notes and Top Tips
- Turn them into brownie muffins: To make individual brownie bites, you can divide the batter into a muffin/cupcake tin and reduce the baking time (by about 10 minutes).
- For thinner brownies: You can use a different pan, like an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch pan. Just make sure to reduce the baking time.
- Preparing the sweet potato: There are several ways you can cook the sweet potato, including baking, boiling, steaming, and microwaving. Baking usually takes 40-50 minutes, boiling/steaming will take 15-30 minutes (longest when potatoes are left whole), or microwaving can take just some minutes (method in FAQ). I recommend roasting, when possible, for the extra flavor.
- If you use orange sweet potato: Increase the oat flour from 1 ½ cups to 1 3/4 or 2.
More Vegan Chocolate Dessert Recipes
- Chocolate zucchini cake
- Avocado chocolate cake
- Vegan chocolate mousse
- Double chocolate chip fudge cookies
- 2-Ingredient condensed milk chocolate truffles
- Creamy chocolate pie
- No-bake chocolate salami
If you try this recipe for vegan sweet potato brownies, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan—I love seeing them!
Sweet Potato Brownies
- 2 medium (450 g) sweet potatoes cooked (see notes)
- 2 small (200 g) bananas (see notes)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) plant-based milk
- 1 1/2 cup (130 g) ground oats (see notes)
- 2/3 cup (150 g) sugar of choice (see notes)
- 8 tbsp (50 g) cocoa powder (I used Dutch-Process)
- 5 tbsp (50 g) ground hemp seeds or any ground nuts/seeds (see notes)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon (optional)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- You can watch the short video for visual instructions.Check the recipe notes below on how to cook the sweet potatoes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and line a pan with parchment paper. My pan measures 9" x 6" (23 cm x 15 cm) but the recipe makes a lot of batter, so you can use a larger pan (like 8x8).
- Process all wet ingredients in a large food processor, then add the dry ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter (the dough will be quite sticky, but this is normal!).
- Transfer the batter to the lined pan. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick (inserted in the center) comes out almost clean (it can still be crumbly, but shouldn't be wet). Depending on the size/height of your pan, it might be ready some minutes earlier or later. If using a larger pan, check the brownies after 25-30 minutes.
- Let cool for at least 20-30 minutes and cut into bars. Top these fudgy brownies with a vegan chocolate sauce. You can find the exact recipe here PS: The brownies are even better on day 2!
- Sweet Potatoes: I used 450 grams of cooked white Japanese sweet potatoes. White sweet potatoes work better than orange ones, as they are starchier. You can use orange sweet potatoes, however, you should increase the amount of oat flour (use up to 2 cups).
- How to cook sweet potatoes? The microwave method is definitely the quickest. Simply prod your potatoes all over and then wrap them in a slightly damp paper towel. Microwave for 3 minutes, flip, and repeat. If they aren't fork-tender, then continue in 40-60 second spurts until ready. The time will vary based on how big the potatoes are. However, you can also bake them in the oven, let them cool and peel them. If you use white sweet potatoes, you can also boil them on the stove.
- Bananas: Applesauce or peach puree will work as a substitute.
- Sugar: Use coconut sugar, date sugar, or a keto sweetener like Erythritol. Of course, you can also use organic cane sugar.
- Oat flour: Process oats (regular or gluten-free) in an electric coffee/spice grinder or blender to make your own oat flour. One reader had success using almond flour instead of oat flour.
- Hemp seeds: You can use ground almonds or other ground nuts/seeds of choice instead of hemp seeds.
- The recipe makes at least 8 thick brownies as seen in the pictures (depends on the pan you use and how you cut them). Nutrition facts are for one thick brownie.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
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