I love brownies. Growing up, brownies were definitely not my favorite desert. i always preferred vanilla everything. But when I started baking sweet treats on my own, my love for chocolate grew… a lot.
I’ve always loved cacao. The reason I probably favored vanilla over chocolate was because I couldn’t stand the fake chocolate and milk chocolate flavors. When I discovered cacao years ago it changed everything for me. Not only does it taste amazing, but the benefits to cacao are outstanding.
Benefits of cacao:
It is filled with powerful antioxidants. It can help prevent aging, wrinkles, and uv damage. It can also help boost your mood! It is also packed with magnesium which is not found in many foods.
The purest form is to get the cacao nibs. Although they are bitter in flavor, they add a crunch to banana bread and trail mixes. They are where you will get the most benefits. Cacao powder is also another great form of cacao (it is cacao nibs ground up). This is great for adding to smoothies and baked goods!
These brownies are amazing! They are packed with all the benefits of cacao, and they are so satisfying. They are grain free and gluten free.
I also used a plant based cream cheese for the frosting. You can use a regular frosting or regular cream cheese in place of the plant based.
1/2 cup cassava flour
1 cup almond flour
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup cream cheese of choice (i used this one here)
1 tbsp maple syrup
Preheat your oven to 350 and grease the pan or line with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix together the coconut sugar, eggs, apple sauce, vanilla extract and the coconut oil. Mix until we incorporated and until the sugar has dissolved. Then fold in the flours, cacao powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix together until smooth. Then transfer the batter to your baking dish. You can use a smaller casserole dish or an 8 inch baking dish. The smaller the dish, the longer the baking time. Check at 25 minutes and then check every 5 minutes after. To check, stick a toothpick in the brownie and if it comes out clean it is done! Remove from heat once done baking, let cool. While it is cooling mix together the cream cheese and maple syrup (an electric mixer is best). Once the brownies have cooled, frost the brownies with the maple frosting and enjoy!