Vegan Dark Chocolate Orange Brownies
I have been loving the combination of chocolate and orange lately. I recently made some Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Cupcakes and they were so good, so I wanted more of that chocolate orange flavor combo. I was in the mood for some brownie baking last weekend, so it seemed like the perfect time to use it again. I have never made chocolate orange brownies. Which is kind of surprising because I have made just about every flavor of brownie imaginable. I probably have at least 20 brownies on this website. I usually go for a fudgy brownie base, with some sort of add ins swirled in, but I wanted to keep these simple and let the flavors shine.
Normally I use cacao powder in my brownie base to give it a chocolate flavor, but I wanted to switch it up this time and use mostly melted vegan dark chocolate and just a little cacao powder to make these extra fudgy and decadent. I am not a cakey brownie fan to be honest. I have made a few batches that tasted good but were too cakey in the past which was a bummer because I wasn't looking for a cake I was looking for brownies. I think I hit the jackpot with this batch the way they turned out.
They have about 1 1/4 cups melted dark chocolate in them so they almost have to be good. I added in plenty of orange zest, because I wanted to be able to taste it, as well as smell it. The batter tasted amazing! I could not stop sampling it. That is my favorite part of brownie making after all, sampling and licking the batter from the bowl that is left over. One of the best things about these is they are really simple to make, no beating of the batter for minutes or any of that, just a quick mix in a bowl and you have delicious brownie batter!
They smelled amazing while baking! We could not wait to try them. Although I say to let them cool completely before cutting, I they are amazing while still warm too if you prefer that. They are rich and fudgy, just how I like them with a decadent chocolate flavor and a hint of fragrant orange. Sooo good! Are you a center brownie person, or do you prefer the edges? I like the gooey center pieces!
Vegan Dark Chocolate Orange Brownies
Makes 16 brownies
- 2 Tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp filtered water (allowed to sit 15 minutes to gel before using)
- 7 oz vegan dark chocolate(about 1 1/4 cups chopped chocolate or chips)
- 1 cup maple sugar or coconut sugar*
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp avocado oil or olive oil*
- 1 Tbsp cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp organic orange zest plus 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 2/3 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour *
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees, and line an 8x8 inch square pan with parchment at the bottom.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flax and water, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler, until it is smooth. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, salt and oils, and whisk together until well combined, then add the flax and water mixture and whisk until blended.
- Add the cacao powder, orange zest and juice and melted chocolate and whisk until smooth and well blended.
- Add the flour and whisk until completely blended (if you don't mix well it could separate).
- Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- Place in the oven, on the center rack, and bake for 30 minutes until the brownies are set (but do not overbake).
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into 16 bars.
Brownies keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container on the counter, or 2 weeks refrigerated. They can be frozen for up to 4 months.
*If you would prefer to use granulated sugar that would work as well in this recipe.
*If you would like to just use one type of oil in this recipe, you can use additional coconut oil instead of the avocado, just keep in mind the brownies may be a little bit more hard at room temperature or at cooler temps.
*If you would like to make these gluten free, you can use Bob's Red Mill gluten free all purpose baking flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour. I have tried this brand and know it works well when used in brownies.