Chewy Fudgy Homemade Brownies (paleo, gluten-free)

Say hello to my newest brownie recipe.

These brownies are flourless and even contain no oil or butter.

The secret to the chewy, fudge consistency: cashews and flaxseed meal!

They are also rich, dark and everything you would want a savory brownie to be.

Give these a try and let me know what you think in the comments below ↓


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5.0 from 10 reviews
Chewy Fudgy Homemade Brownies (paleo, gluten-free)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Serves: 10
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup 70% dark chocolate chips (optional)
  1. preheat the oven to 350°F
  2. line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper, covering all four sides of the pan
  3. in a food processor or high speed blender, process the cashews and water until creamy, scraping the sides as needed. Make sure you end up with a very creamy paste and there are no chunks of cashews remaining.
  4. in a bowl whisk the egg, then whisk in the cacao, flaxseed meal, honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Mix in the cashew butter until everything is well combined. Batter will be thick.
  5. pour batter evenly onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 20 minutes
  6. set pan on a wire rack to cool then cut into squares
  7. optional: melt about ¼ cup dark chocolate in a double boiler and drizzle over the top of each square. I do this by using a ziplock bag and cutting a small whole on one end. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerated.


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Love to hear from you & see your photo! Please comment below.


  1. sara July 15, 2014 at 8:47 am Reply

    Can I substitute the flax seed meal for something else instead? If so, about how much of the substitute would I have to use?

    Many thanks!

    • adriana July 15, 2014 at 9:05 am Reply

      Sara, that’s a really tough question, because I would have to do some tests before I could give you the right answer. You could try adding butter or coconut oil and maybe some almond flour instead.

    • connie August 12, 2014 at 10:39 am Reply



      • adriana October 29, 2014 at 9:06 am Reply

        Actually, the flaxseed meal is added to this recipe for consistency and taste. It make these brownies fudgy, and makes the flavor resemble more that of wheat flour.

  2. Purelytwins July 15, 2014 at 10:32 am Reply

    those sound amazing! love the simple ingredients! yum yum

  3. Jen July 15, 2014 at 10:45 am Reply

    Do you think I could substitute macadamia nuts for the cashews or is there something special about cashews that the recipe needs them in particular?

    • adriana July 16, 2014 at 9:20 am Reply

      Jen, the cashews have a creamier consistency compared to other nuts and helps to give these brownies that chewy texture. However macadamia nuts might work as well.

  4. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine July 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm Reply

    These look amazing. Do you think I should soak the cashews first if I’m not using a Vitamix? Or is it not necessary for them to be totally smooth? Chewy brownies are the only brownies for me. Otherwise they’re cake-just not the same!

    • adriana July 16, 2014 at 9:16 am Reply

      Michelle, you can soak the cashews if you want. It will definitely help if you don’t have a powerful blender or food processor.

  5. Carly July 17, 2014 at 7:12 pm Reply

    All I can say is OMG! I just made these exactly as per your recipe and they are amazing! Will post a photo on instagram. Thank you!

    • adriana October 29, 2014 at 8:58 am Reply

      Carly, what’s your instagram page? I’d love to see the photo! You can also share it here in the comments 🙂 Thank you for your feedback.

  6. Tom July 18, 2014 at 8:04 am Reply

    Can we use cashew butter instead of the raw cashews and water? If so, how much would you recommend subbing?

    • adriana October 29, 2014 at 8:56 am Reply

      Tom, use a 1/2 cup of cashew butter.

    • Amy February 9, 2016 at 7:34 am Reply

      Tom, how did these turn out using cashew butter? Thanks!

      • adriana February 11, 2016 at 11:58 am Reply

        Hi Amy, you can use cashew butter as well in this recipe. This is essentially the same thing I am doing, except I am making my own cashew butter here since it’s easy and much cheaper than store bought. Substitute the cashews and the water with the store bought cashew butter.

  7. Nancy Power July 18, 2014 at 3:03 pm Reply

    Ok. These are by far the BEST gooey brownies myself and my hubby have EVER eaten!!! Although I did substitute the water for coconut water (after I scooped out all the cream).

    Thank you SO much or all these wonderful recipes. 🙂

  8. Sara August 10, 2014 at 9:12 am Reply

    These look so good…my brother is allergic to all nuts but almonds. I guess they wouldn’t work because they aren’t as creamy as cashews? Kind of a petty question, I know. They just look so GOOD. What do you think if I added more oil/water or something?

    • adriana October 29, 2014 at 9:02 am Reply

      Hi Sara, you might not need to add any oil or water if you substitute the cashews for almonds, but I think if you add butter (grass-fed) it would be really good. 2-4 tablespoons might be enough.

  9. Marcella August 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm Reply

    This looks amazing!! I know it’s a long shot, but do you think there is any way to substitute the honey for xylitol or coconut sugar? I can’t do honey or maple syrup due to the high glycemic index. I’m desperately trying to find recipes that are decent!

    • adriana August 22, 2014 at 10:21 am Reply

      Marcella, this recipe will work with coconut sugar, but I have not tried it xylitol. If your batter becomes too thick when you use coconut sugar, add about 2 tablespoons of water or coconut oil to the mixture.

  10. Tarja October 29, 2014 at 2:40 am Reply

    Made these today and i have no words 🙂 I bet the taste is even better if you let them be one night in refrigerater. I can not wait to try your other recipes 😉

    • adriana October 29, 2014 at 9:03 am Reply

      Thank you again Tarja!! 🙂

  11. Veronique November 19, 2014 at 10:00 am Reply

    This recipe sounds yummy and I will try it, but did you really get 10 servings? We don’t eat large desserts but it’s been my experience that an 8×8 pan can yield 6 at most 8 brownie servings. Unless you are going for a brownie bite and not a dessert serving? I’ll be sure to rate after I try this. I have to give it a day since I just made up a batch and although the flavor of mine turned out good, the texture was way way off. That bums me out.

    • adriana November 19, 2014 at 11:25 am Reply

      Veronique, the serving size varies as how big you cut your pieces. This brownie is rich and a small bite goes a long way. Please let me know what you think and share your photo here.

  12. Amy January 8, 2015 at 9:53 am Reply

    Will chia meal work instead of the flax meal? I don’t digest flax well and chia has usually subbed ok for me in other recipes.

  13. Sarah January 22, 2015 at 7:53 am Reply

    AMAZING! I can’t believe that these brownies are actually healthy for you! They are chocolatey, moist, fudgy, and rich. Most of the sugar/gluten-free recipes I’ve tried (from other sources) are “ok”, but this is by far the most delicious healthy recipe I’ve ever tried.

    I only had about 1/4 cup of cashews on hand so I just subbed the rest with walnuts. Also, I didn’t have any raw honey or cocoa powder so I used the regular kinds and the recipe still turned out amazing! I will be sharing this will ALL my friends–gluten free/paleo and “normal people” alike 😀 .

    • adriana January 22, 2015 at 11:19 am Reply

      Thanks Sarah! 🙂

  14. Lyndsay February 20, 2015 at 11:33 am Reply

    These sound perfect! Going to try making them this weekend thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. Abbey April 8, 2015 at 12:10 am Reply

    My brownies turned out quite dry and very cakey. It was like chocolate flavoured cake but quite tasteless. Maybe I needed to add more honey :/

    • adriana April 8, 2015 at 10:34 am Reply

      Abbey, did you process the cashews until very creamy and smooth? You can try using store-bought cashew butter next time so your brownies are not dry. Adding 1/2 cup of honey to this recipe makes these brownies very sweet for me personally, but you can definitely add more to taste next time.

  16. richeel frazier June 15, 2015 at 2:22 am Reply

    They look awesome. Any chance you have the nutritional content? Specifically the amount of calories and carbs.

  17. fray July 19, 2015 at 5:34 pm Reply

    Came out amazing! Do they freeze well or refrigerate them? For how long will it stay fresh?

    • adriana July 20, 2015 at 12:32 pm Reply

      Thank you Fray! So happy you like it! I keep mine in the fridge and they last a long time. You can probably freeze them as well.

  18. Sharee August 30, 2015 at 12:49 am Reply

    I made these brownies today as well as the lemon + chia seed muffins and they were both amazing!! After trying (and failing) dozens of paleo baking recipes over the last year it’s such a relief to know that there is a site with reliable recipes that actually taste really good ☺ I am going to grab a copy of your books asap

    • adriana August 30, 2015 at 9:22 am Reply

      Sharee, I am so happy to read your review and know that you like my recipes! Thank you for taking the time to let me know 🙂

  19. Brittny September 5, 2015 at 5:18 pm Reply

    Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe! Totally delicious and indulgent! The consistency is more like cake to me. So happy I found a delicious guilt-free treat 🙂

    • adriana September 6, 2015 at 8:16 am Reply

      Thank you Brittany! I just love your photo and I’m so happy you like this recipe. Maybe next time to make your brownies more fudgy, grind the cashews more so that they are creamier and also bake for a few minutes less.

  20. jacque January 19, 2016 at 10:15 pm Reply

    I never post because most recipes just arent that good. But this is!!! The great thing is I could make it with even less sweetener and it still satisfy my sweet tooth.

    • adriana January 20, 2016 at 10:44 am Reply

      Jacque, this means a lot to me! I’m really happy to read your feedback and know you enjoyed my brownie recipe 🙂

  21. Hannah February 5, 2016 at 7:17 pm Reply

    I am allergic to eggs. Any suggestions for a replacer? I have a store bought egg replacer but I am not store if it will turn out right. Other wise this recipe looks perfect- so excited because I have so many allergies and finding a brownie recipe is hard!

    • adriana February 7, 2016 at 7:38 am Reply

      Hi Hannah, I think you should try making this recipe without the egg. My guess is that it will turn out ok, but it may be a bit denser. Definitely worth a try because this recipe already has flaxseed meal which acts as binders as well. Please let me know how it turns out when you make it and share a photo of it here.

  22. Raro June 2, 2016 at 6:18 pm Reply

    Hi Adriana,

    Did you use 1/4 cup of chocolate chips in the batter and another 1/4 cup for melting to decorate the brownies? If I do not use chocolate chips in the batter, how different would the brownies be?
    Thank you

    • adriana June 7, 2016 at 8:44 am Reply

      Hi Raro, I use 1/4 cup of dark chocolate just to decorate the brownies. I didn’t add any more chocolate to the batter, only cacao powder. Sorry if this was confusing.

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