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Dairy Free Brownies

This recipe is: dairy freenut free

This dairy free brownies are made from scratch using olive oil. They’re easy to make and extra fudgy with crackly tops and crispy edges.

Olive Oil Brownies in a metal pan lined with parchment paper, sitting on a dark rustic background

How I made these dairy free brownies

A few weeks ago, I asked one of my dairy free recipe groups on Facebook what sort of recipe they’d like to see. One of the first comments was brownies, and I was surprised I hadn’t thought of it before. I mean, who doesn’t love a good brownie?

I found this recipe for old fashioned brownies on Pinterest, and I thought it would be a great starting point for my dairy free brownies. It used melted butter, which is easily substituted with oil, and cocoa powder rather than melted chocolate or anything too complicated for me.

The only other change I made was to double the vanilla extract. It’s a trick I learned after my niece accidentally used tablespoons instead of teaspoons in her chocolate chip cookies, and they turned out amazing.

And, these brownies were no different. They turned out better than any brownie I’ve ever had in my whole life. Try them for yourself and let me know what you think.

Olive Oil Brownies on a piece of parchment paper, sitting on a dark rustic background

Here’s what you’ll need to make them

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Ingredient notes:

  • Olive oil – You can use any kind of oil in this recipe, but I love the flavor the olive oil adds to the brownies. Use what you have and if you don’t care for the flavor the olive adds, use a light olive oil which has a less pronounced flavor.
  • Chocolate chips – Use the best dairy free chocolate chips you can find. I found a local brand that makes dairy free ones, but Enjoy Life makes allergy friendly chocolate chunks that would work great.
  • Cocoa powder – This recipe calls for regular cocoa powder, but I have used the darker, Dutch-process cocoa powder with this recipe and it works just fine. It will create a darker, richer chocolate flavor though.

How to make brownies without butter

Line your baking dish with parchment paper. Just fold the corners. It doesn’t have to be perfect because the batter will fill it out.

Take them out of the oven before you think you should. If you’re toothpick comes out with a tiny bit of batter on it, that’s okay. They’ll be nice and fudge-link.

FAQs and tips for making the best dairy free brownies

What can I use instead of milk in brownies?

Normally, brownies don’t call for milk, but if you find a recipe that does, dairy free milk, or even water or cold coffee will be a great substitute.

Can I use oil instead of butter in brownies?

Yes. If a recipe calls for melted butter, you can easily substitute oil in its place. For this recipe, I used olive oil, but any liquid oil, such as vegetable oil or melted coconut oil, would work.

Does cocoa powder have dairy?

No. Cocoa powdered doesn’t contain dairy. The ingredients in cocoa powder should be just cocoa powder and, in some cases, a alkalizing agent. If there is milk listed in the ingredients, it’s probably hot cocoa mix.

More dairy free bars and brownies:

Even more chocolate recipes:


Not sure where to get started with dairy free swaps? I’m here to help! Subscribe now to receive my free guide to dairy free substitutes.

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    Dairy Free Brownies

    • Author: Melissa Belanger
    • Prep Time: 15 minutes
    • Cook Time: 35 minutes
    • Total Time: 50 minutes
    • Yield: 12 brownies 1x


    This dairy free brownies are made from scratch using olive oil. They’re easy to make and extra fudgy with crackly tops and crispy edges.


    • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 2/3 cup olive oil, divided
    • 1/2 cup boiling water
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips*


    1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
    3. Whisk 1/3 cup olive oil and boiling water into cocoa powder mixture until smooth.
    4. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and remaining 1/3 cup olive oil. Whisk until smooth.
    5. Slowly whisk in flour until smooth.
    6. Fold in chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
    7. Pour batter into pan and top with extra chocolate chips (if desired). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
    8. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 30 minutes before slicing.
    • Category: Desserts
    • Method: Baking
    • Cuisine: American


    • Serving Size:
    • Calories: 405
    • Sugar: 44.2 g
    • Sodium: 114.8 mg
    • Fat: 19.4 g
    • Saturated Fat: 5.8 g
    • Carbohydrates: 59.2 g
    • Fiber: 3.3 g
    • Protein: 4.8 g
    • Cholesterol: 31 mg

    Keywords: dairy free brownies, olive oil brownies, brownies with oil, easy brownies, best brownie recipe

    Last Updated on January 28, 2022 by Melissa Belanger

    This post contains affiliate links. I may earn commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. I will never recommend a product I don’t use or trust.

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    Recipe rating


      1. Oh my gosh. I hadn’t had a brownie for years, but I think they might be weakness now, too! I hope you like them!

          1. Weird, mine turned out wonderful. Maybe bake them for less time next time? Not sure this will help but just a suggestion

    1. I cooked my brownie in a smaller pan 7″ x 10 1/2″ ( 18 cm x 27 cm ) and it turned out perfect.
      Also try putting extra choco chips on top after baking it to melt for a great topping.

    2. Excellent Brownie Recipe. I also baked this in a smaller pan and in addition to the cocoa, I added 2 teaspoons of Instant Coffee to enhance the chocolate flavor.

      1. Oh great idea! I will have to give it a try sometime! I’m glad you liked the brownies 🙂

    3. This is my first time attempting dairy-free brownies and to be honest, these are so good that no one will miss the butter-filled version! I did make a couple of alterations based on the reviews and my own experiences in the kitchen.
      1. Smaller pan – I used 10 X 7ish (baked for 35 minutes on 350*). So moist!
      2. Added espresso powder – a must when making chocolate cake or brownies in my house
      3. Increased the vanilla to 1 TBSP

      Thanks for the recipe! It’s a keeper!

      1. Thanks for sharing! I love that you added extra vanilla. It’s one of my favorite ways to amp up the flavor, but I try not to suggest it in my recipes because it can be so expensive. I’m glad you liked these!

    4. Incredibly fudgy and decadent. I used dark chocolate and just cut it up. Also used smaller pan as that’s all I had. Really nice brownie recipe.

    5. This is SO GOOD.

      Like another reviewer, I didn’t have chocolate chips so I chopped up a couple dairy-free dark chocolate bars. It ended up they didn’t hold their shape like chocolate chips, but they created little areas of melty deliciousness.

      A couple other reviewers mentioned using espresso powder. This sounded like a great idea but I didn’t have any, I I substituted the 1/2 of boiling water with hot, dark decaf coffee. Also increased the vanilla to one tablespoon.

      Seriously, you wouldn’t know these are dairy free — so fudgy and flavorful — and they’re actually better than just about any dairy-full brownies I’ve made. (Rocky Road was my family’s go-to in my dairy-full days…your recipe could probably easily be modified to include the nuts and marshmallows!)

      Thanks so much for the recipe!

      1. Oh my goodness. I’m totally making rocky road brownies ASAP! That sounds so good. I am really glad to hear that you liked the brownies, and I love the coffee add-in!

    6. Not bad. I didn’t have semisweet dairy free chocolate chips, so I used dark chocolate instead. I cooked them in smaller pans, and they turned out well. The corner pieces are a bit dry, but it’s very rich and fudgelike towards the middle. It’s definitely a keeper.

    7. I have made a lot of brownies and these were by far the best! We didn’t have any butter in the house so made these and they turned out amazing! So good we are baking them to sell at a bake sale!

      1. You should be able to, but I haven’t tested it. If you try, I would love to know how they turn out!

    8. I made these last night at like 9pm for a birthday potluck today. They are sooo easy to make and turned out fantastic! I’ve never made brownies from scratch before, I feel like a baking whiz! Thank you!

    9. Thanks for this yummy recipe! Question though: I followed the recipe exactly, but mine looks nothing like yours. It came out more like a cake. Yummy, but cake not brownie. What am I doing wrong?? I never seem to make brownies, they always come out like a cake. Could it be my oven, or do I just not have the brownie thumb? Any ideas?

      1. It might just be that you’re baking them too long or your oven is too hot. You really want to take them out earlier than you *think* they’re ready. If that doesn’t work, try replacing half 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup sugar (rather than 2 cups of sugar).

    10. The taste is great on these! Unfortunately 35 minutes was way too long for mine – they were burning several minutes before my timer went off and they came out tasting more like a slightly burnt cake than brownies 🙁 Would recommend checking these 25 minutes in just to be sure, or maybe using a smaller pan would do the trick!

      I also think 2 c of sugar would have been too much – I used only 1.5 and they still came out plenty sweet.

      1. The sugar does more for the recipe than just sweetening. It actually gives the brownies their gooey texture. Since you changed the ingredients, you can’t expect the recipe to come out properly. Oven temperatures also vary quite a bit, so you should always keep an eye on what you’re baking and get to know your own oven. I’m glad they still turned out ok!

    11. Absolutely excellent recipe and I work in the Congo with no suitable oven, and they still came out perfect!

      The outside has the perfect amount of stretchy crispness and the inside is dense without being too heavy. This is a new favorite!

    12. I’ve been dairy-free my whole life by necessity, and finding tasty desserts has always been a challenge! Loved this recipe, thank you so much! I will say that I substituted some applesauce in for some of the olive oil as another reviewer brought up that idea, and though the brownies have a wonderful texture, they are less chocolate-y tasting. I used unsweetened organic applesauce, and the brownies are almost a fruity-sweet taste, similar to carob-powder brownies. Since I prefer a VERY strong chocolate taste, I’ll probably add more cocoa powder but keep the applesauce in the future! (I can’t have caffeine, so sadly I couldn’t add coffee or espresso to enhance the chocolate as others have suggested!)

      1. Thanks for sharing about the apple sauce, I was wondering if it changed the flavor! I’d suggest to be careful with the cocoa powder if you can’t have caffeine though, as a half cup has as much caffeine as a mug of coffee. I’m sensitive to caffeine too, so I use cocoa processed with alkali, also known as Dutch chocolate or Special Dark chocolate because of its darker color. It has half the caffeine of regular cocoa powder and is less bitter. Happy baking!

        1. You really shouldn’t interchange regular and Dutch process cocoa powder. They react differently in baking recipes and can really make or a break the results.

          1. Thanks for the tip! I researched a bit and found a great article on it. So Shannon, all you’d need to do to use Dutch chocolate would be to remove to baking soda. The brownies won’t rise at all though.

      1. I’m really sorry that your brownies didn’t turn out. Did you follow the recipe exactly without making substitutions?

    13. I loved this! My favorite brownie recipe by far. I’ve made 3 batches since last night and I think my whole family is addicted. I would recommend these to ANYONE, dairy-free or not. My best friend Loves to bake so I will definitely share this with her. Thx for sharing.

    14. Have you tried making these as brownie bites? Thinking of using a heart muffin pan for Valentine’s Day. If muffins, is cooking time half?

      1. I haven’t tried it myself, but I would try baking them for about 20-22 minutes and checking them with a toothpick at about 20 to see how they’re doing. I would love to know how they turn out if you make them like this!

      2. I haven’t tried it myself, but I would recommend baking them for about 20 – 22 minutes if you’re going to do a average sized cupcake tin. Let me know how they turn out if you do it!

    15. Made this tonight..OMG! So good! So, I admit that I didn’t have any chocolate chips, so I had to get creative.
      1 Tbsp olive oil
      1 Tbsp cocoa powder
      3 Tbsp powdered sugar.
      Whisk it up and it makes a delicious gloopy chocolate to drizzle over the top before you bake it. Then marble it in. SOooo good!

    16. Hey! I tried these this past week and mine turned out more cake-like than brownie. I still loved the flavour but I’m wondering what I did wrong.


      1. You might just be baking them too long or your oven temperature might be slightly off. Try taking them out 2 minutes early next time to see if they’re more to your liking!

        1. OMG thanks so much. I think I’ll try them again tomorrow.
          Great recipe though. I’ve never really been good with brownies.
          Thanks for all your help.
          I hope this recipe can help me become a brownie expert someday. Lovely recipe.
          BTW just wondering if you have posted any cookie recipes?

    17. I made these using melted coconut oil instead of olive oil and they turned out fantastic!!! Super crumbly and hard to get out of the pan since I didn’t have parchment paper and just greased. Also I just mixed it all in one bowl at once because I was lazy and they still turned out great!

    18. Hey guys! I love this recipe and my friends and family are in complete astonishment that these brownies are dairy free. As much as I love them, I am having difficulty cooking the center. If I leave them too long in the oven, the outer edge burns! 🙁 I followed the recipe exactly, but should I use a metal pan instead of glass?? Just trying to think of something I could have possibly done wrong!

    19. SO GOOD! I did them in a glass pan without parchment paper (didn’t have a regular pan). Turned out so fudgy and good!

    20. These are seriously THE best brownies on the planet. I used avocado oil since it was all I had. Freakin’ uh-mazing! Thank you so much for this recipe! My family destroyed the whole batch in one afteroon. Mostly me.

    21. these are delicious! I made these in a slightly smaller pan, and made them gluten free using Bob’s 1:1 all purpose flour. Chewy on the outside, gooey in the middle. Thank you! Will make again!

    22. My boyfriend has a dairy allergy so I tried these because he loves brownies. The whole family loves them! I’ll never make brownies with dairy again

    23. So I ended up having to use a 8×8 glass pan for these and they cooked for about 45 minutes low and slow but they were AMAZING. I’m lactose intolerant and have had to avoid brownies for a while, but these are other worldly. Fifty, thick, and all things good 🙂

    24. Mine turned into moist and overall very yummy cake! I accidentally skimped on the sugar due to some errors while converting.. I wrote down 200g for 1 cup but ended up thinking that 200g is for 2 cups and put in only 180g! Definitely not a brownie, but a great dark chocolate cake! Whipping up some vegan frosting cause some in the fam can’t deal with dark chocolate ><

    25. Hi I made these tonight and they are terrific. For those wanting to reduce the sugar, I halved the sugar, halved the cooking time, and cooked them at 320 instead of 350 (150 instead of 180 Celcius). A big success and I don’t think they lose anything from having olive oil…I thought they might taste a bit savoury but I didn’t miss the butter at all.

    26. Love this recipe it is a go to since I have been dairy free while nursing. We are also an egg free house. Last night I subbed applesauce for the eggs since we did not have ground flaxseed to make flax eggs and they still turned out great! Thanks for sharing this!

    27. I followed a combination of suggestions from other reviewers and decreased the sugar to 1 cup, increased vanilla to 1 tablespoon, poured the batter into a square 8×8 pan and baked the brownies at 320° for 25 minutes. I cooled them for 10 minutes in the pan, then completely cooled them on a wire rack. I also left out the chocolate chips, but added 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts. They came out great – not too sweet, chewy and very satisfying.

    28. We made this in our kindergarden. We had a moist gooey product, even though we made a double portion in one big baking tray. I think people complaining of having a dry brownie is that they are over baking it, because in the instructions you say to check that it is cooked by putting in a tooth pick and it should come out clean. Isn’t that wrong for a brownie recipe? There should be crumbs or goo on the pick.
      Any how, the cake was great and the kids ate the lot and wanted more, something that doesn’t often happen! 😉

    29. First, thank you for posting! I have a client who has many allergies and wanted brownies and these are perfect! High quality, mild EVOO, is key, as the last time I made them I used a medium global blend of EVOO and I can really taste it, but they’re still good! My family also likes these.n I transposed the recipe into grams so I can weigh my ingredients and get the same product each time. I use a a combo of regular cocoa powder and special dark (it’s my fav), like the Enjoy Life mini semi-sweets, and also sub 1/2 of a tsp of the vanilla extract with a homemade coffee extract from French beans, which is so tasty. Using homemade vanilla extract also amps the flavor. My only stick is the edges around the pan and the corners where the parchment “folds.” I use a dark, coated pan at 350F and my edges puff up pretty early, like cake, while the center stays nice and fudgey. I end up cutting off the crispy, uneven edges to make even brownies (and then I have brownie scraps, something Roslynn Bakery used to sell). I’ve never had an issue with the brownies being dry and I don’t change any quantities of sugar, soda, or anything, other than the 1/2 tsp coffee extract sub for 1/2 tsp of vanilla.
      Well done and thank you for this recipe!

    30. Good flavor! However, my brownies were not much of a fudge texture, It was more cake like? I don’t know if it’s because I used wheat flour instead of all purpose flour? I don’t think it should make too much of a difference in the texture, I just wanted to make a healthier version. ..

      1. Using whole wheat flour will make a major difference in the texture of your brownies. Anytime you make changes to a baking recipe, it will most likely not turn out. Next time, I recommend trying the recipe as written before making changes.

    31. Oh my goodness!! I just made these and they are absolutely delish! I used gluten free flour and my people cannot even tell that they are “healthy” 🙂 Thank you for the recipe. This one is a keeper!! I also like that it makes a little larger dish so it is PERFECT for when company comes.

    32. So so good! The texture and taste of these brownies are perfection. I added a bit more vanilla then called for and I also added choc chips and pecan pieces on top right before popping into the oven, they came out perfect! I took them out before my knife came out clean (I love more gooey brownie). I also swapped for avocado oil because its the only oil I tend to cook/bake with for most recipes, didn’t seem to make a different in the taste though! My husband and I devoured them for dessert, this recipe is everything you want in a brownie! My hubby is dairy free so I cook and bake accordingly, there are so many yummy recipes I’ve found on SimplyWhisked that are perfect for us. Thank you!