Vegan Nut-Free Gluten-Free Brownies

Vegan Nut-Free Gluten-Free Brownies

Almonds are a superfood and highly nutritious. I love baking with almond flour, and wrote the The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook in 2008. Fans often call me the “Queen of Almond Flour.” Still, I sometimes get requests for nut-free paleo dessert recipes and often people need egg-free recipes as well. There are as many food allergies as there are colors in the rainbow. That’s why I created this easy paleo brownie recipe! It’s for all the nut-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, paleo vegans in my life. You keep me on my toes! And I love it.

This recipe uses sunflower seed butter, which is similar to nut butter, though totally nut-free. Sunflower seed butter is gluten-free, high-protein and made from highly nutritious sunflower seeds. You didn’t think I was going to use rice flour to make these paleo nut-free brownies, did you?! I’m still as grain-free as I’ve ever been since I went on a paleo diet in 2001. All of the recipes on this website are gluten and grain free recipes.

Print Recipe
Vegan Nut-Free Gluten-Free Brownies
  1. In a food processor, combine bananas, sunbutter, and chia seed mixture
  2. Pulse in coconut oil, honey, xylitol, stevia, and vanilla until smooth
  3. Pulse in cacao, salt, and baking soda
  4. Transfer batter into a well greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish
  5. Bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes
  6. Serve

These Vegan Nut-Free Gluten-Free Brownies are based on a gluten-free brownie recipe that was posted on my Facebook page. That recipe used ½ cup of honey which is a little much for where my blood sugar is at these days. So I decreased the amount of honey and added in some xylitol and stevia. I also increased the fat and made a couple of other changes to the recipe. This is a very fudgey brownie –it won’t seem totally cooked through when you pull it from the oven. I took mine out when the edges were just about to burn, that was how I determined it was done.

Now, a word of caution. Do not feed this dessert to your pets. Chocolate and xylitol are highly toxic to animals. Have any of you been feeding my other desserts to your pets? If so, why are you doing this? Please leave a comment and let us know!

If you love these gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, everything-free brownies, you’ll love these desserts:


  1. Rachael R. says

    Thank you, I have been searching high and low for a recipe that is top 8 allergy free so we could have something to stick a candle in for a birthday. I made these last night and they were good, I loved the texture. Thank you.

  2. Jackie says

    If I use ground flax seed instead of chia, would it work? I’ve made this with chia and my son dislikes the chia : p

  3. Carol Schlenger says

    I just made your vegan “nut-free” gluten free brownies and they were simply the best brownies I have ever made. However, I did make some substitutions: instead of chia seeds, I used ground, sprouted flax seeds. Instead of sunflower seed butter, I used homemade almond butter (alas, my brownies were not nut-free) and instead of vanilla extract I used 1 tsp ground vanilla bean.
    For a delicious “creamy” topping, I soaked chia seeds in coconut milk overnight, with some added stevia and vanilla extract.
    These were simply the best brownies with the richest, fudgiest texture I have ever made. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Hard to believe these are sugar free, dairy free, and gluten free.
    Best wishes,

  4. Leah says

    I just made these! They are incredible!!! The batter was so yummy I was almost hesitant to bake it! I am glad I did….So Good!!! I used mini muffin trays and they worked perfectly. Thank you for an amazing recipe!!!

  5. Mary Ann G. says

    I have been making these brownies since I found the recipe and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them. Due to candida issues I have made a few changes, but the basic recipe is the same. I use coconut nectar or yacon syrup in place of the honey/agave. I substitute coconut sugar or yacon powder for the xylitol. I also use a blend of cacoa and carob powder (1/4 cup of each). Coconut nectar and sugar are available at most natural grocery stores and yacon syrup and powder can be found on line. I have used the stevia if my bananas are small and left it out if the bananas were bigger.
    This summer I made these with a TWIST for a BBQ. I made them in a square cookie bar pan, and added, a mini muffin size, homemade nut butter cup to the center of each brownie before baking @ 350F for 15-17 minutes. Look for Alissa Silverstone’s nut butter cup recipe: (I used cashew butter and changed the maple sugar for coconut sugar).
    “These are the best brownies I have ever had” was what I heard all day. And this is from refinded sugar, gluten eating people. I even had a friend ask for a dozen for his Halloween birthday present. Give these changes a try, you won’t be disappointed. These are addictive so remember… MODERATION!! PS. They freeze well.
    Thank you Elana for all your fantastic recipes, this wonderful forum and your encouragement to play around and expand on an already good thing. Always wishing you good health and happiness.

    • Lori Munn says

      Trying your recommendations now but accidentally did it in my VITAMIX….talk about BRUTAL getting it OUT and into the Pan!! I used coconut sugar and cashew butter :) and thanks for your posting!

  6. says

    Quick Question: Where can you purchase chia seeds? I have tried the normal food store as well as Whole Foods, and I have not seen them! I have made this recipe without the chia seeds, but I am intrigued to try it with them. I saw form online that lots of times they are substituted for flax seeds, but I did not know if that would mess up the taste of the brownies. Anyone have any thoughts or wisdom? :)

  7. samara says

    Elana, I have been wanting this recipe for my egg, almond, and gluten allergic daughter! What a gift! Maybe we can actually *bake* together again now!

    And BTW, there is never enough of your other recipes left to give to the dog!!!!!!!

    Thank you so much!

  8. Mia says

    Thank you Elana! This sounds great. It’s good to have new recipes using xylitol, since that is my primary baking sugar substitute.

  9. debi says

    ha ha that was good! Looks so yummy, cant wait to try! I dont ever feed my dog yummy treats as such, but to be honest, he is a big thief,a yellow lab thief!
    Thank you so much for all the time you put into this blog i love it! and all your wonderful recipes. Happy new year to you and yours!! debi

  10. says

    This sounds great Elana. I’m not nut or egg free, but I have friends who are.

    I’ve actually made your scrumptious sandwich bread (from your almond flour cookbook) with sunflower seed butter and it worked great!

    And thanks again for recommending The Paleo Solution. I’ve cut out grains almost entirely and I think this is finally something that works for me, after being gluten free for 25 years.


    • Sara says

      They definitely wouldn’t be sweet enough without those two but you could just put in the 1/2 cup of honey Elana mentioned in her blog entry…

  11. PS says

    I suspect you’re going to make a lot of people happy with this recipe :-) I don’t have nut allergies but it still sounds SO good. I’m bookmarking it to give it a try down the road.

  12. Cynthia says

    My dog loves anything with almond flour, but gets nothing with things he shouldn’t have–chocolate, xylitol, macadamia, raisins. However too much almond and we increase our time outside. :)

  13. Christine says

    Thank you so much for all you do Elana and for spending the time to share it all! I have recently gone grain free (I went gluten free 2.5 years ago due to Celiac diagnosis, and just learned of the danger in the rest of the grains) and I’m so thankful for your blog, recipes and cookbooks! What a blessing you are to so many of us! A million thanks! x

    • Maureen says

      sheryl mcfarlane @
      December 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Elana, what can I subsitute for the Xylitol please?

      I would sub Xylitol with Erythritol or Coconut Palm Sugar in the same amount stated in the recipe. I Found them both on and a lot cheaper than or where I normally purchase from. iHerb coupon code is VEM843. Any new customer will get $5 off on their 1st order when using it.

    • Karen Reiling says

      I subbed 1/4 cup Lucuna powder…ended up with more of a cake-type brownie that only had to bake for 25 minutes. Lovely recipe!

  14. Amy says

    Elana, have you ever had them turn green on you?? I had made something similar but with pumpkin purée and the combo of sunflower seed butter and baking soda makes a “green” brownie!

    • Valerie says

      Oh my gosh, this is hilarious, I had that happen in cookies and thought it meant the Sunbutter was moldy- the green parts were only on the interior of the cookies and I thought perhaps the temp wasn’t high enough. So I chucked them all and the Sunbutter in the trash! Hee hee- Thank you for commenting about this, now I won’t hesitate to try the sunflower butter again.

    • Maria says

      Well, no wonder the inside of my sunflower seed butter bars were green! Actually, a little bluish-green. I thought it was something else entirely. Thanks for the info.

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