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Espresso Brownies

These rich espresso brownies are a unique twist on the traditional recipe, using healthier ingredients. Made in just one bowl, they’re every bit as gooey and delicious as the original, with bold coffee flavor in every bite.

Hand grabbing espresso brownie

If you love starting your day with a hot mocha in hand, then these espresso brownies are for you. With espresso powder and coffee beans, these brownies are heavy on the coffee flavor. But even if you’re not a big fan of coffee, you will flip for this espresso brownies recipe (and these espresso cookies too).

How can I be so confident? Well, leave the coffee beans out and the espresso in these brownies enhances the chocolate in the recipe, making the flavor deeper and richer, but not: whoa, these brownies are made with espresso! Without the coffee beans, you’ll simply get an intensely chocolatey, fudgy vegan brownie.

Basically, these espresso brownies are out of this world delicious and they manage to be healthy too since they’re made with wholesome ingredients. A total win, right?

Two stacked vegan espresso brownies

Why You’ll Love This Espresso Brownies Recipe

  • Brownies, but healthier. Like my original fudgy gluten-free vegan brownies, these espresso brownies are gluten-free, dairy-free, and totally vegan since we use flax eggs.
  • Supremely rich. Between the fudgy texture and deep chocolate flavor, these brownies are absolutely decadent.
  • Easy to make. There’s no muss, no fuss, and not even a need for a second mixing bowl!
Cut squares of espresso brownies

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

  • Cashew butter – Or another natural nut butter that you like or have on hand. I love using cashew butter for this espresso brownies recipe because it doesn't have a strong flavor. 
  • Pumpkin puree – Applesauce or mashed banana work, too.
  • Flax eggs – Learn more: How to Make a Flax Egg
  • Coconut sugar – Another granulated sugar will work or if you want to use liquid sweetener (like maple syrup), use half the amount.
  • Toasted quinoa flour – Quinoa flour is high protein and great for gluten-free baking. And if quinoa flour is a bit overpowering for you, you can try toasting it. Here's a tutorial for how to toast quinoa flour if you've never tried!
  • Cacao powder – This is an unprocessed version of cocoa powder, but regular cocoa powder can be used too.
  • Espresso powder
  • Baking soda
  • Sea salt
  • Dairy-free chocolate chips – These are optional.
  • Coffee beans – Coffee beans add a more pronounced coffee flavor to the espresso brownies; if you’re not a fan of coffee, leave them out.
  • Chopped walnuts – Also optional, or you can use pecans.

What Is a Substitute For Espresso Powder?

You can either leave the espresso powder out or use instant coffee. Instant coffee won’t add as much depth because it’s less concentrated, but it’s fine in a pinch.

Bowl of espresso brownie batter

How To Make Espresso Brownies

  • Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Make the batter. Beat the cashew butter, pumpkin, sugar, and flax eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients and beat until a thick dough forms, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Assemble. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan, then use your hands to press it in. Sprinkle with the coffee beans and walnuts and lightly press them into the dough so they stick. 
  • Bake. Place the pan in the oven and bake on the center rack for 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.
Stack of vegan espresso brownies

Tips For Success

  • Press the batter into the pan. This batter is thicker than a traditional brownie batter and more like a dough. Once you transfer it into the pan, use your hands to push it into the corners and evenly spread it. If it gets a little sticky, lightly wet your hands.
  • Adjust the texture as desired. For fudgier brownies, take them out at 21 or 22 minutes. For cakier brownies, cook them all the way through.
  • Cut cleanly. For perfect, clean cuts, make sure you let the brownies cool completely. You can use the parchment paper to lift them from the pan, then set them on a cutting board and cut them with a chef’s knife or pizza rocker.
Overhead view of vegan espresso brownie squares


  • Drizzle the brownies with melted dark chocolate after they cool.
  • Sprinkle flaky sea salt over the top before baking.
  • Swap the coffee beans or chocolate chips for cacao nibs.
  • Make peppermint mocha brownies by adding the peppermint chocolate frosting from my Peppermint Frosted Chickpea Brownies recipe.
healthy espresso brownie with corner bitten

How To Store

Espresso brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 to 5 days.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

Yes, these espresso brownies freeze beautifully. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in a freezer bag and they will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw the brownies in the refrigerator before serving.

Hand holding espresso brownie square

More Gluten-Free Vegan Brownie Recipes

Espresso Brownies

These easy one-bowl espresso brownies are fudgy, intensely chocolatey, and infused with coffee flavor.
author: Alyssa
yield: 16 brownies
Hand holding espresso brownie square
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment and set aside.
  • Beat together the cashew butter, pumpkin, sugar, and flax eggs.
  • Once combined, add the dry ingredients (minus the chocolate chips and toppings). Beat until a thick(ish) dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and use your hands to press it into the pan. Sprinkle with the coffee beans and walnuts and press them into the dough (this will make them stick). Bake on the center rack for 22 – 25 minutes.
  • Let cool in pan completely before cutting into squares.



Serving: 1brownies | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1192IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg
cuisine: American
course: Dessert

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