I first heard about applesauce brownies when researching recipes for an earlier post on Whole Wheat Brownies. Supposedly, you could replace all of the butter in made-from-scratch brownies (or the oil in a brownie mix) with unsweetened applesauce, and the brownies would still taste good. It would be the ultimate healthy brownie recipe. Since the theme for this week’s #SundaySupper is “Lighten Up the Holidays,” I thought I’d give it a whirl.
I’m sure you’re dying to know if it worked. As a matter of fact, it did! However, there’s one really important thing you need to know.
Let. These. Brownies. Rest!
That’s right, folks. Don’t snarf them right out of the pan. These applesauce brownies need time to cool off completely for the flavors to mellow and meld. If you can, wait 24 hours, or at least overnight, before eating them. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with a really delicious, chocolatey brownie with a very dense, slightly cakey and slightly fudgy texture.
Would you like to know what these brownies reminded me of? Well, if you’ve ever eaten a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that comes with brownie chunks in it, this healthy brownie recipe produces a brownie that tastes just like those. I’m not pulling your leg. My kids loved these, and I rather liked snacking on them, too. Especially with a nice cup of milk. It’s not exactly the same as a traditional brownie, but it’s still really tasty and satisfying. Don’t forget to let them rest!
Since the flavor of this brownie recipe depends heavily upon the quality of your cocoa powder, pick a good one. My favorite is Guittard Cocoa Rouge.
Also, if at some point you’d rather have the ultimate in brownie indulgence, try my Ultimate Deep Dish Brownies! If you try out any of my recipes, please stop by and let me know how it went. I love to hear recipe feedback! Be sure to come back soon for more tasty stuff.
PS – Try the GLUTEN FREE version of this recipe.
Healthy Brownie Recipe | Applesauce Brownies
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce at room temperature
- 2 TB butter melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- Move a rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325. Prepare an 8 inch square pan by lining it with parchment or foil.
- Stir the melted butter into the applesauce. If the applesauce is cold and the butter firms up, warm the mixture in the microwave for a few seconds until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar and the applesauce/butter mixture. Stir together. Add the cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla, and stir until combined. Stir in the eggs.
- Sprinkle the flour over the batter and gently stir until just combined. Bake in the lower third of the oven for about 25 minutes. The center will be risen and the edges will be firm, but a toothpick inserted in the middle should be a bit wet when removed. If the batter on your toothpick becomes firm when cool, the brownies are done.
- Let cool completely. For best flavor, store these brownies overnight before eating.