holiday brownies
Chocolate,  Desserts

Easy Fudgy Holiday Brownies (Gluten-Free & Vegan!)

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These Easy Fudgy Holiday Brownies are one of the best recipes I’ve ever created. They’re decadent, rich, perfectly sweet, and made with all whole foods. They’re surprisingly gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, and dairy-free. The vegan white chocolate cream cheese frosting layered on the top brings them to the next level. You’re going to want to make these brownies year-round, but they’re perfect for holiday get-togethers and events. Plus the recipe is ridiculously EASY!

fudgy gluten-free holiday brownies

Easy Holiday Brownies Recipe

I may have outdone myself with this recipe. I think it’s my best one yet. I know, I know, how could I make something more delicious than my Secretly Healthy Fudge Brownies?! Well, although those are scrumptious, the fact that these holiday brownies are gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan just takes them to the next level so everyone can enjoy them no matter their allergy restrictions! 

If you’ve been here a while you know that I am ALL ABOUT the easy recipes. I am not a fancy baker in the least… I’ve got kids, I don’t have the time 😉 This is good news for you though because that means you can make my recipes without having to be an expert baker. If you don’t believe me just try out my Easy Banana Cookies, Healthy Zucchini Brownies, Gluten-Free Peach Crisp, and so many more! Check the steps below to see how we only use one bowl for this holiday brownie recipe. These holiday brownies are no exception. They are so easy to make. You just mix all the wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients, and mix again. Then add in those delicious dairy-free chocolate chips and you’re good to go! Full instructions are in the recipe below.

gluten-free vegan brownies

Christmas Brownie Flavours

Although this holiday brownie recipe is not technically Christmas flavored, you can definitely make them so. Just add some peppermint extract to either the brownie batter itself, the frosting, or both! YUM! Add about 1-2 tsp. of peppermint extract or to taste until you feel like they are minty enough. Can’t wait to hear if you make them with this! Let me know in the comments if you try this.

Christmas Brownies

You’ll never guess these holiday brownies are healthy, gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan! This DIY homemade brownie recipe is easy and delicious! Once you learn how to make these holiday brownies, you’ll pick them over the store-bought version for sure! Less than half the calories and WAY less fat than the unhealthy kind. They beat out Christmas tree brownies from Little DebbieⓇ  any day of the week 😉

fudgy holiday brownies with cream cheese frosting

Gluten-Free Holiday Brownies Recipe 

There are a few ingredients in these holiday brownies that may shock you. So I’m here to ensure you know what you’re getting into and to assure you that these ingredients are PERFECT for these holiday brownies. If you’ve tried my Secretly Healthy Fudge Brownies, you’ll already know that brownies can be healthy and delicious still. I had to recipe test this holiday brownie recipe 4 times in a week to ensure they were perfect for you too. Just so you know I put my heart and soul into this recipe to make sure they were perfect. 

What makes these holiday brownies gluten-free? Well, we use 1:1 gluten-free flour in this recipe. I usually only use a combination of flour when it comes to gluten-free baking. Doing this balances the flavors and textures perfectly, but I wanted to make these holiday brownies nut-free. That’s why I only chose to use gluten-free all-purpose flour. 

If you’re looking for more gluten-free sweet recipes check out my Healthy Banana Coffee Cake and almost all of my Banana Bread recipes

gluten free holiday brownie recipe

You literally can’t tell it’s made with this “flour”. Ask anyone who tries these holiday brownies and I bet they will say it’s made with regular flour :0 You can check out my blog post on healthy flour alternatives here if you want to find out the benefits of using different gluten-free flours as opposed to processed white flour. I also have an IG TV video talking all about my favorite healthier flour alternatives! Definitely check it out 🙂

Just like my dairy-free vegan mousse cake, I’m not kidding when I say this gluten-free holiday brownie recipe is extremely healthy and also extremely delicious. These holiday brownies were devoured in about 2 days when I had my family members try them. Many of them went back for seconds and they couldn’t believe they were secretly healthy. My husband told me he loved them and proceeded to ask for some in the days after I made them. And that’s saying something because he usually never eats dessert in general besides ice cream! You just really can’t go wrong with that testimony. I can’t wait to hear what you think! 

I love making these holiday brownies gluten-free for all the guests we have coming over during holiday gatherings or Christmas. But really, add whatever color sprinkles on top of these brownies and they can be used at any gathering at all! Red and pink sprinkles for Valentine’s day, orange sprinkles for Halloween, red and blue for the 4th of July, and everything in between! 

It is the perfect dessert for hosting guests throughout the year. This is the best gluten-free holiday brownie recipe in my opinion. I grew up eating the unhealthy version with gallons of vegetable oil in them. And let me tell you, these taste even better than those and you can feel good about eating them because they are made with wholesome ingredients that won’t make you feel awful.

easy cream cheese frosted brownies

Vegan Holiday Brownies

Yes, these gluten-free brownies are egg-free and vegan-friendly! It’s shocking, I know. We use flax eggs in this recipe to hold the brownies together. I’ve not tested these brownies using regular eggs but they should turn out just as well. Let me know if you try them with regular eggs in the comments. The flax eggs do give them an extra fudginess! Regular eggs may give them a little more fluffiness. I’ve also had people say Bob’s Red Mill Egg replacer worked just as well for this recipe!

How to Make a Flax Egg

If you’ve never heard of a flax egg, don’t be freaked out. No, it’s not made from a flax chicken!  Flax eggs are very simple. I used them in my Vegan Sugar Cookie recipe too! They work just like eggs! 

  • Just grind up 1 Tbs of flax seeds in a coffee grinder (or whatever you use to grind things)
  • Mix ground-up flax seeds in a small bowl with 2 Tbs water. 
  • It will thicken and become like an egg! 

You can also use 2 chia eggs (2 Tbs. ground chia seeds + 4 Tbs. water) for this recipe instead of the flax eggs. I haven’t tested this myself but it should work just as well. 

Best Cream Cheese Frosting For Brownies

What I absolutely adore about these gluten-free holiday brownies is the white chocolate cream cheese frosting! Yes, it is optional, but highly recommended. These holiday brownies are so delicious on their own. Perfectly moist and fudgy. However, adding that white chocolate cream cheese frosting takes them to the next level. What I love about the cream cheese frosting is that we don’t use powdered cane sugar like most frostings. Yup, that’s right. No powdered sugar at all! We use just pure maple syrup to sweeten it and some dairy-free mini white chocolate chips. How awesome is that?!

fudgy holiday brownies healthy

Best Healthy Cream Cheese Frosted Holiday Brownies

Not only are these healthy holiday brownies lower in fat, calories, and carbs, but they also contain GOOD FOR YOU INGREDIENTS. Unlike the store-bought kinds that have artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and many other processed ingredients, these brownies are made with all whole food ingredients.

  1. Cacao Powder: Rich in antioxidants and vitamins! Read all about the benefits of cacao powder and how it’s different from cocoa powder in my 6 Low-Cost Superfoods article!
  1. Natural Sweeteners: monk fruit sweetener and pure maple syrup give these holiday brownies the perfect sweetness without having to spike your blood sugar levels.
  1. Flax Eggs: High in healthy fats, protein, and Vitamin B12. I have not tested these brownies with regular eggs, but they should come out similarly! Check the notes below for ratios and let me know if you try!
  1. 1:1 all-purpose gluten-free flour: I use the King Arthur Measure For Measure brand for these gluten-free brownies. Be sure your gluten-free flour contains xanthan gum, otherwise, the brownies will fall apart. I have heard people have success with these holiday brownies using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour + 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum. The texture may differ depending on which brand you use. If you use a different brand and are successful with these brownies, let me know in the comments so others can know as well 🙂
  1. Dairy-free & vegan dark chocolate: I love using the Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate morsels for these holiday brownies. Using these chocolate chips ensures the brownies are free from over 14 different allergens including nuts and dairy. 
best vegan brownies with cream cheese frosting

Can I Make These Holiday Brownies Peppermint Flavored?

Absolutely! Add 1-2 tsp. (or more to taste) of peppermint extract to your vegan brownie batter and/or 1 tsp. peppermint extract to the white chocolate cream cheese frosting to make these holiday brownies extra special. Sprinkle some crushed peppermint candies on top to make them show-stopping and delicious! 

I cannot wait for you to give these gluten-free holiday brownies a try! Please snap a picture and share it with me! Seeing your kitchen creations makes my day and encourages me to keep creating new recipes for you!

PIN FOR LATER

holiday brownies pinterest save image

More Healthy Holiday Recipes

Soft gluten-free sugar cookies

Vegan chocolate crinkle cookies

Sugar cookie oatmeal

Peanut butter blossom cookies

Gluten-free gingerbread cookies

Yield: 16

Easy Fudgy Holiday Brownies (Gluten-Free & Vegan!)

holiday brownies

These Easy Fudgy Holiday Brownies are one of the best recipes I’ve ever created. They’re decadent, rich, perfectly sweet, and made with all whole foods. They’re surprisingly gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, and dairy-free. The vegan white chocolate cream cheese frosting layered on the top brings them to the next level. You’re going to want to make these brownies year-round, but they’re perfect for holiday get-togethers and events. Plus the recipe is ridiculously EASY!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Wet

  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbs. ground flax + 4 Tbs. water. Sit and let thicken 3-10 minutes.) See notes for more substitutions
  • ½ cup vegan butter or grass-fed butter melted
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup granulated monk fruit sweetener
  • 2 Tbs. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Dry

Optional Vegan White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ⅓ cup Enjoy Life Mini White Chocolate Chips
  • 2 oz (4 Tbs.) vegan cream cheese (or low-fat cream cheese) softened
  • ½ cup vegan whipped cream or coconut whipped cream
  • 2-3 Tbs. holiday-colored sprinkles or crushed peppermint

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl or stand mixer add all the wet brownie ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until smooth (1-2 minutes). 

3. Add in all dry ingredients except chocolate morsels (sift in cacao powder if desired). Mix until a thick batter forms then gently fold in chocolate morsels. 

4. Transfer brownie batter to baking dish and bake at 350 F. for 18-23 min or until a toothpick comes out with a little fudginess (mine were perfect after 20 minutes).

5. Let cool in the pan for 2 minutes then remove parchment paper with brownies and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely. 

6. Optional: While the brownies cool, make the white chocolate cream cheese frosting by melting the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for 20 seconds at a time and stirring in between until melted (be very careful not to overheat them or they will get clumpy and burn). You can alternately use a double boiler to melt the white chocolate. Once melted, add the softened vegan cream cheese and vegan whipped cream. Beat with an electric mixer until very smooth.

7. Frost the brownies and add optional sprinkles or crushed peppermint. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If the brownies aren’t frosted you can keep them stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 7 days.

Notes

  1. I used King Arthur's Measure For Measure. If you try another gluten-free flour make sure your flour contains xanthan gum or the brownies will fall apart. Gluten-free flours are made of different flour mixes so if you use another flour the texture may turn out differently. Let me know if you have success with another flour in the comments 🙂 I've heard people say Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour also works if you add in 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum.
  2. Eggs: I haven’t tested regular eggs for this recipe. They should work well. Let me know if you try this so I can make a note of it for others♥️ You can also use a 2 chia eggs (2 Tbs. ground chia seeds + 4 Tbs. water) for this recipe instead of the flax eggs. I haven’t tested this myself but it should work just as well. I've also had people say Bob's Red Mill Egg replacer works well too.
  3. Double Batch? If you want to double batch this recipe, use a 9x11 pan. When I did this, I used my glass pyrex and it took about 40 minutes to bake.

Use code "shh20" for 20% off your online nut-butter orders at Georgia Grinders! 

Be sure to tag @secretlyhealthyhome on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest with a picture of your holiday brownies!

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and or comment! It really helps support me and encourages me to keep making recipes for you!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 frosted brownie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212Total Fat: 14.2gCarbohydrates: 23.9gNet Carbohydrates: 20.5gFiber: 3.4gSugar: 5.1gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 2.1g

Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to tag @secretlyhealthyhome on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest with a picture of your recipe creation! Please leave a star rating and or comment! It really helps support me and encourages me to keep making recipes for you!


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2 Comments

  • Meagan

    Made these yesterday and they turned out so good! I did use 2 regular eggs and they turned out great. I did have to cook a little longer, almost 30 minutes but ovens can be different so I’m not sure why. We love everything we have made from your site! The banana chocolate chip muffins are on repeat at our house.

    • Claire

      Hi Meagan! I am so glad you made these brownies and loved them! So happy to hear the regular eggs worked well too. Did you happen to use a glass pan? Sometimes glass pans can make things take longer to bake in the oven. And so glad you love the banana choc chip muffins too! So fun 🙂

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