Why are these sneaky? Let’s see… they have no eggs or butter, they are chock FULL of zucchini, you can’t even tell they are made with zucchini, and they’re vegan! I never reveal these are zucchini brownies until after my guests have eaten them and commented on how moist and delicious they are (they always do – these are fail proof!). That way they can’t deny their yumminess. They’re also a great way to make your kids a treat and sneak a bunch of green veggies into them. Sneaky, right?
All you need to make these brownies is a bowl and a wooden spoon. They are foolproof – they always come out moist and beautiful. You know all those zucchinis in your garden you don’t know what to do with? Keep seeing all those zucchinis at the Farmer’s Markets and grocery stores? Ta-da! You now have the easiest sweet treat recipe for them. You have to try them.
You’ll notice the brownies in the pictures here have frosting on them. This makes them un-vegan because there’s butter in it. Make the frosting with vegan margarine or leave the frosting off and you’re good-to-go. Normally, I don’t do frosting on my brownies. I usually think it makes them too rich and if a brownie needs frosting then there is something wrong with it. However, these are not a crazy dense kind of brownie (love those though) and frosting sounded fun today. To be more specific, chocolate-peanut butter frosting sounded fun. Don’t ya think?
I make a few versions of this brownie. Sometimes, I add chocolate chips to the batter (also un-vegan but you could sub carob chips). Sometimes, I make them with a flavored swirl; raspberry, coconut, Irish cream, and cappuccino are all past favorites. The base recipe is great for all kinds of personalization.
Sneaky (Zucchini) Brownies
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup cocoa
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1¼ cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2½ cups finely shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini or 2 smaller ones)
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup walnuts (or your favorite nut; optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9” x 13” pan.
Mix together the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the oil and combine well. It should look like wet sand.
Add in the zucchini and stir everything together. It will seem dry at first, but keep mixing, the moisture in the zucchini will come out and make a wonderful thick batter.
If you’re adding chocolate chips or nuts, stir them in. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly in the pan. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when they are finished. Also, the top will have a really pretty shine and will spring back when gently touched.
Let the brownies cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes. If you’re frosting your brownies (see recipe below), cool them to room temperature and then slather it on now. Otherwise, dig in!
I think these are good warm from the oven but are even more delicious the next day. They are a cakey kind of brownie, especially on the day you make them. The next day they settle in and get a bit denser in texture. Yum!
4 tbl butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup cocoa
½ tsp salt
½ cup peanut butter (optional; simply leave it out for a rich just-chocolate frosting)
2 cups powdered sugar
Whisk the first 4 ingredients together until smooth. Whisk in the peanut butter if you’re using it. Add in the powdered sugar and whisk in until smooth. Spread on cooled brownies.