We’ve all been there – that moment when your guests are about to arrive and you realise you are missing a key ingredient. Eeekk!! Well, this was me last week just before our family’s Father’s Day gathering. I always like to have a plate of brownies – they’re always a hit – but I was out of chocolate. So – I whipped out that packet of cocoa, made a few executive decisions and came up with these brownies.

No-one could even tell they weren’t my usual deluxe numbers. In fact – there weren’t complaints – there were compliments, and a lot of them.

These are so simple to make and require no fancy ingredients. I made my batch gluten and dairy free but you could keep these mainstream if you wanted. They take around 20 minutes in the oven.

Enjoy friends!

Alex xx

Chocolate Free Chocolate Brownies

A delicious brownie recipe that uses cocoa not cooking chocolate
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: afternoon tea, Dessert, lunchbox treat
Cuisine: American, Australian
Keyword: dairy free, family food, gluten free
Servings: 16
Cost: $6


  • 1 cup melted Nuttelex, or butter
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 11 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Line a slice tin with baking paper. I used a rectangular tin with dimensions 27.5 cm x 17.5 cm x 3.5 cm.. This is a standard slice sized tin that can be found in most supermarkets and kitchen stores.
  • Combine melted Nuttelex, olive oil and the sugars together in a bowl and whisk for about 30 seconds. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds – until it takes on a creamy colour.
  • Sift in flour, cocoa powder and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until JUST combined. If you overmix – your brownies will become quite cake-like
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top evenly. If you happened to have some chocolate chips or chinks floating around then you could sprinkle them over the top now – but honestly, these brownies won't disappoint if your cupboards are bare.
  • Bake for 20 minutes and then check them. They may need another minute or 2. You want to make sure you retrieve them from the oven as soon as they are set. If you are after a fudgy brownie – who isn't? – then they will still look somewhat uncooked when you remove them. But will still continue to cook even when they have been removed so don't be alarmed!
  • Remove and allow to cool before cutting them into approximately 16 brownies.
  • Enjoy!!


This recipe has been designed to be gluten and dairy free.
If you aren’t following a gluten free diet, you could easily substitute normal plain flour in this recipe.
Likewise, if you aren’t following a dairy free diet, you could use normal butter instead of Nuttetex. Nuttelex is a dairy free margarine that can be found in all Australian supermarkets. 
If you don’t have brown sugar in the cupboard, simply substitute with white sugar.
I would recommend cutting the slice with a particularly sharp knife. I will often pop my knife in hot water before cutting brownies to ensure a smooth cut. 
Alex xx