These decadent paleo brownies are fudgy but cake-like. Topped with an easy-to-make salted chocolate ganache, this grain-free almond flour brownie recipe will likely become your new favourite!
Ready to make the best brownies of your life? These Paleo Brownies with Salted Chocolate Ganache are absolutely divine, and they're free of grains, dairy and refined sugar! They're fudgy brownies with an easy-to-make chocolate frosting. A touch of flaky sea salt puts these brownies over the top!
This recipe has been updated with new photos and information.
What is chocolate ganache?
Ganache is a kind of frosting, but it's not fluffy like a buttercream frosting. It's usually made by combining chocolate and cream, but in this recipe, I made it with chocolate and coconut oil. If you prefer, you can make it with chocolate and butter. It forms a thick, smooth rich layer on top of the brownies that hardens slightly when chilled.
When you combine chocolate with hazelnuts, you get Nutella--that flavour we love. These grain-free brownies have the flavour of Nutella and they're perfect for late-night chocolate cravings, for Friday nights after work, or for serving at your next get-together.
No hazelnuts? No problem. I've made this recipe many times with other nuts, most recently with pecans.
Ready to make a quick batch of fudgy brownies? Let's get started.
Ingredients for Paleo Brownies with Salted Chocolate Ganache
coconut oil: melted
maple syrup: for natural sweetness
almond flour: finely ground, blanched
cacao powder: or cocoa powder
hazelnuts: pecans or walnuts can be substituted and are just as tasty
chocolate chips: dairy-free
ganache ingredients: chocolate, coconut oil (or grass-fed butter)
optional toppings: flaky sea salt, chopped salted pistachios, or natural coconut chips
How to Make Grain-Free Paleo Brownies
Here's a brief overview of what you'll do to make these yummy chocolate brownies. You'll find detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
Combine the wet ingredients (melted coconut oil, maple syrup and eggs) in one bowl and the dry ingredients (almond flour, cocoa or cacao powder, baking soda and salt) in another.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. The batter will be quite thick.
Gently fold in the finely chopped nuts and chocolate chips.
Spread in a lined 8-inch square pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.
While the brownies are baking, prepare the ganache. Melt chocolate and coconut oil or butter over, not in, hot water and stir until combined.
Remove from the heat and let cool on the counter until slightly thickened.
Once the brownies are completely cool, spread the ganache on top. Chill in the refrigerator for a few minutes, then sprinkle with your chosen toppings (flaky salt, chopped nuts, or coconut flakes) so that they will stick before the chocolate sets completely. Return to the fridge to set the ganache.
Slice and enjoy!
Feel free to substitute other nuts for the hazelnuts. I often make these with finely chopped pecans if I don't have hazelnuts on hand.
The sky is the limit with different toppings! Salted pistachio nuts are absolutely delicious on these paleo brownies. Use whatever nuts you have in your pantry, or try natural coconut chips, or leave them plain!
How to store brownies
These brownies are best stored in the fridge. If you make the ganache with coconut oil, it will become soft at room temperature, so refrigerating them solves this problem. If you make it with butter, the ganache remains more firm. These brownies will stay fresh in the fridge for 5 days or so.
Can I freeze these Paleo Brownies?
Yes, you can. These brownies freeze beautifully. Cut them into squares, line an airtight container with a sheet of paper towel to absorb excess moisture, then lay the brownies on top. If you need two layers, lay a sheet of parchment paper in between. These brownies will stay fresh in the freezer for 3 to 4 months.
Paleo Brownies with Salted Chocolate Ganache
For the ganache
- ½ cup chocolate chips or 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, or grass-fed butter
- Fleur de sel or flaky sea salt for sprinkling on top, or finely chopped salted pistachios or natural coconut chips
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Grease an 8-inch square baking dish thoroughly or line with parchment paper (this guarantees that it won't stick and makes for easy clean-up)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and maple syrup. Add the eggs and beat together.
- In a separate medium bowl, mix the flour, cacao or cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix. The batter will be thick.
- Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, prepare the ganache. Heat chocolate and coconut oil or butter over, not in, boiling water until melted. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature or refrigerate until just slightly thickened.
- Once brownies are completely cool, pour the ganache over top and gently spread it to the edges. Chill in the refrigerator to set completely before slicing into squares. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt or other suggested toppings just before the ganache sets up completely. Store in the refrigerator, as the coconut oil in the ganache may become soft at room temperature.
Love Brownies? Here's a variation of this decadent recipe, made even more flavourful with a touch of almond liqueur.
More gluten-free chocolate recipes you'll love!