Date-Sweetened Zucchini Brownies with Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting

You can dress these lightly-sweetened brownies up or down. Without the walnuts and the frosting, they are almost fat-free.
Servings 16
Calories 106 kcal


  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup vegan sugar xylitol, stevia baking blend, or sweetener of choice (see note)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely shredded zucchini about 1/2 medium zucchini shredded in food processor
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces optional


  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter or other nut butter


  1. Place the dates in a small bowl and pour the hot water over them. Allow to soak until the dates are soft, about 1/2 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish by lining it with parchment paper or oiling lightly.
  3. Put the dates and the soaking water in the blender with the applesauce and vanilla. Blend at high speed until completely smooth. Set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar or substitute, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts, if using. Add the blended date mixture and stir until all the flour is moistened. The batter will be thick. Spoon it into the prepared pan and smooth over the top.
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until brownies are no longer liquid in the middle and edges are firm but not drying out. Allow to cool.
  6. You can eat them plain or add the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Frosting:
  7. Combine the chocolate chips, non-dairy milk, and nut butter in a small microwaveable bowl or the top of a double boiler. If microwaving, cook on high for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat microwaving and stirring for 10-second intervals, until frosting is smooth. In double boiler, cook and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Frost brownies immediately. Allow to stand about 20 minutes to firm up. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

These brownies are much less sweet than traditional brownies, but you can make them sweeter by adding a little stevia extract to taste. Or, if you don’t mind sugar, increase the sugar from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup.