Healthy Cacao Nib Brownies (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Healthy Cacao Nib Brownies

It’s that time of year, when people start making resolutions to eat healthier. And hopefully what that means is they’re selecting foods that best support their health goals and aren’t doing some crazy deprivation diet. Because eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to go to extreme lengths – it just means being intentional about the food you’re eating and paying a little more attention to what you put in your body. The biggest thing to remember is that it’s still okay treat yourself and have a little fun! And these Healthy Cacao Nib Brownies are the perfect example of that. They’re gluten-free/dairy-free/refined sugar free and still taste like the perfect cakey brownie!

Healthy Cake Style Brownies

What I love most about these brownies is that they taste like the quintessential cakey chocolate brownie, but are full of wholesome and nutritious ingredients. When I developed this recipe, I said I wanted to create a brownie so healthy you could eat it for breakfast…..and I’m proud to say that’s exactly what I did!

The base of the brownie is nut butter, which provides lots of healthy fats and protein. I love using a combo of almond butter and cashew butter, but feel free to mix it up and sub in your favorite nut butter. To up the protein content, I added in some collagen powder. This is completely optional, but I love sneaking in extra protein when I can. I also like adding a bit of fiber in when I can too, so I threw in some ground flaxseed meal. Which as an added bonus, provides the brownies with some omega-3 fatty acids.

The final nutritional boost I added was beet powder…..and I may have lost some of you there. But trust me when I say you would never know this recipe contains beets. I even did my very own experiment and gave one of the brownies to my husband who HATES beets. Like he hates beets so much that I was slightly worried he’d divorce me for tricking him into eating some. His hatred of beets rivals mine of cantaloupe….cept my hatred of cantaloupe is pretty extreme and I don’t even want that stuff in my house (I’m a little over dramatic in my dislike of cantaloupe if you couldn’t tell). Back to the story, the husband had no idea the brownie had beets in it annnnnd he loved them. In fact, he loved them so much that he STILL willingly and eagerly eats them knowing full well that they contain his dreaded beets.

The other great thing about these Healthy Cacao Nib Brownies is that they come together super quick. I like making them in a stand mixer. Partly because I’m lazy and it’s soooo fast. But these can also be made with a whisk and some good old fashioned arm power. The brownies are also completely customizable and pretty much all the nutritional boosts are optional (but I recommend giving them a try first!).

So if you’re in need of a healthier treat that is a little more intentional with its ingredient choice, then these are the perfect brownies for you! And if you’re looking for a brownie that’s a bit more decadent, but still gluten-free and dairy-free – check out these Double Chocolate Frosted Brownie Bites!


Healthy Cacao Nib Brownies (gluten-free and dairy-free)

Healthy Cacao Nib Brownies
  • Author: Kristine Hinterkopf
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 24 - 27 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 9 - 12 brownies


• ½ cup cashew butter
• ½ cup almond butter
• ½ cup maple syrup
• 2 tablespoons (2 scoops) collagen powder (optional)
• 3 eggs
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• ½ cup cocoa powder
• ½ cup almond flour
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
• 1 tablespoon beet powder (optional)
• ¼ cup cacao nibs (plus extra for sprinkling on top)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-x-8 pan with parchment paper leaving a one-inch overhang on each side.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, almond flour, baking soda, salt, flaxseed meal, and beet powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the cashew butter, almond butter, maple syrup, and collagen. Beat on medium speed until everything just comes together. Then add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until the eggs are well incorporated.

Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until everything comes together in a thick batter. Add in the cacao nibs and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Scrape the batter into your prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle some extra cacao nibs on top – just for a little something extra and to make it look pretty!

Bake for 24 – 27 minutes or until the brownies look set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the brownies cool in the pan for at least one hour.

Keywords: gluten-free, dairy-free, brownies, chocolate, refined sugar free, healthy recipe

4 thoughts on “Healthy Cacao Nib Brownies (gluten-free and dairy-free)

  1. Thanks, Kristine! I am super excited to make these. And LOL regarding the secret beer powder! (If you decide at some point to reinvent the beloved cowboy cookie in a gluten-free version, I am all ears!!)

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