Whole Wheat Chocolate Brownies

Whole Wheat Chocolate Brownies

You don’t need butter to make delicious brownies. This updated recipe takes less than 30 minutes start-to-finish, using whole wheat flour and no butter. Toasting the nuts first will do wonders for the flavor and you can use chocolate chips but dark chocolate chunks will provide more heart-healthy benefits. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 28 minutes

Makes: 16

Whole Wheat Chocolate Brownies


  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dutch-processed cocoa)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup oil of your choice (I use extra light olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup plain 2% yogurt (Greek style)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1/2 cup toasted nuts, chopped (I mix pecans and walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line a 9 x 9-inch square pan with foil, dull side up, leaving extra edges for lifting.
  3. Sift dry ingredients onto wax paper or into a bowl.
  4. In another bowl by hand, combine oil, yogurt, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients.
  6. Stir in nuts and chocolate pieces.
  7. Spread into baking pan, spreading batter to the edges.
  8. Bake for 17-18 minutes, never more than 20. You’re supposed to “cool in the pan on a wire rack” for about 2 hours… like that’s going to happen!

No whole wheat pastry flour? See Substitutions in my blog.

Note: (Still want the old recipe? Click here)

Whole Wheat Chocolate Brownies

93 Comments on "Whole Wheat Chocolate Brownies"

  1. Sabrina

    I made this yesterday and I loved it. I used more nuts and more cut dark chocolate. I ordered the whole wheat pastry flour on Amazon, as I have never seen it in stores. I also added a hand of organic dried cranberries, cut in half. But I also did something good for LOL afterwards.
    I tried to respect the recipe with the pan, only my pan comes with a plastic cover. I lined the pan with the metal foil, and when I put it in the oven I didn’t realize the plastic cover was under the pan. So after 10 minutes a smell of melted plastic came from my oven…and the rest is history. It was a lot of smoke as I had to heat the oven in order to remove the plastic from the racks.
    Thank you so much for this recipe!

  2. Mary

    I made these today using half whole wheat and half all purpose and four small handfuls of nuts I used my rice bran oil . It yeilded a wonderful soft cake ..not a brownie with a slightly crispy crust. thank you. my kids enjoyed them so much.

  3. jenny who can't cook

    hey jenny. i didn’t use the whole wheat pastry flour. or the unsweetened cocoa. didn’t use the greek yogurt either (for what matters, i didn’t use the chocolate chunks or the nuts at all). still tasted great! keep it up!

    p.s.: glad you can cook!

  4. Caitlin

    Hi Jenny,

    Made this without nuts or choc pieces because I didn’t have any and it still worked. Tastes great! Thanks so much. I’ll definitely be using more of your recipes.

  5. john-pierre

    Hi Jenny,

    Looks like a great recipe, would like to try this weekend. What kind of vanilla is it you are using? Looks like a liquid in the video. I am in Holland and we have real vanilla powder, real vanilla seed pods and small bottles of synthetically vanilla flavor. In all cases, 2 teaspoons seems like a lot!


  6. bel

    can you substitute stevia drops for the sugar. how many drops of stevia i should put. thank you

    • Jenny

      Sugar is not just for sweetening, it also creates structure in baked goods so you would not get a good result by replacing it with liquid stevia. It’s better if you find a different recipe that is already proven to work with stevia.

  7. Gean

    Hi Jenny I make this brownies three hours ago. But with three boys in the house it all gon. Thanks for the recipes I make quite few of your recipes and all was very good thanke again !!!

  8. The Novice Baker

    I made this with 1/4 cup flaxseed, and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour. I also had only 1 egg, so I added in 1/4 cup milk. I used 1/2 cup baking stevia and 1/2 cup brown sugar. They were a little bit sweet so I would bump up the cocoa by 2 tablespoons or reduce the sugar by 2 tablespoons. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Sudha

    This recipe looks very easy.But only problem is I am total vegetarian,no eggs.Can we substitute eggs with anything else?

    • Jenny

      I have never used an egg substitute but if you bake, you could try whatever egg substitute you have used with other baking. But you may have better luck looking for a different recipe that is proven to work without eggs.

  10. May

    Hi Jenny,

    I tried this recipe and it turn out great. My boys love it. Please share more recipes. I’ve also tried your chicken pie and whole wheat bread. I replaced the chicken with bacon and added potato. My family love it, especially the crust! The bread is really easy to make. Love your videos, It’s easy to follow and I really enjoyed your jokes. Had so much fun!

  11. Summer

    I just made this but noticed there was no mention of when to add the yoghurt or eggs… I guessed that the yoghurt went in with the oil but completely missed out the eggs, the result was more of a cookie than brownies! Still tasted good though 🙂

    • Jenny

      In step #4 it says, “Combine oil thru vanilla” but I will clarify that because I should not assume that everyone knows that means the whole list of ingredients. Thanks for the note – these things are always helpful.

  12. Stephanie

    I made the brownies about an hour ago. I love the texture. They came out light & fudgy. I did not like the flavor as much as the texture. I used canola oil as I only have regular olive oil on hand (which would have been to predominant in the recipe). I was still able to taste the oil. I also used homemade buttermilk instead of yogurt. I live in the Bahamas and ingredients are expensive so I substitute a lot.

    I will definitely make the brownies again but I will use butter next time. I am loving your site and the awesome recipes. Great job!

    • Carole


      The brownies are next on my list, I made the simple chocolate cake without butter, it was ready in minutes and tasted and looked like regular bake made with butter and eggs. I poured the batter in cup cake moulds and they were ready in 20 minutes.

      You can make yogurt at home, by adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of commercial plain yogurt to 1 to 2 liters of lukewarm milk, then keep the mixture in a closed container, enveloped in a blanket in a rather warm but not hot place overnight, then refrigerate for about 6 hours. I have tried that with full fat milk, not with low fat or skimmed

  13. Tammy

    Can I use white pastry flour instead of whole wheat?

    • Jenny

      Yes, but you may have to adjust the liquids (use less?) as the batter may not be thick enough with white flour.

  14. Joyce

    Do u have a receipe for dark chocolate frosting? I would love to put it on the brownies. Thank u I love every receipe of urs that I have tried so far

    • Jenny

      No, I do not have a dark chocolate frosting recipe.

  15. Camille

    hey! Nice recipe but can you use self raising flour without the baking soda?

    • Jenny

      I don’t think so because self-rising flour has baking powder added, not baking soda and it’s the baking soda you need that reacts with the yogurt in this recipe to create the rise and nice texture.

  16. Rickie

    Omgsh. SO good. Filled my late night chocolate craving I had been battling with. I only had bloodorange greek yogurt in the fridge and I tossed in a little bit of orange extract because … well chocolate, nuts, and oranges of course! It turned out beautifully though. Thanks Jenny!

  17. Jun

    Hi Jenny,

    Can I use “brown sugar” instead “sugar” for this recipe? Thank you.

    • Jenny

      I don’t think using all brown sugar would give you a good result. White sugar gives the brownies structure and it’s flavorless. Brown sugar would probably weight down the brownies making them heavy and dense and it would add a slight molasses flavor. If anything, you could try half brown and half white but I think white sugar works best in this recipe.

  18. Amy

    hiya Jenny. Love this recipe and all your others but just curious, do you know how many calories are in an average sized piece and if you do not know do you have a guess of what it could be pls. X

    • Jenny

      I’m very sorry but I don’t count calories – just eating as healthy as I can.

  19. amra ka

    Hi! this recipe is wonderful! I don’t use sugar at all, so i’ve replaced it with agava syrup. and instead of almonds i used bluberries. yum! thank you for all your videos and recepies! Greetings from Sarajevo, Bosnia <3

  20. Amy

    I came across this recipe while on vacation in Brazil. Using only what I had available: a toaster oven, an 8×8 glass baking dish, local whole wheat (not pastry) flour, and regular, not organic cocoa powder, my expectations for these brownies were low. God knows I’ve been disappointed countless of times.

    I added roasted walnuts, and used chunks of good quality, dark chocolate, since I couldn’t find any chocolate chips. The brownies required 5 min longer in the oven; maybe because of the glass baking dish. Next time,I may experiment by adding a touch of cinnamon and will use organic cocoa instead.

    My husband, who has a sweet tooth, asked if he could sample a piece, only 20 min after the brownies came out of the oven, and still warm. The first thing he said was, “Oh, it’s s-o-o moist!,” and, then, “Can I have another piece, and another, and another,” until we finished half of them at one sitting!

    Thanks so much, Jenny for sharing this super easy and amazing recipe for the most decadent, and healthiest brownies ever!

  21. joey

    I used all purpose flour instead and reduced the baking time to 13 minutes. it came out nicely, however it just tasted like a cake.

    • Jenny

      I’ve adjusted the recipe, based on several comments, to reduce the baking soda and make the brownies less cakey.

  22. Aish Ka

    Hi Jenny

    I was surfing the net for some butter less cake recipes and found your brownies and for sure i’m going to do try it out tomorrow.. But i have ask you whether I can use refined sunflower oil instead of Olive oil in this recipe? As i don’t have Olive oil with me right now..

    Or plz tell me a substitute fro olive oil to use in this recipe..


    • Jenny

      Any oil is fine. In fact, I just ammennded the recipe to indicate that.

      • Aish Ka

        Thanks a lot Jenny..

        For sure, i’m going to do it..
        And is there is any recipe with your for making cakes using pressure cooker instead of Oven.. ?

  23. Namy

    May i substitute the whole wheat pastry flout to whole wheat flour or all purpose flour?

    I have tried your original recipe before but wanna if i change the flour, will it be still tasty and can i use the same amount of flour.

    Many thanks 🙂 🙂

    • Jenny

      With all purpose flour they will likely be a little softer and they’ll be good but I’m not a fan of baking sweets with regular whole wheat flour. The brownies would likely be heavier and more dense so I would stick with whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour or a mix of both.

  24. Amy Verkerk

    Hi Jenny,

    Is there a reason why we should sift the dry ingredients onto wax paper? Easy cleanup?

    Just curious :0)


    • Jenny

      Easy cleanup… and easy pouring, plus it helps to blend the powdered cocoa with the flour.

  25. Jennie

    I made these brownies and they turned out great! Any ideas for a banana bread. I’ll keep checking. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe!!

    • Jenny

      There’s a banana walnut bread in my free cookbook (on the homepage).

      • Jennie

        It looks delicious. Can I use a blend of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, if so, how much should I use? I can’t wait to try the other free recipes from your book. Thank you for sharing them.

        • Jennie

          I love banana bread, but not sure if a combination of regular flour and whole wheat pastry flour would work. Thanks again.

  26. Lisa

    Love this recipe, and so easy to make. Olive oil in place of butter! Really what else can you ask for? Thank you Jenny for sharing.
    I had to modify a little to get a brownie texture rather than fluffy cake. My first 2 batches had too much rise and became slightly cakey. To get more of a denser flatter brownie texture, I reduced the baking soda from 1/4 tsp to 1/8 tsp. For personal preference, I also reduced the sugar from 1 cup to 1/3 cup, and increased the toasted walnuts from 1/2 cup to 1 cup. (We love walnuts). Everything else was exactly to your recipe. Because I don’t have a 9×9 square baking pan, I used my 9″ round heavy gauge metal spring foam pan which did not create a problem. And lastly, after mixing the wet ingredients with the dry and spreading in pan, I waited for about 8 minutes before putting it into the oven, allowing the baking soda and yogurt to die down a bit. I don’t know how it is possible, but my baking soda (standard Arm and Hammer) must be more concentrated here in southern california. Reducing the baking soda and waiting a few minutes before baking seemed to solve the problem of too much fluff.
    Thank you again, and keep on sharing your incredible recipes.

  27. Michelle

    Hey Jenny,
    I love your recipes! I just wanted to know if the brownies would taste good with pistachios!

    • Jenny

      Yes, I think you could use pistachios but I think toasted pecans add the most flavor.

  28. x-anonymous

    Hi Jenny,
    1) I am allergic to milk products (including yogurt). What substitute can I use?
    2) Carob choc. chips (1st preference) can be used instead of dark/ chocolate chips?

    • Jenny

      You could try a non-dairy yogurt (I’ve seen them at the health food store) and you could use carob chips but to me, brownies are plenty good without chocolate chips.

  29. snowhiteyy

    How about if I leave out the yogurt? Will there be a big different in the result?

    • Jenny

      The yogurt adds moisture and the acid in the yogurt works with the baking soda to help the brownies rise so I expect you would not get a good result without the yogurt.

      • Linda

        Try mayo for moistness and add bit of vinegar. Remember mayo choc cakes? They make olive oil mayo for the health conscious.

  30. khabirah

    I have to say that these brownies are better than the other recipes that I have tried that usually require a stick of butter. This recipe is a keeper!

  31. khabirah

    would the brownies taste weird if I used salted nuts. I only have almonds left and i think that might taste funny. So, I have some salted peanuts…to use or not to use?

    • Jenny

      I personally would not put salted peanuts in a brownie. You can omit the nuts altogether or if you really want the added crunch, I would choose the almonds and chop them fairly small.

  32. khabirah

    Do I have to use a 9 by 9 inch baking pan or can I use another size?

    • Jenny

      Changing a pan size can sometimes cause recipes to fail so I would suggest using only a 9 by 9-inch square pan.

  33. Nahte

    Since the sugar is combined with wet ingredients BEFORE the dry stuff is thrown in, will substituting Splenda make a difference? I have a diabetic in the family and from what I understand, splenda is okay to substitute unless it’s first being absorbed by liquid, as it does so differently than regular sugar. What are your thoughts on such a substitution? Is there a hard-and-fast rule, or would it differ depending on which of your sweets I’m making?

    • Jenny

      I’m sorry I have no experience baking with splenda but I don’t think it’s as simple as swapping one for the other. You might have better luck by searching online for expert advice on baking with sugar substitutes or maybe even using a different recipe that’s proven to work without sugar.

  34. Thalia


    I just stumbled upon your youtube video for the “Easy Brownies” and I have to say thank you!! I had no butter at home, and was truly delighted I had everything on hand for your ingredient list.
    I love the idea of olive oil and yogurt being used in desserts.

    I am just letting the brownies cool as I type, and they smell amazing!!

  35. Ain

    It looks good! But Does using extra virgin olive oil make a difference?

    • Jenny

      No. You can use any kind of oil. I have made them with canola oil but any vegetable oil can be used.

  36. Tasia

    I tried this recipe twice, both times it was too cakey and dry. The first time I left it in for 20mins and the second 15mins and it was the same. In the picture they look fudgy but mine are the total opposite.
    What might I be doing wrong and what should I do to make them more on the fudge side??

    • Jenny

      My guess is that you might be using regular whole wheat flour (& not whole wheat “pastry” flour) and the other might be that you are using fat-free yogurt. Please let me know exactly what you’re using and I will try to help figure this out.

      • Tasia

        I am using all purpose flour!

      • Tasia

        And 2% greek yogurt

        • Jenny

          It’s a bit of a mystery because all-purpose flour should also help make them chewy. My only other thought it that your oven is hotter than it reads or that you are over-mixing. Using an electric mixer would put too much air into the batter so just fold the ingredients together. Other than that, you could try adding an egg yolk to the batter. I’m sorry but that’s all I can think of.

          • Tasia

            Thank you very much for your responses!!
            I will try your extra trips tomorrow and I will inform you if the brownies turn out!!
            Thank you very very much again! 🙂

          • Tasia

            Actually, now that I think of it, I remember that I used vegetable oil instead of extra light olive oil. Does that make a difference?

          • Jenny

            That should not make a difference.

  37. grace

    What is the nutrition information of the brownies? Do they have a lot of protein?

    • Jenny

      They have a pretty good amount of protein from the yogurt, eggs, and nuts but I don’t have the breakdowns you see elsewhere since I am just a home cook posting my own recipes.

  38. Julie

    Can you add chayenne pepper to give it kick so they will be some spice and sweet to the brownies.

    • Jenny

      Absolutely! I’ve made my double chocolate chip cookies with cayenne and they were amazing.

  39. Pearlipop

    Jenny, I finally made this recipe and I have to say, I’ve baked some fine brownies. I’d say they’re exactly in the middle of a fudgy brownie and a cakey brownie. Thanks for the recipe!

  40. Hanicka

    I love these brownies !!! they are my favorite 😀

  41. melanie

    Is wholemeal flour good?

    • Jenny

      I believe that wholemeal flour is the same as whole wheat flour. It may be a little heavy for the brownies unless you can find a wholemeal pastry flour. If it’s too heavy, you could try using 1/2 wholemeal flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour.

  42. shelby lyn

    HI Jenny…! love your recipes…and want to try these. I am a chocoholic, lol.. consider it to be a ‘ food group’ even though I DO eat healthy about 90 % of the time. I would like to substitute coconut oil for the olive oil, so I will let you know how that turns out . Olive oil still being a ‘ good thing’, as to not take away from your recipe. …But I use coconut oil for a LOT of things…even my skin and hair.
    I used to watch many years ago, on television when I resided in Vegas,and its so good to see you ! Thanks so much for all your recipes and for sharing them!

  43. Blanca

    Made these today! Unbelievable! I was so surprised. They were delicious. I halved the sugar and used cane sugar, also added a pinch of cinnamon which I think allowed me to really appreciate and enjoy the chocolate flavor without the distraction of the sugar. Lovely recipe! Thanks.

  44. Tamberline

    Can we get a full food count?

  45. Evelyn

    I just made these. So simple to make and super yummy. I don’t like to use canola oil so I used coconut oil instead. Also I prefer using sucanat in my baking than regular sugar and it works just as great. I really love these. I’m sure my hubby will to as soon as he tries them. Thanks for sharing:)

  46. maarib

    Omg I just made them they were so good it’s actually the best brownies I’ve ever ate but I used regular whole wheat flour

  47. Sue

    I made these and they are fantastic!! I found the whole wheat pastry flour as per your suggestion at our nutrition store. My friend Gina was here with me and after one, she said “where are you going?” I need another one!!!

    We both indulged! 🙂

  48. Stanley

    Jenny, We made your “FUDGEY BROWNIES” without BUTTER at the Parker River trip. And all of the 20+ people ate the Brownies with Cold Beer, Wine and Hot Coffee. All of my 20+ friends say thank you. Six women are going home to make this at home this week for there grandkids and maybe them selves.

  49. Sue

    JJ is there a difference between whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour? I want to make these but my whole wheat flour doesn’t say “pastry flour” And when we went to the store, I saw nothing that said pastry flour??

    • Jenny

      Whole wheat PASTRY flour is more finely ground than whole wheat flour and produces lighter, softer baked items like cookies and brownies. It also has less gluten than whole wheat flour (gluten is needed when baking with yeast). I only use whole wheat flour when baking bread. For all other uses, like cookies, cakes, pancakes, muffins, etc. I use whole wheat PASTRY flour. My grocery store carries it but if yours doesn’t, you will likely find it at a health food store or online.

      • Sue

        I ended up making your brownie recipe with the whole wheat flour. They are still very good, but I will shop at the general nutrition store for the pastry flour for the next time. Thanks.

  50. Chris

    OMG!!! I made them and they are fabulous! No more butter in my brownies! Yay!!! Please do more healthy dessert recipes like this.

  51. Joshua

    So far I’ve made all of your recipes at home and they are absolutely wonderful. Going to give this one a try tonight. Thank you!

  52. Marissa

    Wow! I can’t wait to try this one. Love your recipes!!

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