Super Fudgy Dairy-Free Brownies

Now anyone whose living dairy-free knows how heartbreaking it is when everyone else gets to tuck into a delish chewy fudgy brownie and you’re stuck eating either chalk or a brick.

For some reason sweet treats are still a bit of a struggle and you often fall victim to broader free-from recipes.


People seem to struggle with the concept of removing dairy – but I’ve been cooking my brownies dairy free without even realising it! And if you like your brownies fudgey with a bit of spring you should be too!


Growing up in the states shortening was always on hand for cookies, brownies, pastries, cakes, whatever. It was only when I moved back to the UK that butter became a main ingredient.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying shortening tastes the same as butter and is always the right ingredient but if Americans are using it for brownies we should probably trust them and follow suit.

For those not in the know vegetable shortening is a white, solid fat made from vegetable oils. It’s actually very similar to lard. In the UK you’re looking out for Trex, Flora White, Cookeen or Stork Biscuit & Pastry block (make sure you get the right stork as the cake ones contain buttermilk). In the US your most common brand is Crisco.

This recipe is super easy and super quick. It’s also fool proof so even if you’re not the best at baking it’s almost impossible to get wrong and you’re guaranteed to impress. 

You can make these naked or you can get adventurous. Some of my favourite things to add are

  • Dark chocolate chunks
  • Oreos
  • Honeycomb
  • Fresh blueberries and pumpkin spice
  • Dried cranberries and walnuts


Dairy-Free Fudge Brownies



  • 145g shortening
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 80g unsweetened cocoa powder (I normally use Green & Blacks or Bournville)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 65g all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of baking powder


Heat the oven to 165 degrees C.

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Add enough boiling water to a medium saucepan so that it is a few inches deep. Combine the shortening, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium heat-safe bowl. Rest the bowl over simmering water.

Stir the mixture occasionally until the shortening has melted. At this point the batter will look gritty but don’t worry once you add the flour and eggs it will go smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
Stir in the vanilla.

Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.

When the batter looks thick and shiny add in the flour and baking powder. Stir until fully incorporated, then beat with a wooden spoon for a 30 second.
Now is the time to add any fillings if using. Except the Oreos. If you’re using Oreos you’ll want to spread half the brownie mix in the pan then layer the Oreos and cover with the remaining batter.

Spread evenly in a lined pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out almost clean.

Cool completely then remove from pan.

(Tip: for the cleanest lines when cutting, place into freezer for 20 minutes to firm up)

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