Sweet & Spicy Vegan Brownies

I know this might be a little early but scheduling my life around delicious food is one of the things helping me through this lockdown period! These sweet and spicy vegan brownies are a slightly controversial adaptation of the classic chilli & chocolate combo. They are in fact, made using chilli pesto. Yes, I know that does sound rather odd, however, don’t knock it until you’ve tried this recipe!

If you know me, then you’ll know that I love planning my recipes around any sort of themed event, national holiday, season or celebration. The 1st of February approaching means two things: pancake day and Valentine’s Day. This not only means both making and consuming endless stacks of pancakes, but also getting to layer all of my desserts with berries and all things pink!

These sweet & spicy vegan brownies are of course, completely plant based and also gluten free. They’re exceptionally moist, fudgey and have chunks of molten dark chocolate studded throughout. The chilli pesto adds a beautifully subtle wave of heat, without being too overpowering… or making your brownies taste of pesto! Like most women, chocolate desserts are definitely a winner for me, so these would make the perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day menu!

What will you need to make sweet & spicy vegan brownies?

  • Oat flour: the recipe calls for oat flour as this is GF, easy to make at home and keeps the brownies super moist and not dense!
  • Cacao powder: this is what gives the brownies that ultra chocolatey, rich flavour.
  • Vegan butter: any vegan butter or non dairy spread will do to insure the brownies are completely plant based.
  • Coconut sugar or caster sugar: you can use whatever you have to hand, however if you’d like the brownies to be refined sugar free you should opt for coconut sugar.
  • Dark chocolate: I always choose a good quality chocolate with high cocoa percentage.
  • Chilli pesto: this is for the spice! Be sure to check that the pesto you use is vegan friendly! I’ve used this one.

Why should you make these brownies?

  • Vegan– these brownies are completely plant based, but honestly, no-one would ever be able to tell!
  • Gluten free- as these are made with oat flour, they’re also gluten free!
  • Can be adapted to be refined sugar free- by switching the caster sugar for coconut palm sugar, you can keep the recipe refined sugar free!
  • Perfect for Valentine’s Day– anything chocolate is always a winner, right?!
  • Super chocolatey and indulgent– there’s technically a triple chocolate theme going on here. Chocolate brownies, chocolate chunks AND chocolate frosting!
  • Have the perfect gooey, fudgey texture- using oat flour and actually omitting eggs from the recipe helps to achieve a perfectly moist brownie.
  • A really simple one tin bake! This recipe can be made with minimal equipment and the process couldn’t be simpler!
  • Delicious! Firstly, what’s not to love about brownies really?! These make for a delicious dessert or snack to accompany a cuppa’!

I’ve kept things nice and simple and added a layer of vegan chocolate spread for the frosting. For an extra little something, you could alternate between sweet and spicy toppings to mix things up! Seeing as these are Valentine’s themed, I’ve taken full advantage of this and garnished with a berry medley. However, of course you can top with whatever your heart desires!

What equipment will you need to make these brownies?

Another great thing about this recipe is that it requires very minimal equipment. Aside from making your own oat flour, you won’t require any blending equipment and a simple spoon and mixing bowl will suffice!

Sweet & Spicy Vegan Brownies

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cakes & Sweet Treats
Keyword: blackberry brownies, brownies, gluten free brownies, Vegan, vegan brownies


  • 1 cup coconut/caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy butter
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk mixed with tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 2/3 cup cacao powder
  • Pinch sea salt
  • tsp baking powder
  • 40 g chopped dark chocolate
  • tsp vegan red chilli pesto


  • 2 tbsp vegan chocolate spread
  • tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder


  • Preheat your oven to 175c and line a brownie tin with grease proof paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the coconut milk, then fold through all of your dry ingredients and pesto, until you're left with a smooth batter.
  • Stir through the chopped dark chocolate and transfer the brownie mixture into your cake tin. Place the brownies into the oven for 25-30 minutes then allow to cool completely.
  • For the topping, mix together the vegan spread, coconut oil and cacao powder. Spread this over the cooled brownies and slice into squares.

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