Rich & fudgy, these No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Brownies will satisfy your sweet tooth without heating your kitchen. Plus, they’re vegan-friendly, gluten free, and have no refined sugar!
One good turn deserves another
I have a friend at work who always has a smile or a kind word for me. When I bring in treats like cookies or cheesecake to share, she oohs and aahs with the rest of the group, but doesn’t partake because she’s vegan. When my friend recently did me a big favor, I wanted to repay her in the best way I knew…with a treat. But I’m not vegan (as we well know, given all the butter and cream you use!), so I don’t have the substitutes vegan bakers generally use (like flax eggs or coconut products) around my kitchen. Searching Pinterest (where else?) yielded up a recipe for no-bake brownie bites that used ingredients I normally have, so I let my imagination take over and voilá, No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Brownies were born!
I converted these vegan brownie bites into cut bars by doubling the recipe, pressing them into an 8- x 8-inch collapsible marshmallow pan (which works so well in the freezer), then topping them with raspberry jam and chocolate (two flavors that go so well together). The fact that these bars were no-bake was a definite plus as I truly didn’t want to heat my kitchen on a sweltering summer day.
Because I was working with a food preference (vegan), I wanted to make sure I followed all the rules, specifically that the fruit spread and chocolate I was going to use were acceptable. It turned out that Trader Joe’s has many vegan-friendly products, and several vegan-friendly sites I checked said that their raspberry fruit spread (made without gelatin) and some of their chocolate products (like chocolate chips and 72% Dark Chocolate Pound Plus Bar) were suitable for use. I checked with my friend just to be sure, and she gave me the go-ahead. I was off and running.
No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
- food processor
- 8- x 8-inch collapsible marshmallow pan or baking pan
- small offset spreader
- 2 cups rolled oats (7 oz, 200g), measured before grinding (or oat flour, if you prefer)
- 1 cup smooth nut butter (9-1/2 oz, 270g), your choice (I used Almond butter for a neutral flavor)
- 2/3 cup maple syrup (7-1/3oz, 208g)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup cocoa powder (3 oz, 84g), sifted
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (3 oz, 84g)
- 2 Tbsp plant milk of choice, optional (I used unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk)
- 4 Tbsp raspberry fruit spread (2.5 oz, 72g), melted
- 5 oz dark chocolate (140g)
- Line an 8- x 8-inch collapsible marshmallow pan or baking pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang. Set aside.
- Grind the rolled oats in a food processor or blender until it’s fine (if you are using oat flour, you can skip this step).
- Mix together the nut butter and maple syrup in a large heat-proof bowl. Heat in the microwave for a minute, stir, then another minute or so until they’re melted together.
- When a smooth mixture has formed, add in the oat flour, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. Mix well with a wooden spoon until a thick and doughy consistency forms (this mixture will be hard to stir, so be ready).
- Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined. You might need to add in 2 Tbsps or so of plant milk if the mixture is too dry (I did).
- Press the batter into the prepared pan (I used a sheet of plastic wrap to press it out). Place in freezer, covered with the same plastic wrap, for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the raspberry fruit spread and the chocolate in separate heat-proof bowls. Heat the fruit spread in the microwave for 30 seconds, and stir until smooth. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until smooth.
- Remove the brownies from the freezer and spread thin layer of the fruit spread using an offset spatula. Freeze for 5 minutes.
- Spread the melted chocolate on top of the raspberry layer using the offset spatula again. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the chocolate layer is set.
- When the chocolate is firm enough, remove the brownies from the pan (if you’re using the collapsible marshmallow pan, you can just open the sides now). Cut into 16 2- x 2-inch squares.
- Serve and enjoy fudge goodness in a cool kitchen!
Inclusivity for the win
No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Brownies are rich and fudgy, and the added layers of raspberry and chocolate just added to their goodness…even my definitely non-vegan husband enjoyed one. The fact that they’re vegan-friendly (and gluten-free, if that’s your food preference) just added to their general appeal, and I’m glad that my vegan friend will now be able to enjoy a treat I made.
These are bars I’ll be making again, especially since I love chocolate and don’t always want to heat the oven. And now I can include more people when I bring in treats to work, and isn’t that what being a friend is all about?
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!