Basic Brownies

Recipe by Mandy Pagano

Recipe originally published on on 2/14/19. It has been lightly edited for re-publication.


It's Valentine's Day, y'all, and because I like you, I've decided to share my best brownie recipe with you fine folks.

There might be no food more perfect than a fudgy brownie, and I spent several weeks working on this recipe so as to get it just right. Many keto brownies, even those that boast of being "fudgy," tend to dry out as they stand, and my goal was to devise a recipe that would maintain its fudginess, even overnight. So, I enlisted the help of a few very willing beta-testers, and got to work on what is now officially my own favorite keto brownie concoction.

To prove my brownie-baking prowess, I personally tested this recipe out on a pretty hard crowd: a group of hungry, camping kids. I brought a big, double batch of these beauties on a family camp out, and came home empty-handed (they didn't make it a full 24-hours, y'all). These non-keto kids and adults devoured them in short order, and were handing out brownie compliments left and right. I knew at that point I had a winner.

Notes: All of my beta-testers were thrilled with the end result and, funnily enough, one of them discovered (entirely by mistake) that you can turn this recipe into a cakey brownie (for those that prefer them that way) by making one simple substitution: replace the gelatin with collagen peptides. This particular tester liked it as a cake so much that she make it a second time for a family gathering, and topped it with some keto-friendly chocolate icing. She insists it reminds her of the Hershey's chocolate cake and icing she used to make from the recipe on the back of the cocoa powder container.

Hey, if one of my recipes is being compared favorably to Hershey's, I'll take that in a heartbeat.

Another tester, on a successive bake, added some chopped walnuts and Lily's baking chips (which is awesome, BTW). As always, I try to make my recipes flavorful, but as easily customizable as possible, so feel free to throw in your favorite brownie add-ins and make it your own.

[tasty-recipe id="2771"]


Basic Brownies

  •  Author: Mandy Pagano
  •  Prep Time: 5 mins
  •  Cook Time: 30 mins
  •  Total Time: 35 mins
  •  Yield: 16 brownies
  •  Method: Baked
  •  Cuisine: American
  •  Keywords: baking, chocolate, comfort-food, desserts, quick, valentines-day


  • Dry Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 oz (71 g) fine almond flour (I use King Arthur brand)
  • 1.25 oz (36 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 (1/4 oz/ 7 g) packet plain gelatin powder (this is the same as 1 packet of Knox gelatin)
  • 4 oz (113 g) Swerve granular (or your favorite granulated sweetener)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder (I use Café Bustello, which is easily located in the grocery store)
  • 2 pinches salt
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tbsp (6 oz/ 170 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 c (2 fl oz/ 59 ml) warm water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare an 8x8 baking dish by lining it with parchment paper.
  2. Blend all dry ingredients with a fork or a whisk in a mixing bowl.
  3. With a hand or stand mixer, beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add melted butter and warm water and beat until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish, smooth the top so it's all even, then bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the middle is set and does not jiggle.
  6. Remove and let stand to cool slightly.
  7. Slice into 16 squares and eat, as desired.
  8. Store in an airtight container.


  • Serving Size: 1 brownie
  • Calories: 120 cal
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.4 g
    • Fiber: 1.31 g
    • Sugar Alcohols: 7.12 g
    • Net Carbs [total carbs - (fiber + sugar alcohol)] : 0.97 g
  • Protein: 2.6 g

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