Magic Masala Brownies

Recipe by Mandy Pagano

Recipe originally published on on 12/17/19. It has been lightly edited for re-publication.


The secret that makes these spicy (in the non-heat sense) brownies so dang good is a little bit of something called Garam Masala. The nutshell is it's a spice blend, originating on the Indian subcontinent, that's most frequently associated with classic curry dishes like Tikka Masala.

Don't let that scare you off!

The spice blend itself can vary a bit, but it's mostly made of things we associate with baking like cinnamon, mace, and cardamom, toasted together with a little pepper and a few other spices, then ground up into a powder. It can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, and it is a beautiful accompaniment to chocolate.

Coconut and coconut milk are frequently used ingredients in Indian cooking, and so I simulated a little "magic" coconut and chocolate to compliment the spicy richness of the brownie. Think of the coconut and chocolate topping you will find on a "magic" cookie bar. That's what I was going for, minus the sweetened condensed milk, and I have to say it worked out pretty well.


[tasty-recipe id="3099"]

Magic Masala Brownies

  •  Author: Mandy Pagano
  •  Prep Time: 10 minutes
  •  Cook Time: 30 minutes
  •  Total Time: 40 minutes
  •  Yield: 16 brownies
  •  Method: Baked
  •  Cuisine: American
  •  Keywords: desserts, brownies, garam-masala


Dry ingredients:

  • 3 oz (85 g) fine almond flour (I use King Arthur brand)
  • 1 1/4 oz (35 g) cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 3 oz (85 g) Swerve brown (or equivalent)
  • 1 packet ( approx. 1/4 oz/ 7 g weight) plain gelatin powder (Knox brand is fine)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp Garam Masala (I used McCormick Gourmet blend)
  • generous pinch salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1/4 c (2 fl oz/ 59 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (4 oz/ 113 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 c (2 fl oz/ 59 ml) warm water

For the topping:

  • 1/4 c (2 fl oz/ 59 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 oz (85 g) Lily's dark baking chips, divided (or equivalent)
  • 2 1/4 oz (64 g) shredded coconut, unsweetened, divided


Make the brownies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and prepare an 8x8" baking dish by lining with parchment and buttering the sides well.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the vanilla and eggs into the heavy cream, and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir briefly to incorporate.
  4. Pour the melted butter and warm water into the batter, and beat until smooth.
  5. Pour the beaten batter into the prepared dish, smooth the top so it's evenly distributed in the dish, and set aside while you make the topping.

Make the topping:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream, egg and vanilla extract.
  2. Fold in 1/2 the chocolate chips and about 2/3 of the coconut.
  3. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the brownie batter, then sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips and coconut over the top.
  4. Bake the brownies for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is set, the coconut is mostly toasted and golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and let stand to cool. The longer these brownies cool, the better they are.
  6. Cut into 16 squares and enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1/16 recipe
  • Calories: 175.5 cal
  • Fat: 16.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.5 g
    • Fiber: 3.6 g
    • Sugar Alcohols: 6.5 g
    • Net Carbs [total carbs - (fiber + sugar alcohol)] : 2.4 g
  • Protein: 4 g

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