This post is generously sponsored by Sprouts, but all opinions are my own.
These paleo & vegan peppermint frosted brownies are so rich and delicious, a perfect healthy holiday recipe! Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free, these paleo & vegan peppermint frosted brownies will surprise everyone with just how indulgent they are! Bound to become a new favorite paleo holiday recipe or vegan holiday recipe!
I have this addiction, but I really don’t hide it.
We’ve talked about my (potentially unhealthy) relationship to caramel and my commitment to the rich, heady sauce as the best sweet out there. But as soon as December rolls around, I drop caramel like last year’s iPhone and cozy right up to my main squeeze come winter:
Peppermint + chocolate.
If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ve no doubt noticed my obsession with the pairing, from my… are you ready for this?
Paleo gluten-free peppermint cookies with peppermint, paleo peppermint Oreos, paleo iced peppermint mocha, paleo peppermint hot chocolate, vegan chocolate cupcakes with peppermint frosting, peppermint layer brownies, spiked peppermint hot chocolate, and my spiked hot chocolate mix with homemade peppermint marshmallows gift kit.
Holy moly, the love is so real.
The strange thing is that I don’t actually love chocolate on its own or peppermint on its own – especially the latter. And, I know, I know about the chocolate thing, but see above ^ My one, true love is caramel. And my husband O, of course. Is it coincidence that I married a man who, when I met him, his best friend teased him with the nickname “Caramel Thunder”? You decide…
So when Sprouts challenged us to make a delish holiday treat using goodies from their bulk bins, I knew what was calling my name: a gluten-free, dairy-free, healthier version of my peppermint layer brownies that skimp absolutely nowhere on richness and flavor.
In fact, these paleo & vegan peppermint frosted brownies might be like 300 times richer than the original version. You’ve been warned!
I started the treats off with a super rich and fudgy brownie, spiked with a bit of peppermint extract, then topped it all off with a simple peppermint chocolate ganache, made super creamy with a bit of coconut cream. I found almond meal and ground flaxseed in the bulk bins at Sprouts, and my new friend over at Recipes to Nourish told me there’s bulk cocoa at her store! I highly recommend grabbing a few scoops of these ingredients the next time you’re at Sprouts and making these paleo & vegan peppermint frosted brownies STAT.
Sprouts arranged a super fun cookie exchange among a few of their favorite bloggers, and I received beet-chocolate crinkle cookies from Recipes to Nourish that were so good and so interesting! You’ve definitely got to check them out over at the Sprouts recipe site.
So these paleo & vegan peppermint frosted brownies are definitely how I’m celebrating National Cookie Day, thanks to Sprouts! How are you celebrating?
Paleo & Vegan Peppermint Frosted Brownies
- 2 eggs or flax egg for vegan, see Notes
- 2/3 cup blanched almond flour from the bulk bins
- 2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
- 2/3 cup Sprouts Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or from the bulk bins
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup Sprouts Refined Coconut Oil melted
- 1/2 cup Sprouts Pure Maple Syrup
- 3 Tbsp. almond butter
- 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 tsp Sprouts vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp Sprouts Spray Coconut Oil
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. dairy-free chocolate chips like Enjoy Life
- 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Refined Coconut Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Sprouts Pure Maple Syrup
- 1/4 cup Sprouts Coconut Cream
- 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1/2 tsp. Sprouts Vanilla Extract
- vegan peppermint candies or candy canes crushed, for topping
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. If using flax eggs, combine ground flaxseed and 5 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Set aside. Skip step if using eggs.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine almond flour, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, baking powder, pinch of salt, and coconut sugar. Pulse a couple times until well mixed. Add in 2 eggs (for paleo/gluten-free) or flax egg (flax-water mixture; for vegan), melted coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter, peppermint extract, and vanilla extract. Process until smooth. Alternately, to mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well, then add in egg or flax egg, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, almond butter, and extracts, and stir until very smooth.
- Line an 8x8” baking pan with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil. Scrape brownie batter into prepared pan, push batter into edges, and smooth surface. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out close to clean. Don’t overbake! You don’t want the toothpick to be perfectly clean, but it should not be coated in what looks like frosting. When finished baking, remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
- Make frosting: combine chocolate chips, coconut oil, maple syrup, and coconut cream in a medium microwavable bowl. Microwave 60 seconds then stir well. Continue microwaving in 30-second bursts, stirring very well between each burst, until chocolate is just melted. Stir in peppermint and vanilla extracts, then pour over still-warm brownies. Let cool slightly then top with crushed peppermint candies. Let cool completely before cutting. If frosting is not solidifying, chill for about an hour to harden.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.