Fudgy Date Brownies

Fudgy Date Brownies

These fudgy date brownies are a great alternative for anyone cutting processed sugar out of their diet. Instead of sugar they contain a paste made from dates- so naturally sweet and chewy. 

When I took a month off of sugar awhile ago I was desperate for something sweet and chocolate-y. Date Brownies were made and they really hit the spot. 

Fudgy Date Brownies

What you need to make Fudgy Date Brownies:

  • pitted dates
  • butter
  • eggs
  • vanilla
  • cocoa powder
  • flour

I did some research, tried a couple different recipes and ended up with this: a super fudgy, gooey, chocolate-y date brownie that is pretty damn good if I do say so myself.

They aren’t overly sweet of course, but sweet enough to taste rich and decadent. Date paste is the only sweetener in the actual brownie, but I did use a little raw honey in the glaze just for fun. (You could do the same with brown rice syrup, agave, or maple syrup.)

Substitutions that work for this recipe:

  • Whole wheat flour
  • coconut or avocado oil for the butter
  • almond extract for vanilla (I’m a big fan of this one!)

Fudgy Date Brownies

Am I a sugar-free convert? Not quite, but I am happy to be rid of the afternoon slumps, and most important to know I can give it up. I’ll be back with something sweet and sinful in February don’t you worry!

Check out the recipe for Fudgy Date Brownies below! Want another healthier brownie recipe? Check out this one for Fudgy Zucchini Brownies!

Fudgy Date Brownies

Fudgy Date Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies

Fudgy Brownies sweetened only with dates!


  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter* softened (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 cold eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Sea salt for sprinkling

For the glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons honey or other natural syrup-type sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract


Grease or line an 8x8 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350F.

In a food processor or blender, puree the dates and hot water until smooth. Measure out a cup of the paste (mine yielded exactly a cup,) and transfer to a large bowl with the butter.

Cream the butter and date paste until smooth.

Add the eggs, one at a time and vanilla extract, mixing until fluffy and smooth.

Add the cocoa and flour, and mix on low until well combined.

Spread batter into prepared pan, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle a little sea salt on top.

Bake for 18-23 minutes, or until edges are set. Allow pan to cool while you prepare the glaze.

Whisk together the butter, honey and cocoa powder. Add vanilla and whisk until smooth. If the glaze seems a little runny- add a dash more of cocoa powder. If it seems too thick- you can add a splash of milk. Drizzle over the brownies and sprinkle with more sea salt.

Brownies will last for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge.


*I didn't try, but I am sure coconut oil would work well as a sub for butter.

*Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Cocoa Brownies

Did you make this recipe?

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Fudgy Brownies sweetened only with dates! No sugar and SO good!


  1. I am so impressed with you! I have been trying more to reduce sugar rather than totally eliminate it…but we have a Jeni’s ice cream shipment coming today so I’m sure that’s about to go out the window. These sound like the perfect way to get your sweet fix but in a healthier way, though!

    1. I love these brownies!!! Such great texture and plenty of chocolate flavor to satisfy a craving! If you like chocolate but don’t want all the sweetness, these are the way to go. Thanks for the recipe!

    2. Your body can’t tell the difference between date sugar and ordinary sugar, sorry to say. It’s calories and sugar the same. Still give you diabetes if you don’t cut down.
      The recipe failed for me but my comment was removed! That’s not appropriate, as feedback is supposed to be honest and mine was !

      1. Sorry I never remove comments, but just realized I haven’t approved a bunch of them. Sorry this recipe failed for you- I don’t think date sugar isn’t sugar, but it certainly is healthier than refined sugar. Both are good in moderation.

        1. PS. Can’t seem to remove my first comment. Apologies. You didn’t remove my comment. Can you delete it pls?

      2. Isabella,

        Sugar does not give you diabetes. You need to either have a genetic predisposition or your pancreas does not produce beta cells for insulin. However sugars, refined or otherwise can raise your blood glucose levels and if your cells are insulin resistant or you do not produce insulin it can cause a person a glucose high that would need to be managed. However dates will also bring fiber to the party which as we all know is a good benefit. Plus if you make them with dark chocolate or dark cocoa you can also reduce the sugar content and provide yourself the benefits of dark chocolate too.
        Not mad just trying to educate and help people understand diabetes and how to enjoy the foods they eat in a healthy way.

      3. The dates add fiber, which helps lessen the impact of the sugar on the body. Much better than using table sugar!

      4. White sugar is processed. Dates are a whole food. There’s a huge difference in the way your body will respond between the two. Ultimately, moderation is always best for sweets, but whole foods will always a better option.

      5. Actually, that is not quite correct. You have to consider the fact that dates are very high in fiber and contain some minerals and vitamins while refined sugar does not have any of those. The fiber in dates slows the sugar absorption in comparison to refined sugar and they are also lower on the GI scale. That being said, brownies suppose to be a treat and not something to indulge in daily so if that is how you see it these are definitely healthier option than one made with refined sugar. You can also use a whole spelt instead of white wheat flour which further improves their nutritional profile. Once again – we are talking about dessert so moderation is important, but no your body is not affected by white sugar and whole dates in the exactly same way.

      6. I’m in agreement on the body converting all sugars to glucose; however, in defense of dates or other fruit, they contain oth macro and micro nutrients and fiber. The fiber helps to slow the absorption so the effects of sugar are lessened.
        Furthermore, if we eat food we make from scratch, or damn near, then we stand far less chance of getting type II diabetes or CV disease, and likely other inflammatory diseases.
        As much as I also like to put in a word for being health conscious, we have to do a better job of coming across without it being a negative comment. This doesn’t give us/them the right to scold others, so as a suggestion, find a way to end your commentary with something positive.
        Yes, too many people, specifically in North America, are too fat and unhealthy, but how about encouraging them to try different ways to ONCE IN A WHILE satisfy their sweet tooth with something besides a piece of fruit- which isn’t easy, coming from someone who likes sweet and savoury more than salt. Now, I’m going ahead and making these brownies and adding walnuts, and leaving out the glaze for good measure :)

      7. This is such a silly comment. All the anti-car fear porn out there from outdated low carb keto pseudo-science and quacks. All carbs break down to sugar. That’s not what makes it unhealthy. Your body runs on sugar. Too many calories causing one to be obese or fat is what causes diabetes, not sugar. It’s well established. One could eat pure sugar and if they do not overeat, they will lose weight AND normalize insulin. The totality of the studies on this show this. So stop blaming sugar and stop shoving so much food in your mouth and exercise.

      8. This is not true. Dates are very low on the glycemic index and DO NOT cause a spike in blood sugar. This has been proven in human studies.

    3. I don’t understand the 18-23 minute cooking time. Mine were raw. Had to bake for about 40 minutes to finally look cooked.

      1. I think a lot can be affected by climate, oven and humidity. I’m glad you continued to bake yours when you realized they weren’t done!

  2. These look fantastic Audra. I’m also impressed and hope you saved me a sample.

    1. These are the best fudge brownies ever. Thank you. They are great per the recipe and I also made them a little different by I adding a table spoon of non-sugar sweetener, a teaspoon of baking soda (made them a little fluffier) a half cup of zero sugar chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of walnuts plus I substituted half of the hot water with half and half. No need for the icing.

  3. Suuuuper fudgy (virtually fudge) style brownies, they were not what I expected but still absolutely delicious. Really dense, smooth texture great cold or warm with ice cream and not sickly sweet either which makes them incredibly moreish! I love them, thank you for the recipe :)

  4. Omg!!! these are the best brownies ever!!! Girl , you got it right!! I didn’t have unsalted butter so just used regular, used organic ingredients, and unbleached flour. I could have just made a meal of the date paste and butter and stopped there…..but I didn’t. Thank you for this awsum natural sugar recipe. I had dates just sitting in my fridge not sure what else to do with them. This is my new go-to brownie recipe.

  5. I love these brownies. The frosting (with coconut oil) is perfectly smooth and shiny, better than ganache! When I made them a second time I tried adding 1/4 cup pecan butter and adding 1 or 2 tablespoons maple syrup, but it did not improve the flavor that much. They are perfect just the way they are. Thank you Baker Chick!

  6. I made these date brownies for myself and my son. I used Pillsbury gluten free flour, added 1/4 cup brewed coffee and used 1/4 cup monkfruit natural sweetner. Instead of Cocoa powder, I used 1 square bakers pure chocolate. I also lined the 8×8 pan with parchment paper for easy to cut and remove from pan. They were really good!

  7. Made these on a snow day. Really tasty and would make again. Thank you,

  8. Just made these brownies! Thank you for posting such a fab recipe, they taste wonderful.

  9. This was awesome! The kids loved it! We all loved it actually! I had dates sitting in the fridge and found your recipe. Will definitely be making it again Thank you ☺️

  10. Hi Nancy! I was very bored, so thank you for giving me something to do. My math may be off, but I don’t think so. Here’s assuming you only eat one brownie if, say, you cut the pan into 12ths.
    Without the glaze: 205.7
    With the glaze: 233.03
    P.S: I just love this recipe. It’s certainly one of my favorite brownie recipes. Hopefully this helps!

  11. Currently baking this now and looking forward to it!!
    Just wondering if anyone has a substitute for the butter?

    1. I substituted with co onut oil! It took a bit longer in the oven for the toothpick to come out clean but very delicious!

  12. Can’t wait to try! I am confused about the note re: date paste (“mine yielded exactly a cup”) since the recipe says to make the paste with 1.5c dates and 1c water. How could 1c water with 1.5c dates added to it still be just 1c liquid??? Anyway, I care about the liquid because I was wondering if I could use milk instead of water and soak overnight then blend to make the paste part perhaps? I often like the richness from subbing milk for the water in recipes

    1. Great milk sub idea. I agree with the volume error. I’ll try your version, but the date paste might worked on the stove top amd measured afterwards. The blender wanted to cut my fingers off trying to get the last bit out.

  13. Have been trying to eat less sugar for a while now and discovered the joy of dates!! This recipe was so easy and the results delicious.

  14. I love these! I’ve made them several times, and add cinnamon and walnuts. Delicious. Thanks for the recipe! I try to cut down/out sugar, but most sugar reduced recipes either replace it with another sweetener (stevia), or also remove eggs, butter, and flour. I’m happy to have found this one!

  15. I veganized the recipe by using coconut oil as butter and a banana + 1/4 cup of applesauce as egg replacers. Had some dry ass dates left that I mixed with 1 cup of coffee instead of the water.

    I also only had 1/4 cup of cacao powder! I thought I had more and started the recipe before realizing I did not have enough. But I made it anyway.

    Because of the egg replacers/coconut oil it took 20min. longer in the oven for the toothpick to come out clean.

    But ohh myyy! This recipe is definitely a keeper! Love it! Fudgy deliciousness! My vegan housemate said it was probably the best vegan brownies he’s ever had!

    Will definitely make again! Next time with the right amount of cacao powder! 100/10 recommend!

    1. Thanks! That’s a awesome remix. I’m going to try it. Very creative.

  16. How much does 1.5 cup of pitted dates weigh? Google tells me anything from 150 grams to 310 grams, which would make a fair difference in the final brownies!

  17. After cutting refined sugar out of my diet and also craving a baked good- this was such a treat! I am wondering if adding chia seeds for a crunch would be tasty/ how to add a bit of crunch at the top? Either way very delicious and my boyfriend who is a brownie critic even likes them

  18. Not normally a “healthy” baker but these were such a pleasant surprise! Fantastic texture and weren’t extremely bitter like some of the other no-added-sugar recipes I’ve tried. A bit of powdered sugar on top and I enjoyed just as much if not more than other brownies I’ve tried. Will totally make again!

  19. These were mind-blowingly good! I subbed coconut oil. I added a quarter tsp of baking powder as well- which gave them a nice rise- but still super fudgey. I’m going to make these all the time. Thank you!

  20. I tried it. Went by the ingredients exactly.
    Dunno what went wrong.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  21. these were so good!! i was looking for a good recipe which used dates to use up all of the extra dates in my house after ramadan and this did the trick so well. i didn’t have unsalted butter, so i used salted, and i also used maple syrup instead of honey, but other than that i changed nothing and they turned out great. thanks for such a great recipe :)

  22. I never leave comments on blog posts for recipes, but WOW this deserved a comment! :)
    If anyone is on the fence about this recipe, go ahead and give it a go! I soaked my dates for about 20 minutes before blending them in the Vitamix with the Hot Water. I then added all the ingredients one a time to blend in the VitaMix. Poured in my pan and baked perfectly! I even added a small amount of mini chocolate chips at the end instead of the glaze. A++ recipe. Thank you for creating!
    P.s. I used freshly milled flour with the Soft White grain, and just added some Baking Powder, and it all worked beautifully. So in case anyone else does this — yes it works. :)

  23. hi there! totally loved this – didn’t even need the frosting!!
    quick question please: can i freeze these?
    big thanks!!

  24. Followed the recipe. These were really bland. The texture was good but just no flavour. Ate one piece and chucked the rest, such a waste.

  25. I just made this because I have some extra dates that need to be used up… I used coconut oil instead of butter and added a teaspoon of baking soda to give them a more fluffy texture. I sprinkled with flaked sea salt before baking. These brownies were incredible! Even my young boys ate them up (couldn’t tell the “special ingredient- YaY!) Just the perfect amount of sweet! I did not make the glaze but when I make them again I will. Thank you!

  26. I was skeptical about trying this recipe because some of the comments. I used two cups of dates instead, added a cup and 1/4 of hot water and left them to soak for about 5 minutes. Blended them and it became a smooth paste.

    Added a few things to jazz this recipe up. I used coconut oil instead of butter and added about a tablespoon of expresso powder and a pinch of salt, some walnuts and dark chocolate bits. Cooked it for about 20 minute only because I put it on a lower temp than what the recipe called for.

    This brownie came out ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!! IT IS AMAZING. So fudgy and smooth and you’d never guess it had dates in it and it was still pretty sweet,

    My boyfriend who HATES dates and coconut oil absolutely LOVED the brownies! He rated it a 4.4/5 so it was goooooood!

      1. HELP! So I bought a package of 32 oz dates. I soaked them and removed the pit. I am confused though when the recipe calls for 1 and 1/2 cups of dates…..is that WHOLE? I blended up all 32 oz. So how many cups do I use of the paste I made? It made a TON!!!!
        Thank you!

  27. Ridiculous! This could’ve used a heaped teaspoon of baking powder and much less cocoa! I wish I listened to my instinct coz it takes like a 9yr old tried making choc cake in a mug.
    This will be much better once I fix up the ingredients and make it much better.

  28. Wondering if anyone has tried subbing dried prunes in place of dates? I have a Costco package at home so it would be nice to be able to use that up!

  29. HELP! So I bought a package of 32 oz dates. I soaked them and removed the pit. I am confused though when the recipe calls for 1 and 1/2 cups of dates…..is that WHOLE? I blended up all 32 oz. So how many cups do I use of the paste I made? It made a TON!!!!
    Thank you!

  30. OMG so delicious. I had some paste left over (also delicious), added to some soya yoghurt with some oats for overnight oats!

  31. This was delicious! I did decide to add some chocolate chips since I can’t part ways completely. We have sooo many dates just sitting around and this recipe was just the way to use them up! Definitely fudgy and decadent!

  32. What do you think about using blackstrap molasses as the sweetener for the glaze? I need to increase my kid’s iron intake. Found these looking for date recipes and also planning to make some blackstrap molasses cookies. Ha! These brownies look delicious, and he loves chocolate so this might be a winner, but I wanted to check and see what you thought before I try the molasses route.

  33. These are AMAZING! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, I used oat flour, dark coco, coconut oil and a touch of maple syrup (don’t think I used enough dates) and they are the perfect texture and amazing flavor!

  34. Hi, are you sure the recipe calls for 3/4 cocoa? That’s a looott! Most brownie recipes usually have 1/3 cocoa.

    I added 3/4 and they’re SO bitter. I wish I added 1/3.

    1. Yes these call for 3/4. Sorry you found them bitter, I have made them several times and felt they were sweet enough. (Though since it’s a natural sugar they are definitely a different type of sweet.)

  35. Made these tonight and they are scrumptious! I only used 1 stick of butter and added a little oat milk to thin the batter. These are super fudgy and very rich! I’m in love!

  36. I made them exactly as written and they were good! Toasted a cup of walnuts, chopped them finely and pressed them into the sticky honey glaze; perfect! And stackable!

  37. Thank you for the great sounding recipe, I’m looking forward to trying it!
    What I love about dates are the following:
    1. They taste great
    2. They’re high in fiber
    3. They’re energizing
    4. Best of all, they’re not addictive and are less harmful (for me) than sugar!

  38. YUM! Eating 6 dates a day while pregnant right now and really needed a change from blending them into a smoothie or choking down 6 raw dates in a row – these brownies are SO GOOD and such a good treat! Will be back to make again possibly even when baby is here just because they’re delish!

  39. Wow! I used 1/2 cup of fat (half butter, half coco oil), added 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp chia and 1/4 cup ground flax + 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. I melted the fat, then added 1 cup choco chips (semi sweet), then all ingredients with flour last. These are sensational!

    My date mix made 1 1/2 cups, but dates are a tricky measure. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  40. WOW! These are amazing! I love dessert alternatives aka swapping in a somewhat cleaner ingredient such as dates instead of table sugar. These did not disappoint! Thanks for sharing!

  41. These are AMAZING! This was my first time making date paste, DELICIOUS. Thank you for this recipe ❤️

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