Lighter Chocolate Brownies

Lighter Chocolate Brownies

You will never know these Chocolate Brownies are lightened up. They are rich and fudgy with a perfect brownie texture. A chocolate lovers dream!

Original post January 10th 2021- Updated June 24th 2022

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Who can say no to a rich chocolaty brownie warm out of the oven? I mean, do you really wait the recommended time for them to cool? I’ll be the first to confess, not me!

Chocolate Brownies, especially are the ultimate guilty pleasure in my books. They have all the fundamentals of a great chocolaty dessert that are always hard to resist at any given occasion. The baking process alone is torture, am I right?

Unfortunately, because brownies are a high fat, high sugary treat, they don’t always settle well with my ridiculously sensitive tummy.🤔

With the help of my daughter (and because she loooves to bake) we created a Lighter Chocolate Brownie the whole family can enjoy and nobody gets hurt, lol.

Now when I say “Lighter” that doesn’t mean these are necessarily “healthy”. Although, they do have some wholesome ingredients like, wheat flour, applesauce, coconut oil, and cocoa powder. They are still a decadent treat we enjoy in moderation when we get a craving for a chocolate dessert.

Average Chocolate Brownie vs Lighter Chocolate Brownie Per Serving:

Average Chocolate Brownie-

  • 281 calories
  • 20 grams fat
  • 38 grams sugar

Lighter Chocolate Brownie-

  • 205 calories
  • 9.6 grams fat
  • 26.4 grams sugar

Often times when sweet treats have been lightened up (particularly baked goods) they lack in texture and flavor. These Lighter Chocolate Brownies have a soft fudgy center, chewy edges, and rich chocolate flavor. You won’t miss the extras, I promise!

Ingredients for Lighter Chocolate Brownies:

  • Butter– Unsalted or Salted
  • Coconut oil- This gives the brownies chewy edges.
  • Applesauce- I use unsweetened applesauce to replace some of the fat.
  • Sugar– Traditional brownies have 2 cups or more of sugar. This recipe only has 1 cup.
  • Salt
  • Eggs– Eggs help with texture and binding.
  • Vanilla Extract– This adds richness and flavor.
  • White Wheat Flour- I use white wheat flour for texture and because it has more nutrients than all-purpose flour. Note: wheat flour does have a few more calories than white flour but the trade off is the whole grains.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder– Using cocoa powder for the chocolate base in-place of a semi-sweet chocolate bar reduces the fat, sugar, and calories significantly. I like Hershey’s. cocoa powder.
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips- For insanely chocolate brownies use dark chocolate chips.

How To Make Lighter Chocolate Brownies:

  • In a small mixing bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter, coconut oil, applesauce, sugar and salt for 1 minute. The mixture should become thick after the 1 minute.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix for another 1 minute.
  • Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the top of the wet ingredients, and gently fold in using a large spoon until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Add chocolate chips and fold into batter
  • Pour batter into a 8-inch square pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and lined with parchment paper. This makes it so much easier after it’s baked.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes and let cool a few minutes before diving in!

More Chocolate Treats:

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Let’s eat!🤍

Lighter Chocolate Brownies

You will never know these Chocolate Brownies are lightened up. They are rich and fudgy with a perfect brownie texture. A chocolate lovers dream!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Prep Time: 10 minutes
25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 9 people
Calories: 205kcal
Author: Avery


  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, plus a few for the top dark chocolate if you want these insanely chocolaty
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup no-sugar-added applesauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup white wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • sea salt for sprinkling on top optional
  • non-stick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.

  • In medium size mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter, coconut oil, applesauce, salt, and sugar for 1 minute. The mixture should be thick.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and beat for 1 more minute or until light in color.
  • Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the top of wet ingredients. Gently fold in until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips and pour batter in prepared baking dish. Add a few more chips to the top and sprinkle with a little sea salt. This is optional. Bake for 25-30 minutes. We bake ours for 30 minutes.
  • Let cool for 10-15 minutes if you can wait that long and enjoy!


Be careful not to overmix batter- You’ll want to gently fold the dry ingredients with the wet just until combined. Do not use a mixer or whisk. A large spoon works best. 
Substitute with other baking chips- For intense chocolate flavor use dark chocolate chips. White chocolate and milk chocolate also work great.
Flour- White wheat is what I use for this recipe or all-purpose if I don’t have wheat on hand. Note: I have not used gluten-free flour blend for this recipe but feel free to try it and let me know in the comments how it turned out!
Cutting brownies– Spray knife with non-stick cooking spray to slice through the baked brownies. This will ensure a nice clean slice. Recipe is 9 servings but can be stretched to 18.
The nutritional facts are based on 1 square out of 9. This is a generous serving.  
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be understood as an estimate rather than a guarantee. The Menu Maid makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 205kcal
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 brownie square
Servings: 9
Amount per serving 
Calories 205
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9.6g12%
Saturated Fat 5.9g30%
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 54mg2%
Total Carbohydrate 30.5g11%
Dietary Fiber 2.2g8%
Total Sugars 26.4g 
Protein 2.8g 
Vitamin D 7mcg35%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg8%
Potassium 103mg2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Recipe analyzed by 


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2 thoughts on “Lighter Chocolate Brownies”

  • You had me at chocolate! Seth is the brownie maker in our house. I will be passing this along for his next go round!;)

    • They are so rich and chocolaty you may need a glass of red wine or a cup of black coffee to wash these down. Or both!😉

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