Oil-free Carob Swirl Brownies


These are New Year’s resolution approved brownies. They’re oil-free, chocolate free (for those of you who have given up caffeine in 2013), flourless, under 15 grams of sugar and only 200 calories each.

Make a batch and enjoy the fudgy goodness of a traditional brownie without all the added stuff. You’ll stick to your goals, indulge mindfully, and perhaps even learn that you can live a life of abundance without restriction and still be on the road to improving your health.

And if you’re more of the school of thought that approaches each day of the year as an opportunity to change, know that treating yourself to these brownies is just one more step to achieving balance along the way.

Oil-free Carob Swirl Brownies (3)

If you’re not allergic to dairy, you can made the swirl top of the brownies with Happy Days Goat Dairy for added nutrient awesomeness or prepare with my vegan cream cheese recipe for a batch of dairy-free brownies. I’ve tested both options and have included them in the recipe below.

Goat dairy nutrient comparison

Many of you have asked for a comparison between goat’s milk, cow’s milk and a high protein non-dairy milk. Here’s how they stack up:

 Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup serving) Goat’s Milk (Happy Days Dairies) 3.7% Cow’s MilkUnsweetened Soy Milk (Edensoy)
 Calories 168 cal 156 cal 120 cal
 Total fat 10 g 9 g 6 g
 Saturated fat 7 g 9 g 1 g
 Cholesterol 27 mg 34 mg 0 mg
 Sodium 122 mg 120 mg 5 mg
 Total Carbohydrate 11 g 11 g 5 g
 Dietary Fiber 0 g 0 g < 1 g
 Sugars 11 g 11 g 2 g
 Protein 9 g 8 g 12 g

As you can see, the nutrient profiles of goat’s milk and cow’s milk are quite similar. Also, if you’re dairy-free, you’ll see that drinking a high protein non-dairy milk will still give you similar nutrients. What comes into play here are the four pillars that make up a healthy milk source. There are specific nutrients (not displayed in the nutrition tables) that bring goat’s milk ahead of the game compared to the other two.

Another option, if you’re sensitive to soy and dairy in general is to add protein powder to your non-dairy milk, such as almond or rice, to boost it’s nutrient profile. Just add everything to a juice jug and have it on hand for recipes, cereal, you name it.

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And last thing to mention, too is the option to make this recipe nut-free. You could use any nut or seed butter you want, really. I made one batch with roasted almond butter and the other with organic sunbutter. Each were equally delicious, we couldn’t tell the difference between the two.

Okay, let’s get to making these brownies, shall we?

Oil-free Carob Swirl Brownies (86)

To view the dairy-free version of this recipe, click here.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Oil-free Carob Swirl Brownies
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Dairy-free (option), Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free (option)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
Flourless carob swirl brownies made with almond butter, coconut nectar and mashed dates. Much healthier than your everyday brownie but just as fudgy and delicious!
Brownie Base:
Cream Cheese Swirl:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare an 8×8 baking dish by draping it with parchment paper on either ends.
  2. After dates have soaked for 30 minutes, drain and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
  3. Combine almond butter, eggs, milk, date puree, nectar and extract in the bowl of your stand mixer or combine in a large-sized bowl with a hand mixer. Mix until smooth.
  4. Add carob powder, baking soda and sea salt. Mix until just combined.
  5. Drop mixture into prepared baking sheet and set aside.
  6. To prepare cream cheese swirl, add ingredients to a bowl and whip until smooth.
  7. Drop 9 dollops onto the top of the brownies. Then, starting in the corner, place knife in the middle of the far dollop and drag through the batter, end to end. Loop back to the next row of dollops and do it again. Repeat until marbled.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Slide out of the pan, cut into 16 squares and enjoy!
I did not test this recipe without eggs but if you're looking for an egg-free brownie recipe, I've posted something very similar to this recipe here.

 View nutrition information (once on page, scroll down) for the dairy-free version of this recipe

Oil-free Carob Swirl Brownies (93)

I suppose cocoa powder could be used in place of the toasted carob powder. We both loved the toasted carob for it’s richness. That, and carob doesn’t give me acne as chocolate has been doing lately!

Begin by mashing the dates with a potato masher. If you don’t have one, try using a fork or food processor.


You don’t need a stand mixer for this recipe, I just couldn’t help myself but come up with a recipe that required me to use mine (best Christmas present ever!).

The batter will be just like traditional brownie batter. If eating raw eggs doesn’t give you the heebie jeebies, I highly encourage you to lick the beaters, spoon, bowl, whatever you can get your hands tongue on, really.


Once the batter is all over your face in the pan, quickly prepare the cheese top and drop dollops onto the batter.

All you have to do now is take a knife and connect the dollops like the picture on the right. I always imagined swirls on the tops of cakes being difficult, but it’s super easy!


Bake and you’re good to go.

Whether you enjoy this recipe with goat’s dairy or dairy-free, I just know you’re going to love them!

What’s the milk of choice in your home?

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Compensation was provided by Happy Days Dairies. The opinions expressed herein are those of Healthful Pursuit and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Happy Days Dairies.

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Oh my lord these sound amazing. Would definitely give the SunButter ago, though Maranatha is a close second in terms of favourite nut/seed butters! As always love that you provided a dairy free version for us vegans!

    • They are my favorite too, and Artisana coconut butter is delicious! Have you tried it? I have to limit my purchases of it to avoid eating too much and developing an allergy to coconuts… it’s THAT good! Enjoy the brownies :)

  2. These are so beautiful Leanne, and they look so decadent! For a second I wondered if that jar of Sunbutter was the same one you bought here, but then figured it couldn’t be since I’m pretty sure about 3/4 was demolished before you left! ;)

    • hahaha there isn’t a jar of nut butter that survives more than 7 days in this house :$ I wish I could say it was Kevin… but it SO isn’t…

  3. I really need to try carob again! I tried it once, probably about 12 years ago, and didn’t like it. My taste buds were a LOT different back then though, so I wonder if I’d enjoy it more now . . . .

    • I was in the same boat, Michelle and I’d tried it just a couple of years ago. I think I’d had the non-toasted carob. Boy, what a difference the toasting makes! If you give it a try, I’d love to hear how you like it!

  4. I love any recipe that will let me eat brownies guilt free – they are my ultimate weakness!

    • Mindfully indulge away, Erin :) I’m with you, hook me up to an IV of brownie awesomeness. I could stay there forever!

  5. My husband still drinks cows milk, but I drink So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk. It isn’t far my favorite milk alternative for taste and texture! These brownies look divine, but I’ll have to try the eggless recipe first :)

    • It’s all about the texture, right? It took me a couple of years to get over the texture of non-dairy milks but there are a couple out there that totally hit the spot. Enjoy the brownies!

  6. I can’t thank you enough for these! I’ve been off caffeine for almost a year now, and I still want to cry every time I see someone post a new chocolate brownie recipe. This has definitely been added to my weekend to-bake list!

    • We don’t want no tears! I’m happy that this recipe could light up your day, Molly. Can’t wait to hear how you liked them! (After finishing 3 squares last night) I told Kevin that they were chocolate-free and he wouldn’t believe me so I think you’ll love them!

  7. Yum! These look awesome! My favorite “milk” is So Delicious Coconut Milk beverage.

    • I really enjoy their coconut milk too, Lesley. Great choice!

  8. that’s exactly what hits the spot! Brownies are my weakness, but I’m so picky at the same time. I used to want 3 or more layers of chocolate and icing to boot. I’m going to need some of these in the freezer for emergencies. I’m in love with this recipe. YUMMY!!!

    • The pictures don’t do them justice. Just opened the container to snack on a couple more today and they’re SO rich. They went all fudge awesome on us overnight. Mmm.

  9. Leanne,

    Did using carob in the vegan brownies you linked to not work out, prompting you to make these? Or did you just desire an entirely different brownie? I don’t consume eggs but am in love with carob brownies!

    • Hi Liz – the vegan brownies I linked to I had only tried with cocoa powder, never with carob. I would imagine that it would work well, but you may need a bit more liquid in the recipe as I’ve found that carob makes things a lot more stickier! That, or you could try using 1/3 cup carob powder to start with that egg-free recipe and take it from there. I think next up I’ll have to figure out a carob vegan brownie… but that’s another recipe for another day! Would love to know how yours turn out when you give it a try.

  10. Wow, I just stumbled upon your website and your recipes look amazing! I’m doing a whole foods cleanse right now and I was looking for some good recipes. Thanks for sharing all of these! I can’t wait to try them.

    • Hi Mauri – I’m so happy that you found me :) Good luck with your cleanse program. A bunch of readers and I did a Fall cleanse a couple of months ago. You may find the post helpful as it lists a bunch of cleanse-worthy recipes that you can find here on the blog. Here’s the link if you’re interested.

  11. omg, my jaw dropped to the keyboard when this post loaded up!!!! I had a good chuckle about the batter not making it to the pan….. :P guilt-free brownie baking in the new year – wooohooo!

    • Oh man, I couldn’t stop licking the bowl. The batter was just THAT good. Enjoy, Dayanna :)

  12. Hi Leanne,
    This recipe looks amazing! Do you think the full fat coconut milk is a dealbreaker? Would these brownies turn out with another type of dairy free milk (I only have almond…trying to make this using what I have!)? Thank you!

    • Hmm I wondered that when I went on to make the third batch of these trying to get the recipe right. I bet you could get away with using 5 tablespoons of regular milk and 3 tablespoons of coconut butter or additional nut butter. Looking forward to hearing how you like them!

      • I just made them with all almond milk AND replaced the sugar with liquid stevia. I was sure they wouldn’t turn out after my modifications, but they were AWESOME! Amazing texture and flavor…thank you so much for this recipe!

        • Wow… I’m impressed that they worked! So happy that you’re enjoying them, Lauren!

  13. These look so good Leanne. Love carob. But more importantly, Im so glad to know about Happy Days Dairies! I’ve just checked out the website and will definitely be ordering. PS – I’m proabably heading to the ashram in march. My mom has been there for months. I’m super stoked. Did you get back there again? I think you mentioned you were going again (a while back).

    • Hi Heather – isn’t it the best? I remember trying carob a couple of years ago and hating it. I think it was the raw version? Toasted carob is where it’s at. Happy Days is such a great company, through and through. They have such great products, great people, I can’t say enough positive things about them. I’m sure you’ll love them, too! The plan was to go back this September… but we ended up moving so I couldn’t. Enjoy your stay! Such a beautiful place.

  14. Oh my! So so good! The kids have no idea they are healthy and they completely kick my chocolate cravings! thanks a bunch!

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