Rich Hazelnut Brownies

Hazelnut Brownies

I tasted my first brownies when I moved to Leipzig more than 15 years ago. And they were the best brownies ever. They were rich and fudgy and full of walnuts. They even had a chocolate topping! They are still available at the place I used to get them, but of course they are not vegan. So every time I visit Leipzig, I dream about those brownies!
I tried several times to recreate them. But honestly, what do I know about brownies? In Germany they are not really a big thing. Most people think it’s just chocolate cake baked in a square pan. I have had a lot of homemade brownies and most of them weren’t very good. Including my own. I could probably have started a business and sell my own bricks. Because that’s how they usually came out. I tried again and again and this time I really got it right.
Of course, if you look closely my recipe is not so special. It calls for way more chocolate than flour and sugar and when traditional brownies would call for eggs, this one is made with soy yoghurt. Nothing extraordinary. To me it is special though. In my mind these brownies taste exactly like the ones I used to eat in Leipzig. To me they are the best brownies in the world and they remind me of my favourite city and the fantastic time I spent there. And also, because several of my co-workers asked for the recipe, I had to finally post it!


  • The recipe calls for sunflower seeds. You can use ground almonds or hazelnuts instead.
  • If you have some Kahlúa on hand, it makes a great substitute for the rum. I made both versions and cannot decide with I like best. (I haven’t made these without alcohol, so don’t ask me for substitutes :) I think 2 tablespoons of soy milk should be fine though.)
  • Instead of the vanilla bean, you can use vanilla extract. I recommend using one whole tablespoon and reducing the alcohol to 1 tablespoon.
  • These keep very well refrigerated! Just wrap the individual squares tightly using plastic wrap.

Rich Hazelnut Brownies

(makes one 8 x 8 inch or 20 x 20 cm square pan)

120 g (1/2 cup) soy yoghurt
6 tablespoons rapeseed (canola) oil
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons rum
Seeds from one vanilla bean
120 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
170 g (6 oz) dark chocolate, melted
125 g (1 cup) hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm)  square pan with parchment paper.

In a food processor, combine yoghurt, oil, sunflower seeds, rum, and vanilla bean. Purée until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add to the liquid mixture and stir briefly. Pour the melted chocolate into the mixture and stir everything until well combined. Fold in the hazelnuts. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula to distribute the batter evenly. Bake for 15 minutes. Use a toothpick and check for doneness. If they appear too gooey in the centre, bake for another 3 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing into squares.

14 thoughts on “Rich Hazelnut Brownies

  1. hey c., wie gesagt, die brownies waren sehr lecker. also hab ich mich auch mal daran versucht, aber meine sind doch nicht so gut gelungen, wie deine… naja, übung macht den meister. auf jeden fall habe ich kokos-rum genommen. die kokos-note war sehr dezent, aber hat gepasst. ansonsten waren meine brownies schon zu durch, also anscheinend doch zu lange im ofen. mal sehen, ob ich das richtige maß rausbekomme. :)

    1. Ach, Schade! Die Brownies backen sich schneller als man denkt :) Aber immerhin haben sie geschmeckt.

  2. Hi Mihl,
    I made a batch of these yesterday for the cafe I work at and they are awesome!
    I used walnuts instead of hazelnuts and added a quarter of a cup of cocoa powder for an extra chocolate punch. SO RICH AND SO GOOD!
    I also subbed soy milk for the rum and there were no problems (except the obvious one:that there was no rum in them :P)
    I have to stress to anyone who makes these to please follow the directions and cool completely before slicing- I didn’t and ended up with some broken bits and pieces…oops!
    Thanks Mihl- these are delicious and so much easier/simpler than any other vegan brownie recipe I’ve tried :)

  3. The brownies look so perfectly rich and chocolatey with a chewy texture that looks exactly like I’d want my brownies to look. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. I love it when you finally veganise something just right! Flavours can bring back so many awesome memories and they sure look delicious.

  5. Holy crap, the batter was beauteous! They are done baking now and look beyond perfect. I’m gonna faceplant in them like I’ve never faceplanted in anything before. You watch me. (Please don’t.)

  6. I have everything at hand but will use ground almonds instead of the seeds just because I need to finish the bag of it. I’m also sending the link to my mom because chocolate + hazelnuts = best thing in her eyes, too. Can’t wait!

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