Being vegan doesn’t mean a life without brownies. Satisfy your sweet tooth with these cakey, chocolaty dairy-free brownies. Applesauce is used in place of eggs, vegetable oil in place of butter, and soy milk in place of its lactose-rich cousin. Nuts are optional.
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for coating the pan
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat an 8-by-8-inch square baking dish with vegetable oil; set aside.
Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and combine.
Place the applesauce, maple syrup, soy or nondairy milk, measured oil, and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts (if using). Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth out the top.
Bake in the oven until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. If not serving right away, cool completely, cover tightly, and store at room temperature. These brownies taste best if eaten within a day or two.