Whole Wheat Brownies

Behold our brand new Whole Wheat Brownies recipe! They are rich, decadent as every homemade brownie should be, and so much better than boxed brownies. Made in only one bowl, with a handful of pantry staples, and 15 minutes of hands-on prep, these simple brownies are sure to please!

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Why We Love This Recipe For Whole Wheat Brownies

These rich and decadent chocolate brownies have all the hallmarks of traditional boxed mix brownies, a shiny crackly top, dense and chocolatey, not too cakey and they have a lot of deep chocolate flavor. But these wheat brownies are made with whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour!

Made with whole grains for higher fiber

Rich chocolate flavor from cocoa and bittersweet chocolate

Has the texture of a traditional boxed brownie mix with a a shiny top

Uses pantry staples

1 bowl recipe!

They’re the perfect casual dessert for a potluck, barbecue, bake sale, picnic or to make for Valentine’s day. They will not disappoint! Please let us know what you think by leaving a star rating and review at the bottom of the blog post!

A Note From Katie

We’re making no bones about it, these brownies are not health food. Full stop. IMO, when it comes to brownies- they better be worth it. So I tasked our contributor Laura, a classically trained pastry chef with decades of hands-on baking experience, to come up with a really good whole-wheat brownie recipe for Healthy Seasonal Recipes.

She got right to work and tested and retested this recipe more than a half dozen times. When she brought me a sample of the final recipe… let’s just say that these bad boys have earned their spot on the Best Of Healthy Seasonal List for a reason. They are spectacularly good.

Happy Cooking ~K

Key Ingredients for this Recipe

Whole Wheat Flour: We used white whole wheat flour for its milder taste. And while it’s lighter in color, it is 100% whole wheat and carries all the same nutritional benefits as its darker whole wheat counterpart.

Oil: Used to help reduce saturated fats while providing that rich, fudgy texture we all know and love; feel free to use your favorite neutral cooking oil.

Butter: To keep saturated fat lower in this recipe, we used one stick of unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter on hand, reduce the additional amount of salt to about 1/4 teaspoon.

Bittersweet Chocolate Chips: Dark chocolate chips provide an intense chocolate flavor. If you like a sweeter brownie, simply swap in semi-sweet chocolate chips or even milk chocolate chips!

Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder: For this classic brownie recipe we used a natural cocoa powder, such as unsweetened Hershey’s. This is important because natural cocoa is naturally acidic, unlike Dutch Processed, which reacts with the baking soda to leaven the brownies.

Powdered Sugar: Contains cornstarch which helps with the shiny crackled crust and gives the brownies that traditional boxed brownie texture.

Granulated Sugar: To sweeten the brownies we used granulated white sugar. Subbing brown sugar for the granulated sugar will result in a chewier brownie; granulated sugar helps get the shiny crackled crust on top.  I would suggest only subbing ½ of the granulated sugar for brown sugar and not eliminating it all

Baking Soda: Baking soda is a chemical leavener that reacts with acidic ingredients. In the case of brownies, the acidity comes from the cocoa powder. You don’t need much soda though, you want enough to give the brownies lift without making them cakey. We found that 1/4 teaspoon lightened their texture but they are still dense and fudgy.

Eggs: I know four eggs sounds like a lot, but know that we made the mistake of making these with two eggs instead of four and the texture of the brownies was all wrong. The eggs act to help lighten the texture and bonds with the oil and butter so that the fat is incorporated into the batter. Along with the sugar, the egg also helps to give the brownies that special shiny texture on top!

Pantry Staples: vanilla extract, kosher salt

Step By Step Instructions To Make These Wheat Brownies

Step 1: Prepare Pan and Preheat Oven

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly coat a metal 9-x-13 baking pan with cooking spray. Then, line it with parchment paper so it overhangs the sides. 

Step 2: Melt Butter, Sugar and Chocolate

Microwave butter and oil in a large microwave safe bowl using high heat. It’s best to cover the bowl with plastic wrap because the butter will pop and splatter. Cook until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot, about 2 minutes.

Remove plastic wrap. Stir in granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Continue heating on high, stopping to stir the mixture after 30 seconds or so, until the sugar has dissolved slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from the microwave and whisk in 3/4 cup chocolate chips, until shiny and chips have melted, about 30 seconds.

If you do not have a microwave you can do this in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Do not place the chocolate over the heat. Let the carryover heat melt the chocolate.

Step 3: Add Eggs

To the chocolate mixture add in eggs and vanilla and stir until eggs are incorporated, do not overmix.

Pro Tip: Bring eggs to room temperature before adding to the brownie batter as they will be easier to incorporate.

Step 4: Mix in Dry Ingredients

Mix in flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and the remaining cup of chocolate chips into the chocolate mixture. Stir until just combined.

Step 5: Bake and Enjoy!

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake on the center rack until the edges are puffed and the center comes out mostly clean when tested with a toothpick. Cool in the pan for about 2 hours on a cooling rack. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

FAQs and Expert Tips

How do I store leftover whole wheat brownies?

Store any leftover brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or individually wrap bars and store them in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Can I bake these healthy wheat brownies in a glass dish?

You certainly can! Just be aware that you may need to reduce your cooking time by 5-10 minutes.

Variations To Try

Enhance the chocolate flavor by adding 1 teaspoon of espresso powder with the dry ingredients

Swap semi-sweet chocolate chips for a sweeter brownie

Want a chewier brownie? Use 3/4 cup granulated sugar plus 3/4 cup brown sugar

Add in your favorite chopped candy bar or your favorite candy-coated candies

Mix in your favorite dried fruits, such as cranberries or cherries, for added natural sweetness

Swirl in your favorite creamy peanut butter for that classic chocolate and peanut butter combo

Additional Bar Cookie Recipes To Try

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie


Whole Wheat Brownies

Laura Kanya

Total Time:
2 hour 50 minutes

24 servings


These one-bowl Whole Wheat Brownies require 15 minutes of hands-on prep work and are rich, decadent, and healthier than a classic box mix recipe!


½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup avocado oil, organic canola oil, or neutral oil
1 3/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven 325F. Lightly coat a 9-x-13 metal pan with cooking spray, then line parchment so the paper is overhanging the sides.
Microwave butter and oil in a large microwave safe bowl with high heat, covered with plastic wrap, until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot, about 2 minutes. Remove plastic wrap. Stir in granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Continue heating on high, stopping to stir the mixture after 30 seconds or so, until the sugar has dissolved slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and whisk in 3/4 cup chocolate chips, until shiny and chips have melted, about 30 seconds.
Stir eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture until the eggs are just mixed in. Don’t over-stir, or a thick crust will develop on top.
Stir flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and the remaining 1 cup chips into the chocolate mixture until just combined.
Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake until edges are puffed and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, about 35 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 2 hours on a cooling rack. Cut into 24 brownies.


Store brownies at room temperature for up to 3 days or individually wrap bars and freeze for up to 1 month.

If using a glass pan, you may need to reduce the cooking time by 5-10 minutes.


Swap in semi-sweet chocolate chips for a sweeter brownie.
Don’t over-mix the eggs in the batter or a thick meringue-like crust will develop on the top.
Be sure to not skip heating the sugar in step 2 as this helps to dissolve the sugar in the recipe and create that shiny crackly crust.

Prep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 35 minutesCategory: DessertMethod: BakedCuisine: American


Serving Size: 1 brownie
Calories: 270
Sugar: 21 g
Fat: 15 g
Carbohydrates: 32 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 4 g

Keywords: whole wheat brownies, wheat brownie, whole wheat brownie recipe, whole wheat brownie, wheat flour brownies, brownies made with whole wheat flour

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