Nearly Primal Habañero Brownies – Gluten-Free/Vegan

Nearly Primal Habañero Brownies – Gluten-Free/Vegan

My friend, J. Kathleen Cheney, posted a link to a recipe for Habañero Brownies that sounded absolutely fantastic. Chocolate! Hot Peppers! Yum!

Since I still had hot peppers in the freezer from my crop this past summer, I decided I had to try adapting the recipe. I keep gluten-free and lactose-free and generally low-sugar and carb, so I figured I might as well go all out and try twisting the recipe up until it was gluten-free, vegan, white sugar free, and low carb. It turned out good enough that I’ll definitely be making it again!

Of course, if you can eat the original gluten, dairy, and sugar filled recipe, I’m absolutely sure it’s sweeter, richer, and tasty! The link is above. I hear it’s a most wonderful spicy brownie!

Also, if you don’t need/want to keep sugar-free or vegan, I included ingredient options that should also work. I haven’t tried all variations, but my experimentation tells me the substitutions should work. Let me know if you try a variation.

Also, I personally prefer very dark rich chocolate — 80% or darker — and not overly sweet. If you prefer sweeter chocolate goodies, try one of the secondary sweetness options I included in the recipe and let me know how it turns out.

Nearly Primal Habañero Brownies - Gluten-Free/Vegan

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 16 brownies


Brownie Ingredients:

  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate bar
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine, grape seed oil, or butter
  • 1 fresh habañero (add 1 or 2 more for spicier!)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice (from zested orange)
  • 4 eggs or the equivolent using egg replacer and water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup walnuts

CHOOSE ONLY ONE!!! Brownie sweetener (4 options)

  • 10 packets your favorite low-cal sweetener (like stevia) for a LOW SUGAR option OR
  • 1 cup agave syrup for a LOWER GLYCEMIC option OR
  • 1 cup maple syrup for a LOWER FODMAP option OR
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/2 cup additional butter for the SWEET and RICH option

Icing Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Cream Cheese or dairy-free cream cheese substitute (like Tofutti "Better Than Cream Cheese")
  • 3 Tbsp Earth Balance or butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp Hatch Chili  or ground smoked chipotle pepper  or  other hot chili powder (More for spicier.)
  • 3 tsp cinnamon (I prefer Vietnamese)
  • 4 packets favorite powdered sweetener or enough powdered sugar to make it sweet and creamy


Brownie Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F; grease one 8x8" baking pan.
  • Melt chocolate and butter at low heat. Stir to avoid burning.
  • Very finely dice habañero pepper and add it to chocolate mixture. Also add orange zest and juice. Set aside.
  • Combine sweetener (your choice of stevia or agave or maple syrup or sugar) and eggs or egg substitute. If using regular sugar add the extra butter/oil now as well. Blend until smooth.
  • Add baking soda and almond flour to the egg mixture and mix until incorporated.
  • Add chocolate mixture to the batter and mix well.
  • Fold in walnuts.
  • Pour batter into baking pan. If it's thick, pat it flat. Bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into brownie comes out clean. While cooking, make frosting.

Frosting Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients until nice and soft, but not liquified. Taste test. Add more Stevia or powdered sugar until sweet enough for you. Add more chili pepper until as hot as you'd like.

Assembly Instructions:

  • When brownies are done, remove the pan from the oven and let cool.
  • When cool enough to not melt the frosting, frost the top.
  • Devour. I'm currently on my second piece. That was a tasty breakfast.


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