Goji Berry Brownies

April 29, 2013

in Other Desserts

Goji Berry Brownies

This past weekend was a good one. Beautiful weather, some potentially very exciting news for Aaron’s design firm (fingers and toes crossed!), and brownies. I clearly have brownies on my mind, seeing as how I’ve made them twice in the last two weeks.

This recipe is an adaptation of my gluten-free pumpkin brownies, using some of the modifications I mentioned in my last post, like applesauce instead of pumpkin and instant coffee powder to enhance the chocolate flavor (thank you, Ina Garten!). I also played around with the ratio of coconut sugar and stevia, which is always a delicate balance, and was successfully able to reduce the sugar. But what really makes these brownies are the goji berries that my very generous friend, Aimee, at Rich Nature sent me. I’ve posted about her products before and I’ll say it again – these are my favorite goji berries. They’re extra big and chewy and even better when combined with chocolate. What isn’t, right?

Rich Nature Goji Berries

I also need to give a shout out to Aaron for the photos in this post. Poor guy was saying on Sunday afternoon how he didn’t know what to do with himself because he was all caught up on work, and then I casually mentioned that I’d like to step up my food photography skills and showed him some of my favorite sites. There went his afternoon, explaining lenses and lighting and searching our apartment for new props. I tried to tell him I didn’t mean we needed to step things up right then and there, but he said “how would you react if I told you our neighbor makes the best gluten-free vegan brownies?” Okay, fair point.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves now.

Goji Berry Brownie SundaeGoji Berry Brownie Sundae 2Goji Berry Brownie Sundae 3Goji Berry Brownie Sundae 4Goji Berry Brownie Sundae 5Goji Berry Brownie Sundae 6

Goji Berry Brownies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9-12 brownies
Gluten-free, vegan, low-glycemic, low-fat brownies that are surprisingly dense and decadent. Goji berries lend a chewy texture and pair perfectly with the rich chocolate.
  • ¾ C. Unsweetened Applesauce
  • ⅓ C. Coconut Sugar
  • ¼ C. Melted Coconut Oil, plus 1 Tsp. for greasing the pan
  • 3 Tbs. Stevia Baking Blend (or more Coconut Sugar to Taste)
  • ½ C. Raw Cacao powder (or Cocoa Powder)
  • ¼ C. Sorghum Flour
  • ¼ C. Sweet White Rice Flour
  • ¼ C. Arrowroot Starch (Tapioca or Potato Starch will also work)
  • 1 Tsp. Instant Coffee Powder (optional, but it enhances the chocolate flavor)
  • ¼ Tsp. Fine Sea Salt
  • ¼ Tsp. Baking Soda
  • ⅓ C. Goji Berries, soaked in water for 5 minutes & drained
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan with 1 Tsp. of coconut oil and set it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the ¼ C. of melted coconut oil and the goji berries.
  4. Slowly add the melted coconut oil to the mixture, making sure to mix constantly so that it doesn’t turn solid and form clumps (a stand mixer is helpful for this).
  5. Fold in the goji berries.
  6. Transfer the brownie batter to the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer with a spatula.
  7. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.
  8. When the brownies are done, the top should feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  9. Allow the brownies to cool slightly before cutting.
  10. To really take things to the next level, top them with vanilla non-dairy ice cream and a sprinkle of goji berries.
Feel free to use your favorite gluten-free flour or blend. An all-purpose blend or brown rice flour will probably also work well. If you’re not gluten-free, this recipe is also great with spelt or whole wheat pastry flours. Use ¾ C. total if you use a gluten flour. It may not seem like enough batter when you first transfer it to the baking pan, but I promise it is. Just use a spatula to spread it into an even layer. Or, for a thicker brownie, double the recipe and adjust the baking time accordingly. For something a bit more decadent, try mixing ⅓ C. of vegan chocolate chips into the brownie batter before baking.


P.S. Don’t forget to enter the cooksimple giveaway!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Caitlin April 29, 2013 at 1:35 pm

wow! these look amazing! the texture looks so soft and moist!


Cadry April 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Holy crap, Amanda! Those photos and brownies are amazing! I can only imagine how much restraint it took to not grab your fork and dive in while the ice cream melted over those brownies. Fabulous job to Aaron! You’re lucky to have him there for guidance!


Amanda April 29, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Thanks, Cadry! I am so lucky to have Aaron to help me with my photography. I fear I might be shooting with my iphone without him. ;)


Sondi April 29, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I wouldn’t have thought you needed to ‘step up’ your food photography – your photos are always beautiful! I guess there is always more to learn, though. These brownies are looking mighty tasty, and I don’t even like gojis all that much. I’ve had a pound of them in my pantry for awhile now and I barely use them. These give me an excuse!


Amanda April 30, 2013 at 8:28 am

Thanks so much, Sondi! Like you said, photography is definitely one of those things where there’s always more to learn, and I’m constantly inspired by other blogs.
Let me know if you make the brownies! You could also use the goji berries in smoothies and blend them with other fruits/veggies to tame the flavor. :)


dixya@food, pleasure, and health April 30, 2013 at 11:02 am

your pictures are always great Amanda :) but there is always so much to learn in photography. I have not tried Goji berries yet but I love how you always play with different flour combination. Talking about that I picked up the copy of Flour, Water, Yeast Salt – so far its marvelous


Michelle Collins April 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I <3 Ina, and have gotten so many cooking and baking tips from her over the years. These brownies look delicious!


Abby @ The Frosted Vegan April 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

These are gorgeous! Love the goji berry addition!


Amanda April 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Thanks, Abby! Your blog is adorable, by the way. :)


Kathryn Stratford April 30, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I have never had Goji berries, but these look delicious! I like the selection of ingredients you have in it, and I am curious about the instant coffee tip. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us!


Amanda May 1, 2013 at 9:04 am

The instant coffee tip is one of the more valuable things I picked up after years of watching Ina Garten. ;) Give it a try the next time you’re baking with chocolate!


Kait @ yogabeautylife April 30, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Dear Amanda,

I can e-mail you my address and paypal you some money if you would send some of these to a broke grad student who’s getting over the flu and has her master’s thesis due Friday.

Love, Me


Amanda May 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

haha That does sound like a rough week. I was thinking about making another batch of brownies for family this weekend…I could always double the recipe and send some your way! :)


Tina May 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Beautiful! Do you mind if I share this on my blog (Vegan Foody)?


Amanda May 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Hi Tina, you are welcome to include a photo. I would just ask that you link back to my post so people can get the recipe. Thanks!


Tina May 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Thanks so much!


Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} May 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Oh yummy! I love goji berries, these brownies look super chocolatey and decadent.


Natural Source Biotech Co., Ltd May 8, 2013 at 5:28 am

wow! these look amazing! i love it very much,goji berries is best super food.We grow and offer it in Ningxia


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