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Olive Oil and Cocoa Brownies

4.94 from 93 community reviews

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Fudgy, gooey brownies made with olive oil and cocoa powder — an easy recipe with deep chocolate flavor.

Cocoa Brownies cut into squares, topped with cacao nibs

Brownies baked with olive oil (instead of butter) might seem strange, but trust me here.

When you want chewy, fudgy brownies made without dairy and nothing else will do, these babies are the ones.

Can you make brownies with olive oil?

Yes, you can! And if you’re into the healthy side of life,  olive oil and cocoa happen to be two ingredients that are loaded with all the good stuff that helps the sugar go down.

That would include good things like antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids and who knows what else.

Brownies cut into squares, with cacao nibs on top and a serving spatula.

I used my everyday extra-virgin olive oil and unsweetened cocoa powder for the brownies pictured here.

There’s a pleasant olive oil flavor that comes through. If you prefer, substitute olive oil with a roasted nut oil, such as hazelnut or walnut, which both pair beautifully with cocoa.

Cocoa powder for brownies

Using good quality cocoa is another key. For this brownie recipe, it doesn’t matter if you use Dutch-processed or natural cocoa (which is simply cocoa that isn’t treated with an alkalizing agent).

But using one with a high percentage of cacao will make these brownies taste even more like the deep, intense chocolate bomb you crave.

One of my favorite Dutch-processed cocoa powders for baking is this one. This one has a rich, ruddy color almost like terracotta, that makes a gorgeous chocolate cake.

Stack of moist and gooey Olive Oil and Cocoa Brownies

I couldn’t help thinking of Nigella Lawson when I made these brownies. Some of my all-time favorite food words come from Nigella, especially when it comes to her Chocolate Guinness Cake, which she describes as “magnificent in its black dampness”.

I suppose you could say these brownies are dark, moist and rich, but black dampness is so much more sensual and tempting, don’t you think?

More of my favorite chocolate recipes:

Olive Oil and Cocoa Brownies

Olive Oil and Cocoa Brownies

Karen Tedesco
Rich, fudgy and intense dairy-free Olive Oil and Cocoa Brownies are easy to make and loaded with chocolate flavor.  
Print Pin
4.94 from 93 community reviews
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Chocolate
Cuisine Baking
Servings 16 Brownies


  • ½ cup (70 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (80 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt, or ½ teaspoon sea salt or other brand of kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1¼ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup (125 g) cacao nibs, optional


  • Heat oven to 325 (160C) degrees with a rack positioned in the center.
  • Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with olive oil. Cut a piece of parchment to fit just the bottom of the dish and oil that too.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into a bowl (a mesh strainer is perfect for this job).
  • Beat the eggs in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for a minute. Increase speed to medium-high while adding the sugar 1/2 cup at at time. Beat until the eggs are pale, thick and creamy.
  • Decrease mixer speed and slowly add the oil in a thin stream, as if you were making an emulsion like mayonnaise. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture in 3 or 4 additions until just incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the cacao nibs over the top, if using.
  • Bake 30- 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies emerges with some moist crumbs.
  • Cool the pan completely on a rack before cutting into serving pieces.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • The brownies will keep well 1-3 days at room temperature.
  • If you don’t love the taste of olive oil, substitute with a roasted nut oil such as hazelnut or walnut, or a neutral oil like canola or avocado.
  • Note on salt: I bake with Diamond kosher salt, which is about half as salty as other brands of kosher salt. Reduce the amount of salt by half if you’re not using Diamond.


Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. Maria Ch. says:

    5 stars
    Best brownie recipe I be made, and I have tried quite a lot of recipes from around the web / cookbooks.
    Fudgy, tasty, so sorry I didn’t make a double batch 😉
    Took it to a small picnic gathering and it was a hit!

  2. 4 stars
    The recipe has way too much salt. I found it too salty as written. You can cut back to half or one quarter the amount. Also, I could taste the olive oil in the original. It wasn’t terrible, but I prefer making it with a roasted nut oil such as roasted almond or roasted hazelnut, or a flavorless oil like safflower. The addition of the nibs is sublime. It’s difficult to find a good oil-based brownie recipe, so thank you.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I love the idea of using roasted nut oils in place of olive oil — they pair so well with cocoa! As for the salt, certainly use less next time. I bake with Diamond kosher salt, which is about as half as salty as Morton’s or other types of sea salt (recipe updated to note that)…

  3. mustafa rachid says:

    5 stars
    It’s my second time making this recipe.
    I used xylitol instead of sugar. To reduce my sugar intake.
    I think reading other comments i will try reducing sweetener in half — because xylitol is expensive! I think decreasing sweetener would also help malleability, it feels a bit “thick” and difficult to spread into the 8×8 pan.
    But thank you for the recipe, it was difficult to find a recipe high in cacao and olive oil, and low in flour and chocolate chips.

  4. 5 stars
    I wanted to make the olive oil brownies, but discovered I was low on olive oil, so I used canola oil instead. They were still delicious! Very moist and chocolatey! On top I sprinkled mini semisweet chips which worked very well. How can I cut them so they end up looking smooth and nice? I used a hot knife, but is there an easier way? Thank you for the recipe, Now that I want to decrease butter and increase olive oil in my diet, this fits the bill!

    1. Hi Marge – A hot knife is actually the best way to cut through any baked good that’s soft and gooey, and second to that a long piece of dental floss, held taut on both ends. Glad you enjoyed!