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Applesauce Brownies

These Applesauce Brownies have absolutely no refined sugar, no butter/oil, and use whole wheat flour!

I always have such a struggle with recipe ideas for back-to-school time. It seems like most food bloggers take one of two approaches (within the dessert realm in which I live…): cute-sy back to school food (you know, food that looks like an apple or a bag of treats with a cute teacher poem) or after-school snacks.

I don’t do cute… so that’s out.

And I always have this moral dilemma with posting sugar-laden snack recipes purposed for kids. I mean, I know I post nothing but desserts. But I figure that we all have some basic understanding that I don’t mean for you all to go out and make and eat alllllllllll the desserts in a day. I mean, most of us have a grasp on moderation and appropriate times for eating dessert, right? Er…. cause I totally do ;)

In all seriousness, I’m actually a stickler for healthy eating in my home. I try really, really hard not to feed my kid cookies and brownies for snacks on a daily basis. So I just can’t bring myself to push tons of sugary after-school snack recipes on you guys (although I admittedly slid in a sly line about yesterday’s krispie treats being a great back-to-school snack…. oops. Moderation, people!).

I thought I’d share this recipe for healthier brownies instead! They actually would make a great after-school treat while simultaneously taking the edge off your chocolate cravings without the guilt.

In this brownie recipe (an adaptation of my Fudgy Chocolate Chunk Brownies) applesauce replaces the butter and 1/2 cup honey replaces the normal 1 cup granulated sugar! Which means there’s no butter or oil at all and no refined sugar. I use whole wheat flour, but you could use white if you wanted– up to you. And I tossed in a handful of 86% cacao chocolate chunks (I just chopped up a Ghirardeli bar), but feel free to use any dark chocolate you’d like (or none at all).

These cake-y brownies are best eaten fresh, but if not– definitely within a day or two.

Applesauce Brownies


  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • optional: 1 handful dark chocolate chunks


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the applesauce and honey. Add the vanilla and two eggs, mix well.
  3. Add the whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add chocolate chunks if desired and mix well.
  5. Pour batter into a lined or well greased 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until edges are set.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. Best served warm!
  7. Store covered for 1-2 days at room temperature.

Have you made a Something Swanky recipe? Post it on Instagram and tag me @somethingswanky or use the hashtag #somethingswankyrecipes. I’d love to re-post!


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Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.

14 comments on “Applesauce Brownies”

  1. LOVE THIS-these brownies look chocolatey and I love the texture and that you subbed in the applesauce so they’re a bit healthier :)

  2. Funny just yesterday I re-pinned your Fudgy Choc Chunk brownies, that fork-piercing shot is just classic and gets me every time!

    But these are a great option to keep snacktime healthier. As dessert bloggers, I feel like we have to be extra careful so that life doesn’t just turn into one big sugar free-for-all around the house :)

  3. I love this recipe. I struggle all the time that there are tons of treats around and Jordan eats them every day. Love the substitutions!

  4. I’ve given up. I figure sugar is like other forbidden stuff. If I make it no big deal, kids won’t want it as much. But wait. That doesn’t work for me!
    So I think these brownies will definitely take the edge off my cravings! They’re fierce. And these look great!

  5. These look incredible!

    Can not wait to try, I know my little lady will love, love, love them too.

    Thanks for sharing another winner Ashton :)

  6. Yum! These look absolutely delicious!

  7. We totally understand that you aren’t endorsing dessert for every meal lol! Even though I wish I lived in a world where that was totally acceptable! I can’t believe how healthy these brownies are! They look so decadent!

  8. Healthy brownies? HOLD THE PHONE. I can get behind this!

  9. I love healthier versions of my favourite treats. Adding fruits and vegetables make me feel less guilty eating the whole tray!

  10. loving the look of these brownies.. i also love that you used applesauce! it makes any baking so much more moist and delicious.

  11. They look good, but there is no temperature listed. I am assuming 350F?

  12. i’m currently learning how to live without dairy and high-fat foods, and i was really craving dessert tonight! i just made these, and they’re delicious! they only needed 17 minutes in my oven, so good thing i was checking them, but they’re moist and just sweet enough and exactly what i needed. thank you!

  13. Love the recipe for the Applesauce Brownies, but could you please submit a nutritional analysis of this recipe? I am doing a taste comparsion/nutritional comparsion with this recipe and the convention brownies that are made with tons of sugar/oil. Thanks!

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