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Raw Cacao Dairy-Free Chocolate Brownie Recipe

chocolate brownies

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This is a gluten-free, dairy-free AND refined sugar-free recipe. All Mila’s Meals recipes are.

Reasons to add this recipe to your nourishment toolbox:

  1. Nutrient-dense, brain food (see details below recipe)
  2. Anytime meal or snack (can even go in the lunch box!)
  3. A rich source of magnesium
  4. Kids love it – and think you are the best mom ever for putting it in the lunch box!

My daughter, Mila, is not a fan of vegetables. But, she’s eating them in every meal. She just doesn’t know it!

Be a #clevermama. Save yourself the frustration of trying to get kids to eat vegetables that still look like vegetables. Just sneak them into other meals!

Use the search bar to search for “sneakyveggies” on this website. You’ll find quite a few recipes that will fool even the fussiest of eater!

If you need a reason to make this recipe – besides deliciousness – then know that Raw Cacao is a rich source of magnesium.

A quick word about magnesium

the antidote to stress

“Think of magnesium as the relaxation mineral.

You must have magnesium for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax.

The reason we are so deficient is simple: Many of us eat a diet that contains practically no magnesium — a highly-processed, refined diet that is based mostly on white flour, meat, and dairy (all of which have no magnesium).

Anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff — whether it is a body part or an even a mood — is a sign of magnesium deficiency.”


Kids' favourites + nutrient-dense

My recipe creation inspiration comes from making Kid’s Favourites nutrient-dense.

This is due to my daughter, Mila, being gluten-, dairy- and sugar intolerant. I didn’t want her to miss out on the simple joy of delicious foods that her friends were eating. So I set about re-creating the recipes so that she could eat them. I then realised that I could make them not only food-intolerance-friendly, but nutrient-dense too!

That is how Mila went from being the kid that “couldn’t have” to the kid that could eat ice-cream and chocolate brownies for breakfast!

The recipe that I lost

The Chocolate Brownie Fairy Gardens I made for my niece’s birthday party.

I never set out to be a recipe creator, or a food blogger. I am just a mom who is determined to ensure her child does not feel “less-than” or like she is missing out because of her food intolerances.

I write my creations down on little pieces of paper as I am experimenting in the kitchen. These notes have a nasty habit of getting lost!

Including the recipe for these chocolate brownies which I made for my niece’s birthday party.

I was furious with myself for losing yet another recipe. As it turns out, though, it was a blessing in disguise (as it often is) – because now I have a BETTER recipe! 

If you want to find out how to make the marshmallow mushrooms, please see my marshmallow recipe here.

The Better, Good-For-You Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Want to know why this can be served for breakfast and used in the lunch box? Find the nutrient content details in the Ingredient & Nutrient Glossary at the end of this post.

Gluten-free Dairy-free AND Refined Sugar-free Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Dairy-Free Raw Cacao Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Catherine Barnhoorn | Mila’s Meals
Gluten-free, Dairy-free AND Refined Sugar-free Chocolate Brownies with hidden vegetables.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Servings 8 adults


  • 1 roasting tray / baking pan (±16cm x 12cm x5cm)
  • 1 Blender
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 electric beater


  • 1/2 cup sweet potato cooked, peeled, cooled and mashed
  • 5 dates soaked and pitted (keep the soak water)
  • 3/4 cup cassava flour
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder / extract or 1 vanilla pod, scraped
  • 1/4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp desert or sea salt
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup nut butter almond, macadamia or cashew
  • 3 tbsp organic maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup raw organic chocolate crushed in a pestle and mortar (optional)
  • coconut oil for greasing


  • Turn your oven on to 170°C.
  • Grease your pan with coconut oil (my pan measured 16cm x 12cm x 5cm).
  • In a mini-blender, blend the soaked dates, 3 tablespoons soak water and the sweet potato until smooth.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cassava flour, cacao powder, vanilla powder, baking powder and salt.
  • Beat the 2 eggs in a small mixing bowl and add to the dry mix.
  • Add the sweet potato mixture next and fold in. Note: the cassava flour is a very fine (“dusty”) flour, so unless you want to spend the rest of the afternoon dusting your kitchen surfaces, do not use an electric beater until the flour has been incorporated into the wet mixture.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the nut butter together with the maple syrup until just softened and mixed.
  • Add this to the rest of the ingredients.
  • Beat with an electric beater until well combined.
  • If you want to be extra decadent, add the crushed chocolate and fold into the mixture.
  • Scoop this very sticky mixture into the prepared baking tray / pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  • Slice and enjoy!



  • Add 1 tbsp. orange zest and substitute the sweet potato for pumpkin / butternut.
Keyword dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, vegetarian

Let’s get real… Thinking what to cook and preparing food from scratch every single night will suck the joy right out of your kitchen! It will drive even the most committed of mom’s mad.

Meal plans save you TIME, MONEY and a whack-ton of FRUSTRATION!

Know what your kids (AND YOU) like to eat and add it to a weekly meal plan so that you can:

  1. Shop once a week (saves time & money)

  2. Know what you are making, when (saves brain-space)

  3. Plan ahead for late home times after sports etc (see… that’s #clevermama style!)

  4. Cook in bulk and use left-overs (saves time, money & gives you the gift of a night off!)

Like to have flexibility in what you eat each day?

Use the weekly meal plan as a recipe collection. The Real Plans meal planning app creates a grocery shopping list for all the ingredients you will need for the week. This will make your shopping trip quicker – and you will stick to your budget!

Free-up your brain space to think of other things! GET REAL PLANS.

stack of chocolate brownies

Mouth watering yet? 🙂

Nutritional Value & Health Benefits of Raw Cacao Brownies

mila's meals cookbook

Highlighting the health benefits and nutrients of the main ingredients used in this recipe.
Information taken from the ingredient glossary of my book 'Mila's Meals: The Beginning & The Basics'.

Eggs are an excellent source of choline, which is critical for brain development.

They are a very good source of:

  • selenium
  • biotin
  • vitamins B2 & B12
  • molybdenum
  • iodine
  • They also provide good amounts of:
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin B5
  • vitaminD
  • vitamin K2
  • high quality protein
  • phosphorus

Eggs are a source of cholesterol:

“Cholesterol is vital for the insulation of the nerves in the brain and the entire central nervous system. It helps with fat digestion by increasing the formation of bile acids and is necessary for the production of many hormones. Since the brain is so dependent on cholesterol, it is especially vital during this time when brain growth is in hyper-speed.” – Sally Fallon Morrell

Raw Cacao is pure chocolate – in its unprocessed, raw state. It comes from the cacao bean, which is the nut of the fruit from the cacao tree. Raw Cacao powder is the defatted portion of the cacao paste. 

Raw Cacao is a superfood!

It is a rich source of a variety of antioxidants, minerals and mood enhancing brain chemicals including:

  • PEA (phenylethylamine) – otherwise known as the ‘love chemical’ – acts as a catalyst to releasing endorphins and dopamine
  • Anandamide – scientists have called it ‘the bliss molecule’ – promotes feelings of contentment
  • Oxytocin – raw cacao stimulates your neurotransmitters to release the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin.

Raw Cacao is an excellent source of:

  • iron
  • magnesium

It is a good source of:

  • vitamin C
  • fibre
  • calcium
  • protein
  • potassium
  • phosphorus
  • copper
  • zinc
Raw Cacao has been shown to balance blood sugar, reduces stress, build healthy blood, detoxify the liver, release “feel good” hormones, build strong healthy bones, regulate blood pressure, reduce insulin resistance, improve learning & memory.

Orange coloured sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene).

All sweet potatoes are a very good source of:

  • vitamin C
  • manganese
  • copper
  • vitamin b5
  • vitamin B6

And a good source of:

  • dietary fibre
  • vitamin B1 (thiamine)
  • vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • potassium
  • phosphorous
Sweet potatoes are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and improve blood sugar regulation.
Based on their nutritional content and health benefits, dates are sometimes referred to as an “almost perfect food”.

They are an excellent whole-food sweetener to use instead of refined white sugar.

Dates are a source of:

  • vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene)
  • vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin K1
  • folate
  • choline
  • calcium
  • iron
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • sodium
  • zinc
  • copper
  • manganese

They are also a source of protein and over 23 amino acids!

Dates support brain health (by lowering inflammation and preventing plaques from forming), bone health and blood sugar regulation. They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

Almonds are a very good source of:

  • dietary fibre
  • vitamin E
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • manganese
  • biotin
  • copper

They are a good source of:

  • magnesium
  • riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • folate
  • calcium
  • protein
  • phosphorus

Almonds are said to contain all the nutrients that the brain needs for optimal development.

High-magnesium foods such as almonds may help prevent metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Almonds have been shown to lower LDL-cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease,  assist with blood sugar control and provide anti-oxidant support.

Like this ingredient & nutrient information?

Find even more detailed info in my #notjustacookbook cookbook!

The Mila's Meals Ingredient Glossary

The how, what & why to buy, store & use 156 whole-food ingredients.

Mila’s Meals Reviews

What people say?

This is a delightful and well-informed feast of a book that is especially written for children that suffer with food intolerances. Catherine is especially mindful of gut health too. The book comes with some great advice on eating for the soul.
Remember when we were told not to play with our food. Wow, I wish I could have a do-over. This book will shed light on how you look at your child’s moods, foods, toxic exposures, colic, constipation, ear infections, runny nose, asthma and so much more.


Its as much about learning how to feed your child as it is about re-learning how to feed yourself
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