No-Butter Fudgy Brownies

No-Butter Brownies

My mother is canola oil’s biggest fan.

Years ago, she started championing canola as a healthier alternative for people who need to keep their cholesterol low and their hearts in tip-top shape. She tries to bake with it instead of butter, and to be honest, I’m not usually with her. After all, I make a lot of dessert. Dessert usually requires butter.

But my parents did me a huge favor this past week, so I baked them heart-healthy brownies as a way of saying thank you. And want to hear the best part? You won’t even miss the butter. These are easy, quick, and taste totally decadent.

No-Butter Brownies

It’s been a decadent week. For the first time in my entire life, I got to go on a real spring break. You know, the kind that has sand and sun. Every year, I hear about people’s break plans and get really jealous, but now that I’ve had this week, I won’t be so bitter about it anymore. Vacations might not happen often, but that makes them all the more precious when things work out.

No-Butter Brownies

To make things even better, I had a really nice post written out, but guess what? The Hilton I’m staying at has sketchy WiFi, and I lost most of my post text.

Instead of stressing about it, I’ll talk a lot about my vacation next week. For now, I’ll just post these brownie pics.

No-Butter Brownies

I made these because my parents did us the huge, astronomically amazing favor of watching our children this week while we went on vacation. Anyone who does that deserves a lot more than brownies.

As it happens, my mother loves recipes that are low in saturated fat, salt, and have a short ingredient list. These fit the bill perfectly. They’re an altered version of a more decadent brownie base I make a lot.

No-Butter Brownies

All you have to do with these is make sure not to overcook them. Also, resist the urge to mix the chocolate chips into the batter. They’ll sink if you do. Sprinkling them on top is the way to go!

No-Butter Brownies

I’ll be sharing more next week when I have a reliable Internet connection. In the meantime, happy almost weekend!


No-Butter Fudgy Brownies


1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa and oil. Stir until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until smooth. Add the vanilla and the cocoa mixture, stirring again. Mix in the flour and salt until just combined.
  4. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set. Cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.


I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. Christine

    I am absolutely making these this weekend!! I’ll let you know how they turn out 🙂

    1. Mir

      Oh good. Hope they were okay!

  2. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I see a lot of brownie recipes that use oil instead of butter, and I am never really convinced. But, I suppose I should actually try it before writing it off!

    1. Mir

      Yeah, I felt the same way. Until these!

  3. Kate @ Framed Cooks

    Ah, I hope you are having the MOST delicious vacation! Enjoy every minute, and meantime I am pinning these brownies!
    Kate @ Framed Cooks recently posted…Easy Skillet MeatloafMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Kate. I’m back and it’s rough, but it was nice while it lasted!

      1. Tory

        I was looking evhyrweere and this popped up like nothing!

        1. Mir

          That’s strange! Sorry it didn’t go through earlier!

  4. Amanda

    These brownies look perfect! I’ve never made brownies with just canola oil before, so I’ll definitely have to try these!
    Amanda recently posted…Skillet Caramel Apple Blondie PieMy Profile

    1. Mir

      They worked out surprisingly well. I was happy with them, anyway. Thanks, Amanda!

  5. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    These brownies look super fudgy! Loving the canola oil swap- we used canola oil in my house forever too for brownies- they’re so much more dense 🙂
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…Weekly Obsessions!My Profile

    1. Mir

      They are dense. But I love dense brownies!

  6. Aria

    Ooh! Delicious! Do you think I could substitute coconut oil for the canola oil?
    Aria recently posted…How to Spring Clean Your RoomMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I’m going to guess yes, but in liquid form. Let me know how it goes!

  7. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat.

    Have a fantastic vacation! So lovely when you get to do it kid-free too – makes it even better! These brownies look amazing – nice when you can have something that’s usually so decadent a little more guilt-free!
    Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…17 Healthy Spring RecipesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Kid-free is definitely awesome, even with the guilt factored in. 🙂

  8. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    Your vacation looked AMAZING!! Those beach photos…I’m jealous. 🙂 I love using oil in brownies, breads, and muffins – such an easy way to make a heart healthier swap!

    1. Mir

      It was such a happy few days away…and now it’s freezing back at home. At least we got a little break from the cold!

  9. Michele @ Alwayzbakin

    WOW. Gimmie! These look incredible! I bet your mom loved them.
    Michele @ Alwayzbakin recently posted…Butter Toffee with Hawaiian Sea SaltMy Profile

    1. Mir

      She did. Thanks, Michele!

  10. JJ

    I tried these brownies and OMG, these were awesome! They definitely had the fudginess of a brownie!

    But I feel like they were better once they had a chance to cool down completely. Thats when the fudginess really started to show on the tastebuds!

    1. Mir

      I’m so glad it worked out! I love that they’re butter-free!

  11. Selemi

    Ok brownies. They don’t have as rich a chocolate flavor as I would have liked and they’re a tad too sweet. But my sister really liked them.

  12. Michelle

    Just wanted to say these brownies are AMAZING! so soft and fudgy in the middle with a crust top,definitely my go to brownie recipe,i made a chocolate sauce to drizzle over the top because im a bit of a chocolate addict!

    1. Mir

      I’m so glad you liked them. I’m a chocolate addict too!

  13. TinkerApril ⭐️

    Found this recipe & tried it today. This is just soo good. Can’t get enough of it. Just perfect for me because butter is not always available at our home unlike canola oil. And even you freeze it, it remains moist. I’d love to eat it by putting it to microwave for atleast 10 seconds when it’s from ref. Thanks for this. My fave go to brownies.

    1. TinkerApril ⭐️

      And instead of using milk chocolate chips, i opted to use easy melts button. Mix it together with the batter then off to the oven. Super moist and yummy. My nieces & nephews love it. Even Mom and Dad 🙂

      1. Mir

        Oooh, I love easy melts. Great idea!

    2. Mir

      Woohoo! I’m glad it worked out for you. I wanted to try making something a little more heart healthy!

  14. Kara

    Just made these… But accidentally read 3/4 cup cocoa instead of 1/4. Oops thats what I get for not paying attention. They are cooling now.

    1. Mir

      Hope they were okay!

  15. Kat

    Sooo I forgot the butter during my weekly grocery outing and was craving something sweet for dessert. I had everything else but butter so I googled and this recipe was the first on the list with all the ingredients in my pantry. It’s currently in my oven. It was so easy to make and I had a “why didn’t I think of that?!” Moment. Lol. I’m sure it will be great! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Mir

      I’m glad you had an alternative. Thanks!

  16. Sharon Magnin

    I only used 1/2 cup flour and added nuts and small pieces of peppermint chocolate on top of the cake before baking. It was absolutely delicious.

    1. Mir

      Yay! So glad it worked out!

  17. Miley

    I tried them today and they turned out absolutely perfect!

    1. Mir

      Awesome. Thanks, Miley!

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  19. Lydia

    I made these right away! I only used one egg. no vanilla extract, and no chocolate chips. The batter was a bit thick (probably because i only used one egg) so i added about 1/4 cup of water and it really helped. I will definitely make these again!

    1. Mir

      Woohoo! Thanks for letting me know!

  20. BrittS

    I didn’t have enough butter on hand to make traditional brownies, so I did a search and found this recipe. I’m pretty new to baking, but these are the best brownies I have ever made! My husband really loved them too! So easy and moist!

    1. Mir

      I’m so glad you liked them! Yay!!

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