Apr 20, 2020

Bliss-ful Double Chocolate Grain-Free Brownies

By Laura Wright, and Ruth Elnekave, CNP
Vegan, grain-free, paleo double chocolate and walnut brownies made with JOYÀ Bliss cacao elixir and Coconut milk chocolate

These nourishingly decadent, uber-chocolately brownies are the result of the premiere of our "Kitchen Improv" Instagram Live series. In this first episode , the one and only Laura Wright of The First Mess and our very own founder Chef Ruthy accomplished the unbelievable: going into the recipe creation process with no recipe — and in fact, no planning or advance discussions (other than to agree on a list of 15 potential ingredients) — they created these squares of chocolate heaven live on Instagram. The result? Grain-free, vegan brownie perfection featuring JOYÀ Calm Cacao Superblend and Functional Chocolate!


  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water)
  • 3 bars (90 g) JOYÀ Chocolate, roughly chopped and divided (see Instructions)
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp (29 g) virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup (100 g) almond flour
  • ⅓ cup (32 g) raw cacao powder or cocoa powder (Dutch/alkalized), or sub part with JOYÀ Calm Cacao Superblend
  • optional: ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ cup (120 g) nut butter of choice (*make sure it's runny)
  • ¼ cup (80 g) maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp (55 g) coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) full fat coconut milk (or other plant-based milk of choice) OR the same amount of unsweetened apple sauce
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp (57 g) walnuts, roughly chopped
  • flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Close-up of vegan, grain-free, paleo double chocolate brownies made with JOYÀ Bliss cacao elixir and Coconut milk chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8” x 8” baking pan with parchment and set aside.
  2. Make flax egg: whisk ground flax and water together in a small bowl, and set aside.
  3. Prepare double boiler: place a heat-proof bowl over a pot filled with 1” of water and bring water to a simmer. Add 1/2 cup (about 78 g) of the chopped chocolate and the coconut oil to the bowl to melt. Remove bowl from the heat once melted and set aside.
  4. In the meantime, in a medium bowl, combine almond flour, cacao powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, combine melted chocolate and coconut oil mixture, nut butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar, vanilla and flax egg and stir until well combined and smooth. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir with a silicone/rubber spatula to combine until no dry spots remain and batter is smooth. Add the milk (or apple sauce if using) and stir until incorporated. Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and stir to combine.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan, sprinkle remaining chopped walnuts and chopped chocolate on top and place in the oven.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, sprinkle a pinch of flaky salt on top and continue baking for another 10 minutes. You want to remove the pan from the oven when a tester inserted into the middle comes out with some moist crumb — do not over-bake as brownies will continue to bake from the residual heat while cooling. 
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a cooling rack before slicing into squares.
  9. Store brownies airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days or covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days. (Psst! They're delicious cold!)

Recipe by Laura Wright (The First Mess) and JOYÀ

Young woman, Laura Wright, smiles and laughs in front of a blue wall.
by Laura Wright

Laura Wright is the creator of The First Mess, both an award-winning plant-based blog and cookbook. Laura grew up in a family produce business and has spent a lot of her adult life working in restaurants. She resides in southern Ontario with her partner and two rescue dogs.

Ruth Elnekave, Founder and CEO of JOYÀ
by Ruth Elnekave, CNP

Ruth Elnekave is a Toronto-based chef, holistic nutritionist, culinary instructor, recovering corporate lawyer and founder of JOYÀ. Her projects are fuelled by one main goal: to spread the pure joy and wellbeing experienced when sharing and savouring delicious, real food.