Roasted Walnut Brownies

Roasted Walnut Brownies - Sweets - The Lotus and the Artichoke - World Travel Recipes

You probably know Germany has a long, outstanding tradition of great desserts. Especially on my first visits to Germany in the late 90s, I enjoyed many apple strudels, cherry, plum, and peach cakes, and lots of other fruity and nutty delights. Germany is also famous for Lebkuchen (gingerbread cookies), Stollen (fruitcakes), and tons of other decadent treats, increasingly available as vegan adaptations. The best, of course, come from home kitchens. In addition to the pastry shops and bakeries, the cafés almost always have great sweets, too.

In these cafés, you’ll see something that looks a lot like a brownie. There might even be a card next to it that says: Brownies. However – I grew up (mostly) in the United States – with awesome brownies at home, friends’ homes, from school bake sales, and just about anywhere else baked goods are found. Sadly, most of these German “Brownies” are imposters. They’re lackluster chocolate cake cut in the shape of a brownie! Fluffy and cake-like, and maybe pretty, but not gooey or chocolatey. I stopped ordering them years ago, probably after the third or fourth time someone told me: “No, no, this one really is a brownie!” Only to be fooled again.

Roasted Walnut Brownies - Sweets - The Lotus and the Artichoke - World Travel Recipes

Roasted Walnut Brownies

Schokoladige Versuchung mit gerösteten Walnüssen

12 bis 16 Stück / Dauer 50 Min.

  • 1 1/4 Tassen / 150 g Walnüsse
  • 2/3 Tasse / 100 g Zartbitterschokolade fein gehackt oder Schokosplitter
  • 1 Tasse / 135 g Mehl
  • 1/2 Tasse / 40 g Kakao
  • 1 Prise Zimt
  • 1 TL Backpulver
  • 1 Prise Salz
  • 1/2 Tasse / 120 ml Pflanzenöl
  • 1 Tasse / 225 g Zucker
  • 1/2 Tasse / 100 g Seidentofu
  • 1 TL Vanillezucker
  • 1/3 Tasse / 80 ml Soja- oder Mandelmilch
  1. In einer kleinen Pfanne oder auf Backblech im OfenWalnüsse 3-5 Min. rösten. Nicht zu dunkel werden lassen!
  2. Walnüsse in Küchenmaschine oder im Mörser fein mahlen.
  3. In einer großen Schüssel Mehl, Kakao, Zimt, Backpulver und Salz mischen.
  4. In einer separaten Schüssel Öl und Zucker verrühren. Seidentofu, Vanillezucker, Sojamilch und gemahlene Walnüsse unter- und glattrühren.
  5. Nach und nach das Mehl und zuletzt die Schokolade unterrühren.
  6. Ofen auf 190°C / Stufe 5 vorheizen.
  7. Backform leicht einfetten. Teig in Form geben und glattstreichen.
  8. 25-35 Min. backen bis ein Zahnstocher nach dem Einstechen sauber wieder herauskommt.
  9. Vor dem Schneiden 30 Min. abkühlen lassen. Mit Puderzucker bestäuben oder geschmolzener Schokolade überziehen und servieren.


Kein Tofu: 2 EL Sojamehl (oder Maisstärke) + 1/4 Tasse Wasser verwenden. Nüsse: Zerkleinerte statt gemahlener Walnüsse ausprobieren. Etwas weniger Sojamilch und Öl verwenden, vor allem wenn keine Nüsse verwendet werden. Orangig: 2 TL geriebene Orangenschale für eine winterliche Note hinzufügen.Sure, I like chocolate cake as much as the next guy. In all honesty, I’m certainly not addicted to chocolate or super-sweet stuff. There are plenty of treats I like that are mild and not so decadent. But when I want something, I want it right: Brownies have to be chocolatey.

For years, I tried to make vegan brownies that look and taste just like I remember them from childhood. A few times I pulled off a good batch and distributed them among German friends, anxious for them to experience the real thing. But I must confess, I’ve never been a disciplined baker, and I’m kind of afraid of ovens. I wanted a good brownie recipe for the cookbook and website. Something unique for everyone, a sort of American-German collaboration. But something that could still be called a brownie!

So, I turned to Jasmin at Baking the Law, and humbly asked for advice. She has far more experience with the baking arts, and I totally dig her style and character. Sure, I could’ve found something to start with in a cookbook, or online. But I wanted to come up with something special. My original idea was double or even triple chocolate brownies. That seemed too commonplace. Jasmin suggested roasted walnuts as a nutty twist. I immediately liked the idea; Many traditional German baking wonders involve ground hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts. She came up with the starting recipe, so I wouldn’t have to play 3 or 4 batches of Brownie Recipe Roulette. Did I mention I have trouble following baking instructions and mistrust ovens? Cooking is art, Baking is science.

The brownies turned out fantastic and delicious. Better even than my most successful experiments over the years! But I can’t claim full credit on this one. I know that it’s cool to ask for help when you need it. If my secret plan works out, getting this recipe out in Germany will help put the chocolate back in “Brownies”… and give Brownie-lovers worldwide a taste of something a bit new and different.

Roasted Walnut Brownies

makes 12-16 / time 50 min

  • 150 g walnuts
  • 2/3 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g dark chocolate finely chopped or chips
  • 1 cup / 135 g flour
  • 1/2 cup / 40 g cocoa
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup / 120 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 cup / 225 g sugar
  • 1/2 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g silken tofu
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup / 80 ml soy milk or almond milk
  1. Lightly roast walnuts on a tray in oven, or toast in small pan on stove, 3-5 min. Watch carefully, do not burn!
  2. Grind roasted walnuts until fine in a food processor, or with mortar and pestle.
  3. Combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt in large bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix oil and sugar. Add tofu, vanilla, soy milk, ground walnuts. Mix until smooth.
  5. Gradually add flour mix to wet ingredients, continually stirring, followed by chocolate chips.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F / 190°C / level 5.
  7. Lightly grease baking form or pan. Pour and spoon batter into pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake for 25-35 min, until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
  9. Allow to cool at least 30 min before cutting. Garnish with powdered sugar or melted chocolate and serve!


No Tofu: Substitute 2-3 Tbsn soy flour (or cornstarch) + 1/4 cup water. Nuts: Try crumbled walnuts instead of ground. Use slightly less soy milk and oil, especially if omitting. Orange: Get seasonal with 1 Tbsn orange zest!

20 thoughts on “Roasted Walnut Brownies

  1. Do you use Ober-/Unterhitze or Umluft? Can’t wait to make them, they look so good and I haven’t tried a real brownie yet ;)

    • Our oven uses Unterhitze, and all of the oven recipes were made/tested with that here. I’m pretty sure the other testers and friends have made them with the “Bake” (not “Broil”) oven setting– lower heat. Good luck with the brownies. Once you have “real” ones, you’ll giggle to yourself every time you see “brownies” in cafés in most of Europe. ;-)

  2. Thanx for this really delicious recipe!! Sometimes I “have” to bake… even on unusual times… So I had the idea of baking about 1 o’clock in the morning and found this recipe…. Well my colleague and Physiotherapist were also satisfied… =D

  3. i made these brownies today for a chinese new year party I’m holding and just wanted to say the recipe is fantastic! the result is great and, best of all, no butter involved. I’m not a vegan but dairy products are so expensive here in china so I’m always looking for western recipes with good alternatives, and tofu is abundant and so cheap so it was perfect! yum yum yum…

    • Thanks, Alicia! I love these Brownies… and I’m super happy they’re always a hit with others. I make them all the time. I think it’s one of the most popular dessert recipes in my book. Happy Chinese New Year!

  4. Thanks for this delightful recipe! The taste of the brownies is perfect- I´m only a bit disappointed about the consistence. Unfortunately my attempt was not as moist and rich as other brownies I did before … :-( Well, they`re more than a chocolate cake.
    But any way- VERY delicious!

  5. Ok- I have to revise :) You didn`t say that these brownies are transformers!? After a while in the fridge they became real brownies- wohoo :-) Waiting can definitely be worthwhile!

    • Hi Caro, glad you were able to improve the brownies in the fridge! I’m not a baking master and I actually got some expert advice for this recipe. From the sounds of it your brownies might have baked slightly too long and got drier and then got moister again from hanging out in the fridge. (For years I always tended to overbake things and dry them out, so I do have some experience with that :-). Also, ovens temperatures are almost never accurate or consistent, and it’s very likely *both* my oven and your oven bake at different temps than they say, and have totally different hot spots. In other words, baking times and temps are really hard to specify universally in a recipe. Congrats on the tasty transformer brownies, and the reminder that the fridge can help!

  6. Which one of the vegetable oils would you recommend in this recipe? Is peanut oil a good idea? Could I use butter as an alternative? Can´t wait to try…

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