• Brownies with coconut–date swirl (Chris Middleton)Source: Chris Middleton

These brownies are dense, but not heavy. They’re quite rich, so you won’t need much to feel satisfied – the perfect match for a cup of coffee.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (82 votes)


  • 280 g (10 oz/2 cups) seedless dried dates, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) boiling water
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) macadamia oil
  • 100 g (3½ oz/⅔ cup) coconut flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • cream or coconut cream, to serve (optional)


Coconut–date swirl

  • 70 g (2½ oz/½ cup) seedless dried dates, roughly chopped
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) coconut milk

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan-forced). Grease an 18 cm (7 in) square shallow cake tin and
line the base and two opposite sides with a piece of non-stick baking paper, extending the paper about
4 cm (1½ in) above the sides of the tin to assist with the removal of the cooked brownie.

Put the dates in a small heatproof bowl and stir in the bicarbonate of soda and boiling water. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Mash well with a fork.

Meanwhile, for the coconut–date swirl, put the dates and coconut milk in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over low heat, stirring often, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Mash well with a fork.

Whisk the eggs and the oil together in a bowl, then whisk in the mashed dates. Sift in the coconut flour and baking powder and stir to combine.

Spread the mixture into the prepared tin and dollop spoonfuls of the coconut–date swirl mixture over
the top. Swirl lightly with the tip of a small knife. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until just firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out almost clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before gently lifting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into squares and serve with cream or coconut cream, if desired.

These brownies will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Recipe and image from Incredible Bakes That Just Happen to be Refined-Sugar Free by Caroline Griffiths (Smith Street Books, $39.99 hbk) .

View more refined sugar-free recipes from Incredible Bakes here.

View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.