HOLIDAY EDITION: Walnut Cacao Brownies

An understated and underrated holiday essential: the simple yet satisfying brownie.

Legend has it that the brownie was created at the direction of Bertha Palmer, Chicago socialite and wife of the owner of the Palmer House Hotel. In 1893, Palmer asked a pastry chef for a dessert “suitable for ladies attending the Chicago’s World Columbian Exposition.” The result was what we now know as the brownie (the name didn’t appear until a few years later). Fun fact - that first brownie contained crushed walnuts.

While our recipe also calls for walnuts, we wouldn’t exactly describe these brownies as “Lady-Like.” We would, however, say that they’re incredibly rich, delightfully fudgy, and perfectly chocolatey. And with a few simple ingredient swaps from the old version to the new — cacao rather than chocolate, nuts instead of wheat, coconut in lieu of butter — we think Bertha would agree that the brownie has officially been given a 21st Century upgrade.

Bredesen Protocol Approved

Plant Paradox Approved



Dairy Free

Gluten Free

Grain Free


1/3 c Cacao Powder

1/2 c Coconut Oil, Melted

3 Tbs Coconut Cream

3/4 c Monk Fruit Erythritol Blend - OR - 1 1/2 Tbs Pure Monk Fruit

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

2 Eggs

1 Bar Lily’s Extra Dark Chocolate, Melted

1 c Almond Flour

1 c Walnuts, Chopped

Optional: 1/4 c Lily’s Chocolate Chips

* A Monk Fruit & Erythritol blend has a 1:1 conversion rate to sugar; Pure Monk Fruit, on the other hand, is 150-300x sweeter than sugar!


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, or grease pan with coconut oil.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cacao powder, melted coconut oil, coconut cream, monk fruit, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, and sea salt.

  4. Whisk the eggs into the batter thoroughly.

  5. Stir in the melted Lily’s chocolate bar.

  6. Add the almond flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking vigorously until fully blended and smooth.

  7. Combine the chopped walnuts and (optional) chocolate chips.

  8. Pour batter into baking pan and spread out evenly.

  9. Bake for 17-25 minutes. Some ovens will require a longer baking time than others. Do not over-bake! Brownies will continue to cook once out of the oven. To test, stick a toothpick in the center of the pan; if it comes out clean, it's ready.

Updated 2/5/2019

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