Criminally Low Calorie Brownies You’ll Want To Scoff Like Mad

With half the calories, you can eat twice as much.

Recently I was enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon catch-up with my besties. Although the coffee was the perfect pick-me-up, I was hungry as hell but proud that I decided against baking delicious treats, as I was two months into my diet and killing it.

Everyone around the coffee table had commented on my shrinking physique and, I’m not going to lie, I was loving the attention. I’d been so devoted to my lifestyle and fitness regimen, this was the recognition I’d been literally sweating for.

But all my hard work came tumbling down with another friend’s late arrival – she’d brought with her a batch of freshly baked sugary treats. Although I politely declined at first, it wasn’t long before the sweet aroma enticed me into eating way too much. Three muffins and six biscuits later, my new lifestyle had officially ended.

If, like me, you want to keep your workout bod in year-round tip-top condition but are constantly craving heavenly baked goods, these brownies will fit perfectly into your lifestyle. With this one recipe, you’ll be graced with 16 sugar-free, 128 calories per serve, moist yet fluffy brownies, complete with a lingering chocolatey aftertaste. You’re welcome.


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, for greasing
  • 1 cup honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • ½ cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line an 8-inch baking tin with baking paper and lightly spray with olive oil.
  2. Measure the honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup into a large bowl and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Whisk in the cocoa (or cacao powder) and allow to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the apple sauce, coconut or olive oil and vanilla together until well combined. (Note: if you’re using coconut oil and need to smooth it out, heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds.)
  5. Add the egg, then the cooled honey-cocoa mixture, nuts and choc chips (or cacao nibs) and stir the mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir until all the flour is incorporated evenly.
  6. Pour mixture into the baking tin, spreading it out evenly, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. To make sure you don’t overbake or burn the mixture, test it by inserting a toothpick into the middle; if it’s ready, there should be a few moist crumbs on the toothpick.
  7. Cool the mixture in the tin on a wire rack, then remove the brownies using the baking paper, and slice into 16 squares.

Recipe and image from The Good Life by Sally Obermeder and Maha Koraiem, published by Allen & Unwin. Available now.

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