Sunday, Foodie Sunday – The Humble Brownie No Refined Sugar Version

By Val, the Cookie Queen

Greetings to you all! Here is an alterative version to my famous Humble Brownie – no refined sugar, lots of taste!

Let’s crack on with it. I am sure we are all too busy for fussing around.


225 g (8 oz) dried stoned (haha) dates
112 g (4 oz) softened butter
1 egg
1 small banana, mashed
vanilla 2 tsps
90 g (3.2 oz) flour plus 2 levelled tsps baking powder
112 g (4 oz) melted good quality black chocolate

Put the dates into a small saucepan and just cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, simmer for about 12 minutes or until soft.

I buy dates that already have the stones removed, but of course you can take them out yourself.

Cool the dates down and strain off any liquid that might be left. (I usually find the water has been absorbed.) Purée the dates in a machine until totally smooth.

Double check that there are no stones because it could damage your machine or break someones teeth. (I have insurance for this, but you probably don’t.) You can complete this step one day before and keep the purée until needed. No problem.

Preheat your oven. 180°c fan oven, 190°c conventional / 360°f fan oven, 375°f conventional.

Melt your chocolate. I do mine in the microwave on a low setting, checking every twenty seconds and giving it a stir. Set on the side.


Put the dates and the softened (important) butter into your mixing bowl. Beat well. Add the egg, the banana and the vanilla. Beat well again!

Add the chocolate and mix in well. Then fold in the flour until its has all been incorporated.


Put the whole lot into a pan. Place in oven.
Probably about 25 minutes. You will have to look. Should be firm to the touch, but still springy when you do touch it. As ever, do not overcook. Never overcook brownies.


If you want to top them with a luscious ganache – nothing could be easier.

1/4 cup (60 mls) whipping cream
84g (3 oz) dark chocolate chopped up

Microwave the cream on a high heat for about 30 seconds. Add the chopped chocolate. Leave for a couple of minutes and then stir until smooth. Pour the whole lot over the brownies and spread it out.


Put the brownies in the fridge for about half an hour (or until you want to eat them!)

These are so good, much better than they sound. Rich and chewy and not too sweet.





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34 Responses to Sunday, Foodie Sunday – The Humble Brownie No Refined Sugar Version

  1. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I’m afraid we have to rename you Brownie Queen ! The recipe sounds awesome to me, too bad I have no dates at home (not even stoned ones 😀), so I have to wait until next weekend to try them. Lots of love from very windy Wienerwald !

    • cookie queen says:

      Hi LJG! Just Queen will do. 😉 These are so delicious, really. You can serve them with ice cream or whipped cream as posh desert. Fabulous. Love back from an equally windy Salzkammergut. xxx

  2. Tara says:

    Fab recipe Val! Especially with so many people trying to cut down on sugar right now. I think I ate my body weight in chocolate over Christmas 🙂

    • cookie queen says:

      Hey Tara! Yes. These are perfect for convincing yourself that you are not really eating chocolate. I am sure you were not alone with a Christmas choco-binge. Haha! Bussis. xxx

  3. Sandra says:

    excellent! You know how I feel about your brownies… Such joy! xoxo

  4. Suzanne says:

    Mmmm, I love dates and would never have thought to use them in such a way, but now that I see this recipe it makes perfect sense. Thanks for divulging your yummy secrets, Cookie Queen!

    • cookie queen says:

      Hello Suzanne! Yep, these are really great. The consistent of the pureed dates gives such a fudgey texture and a rich flavour. I make more of these brownies than any other. Let me know if you make some. xxx

  5. poodle says:

    Darn, I just used up the dates I had. I’ll have to remember this next time I buy some. With all the baking you do how on earth do you keep your girlish figure? 😉

    • cookie queen says:

      Not eating too many. Regular gym visits. And a controlled eating disorder. No calories in perfume. Hahahahahahah. Hugs

  6. Lavanya says:

    ooh wonderful – Thanks!! I often use dates and/or bananas as a sweetener when I make stuff like fruit compote, pudding (and carrot cake the other day) for my son so I am thrilled to find your recipe. I love a good brownie and can’t wait to try your recipe since as Lady Jane Grey mentioned you *are* a brownie queen..:)

  7. johanob2014 says:

    These sound yummy!And they look incredibly easy to make!I like brownies that aren’t too sweet so these sounds just perfect!When can we expect your cookie-book on the shelves??

  8. cookie queen says:

    Hi there johanob2014! They are easy. I try and only work with easy recipes. Gosh who needs all that complicated stuff huh? Try them and then report back to me please. Then I might come up with a cookie recipe! 😉 xxxx

  9. Ingeborg says:

    These sound so yummy! I do have a large box of dates and they are not dried (at least it does not say so on the box). So I guess then I would not need to cook the dates for up to 12 minutes, I think I will experiment. I also need to replace the egg, but that is easy in baked goods with a strong flavour (plus the dates and banana to keep it moist).

    • cookie queen says:

      I dunno about using fresh dates. You wouldn´t get the thick paste as you would from dried dates. But experimenting never hurts. Just for the record, my next brownie post will be gluten free, dairy free egg free brownies. Also really good! You can also make them with flour. Watch this space!! Happy new Year Ingeborg. Hugs. Val xxxx

      • Ingeborg says:

        Thanks for your comment. Maybe it is a good idea to experiment on a day when I will not have to bring any to a party or to work, then. Looking forward to your next brownie post, I can always use ideas for cakes and cookies “without everything”, ie no usual allergenes.

  10. Safran says:

    These look and sound absolutely delicious! Will put them in my recipe book and make them as soon as possible, maybe tomorrow? ;o) Thank you, Val!

    • cookie queen says:

      Hi Safran!! You will? PLEASE drop us a message here at OT and let us know how you got on! Don`t overcook!!!!!! xxxxxx

  11. These look and sound good – I’m always looking for ways to use up old bananas as well!

  12. cookie queen says:

    Hi there meganinstmaxime! They are good. Try them! I guarantee you will add them your repertoire. xxxx

  13. Michael says:

    Yum! I want some of your brownies again CQ!!!

  14. Vanessa says:

    Sounds and looks delicious. I am always looking for recipes that can incorporate my collection of ‘senior’ bananas.

    • Vanessa says:

      Aha, I see I am not alone in that…there is such a subliminally short window when bananas are in optimum nick, and I invariably miss it.

      • cookie queen says:

        “Optimum nick” is indeed a “blink and you miss it” stage of ripeness. An “pensioner” banana would not be good in these. They belong in muffins! xxx

  15. johanob2014 says:

    CQ!I just had to share your recipe with some colleagues at work!They love how easy this is,and dates are a local favorite ingredient too!Your brownies are officially going “global”,Val!xx

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