Dense, fudgy, and oh-so chocolatey, these courgette brownies are guaranteed to be your new go-to brownie recipe. As an added bonus, the grated courgette gives you the excuse that you’re getting an extra portion of veggies in with each serving! These delicious courgette brownies are vegan, so they’re perfect for anyone and everyone.
Courgette – known as zucchini to my US readers – is an excellent addition to baked goods, even if it might seem odd to include vegetables when baking at first! This courgette and lime cake is one of my go-to recipes when we’ve got an abundance of courgettes to harvest from our allotment in the summer, but these amazing courgette brownies might just take the top spot this year!
What You’ll Need to Make Courgette Brownies
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this courgette brownie recipe. Make sure you scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page for the full ingredient quantities and instructions.
Tools and equipment you’ll need for this recipe include:
- 7×7-inch square baking tin
- Parchment or baking paper
- A large mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- A microwave-safe medium-sized bowl
- A box grater for grating the courgette
- A small bowl for your flax eggs
- A measuring scale
- A seize for sifting your flour and cocoa powder
- Measuring spoons
- A cup for the coffee
Here are all the ingredients you’ll need and why:
- Flour: Use plain all-purpose flour for this recipe. Avoid self-raising flour, which will turn the batter into more of a cakey consistency. If you are gluten-free, you could try using gluten-free all-purpose flour for this recipe but I’ve not tested this out myself.
- Baking powder
- Salt: Fresh sea salt is best for this recipe, just to take the edge off the sweetness a touch.
- Cocoa powder: I always prefer to use Dutch process cocoa powder for my baking, as this type of cocoa produces baked goods that taste far more intensely chocolatey. However, you can just use whatever you have to hand.
- Courgette: You’ll need one large courgette or two medium-sized courgettes to make around 180 – 200g freshly grated courgette. I would advise against using any pre-grated courgette for this recipe. Simply cut one end off and grate on the coarse setting of your box grater.
- Sugar: We use a blend of both light brown sugar and granulated sugar for this recipe. Warning, these brownies are quite high in sugar, but I figure if you’re going to treat yourself to a brownie, it might as well be an extra indulgent one!
- Butter: To make this recipe vegan, I used a plant-based butter block (my preference is the Flora unsalted plant-based block, but there are lots of great alternatives). If you are not dairy-free, you could use whatever block butter you prefer.
- Flax egg: A flax egg is made by simply mixing a tablespoon of ground flax seed with two tablespoons of water and leaving the mixture to thicken for 5 minutes. We’ll double the ingredients for this recipe, though.
- Vanilla essence
- Espresso or coffee powder and hot water: About half a cup. Even if you don’t like coffee, don’t omit this ingredient – I promise you can’t taste the coffee in the brownies! Coffee powder is excellent at enhancing the cocoa flavour in your baked goods, and the dash of hot water is another ingredient that will deepen that delicious chocolate flavour
- (Optional): Dark chocolate chips or chunks: You may want to make your courgette brownies extra chocolatey by adding in some dark chocolate chips or chunks of chopped dark chocolate to the mix.
How to make your courgette brownies
This recipe is really easy to make. To start with, make your flax egg by combining two tablespoons of ground flax seeds and five tablespoons of water in a small bowl and setting it to one side.
Then, preheat your oven to 180 degrees C | 350 degrees F and line your 7×7-inch baking tin with baking paper. Grate your courgette, and then add it to your large mixing bowl with the sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, gently combining.
In a separate bowl, melt your butter in a quick burst in the microwave, then cream together with the light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Meanwhile, boil the kettle and make half a cup of coffee. Add the vanilla essence and flax egg, and then add the wet ingredients and the coffee to the dry ingredients and fold everything together until combined.
The batter should be thick and glossy! Pour it into your baking tin and smooth the top down, ensuring the batter is spread evenly in the tin. Pop the tin into the oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes before removing it from the oven and allowing the courgette brownies to cool for another 35 minutes or so in the tin (they’ll continue cooking while cooling so don’t worry if they still look a little under-cooked when you first take them out.
I tend to then place my brownies (still in the tin) in the fridge for an hour or two so they can develop that really dense, fudgy texture – but this is an optional step that won’t really affect the quality of the brownies. Then, remove from the fridge to slice and serve!
Storing and serving
As I mentioned above, my preference is to pop these courgette brownies in the fridge for a couple of hours before slicing them up. Refrigerating your brownies helps them develop that dense, fudgy quality that’s so unique and delicious in brownies.
Once sliced, you can either store your brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 – 6 days or at room temperature for 3 – 4 days. These brownies are also perfect for freezing, just wrap them tightly in foil, pop in a food-safe storage bag, and freeze them for up to three months.
Defrost fully to room temperature before serving.
If you’re wondering why we use courgette in this recipe, it’s because courgette’s high water concentration adds a wonderful amount of moisture to any bake. You can’t actually taste the courgette once it’s cooked – but it does help make the brownies wonderfully squidgy and dense.
Another vegetable that’s great at this is carrots – hence why carrot cake is so popular! I haven’t tried substituting carrots for the courgette in this recipe, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work just as well.
- If you’re picking your own courgettes from the allotment, avoid letting them get too big and turn into marrows. A medium to large courgette is perfect for this recipe, providing around 200g grated courgette.
- Courgettes can vary a lot in their water content. If you feel like your courgette is too soggy when grated, you can always sprinkle some salt over it, let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes, then rinse and pat dry. This will avoid the brownies from getting too soggy.
- To make your courgette brownies extra indulgent, you could drizzle over some melted dark chocolate or even whip up some chocolate frosting to smear on top!
There isn’t too much you can do to this recipe without altering it completely. However, there are a few additions that could work great:
- Add dark chocolate chips or chunks to the batter and scatter over the top before baking for extra chocolatey brownies.
- Add chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans to add some crunch to your brownies.
- Stir in glacier cherries or raspberries for a pop of sweetness.
- Add in some orange extract instead of vanilla extract for a chocolate orange flavour.
More brownie recipes you’ll love:
- Ultimate biscoff brownies
- Classic vegan brownies
- Dairy-free banana brownies
- Vegan Christmas tree brownies
- 155g plain flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 180 - 200g grated courgette
- 110g vegan butter (melted)
- 200g granulated sugar
- 180g light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed + 5 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp espresso or coffee powder + 0.5 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Make the flax egg by combining two tablespoons of ground flax seeds and five tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C | 350 degrees F and line your 7x7-inch baking tin with baking paper.
- Grate the courgette and add it to a large mixing bowl with the sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, gently combining.
- In a separate bowl, melt the butter in the microwave and then cream together with the light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add the vanilla essence and flax egg to the wet ingredients.
- Boil the kettle and make a half cup of coffee (125ml).
- Add the wet ingredients and the coffee to the dry ingredients and fold everything together until combined. The batter should be thick and glossy.
- Pour the batter into the baking tin and smooth the top down, ensuring the batter is spread evenly in the tin.
- Put the tin into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Remove the tin from the oven and allow the courgette brownies to cool for another 35 minutes in the tin.
- Place the brownies (still in the tin) in the fridge for an hour or two to develop a dense, fudgy texture (optional step).
- Remove the brownies from the fridge, slice and serve.
Store these brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 - 5 days, or freeze them for up to 3 months.