Raw Chipotle Cacao Brownies

by Susan on December 13, 2011

Quick: You are traveling, you don’t have any of your own kitchen equipment and someone asks you to bring a raw dessert to dinner. What to do? Raw Brownies! I recently posted a brownie recipe but instead of making the same recipe, I found myself thinking,  “What else can I do with this raw recipe?”.  The thought of adding a little heat and smoke to the chocolate was irresistible. I was so pleased with how these came out, I thought it was worth sharing with you. 

This time around I decided to use walnuts instead of hazelnuts and throw in some ground chipotle powder to get the aforementioned heat and smoke. I rounded it out with cinnamon, an exciting addition of figs that created depth and a chipotle ganache. Gourmet raw brownies, here we come!

Walnuts are a great source of Omega-3’s, heart healthy monounsaturated fats, anti-oxidants to support your immune system and L-arginine, an essential amino acid which promotes healthy blood pressure.

Chipotle Cacao Brownies

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch Himalayan salt
  • 2 cups Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup dried figs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

1. Process the walnuts in the food processor until finely ground.

2. Add cacao, chipotle powder, cinnamon and salt. Pulse until combined.

3. Add figs and dates, 1/4 cup at a time until all ingredients are well combined. Pulse in optional vanilla.

4. Pat into 8 x 8-inch pan. 

Chipotle Ganache

  • 1/2 cup cacao
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar or liquid sweetener of your choice
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Whisk all ingredients together. Pour over top of brownies and chill until set.

2. Cut into 2″ squares.

Makes 16 2 x 2 inch brownies or 32 1 x 1-inch brownies. 

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Rossana December 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm

These look amazing.You’re a very gifted cook.Congrats!You’re really amazing and so is your food :)


Evelyn December 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Looks great. What form is the cacao in? Nibs, powder, butter? Thanks!


Susie December 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Oh, my dear Lord.


Heather December 13, 2011 at 6:53 pm

This looks amazing! I have to make these for our Christmas party :-)


romi December 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm



Hannah December 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm

These look incredible! I will be making a variation on these brownies for our family holiday this weekend. Thanks for the awesome idea.

H :)


sheryl mcfarlane December 13, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Didnt know agave so I googled it and found this: http://www.sott.net/articles/show/205997-Beware-of-the-Agave-Nectar-Health-Food-Fraud

Thought you may be interested too 😀 Going back to honey lol


Susan December 14, 2011 at 1:23 am

I have addressed the agave issue here: http://www.rawmazing.com/agave-hero-or-villain/ You can also find more information here: http://www.braintoniq.com/is-agave-bad-for-you-fallacy.php You might also want to read this: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400722/Is-Agave-Syrup-Dangerous.html


Jes Suazo December 13, 2011 at 11:02 pm

These look amazing! I can’t wait to try the recipe. :)

Thanks for sharing!


Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen December 14, 2011 at 2:19 am

This looks absolutely fudgy and crumbly at the same time! the igredients are just miraculous too!


Alex December 14, 2011 at 7:17 am


Please help. I don’t know what chipotle powder is, let alone where to get it, I live in Europe. Is there anything else, any other spice I could put inside because your brownies (by the way, my favourite dessert) look to die for. Thanks a lot!!!!!


Susan December 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm

It is dried chipotle peppers that are ground into a powder. I am not sure where you would get it in Europe. A spice that delivers some heat and smoke would work.


Kerrie December 14, 2011 at 9:44 am

Just made these . They are delicious and are being used as little gifts . I didnt have any figs but substituted prunes which worked well …. hmmm pardon the pun .


Raw Antonia December 14, 2011 at 10:44 am

This looks absolutely divine! Thank you for such a well inspired recipe! Every raw food blog i go to, i see these amazing sweet treat recipes that i am just dying to try out. I’m not sure about adding chipotle powder to my brownies though. I might try out the simple recipe, without chipotle, because i have a problem with handling hotness. :)

Is there a substitute that I can use, to give the brownies a bit of edge without making them too hot? Also, will using honey instead of agave still make them taste good or will it ruin the whole thing?

Thanks again and Happy Holidays!


bitt December 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I like the figs in there. I like a little heat with chocolate too. Helps speed up the metabolism. Someone told me that chipotle wasn’t raw. I don’t mind either way I’ll eat it, but do you know?


Lou Whitcomb December 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I love chocolate, chipotle and cinnamon…thank you for the recipe. Will be making them soon.


Eco Mama December 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm

These look wonderful Susan, and I love the rustic presentation.
Eco Mama


Jenni December 18, 2011 at 10:23 am

My chocolate obsession just met it’s match :) The picture is almost enough to satisfy it by itself! I love the spicy idea…


Lizzy December 19, 2011 at 12:01 am

Wowza Susan! I made these brownies and my sister is visiting me in San Diego from Eagle Idaho. We are literally fighting over them. I can’t get over how they taste like baked brownies but they are not. AMAZING! Each one of our friends we see gets one 1 inch square of one of these because they are delicious and a bit costly to make. I made them exactly as you said and they look just like the pic. But I didn’t add the chipotle to the ganache. And Jenni…they do taste just like the picture looks. This is wonderful Susan. I have told some people at foodnetwork.com what wonderful recipes you have. I hope you don’t mind.


Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles December 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Definitely going on my raw Christmas recipe list!


Ben December 21, 2011 at 9:48 am

Wow! A recipe that looks amazing and doesn’t leave me scratching my head with confusion.(I like recipes to be as simple as possible) Can’t wait to try these!


ben December 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Alex in Europe: A pinch of regular cayenne powder could be used if you can’t find chipotle. You can dry-roast the cayenne over very low heat until it darkens a bit, for the smoky chipotle taste.


Andy December 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

I wonder if you could start putting the nutrition facts for your recipes for us counting calories, fat, etc. ?


Susan December 27, 2011 at 12:06 am

Andy, honestly, I would love to but I don’t have the time or the resources. By the time I create the recipe, make it, test it, photograph it and post it, I need to move onto other things. There are some wonderful on-line calorie calculators that you can use if this is important to you.


Mariah January 2, 2012 at 1:33 am

In Europe the best/closest flavor to chipotle is smoked Spanish paprika, it will impart a beautiful smoky sweet chili flavor much like chipotle :) I just spent six months in Ireland after being born and raised spitting distance from Mexico, I found a lot of pretty good substitutions for Mexican ingredients :)


Saskia January 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm

these look really yummy! I have a bit of an allergy to walnuts, can you think of another nut I could sub? Thanks!


Helen Dowty January 8, 2012 at 9:18 am

Wow !!!! I love these. so easy and so delicious. I can’t wait to be invited somewhere and bring these yummy treats. mmm Thanks


Kate January 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Well, that indulged my chocolate fix! Made these yesterday. (I’m a raw newbie.) What a great recipe. The chipotle chili powder worried me at first because it’s such a pronounced flavor, but it’s an intelligent addition! Thank you for a wonderfully complex and rich dessert! I’ll definitely make these again!


Sheila January 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Hello, these brownies do look amazing; however, I’m new the the raw food world and find it somewhat intimidating! Help! Where do I start? I just purchased a juicer and will be juicing first thing every morning, but I want to get away from mainstream cooking/eating, SAD, I believe it what you called it. I definitely want to purchase one of your cookbooks, but as I dabble into the world of RAW, I feel like a young bride who has no cooking skills whatsoever…lol…I’m 54. Raw eating seems to be time consuming and expensive..and I often find myself wondering where to find some of the ingredients.

I need help to transition. Any suggestions?


Susan January 21, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Check “articles” under the category button on the right. There are tons of articles on the post that answer all your questions. :-)


Mary February 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Yum, yum, yum. I made these tonight for my mom’s birthday. I actually left out the Chipotle as I wasn’t sure my mom would like the heat, but next time I’ll go hot. In any case, it is delicious! No one could believe what moist brownies I’d made, and had no clue they were raw. Fantastic!


Adrienne Graves March 10, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Have I mentioned these are my “go to” for all gatherings?! I make these for sure once a month, if not twice, to take to parties or when we hosted our own. Everyone raves about them and can’t believe they are raw and healthy :) I can…because raw and healthy tastes good! Anyway, thank you for introducing me to our new brownie staple. Now, I must be off…I have to make a batch to take to our friend’s house tonight!


Naraleska April 12, 2012 at 7:17 am

These are really good!!! I just made them, have to finish the ganache thou, but I just had to say yuuuuummmmmmm!! while on my way to finish them …. 😉


Alyssa April 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm

These are great! This recipe was a huge hit with my friends! Thank you!


Jill April 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Wowza! These look fantastic, and I can’t wait to try them out!! Yummmm…


kira May 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapenos, so no, not raw–chocolate also goes well with New Mexico red peppers or a dash of serrano or jalapeno–if you really do not like hot, just add more cinnamon.


Susan May 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Yes, they are not raw. But I love using them for flavor in recipes. You will notice that this site is not about being 100% raw, it is about incorporating raw food into your diet. Chipotle peppers actually have some wonderful health benefits and also a tiny amount gives a big flavor.


Tiffany September 30, 2012 at 12:35 am

For the 2 cups nuts, can I replace something else with it? Something other than nuts or seeds?


Susan September 30, 2012 at 12:43 am

You might want to try a recipe that isn’t nut based. It is such a dramatic substitution, the whole recipe would have to be reworked. Cheers!


Keegan February 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Quick question, do you soak the dates and figs first?


Susan February 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I did not soak them but mine were fresh and soft. Cheers!


Emma April 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Thanks so much for the recipe. I made them today and they’re fabulous. The chipotle really adds something special and you’re right about cutting them into little squares, they’re super rich!


Bobbie January 29, 2014 at 10:41 pm

I just made these and they’re delicious! Do you think I can freeze some for a later date? Thanks!


Susan January 29, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Hi, Bobbie, I haven’t tried freezing them but it should work. Let me know how it goes! :-)


Victoria February 13, 2014 at 12:27 am

Susan,thanks for the amazing cake! I am wondering what can I use instead walnuts since I am an allergic? Thanks! :)


Susan February 13, 2014 at 11:49 am

Victoria, you could try pecans. You may have to tweak the recipe a bit. Cheers!


Nicole March 18, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Just tried this recipe and didn’t have enough nuts so I tried oats. Worked great!


ditza April 22, 2014 at 9:39 am

Just tried it and it is great!!! Had no figs so I put some more dates, and instead of chipotle, which we don’t have, put some grounded hot chili peppers, about the half of the amount mentioned, because it is very hot. Turned out great! Thank you!!


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