I have been looking at some of the low calorie brownie options online and have not found one I can sink my teeth into, without worrying about my hips. So I decided to think up a whole new recipe of my own:

Ingredients for your average Brownie

  1. Soft Butter, for greasing the pan
  2. Flour, for dusting the buttered pan
  3. 4 large eggs
  4. 1 cup sugar , sifted
  5. 1 cup brown sugar, sifted
  6. 8 ounces melted butter
  7. 1.25 cups cocoa sifted
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  9. 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  10. 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Ingredients for my low calorie high fiber Brownie

  1. Peanut vegetable oil for greasing the pan
  2. Flour for dusting the buttered pan
  3. 4 large eggs
  4. 1/4 cup No Calorie sugar
  5. 1/4 cup wild honey
  6. 2 ounces melted I Can't believe it is not butter
  7. 1 ounce Peanut vegetable oil
  8. 1.25 cups cocoa, sifted
  9. 1/4 cup flour, sifted
  10. 1/4 cup Oatmeal, finely blended, and sifted/
  11. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

I also thought of adding blended Cabbage(high fibre) to make more brownies and increase the fiber.

Please tell me what you think. Is this possible to make brownies with all the substitutions I made or will any of these substitutions adversely affect the results of what one would refer to as a normal brownie?

  • I made several edits to the question to make it answerable. Your initially formatting was too open and would have invoke a discussion about what people thought in general of your recipe. If you feel I have adversely changed your question, feel free to edit it farther after taking a quick look at the FAQ.
    – Jay
    Jun 14, 2012 at 17:18
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    If your end is to reduce calories and raise fiber, you can minimize fat as well by substituting the eggs for flax eggs (adds fiber); I have had very good experiences using milled flax seed in cookies, brownies, and cakes
    – mfg
    Jun 14, 2012 at 19:13
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    personally, I'd advise you to just make a really rich, really good brownie and eat only a small piece. I'd rather have a small quantity of something really good than a large quantity of something adequate any day.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jun 15, 2012 at 1:48
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    Have you thought of Black Bean Brownies? Lower calorie, higher fiber, but still delicious! kneadtocook.com/?p=1357 Jun 20, 2012 at 15:46
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    My secret weapons for healthful deserts are cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and egg whites. You'd be shocked at what you can do with these. Oct 2, 2015 at 15:12

2 Answers 2


It depends a lot on what you expect. I wouldn't call it a mess. The result will be edible, and will have a similar flavor to a brownie. The texture will be very different from a brownie. It will be dry and dense. Personally, I wouldn't eat it.

First, the fat plays important roles in baked goods besides taste. I am surprised to see a recipe which uses melted fat (so no creaming) and no baking powder. This thing (the original one) is going to be denser than chewy cookies - maybe OK for you. If you reduce the fat from the original recipe, you will get a very dry result. An airy cake which is dry is not too good, but can be eaten when combined with e.g. yogurt or other wet things. Something which is both dense and dry will taste like chicken food mix run through a dehydrator. If you have a recipe for baking, don't reduce the fat. Also, never use spreads or margarines or anything else which is not real fat. It does not act like real fat, so it doesn't work the way it should. It is likely to contain lots of water and gums, and melt into them when baked. For baking, always use butter, lard or shortening. (It is OK to use vegetable oils for dense recipes which direct you to melt the butter). You will need your full share of fat. Some people replace part of the butter with applesauce, but you can't replace all of it. Also, I don't know how it will act in a non-leavened recipe.

Second, you need the sugar the same way you need the fat. It retains moisture and makes the brownies soft. Honey is already a risky proposition, but partial replacement will work. But do not reduce the sugar by half, it will make dry, unpleasant brownies. Also, I don't know what "no calorie sugar" is, but it sounds like some artificial sweetener dispersed in a filler. I don't know what the filler is made from, but it may not be good for baking.

You can't always replace wheat flour with other flours, but finelly milled oats should work for brownies and cakes.

Using a vegetable or fruit puree in place of the liquid is normally a good substitution, but your recipe doesn't have liquid. Just adding cabbage will destroy the liquid balance. You could theoretically replace part of the eggs with an equal amount of cabbage puree by weight, but because eggs also have important roles in baking (they lubricate and set the dough), you shouldn't nomrally replace them.

So, the replacement will bake into something you can bite and chew and swallow, but I wouldn't call it brownie. It also wouldn't be a tasty non-brownie, at least not in my eyes. Also, if you go ahead and make the stuff, you don't even win much in calories. Your original recipe is about 2950 kcal, and you get 820 g of brownies, resulting in 359 kcal/100 g. Your replacement recipe is 1610 kcal but only 530 g of brownies, which makes it 302 kcal/100 g (still a very caloriedense food) - and that if you use these substitution products, which are bad for baking. So, you only lose 15% of the calories overall, but you get something which tastes nowhere near the original. It will have cocoa flavor, but it won't be moist and creamy. I would rather eat 100 g of real brownies than 115 g of brownies made with your recipe.

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    Good brownie recipes always call for melted fat and no creaming. You want to minimize the air to get a thick, fudgy brownie. Jun 14, 2012 at 19:02
  • I am a newbie in the baking kitchen. So since it requires melted fat, why won't oil(which is fat) do? I mean since it is in the oven at high temp, it stays melted all that time. And some of the boxes of brownies(store bought) do suggest using oils of this kind.
    – Kobojunkie
    Jun 14, 2012 at 21:34
  • @Kobojunkie Oil is OK if it requires melted fat, see my parenthesis: "It is OK to use vegetable oils for dense recipes which direct you to melt the butter". Fat-imitates such as I can't believe it's not butter aren't. If you are a novice in baking, don't try to make your own recipes, it is rather hard getting them right.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 14, 2012 at 21:36
  • What I have to make what I can eat. On the sugar, I mean artificial sweeteners like Splenda.
    – Kobojunkie
    Jun 14, 2012 at 21:53
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    Eating "normal" sounds great, but the most important thing in baking is texture. Replacement products which mimic the taste of sugar and butter don't have their physical properties, and baking is all about the physical properties of the end result. I understand your decision to eat tasty food while on a diet, but most baked and fried foods can't be made low-calorie, you have to either restrict their amount a lot, or look around for alternatives which are low-calorie by nature and still tasty.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 14, 2012 at 22:06

If you make the proposed recipe it will taste nothing like a brownie, will probably taste pretty awful and dry. It won't save many calories either. Mixing in cabbage will also not work.

I know the above recipe won't work, because I've made similar attempts myself.

Sugar substitutes like Splenda usually produce a yucky result in brownie recipes. You need to use actual sugar to get a tasty result, but you can usually use 2/3 of the amount called for. And it can be a natural unrefined sugar such as maple sugar, Sucanat, palm sugar, etc. Or you could use dates, which are high in natural unrefined sugar.

You can replace some of the fat in the recipe with applesauce and/or black beans, this also increases the fiber content of the recipe.

You can replace some or all of the eggs with ground flax seeds or ground chia seeds. This increases the fiber content of the recipe and reduces the fat content slightly.

See this high fiber, reduced calorie, brownie recipe which uses dates instead of sugar and almond butter instead of butter:


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    Hello C Kjos, this is quite a good answer! But we have some very specific (and somewhat confusing for new users) guidelines about health topics. Basically, we don't tell people what is healthy eating and what isn't. If they have their own ideas of what is healthy ("I want to eat less butter"), we tell them how to achieve their own goals. But we don't prescribe them goals ("eat butter, not margarine, because it's healthier"). So I removed that part of your answer. +1 for the rest of it.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 7, 2015 at 8:17
  • Hi rumtscho, can you please give me a link to these guidelines which say we cannot tell people what foods are healthier to eat than others? I would like to see the exact guidelines myself, if possible. Personally it seems odd to me that if someone asks a question indicating they are trying to eat healthier, we cannot write a reply that clarifies which foods are actually healthier. From a standpoint of what is taught these days in college nutrition, research has shown that butter is much healthier than margarine. So I wonder why these kinds of facts are off topic in here.
    – C Kjos
    Oct 8, 2015 at 15:30
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    The guidelines are in the on-topic list, cooking.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic. All health and nutrition advice is completely off topic here, we only do cooking techniques. When someone posts a question about a cooking method and also explains that "it is because I eat healthy", we make an exception and don't close the question, instead answering the cooking part and ignoring the health part. The alternative would be to completely turn these people away.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 8, 2015 at 16:20

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