The Fudgiest Brownie I’ve Ever Had Is Actually Vegan

And here’s the recipe.

Updated on May 22, 2024

Related To:

Photo by: Planta Queen

Planta Queen

"Bro, I’m telling you, you have to try this vegan restaurant. They’ve got the best crispy rice." These were words I never expected to come from my friend, a meat-and-potatoes type who swore by the burger joint he’d been going to for fifteen years since high school. Even he was a convert to PLANTA, the chic vegan spot that opened its first location in Manhattan and has since expanded locations to five other states and counting.

He’s right, for the record. Ahi watermelon and avocado crown cubes of rice, making for plump, crispy, saucy bites that go down just like spicy tuna. Fleets of 20-somethings dressed in faux leathers and furs and shoes from this season order plates and plates of the stuff. They could be vegan or just eating plant-based for the night. The restaurant certainly succeeds at its mission to "expand the accessibility and acceptability of plant-based dining." Its food feels just as indulgent as that at any upscale fine dining restaurant, and oh yeah, it happens to be vegan.

Recently, I went to PLANTA with a different friend, and she started talking about the fudgy brownie sundae on the dessert menu before we’d even ordered our appetizers. This was news to me, as I’d always filled up on creamy truffle udon noodles and aforementioned crispy rice. I’m a dessert person at heart, and I’ll admit I was skeptical whether a vegan brownie could measure up to its real chocolate cousins.

But I soon ate my doubts, as well as many bites of the fudgiest brownie I’d ever tasted. Vanilla ice cream and rivulets of hot fudge sauce melted into a large, 1-inch-thick still-warm slab. The brownie had the denseness of a rich chocolate dessert, but immediately dissolved on my tongue, a phenomenon I hadn’t before experienced. I knew, at that point, that I needed the recipe.

At first, the PLANTA pastry chef said the brownie recipe was top secret. But by some miracle, ultimately I was able to get my hands on it. I "had" to test out the recipe and share it with my brownie-loving friend, who confirmed my home version tasted exactly like the restaurant’s. With those notes, dear reader, I leave you with the glorious recipe, best served topped with the chocolate sauce recipe that follows as well as your favorite ice cream.

Planta Queen Brownies

  • 330g granulated sugar
  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 80g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5g baking powder
  • 4g salt
  • 220g water
  • 200g vegetable oil
  • 5g vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper.

Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the water, oil and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients; mix until incorporated, making sure the batter is smooth.

Spread the batter in the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes.

Chocolate Sauce

  • 120g granulated sugar
  • 50g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 250g oat milk
  • 120g rice syrup
  • 50g plant-based butter
  • 120g dark chocolate 70%

In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder. Add the oat milk and rice syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Let it come to a bubble. Whisk in the butter, remove from the heat and add chocolate. Mix well and serve hot.

Related Links:

Next Up

Everyone Says This Is the Best Cornbread They've Ever Had – And It's Vegan

The chef at Cadence in New York City revealed her secret ingredients — and gave us the recipe.

A Load of Vegan Taco Inspiration

Meatless marvels to make now.

How to Make Vegan Latkes

With our recipes and tips for egg- and dairy-free latkes, vegans won't have to miss out on one of Hanukkah's tastiest traditions.

You Won’t Miss Meat with These Vegan Barbecue Recipes

Satisfying plant-based recipes for your next cookout.

Kraft Introduces Its First Ever Plant-Based Mac and Cheese

Kraft NotMac&Cheese aims to bring creamy comfort to those who avoid dairy and animal products.

The Best Egg Substitutes for Baking and Cooking

Here, 13 different options plus the best use for each.

What Is Nutritional Yeast?

This vegan standby is a protein powerhouse.

7 Plant-Based Meals the Whole Family Will Be On Board With

Even meat eaters will be excited about these vegan options.

The Best Vegan Cheeses

If you’re looking for swaps for melty mozzarella, creamy ricotta or grilled-cheese cheese, we’ve got you covered.