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4 Time Winner

Low-Fat Brownies Tested Recipe

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Low-Fat Brownie Recipe

There is nothing like a Brownie to satisfy a chocolate craving. This Low-Fat Brownie has a wonderfully moist and chewy texture and a deep chocolate flavor. Serve them plain, dusted with confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, or topped with fresh berries and/or a scoop of low fat vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or a fruit sorbet.   

Now when I say 'low fat' I mean that this brownie is much lower in fat than a regular brownie. So how do we make a brownie lower in fat? One way is to use cocoa powder instead of semi sweet chocolate as semi sweet chocolate can have as much as triple the amount of fat as cocoa powder. The reason for the reduction in fat is that cocoa powder is made when chocolate liquor is pressed to remove three quarters of its cocoa butter. For this recipe we are using Dutch-processed Cocoa Powder which adds a rich chocolate flavor to these brownies. Now the brand of cocoa powder you use will determine the flavor of your brownies, so use the best you can afford.

The second way to reduce the fat intake is to just use less of it. Most brownie recipes call for at least 1/2 cup (113 grams) of butter, but this recipe reduces the fat to 1/3 cup (75 grams). Of course, then there is the question about the type of fat. If you are watching your cholesterol it is a good idea to find a substitute for butter (which is a saturated fat). So for this recipe we are using one of the natural soft buttery spreads (I like either Smart Balance® or Earth Balance®) that are made from oil. You will notice that I am not recommending stick margarines which were once recommended as a substitute for butter but that was before we knew that the trans fats (listed as either 'hydrogenated' or 'partially hydrogenated' oils) that are used to make margarine solid raises bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers good cholesterol (HDL).

So to conclude, these brownies are lower in fat because we are using cocoa powder instead of semi sweet chocolate and we are using less fat and it is in the form of a natural buttery spread instead of butter (a saturated fat). We are also using light sour cream instead of full fat. This brownie recipe is adapted from Canadian Rose Reisman's book Rose Reisman Brings Home Light Cooking where she says that each brownie is about 90 calories with about 4 grams of fat (this can vary depending on ingredients used).


Low Fat Brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Spray an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan with a nonstick vegetable cooking spray.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar and buttery spread until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and egg.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. Fold this flour mixture into the sugar and buttery spread mixture. Stir in the sour cream.

Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the center of the brownies is still slightly soft. (Do not over bake or the brownies will be too dry.)

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. These brownies can be frozen for a month or two.

Makes 16 brownies.


Kowalski, Robert E. The New 8-Week Cholesterol Cure. Harper Torch. New York: 2002.

Reisman, Rose. Rose Reisman Brings Home Light Cooking. MacMillan Canada. Toronto: 1993.


Low Fat Brownies:

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

1/3 cup (75 grams) soft natural buttery spread*

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/3 cup (45 grams) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (35 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup (60 ml) light sour cream

* I like to use either Smart Balance® or Earth Balance®

®Smart Balance and ®Earth Balance are registered trademarks of Smart Balance Inc.




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