I’ve continued to search for the perfect chocolate brownie recipe, and this is the one that’s in first place at the moment!

I wanted one that used cocoa powder instead of chocolate. Partly because good chocolate is generally more expensive than good cocoa, and partly because if there’s good chocolate in the pantry it might have been eaten when I want to use it for making brownies…

I had samples of these on my stall at the weekend, to demonstrate that olive oil is fab for baking with, and the single question I got asked most was “Can you give me the recipe for these?” So, here it is!


Chocolate and Walnut Brownies

Servings = 9 or 16

Time = 40 minutes

Difficulty = Easy

Description = Try this easy chocolate brownie recipe using olive oil, walnuts, and cocoa.


Recipe Ingredients

– ½ cup fresh extra virgin olive oil

– 1 cup caster sugar

– 1 tsp vanilla essence

– 2 eggs

– ½ cup plain flour

– 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

– ¼ tsp baking powder

– ¼ tsp salt

– ½ cup chopped fresh walnuts


Recipe Directions

  1. Set oven to 170°C.
  2. Line a square baking tin (approx. 22cm x 22cm) with tinfoil – there’s no need to grease it.
  3. Mix the oil, sugar, and vanilla essence together in a medium bowl.
  4. Beat in the eggs.
  5. In another bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold in until combined.
  7. Add the walnuts and stir through.
  8. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the sides start to pull away from the edge of the pan, and the top is just set.
  10. Remove onto a wire rack to cool, then peel off the tinfoil and cut into squares.

Possible substitutions and additions:

  • Brown sugar could replace the refined white sugar, and will give a slightly different texture and flavor.
  • Try using wholemeal flour to replace part or all of the plain flour. This will make the final product a little denser.
  • The walnuts can be omitted if you don’t like nuts, or substituted for other types – I think macadamias and hazelnuts would both be great.

Other tips:

  • It’s important that both the olive oil and the walnuts are fresh, as both develop rancid flavours if old and oxidized. Just taste both before starting and if they taste fine you’re good to go!
  • I usually cut these into 16 squares, but go for 9 if you’re feeling decadent! Alternatively, cut them into 64 little bite-sized cubes – they’re cute to serve as a sweet nibble with coffee at the end of a meal.
  • Warm them for 5-10 minutes in a low oven and serve with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
  • These freeze well, and defrost quickly.
  • If you’ve got 2 tins, why not make a double batch?