Astonishingly virtuous. These brownies not only are butter-free, they’re also packed with wholegrains and fruit. Tasting them, you’d never know it.


  • 250g spelt flour
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 oranges, grated zest
  • 50g dark chocoalte, finely chopped
  • 5 fresh dates, stone, or 1 smallish banana, peeled
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large handfuls of almonds, roughly chopped (optional)

Prep: 20 mins / Cook: 20 mins / 16 people


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3.
  • Line a rectangular baking dish (approx. 32cm x 24cm) with greaseproof paper or foil.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients, zest and chocolate in a large bowl.
  • Purée or mash the dates/banana to a smooth paste.
  • Gently warm the juice, oil and vinegar in a saucepan – the heat will activate the bicarb, helping it rise.
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour mix. Pour in the warmed oil/juice mix. Gently fold everything together, the liquid should just moisten the mix and bind it all, giving you a thick batter.
  • Spoon into the dish – the batter shouldn’t be more than 3–4cm deep. Smooth the top. Scatter almonds over. 
  • Bake for 20 mins, or till the top is firm and it looks set. Cool for at least 30 mins before cutting. It’s even better if you make it a day or two before.