November 4, 2019

Date Glazed Lemon Brownies

These sweet, tart, Date Glazed Lemon Brownies are a unique citrusy treat. Gluten-free, oil-free, sugar-free, and fruit-sweetened.

One day a couple months ago, my mom came home with a recipe for lemon brownies. She's a big lemon fan, so she was pretty excited to try a lemony treat. Of course, the recipe was a 'traditional' brownie recipe. So it had flour, eggs, butter, and sugar.

My mom is gluten-free and she knew that I could take the concept of lemon brownies and "work my magic" to turn them into a plant-based recipe with no gluten, sugar, eggs, or butter. I took on the challenge!

I did some thinking and decided to adapt a black bean brownie recipe that I've made before. The brownies, however were the easy part. The recipe that my mom brought home also had a glaze. Glazes are difficult to replicate because most glazes use powdered sugar. If you use organic powdered sugar, you can easily make a vegan glaze. But that doesn't make it healthy. I needed a way to make glaze that would still use only fruit as a sweetener.

My typical fruit sweetener of choice is dates, so I decided to use dates and cashews to make a sweet lemon glaze. So yes, the glaze is pink (from the dates) but it makes this entire recipe fruit-sweetened!

Let's talk ingredients!


  • Black Beans. Often I use sweet potatoes in my brownies, but I decided to go with beans for this recipe to reduce the time and effort required. No need to bake a sweet potato when you can just open a can of beans! Plus, this means extra plant-protein and fiber!
  • Buckwheat Flour. My flour of choice these days. It's completely gluten-free and creates a more cake-like texture than oat flour.
  • Cocoa Powder. Of course these wouldn't be brownies without chocolate!
  • Date Syrup. A delicious fruit sweetener.
  • Walnut Butter. You can use any neutral nut butter you'd like (so basically anything except peanut butter). I like using my Toasted Walnut Butter because walnuts are awesome for brain health.
  • Lemon Juice and Zest. For amazing lemon flavor.
  • Lemon Extract. It just so happened that the day I made this recipe I went to this incredible grocery store near my house. They had all sorts of extracts in their baking aisle. I knew I was going to make these Date Glazed Lemon Brownies so I grabbed some extract. It was actually pretty cheap -- I was excited! If you don't have lemon extract or can't find any, don't worry. You can definitely make this recipe without it and your brownies will still taste very lemony. BUT if you can get some, lemon extract will give your brownies an incredible lemon flavor!
  • Chocolate Chips. Optional, but they add some texture and additional chocolate flavor to the brownies.
Date Glaze
  • Raw Cashews. Cashews make the base of this glaze. We'll soak them so they get soft and they'll create a thick, creamy icing.
  • Date Syrup. Again, a delicious fruit sweetener.
  • Lemon Juice and Zest. For lemon flavor.

How to make Date Glazed Lemon Brownies

To make these brownies, start by soaking the cashews in boiling water. If you do this while you make the brownies, they'll be soft when you want to make the glaze.

Next, add all the brownie ingredients, except the chocolate chips, to a food processor and process until smooth. Then, stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined cake pan and bake for 25 minutes. When the brownies are done, take them out and let them cool. Meanwhile, you can make the glaze.

Process all the date glaze ingredients in the food processor. It will take several minutes for it to get smooth, be patient.

When the brownies are cool, pour the glaze on them. Cut, serve, and enjoy!

Recipe Prayer

God, thank you for this food. Thank you for the family and friends we get to share it with. Let us use this food to bring us together. Amen.

Tried this recipe?

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Date Glazed Lemon Brownies

These sweet, tart, Date Glazed Lemon Brownies are a unique citrusy treat. Gluten-free, oil-free, sugar-free, and fruit-sweetened.















Black Bean Lemon Brownies

  • 1 15 Ounce Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 1/3 Cup Date Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Walnut Butter or other neutral nut butter
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice*
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Zest*
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Extract can omit and add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegan Chocolate Chips optional

Date Glaze

  • 2 Ounces Raw Cashews about 1/2 cup
  • 3 Tablespoons Date Syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice*
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Zest*


  1. Soak the cashews in boiling water to prepare them for the glaze.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Add all the Black Bean Lemon Brownie ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips to a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
  4. Pour brownie mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.
  5. Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool.
  6. Meanwhile, make the Date Glaze. Drain the cashews. Add the cashews and other lemon glaze ingredients to a blender or food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Pour the glaze over the cooled brownies. Slice, serve, and enjoy. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

*I used four lemons total to get the zest and juice needed for this recipe.

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January 16, 2022
Tracy Henry
Made this tonight. Absolutely delicious Elizabeth. You got this one just right!
Oh yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)
January 16, 2022
L Collins
Hi Could you please confirm two things:1. The amount of salt. Seems like too much. 2. The directions say there is lemon juice in the dressing but it’s not listed under ingredients. ThanksL.
Hi there! Confirming that the two teaspoons of salt in the dressing is correct. I didn't salt the cauliflower when roasting it or the salad after it was done, so this amount of salt was perfect. If you're concerned about it you can decrease the amount of salt in the dressing and then add more at the end if you need it. As for the lemon juice, SO sorry about that! It was a typo in my directions and I've removed it now. Hope this helps :)
December 20, 2021
This looks lovely! Do you have a recipe for the red pepper hummus also? Thank you!
Hi Martha! I don't have a recipe for red pepper hummus on my site. I suggest taking a traditional hummus recipe and blending in roasted red pepper.
November 22, 2021
Amanda J Lehmann
I tried these and they were delicious! A bit dense but flavorful and the "buckeye" blend of peanut and chocolate was on point! Recommend!
Yay! I'm so glad you liked them! -- Elizabeth
December 6, 2021
Hi, these look amazing. I was wondering, could I used powdered peanut butter in place of creamy for the recipe? thanks
Hi Grace! There is already some powdered peanut butter in this recipe, so adding more might make the texture more gluey. Also, the real peanut butter adds some fat, which helps create flavor. That said, if you want to use powdered peanut butter, I would suggest mixing it with a high-fat liquid like coconut cream and then measuring out 2/3 cup. Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes :) -- Elizabeth
November 15, 2021
You mention using vegetable broth in your introduction but it isn’t included in the recipe
Hi Becky - thanks for pointing this out. I have removed mention of vegetable broth from this post. You do not need any vegetable broth. The mushrooms will release natural liquid which will prevent any sticking. -- Elizabeth
September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography