What Are the Best Tips for Making Low-Fat Brownies?

Marissa Meyer

You can make low-fat brownies by finding healthy replacements for fattening ingredients such as eggs, butter, oil and shortening. Low-fat alternatives to butter and eggs are available in most supermarkets. Ingredients such as applesauce, puréed pumpkin and puréed beans add moisture to brownie batter, keeping the texture desirable. Fat and calorie counts can be further reduced by making smaller brownies and avoiding extra ingredients such as frosting.

Applesauce is often used as a substitute for fat and/or eggs in some recipes.
Applesauce is often used as a substitute for fat and/or eggs in some recipes.

Brownies are made when flour, sugar and cocoa powder are combined with oils and eggs to create a batter that bakes into a rich dessert. Bakers who desire low-fat brownies must keep the batter moist to prevent dried, burnt brownies. Replacing some or all of the eggs, butter, oil and shortening with healthier alternatives is a way to make low-fat brownies without having to alter the size or sacrifice taste. For example, low-fat margarine can be substituted for butter, and low-fat egg substitute can be substituted for regular eggs.

Eliminating frosting can help reduce brownie calories.
Eliminating frosting can help reduce brownie calories.

Some bakers separate the egg yolks and whites, then add as many whites as requested in the recipe but use fewer than the requested number of yolks. Using egg substitute or a reduced number of yolks might slightly alter the texture of the brownies. This usually is not noticeable, however.

Puréed fruits, vegetables and beans can replace some or all of the fattening ingredients in brownies while improving the nutritional value. These substitutions are often accommodating to people who have diabetes, lactose intolerance or other special dietary needs. Brownies that are made with applesauce, puréed pumpkin or puréed beans often taste similar to traditional brownies, and research has shown that many people cannot tell the difference.

Unsweetened applesauce or pureed pumpkin can be combined with egg substitute or reduced yolks to make the brownies as low-fat as possible. Some bakers mix dry brownie ingredients with one to two cans of puréed pumpkin, completely omitting eggs and oils. Although the texture might be slightly altered, this method is often used by people who want to make low-fat brownies or reduce sugar content. Applesauce should be used only to replace oils; eggs or egg substitutes are still required to maintain a desirable texture.

Reduced potion sizes keep brownies lower in fat even if substitutions were not used. Many bakers reduce brownie recipes by half or 75 percent, but cut the brownies into the same number of servings. These brownies are smaller and not as thick as traditional brownies, but the taste is not affected. Cutting out additives such as nuts, chocolate chips and frosting also reduces the fat content.

Using fewer egg yolks is a good way to reduce the fat in baked goods.
Using fewer egg yolks is a good way to reduce the fat in baked goods.

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