Kalyn's Kitchen

Sugar-Free Whole Wheat Brownies

Sugar-Free Whole Wheat Brownies are posted in memory of Grandma Willey; here’s my healthier version of her famous brownies with walnuts.

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Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Brownies found on KalynsKitchen.com

When you see my stack of darkly chocolate brownies with walnuts, you may think I’m just posting them as a sweet treat for the holidays, but there’s also a heart-warming story behind this stack of brownies. Just over two weeks ago my sister Pam’s mother-in-law passed away. When I went to the viewing for Grandma Willey there was a table of memories of her life, along with a stack of printed recipe cards and a little sign that said “Dorothy’s favorite recipe, please take one.”  On the card was the recipe for Dot’s Brownies.

Grandma Willey wasn’t technically a relative of mine, but I did see her often at Willey family events and always enjoyed her warm personality, her forthright comments, and her political philosophies, including the strong belief in women’s rights that she held way before it became common.  The last few years of her life she suffered with very poor eyesight, and I admired the way Pam’s husband Kelly and his sister Elizabeth took care of their mom’s every need. I’m pretty sure Grandma Willey didn’t use a computer and I’m not sure if she even knew about my little blog, but I thought it would be fun to try the recipe and post it on the blog as a tribute to her, so I decided to see if I could come up with a sugar-free and whole wheat adaptation that worked.

Grandma Willey’s brownies had frosting, something I didn’t think was necessary for a sugar-free version. But when I tried the recipe the first time just substituting sweetener for the sugar, I thought they were not quite sweet enough, so the version I’m sharing here has an extra 1/2 cup of sweetener for a recipe that makes 12 large brownies. Grandma Willey used margarine (probably this was a depression-era recipe) but I liked the version with butter the best; use margarine or a blend of margarine/coconut oil if you prefer.  I also switched the white flour for white whole wheat, something I use in almost all my baking experiments.

Even with my addition of more sweetener, this is not a super-sweet brownie the way I’ve made it, which suits my tastebuds perfectly.  I’ll always remember Grandma Willey mostly for the goodness she instilled in her son Kelly, who has done so many nice things for me during my life, but now I have a great brownie recipe to remember her by as well.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Brownies found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Sugar-Free Whole Wheat Brownies:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Use the microwave to melt the butter or oil/margarine of your choice in a bowl that’s big enough to hold all the ingredients.
  2. Mix 7 tablespoons of cocoa powder into the melted butter.
  3. In a smaller bowl, beat 4 eggs with Lakanto Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or other sweetener of your choice. (I originally made these with a combination of granulated Stevia and brown sugar, but now I like the version with Golden Monkfruit Sweetener just as well for a sugar-free brownie.)
  4. Mix the egg mixture into the cocoa powder mixture.
  5. Then add the flour, salt, and vanilla and stir to combine.
  6. I loved the part of the recipe that said 1 cup nuts (hand broken) and I did indeed break them by hand.
  7. Press the mixture into a sprayed baking dish.  I used a glass dish that was about 8″ x 11″ which gave me twelve large brownies.
  8. Bake at 350F/180C for 30 minutes, and then let the brownies cool in the pan for a few minutes before cutting.

Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Brownies found on KalynsKitchen.com

More  Sugar-Free or Low-Sugar Recipes with Chocolate:

Whole Grain Low-Sugar (or sugar-free) Chocolate Cookies with Pecans 
Flourless Sugar-Free Chocolate Shortbread Cookies 
Flourless Sugar-Free Cookies with Peanut Butter and Chocolate 
Sugar-Free and Flourless Chocolate and Oatmeal Cluster Cookies 

Sugar-Free Whole Wheat Brownies

Sugar-Free Whole Wheat Brownies

Sugar-Free Whole Wheat Brownies with Walnuts are a healthier version of Grandma Willey's famous brownies.

Yield 12 large brownies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 cup melted butter (see notes)
  • 7 T cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups Lakanto Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (see notes)
  • 1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup walnuts (hand broken)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Use a microwave to melt the butter or other fat choice in a large bowl (big enough to hold all the ingredients.)
  3. Stir the cocoa powder into the melted butter.
  4. In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs well, then stir in 2 1/2 cups Lakanto Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or whatever sweetener you prefer) and stir again.
  5. Stir the egg mixture into the cocoa mixture.
  6. Then add the flour, salt, and vanilla and stir to combine.
  7. Use your fingers to break enough walnuts to make 1 cup, and then gently stir them into the batter.
  8. Spray a glass baking dish with nonstick spray and then add the batter, pressing down so the brownies are evenly flat.  (I used a dish that was about 8″ x 11″.)
  9. Bake 30 minutes, then let the brownies cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before cutting.


If you don't have butter you can use margarine or coconut oil; do not use margarine that has water as the first ingredient. I'm a huge fan of Lakanto Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) but use another sweetener or brown sugar if you prefer.

Recipe adapted from Dot’s Brownies, the favorite brownie recipe of Grandma Willey.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 282Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

#SugarFreeBrownies #WholeWheatBrownies #LowCarbBrownies”>

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    25 Comments on “Sugar-Free Whole Wheat Brownies”

  1. I'm traveling so I can't check, but I think I used Smart Balance. Just check the label.

  2. Do you have a recommendation for a margarine that you like that doesn't list water as the first ingredient. I typically just have unsalted butter or Brummel and Brown on hand.

  3. So glad people are happy with the healthful aspects of this recipe! Maybe not 100% guilt free, but definitely better than the original.

    Carolyn, I don't have any original recipe cards, but I do have some printed copies of a few of my mom's recipes, and I treasure them.

  4. Kalyn – what a sweet, sweet story. I just think the idea of putting out a favorite recipe for people to take along to remember her is such a wonderful idea. I have 3×5 cards (obviously from long, long ago) that are in my mother's handwriting, or from some of my grandmother's friends, even, and I wax nostalgic every time I glance at them. Remembering the person. But doing it at a viewing is just nice.

  5. I'm a sucker for brownies. A weakness of mine 🙂 I love that you're making them more guilt free!