© 2011 Green Kitchen Stories Raw Hazelnut & Chai Brownies

Raw Hazelnut & Chai Brownies

After six months of traveling around the world, our life has now finally settled back to normal. And that is when we realize that we don’t know what normal is anymore. Even though Luise and I have been living together for a couple of years, it feels like our life as a family starts now. Just like Elsa, we are taking our first trembling steps towards our new family life. Right now we have no idea how that life will turn out, how we will find a balance between work and family, or even in which country our life will take place during the next couple of years. You might say that we have some figuring out to do. One thing that we do know, is that we will keep on sharing our favorite recipes with you. Like these Chai & Hazelnut Brownies that Luise made the other day. We would be lying if we called them healthy, but they are at least vegan, raw and gluten free. And they taste – pardon my french – fingerlickin’ good!

Before moving on to the recipe, we want to give you some basic tips when baking with dates.
1. Always use fresh dates. They should be dry on the outside, and very soft and sticky on the inside.
2. If you have to use dried dates, you need to soak them in drinking water a couple of hours before baking with them.
3. If you can’t find dates at all you can try using raisins, dried figs, dried plums or dried apricots (remember to always soak dried fruit first).
4. When you blend dates they should turn into a very sticky paste, so you need a strong food processor or blender. If you do not have one, place the pitted dates on a plate and mash with a fork until sticky and like caramel.

Raw Hazelnut & Chai Brownies
Makes 12 brownies

What makes this cake special is that it is spiced up with chai spices, it gives it such an unique taste! Use normal tea bags, cut them open and just pour them in the dough, isn’t it easy? -and you can choose green, black or herbal chai tea!

2 cups (5 dl) fresh medjool dates, pitted
4 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil, room temperature
2 tbsp maple syrup

6 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp ground vanilla or vanilla extract
3 chai tea bags, (or your favorite tea blend) cut them open
2 tbsp ground flax seeds, chia, psyllium or hemp
1 pinch sea salt
1/2 cup (1,2 dl) raw hazelnut, coarsely chopped (or nuts and seeds of choice)

Place all ingredients, except the hazelnuts, in a food processor or a high speed blender. Mix until smooth, you probably have to scrape the mixture down with a spoon a couple of times. Add the chopped hazelnuts and knead the ‘dough’ by hand. Cover  a brownie tin with plastic wrap and press down the dough to about 1/2 inch (1,25 cm) high. Rub a bit of coconut oil on your hands to prevent the dough from sticking. Put the cake in the fridge and let it set for a least half an hour. Cut in brownie-size pieces, dust with cacao powder and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Photos by: Johanna Frenkel.


  1. Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 09:04 | #

    Mmm – little squares of chocolatey, gooey awesomeness! I want!

  2. Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 09:16 | #

    yummm…after work i’ll going to kitchen to make this titbits (:

  3. Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 09:27 | #

    åå det där verkar vara något helt i min smak! MÅSTE göras. puss

  4. anusha
    Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 10:24 | #

    wow..gotta try this out.. sounds yummy.. and no baking :)

  5. Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 10:56 | #

    These look amazing – and the cookbook sounds good too. Wonder if I can somehow get hold of a copy here in the UK? Worth a try anyway. No baking is a bonus!

  6. Sofia Finker
    Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 12:19 | #

    hi the first time ;)
    i just want to say i love your blog, i found it a few weeks ago and i read every recipe and tried some of them. the photos are amazing, i’m an urban explorer photographer so i have no experience with taking pictures of food, but that will change, because your pics have an stunning focus! and the way you two write your entries is also really cool, they always sound like a small story.
    to the present entry i just want to say: i understand you, i live a couple of weeks per year in thailand and i’m thinking about moving away from austria after my study…
    greetings sofia :)

  7. Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 15:12 | #

    Yum, great idea about adding chai to these! Love the video of Elsa’s first steps, what a beauty, and what a beautiful place to take first steps. I’m sure you guys will do great as you figure things out, you’re a lovely family.

  8. Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 17:07 | #

    Love the idea of the tea & the spices…simply delicious sounding…& looking, beautiful pictures.

  9. sarita
    Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 20:35 | #

    I am doing them right now! yummmmymyyyyy

  10. Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 20:52 | #

    wowee – these look awesome!

    All the best with all your decisions :)

  11. Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 21:58 | #

    Jag snubblande in här hos er på någon vänster och blev superglad! Vackra, stolta, kraftfulla bilder och texter fulla av kärlek<3 Härligt också med lite Svenska inom just denna bloggkategori:) Hit kommer jag tillbaka snart igen! Välkomna hem från resan!


  12. Posted 8 Apr ’11 at 23:56 | #

    I have always been a little bit weary of raw diets, but not I am getting into it more and more, because I keep on seeing wonderful recipes like this!

  13. Karsn
    Posted 9 Apr ’11 at 02:04 | #

    Skal prøves inden for de næste 12 timer!

  14. Posted 9 Apr ’11 at 10:23 | #

    Welcome back to Scandinavia, we’ve missed you! These are perfect for my sneaking in fairily healthy sweets without anyone knowing-campaigne. Gorgeous!

  15. Talia
    Posted 9 Apr ’11 at 21:02 | #

    don’t you mean, “pardon my american”? ;) hehe

  16. Posted 10 Apr ’11 at 00:26 | #

    Welcome back! I have really missed your recipes, and this one is fantastic.. One of my friends just gave me so much dried dates (I didn’t find the fresh ones neither here in Croatia, neither in Italy) This one I’ll make it in a few days because I’m addicted to two things – vegetables & chocolate. lovely photos ;)

  17. Posted 10 Apr ’11 at 01:03 | #

    I’m constantly blown away by your recipes. It’s either raw or vegan or gluten free… it’s such an inspiration.

    Will have to give this a try.

  18. Posted 10 Apr ’11 at 06:11 | #

    Wow….. As usual, I’m salivating and inspired. Making these some night this week!

  19. Posted 10 Apr ’11 at 11:52 | #

    Wow these so sound delicious! What a great combination

  20. Posted 12 Apr ’11 at 01:13 | #

    Oooh, I can’t wait to give these a try and with the chai….yuuum! Although dates are VERY high in natural sugar at least the sugar comes hand in hand with loads of calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium. Dates help in fighting constipation, intestinal disorders, weight gain, heart problems, sexual weakness, diarrhoea and abdominal cancer. Not bad for a yummy sweet treat! Thanx for sharing.

  21. Posted 12 Apr ’11 at 06:30 | #

    These look so decadent, yet the ingredient list is so clean! You truly make masterpieces in the kitchen. I can’t wait to try these ones out.

  22. Posted 12 Apr ’11 at 08:21 | #

    “Normal” lives are boring! I think your adventures in and out of the kitchen are admirable and exciting and I wish you all the best whatever direction your lives take!

    I see you use coconut oil – I absolutely LOVE it, and have been putting it in every baked good imaginable lately (it makes for an amazing cupcake frosting I just discovered!), but have been hearing mixed things about it. What’s your verdict? Is it healthy or not?

    Bisous from Paris!

  23. Posted 12 Apr ’11 at 20:27 | #

    Oh how I empathize for you right now as you navigate this “new normal.” I remember all too well what a strange and disorienting phenomena it is to actually be home after months on the go. Home doesn’t really feel like home right now, does it? It will come. It takes time. It will never be the same but it will be rich and joyous and full of all the great memories and lessons from traveling the world. These brownies look delish. I’m not a big chocolate girl myself, do you think these would be yummy if I nixed the cacao?

    Be well!

  24. Karine
    Posted 13 Apr ’11 at 14:51 | #


    Thank you so much for sharing with us your marvelous recipes! :D Your blog is fantastic, I love visiting it. It is very calm and peaceful, the photos are beautiful, the recipes (I’ve tried two of them so far) are delicious, and I completely agree with your “food philosophy”. Again : thank you for this little place of paradise!
    Oh, and by the way : your chocolate and date cake is wonderful. It has a very nice “Marzipan” melting taste… Hmm. And every one who ate it said it was (even people a bit reluctant to a sweet cake without sugar and butter). :D

    Karine (Switzerland)

  25. Posted 15 Apr ’11 at 11:21 | #

    Great recipe, I’ll make it this weekend! Also thank you for the basic tips. You emailed me the same (concerning my failure of making the vegan chocolate-blackberry cake :)).

  26. Posted 17 Apr ’11 at 18:27 | #

    I haven’t visited your blog in a while and I forgot how much I liked the recipes on here! This raw brownie bar is a really good idea, I really like the ones that you have dig around the supermarket for, but they always are either really expensive or don’t have what you want in it. So why not make your own? ;)

    Best of luck with your new family life, it does sound exciting!

  27. Posted 19 Apr ’11 at 09:28 | #

    These sound amazing and I love the idea of using chai tea in them for flavor. I am definately making a batch of these goodies for Easter!

  28. Posted 26 Apr ’11 at 21:16 | #

    This blog is good. I’m thankful to I encountered this brownie recipe. I’m going to try make this for this can be a very good snack when I’m inside our car roaming around to relax. Thank you also for the tips. Nuts! nuts! nuts! :D

  29. Posted 26 Apr ’11 at 21:32 | #

    mmmmm… I wanna bake this brownie recipe together with my husband. He loves sweets. By the way, thanks also for the tips. :)

  30. shara
    Posted 13 May ’11 at 21:39 | #

    I just made them and due to a hazelnut allergy used walnuts instead, and they are delicious!
    thank you so much for this recipe

  31. Posted 28 Jun ’11 at 20:48 | #

    I’ve never eaten raw cake before, sounds interesting. The chai tea is a little different too. I’ve gotta try them ;) thanks

  32. Alexandra
    Posted 29 Jun ’11 at 10:41 | #

    Hi guys, I am finally getting around to making these brownies.One question: what is a dl? (Measurement for your cocoa powder). Thank you.

    • Posted 29 Jun ’11 at 22:49 | #

      Hi Alexandra, dl is a European unit which is equal to 2/5 cup or about 6 tbsp. Now we have changed it in the recipe, as we try to only use the American units. Thanks for pointing it out. Hope you’ll like the brownies!

  33. Posted 30 Jul ’11 at 01:21 | #

    Wow! these are delicious. Just made a batch and the boys were licking the sides of the bowl and wandering around the kitchen saying mmm… mmm…

  34. Posted 17 Aug ’11 at 19:56 | #

    Those look amazing! I Cannot wait to try them !!!!!!!!! Hazelnuts are my fave!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Line
    Posted 23 Sep ’11 at 10:43 | #

    Hej igen… Ja, så vil jeg så gerne lige igen høre, hvad ingredienserne hedder på dansk (det er ikke lige alt google-translate kan klare) :)… Endnu en gang…. Det er simpelthen sådan nogle lækre opskrifter i laver. Det er jo helt vildt.

  36. Lily
    Posted 20 Oct ’11 at 10:54 | #

    i really love your blog and these brownies look very delicious.
    i just have a little question: is there an alternative for the coconut oil?
    thanks :-)

  37. Stella
    Posted 22 Oct ’11 at 14:16 | #

    I looooove your recipes, they are all amazing.
    First I tried your sushisalad, it was a succes. Then I made your fig & walnut pasta and my parents went crazy over it and same happened when I made the zucchini cupcakes and yesterday I made your sticky nutbars for my dad to snack at work and I just enjoyed my last bite of this delicious raw brownie… YUM.
    so in short, you have saved me from the trouble of thinking what to cook; I find all of my favorites here ;- )
    tack så mycket! OCH hälsningar från Helsingfors !

  38. Posted 18 Dec ’11 at 20:55 | #

    I just made these & they were marvelous.

    I’m going to serve them at my Christmas party as finger food, so I’ve rolled them into balls and put them in candy cups.

    Thank you!

  39. Karolina
    Posted 7 Apr ’12 at 00:18 | #

    hi there! wow :) I’ve becoming a green junkie thanks to you! Today I was just wondering where I got the link to your website from.. no idea! However, it’s saved a good taste in my kitchen.

    …as I can’t figure it out myself: how much dates do I really need? 5 dl would be, according to your another comment (1 dl = 6 tbsp), approx. 30 tbsp… which would be therefore 30 dates, isn’t it?

    Cheers! Wish you great Easter holidays,

    • kristin
      Posted 18 Apr ’12 at 19:19 | #

      Woah! That sounds like a lot to me! I think I used about 15.

  40. kristin
    Posted 18 Apr ’12 at 19:18 | #

    I finally made these a few nights ago and HOLY COW! They are the BEST raw brownies I have tasted!

    I used this chai in it and I really think it made them better because it is a powder so it blended in seamlessly: http://bluelotuschai.com

    It is a spicy chai so it gave it a nice kick that really set this apart. Thank you sooooo much for sharing this recipe!

  41. Tracy
    Posted 20 Oct ’12 at 08:24 | #

    OMG!! How wonderful, so refreshing to find a sweet treat that is also healthy! A little piece goes a long way :)

  42. Posted 1 Jul ’13 at 18:57 | #

    My li’l girl wanted to bake, but it was just too hot to run the oven.

    So, we made something very similar to this, thanks to Emma from My Lemon Thyme who got the idea from you guys.


  43. Maria
    Posted 8 Jul ’13 at 23:10 | #

    I made this. But the mixture didn’t make it to the brownie tin, because I couldn’t stop myself from eating it all straight out of the food processor.
    Well, lets just say it tasted really good.

  44. victoria
    Posted 2 Sep ’13 at 05:44 | #

    The chai spices an inspiration! Thank you.

    Can anyone tell me – raw food deserts with uncooked cononut oil always taste a bit ‘soapy’ to me. No-one mentions it though so wondering if it is something I am doing?

  45. Posted 19 May ’14 at 19:35 | #

    Looks yummy, where do you get fresh dates!?

  46. Roisin
    Posted 14 Aug ’14 at 08:23 | #

    These look amazing! But why do you say that they are not healthy? They seem pretty nutritious to me?

  47. Posted 16 Apr ’15 at 20:05 | #

    Does this chai meaning tea here. As in India tea is fondly known as chai.

  48. Sophie
    Posted 14 Apr ’17 at 16:25 | #

    Un délice ! Mes adolescents l’ont dévoré 😋 . J’ai rajouté plus de noisettes crues pour plus de croquant. La prochaine fois, je mettrai un peu moins de sirop d’érable pour nous. Continuez à nous régalez au-delà de l’atlantique ! [A delight! My teenagers devoured him 😋. I added more raw hazelnuts for more crunchy. Next time I will put a little cheaper maple syrup for us. Continue to enjoy beyond the Atlantic!]

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