Birthday Cake Brownies that are actually healthy? Yes! These flourless brownies are made with cashew butter, eggs and coconut sugar and are gluten free, dairy free and Paleo-friendly.
Gosh I love these birthday cake brownies so much and I know you will too. I originally made them in 2015 for my brother's birthday, mostly to celebrate his love of cashew butter.
See, I adore making recipes with nut butter, like my peanut butter fudge and my flourless almond butter chocolate chip cookies. These brownies use nut butter as the main ingredient instead of flour, making it a little too easy to devour the whole pan.
- Use nut butter as a base instead of flour (kind of like these healthy peanut butter balls)
- These brownies are ready in just 30 minutes
- Filled with sprinkles, but you could also add chocolate chips
- They're flourless, making them naturally gluten free and Paleo-friendly, with the option to make them vegan as well!
Nut butter: The recipe calls for cashew butter, but I think almond butter and *some* peanut butters would work just fine. If you want to try using peanut butter, opt for a brand where the only ingredient is peanuts, or peanuts and salt (you don't want it to be too thick).
Sugar: I love coconut sugar for many reasons, one being because you can use it interchangeably with refined sugar or cane sugar. If you happen to have those in your pantry instead, feel free to use them in this recipe.
Maple syrup: I love the addition of maple syrup -- it pairs perfectly with nut butter -- but if you're looking to cut back on sugar, you can omit the syrup.
Eggs: Since this is a flourless recipe, the eggs act as a binder and hold everything together. BUT, I did test the recipe using flax eggs and it turns out pretty well. See the "tips" section below if you want to make these vegan-friendly.
Sprinkles: Every "birthday cake" flavored recipe needs sprinkles, but if you want to take these up a notch, you can definitely add chocolate chips as well.
How to make birthday cake brownies
Step 1: Whisk the wet ingredients. In this case, the wet ingredients are the eggs, cashew butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Since these brownies are gluten free, you don't need to bust out your stand or electric mixer. Instead, simply stir everything gently by hand with a rubber spatula.
Step 2: Add the dry ingredients. Once the wet ingredients are mixed, fold in the baking soda, baking powder and coconut sugar.
Step 3: Add-ins. Last, stir in the "add-ins", aka the sprinkles and/or chocolate chips. These are what gives these brownies a little "oomph", so I do recommend adding at least one or the other, if not both.
Step 4: Bake. Bake the brownies for 25 minutes (unless you're making them vegan, then bake for 30 minutes). Wait for the brownies to cool completely before slicing them!
Tips and tricks
-Don't over-mix the batter -- stir gently by hand until everything is incorporated, then transfer it to the baking pan.
-Make sure to grease the baking pan with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper.
-Wait until the bars are completely cooled before cutting them. Since they're flourless, they're more fragile than most brownies and will fall apart if you cut them while they're warm.
Do I have to use cashew butter?
Nope! Any nut butter will work. Cashew butter makes these taste the most similar to birthday cake, but I've made them with peanut butter and they're still delicious.
What's the best way to make these gluten free and vegan?
To make these brownies vegan, you'll want to use 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 5 tablespoon water), and bake them for 30 minutes. Then, once they've cooled, store them in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature, which will help them stay together better.
How should these be stored?
Store brownies in a container (I just kept them in the 8x8 baking dish, and covered it with a lid) either at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
More healthy dessert recipes
- The BEST Paleo Brownies
- No Bake Cheesecake
- Flourless Sweet Potato Brownies
- Peanut Butter Fudge (dairy free)
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Healthy Birthday Cake Brownies
- 1 ¼ cup cashew butter (12 oz.)
- 2 eggs see notes
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Whisk cashew butter, eggs, syrup and vanilla together; then, stir in the baking powder, baking soda and coconut sugar. Last, add the sprinkles.
- Grease an 8x8 baking pan with nonstick spray, or line it with parchment paper. Scoop batter into the pan, using a spatula to smooth it out.
- Bake brownies for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Wait for the bars to cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in May 2015. It was updated with new text and photos in March 2021.
Risa Newell says
I just made these today for my big bro. He is my twin and today is our birthday and he loved them! I am so happy that I could make this on such a special day, Thank you so much for your delicious shares! He and I turned 13 I FEEL SO OLD!!! lol🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣! Have a good day y'all! 🤯❤️❤️❤️🙏🙏🙏🙏
Daniel Z says
Birthday cake + brownies!!! Yum!!!
hey erin! i've followed your blog for a long while now, but never commented. i just wanted to say i made these brownies, but used almond butter as i had it on hand, and they were so.good.!!! I actual ended up adapting your recipe to make a sunflower seed butter blondie thing~~ also featuring rainbow sprinkles, of course. 🙂
Ahh I love that!! Glad it worked out and thanks for the comment 🙂
My brownies cooked up to be a bit more fluffy then the ones I see pictured of yours...... Although still delicious. Do you think it may be because I made the cashew butter an hour ahead of time? Also I didn't use wax paper.
Thanks for the recipe...I'm trying to eat healthier and this showed up at the right time!
these look amazing..i think i'll be trying these this week! where do you usually get your cashew butter at? or do you make your own?
I usually get mine from Trader Joe's, but homemade would work too!
Hi. Can I use sunbutter in place of cashew butter, and maybe honey for the sweetener?
Though I haven't tried it myself, you can most likely sub sun butter for cashew butter because they are similar in consistency. However, I'm not sure honey would work because it may make the dough too runny. Let me know if you try it and if they turn out!
Great! Thank you so much for your quick reply! 🙂
Can I make my own cashew butter using Raw cashews? Will it still taste ok and I could just add some salt if needed?
Yes you can use your own! I'd recommend adding a bit of salt for sure, but it's honestly up to you.
Sonia K. says
I made this for a birthday party I hosted where all the foods were vegan. Deeeeelicious was the outcome! Everyone enjoyed it. It's like a chocolate chip cookie cake and the cashew butter really gave it that something extra.
Slight alteration: I supplanted the sprinkles for additional chocolate chips and coconut sugar.
I'm so glad everyone liked them! Thanks for the feedback 🙂
Michele @ Two Raspberries says
these look SO yummy! sprinkles always make everything more fun and taste better because nothing is better than fun food! 😉 pinned!
GiGi Eats says
It's crazy how there is no flour or anything in this recipe, yet it looks like it is made with flour! I think I will make these for a friend's birthday that's this coming weekend!! Sadly, I won't be able to eat them, but... I think they'll be a hit!
Sam @ Better With Sprinkles says
Aww, happy birthday to your brother! Favourite butter: old fashioned peanut butter.
A weird fact about my brother: he's obsessed with Monster Energy drinks - he drinks them all the time. A few years ago (2 years ago, maybe?) I made him a Monster birthday cake that had Monster in the cake batter as well as the frosting. It was actually really good.
Justin Druga says
AWWWW thanks BIG-E!!! That was very nice!!