Introduction: Fast and Easy Low-Fat Brownies

Use your favorite brownie mix to go from zero to brownies in 20 minutes.  This recipe adapts a store-bought, oven-cooked mix to make moist, low-fat brownies that take five minutes to cook in your microwave.  Substituting fatty oils with applesauce, you can enjoy healthy brownies without sacrificing that chocolaty taste you love!  It's so easy a college student can do it.

Total Time: 20 minutes
Preparation:10 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
Cooling, Cutting and Cleanup: 5 minutes

You only need three ingredients:

1.  Brownie Mix: Any box of your favorite brand (*optional: use a sugar-free brownie mix for a low-calorie option)
2.  Egg(s): Use number directed on the box (*optional: substitute 1/4 cup of egg whites per egg for a fat-free option)
3.  Applesauce: About 1 cup depending on the amount of oil required for your mix (*optional: use a no-sugar added brand)

Nuts: Give your soft brownies a little crunch
Frosting: For an extra sinful brownie

Cooking Items:
1.  1 Mixing Bowl
2.  1 Plate: Large, deep (at least 3/4 in.), microwaveable; paper, plastic, glass, or ceramic, but not metal; must freely rotate in microwave
3.  1 Microwave: With turntable; Note: It is extremely important that the batter can rotate freely to ensure even cooking
4.  1 Measuring Cup: 1/2 cup or 1 cup will do
5.  1 Spoon: For mixing and pouring batter
6.  1 Knife: For testing while cooking, and cutting when finished
7.  Napkins for serving and cleanup

Step 1: Calculate Ingredients

1.  Applesauce: Look on the back of the brownie mix box at the list of ingredients. Substitute the oil and water with applesauce.

Important! The amount of applesauce you need is twice the amount of oil in the recipeDo not add oil or water to the mix.

For example, our box called for 1/2 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of water, so we replaced them both with 1 cup of applesauce (2 x 1/2 cup oil = 1 cup applesauce).  The subtle taste of the applesauce will not change the chocolate brownie flavor you love.

Do not add water, because the applesauce already contains enough.  Adding more water may cause the brownies to come out too gooey.

2. Egg(s) : Use the recommended number of eggs (adding more may produce poor cooking results in the microwave).

Note :  Do not adjust the recipe for high altitudes (3500 ft+).  We cooked our brownies in the microwave at an elevation of 4,600 feet without following the high-altitude directions on the box, and they came out just great.  For simplicity, try this recipe with the standard directions on the box using only applesauce and eggs  and see how they come out before attempting to follow the high-altitude directions.

Step 2: Mix Eggs & Applesauce

1.  Crack the eggs into the mixing container.

2.  Beat the eggs with a fork until they're slightly frothy.

3.  Add the applesauce (instead of oil and water) to the eggs and stir until they're well-mixed.

Step 3: Add Brownie Mix

1. Add the brownie mix slowly into the mixing bowl as you stir.

2. Mix until the batter reaches muddy consistency.  If after a minute of mixing the batter is still too solid, add a tiny amount of water and mix until the batter is able to dribble slowly off of the spoon.

*Optional: Add nuts

Step 4: Pour Mix Onto Plate

Important!   Make sure the plate can spin freely in the microwave. 

Pour the batter onto the un-buttered plate or dish in a thin, even layer.  Keep the layer as thin as possible (about 1/2 " to 3/4 " thick) for thorough and even cooking.  The mix will rise slightly during cooking, so make sure your plate is deep enough that the mix won't overflow when it rises slightly.

Note: You do not need to butter the cooking surface.  The fast cooking time in the microwave prevents the brownies from baking onto the surface unlike conventional oven cooking.

You may need to cook the batter in two batches, but you can use the same plate.  Just finish cooking one batch, then remove them and reuse the same plate to cook the second batch.

Note : If you pour the batter too thick, parts of the brownies may come out unevenly cooked.

Step 5: Microwave for 4 Minutes

Important!  Make sure you are using a microwave with a turntable.  Your brownies will burn if the plate doesn't rotate!

Place the plate of brownie mix on the microwave turntable and select a conservative cooking time of 4 minutes to avoid burning.  Cook your brownies for the full 4 minutes then test them with the knife to see if they're done.

Testing the Brownies:

1.  Poke the knife deep into the center of the brownies until it hits the plate.

2.   Remove the knife and note the consistency of any clinging batter:
     If the knife comes out free of goo, then the brownies are finished. 
     If the knife comes out with some liquid batter, the brownies aren't done so proceed to step 3. 

3.  If your brownies need more cooking time, cook for an additional 30 seconds and test again as directed in steps 1 and 2 until the desired consistency is reached.

Our batch of brownies took 4 minutes and 30 seconds, but cooking times may vary with microwave wattage, settings, and plate size.

Be sure to let the brownies cool before trying to cut them or remove them from the plate.

Step 6: Cool, Cut, and Enjoy!

1.  Allow the brownies to cool for a few minutes for easier cutting.  Note: They may be a little spongier than oven-cooked brownies.

2.  Cut and serve them on the same plate you cooked them on!


Remove them from the plate by using the knife as a spatula.  They should come off easily.  Also, for quick removal, you can just flip the plate over onto another surface and the brownies should just fall off.

3. *Optional: Smother your brownies with your favorite frosting.

4.  Enjoy your tasty, low-fat brownie creation and don't forget to share!

5.  Clean up in a flash!  You can just throw away your plate and utensils if you used disposable paper or plastic.

6.  Tell your friends about Fast and Easy Low-Fat Brownies!