coconut + almond fudge brownies (no baking needed!)

by Amy on 2 August 2011

last week’s no-oven-needed dessert (chocolate-ricotta icebox cake) was such a huge success that i knew i had to try out a few more no-bake recipes. when i stumbled across these brownies, i knew i had a winner! the original recipe called for peanuts instead of almonds, but i thought with the coconut, almonds were a better choice. you could easily substitute walnuts or macadamia nuts, if that’s more your nutty style, or omit the nuts altogether if you don’t dig ’em.

this dessert is super rich + incredibly decadent. frankly, i was afraid they were going to lack flavor, but i was 100% wrong. the texture, due to the lack of eggs/butter, is different than your typical brownie. texture-wise, think flourless chocolate cake meets brownie. like i said: amazingly decadent! the flavors are wonderful, too – between the chocolate, coconut + almonds, it’s like an almond joy in a brownie form! + the fact that you don’t even have to turn on the oven to make ’em? that’s icing on the cake, erm, brownie. stay cool, friends!

*update*: awesome reader ally also suggested that the batter could be rolled into truffles rather than poured into a pan/made into brownies. excellent suggestion – these are super rich so the smaller portion size would work perfectly!

no-bake coconut + almond fudge brownies

makes 16 small brownies, or 24 larger brownies, adapted from martha stewart


12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups evaporated milk (from one 12-ounce can)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups finely ground chocolate wafer cookies (from two 9-ounce packages. look for nabisco famous chocolate wafers, or newman’s own chocolate alphabet cookies)
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons salted almonds
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar


line a 9” square baking dish with plastic wrap, leaving a 1” overhang on all sides.

heat chocolate + evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until chocolate melts + is smooth. remove from heat. stir in vanilla. set aside 1/3 cup.

combine cookies, 2 cups coconut, 1 cup nuts, the sugar, + 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. pour in chocolate mixture; stir until combined.

spread mixture evenly into dish. spread reserved 1/3 cup chocolate over top. finely chop remaining 2 tablespoons coconut + 2 tablespoons nuts; sprinkle evenly over chocolate. refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. remove brownies from pan by lifting plastic wrap. remove plastic, + cut into 16-24 brownies (depending on your preferred size).

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ally Garner August 2, 2011 at 9:12 am

No-bake brownies? Say wha? Loving these no-bake desserts right now on these 100+ degree days! My oven can kiss my fanny at the moment.

I wonder if you could use this same base to roll these into truffles too? Hmm…

I love the almond, chocolate, coconut combo. So decadent. This means i’ll have the almond joy jingle in my head all day tho. Heh 😉

2 amy August 2, 2011 at 9:21 am

i don’t know if we can call ’em brownies since they don’t have egg/butter, but if martha calls ’em that, it must be okay! yes, you could definitely roll these into truffles – the texture + richness would be *perfect* for that. since they’re so rich, the smaller size of a truffle vs. a brownie might even be better. smart!
♪ ♫ sometimes you feel like a nut …. ♪ ♫ =)

3 Beth August 2, 2011 at 10:17 am

Okay, I MUST make these asap. Love Almond Joys, and I love a good flourless chocolate cake, so I am quite sure I will be in heaven!!

4 amy August 2, 2011 at 10:28 am

yay! let me know how (if) you tweak ’em + how they turn out for you. i love ally’s idea (above) of rolling them into truffles. as someone who likes smaller portions of desserts, i’ll probably try ’em that way when i make them again!

5 Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) August 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Yeah…I’m avoiding the oven like the plague these days. However, I never avoid chocolate…so this is the ideal summer goodie!! Come by to enter my latest giveaway…fun gourmet popcorn!!

6 amy August 2, 2011 at 12:36 pm

i agree that no-bake desserts are a *must* during these crazy hot summers. i know your texas summers are probably even hotter than our tennessee ones – hope you’re staying cool! thanks for the giveaway info – off to check it out now.

7 Caroline @ chocolate and carrots August 2, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Totally digging the no-bake desserts. This one looks amazing. I bet it’s like eating a fudgy, more chocolaty version of an almond joy. Yum!!! :-)

8 amy August 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm

that is exactly what it’s like: the chocolaty-est, richest version of an almond joy imaginable!

9 Rachael August 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Omg, this makes the boxed mix I’m making seem so unexciting. After the boxed mix is gone I’m making this! It looks amazing! I love coconut and almond mixes! Yummo!!!!

10 amy August 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm

ain’t no shame in a box mix! although if you love coconut/almond, you do have to try this soon! =)

11 Maris (In Good Taste) August 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Love the no bake premise in this horrendous heat wave!

12 amy August 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm

having just stood outside for a few minutes in this super hot weather, i wholeheartedly agree! no ovens for me tonight!

13 EA-The Spicy RD August 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Yum and how very decadent! Pamela’s makes some delicious gluten-free chocolate cookies that I bet would be fabulous in these. Will have to give it a try!

14 amy August 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm

they are *so* decadent! i just need a few bites to satisfy my sweet tooth. thanks for the tip on the pamela’s cookies – i know a lot of g.f. foodies so i can now point them in that direction. =)

15 Cait's Plate August 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I was totally sold at “no baking needed” – these look incredible (as always!) and I could REALLY go for one right now!

16 amy August 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

if i could send you one virtually, i would! =) hope you’re enjoying your trip – it looks absolutely gorgeous in pictures!

17 sheila @ Elements August 4, 2011 at 11:35 am

My eyes perked right up when I saw that “no bake!” I need to bring something yummy and chocolaty to someone at work who’s gonna be leaving us. I really wasn’t looking forward to turning on the oven and baking this afternoon, and this recipe sound fantastic!!

I’d love to try making it but I have a question. I don’t have any evaporated milk. Do you think regular milk, coconut milk, or hazelnut milk would work okay? If so, I’ll run into the kitchen and get started. :)

Thanks so much for the help! :)

18 amy August 4, 2011 at 11:44 am

hey sheila! basically, evaporated milk is double-strength milk. if you add an equal amount of water to the same amount of evaporated milk, it becomes regular-strength milk, if that makes sense. in short, milk, coconut milk, or hazelnut milk should all work just fine – use the same amount you would’ve for the evaporated milk. can’t wait to hear how they turn out!

19 sheila @ Elements August 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Thanks so much, Amy!! That helps a lot! We’re getting ready to run to the pool before we go to work, but after work this evening, I’ll make them either using ladyfingers or butter cookies, coconut milk, and almonds. I love the idea of no bake almond joy brownies! :) Thanks so much again! sheila

20 amy August 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

ooh, i love your spin on it. can’t wait to hear how it goes. have fun at the pool!

21 sheila @ Elements August 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Had a great time at the pool, and when we got back, I made them! I used coconut milk instead of evaporated milk. I decided to stick with the almonds since I love Almond Joys! :) I used a combination of butter cookies and Ladyfinger cookies. I had just enough coconut for the batter so didn’t have any to decorate the top. So I sprinkled ground almonds and vanilla sugar on top.

I tasted the some of mixture that was left in the bowl, and oooooh…my husband and I both loved it! I’ll cut them tonight when we get home from work…give some to our co-worker and save some for us! :) Thanks so much again, Amy! You totally saved me from having to bake and I really appreciate it! :)

22 amy August 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm

wow, sounds great + i love your adaptations to the recipe! way to work with what you had handy!

23 sheila @ Elements August 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I just wanted to let you know that these brownies are amazingly delicious!!! I just ate one, and WOW…they’re heavenly and taste just like an Almond Joy! I cut them pretty small, and I’m glad I did because they’re so rich. You just need a little to satisfy you! :) Thanks so much again, sheila

24 amy August 5, 2011 at 7:46 am

awesome! i first cut them into normal brownie-sized bites + then realized those were waaay too big. now i cut them into small bite-sized versions. a little goes a long way! so happy you liked ’em.

25 Eating Deliciously August 5, 2011 at 10:06 am

I love brownies but hate to turn on the oven in this heat. Thanks for sharing this no-bake recipe!

26 amy August 5, 2011 at 10:36 am

you are so welcome! hope you make ’em + love ’em!

27 Kristen @ notsodomesticated August 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Yumm!!! I’ve been bored and looking through tons of recipes tonight, and these look awesome! :)

28 amy August 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm

they are amazing! super rich, though, so cut ’em into smaller squares than i initially did!

29 Kate@FudgyGoodness August 7, 2011 at 3:38 am

Wow, you had me at ‘no bake’! Love the idea of no-bake brownies … thanks for sharing, these have been bookmarked! Wonderful blog!

30 amy August 7, 2011 at 8:00 am

glad you found your way to my blog – i love meeting new bloggers! + i’m double glad that you like the brownies – they are so amazingly decadent!

31 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl August 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I must make these–immediately! Can’t beat a no-bake dessert in this summer heat we’ve been having!

32 amy August 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm

amen to that! i’ve been on a huuuuge no-bake kick recently due to the heat + have come across some great recipes!

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