Black forest Paleo brownies

Choc cherry brownies  1 of 1

There’s this dessert I’ll often make when we have a squadron function. It’s super easy, looks pretty, and tastes amazing. 

We’re in a training squadron now and things are different than an operations squadron (and we’re due to get our assignment any day ….and they’re probably getting rid of the A-10 and things are a little…exciting to say the least), but we still get together fairly often. Now, it seems like many people are Paleo, including the Pilot’s colleagues. I’m almost Paleo-ish too… except for the brown rice tortillas, goat cheese and Annie’s bunnies, to name a few. So really not that much at all (even though I get asked often if I’m Paleo since I have a penchant for grain-free and dairy-free recipes). 

I decided to whip up a little something using the same flavor combo as my last get-together dessert standard, but grain-free and dairy-free so more people couple enjoy it.

That is, until I ate most of them.

Choc cherry brownies  1 of 1 2

Quality control, right? πŸ˜‰

Make some of these for your Paleo friends, your love, or yourself. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did πŸ™‚

Choc cherry brownies  1 of 1

Coconut  1 of 1

Mixer  1 of 1

Mixer  1 of 1 2



Black Forest Paleo Brownies

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You won’t believe these are grain-free and dairy-free. Fluffy, decadent brownies for everyday or a special occasion.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut, ground into flour (reduces to about 1/4 cup)
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dried Bing cherries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 325 and grease a small baking dish (I used an 8-inch Pyrex)
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the coconut, almond meal, cinnamon, sea salt, cocoa powder and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
  3. Next, add your remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour into your dish and bake for 30 minutes, until fluffy and set.


  • Enjoy fresh out of the oven with some coconut milk ice cream on top πŸ˜‰


  • Serving Size: 6

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  1. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on October 8, 2013 at 10:56 am

    The cherry and chocolate combination is a good one! I love that they’re so easy. They look amazing!

  2. Jackie on October 8, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I don’t d paleo but this sounds great!

  3. Ali on October 8, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Oh my goodness, my dad would die for these. He has had a black forest cake every year for his birthday for as long as I can remember. Cherries and chocolate really do go so well together. <3

  4. Kristi on October 8, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Looks delish! Are there mini chocolate chips in the brownies as well? If so, which brand did you use?

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      yikes, i forgot to add those to the recipe– they were last minute addition πŸ™‚

  5. Beth E. on October 8, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I really, really dislike coconut, though πŸ™ Can you taste it (or omit it) in the recipe?

    • Ashley V on October 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      This was my first thought as well! I’m curious to know if substituting more almond meal or even oats could work. I prefer following recipes to experimenting (what can I say, I’m type-A), so I tend to be resistant to just going for it and trying something totally different from the instructions.

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      i think that an extra 1/4 cup almond meal should work, along with 1/2-1 tablespoon of butter

  6. Livi on October 8, 2013 at 11:47 am

    yum! and gluten free! I can’t wait to try these πŸ™‚

  7. Lauren on October 8, 2013 at 11:48 am

    So you just used a food processor to grind the coconut into flour?? I can’t wait to make these!

  8. Lucie@FitSwissChick on October 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Oh I love the ingredient list of those! I am not Paleo but thry sound delicious.

  9. Jessica on October 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    YUM can’t wait to try these out!!! Would you recommend sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut? I always see “unsweetened” in recipes but have a hard time finding it anywhere.

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      i would definitely do unsweetened. you can find it at most health food stores, or online. the bulk bins will have it too!

  10. Jen on October 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    This looks delicious! i can’t wait to make my own. Thanks for sharing this!

  11. Stephanie on October 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Is the coconut unsweetened? Looks delish!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      yes πŸ™‚

  12. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on October 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    oh wow these sound incredible, babe!

  13. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on October 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Black Forest Cake is seriously one of my favourite desserts — the combination of chocolate and cherries is just to die for. These look great πŸ™‚

  14. Courtstar on October 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Wow these sound insane, cherries + chocolate my favorite! Lots of Love C

  15. Cassie on October 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I cannot wait to try these this weekend! I have a dairy allergy, so I love delicious dairy free dessert recipes to try!

  16. Erika on October 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Gina,

    LOVE your blog! I’ve been wondering – I’ve read a few things online about how cooking/baking with almond flour/meal might not be that great (which I was bummed about because I really love the Paleo Bread). Do you have any concerns? Have you done any research into this at all?

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      no, this is the first i’ve heard about that. will research now and see what i find!

  17. Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! on October 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    My brother-in-law is an A-10 pilot too and just moved from Tucson to Valdosta. He is going through the same exciting/nervous waiting period to see what happens. I am sending positive thoughts to you guys too that everything works out for the best! πŸ™‚

  18. Sara on October 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Ok- now veganize this. πŸ™‚ Vegan AND Paleo-ish- that would be my jam! <3

  19. Kelsey on October 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Hmmm I wonder if you could sub coconut flour for the ground coconut?

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      i don’t know… coconut flour scares me haha. this way, if you grind the coconut it releases some oil, which i think helped to make the brownies so moist

      • sarah on October 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm

        I am with you Gina!!! I have had to many problems with coconut flour, but using the flakes always turns out:)

        These look taste…. my friends go nuts for anything with Paleo in the title…haha So they will love these!!

  20. Anna @ Fitness Γ  la Anna on October 8, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    My roomies are always baking delicious flourless & sugarless cookies…I will have to make these for them!!

  21. C. on October 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    These looks great! My dad is a vegan for health reasons so I’m definitely going to share this with my family.

  22. C. on October 8, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    While subbing the eggs of course!

  23. Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind on October 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Not a big brownie person but these sound different enough that I’d like them!

  24. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on October 8, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    These look so good!

  25. Tabi on October 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I’ve made similar almond flour brownies that are also AMAZING – they have just a little espresso in them which makes them SO rich! Brownies… make my life.

  26. Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine on October 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Oh wow, I can NOT wait to make these. Brownies are my addiction. Really. I love them all, so it is so nice to have brownies I can eat every day!! πŸ™‚

  27. Laurie Wilkinson on October 9, 2013 at 10:42 am

    My man is allergic to tree nuts! Can the almond meal be replaced with anything?

  28. Karen on October 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Wow those brownies are good!!

    I used 1/4 cup coconut flour and added 2-ish Tbsp coconut milk to thin it out a bit since coconut flour is thirsty. I also used pure maple syrup instead of honey. I am FORCING myself not to eat the rest of the pan for lunch.

    Must. wait. for. hubby. to. get. home.

    • Fitnessista on October 9, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      haha i ate most of ours. the pilot had 2 and livi had half of the last one. need to make another batch! so happy you like them πŸ™‚

  29. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on October 9, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    These look delish!! Thanks for sharing!

  30. Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie on October 11, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Making these the moment I get home! <3

  31. april on October 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    i’m not paleo either, but i love every ingredient in these brownies. yum! great recipe. πŸ™‚

  32. Jules on July 17, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I used 1/4 cup maple syrup, fresh chopped cherries, and a little extra blended coconut flakes (cuz I like coconut) and it’s amazing! I also used parchment paper so that I wouldn’t lose any of my brownie/cake! Thanks for the recipe!

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