Jillian Michaels Skinny Brownies

Dear 86 Calorie Fudge Brownies,

Where were you when I was stuffing my face with chocolate chip brownie cupcakes? Or those chocolate cloud cookies bigger than the palm of my hand?

I’m forever trying to appease that stubborn sweet tooth of mine. It’s never  satisfied.  I wish I knew you then.

With such wholesome ingredients like wheat flour, olive oil and applesauce plus honey to replace the refined sugar some may say you are too good to be true. I would tell them they’re wrong.

Thank goodness you taste positively dreamy. Like rich, fudgy chocolate and not  apples.

I confess I may have cheated by adding walnuts and chocolate chips. I mistakenly thought you would taste bad. I was trying to “fix” you. It’s nearly impossible to fix something so perfect. Now I know.

Even with my additions you weigh in at a mere 136 calories. How can one go wrong?

To my surprise I found you every bit as addicting as full fat, full sugar brownies. I can’t quit you.

Thank-you 86 calorie brownies for coming into my life.

My brownie-loving chocoholic heart is yours. Forever.

Your hopelessly devoted friend,

Cinnamon Girl xoxo

Skinny Brownies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 16 (2-inch) brownies

Skinny Brownies

Low calorie fudge brownies with wholesome ingredients like wheat flour, olive oil and honey.


non-stick olive oil cooking spray
2/3 cup mild honey like clover or orange blossom
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder like Ghiardelli
1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour like King Arthur Flour
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment and spray with olive oil.
  2. Measure the honey into a deep-sided small bowl and microwave on high power 45 seconds. Whisk in the cocoa powder and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile in a small bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. In a large bowl whisk applesauce, oil, egg, and vanilla together until well combined. Whisk in the cooled honey-cocoa mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir until all the flour is incorporated. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips if using.
  5. Add the batter to the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Bake until the surface looks dry around the edges and a toothpick in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 25 minutes or 30 minutes if you added walnuts and chocolate chips. Don't over bake.
  6. Cool the pan on a wire rack. Once cool refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Remove the brownies using the parchment to a cutting board and slice into 16 squares. For clean cuts wipe the knife clean after each cut and dip in hot water. Store in an airtight container in a cool place 3-4 days.


86 calories each without walnuts and chocolate chips, 136 calories with walnuts and chocolate chips

Adapted from Jillian Michaels



  1. Naomi says

    I made these last night, Ill admit I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t throw in any nuts (I didn’t have any) I was just shy of 2/3 Orange Blossom Honey…and by nature added a tad more CoaCoa Powder…I tasted a lil too much of the honey for my liking. But the texture was very nice. I also subbed the olive oil/spray I replaced the oil with 2Tblsp Vanilla Greek Yogurt & just dabbed a tiny bit of Coconut Oil on a napkin and prepared the pan. Im not sure that my boyfriend will dig the flavor as is so for him Im making a not so skinny Chocolate icing LOL but I will definitely make these again. I think Ill cut the honey down by 1/3 cup and definite add some nuts! :) Thanks for sharing!!

  2. kimberly says

    can i use something else instead of applesauce ? i want to make it to my sister , she is on a diet , but she allergic .. btw i love this brownies thier amazing!

    • Reeni says

      Hi Kimberly! I’m so happy that you like the brownies! I make them almost every weekend! You could try some greek yogurt or even light sour cream (not non-fat) in place of the applesauce! Can your sister eat yogurt? Let me know if that works otherwise I can figure out something else to make it work. Have a good weekend!

  3. chocolatelover says

    Hi Renee, I’ve been looking and looking for the perfect low fat brownie recipe and I think this is it! I love the idea of honey instead of sugar. The reviews were awesome too. I might add a little but more cocoa, but thank you so much for this recipe! You rock :D

    • Reeni says

      Thank-you! Love the idea of adding more cocoa! I’ll have to try it on my next batch. Too much chocolate is never a bad thing!

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