Chocolatey & fudgey vegan chocolate brownies in the shape of Polar bears – with a coffee shortbread, coffee brownie and vanilla frosting – they’re just perfect and super cute for the festive season! And they’re vegan, egg-free, easy to make and delicious!
This recipe has been made in collaboration with iChoc, a vegan, fair trade, organic chocolate company. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. (For more information along with affiliated links, check out my disclosure policy.)
Vegan Polar Bear Brownies
As it’s coming close to December I am SO excited for all the christmas treats and bakes. All my presents are wrapped, cards written and house is decorated like a grotto. It simply puts me in a great festive mood. And the best part is the CHRISTMAS TREATS!
My creativity shines at Christmas. Polar bears, gingerbread men, reindeers and more, you name it, I’ll create a cute dessert!! I’ve been in the mood for a Brownie recently and had the idea to create a christmas themed brownie! Make sure to check out my Instagram and Tiktok, where I share all of my videos and festive bakes!
3 layers of these polar bear brownies
To give the brownies even more delicious flavour and texture, I made a coffee shortbread. It’s super light, crumbly and buttery and helps to add even more flavour and dimension to the bars. Plus its easy to make. Everything is better with shortbread.. right?!
Not to toot my own horn, but I have to say it, I have created THE BEST vegan brownie! It’s fudgey, rich, chewy with a gorgeous crinkle top and it’s filled with chocolate and coffee. It’s truly one of the best brownies you’ll ever try, trust me!
These brownies wouldn’t be polar bears without the frosting. I decorated the bars with some vanilla frosting in a piping bag fitted with a grass tip nozzle and used dairy-free white chocolate and melted dairy-free dark chocolate for the polar bear details. Oh my goodness, they’re SO CUTE!
Flavour and texture of these polar bear brownies
If you’re wondering what the flavour of these brownies are, you’re in for a treat. The brownie is coffee flavoured with coffee chocolate inside. I assure you there’s nothing better than chocolate and coffee combined! These taste just like a deliciously rich dark chocolate brownies, but with a hint of coffee flavour.
Coffee flavoured brownies
When I say coffee flavour, I used granulated coffee and iChoc Barista Art White Chocolate. The addition of the coffee in the brownie makes it super rich. The iChoc Barista Blend Coffee isnt like anything I’ve ever tried before. I am the biggest coffee fan and I can tell you, this chocolate is 10/10! It’s vegan and perfect for baking.
iChoc make some of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE vegan chocolate bars. I’ve been a fan for years and am always so excited when they bring out new and exciting flavour variations. This barista bar has become my favourite chocolate ever. You have to try it! It’s a vegan white chocolate bar with espresso crisp inside along with a pinch of sea salt. It is light, creamy and full of flavour. It’s like eating a white chocolate latte, simply divine! I highly recommend iChoc and their amazing vegan chocolate range! Check out their range here.
Shop iChoc White Barista on Vegantown, Alternative Stores, Planet Organic, Superfood UK and many more!
As far as the texture goes, these brownies are fudgey and creamy. The chopped chocolate adds a gooeyness and the frosting on top adds a sweetness and creaminess which makes each bite super delicious and chewy. I’ve made this recipe so many times as I CAN’T GET ENOUGH! Thats when you know it’s a good’un! I’ve also added a little trick to this recipe to knock out some bubbles to ensure these brownies don’t rise too much, because we don’t want cakey polar bear brownies!!
How to make Vegan Polar Bear Brownies
Full in depth recipe and method in the recipe card.
Preheat the oven and line tin with greaseproof paper. Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl with vanilla. Add in the cold butter. Rub together until crumbly, adding in the chocolate. Crumble the dough into the base of the tin and press down. Bake for 20 minutes or until light and golden in colour.
Melt the chocolate and butter. Add aquafaba and sugar into a mixing bowl, whip until thick and glossy. Sprinkle the coffee granules into the hot chocolate mixture and mix to combine. Pour the chocolate over the whipped aquafaba, and carefully fold together with a spatula. When combined, sift in the flour and cocoa, along with the chopped chocolate. Pour on top of the shortbread, level out. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Once baked allow to cool in the tin.
Whip dairy-free butter with vanilla, adding in icing sugar and milk. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a grass tip nozzle. Cut the brownies into bars, and pipe one the ‘fur’. Simple but super effective.
Press two chocolate buttons to the top of the squares for the ears, and one into the middle for the snout. Melt dairy-free dark chocolate and pipe on the nose and eyes.
Looking for more Christmas recipes, check these out:
These Vegan Polar Bear Brownies are ready for the Christmas party season – infused with coffee, they are sure to get your taste buds tingling.
Ingredients for the shortbread
120g of plain flour
70g of caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
115g of dairy-free block butter
20g of iChoc White Barista Art Chocolate
Ingredients for the brownie
60g of cocoa powder
180g of plain flour
170g of dairy-free dark chocolate
110g of dairy-free block butter
120ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine)
280g of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of coffee granules
50g of iChoc White Barista Art Chocolate (roughly chopped)
Ingredients for the frosting
120g of dairy-free butter
180g of icing sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of dairy-free milk
50g of dairy-free dark chocolate
Dairy-free white chocolate buttons (see notes for alternative)
Preheat the oven to 180℃ fan, and line an 8 x 8 inch square / loose base tin with greaseproof paper. Allow the paper to hang over the edges of the tin, this makes it easier to remove the bars when ready.
Sift the flour and sugar into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add in the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Add in the chilled butter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until a crumbly dough forms.
Fold in the iChoc chocolate.
Crumble the dough into the base of the tin and press down with your hands or an offset spatula. Tip: dust your fingers with flour, it prevents the dough from sticking.
Place into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until light and golden in colour. Remove and set aside, keep the oven on as you’ll be baking the brownie.
Sift the cocoa powder and flour together in a medium bowl.
Fill a small saucepan 1/4 full with water and place on the hob over medium heat. Add the dairy-free dark chocolate and butter into a heat-proof bowl. Place the bowl over the pan, creating a bain-marie. Allow the chocolate and butter to melt together, stirring with a heat proof spatula. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes while you make prepare the aquafaba.
Add the aquafaba and sugar into a medium sized mixing bowl and whip up on high speed for around 5 minutes until thick and glossy. I use a stand mixer with balloon whisk attachment. A electric hand whisk will work great too. Whip on high speed to combine. The aquafaba mixture should be thick enough that when it drips into the bowl, the mixture should ribbon off the mixer.
Sprinkle the coffee granules into the hot chocolate mixture and mix to combine.
Pour the chocolate over the aquafaba, and carefully fold together with a spatula. Make sure to be very gentle with this step as you want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
Once combined, sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Again, fold this in with a spatula until a rich and thick brownie batter forms.
Add in the roughly chopped iChoc chocolate and fold to combine.
Pour the brownie batter on top of the shortbread base and level off with an off set spatula.
Place the tin into the middle of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Once baked, remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool fully on a wire rack. Trick: Once out of the oven, tap the tin on the worktop to remove any air bubbles this helps to flatten the brownie. Keep the brownie in the tin while it’s cooling. This will help it keeps it’s shape and will also lock in some of the moisture, which will help with the chewy texture.
In a large mixing bowl add in the dairy-free butter, whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
Sift in the icing sugar and vanilla. Whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it. Add in the dairy-free milk and whip for a further 5 minutes on high speed to get it to a smooth consistency. You want it to be thick and creamy.
Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a grass tip nozzle. This is preferable for the overall look of the polar bears, but if you don’t have one you can spoon it on and use a fork to make the fur.
Fill a small saucepan 1/4 full with water and place on the hob over medium heat. Add the dairy-free chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over the pan, creating a bain-marie. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring with a heat proof spatula. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Transfer into a piping bag and snip off the tip.
Press two vegan white chocolate buttons to the top of the brownie, and one in the middle for the snout. Pipe on two dark chocolate eyes and the nose. Allow to set and serve. You can even serve them with a dusting of icing sugar.
To store: Store in a sealed container in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. Best enjoyed within 4 days of making. Un-iced brownies can be kept at room temperature for 2 days.
What dairy-free butter to use? My favourite vegan friendly butters are Naturli Vegan Block and Flora Plant Based Alternative. Both can be found in most large UK supermarkets.
White chocolate buttons: I use Sainsburys Own Deliciously Free From White Chocolate Buttons. Most UK supermarkets have their own Free From range. If you’re unable to find vegan white buttons, simply melt vegan white chocolate and spoon it onto some greaseproof paper and freeze.