brownie bites with googly eyes on a wooden cutting board

Healthy sweet potato brownies made with wholesome ingredients are fudgy, rich and lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup. These vegan brownie bites also have cute google-y eyes inspired by soot spirits in Totoro! The perfect quick and easy Halloween treat. (Vegan + Gluten Free)

sweet potato brownie bites on a white plate with eyes

With most of us spending Halloween indoors this year, homemade Halloween treats is what we all need. Eric and I made these spooky cute mini two bite brownies on a whim based off of my favourite pumpkin brownies and they came out so delicious that I wanted to share this last minute quick and easy halloween treat!

What are soot spirit brownies?

If you’ve watched Totoro or Spirited Away from Studio Ghibili Films, then you’re probably familiar with the cute lil’ soot sprites. If you’re unfamiliar, they’re these little round fuzzy dust bunnies with big round eyes. Wanting a Halloween treat that was easy to make, brownies were an obvious choice because… chocolate! Plus, they come out of the pan round so no shaping required.

PS. Both Totoro and Spirited Away are the perfect movies to watch on Halloween. Kid friendly, cute but also spooky with a creepy store behind the movies.

How to Make Sweet Potato Brownie Bites

The Ingredients (+ substitutions)

These healthy brownie bites are made with wholesome ingredients AND contain hidden veggies. Plus, they’re vegan, gluten free, oil free, refined sugar free and nut-free so everyone can enjoy!

  • Flax egg: made by stirring 1 tablespoon of flax and 2 table spoons of water and letting it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Sweet potato: either steamed or baked.
  • Sunflower butter: these brownies are nut-free but you can also use any nut butter of your choice.
  • Maple syrup: keepin’ these healthy brownies naturally sweetened! You can also use agave or coconut sugar but you may need to add 1-2 tbsp of non-dairy milk to compensate the wet ingredients.
  • Vanilla: for flavour.
  • Cocoa powder: use good quality cocoa powder for best results. I use unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder which is darker (perfect for these soot spirits) but also more mild in bitterness.
  • Oat flour: I’ve only tested these with oat flour but gluten free all purpose, spelt flour or all purpose flour should work as well. For a paleo version, substitute with 2 tbsp coconut flour.
  • Candy eyes: For the soot spirits! I made my own with vegan powdered sugar but you can also purchase them.

These have no chocolate chips added to them but you can totally add some.

sweet potato brownies batter in a mini muffin pan

The Directions

These sweet potato brownies are incredibly easy to make in just a food processor:

  1. Process all the ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Transfer to mini brownie cups.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 F.

And then once cooled, just decorate them with the candy eyes.

BOOM. Perfect fudgy rich veggie hidden chocoalte-y goodness– thats also super cute and spooky.

Can I make these without a food processor?

Yes! Just mash the sweet potato well until its smooth. Whisk the wet ingredients together and then add in the dry. Then bake as instructed.

mini brownie bites with eyes on a cutting board

Tips for Brownie Bites

  • Non-stick mini muffin tin: Use a good non-stick muffin tin to remove the brownies easily. I still do highly recommend greasing the pan just a bit to ensure they don’t break when taking them out.
  • High quality cocoa powder: Use dutch processed cocoa powder for tastier brownies, especially if you’re not adding chocolate. They’re less acidic but have a rich flavour.
  • Baking time: Mini brownies bake up quick. Keep an eye on them at about the 12 minute mark. If unsure, pull them out early rather than over baking.
  • Let the brownies cool: These brownies need time to set or they’ll be difficult to remove from the pan, fall apart and be too fudgy. Letting them cool will also intensify their rich chocolate-y flavour. Plus, if you add the eyes they will melt if you add them while they’re still warm. If you prefer eating your brownies warm, microwave for about 5-10 seconds and enjoy!

Storing & Freezing Brownie Bites 

These bites are best eaten within a day or two of making. Keep in a airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerate for up to 4 days. These also freeze beautifully and will keep for up to 1 month. When ready, just thaw at room temperature or microwave them for about 15 seconds (or until warm) with a damp paper towel covering it.

Happy halloween, friends!

brownie bites with eyes in a white bowl

More healthy brownie recipes to love!

mini brownie cut in half in a white bowl

If you recreate these Soot Spirit Sweet Potato Brownies recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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mini brownie bites with eyes on a cutting board

Sweet Potato Brownie Bites

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 12 brownies 1x


Healthy sweet potato brownie bites are the rich, fudgy and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Inspired by soot spirits in Totoro, these are the perfect quick and easy Halloween treats! 


Units Scale


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease a mini 12 cup brownie pan. 
  2. Add flax egg, sweet potato, sunflower butter, maple syrup and vanilla to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, oat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the food processor to ensure everything is well blended. Mix in chocolate chips if using. 
  3. Divide batter between 12 mini brownie cups, filling to the top. 
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow them to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before eating. Enjoy!


  • Helpful Equipment: spatula, food processor, mini muffin pan
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer) without chocolate chips. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, north american


  • Serving Size: 1 brownie
  • Calories: 80
  • Sugar: 4.5
  • Sodium: 173mg
  • Fat: 3.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.8
  • Carbohydrates: 11.6g
  • Fiber: 2.5
  • Protein: 2.6g

Keywords: two bite brownie, brownie bites, ghost brownies, sweet potato brownies, totoro brownies


sweet potato brownies in a white bowl cut in half with candy eyes

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. I’m sadly not the owner of a food processor or a mini muffin pan, but I mashed my sweet potato on a plate and baked this in a 9×4 inch loaf pan and it came out perfectly! So delicious and probably going to be my go-to brownie recipe from now on because they are perfectly fudgy and not overly sweet

  2. Super easy and yummy! I used rice flour instead of oat flour. Because of that I needed more liquid and I used about 70ml soy milk. The brownies took 30 minutes to bake and they came out absolutely delicious!

  3. I love these!! I make them all the time when I’m wanting something kinda sweet that doesn’t leave me feeling gross! It’s dense, chewy, and superr fudgy. Love them to death lol.

  4. So cute and yummy! I made these with my little ones today and we devoured them. I like that they’re really chocolatey and not overly sweet. I’ll have to make sure I have some little eyes on hand for next time we watch Spirited Away or Totoro!