Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

DF GF VG

These gluten-free black bean brownies are so fudgy and delicious. No one will be able to tell that they’re flourless and made with beans!

These black bean brownies were actually inspired by one of Isaac’s students. When we got married back in 2013 his class made us a cookbook as a gift. Each student submitted a favorite recipe to include in the book so it’s filled with lots of kid-approved recipes, many of which are hand written and include adorable pictures.

A stack of black bean brownies.

I’ve made the brownies a couple of times. The first time I followed the original recipe exactly to get an idea of how they should turn out and then I made a batch with some EBF-friendly changes. My version uses maple syrup instead of sugar, coconut oil instead of butter and raw cacao powder.

The brownies are a breeze to whip up and come out tasting moist, flavorful and plenty sweet. I love the fudgy consistency of brownies and the little bits of texture from the chopped walnuts. I’ve tried other black bean brownie recipes before and none have turned out as good as this recipe. I think you’re going to LOVE them just as much as we do!

Close up of brownie squares.

Why You’ll Love These Brownies

  • Gluten-free, grain-free and can easily be made vegan.
  • Packed with 8 grams of protein each!
  • Black beans not only add extra nutrition and protein but also act as a substitute for flour.
  • No one will know that they’re made with beans! They’re still so rich and fudgy.
  • Easy to whip up with only 9 simple ingredients.
A stack of black bean brownies.

Baking With Beans

I know it sounds kind of crazy, but yes these brownies are made with black beans! But don’t worry because no one will see or taste the beans. They get blended up in your food processor and they’re completely undetectable.

The black beans are used instead of flour so there’s no gluten in these brownies and they have a little extra fiber and protein. Not only is this awesome for dietary purposes, but it also means that you can blend the batter right in your food processor or blender.

Ingredients measured out to make Fudgy Black Bean Brownies: black beans, maple syrup, cacao powder, coconut oil, eggs, sea salt, vanilla, chocolate chips and walnuts.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • black beans – acts as a flour substitute and adds protein! I used canned black beans (drained and rinsed), but you can always use dry black beans instead. I haven’t tried this, but someone else used 154g of dry black beans and the brownies turned out well.
  • eggs – helps bind the ingredients together and provide structure for the brownies. To make this recipe vegan you could use flaxseed eggs. I have tested these brownies with flax eggs and the brownies turned out, they just didn’t rise as well.
  • coconut oil – to help add moisture to the brownies. Olive oil, avocado oil or butter works as a substitute.
  • raw cacao powder – can’t have brownies without cocoa powder for that chocolatey flavor! Raw cacao powder is a natural superfood high in antioxidants and nutrients such as iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. It is known to promote healthy digestion and reduce inflammation, among many other health benefits. That said, if you don’t have raw cacao powder, cocoa powder works too! I really like Navitas organic cacao powder.
  • sea salt – a baking essential!
  • pure vanilla extract – for some added flavor.
  • pure maple syrup – the perfect liquid sweetener for these brownies. Just be sure to use pure maple syrup, not the artificial kind labeled “pancake syrup” that’s made from corn syrup. Another liquid sweetener like honey or agave would also work.
  • chocolate chips – I love Lily’s chocolate chips for a low-sugar option and Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips for a dairy-free/soy-free option.
  • raw walnuts – I love the added crunch the walnuts add, but you can totally skip these or use another nut instead.
Collage of four photos showing the process to make Fudgy Black Bean Brownies: blending the batter in a food processor, pouring into a pan and baking with walnuts on top.

How to Make

Preheat: Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.

Blend: Place the beans, eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Combine: Remove the blade and gently stir in your chocolate chips and walnuts, if using. Another option is to sprinkle the walnuts on top of the brownie batter once you pour it into the pan.

Bake: Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until brownies are set in the center and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely, cut into squares and enjoy!

Black bean brownies cut into even squares.

How to Serve

I love eating these brownies plain, but if you want to get fancy here are some topping ideas:

  • Nut butter – add a drizzle of nut butter on top of your brownies. Almond butter would be my top choice, but I bet peanut butter, cashew butter or even tahini would all be delicious.
  • Coconut whip – these brownies would be delicious with a dollop of coconut whip cream on top!
  • Ice cream – you can’t go wrong with a scoop of ice cream when serving these brownies! Use your favorite brand of ice cream or try my banana ice creamchocolate banana ice cream or avocado ice cream.
  • Caramel sauce – these brownies paired with a drizzle of my date caramel sauce would be to die for!
  • Yogurt – want to eat a brownie for breakfast? Crumble it on top of some Greek yogurt (or any yogurt of choice) with a sprinkle of granola (this hemp granola is delicious) and fresh berries. Like a breakfast brownie sundae… so yummy!
A stack of black bean brownies.

How to Store These Brownies

These brownies never last long in our house, but my recommendation is to store leftover brownies in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to use my Stasher bags or these glass containers for easy storage.

More Brownie Recipes To Try

Be sure to check out all of the black bean recipes as well as the full collection of dessert recipes on EBF!

Black Bean Brownies

5 from 147 votes
These gluten-free black bean brownies are so fudgy and delicious. No one will be able to tell that they're flourless and made with beans!
A stack of black bean brownies.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 16 brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder, or raw cacao powder
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • cup chopped raw walnuts, optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
  • Place beans, eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
    Brownie batter in a food processor.
  • Remove the blade and gently stir in your chocolate chips and walnuts, if using. Another option is to sprinkle the walnuts on top of the brownie batter once you pour it into the pan.
    Mixing chocolate chips into brownie batter.
  • Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until brownies are set in the center and a toothpicks comes out clean. Cool completely, cut into squares and enjoy!
    Baked black bean brownies in a square baking pan.

Video

Notes

  • Eggs: To make this recipe vegan you could use 3 flax eggs (1 Tablespoon flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons water for each egg). I have tested these brownies with flax eggs and the brownies turned out, they just didn’t rise as well.
  • Coconut oil: Melted butter, avocado oil or olive oil works too.
  • Maple syrup: Another liquid sweetener like honey or agave would also work.
  • Walnuts: You can totally skip these or use another nut instead.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 brownie Calories: 151kcal Carbohydrates: 16g Protein: 4g Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 35mg Sodium: 67mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 10g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: black bean brownies

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    278 comments
    1. Andrea
      January 23, 2023 AT 7:31 pm

      5 stars
      These brownies turned out amazing! I added 1 tsp of espresso powder, just because I had it and I think it enhances the chocolate flavor. I will definitely be making these again! Thank you for this recipe 😊

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 25, 2023 AT 3:18 pm

        Absolutely! I love the idea of adding espresso powder, sound delicious. I am so glad you are enjoying this recipe, thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it.

    2. Kellie
      August 30, 2022 AT 1:19 pm

      How much butter in place of the coconut oil? I have to adjust practically every recipe due to food allergies. So, when I have to do that, I need measurements, not just the “what” to substitute, but also how much of that ingredient to use. Thanks! Looking forward to trying these! 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 31, 2022 AT 1:46 am

        Hey Kellie – It would be the same amount of melted butter as the coconut oil, so 1/3 cup.

    3. Andrea
      July 20, 2022 AT 11:32 am

      5 stars
      Made these so many times! We LOVE them! I always sub coconut sugar for maple syrup, and they still blend very nicely with the Vitamix. One of our favorite recipes for sure.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 20, 2022 AT 6:34 pm

        YAY! I am so happy that you enjoy this recipe, Andrea. Thank you for coming back and leaving a review and star rating, I really appreciate it!

    4. Jan
      June 28, 2022 AT 9:53 pm

      5 stars
      I am always looking for “healthy” goodies since we love snacking and do too much of it! These really hit the spot. A great chocolate punch, nuts, delightful texture. Thanks!

    5. Chelsea
      June 20, 2022 AT 7:43 pm

      5 stars
      This recipe is soo delicious. I put the walnuts on top and ours were done 10 minutes earlier than the recipe time says so definitely would be checking it with a toothpick before timer. Huge hit even with all the picky eaters. Will definitely be making again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 20, 2022 AT 11:11 pm

        That’s awesome, Chelsea! So glad this worked out for you. Thank you for sharing your comment and leaving me a review!

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