Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
Published Feb 06, 2023, Updated Jul 26, 2023
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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.
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!
Why You’ll Love These Brownies
- Gluten-free, grain-free and can easily be made vegan.
- Packed with 4 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.
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 & 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.
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!
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 cream, chocolate 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!
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
- Sweet Potato Brownies
- Pecan Pie Brownies
- Sweet Potato Brownie Bites
- Brownie Energy Balls
- Brownie Batter Overnight Oats
- Protein Brownies
- Oat Flour Brownies
- Zucchini Brownies
- Pumpkin Brownies
- Peanut Butter Hummus Brownies
- Chickpea Brownies
Popular Dessert Recipes
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet
- Healthy No Bake Cookies
- Homemade Samoas Cookies
- Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Healthy Peanut Butter Balls
- Chocolate Avocado Truffles
- Healthy Cookie Dough Bites
Black Bean Brownies
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.