Here’s how to make the best black bean brownies! They’re so fudgy and delicious. No one will be able to tell that they’re flourless and made with beans! Gluten-free + packed with 8 grams of protein each.
Today’s black bean brownie recipe was 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 taste-tested recipes, many of which are hand written and include adorable pictures.
I’ve made the brownies a couple 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.
Using Maple Syrup Instead of Sugar
The biggest change is the maple syrup. I love using maple syrup (especially in baked goods) so we always have a big jug of it in the fridge. Because maple syrup isn’t processed, it contains higher levels of potentially beneficial minerals, including calcium, potassium, sodium and copper, making it a great natural sweetener and sugar alternative.
Making Brownies with Black 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
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!
Here’s what you need to make these black bean brownies:
black beans – 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 – To make this recipe vegan you could use flax eggs (1 Tablespoon flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons water). I have tested these brownies with flax eggs and the brownies turned out, they just didn’t rise as well.
coconut oil – butter works too.
raw cacao powder – 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 on hand, cocoa powder works as well!
sea salt – a baking essential!
pure vanilla extract – for some added flavor.
pure maple syrup – another liquid sweetener like honey or agave would also work.
raw walnuts – I love the added crunch the walnuts add, but you can totally skip these or use another nut instead.
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. I haven’t tried freezing them, but I’m sure they would be okay to freeze in an airtight container for up to three months.
Prepare baking pan: Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
Combine ingredients: Place beans, eggs, coconut oil, cacao powder, salt, vanilla and maple syrup in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Add chocolate chips and nuts: 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 toothpicks comes out clean. Cool completely, cut into squares and enjoy!
Store: Store brownies in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Eggs: To make this recipe vegan you could use flax eggs (1 Tablespoon flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons water). I have tested these brownies with flax eggs and the brownies turned out, they just didn’t rise as well.
Coconut oil: Butter works too.
Cacao powder: You can use cocoa powder instead.
Maple syrup: Another liquid sweetener like honey or agave would also work.