by Olena

Black Bean Brownies (Video)

by Olena

4.9 from 13 reviews

Easy Black Bean Brownies with no flour, no oil and no sugar. You can basically have these fudgy healthy brownies for breakfast.

black bean brownies

Black Bean Brownie Recipe

You can find fifty 5 star comments below. These black bean brownies are that good! You can have them for breakfast. Yes, they are that healthy! To be exact – sugar free. Kids beg for brownies with black beans. Did you hear me? Children would like to eat beans! Last time one kid called them “beautiful”.:)

Are you in? I can guarantee you no one will be able to tell the ingredients this black bean brownie recipe calls for!

black bean brownie recipe ingredients

Why Use Black Beans in Brownies?

Why use black beans in brownies? Why can’t you just make black bean mango salad and leave them alone?

Because it just works. Because flourless black bean brownies are just as easy and fudgy as regular brownies. Because black beans have perfect texture and color to replace flour. And finally, because black beans make eating “all you can eat brownies” concept a reality.

healthy black bean brownies

Regular or Medjool Dates?

Most grocery stores carry 2 types of dates: “regular” and Medjool. You can use any. However, I prefer and highly recommend to use Medjool dates. Their meaty and moist texture adds volume and fudgy texture to healthy black brownies. And fresh is best! As dates get older, they dry out and sugars start to crystalize on the outside.

And yes, brownies with dates do not need any other sweetener. Dates contain naturally occuring sugars that are not processed. Essentially, these are sugar free black bean brownies.

black bean brownies with Medjool dates

Can I Use Stevia or Xylitol?

Many ask if they can skip dates altogether and replace with stevia or xylitol. Unfortunately, you cannot. Simply because dates contribute to the volume of brownie batter. We already skipped flour and oil.

Blender Vs. Food Processor:

I process black bean brownie batter in a high speed blender like Blendtec or food processor. Both work. Batter can have some small chunks of dates and beans. It doesn’t have to be smooth.

sugar free black bean brownies

One thing I can tell you for sure – you will struggle with fitting in all ingredients into a mini food processor. I was being lazy. I didn’t want to walk from my studio to the house to get a blender.

I made it work but I don’t recommend to load up this little guy that much.

Tips for Best Black Bean Brownies

  • Drain can with beans. We do not need that gooey liquid.
  • Line baking dish with parchment paper. It makes brownies easy to cut and remove, and ensures they do not fall apart.
  • Let brownies cool off almost completely before slicing. I know it’s hard but please have patience.
  • Brownies become even more fudgy the next day.

how to make black bean brownies

Substitutions for Healthy Black Bean Brownies

I have collected ideas for substitutions from numerous comments below. I follow my simple black bean brownie recipe because I usually have all ingredients on hand. But below is what other readers have tried and worked for them.


  • “Did not have dates so we used prunes instead”.
  • “I didn’t have dates on hand, so I used raisins…”.


  • “…And I also didn’t have applesauce (WHAT?!) so I used an overripe banana”.
  • “I didn’t have apple sauce, so I tossed in a small apple” (puree it i an blender or food processor first).


  • ” I made them vegan by using 2 tablespoon ground flax + 6 tablespoon water to replace the eggs”.

Chocolate Chips

  • “I also only used 1/8 cup of mini chocolate chips”.
  • “I didn’t add the chocolate chips either, to cut down on added sugar, and they still taste great!”
  • “I didn’t have chocolate chips but I did have some cacao nibs, so that’s what went in”.

best black bean brownies

Cacao Powder

You can use cocoa powder instead of cacao powder. What’s the difference between 2?

As per FoodMatters: “Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing un-roasted cacao beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat (cacao butter). Cocoa looks the same but it’s not.

Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cacao bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.”


Brewed coffee adds more depth to chocolate flavor. But you can skip it. Not crucial for the best black bean brownie result.

Black Beans

Black beans are crucial for successful brownies with black beans. Sounds pretty legit.:) Lentils are not a substitute. If you have cooked at home black beans, use about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups.

best black bean brownies

How Many Calories in Black Bean Brownies?

I would like to compare black bean brownie vs. traditional brownie side by side:

  • Calories: 119 vs. 365 calories
  • Carbs: 22 vs. 50 grams
  • Sugar: 14 vs. 33 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1 vs. 3 grams
  • Sodium: 187 vs. 300 grams

Can You Freeze the Brownies?

Yes. Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter at room temperature for about 30 minutes. I freeze cut up brownies right in Pyrex glass container I bake in. It comes with a plastic lid. Just lift a few with a butter knife and defrost. Perfect!

More Healthy Brownies Recipes to Try


Black Bean Brownies

4.9 from 13 reviews

Easy Black Bean Brownies Recipe with no flour, no oil and no sugar. You can basically have these fudgy healthy brownies for breakfast.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 16 brownies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: North American


  • 14 oz can low sodium black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 15 small or 10-12 Medjool dates, pitted (1/2 cup packed)
  • 2 tbsp brewed coffee (optional)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray (I use Misto)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8 x 8 square baking dish with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a powerful blender or food processor add ingredients in the following order: eggs, applesauce, black beans, cacao powder, coffee, vanilla, baking soda, salt and dates; then process until smooth. Add 1/4 cup chocolate chips and stir to mix.
  3. Pour batter into baking dish, top with 1/4 cup chocolate chips and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and let brownies cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing. Cut into 16 squares.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


I have to say that it’s crucial you use parchment paper and let brownies cool before slicing.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

133 comments on “Black Bean Brownies (Video)

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  1. Tried these yesterday and they turned out so yummy! Then my oven quit working. How do you cook in the instant pot? I have a 7 inch push pan.

  2. Thank you for this great recipe! I make these frequently, and have played with the recipe a bit. Instead of apple sauce often use the same amount of almond flour instead, and a bit of melted coconut oil. This time I added some dried tart cherries, which were delicious! Since I didn’t have any brewed coffee available I used 2 tsp of roasted Dandy Blend.

  3. I was really impressed after being a little skeptical at first. I have never tried anything like this before, but I just followed the instructions as written (no further modifications) and it certainly went smoothly. I was pleased that we didn’t throw any out and even my 12 yr old liked them. I will be making these again! Thank you.

  4. Hi!

    I tried the vegan version with flax eggs it didn’t work 🙁 I was super bumped down. I will try your original version with regular eggs. I was so sad it didn’t work out with the flax eggs as I am trying to cut eggs out of our diet because I am suspecting my son is sensitive to eggs. I love the concept of using beans and dates it makes for a super fibery recipe yay for fiber and natural sugar!

    Thanks!! 🙂

    1. Hi! No, it wouldn’t work. What might work is 1/4 cup coconut oil. But you would have to cool brownies. I think when coconut oil cools off, it will solidify and hold brownies together.

  5. These brownies are delicious. My 16 year old son (who may be in contention for world’s pickiest eater) took the entire container to his room and ate all but one with one of his buddies. When I asked him for the last one so I didn’t have to eat an unhealthy snack he said “but mom these are unhealthy too”… to which i (of course) replied, “oh, yes, you’re right!” I may never let him in on the secret, getting him to eat well is such a struggle!!!

  6. I tried these brownies for a sweet treat for my sister’s 60th birthday; she was on a strict diet for a medical procedure. They were such a hit that 2 people asked for the recipe and I have made them 4 times since. My husband keeps requesting them and he is not generally what I would call a healthy eater. He just likes them! He even had me make them for his family reunion. Very chocolaty with a fudgy texture. I do not have a food processor, but my blender works fine. I think it requires a little more time what with scraping, shaking and general shifting around of ingredients than it would in a processor.

  7. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t made them myself! Amazingly delicious and somewhat more healthy!

  8. Oh these look AMAZING and I agree, dates are basically nature’s candy so why add sugar?
    If you get to a middle eastern market, which you probably have living near a big city they have a ton of different date varieties. For a long time I was an ignorant Lebanese person who didn’t realize how many types of dates there are. There are so many! I got sukhari dates and woah I might have a new favorite. I am definitely going to make these (along with a bunch of other recipes I’ve seen posted here)

  9. For vegans, you can replace the 2 eggs with 2 flaxseed eggs! :-)))
    for one egg in baking:
    1 Tbsp. ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp. water; whisk together and let sit for a few minutes, then add just as you would eggs.
    Thanks for a SUPER yummy recipe, Olena!! <3

  10. Oh my Olena, you nailed this brownie recipe!

    I have tried other black bean brownie recipes & yours is best black bean brownie recipe. I used the 1/2 cooked dry beans vs canned. I also may have “accidentally” added extra chocolate chips 🙂 . However, I won’t next time as the recipe clearly would be perfect with the 1/4c & 1/4c on top. It was chocolatey decadence w/ no bean taste or texture. The last 5 minutes, I decided to pat on a scant amount of coconut oil just because I am not a fan of the dried bean look on top of baked goods and it had an excellent sheen!

    PS. I also tried your no bake black bean brownie recipe 2 weeks back and it was AMAZING! Felt like I was eating fudge which was heaven. The kids (7 & 3) loved it too which makes me super happy.

    So happy to have found your site & looking forward to trying more recipes

    1. Hi Katie. Haha, that’s awesome. I know what you mean about the dry on top look. That’s why I sprinkled sea salt last time and oh my that was such a yummy decision. I have a tray of these black bean brownies frozen from last photoshoot and pop out a few when I crave sweets. SO happy you found me too. Enjoy!!!

  11. So awesome. I have tried other Black Bean Brownie recipes on the web and honestly, this one is the best. Perhaps it is the addition of eggs that makes them fluffy (for lack of a better word) but wow, so rich and tasty, just like the old days when I didn’t care about what I ate! Thanks again for another pure and yummy recipe.

    1. LOL “just like the old days when I didn’t care about what I ate!”. You can honestly eat as many as you like. And go for a walk around the neighbourhood afterwards. And you’ll be fine.

  12. These were actually really good. I made them vegan by using 2 T ground flax + 6 T water to replace the eggs.I also only used 1/8 c of mini chocolate chips. My husband really enjoyed these as a treat. He was recently diagnosed with diabetes and he’s following a low fat whole food plant based diet. These fit perfectly. To me, they are more fudge-like in consistency than brownie-like, but yummy just the same. Since I made it vegan, I got to taste the batter. It’s super yummy! And I would totally eat it as a dip. Thanks for the great recipe. Definitely a keeper. 🙂

  13. OK, seriously?! No one in my office could tell what these brownies were made with. They all kept stuffing their faces “omg, these are so good”. LMAO

  14. When you freeze them, how long should you let them thaw before eating? Should you put them back in oven or just let it thaw at room temp or in fridge?

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