Black Bean Brownies Recipe that are flourless, fudgy and delicious. No one will ever guess these brownies are made with black beans and are packed with protein and fiber.
Table of contents
Black bean brownies have all the taste and sweetness you crave in a brownie but contain no refined sugar. Dates provide all the sweetness you need!
Black beans also have the perfect texture and color to replace flour making this black bean brownie recipe truly naturally gluten free.
No one will be able to tell they are made with beans. My kids call these brownies “beautiful”, they really do not have black bean flavor!
Not to mention, health benefits of black beans are vast! They are a source of fiber, protein, various nutrients and minerals.
Ingredients and Notes
You will need just 10 simple ingredients to make black bean brownies. Most of which are pantry staples and you probably have on hand right now.
- Black beans: Black beans are the basis of this brownie recipe. No substitutions, not even lentils. You can use canned black beans. Or if you have any cooked black beans like Instant Pot black beans, use about 1 1/2 cups to 1 3/4 cups.
- Medjool dates: Most grocery stores carry 2 types of dates, “regular” and Medjool. You have to buy Medjool variety. Their meaty and moist texture adds volume and fudgy texture to brownies. And fresh is best! As dates get older, they dry out and sugars start to crystalize on the outside.
- Eggs: I have not tried to make egg-free black bean brownies. 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.
- Coffee: Brewed coffee adds more depth to the chocolate flavor but you can skip it. It is not a crucial ingredient but if you have leftover morning coffee, save it and add to brownies.
- Cacao powder: You can use cocoa powder instead of cacao powder. It’s interchangeable in all chocolate recipes, the only difference is that health benefits of cacao powder are greater.
- Baking essentials: Pure vanilla extract, eggs, baking soda, applesauce (unsweetened is best) and salt.
- Chocolate chips: I use dark chocolate chips. You can use semi sweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips or omit completely.
How to Make Black Bean Brownies
Black bean brownie recipe is so simple to make! Just blend, bake, and enjoy. Dirty one blender, not even another bowl. Here are a few recipe notes to make the process go smoothly.
Prep: I cannot stress enough that it is a must to line your 8 x 8 square baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Blend ingredients: In the following order, add eggs, applesauce, black beans, cacao powder, coffee, vanilla, baking soda, salt and dates to a high speed blender or food processor.
Either kitchen appliance will work, but I should caution you that it is a struggle to fit all the ingredients into a mini food processor.
Black bean brownie batter doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth and can have small chunks of dried fruit or beans in it.
Add chocolate chips: Stir until well combined.
Bake: Pour batter into the baking pan and sprinkle with some more chocolate chips. Then bake black bean brownies for 30 minutes.
Cool: Let the brownies cool completely before slicing. These brownies taste great warm or cold and get even fudgier the next day. Try them with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream!
Tips and Variations
- Soak dates: If your dried fruit is too hard and you are having trouble blending it. Soak them for 10 minutes first in hot water, drain and then blend.
- Let brownies cool off almost completely before slicing: It’s worth repeating multiple times. I know it’s hard, but please have patience. Again, this is to ensure that bars do not fall apart.
- Line baking dish with parchment paper: It makes brownies easy to cut and remove, and ensures they do not fall apart. I love these parchment paper sheets.
- Do not use any other sweetener: Any dry sweetener like sugar, stevia or xylitol will not work in this black bean brownie recipe. The same goes for honey or maple syrup.
- Vegan black bean brownies: Someone in the comments skipped eggs and used flax eggs. Someone else said it didn’t work. You can also try 1/4 cup melted coconut oil instead and cool brownies completely in the fridge.
- Dairy free: As is, this recipe is dairy free, except the chocolate chips. Just use dairy-free chocolate chips and you are all set!
- Additions: Add chopped walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts to the batter. Top with fresh raspberries or sliced strawberries before baking. Also freeze-dried fruit will work well as an addition.
How to Store and Freeze Black Bean Brownies
Store: Keep black bean brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. But I doubt they will last that long!
Freeze: Simply place brownies 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 black bean brownie with a butter knife and defrost. Perfect!
No, these brownies are meant to be made with black beans.
I tried “regular” dates and didn’t love results but you can use them. Soak 15 of them in warm water for 15 minutes and drain well.
One of the readers used prunes instead and she said the brownies turned out amazing! I haven’t tried, please let me know if you do.
No. They add volume to the batter and fudgy texture to brownies. If you skip them, your black bean brownie batter consistency will be off.
For rich fudgy brownies, remove when the center still jiggles somewhat. For a firm brownie, use the toothpick method. Remove when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean (a few crumbs is okay on the toothpick).
More Healthy Chocolate Dessert Recipes
Black Bean Brownies Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8 x 8 square baking dish with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- 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.
- Pour batter into baking dish, top with 1/4 cup chocolate chips and bake for 30 minutes.
- 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. Do not leave sitting out, mold could develop.
- Freeze: In an airtight container up to 3 months.
- Black beans: No substitutions, not even lentils. If you have homemade beans, use about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups.
- Other dates: Best to use Medjool dates. I tried “regular” dates and didn’t love results but you can use them. Soak 15 dates in warm water for 15 mins and drain well.
- 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.