Decadent Black Bean Brownies are flourless, fudgy and delicious. No one will ever guess this gluten free dessert is packed with protein and fiber rich black beans!
Table of contents
This healthy black bean brownies recipe has all the taste and sweetness you crave in a brownie but contain no refined sugar.
Dates provide all the sweetness you need just like in these no bake black bean brownies.
Black beans also have the perfect texture and color to replace flour making these brownies truly naturally gluten free.
No one will be able to tell they are made with beans, my kids call these healthy brownies “beautiful”!
Ingredients and Notes
No refined flour and only natural sugars makes this a super good for you dessert! Whole food ingredients and no black bean flavor!
- Black beans: Black beans are the basis of the 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 dates. 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 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.
- Baking essentials: 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
This bean brownie recipe is so simple to make! Just blend, bake, and enjoy. 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.
The batter doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth and can have small chunks of dates or beans.
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.
Add chocolate chips: Stir until well combined.
Bake: Pour batter the batter into the baking dish and top with some more chocolate chips. Then bake 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: Having trouble blending your dates? Soak 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.
- Dry sweetener: 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.
- Vegan black bean brownies: Someone in 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 a dairy free chocolate chip and you are all set!
Store and Freeze
Store: Keep 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 few with a butter knife and defrost. Perfect!
No, brownies will not turn out. Black beans are the basis of this recipe.
I tried “regular” dates and didn’t love results but you can use them. Soak 15 dates in warm water for 15 minutes and drain well.
One of the readers replaced dates with prunes 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 dates, your batter consistency will be off.
For rich gooey brownies, remove when the center still jiggles some. 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 Desserts
- Healthy chocolate chip cookies
- Healthy pumpkin brownies
- Coconut oil fudge
- No bake peanut butter oatmeal bars
- Avocado mint fudge bars
Black Bean Brownies
- 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.