These black bean brownies are a moist, ultra-fudgy, and secretly healthy treat! Vegan, flourless, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. This recipe is exactly what you need to satisfy that sweet tooth without all the sugar!
In my opinion, there are two types of people in this world:
- People who have made and LOVE black bean brownies.
- People who haven’t tried black bean brownies, because they’re scared of putting beans in their brownies. Which, I mean, fair. 😉
There is no in-between. Believe me, I wouldn’t make such a bold statement if I didn’t really believe it. This black bean brownie recipe is a must-try!
This recipe uses mostly pantry staple ingredients! I always have these ingredients on hand, so whipping up a batch on the fly happens almost weekly. To keep these free of some of the most common food allergens, I’ve ditched the egg, swapped flour for oats, and kept these nut and refined sugar free. These are also naturally gluten free – as long as you’re using certified gluten free oats – and vegan!
- Black Beans – create that fudge-y texture while also tossing in some nutritional benefit as well.
- White Vinegar – works with baking soda to give the brownies a lift. Yes, this is necessary. No, you can’t taste it. Apple cider vinegar is a fine substitute.
- Pumpkin Puree – works as an egg replacement to keep these vegan while also helping to bind other ingredients together. You can’t taste the pumpkin, so if you’re not a pumpkin fan, have no fear! If you don’t have pumpkin, you can try mashed banana instead.
- Coconut Oil – works as a butter substitute and helps with texture. Fun fact, oil actually adds more moisture than butter in baked goods. You can replace coconut oil with any other neutral flavored oil you have on hand. I don’t recommend substituting the oil for applesauce or other alternative, unless you’re used to oil free desserts, because they tend to be more gummy and drier.
- Vanilla Extract – enhances other flavors within the brownies.
- Maple Syrup – sweetens the brownies. Be sure to use pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup. Agave would also work or even honey if you’re not vegan.
- Old-Fashioned Oats – act as the flour, giving substance and bulk to the brownie batter. Use certified gluten free oats, if necessary. Quick cooking oats should also be fine to use (*not tested). Steel cut oats will not work, because they need to be cooked prior to consuming. You can also use the same amount of oat flour instead (*not tested).
- Baking Soda – works with white vinegar to fluff up the brownies.
- Cocoa Powder – adds a rich, chocolate flavor.
- Salt – offsets the sweetness of the other ingredients.
- Dark chocolate Chips – adds texture and more sweetness to the brownies. Feel free to use whatever chocolate chips you have on hand, but be sure to use a dairy free variety if vegan.
As you can see, you can take quite a few liberties with these brownies based on what you have in your pantry!
How to make black bean brownies
My biggest tip to creating successful black bean brownies is a really good, high powered food processor. Reason being, you’re trying to make a smooth batter and you need something very powerful to pulverize the beans and oats. If you’re in a pinch, you can try using a high powered blender like a Vitamix, but it’s harder to mix in the chocolate chips, and it’s difficult to get the batter out of the blender, so you may lose out on some brownies.
- Combine everything in a food processor.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly in a prepared baking pan, bake, and devour!
That’s it! This recipe is so so so easy—I can’t stress that enough. These brownies are perfect if you’re having a major dessert craving and need something quick, easy, and healthy to whip up. You won’t need regular brownies ever again after you try these. Trust me.
Why use black beans in brownies?
Black beans are loaded with nutrients such as protein, fiber, vitamin B6, and folate. They can lower cholesterol, decrease the risk of diabetes, and support heart health. But before you run for the hills – I know black beans and brownies don’t usually occur in the same sentence, let alone the same recipe – hear me out! Not only do black beans provide numerous health benefits, they also help to create that fudge-y texture of brownies we all know and love! Plus, they’re very mild in flavor, so I promise, you can’t taste them.
If these brownies aren’t a win win, I’m not sure what is!
Are black bean brownies healthy?
There brownies aren’t just “healthy for a brownie”, these brownies are absolutely PACKED with good for you ingredients:
- Black beans – full of protein.
- Pumpkin – packed with fiber.
- Coconut oil – a healthy fat. Some people disagree here, so feel free to use YOUR favorite oil.
- Maple syrup – a refined sugar free, natural sweetener.
- Oats – rich source of vitamins and minerals.
- Dark chocolate – rich in antioxidants.
One LARGE brownie has about 240 calories, 10 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein! If you’re looking for some other tasty and healthy desserts check out these 16 Easy Healthy Make-Ahead Dessert Recipes.
How to store
Since moist desserts tend to get moldy fairly quickly I don’t recommend storing at room temperature for longer than 4 days. You can also store them in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to three months. Whichever way you choose to store them, make sure you keep them in an airtight container to maintain freshness!
This black bean brownie recipe is one of my all-time favorite dessert recipes. So quick, so easy to make, and so healthy!
Black Bean Brownies
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil melted and cooled slightly
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup maple syrup room temperature
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats certified gluten free, if necessary
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cups dark chocolate chips + handful more for topping, use a vegan variety if necessary
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8x8 inch non-stick square baking pan.
- Combine everything in the food processor except chocolate chips. Process until very smooth. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and top with more chocolate chips.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.
This post was originally published on October 1, 2015. It’s since been updated to provide new photos, video, and more detailed content.