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Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

These Fudgy Black Bean Brownies are a decadent gluten-free dessert (and no one will ever guess that they’re packed with fiber-filled black beans!)

These Fudgy Black Bean Brownies are a decadent gluten-free dessert (and no one will ever guess that they're packed with fiber-filled black beans!

As I wandered the aisles of some nutrition fair back in undergrad, one of the vendors offered me a sample of seemingly innocent brownies. I accepted the brownie offering, and it was good! But there had to be a catch. This was a nutrition fair after all.

Well there was a catch…and that catch was black beans. No flour, all beans. And it rocked my socks. But I never tried to actually make them for myself until today and, well, they’re still sock rockin’.

And the numbers aren’t so bad either. In addition to being gluten-free, a cup of black beans has about half the calories that a cup of all-purpose flour has, it’s got 20% of your daily iron, AND it has a slightly higher protein content (15g). Brownies make you strong like bull.

You’ll need to rinse, drain, and puree a can of black beans to make a good pastey base, then mix in the rest of your wet ingredients (3 eggs, 3 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp vanilla extract). In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (¼ cup unsweetened cocoa, ⅔ cup sugar, ½ tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp coffee grounds). The coffee grounds can be omitted if you don’t have ‘em, but if you do, throw them in.  They add a little something something.

These Fudgy Black Bean Brownies are a decadent gluten-free dessert (and no one will ever guess that they're packed with fiber-filled black beans!Black Bean Fudge BrowniesBlack Bean Fudge Brownies

Also, I like to mix the wets and dries separately to make sure everything gets mixed evenly. If you’ve ever experienced a mouthful of baking powder due to uneven mixing, well, you’ll make sure things are mixed reaaallll well next time.

So mix the wets and the dries, then mix in  ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 (or really any pan with sides) pan, and bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or fork comes out of the black bean brownies clean.  The bigger the pan, the less time you’ll need.

Black Bean Fudge BrowniesBlack Bean Fudge Brownies

4.8 from 15 votes
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Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

These Fudgy Black Bean Brownies are a decadent gluten-free dessert (and no one will ever guess that they're packed with fiber-filled black beans!

Course Baked Goods, Desserts
Diet Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Occasion 4th of July, Birthdays, Christmas, Game Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day
Time 45 minutes or less
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 16 brownies
Calories 146 kcal
Author Live Eat Learn

Ingredients

  • 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp oil vegetable or coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cup sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp coffee grounds optional
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Puree black beans in food processor or blender (or mash with a fork).
  2. Mix black beans, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl mix cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt, and coffee grounds (if you have them).
  4. Mix wets and dries, then stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into a greased 8x8 or 9x9 pan and bake about 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees F (176 C), until center is no longer gooey (test with a toothpick or knife). Time will be shorter for a larger pan size.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.
Nutrition Facts
Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
Amount Per Serving (1 brownie)
Calories 146 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Sodium 47mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1.8g 7%
Protein 4g 8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Comments (57)

  1. Taylor says:

    made these today because the recipe was so simple and I was trying to find a unique way to use black beans. not as moist as I’d like, but I might try to bake them for less time next try. worth repeating! chocolate covers the beans well, can’t even taste them.

    1. Sarah says:

      It masks them wonderfully doesn’t it?! Sorry to hear they turned out a bit dry. I think you’re right in taking a bit of baking time off next time. They should optimally be moist and fudgey 🙂

  2. Lori says:

    Very tasty. I think next time I make these I would use melted chocolate (or liquid chocolate syrup) instead of chips. The chips sunk unevenly to the bottom of the brownies. I’d prefer a more all over chocolate taste.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Lori! I think melted chocolate or perhaps smaller chocolate chips that don’t sink would work well. The chocolate syrup may be a bit to moist, and I could see it giving the brownies more of a thick pudding consistency. Glad you enjoyed them! 🙂

    2. Sandie says:

      I used minin chocolate and even a few white chocolate to use up leftover chips.

  3. Dawn says:

    I can’t wait to try these! One thing I am curious about…is it actual coffee grounds or instant coffee granules?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Dawn, I used ground coffee but you can also use instant coffee if you have it on hand!

  4. Heather says:

    Any idea of the fibre content? It isn’t listed in the nutrition info.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Heather, great question! There are 1.8 g of fiber per 1 brownie (1/16 recipe), which is about 7% of your daily fiber need. These are mostly oligosaccharides, which are a prebiotic, making them really great for your gut microbes!

  5. Heather says:

    These are amazing! I added some almond extract in place of the coffee grounds and it tasted fabulous. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    1. Sarah says:

      Sounds like a really tasty addition, Heather! So happy you liked the recipe 🙂

  6. Michelle says:

    What is the best way to keep this fresh and for how long? Made these today and it was delicious!!!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Michelle! I usually store these in an airtight container in the fridge. They should stay good for about a week 🙂

  7. Bonnie says:

    What a great recipe. Thank you for sharing. I have double the recipe twice in the last days due to graduation parties and the brownies were all gone with only a few knowing that they were made with black beans. Many comments were that these were the best brownies they had had.
    I did make blondies also with chickpeas Again another big hit.
    So moist and good both recipes.
    Again thanks for sharing.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Bonnie, this makes me so happy to hear!! There’s nothing I love more than sneaking healthy ingredients into old classics and having people guess the secret ingredient, muahaha 😉 Thanks so much for leaving a comment!

  8. Liz says:

    I love these! I am trying to make healthier choices, but still want an occasional sweet treat, these are amazing.

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear, Liz! 🙂

  9. Mackenzie says:

    Any idea on making these vegans?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey, Mackenzie! I haven’t tried to make a vegan version of this recipe. I’d suggest trying this one from Minimalist Baker. Her recipes always seem to come out great! 🙂

  10. Therese says:

    These are the best brownies I’ve ever had!! You can’t even tell they have black beans in them. I followed the directions exactly, using coconut oil. I also used half milk chocolate chips and half dark chocolate chips because I didn’t have semi-sweet. Can’t stress enough how good these are!!!!

    I put them in for 40 minutes, but next time I might put them in for about 30 or 35 to make them more gooey, as they did come out a little dry and cakey.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Therese, so happy to hear your loved them!! 😀

  11. OOhh these look delish – I have tried one bean brownie recipe before but found it to be really gritty. I think the addition of coffee would help, these seem very promising. I’m thinking espresoo powder instead of grounds (simply because I don’t make coffee often enough to have grounds). Thanks for sharing!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey Fiona! I think espresso powder would work just fine 🙂 Let me know how it goes!!

  12. Veronica says:

    I found out I had to go gluten free April of this year. I love baking but now I’m unable to eat everything I used to so I found this recipe while looking for alternatives for my self now that I bake two options sometimes. This was the first gluten free brownie recipe I ever made, and so far the best!! I just wanted to know if you have tried replacing the coffe with coconut flakes? And what about pudding? Because if pudding is as good in this recipe as it is in cake I want to mix in some pistachio or coconut pudding…. If the answer is no, it’s perfectly fine as I am in love with this brownies!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Veronica! I’m so happy to hear I could help you find a tasty alternative for your new gf diet. I haven’t tried subbing in either coconut flakes or pudding. I think coconut flakes could go really well, however I’m not sure what adding in pudding would do to the texture of the brownies. I think they could end up pretty moist and loose. Pudding on top, however, sounds like my kind of dessert 🙂 If you do experiment with substitutions I’d love to hear how it goes!

  13. May says:

    Are you supposed to bake them at 350 degrees or 375? Just wondering, because the directions say one thing and on of the intro paragraphs say another ?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi May, thanks so much for catching that!! The correct temp and time is 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes. 🙂

  14. Victorria says:

    OMG. These brownies are delicious!!! My family was hesitant to try them because of the ‘black beans’ but they had no problem gobbling them up!! I had to use an 11×7 pan so I only cooked for 30 minutes and they were the perfect, fudge-like consistency. I will be making these again!

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear that, Victoria!! I also had that “uhh…black beans?” response when I first heard of the concept. It’s always fun to see people’s reactions to it 🙂 So happy you liked them!

  15. Victorria says:

    Ok so my family turned up their noses when I told them I was making this recipe. Two days later? The pan is scrubbed clean and I only got two pieces. To say this was a hit is an understatement. My mother-in-law is going to try to make these even healthier — using coconut oil, trying other sugar alternatives. Can’t wait to see how those turn out!

    1. Victorria says:

      I didn’t realize I responded on this already — please feel free to delete this one! 🙂
      Obviously I love this recipe.

      1. Sarah says:

        Hahaha, hello again! I’m so happy to hear how much you love it!! I’d love to hear how the healthier alternative turns out 😀

  16. Sandie says:

    I made these today and they’re very good. I couldn’t tell they were made of black beans. I do have a question. I added pecans because my family likes nuts in their brownies and if I want them to eat them I thought I better do his. The brownie was a tad crumbly. Any suggestions on how to prevent this next time?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Sandie, I’m so happy you tried out the brownies! These will be a tad more crumbly than regular brownies, but you can prevent too much crumbliness by making sure the brownies cool in the pan before you cut them. I could also see how the nuts might add to crumbliness, so perhaps next time add a bit less. Thanks so much for dropping a note here. Happy cooking! 🙂

  17. Adriana says:

    I made these today, however, I poured the batter into mini cupcake pans and baked for about 10 minutes less. They are delicious! Although I forgot my kiddos do not like the taste of coconut oil and I think it came though (for my kiddos) to strong. Which i’m fine with, i guess these will be mommies treats!!!! I will make a batch using Veg. oil. Overall this is a simple and good recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

    1. Sarah says:

      That’s such a great idea, Adriana! Something about having mini versions of things always make me want to eat more of them. I’d be popping these like M&Ms! 😀

  18. Felicity says:

    These tasted amazing, but they wouldn’t hold together or come out of the pan. I followed the recipe exactly, so I’m not sure what went wrong? And I really did grease the pan, I didn’t skimp! 🙁
    Maybe too much moisture in my canned beans? I did drain them but that’s the only thing I can think of, since it seems to be only me having this problem. Perhaps there was a bit of liquid in them that threw it off…

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey, Felicity! I’m sorry to hear they were a bit crumbly! If you make them again, be sure to really drain the beans, and it could help to let the brownies sit for a while after they get out of the oven. You could also try lining your pan with parchment paper to be sure they won’t stick. With all that said, these will be slightly more crumbly than regular brownies, because they’re missing the gluten that would otherwise hold everything together.

      PS: With the leftover crumbles, you could try out these brownie truffles!

  19. steve H says:

    Noticed in nutrician facts that fiber was not mentioned. Do you know whatit is so as to calculate net carbs?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Steve! Great question. I’ve revised the nutrition facts to include grams of fiber, which is 1.8g per serving (1/16th recipe). Thanks for pointing that out! 🙂

  20. Lauren says:

    I made these with 2/3 cup of honey instead of sugar and they were amazing!!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Oh that sounds great, Lauren! Probably a nice round taste, and maybe even chewier 🙂

  21. Robin says:

    I had friends coming for dinner last night and one of the is diabetic. I had been wanting to make these, so that was the push I needed. So easy to make. I used stevia instead of sugar and used dark chocolate chips since they have less sugar. I must say, they were absolutely delicious. My only problem now is whether to tell my husband that they were made with black beans. He know that they were low carb and no sugar, and he loved them. Just not sure if I should tell him. Such a delicious dilemma.

    1. Sarah says:

      Haha, that’s so great Robin! Really, such a hard choice. I always like playing the game of “can you guess the hidden veggie?”. See if he has ANY idea! 😀

  22. Eileen says:

    These were truly fantastic! Will definitely be making them again. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  23. Ally says:

    Hi there!! Making these tonight for a healthy valentines day treat for the hubby 🙂 I am by no means a baker… and i mean…. i can mess up remade cookie dough. Would adding in peanut butter morsels along with chocolate chips be okay?! thank you and excited to try!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Oh how fun!! I haven’t tried this but I think it would be okay to add the peanut butter morsels! I would just replace half of the chocolate chips with peanut butter morsels 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day!

  24. Angela says:

    Simply delicious! Moist, dense but not gooey, and the perfect chocolateyness! (Is that a word? Who cares, it is now!)
    Thanks for this amazing recipe!

    1. Sarah says:

      Of COURSE it’s a word! 😀 So happy you like them, Angela!!

  25. BakedOnTheWestCoasT says:

    Trying these right now. I don’t use white sugar so I used honey in the wet ingredients and I didn’t have coconut oil or veg oil so I used peanut butter. Lol

    Totally didn’t measure… Hope these turn out okay ! I’m also baking them in my toaster oven because we don’t have a regular stove/oven. If these are any good with my subs I’ll let you all know ! Xo

    1. Sarah says:

      I’d love to hear how they turned out! 😀

  26. Kirsten says:

    HI Sarah – would coconut sugar or honey work for an unrefined option??
    Thanks!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Kirsten, I haven’t tried either but they should work! The coconut sugar definitely, and the honey may just make them even stickier and tastier 🙂 I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

  27. Leslie says:

    I tried these today and they turned out great! I added instant coffee granules and used an 11×8 pan for 25 minutes…. PERFECT! They came out super moist which I was really surprised by.
    Surprised my husband with them when he came home and asked if he could figure out the “secret ingredient”. He had no clue and his eyes bugged out when I told him it was black beans. He and I were definitely impressed!

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear, Leslie! Haha I LOVE playing the game of “Guess the Secret Ingredient” with unsuspecting eaters. So happy you both enjoyed them, and thanks for dropping by and letting me know! 😀

  28. Katie says:

    With the stevia as a substitute how much did you use?? Also what brand of stevia?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Katie! I usually like this brand of Stevia because it’s great for baking. I usually try 1 part sugar and 1 part stevia (so 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup baking stevia). I’d love to hear how they turn out for you! 😀

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