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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!)

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies recipe on a white table

As I wandered the aisles of some nutrition fair back in college, 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.

That catch…black beans. 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.

Black Bean Brownies Video

How to make gluten-free black bean brownies

The secret to moist gluten-free brownies is black beans! They add structure and bulk, while also making them super soft and fudgy.

You’ll need to rinse, drain, and puree a can of black beans to make a good pasty base, then mix in the rest of your wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. I like to throw finely ground or instant coffee in with the dries. They add a little something something.

Pureeing black bean brownies in a food processor to make brownies

Mix the wets and dries separately to make sure everything gets mixed evenly. You can use one bowl, just be extra sure the baking powder is well mixed. If you’ve ever experienced a mouthful of baking powder due to uneven mixing, well, you’ll make sure things are mixed real well next time.

Ingredients to make black bean brownies

Then just pour into a pan, bake, and serve! I have this *condition* where I serve secretly healthy foods to unsuspecting eaters then ask them to guess the secret ingredient. And with this recipe, almost no one guesses the brownies are filled with 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!)

What people have said about these fudgy black bean brownies

“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!!!!”

Therese

“Simply delicious! Moist, dense but not gooey, and the perfect chocolateyness! (Is that a word? Who cares, it is now!)”

Angela

“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!”

Victorria
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!)

More secretly healthy desserts you might like:

Chickpea Blondies
Chocolate Date Fudge
Banana Nice Cream
Salted Date Caramel
Sweet Potato Cookies

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!)

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!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Baked Goods, Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: black bean brownies, gluten-free brownies
Diet: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Occasion: 4th of July, Birthdays, Christmas, Game Day, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day
Time: 45 minutes or less
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 16 brownies
Calories: 117kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
4.58 from 226 votes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 15-oz can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp flavorless oil, like canola or sunflower 45 mL
  • 1 tsp vanilla 5 mL
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 30 g
  • cup sugar 120 g
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp finely ground or instant coffee optional
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 60 g

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Wets: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Puree black beans in food processor into a rough paste. In a large bowl, mix together the bean puree, eggs, oil, and vanilla. 
  • Dries: In a separate bowl, combine cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt, and coffee (if using). Add the dry ingredients to the wets, then stir in chocolate chips.
  • BakeGrease an 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan, then line with parchment paper. Pour in batter and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the edges are visibly cooked and the center doesn’t jiggle much when you shake the pan (a toothpick may still come out a little gooey, that’s fine!)* Allow brownies to cool before cutting.

NOTES

  • *For ultra-gooey brownies, remove brownies when the center still jiggles some. For firmer brownies, cook until toothpick comes out almost clean.
  • For brownies that are really thick, double the recipe and add 15 to 20 minutes to the cooking time.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5.3g | Saturated Fat: 1.5g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 1.4g | Sugar: 11.4g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.7mg
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I originally posted this Black Bean Brownies recipe back when the blog was in its beginning years. I’ve since updated it with new photos and more clear instructions.

A photo from when I originally posted this Black Bean Brownies recipe!

Hi, I’m Sarah!

Showing you how to make easy vegetarian recipes, one ingredient at a time.  Read more

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Recipe Rating




  1. Cheryl says:

    Thank you for this recipe!! I have been trying out all kinds of “healthier alternative” recipes for some of our favorite snacks and desserts like cookies, brownies and cakes, and this is the first one where I really can’t tell the difference!! I made them sugar free by substituting the 2/3 cup of sugar with 4 Tbsp of a Stevia sugar alternative, and using sugar-free chocolate chips (I had Hershey’s).

    I also didn’t have a 9×9 or 8×8 pan, so I used my 13×9 pan and cooked them for just 15 minutes. They were thin, but just as tasty!! I even cut some into rectangles and used a low-carb, low-sugar ice cream to make Ice Cream Sandwiches!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Ice cream sandwiches…YUM! Thanks so much for letting us know how the sugar-free alternatives went for you! 😀

  2. Gina says:

    Tried out these brownies before I went vegan and they’re INSANELY rich, chocolatey, and fudgey while still holding up like a brownie. Couldn’t believe this was achievable without flour!!!! I just tried this recipe but vegan, subbing chia egg for eggs, and it flopped ): I gotta try with vegan egg replacer instead! These were too good to give up (:5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Ah sorry the vegan version flopped! I think there have been some comments where people shared their vegan alternative successes. Would love to hear how it goes if you land on a winner! 😀

  3. Emily says:

    These are outstanding! My toddler loves them and despite trying to trick husband, he found out they are made with beans and thinks they are great too! As a nutritionist and avid cook, I am always looking for great recipes and this is a keeper!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hahah, so happy to hear the family likes them, Emily! Happy to help you find a keeper 😀

  4. N Zufelt says:

    Amazing! I used coconut sugar to make them a bit lower on the glycemic index and a bit less sweet and that are fantastic.

    Just made them a second time and added a tablespoon of gluten free flour to help with the high altitude where I live, and to give a bit more cakey texture. Just as excellent this way too!!
    Highly recommend 👍👍

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it! Thanks for letting us know how those alterations went! 😀

  5. Rali says:

    Those are AMAZING! I love the taste and the texture, the only modification I made is to use coconut oil, it made the flavor even richer!

    Thank you for this great recipe!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Rali! Thanks for letting us know how it went! 😀

  6. Rob says:

    Sadly these are not ‘secretly healthy.’ The most important measure of a recipe like this would be the ratio of fiber to overall carbs. 1.4g is a fiber nothingburger. You can get more than that from a slice of faux healthy bread.

    1. Sarah says:

      This is true! But compared to the average brownies, this is giving you more fiber and protein 😀

  7. Steph K says:

    You just made my day. I’ve always wanted to try black bean brownies but I’ve always been a little suspicious of the recipies that I see.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear I could change your mind about them! 😀

  8. Kaleb says:

    AMAZING! I love the taste and the texture5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Happy to hear it, Kaleb! 😀

  9. Katy says:

    I love that your recipes are so easy to follow and not at all difficult especially for a novice baker. Made these brownies to the delight of my co-workers who could not believe they were made with black beans and loved the fact that it is only 140 calories!!!
    Thank you!

    1. Sarah says:

      Yay! Happy you (and the coworkers) enjoyed them! 😀

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