JOIN THE EATMAIL for exclusive recipes & meal ideas

logo logo

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
4.54 from 178 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
Hungry for more?
Join our Eatmail newsletter for weekly new recipes and a complimentary copy of our vegetarian dinners cookbook!
This post may contain affiliate links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links may benefit Live Eat Learn. Read more about our affiliate linking.

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

Read more

Dinner Opt-in

Comments (279)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Jan says:

    Is it really 1.4 fiber and not 14 fiber?

    1. Sarah says:

      That’s correct, because the portions are relatively small compared to if you were eating black beans by themselves (essentially each brownie contains 1/16 can of beans). That said, I usually eat two :p Enjoy!

  2. Judy Riley says:

    What I’d be don’t have parchment paper?

    1. Sarah says:

      Great question, Judy! Just grease your pan well. You can also sprinkle the greased pan with cocoa powder to make it even more nonstick.

  3. Jimmie says:

    Hi – What can I use if I do not have a food processor? Will an electric hand mixer work as well?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Jimmie! I haven’t had the chance to try it but I think that would work! 😀

  4. Keyana Sonifrank says:

    I used this recipe last night and it was so good! I couldn’t tell that these were made with black bean. The brownies were so chocolatey and moist they were amazing! Thanks for sharing this!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear, Keyana! 😀 Enjoy!

  5. Tracey McLoughlin says:

    Made these last week and just about to make another batch, they are soooo good!! Cookes mine for 30 minutes and they just melted in your mouth when still slightly warm (they never got a chance to cool properly they were gobbled up)

    Just wondering could you freeze these?

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear you’re liking them, Tracey! While I haven’t had the chance to freeze these and test it out, I’ve heard from people that they do freeze well! 😀

  6. PY says:

    Hi I am writing this as they are cooking in the oven right now! Can’t wait to try them as I’ve had success with other bb brownie recipes. If I wanted to make them in muffin tins how should I adjust the timing? I will probably split this batter into 8 muffins.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Enjoy!! I would just reduce the time a bit (hard to say by how much, as I haven’t had the chance to experiment with it). But I would just bake until the top is firm and a toothpick still comes out a little gooey.

  7. Reagan says:

    These are fantastic! I did notice the oil seemed to be a lot, I would cut it down to 2tbsp since I could see a shine from it on the top of my brownies (I also used vegetable oil, so it might be that) and i think i could cut either the chocolate chips or half of the sugar out, but I don’t even notice they’re any different! So glad my food processor is finally getting semi-regular love for these

    1. Sarah Bond says:

      Thanks for the tips, Reagan! Glad you could find some alterations to make them work for ya 😀

  8. Miyah says:

    These are absolutely amazing 😍 so fudgy!! I love them!!

    1. Sarah Bond says:

      Yay! So happy to hear! 😀

  9. Lucy says:

    I made these and they are delicious however I cooked for 30 mins and they definitely could have done with 5 mins less. I added roasted walnuts. Yum!

    1. Sarah Bond says:

      Happy to hear, Lucy! Thanks for letting us know! 😀

  10. Sam says:

    Hi. Any tried alternative to the sugar?

    1. Sarah Bond says:

      Hi Sam! A past commenter wrote, “I made them sugar-free by subbing in Lily’s stevia-sweetened dark chocolate chips and Lakanto golden brown monkfruit/erythritol blend and you wouldn’t guess they weren’t made with real sugar!” Would love to hear how it goes for ya! 😀

  11. Jessica says:

    Oh my goodness! These are delicious! I served them to my very pick…er…discerning kiddo who can detect healthy ingredients from a mile away and not only did she not suspect a thing she loved the brownies! Thanks for my new go-to brownie recipe.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear, Jessica!! 😀

  12. Jessi says:

    Can I use swerve or stevia instead of sugar to lower the calories?

    1. Sarah says:

      I haven’t had the chance to try it, but I think some other commenters have said that it works well! 😀

  13. Kimberly Spurgeon says:

    These brownies are so good! I usually laugh when someone rates a recipe, and then tells of all the changes they made to it. However, I don’t eat sugar so… I substituted 1/3 cup ground dates, 1/6 cup monk fruit, and about 1 Tablespoon honey for the 2/3 cup sugar. Oh my! These are so awesome! And almost totally guilt-free. Score! Thank you for sharing this.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      YAY! Those substitutions all sound SO GOOD. Thanks for letting us know, I know there’s a lot of people who were looking for this lower-sugar substitute! 😀

  14. Debra Carral says:

    Made these today and just had them as our dessert. Yum! Even my hubby, who is always skeptical with recipes like this, loved them. Since it was my first time making them, I didn’t make too many substitutions. I used vegetable oil, a little less than 1/2 cup light brown sugar (not packed down), and I used a little less than 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. I don’t have instant coffee, so I omitted it. I baked them in a glass 8×8 dish for 30 minutes and they came out perfect.

    I can’t wait to try the blondies next!

    Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Debra! Hope you enjoy the blondies too! 😀

  15. Emma says:

    They turned out well and everyone in my family liked them 🙂.

    When I was trying to purée the black beans, I found that the beans would just go up the side of the food processor away from the blade. I added the wet ingredients to the beans and blended the mixture for a while and this worked perfectly.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks for the tip, Emma! I sometimes have to scrape down the sides to get those pesky beans in the bottom, but adding the liquids also works! Enjoy! 😀

  16. Megan L says:

    This is hands-down my favorite brownie recipe, I might even like them better than the boxed mix!

    I only use 1/2 cup sugar, and substitute 3 T. applesauce instead of the oil, and they turn out amazing every time. They freeze extremely well too, and I like to pop one in the microwave on defrost for ~20 seconds and spread with peanut butter. A perfect nighttime snack!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      YUM such a good idea to freeze it like this! 😀 Thanks so much for dropping in to let us know about those substitutions!

  17. Toni Carrozza says:

    These are phenomenal. Fed them to my very picky child and step children and they loved them so much! Has anyone replaced the eggs in this recipe with flax? Or any other subs?5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Toni! 😀 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! 🙂

  18. Maggie says:

    Best black bean brownies I’ve ever made and I have tried a lot of recipes.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Maggie! 😀 Thanks for leaving your review!

  19. Kayla says:

    I absolutely LOVE black bean brownies! At first my parents were skeptical and said oh we’re not doing sugar and we want real ones and so on…. But the smell of these bad boys wafted through the kitchen and nobody could stop eating them until they were gone. Tip: hide what you want to save on the freezer while you can!!! 💝 Five stars5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Hahah LOVE this, thanks so much for dropping a note! 😀 Good luck scavenging the leftovers for yourself!

  20. Anna says:

    Can I use pinto beans? It’s what I have on hand.

    1. Sarah says:

      That’s a great question! While I haven’t tried it with pinto beans, I think it could work! Would love to hear how it goes if you try it.

  21. Sneha says:

    Hi,

    Can I use Dark Red kidney beans instead of black beans??

    1. Sarah says:

      While I haven’t tried this before, I think it would work! I know kidney beans are often used in sweet dishes, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work here. Would love to hear how it goes if you try it out! 😀

  22. Brett says:

    I am trying to cut sugar out of my diet. Would mashed banana work as a substitute?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Brett! I haven’t tried it with banana but I think it could work. A past commenter wrote, “I made them sugar-free by subbing in Lily’s stevia-sweetened dark chocolate chips and Lakanto golden brown monkfruit/erythritol blend and you wouldn’t guess they weren’t made with real sugar!” Would love to hear how it goes if you try either!

  23. Leda says:

    I made a few changes,
    Mainly due to the fact that I’m “Safe at Home” during these trying times.

    1. I used no salt added black beans
    2. I replaced the oil with 1T butter and
    2T vanilla ghee
    3. I used 85% cacoa chocolate bar.
    chopped up instead of chips
    4. Almond extract in place of vanilla
    5. 1/2 C sugar instead of 2/3C

    Also I put all wet ingredients in my ninja nutra bullet (because my food processor was difficult to get to and I didn’t want to move crap around ..lol)

    They turned out wonderfully!

    I plan on making a berry compote to top them with later.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      LOVE all these tweaks (and love that you’re staying safely home in these times). Thanks for dropping in with your substitutions – these will be so helpful for other folks. Happy you liked them!

  24. Gloria Wenstrand says:

    These brownies are the best!! The only thing I did different was add the wet ingredients to the beans to puree them. I also stirred in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts when I added the chocolate chips.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it! Enjoy 😀

  25. Alyssa says:

    I made these yesterday exactly as the recipe asks, and they turned out really dry. 🙁 I was excited for a really fudgy, gooey brownie like the photo shows, but it was completely opposite than that.
    Do you know what might have happened?3 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Aw, I’m sorry to hear it, Alyssa! I think you might have just baked them a bit too long. When you insert a toothpick into these, it’s normal for them to still be moist and gooey. They’ll firm up a bit as they cool!

  26. Geneva says:

    So good!! 🙂 I added a little extra cinnamon and Chile powder to make it more Mexican-mocha inspired, but the recipe is solid!! they were soft, moist, the right level of sweetness, and very chocolatey! I asked my boyfriend if he could identify how these were different from regular brownies, and he couldn’t tell me! I would love to try making them again with an egg substitute and see if they can be made vegan. this will be my new go-to recipe for brownies!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Geneva! That hint of Mexican spice sounds heavenly! 😀

  27. Maida says:

    This came out extremely dry, the absolute opposite of fudgy and moist. I followed the recipe exactly except for changing the sugar for tagatose. I only baked them 20 minutes and the toothpick came out almost dry and the brownies too. I don’t think they were dry because of baking. The raw batter was super dry and dense, like it needed some milk or something liquid. They also tasted a lot like black beans (I’ve made black bean brownies before and never had that issue). Not sure what failed for me but these did not come out nice at all.3 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Sorry to hear it, Maida! Sugar does play a role in keeping moisture in baked goods, so that could have played a role. But the batter shouldn’t have been so dry to start with – just to double check, did you add the oil and eggs?

  28. Noah says:

    I’ve tried some recipes and this one is one of the best. Although it’s lots of sugar, wondering if it’s possible to use less? Or maybe honey?

    However the taste was amazing! I prefer these over butter/flower brownies.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy you liked them, Noah! A past commenter wrote, “I made them sugar-free by subbing in Lily’s stevia-sweetened dark chocolate chips and Lakanto golden brown monkfruit/erythritol blend and you wouldn’t guess they weren’t made with real sugar!” 😀

  29. Kay says:

    Absolutely divine. I used avocado oil and raspberry chocolate coffee grounds from a local place and just wow. These are better than the “regular” kind!!!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      YUM I’ll have to try adding a little raspberry flavor, that sounds great!

  30. Ashley Lynne says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I just made these and they are AH-MA-ZING. I didn’t have any chocolate chips so I just increased the cocoa powder to 1/2 cup and I also added in a tablespoon of ground cinnamon for extra flavor – delish! Brownies are usually a weakness of mine, but now I won’t feel so bad eating a few pieces…or five!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      😅 I know what you mean, I never eat just one! So glad you liked them, and thanks for sharing your tweaks!

  31. Courteney says:

    I reeeally wanted these to be good but they were horrible. I followed the recipe to the T besides the instant coffee. They turned out cloyingly sweet and very glisteny from the amount of oil. Wasted a good amount of ingredients unfortunately ☹️ I’m not sure if it’s just my opinion of a brownie but I like mine dense and slightly bitter from the cocoa. This was more of a soggy, sweet sponge that smelled of chocolate.1 star

    1. Sarah says:

      So sorry to hear it, Courteney! They might just need a bit more time in the oven to get a little bit more of the cakey texture that you might expect from a gluten containing brownie. Thanks for letting us know how it went, though!

  32. Erika says:

    Hi! I’d love to try this recipe but I don’t have canned black beans… Can I use dried black beans instead? Thanks

    1. Sarah says:

      That should be fine! Just soak and boil them first 🙂

  33. Erika says:

    I made these brownies and they were amazing! Everyone in my family loved them. I will probably make them again soon as they are almost gone already! Could I use half black beans and half red kidney beans instead? Thanks for the great recipe:)5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      I haven’t tried this but I think it would work! 😀 Would love to hear how it goes if you do try it out!

  34. Brent says:

    First time making black bean brownies and happy to say these are a winner and I will be baking again. I made a three deviations from the recipe based on what I had on hand. I went with (a) canned black beans with salt added and skipping out on the 1/4 tsp. added salt. This reduced the sodium content by approximately 180 mg total, (b) I added in 1 tbsp. of chia seeds to get some crunch and add more protein, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals in trace amounts, and (c) I had walnut oil I needed to use and it gave a nice nutty flavor without adding in the walnut pieces. Hands down one of the best healthy brownie recipes out there. I reviewed at least 6 different sites before using this one and decided on it because of the high protein and fiber content plus the ease of the instructions and how quickly it came together. Thank you for this recipe!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear you liked them, Brent! Love the addition of chia, and glad to hear the salted beans worked for ya! 😀

  35. amira says:

    hi, what is d measurement in cup for 15 ox or drained bean? coz I use cooked black bean. also If I replace white sugar with homemade dates syrup, will that work? thanks.

    1. Sarah says:

      It would be about 1.5 cups (drained) black beans. And I haven’t tried the date syrup, but I think it would work! They’ll probably come out even more moist and gooey!

  36. Klarity says:

    I ended up replacing the eggs w/ uncle Bob’s egg replacer bc it’s what I have on hand. Then I used a small rectangular 3cup pyrex lunch container lined with spray and parchment. I like my brownies THICK. Mixed in handful of milk chocolate chips. Topped with more milk chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Baked it mid rack for 35-37mins. 350d. WOW…I cant wait for them to cool down. But it taste good now on a spoon so imagine it later…

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Klarity! I know a lot of people were curious how to replace the egg, this will be super useful for them! 😀

  37. Serena says:

    The photos for these brownies looked delicious and fudgey, but mine came out super dry. I set my timer for 28 minutes and when I came back to check on them, the toothpick came out completely clean. I thought it would still be uncooked after 28 minutes but I guess it only needed 15? The beans also don’t totally grind down in the food processor. I’ve never had a problem with it but the bean skins were VERY noticeable in the brownies. I wish these had worked and come out as described.2 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Sorry to hear it, Serena! It’s possible that your oven just runs a little hotter. You could try when for less time if you give it another go!

  38. Elle says:

    Great recipe! I would’ve never thought you could make something with black beans taste so good. I made these with coconut sugar this time (1:1 substitution) and while they were noticably less sweet, they’re still great! I often freeze them and they come out just as good, even when you eat them cold.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Elle! And thanks for letting us know that they freeze well! 😀

  39. erika Brimmer says:

    I drop some of the sugar these are the bomb5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Erika! 😀

  40. Amanda Hoyle says:

    Used this as base recipe…Added accord to ingredients on hand (Greek yogurt, espresso, few Tbs. whole wheat flour to bind). Came out beautiful and shiny on top no need for ganache….cut them in small squares and refrigerated…very decedent for black beans….Think they’d be even more appealing w colorful m and ms On top for the kids

    1. Sarah says:

      Oh yum, those additions sound delish! M&Ms would be tasty too 😛

DINNER THIS WEEK

shares