Black Bean Brownies

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5 from 37 votes
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Rich, chocolatey, and perfectly fudgy, this recipe will change your mind about black bean brownies. Made in just one bowl, these brownies bake up in less than 25 minutes.

black bean brownie.

Black bean brownies may not sound very appetizing, however, believe us when we tell you that you won’t even taste them in your chocolate dessert. 

If you’ve tried our avocado brownies or Greek yogurt brownies before, you’ll know that these more unique ingredients can actually transform your brownies into something quite special.

Why add black beans to brownies?

Using black beans instead of flour to make brownies is a way to enrich them with protein and make them gluten-free without compromising the flavor or texture of this all-time favorite treat (just like our healthy brownies!).

We love making these brownies because: 

  • No flour needed. If you happen to have no flour at home but want to whip up some brownies, this recipe helps you make them with just a can of black beans. This is similar to our 2 ingredient and flourless brownies.
  • Gluten-free. As there is no flour in this brownie recipe, it is completely gluten-free and safe for people with gluten intolerance. This is why tons of people love our brownie bites.
  • Delicious and fudgy. This is the kind of healthy dessert you can serve your friends and no one will know it has legumes in it!

Ingredients needed

This recipe calls for a can of black beans and a few brownie baking staples. Here’s everything you’ll need: 

  • Black beans. Drained and rinsed.
  • Eggs. Room-temperature. 
  • Sugar. Brown and white sugars. You can use only white sugar if that’s what you prefer. 
  • Cocoa powder. Unsweetened, sifted. 
  • Oil. To provide the fudgy texture of the brownies. Use any neutral-flavored vegetable oil. 
  • Vanilla extract. To enhance all flavors. Don’t add too much vanilla extract as it may mute the chocolate flavor of brownies. 
  • Baking powder. To lift the brownies. 
  • Salt. To balance all flavors. 
  • Chocolate chips. Dark chocolate chips to mix into the batter and sprinkle on top. 

How to make black bean brownies

Start with preheating your oven to 180C/350F degrees. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside. 

Next, add all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, into a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Fold through half the chocolate chips.

Now, transfer the brownie batter into the lined pan and sprinkle the remaining chocolate on top.

Finally, bake the brownies for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Let the brownies cool in the pan completely, before slicing and serving.  

brownies with black beans recipe.

Recipe variations

Like any good brownie recipe, this one is quite easy to adapt with different flavors and mix-ins. It’s also easy to adapt for other diets. Here is what we’ve tried:

  • Use all-purpose flour. The addition of black beans in this recipe is replacing the need for flour. If you’d like a tried and tested classic-style brownie, simply swap them out for flour. To do this, start with ¾ cup of flour and add more if needed to create a smooth batter.
  • Top with chopped nuts. Adding nuts to brownies is always a good idea, so top the brownies with some chopped walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts along with the chocolate chips. The crunchy nuts contrast nicely with the fudgy texture of the brownies. 
  • Substitute the eggs to make vegan brownies. Flax eggs and bananas are two of the best egg substitutes for brownies. Use one tablespoon of finely ground flax seed and three tablespoons of hot water to replace one egg. Or, use one ripe mashed banana to replace an egg. Additionally, you can also try another egg substitute.
  • Replace 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder with coffee. Doing this helps enhance the chocolate flavor of the brownies. Instant coffee and espresso powder both work well for this.

Storage instructions

To store: Place brownies in an airtight container as soon as they cool. You can also wrap them tightly in food wrap or foil. 

Furthermore, black bean brownies can be left at room temperature for a day so long as they are away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Stored in the fridge, these brownies will last for 3 to 5 days. 

To freeze: Leftovers can be placed in a ziplock bag and stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

black bean brownies.

More brownie recipes to try

Frequently asked questions

What are Katherine Hepburn brownies?

Katherine Hepburn brownies are known to be classic American brownies. They are chewy, and fudgy, and are made with unsweetened dark chocolate. These brownies are made with staple baking ingredients, including all-purpose flour. 

Are black bean brownies healthy?

Black bean brownies are healthier than brownies made with all-purpose flour. Black beans are packed with fiber. They also contain vitamins B2 and B9, as well as a high amount of potassium and other minerals. 

You can make black bean brownies healthier by substituting granulated sugar with healthier sweeteners such as pure maple syrup. 

Can I use other beans?

Swap out the black beans for navy beans or white beans. The brownies will turn out just as fudgy and delicious.

black bean brownies recipe.

Black Bean Brownies

5 from 37 votes
Rich, chocolatey, and perfectly fudgy, this recipe will change your mind about black bean brownies. This one ingredient makes brownies so much healthier without sacrificing their decadent flavor and slightly chewy texture.
Servings: 12 brownies
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 21 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 15 ounces black beans canned and drained
  • 3 large eggs or egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate divided

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. 
  • Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender, except for the chocolate. Blend until smooth.
  • Fold through half the chocolate then transfer the batter into the lined pan. Top with remaining chocolate.
  • Bake the brownies for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Let the brownies cool in the pan completely, before slicing and serving. 

Notes

TO STORE: Place brownies in an airtight container as soon as they cool. You can also wrap them tightly in food wrap or foil.
Black bean brownies can be left at room temperature for a day so long as they are away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Stored in the fridge, these brownies will last for 3 to 5 days. 
TO FREEZE: Leftovers can be placed in a ziplock bag and stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownieCalories: 185kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 4gFat: 11gSodium: 238mgPotassium: 182mgFiber: 5gVitamin A: 69IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 16g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

    1. Hi Pam, I don’t count calories and focus on the ingredients- You’re more than welcome to plug the ingredients into a calorie counting service like myfitnesspal if you want such information 🙂 Enjoy!

  1. Omg where have you been all my life and why am I only just discovering your blog in the last month. Seriously?! I want to eat every single recipe you post!
    And I love how you said you didn’t trust your taste buds. I totally get that. I think pretty much everything I make is tasty, but I’m definitely used to “health food” and my taste buds have adapted. I always worry that the average person wouldn’t actually like it.

    1. Speak for yourself- I’m not going to lie, I spent last week stalking your blog and your recipes!

      Haha, when I was back in Australia, I’d have to get my sister to triple test everything

  2. Beans are tough on my system in general, which is hilarious considering the amount of fiber that I consume on a daily basis. I’m also not the biggest black bean fan, but I really do like Cuban black beans (like, give me the spoon, walk away, the pain is worth it). But I want to try again! Maybe these will be my entre back into the world of beanage.

  3. I agree with Lindsay, I’ll take some samples, shipping them to Philly isn’t far 🙂 LOVE that these are no bake, thank you for not making me turn on my oven when it’s 90 degrees!

  4. I can practically taste these through the screen and I’m loving them! Black bean brownies all day every day.

  5. OH MY YUM. Do you think it would work if I used peanut butter in these? Sort of like PB Chocolate Brownies! Chocolate with peanut butter is one of my favorite combos 🙂

  6. I love the fudgeyness of black beans brownies, but have not tried a no-bake version before, sounds like a fun experiment.
    I adore black beans in general, but have a soft spot for lentil too!

  7. Dude! I am a huge fan of black beans! I used to not like them as a kid because we just never ate them. (You know, anything that you didn’t eat as a kid just isn’t good, right?) But some number of years ago, I overcame that fear of black beans. Now I love them! I usually toss them with some cheese into a quesadilla…but now I’ll have to save some for these bars! But you know what would have been awesome? Adding some maple syrup.

  8. When the world needs those bars then I have to try it 🙂 I wonder if I can plant this on Stefan without him noticing that it has black beens in it. I once made him eat bean brownies. The recipe was horrible and ever since he is quite aloof when it comes to beans in a dessert 😀
    I love black beans! Fun fact: we have 1 brand that sells canned black beans here. I once tried to make dried ones in my slow cooker. They cooked for 24h after I watered them for 12h!

  9. Yes, I read ‘THE WORLD NEEDS THOSE FUDGE BARS’. What?? Then I need one
    You got me inspired with the whole bean thing. In Asia the use it often in their deserts, most of which I don’t like. However there are a couple that would be quite interesting to revamp.
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. My dad prefers your treats over the ones I make. You don’t even know how many times he asked, “Do you still have those bars from Arman?” In my head: “But like, what about these oatmeal bars I made you?”
    It’s okay though because these babies are seriously amazing. Pop never would have guessed there were black beans in there, and neither would I! Thanks for letting me try them as you struggled to find nourishment in the form of Fage yogurt.

  11. Wow, Arman, these look great! I love baking with black beans, but have never thought to do a no bake dessert with them! Fantastic!

  12. HAh! I love your texting conversation because it reminds me a lot of how my college friends and I communicate, minus a whole lot of vulgar terms to describe how they feel about the treats I give them ;).

    These look great! I’ll admit that I am a little skeptical about beans in desserts still, but if you say so and have photos like this to shove in my face, my mouth is wide open!