These rich and fudgy brownies have a secret ingredient – beans! This easy recipe is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Top them with ice cream or coconut whipped cream for an extra special dessert!
Beans and brownies might not be two words that you normally put together.
There are a lot of reasons to add black beans or other legumes to desserts. They add some nice protein and fiber, and if the dessert is gluten free, they are a good starch that’s free of gluten.
I’ve been wondering if I could make really decadent black bean brownies that are gluten free, grain free, and super chocolatey. I definitely did not want to taste any beans at all. Could a bean based dessert really be delicious?
And I’m happy to report that these passed the test! They are so, so good! My son loves these brownies. And I’m happy that he’s getting a little extra protein with his dessert.
This is a nice recipe to try if you are new to gluten free baking, or maybe haven’t found a gluten free flour blend that you are comfortable with yet.
Do brownies made with beans taste good?
These brownies are rich, fudgy, sweet, and super chocolatey. They taste very much like a normal brownie. In other words, you can’t taste the beans – just ask my children, who love these brownies!
We gave these vegan black bean brownies the ultimate test – we ate the batter with a spoon. I figured if the batter tasted amazing without being baked, this was a winning recipe. And…it tasted just like REAL brownie batter! I let my son try it, too, and he was licking the spoon and asking for more.
What brand of beans is safe for food allergies?
You should call on any brand of beans you are interested in to see if they are safe for your particular allergies or dietary needs. One brand to check out would be Eden brand foods.
Can this recipe be made with lentils?
I think you could try lentils in this recipe, but the texture might be a little different. You might also be able to taste the lentils – they have a little stronger flavor than black beans.
If you’re looking for a more traditional brownie recipe, try these double chocolate zucchini brownies. Or if you love sneaky desserts with hidden veggies, try these grain free chocolate cookies.
How to store these:
I recommend storing these brownies in the refrigerator for the best results. The flavor and texture will be best if they are refrigerated. They are soft, with a fudge-like texture, and I find that they firm up in the refrigerator.
I haven’t tried freezing these, but I think if you wrap them individually, and then store in an airtight container, they would probably be fine in the freezer. You should be able to freeze these for up to three months.
After my past experiences, and after hearing other’s complaints about bean based desserts, there are a few things that I recommend doing so that these turn out well and taste delicious.
- Blending the beans very, very thoroughly is so important. You don’t want any detectable pieces of bean skin in your brownies. To do this, you need to use a food processor or a blender. A mixer or a potato masher won’t do the trick.
- I used a lot of cocoa powder and sugar. I wouldn’t reduce the amounts – these truly taste like rich, fudgy brownies. I was not going after a healthy, light brownie taste here.
- I made these in a loaf pan, so that they would cook evenly, and so that the middle would not be too mushy. This made eight 2 inch x 2 inch brownies. If you want to make a double batch, I would bake them in two loaf pans.
- You must line the pan with parchment paper. If you don’t, the brownies will not come out of the pan in one piece.
- You can use the milk of your choice – use any non-dairy milk that works for your diet.
- I would not use a liquid sweetener like maple syrup in this recipe – they won’t become solid during baking if you use syrup or honey.
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Fudgy Black Bean Brownies (Gluten Free, Vegan).
These are the richest, fudgiest, most delicious vegan black bean brownies that you will ever have.
- ¾ cups canned black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Cultured Coconut Milk Yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup vegan buttery spread melted
- ⅓ teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 4x8 loaf pan with parchment paper, so that there is an overhang on each side. You will need the overhang to remove the brownies from the pan.
In a blender or food processor, puree the black beans with the non-dairy milk milk and the yogurt. Stop periodically and scrape down the sides and make sure that all the bean skins are gone. You want this batter to be really smooth.
Transfer the bean mixture to a bowl and add the melted vegan buttery spread, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
Stir well. Spoon batter into the loaf pan and smooth it out with the back of a spoon.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. They may seem a teeny bit underdone in the middle - that's okay! They will firm up as they cool, plus this is a fudgy brownie, not a cake-like brownie.
Allow to cool completely in pan, then lift the whole brownie out by pulling up on the edges of the parchment paper. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into 8 pieces using a very sharp knife.
This recipe makes 8 brownies. Serving size is one brownie.
Store leftover brownies in the refrigerator.
You can use a different type of bean if you like, but the color will be different.
If you can eat dairy, feel free to use dairy products in this recipe.
Enjoy! We really loved these. I didn’t tell my six-year-old what was in the brownies, and he ate them right up and said they were the “best brownies ever!” Anytime you can sneak extra protein into your kiddos, that’s a win, right?
This post was originally published in May 2014. It has been updated with more tips and tricks.
Do these need to be refrigerated?
Do you know if the brownies freeze well?
I don’t know, I’m sorry!
These Brownies are amazing!!!! No really we like them better than original brownies with eggs, butter, flour…etc…we are turning Vegan and looking for great foods to eat….This one is a keeper…..do not hesitate to try…Oh My Goodness how good!!! Moist and delicious!!!
YAY! I love hearing that! Thanks for sharing!
For the first time, I’ve tried to make a dessert with black beans. I need to admit that I was pretty prejudmental at the beginning. But since I had too much black beans in my cupboard I gave a try to the recipe. Well, the result is surprisingly great! I was anticipating something more like a dry paste, but no! It has a great fudy brownie texture and it doesn’t taste like beans at all. Since I am a gluten intolerant, this recipe will be very usefull for me. Thank you very much:)
These are amazing and taste delicious. Even my husband ate them and loved. Thanks for the recipe.
Yay! So glad you loved them!
I would love to make these this week but was wondering if i could use 2 tbsp of canned coconut milk in place of the yogurt?
I think that would work, but I haven’t tried it that way, so I’m not positive! Let me know if you try it!
Thank you ;)
Can you use another sugar besides white sugar?
You could try coconut sugar, but I have not tried them that way, so I don’t know how they will turn out. Let me know if you try that!
Does anyone know the nutritional value for these brownies
Hi Anna, I do not know, but there are many nutritional calculators online that you can enter the ingredients in and find out!
what can i use to replace the yogurt?
I don’t know because I have never made them with out it! You could use a different yogurt if you don’t like coconut milk, though!
Have you tried using coconut oil in place of the buttery spread?
I tried it (7 times) with coconut oil instead of buttery spread, and also used soy yogurt (3 very full tbsp) cause i don’t know what the cultured coconut yogurt is (i’m in France). Sometimes i added a teaspoon of tahini. It was delicious and everyone loved it. Also i used rice & almond drink instead of the milk.
Once i put half carob powder and half cacao and didn’t like the strong taste of carob. I’ll do it again with cacao only… It is a very good recipe, probably the best ! Thank you for sharing it !
Yay! Thanks for sharing, Diane! I love to hear from my readers! Tahini sounds like an interesting addition!
Great to know about the soy yogurt. What else can I use instead of the buttery spread -given the fact that I don’t like coconut at all-? Tahini sounds like a yummy addition!
I’m dying to try these. They look amazing!!! Thanks for the recipe, and thanks the tips :)
I tried with olive oil but would’nt recommend it. Maybe you can find deodorised coconut oil? You’ll have the texture but not the taste :)
Yay! I’ll give it a try. Would love so much to stand coconut, but so far I haven’t been able to… Won’t give up, though :) Thanks!
Where would I have the coconut yogurt you are talking about?
I use this brand: http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/cultured-coconut-milk/vanilla-cultured-coconut-milk
They have it at Whole Foods and Kroger.
These are amazing! My six year old is a vegan due to food allergies and I decided to try this recipe out to celebrate the day we adopted her. Our entire family LOVED them! Moist, rich and delicious!
do you think you could bake these as cookies? is the batter thick enough to use an ice cream scoop to portion them and then bake or will the run all over the cookie sheet? Thanks for your advice/opinion.
You know, I think it would spread too much on the cookie sheet .That’s just a guess though, since I’ve never tried that. :)
Ok, my apologies… how did I miss the 1/2 cup sugar?? Sorry.
No problem at all! I didn’t skimp on the sugar, I wanted them to be a real dessert! :)
These look awesome! I am a gluten free vegan and I have tried other recipes and they were not so great. I could not help but notice that other than the coconut yogurt there is no sugar in the recipe. Do they have a subtle sweetness that one may want to enhance with some added sugar?? If so, what kind of sugar and how much?
Louisa [Living Lou]
Wow these look delicious! I love brownies and have seen black bean brownies all over the web, but I never really thought to try them. If I wanted a brownie, I wanted a real, sweet, decadent version, but these sound like they are pretty close! Will have to give these a try for my first “black bean brownie” experience.
You should try them, Louisa! These are pretty rich, we really liked them!
Holy cow, these brownies look so moist and fudgy! Black bean brownies have always been something that I’ve wanted to try, but I kind of shyed away because, well, of the black beans. Now that you say that they don’t taste a thing like beans, I’m thinking I must try these and soon. LOVE how fudgy they look. pinned!
Thank you so much, Sarah! You really can’t taste the beans. Give them a try! Thanks for pinning!
Where do I purchase “vegan buttery”???? And, what is it?
Earth Balance Butter works great! =) Most grocery stores carry it these days.
I just made some brownies too! Yay for gluten-free brownies :) Okay I’m going to have to give black bean brownies another try with all your great tips! Pinned!
Yes, try them again! I think it’s worth it. Thanks for pinning!
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely
I can’t wait to try these! Brownies without the guilt! I should make these for my vegan mom on Mother’s Day. She’d love it!
Let me know if you try them, Natalie! I think I am going to make them on Mother’s Day as well, we will be seeing my vegan brother and his wife that day!