Rich and fudgy black bean brownies are gluten free, vegan, and delicious! You won’t believe that these chocolatey treats are full of protein from healthy black beans. This easy recipe is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Top them with 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 made a few different bean based desserts over the years and they were good. I always made them with the idea that they were healthy and pretty tasty and that the beans were a nice added bonus. But I was never rushing around dying to make them again, you know? They were good desserts, but not amazing.
I’ve been wondering if I could make really decadent and delicious vegan 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 decadent?
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, and aren’t comfortable with using gluten free flours, or haven’t found a blend that you are comfortable with yet.
What are black bean brownies?
Black bean brownies are brownies that use black beans rather than flour. Since black beans are quite starchy, they work well in place of flour. And that makes them a good option for a gluten free dessert.
Do desserts 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.
Do these brownies need to be refrigerated?
Yes, 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 a softer brownie with a fudge-like texture, and I find that they firm up in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze black bean brownies?
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.
Brownie baking tips:
- 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.
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.
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.
You might wonder if you can use a different type of bean in this recipe. Yes, you can try, but the darker the bean, the more it will blend in with the batter.
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.