Black bean brownies that are rich and fudgy and easy to make! These brownies are made from wholesome ingredients and are vegan, gluten-free, oil-free but don't compromise on flavor, just like my chickpea blondies.
What to expect
TEXTURE/FLAVOR: Soft and fudgy but not too dense. This recipe uses more maple syrup than other black bean brownie recipes to balance out the bitterness of the cocoa powder and minimize any possible black bean flavor. Black bean brownies will never taste exactly the same as regular brownies but have a similar fudgy texture and chocolate hit!
DIFFICULTY: Super easy! You just need a strong blender or food processor to make the brownie batter. Even though these brownies don't contain any eggs, you don't need any special egg replacers such as flax eggs!
Simple ingredients you'll need
The full list of ingredient quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Notes about the ingredients
Black beans. I recommend using canned black beans that are unsalted as salted black beans tend to have a stronger bean flavor. Soft home-cooked black beans will also work!
Nut butter of choice. I used and loved almond butter for the brownies as they complement the chocolate flavor. Most runny nut butters will work! Even though I normally enjoy peanut butter, I found that it clashed with the black beans (however, you may like it). To make these nut-free, use sunflower seed butter.
Pure maple syrup for sweetness and the fudgy texture. Alternatively, you may use any other liquid sweetener.
Unsweetened cocoa powder. Use one that you enjoy the flavor of because it's very noticeable in these brownies! You may use raw cacao powder but your brownies will be more bitter.
For the best results, I recommend weighing your dry ingredients! Too much oat flour or cocoa powder will make your brownies cakier.
How to make black bean brownies
First, add all the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible. The mixture might look grainy from the skin of the black beans, but that's absolutely okay!
Note: If you're making oat flour from whole rolled oats, blend them first. If you blend them at the same time as the other ingredients, they won't blend properly.
Finally, remove the blade of your food processor and mix in the chocolate chips. Over time, your batter will thicken as the cocoa powder and oat flour will absorb the wet ingredients.
Baking the brownies
These vegan black bean brownies take about 26 minutes to bake, give or take a few minutes depending on your oven. If you prefer fudgier brownies, bake them for less time but if you prefer cakier brownies, bake them for longer.
After you take the brownies out of the oven, they will deflate a little - that's absolutely okay!
Other possible add-ins
These healthy brownies are perfect with just dark chocolate chips. However, you can also add:
- Espresso powder or instant coffee granules, to enhance the chocolate flavor
- White chocolate chips
- Chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
- Crushed pretzels with a pinch of salt
Customizing this recipe
You can use any other liquid sweetener such as agave nectar or date syrup in the same amount. You're welcome to reduce the maple syrup to your liking but your brownies will be less fudgy and the black bean flavor and bitterness of the cocoa powder will be much stronger.
I haven't tested these brownies using brown sugar or coconut sugar. However, you're welcome to experiment with quantities!
These gluten-free black bean brownies bake well in a muffin tin. Depending on how much you fill each cavity, try baking them for around 20 minutes.
Other wholesome vegan desserts
Black Bean Brownies (vegan)
- ~1 ½ cups (230g) unsalted black beans, rinsed well at room temperature (I got this amount from one 15oz or 440g can of black beans)
- ½ cup (125g) almond butter, or nut/seed butter of choice
- ½ cup (50g) cocoa powder
- ½ cup (45g) oat flour, (note 2 for homemade oat flour and alternatives)
- ¾ cup (255g) maple syrup, (note 3 for alternatives)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ cup (85g) dairy-free chocolate chips, plus extra to decorate
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
Prepare the black bean brownies:
- Add all the ingredients except the chocolate chips to a food processor or blender and blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible. If you have a high-powered stick blender, add the ingredients to a bowl and blend. The batter should be slightly runny but sticky.
- Remove the blade from your food processor. Add the chocolate chips and mix with a spoon or spatula. If your brownie batter is warm from the blending, let it cool down before mixing in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish. Smooth the surface with a spoon or spatula. If desired, sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top of the batter.
Bake the brownies:
- Bake the black bean brownies for 24-29 minutes. The brownies are ready when they have puffed up and the surface looks dry. If you insert a toothpick in the middle, it should come out with a few moist crumbs but no thick batter.
- Place the baking pan on a wire rack. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the baking pan for at least 1 hour.
- When the brownies have completely cooled, remove them from the baking dish and cut them with a sharp knife. The brownies are very fudgy so it may help to run your knife under hot water before cutting them (see the blog post above for more tips for cutting). If desired, sprinkle the brownies with flaky sea salt or enjoy with vegan ice cream.
- Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you would like to freeze the brownies, freeze them separately to prevent them from sticking together (once they are frozen, you can place them close together).
- If you'd like to make your own oat flour, add ~⅓ cup (45g) of traditional rolled oats to a food processor or blender and grind them up as finely as possible. Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Alternatively, you can use all-purpose flour or almond flour, in the same amount. Brownies made with almond flour will be more fudgy and moist.
- Alternatively, you can use any other liquid sweetener in the same amount. You're welcome to reduce the amount of sweetener but the brownies will be less moist, more bitter and the black beans flavor will be more noticeable. I also recommend baking your brownies for less time.
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