Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies!


It seems ludicrous to make your favorite recipes just once, but when you’re a food blogger sometimes you don’t have time for repeats! But, after making a similar version of these black bean brownies a couple years ago I couldn’t help but try them again. They’re fudgy, sweet, and still one of the best brownies I’ve had to date. Never mind they’re loaded with fiber, omega-3s and tons of other good-for-you ingredients.

Black Beans and FlaxCocoa Powder

Just last week I attempted a vegan gluten free brownie recipe that was a total flop. They didn’t set at all and sort of remained “soup” in the pan. So disappointing. The worst part? I’d wasted an entire bar and a half of my favorite dark chocolate and a descent amount of Earth Balance in the process. Not cheap, not cheap, not cool.

Then, I thought, “Why would I make unhealthy brownies if I could make healthy ones that I know I love?” See, I do reason sometimes, especially when it comes to dessert.

Raw Sugar GroundBlack Bean Brownies

These brownies are ridiculously simple to make. They require a handful of ingredients you likely have on hand, and all you need is a food processor (or blender) and a muffin tin. Does clean up get much easier than that? Let me answer that, NO.

Gluten Free Vegan BrowniesVegan Gluten Free Brownie Recipe

Besides being simple they’re insanely delicious. The edges have a slight crispness and the inside is all fudgy, chocolatey goodness. Plus, you don’t have to dirty a knife cutting into them – they’re already baked into bite-size deliciousness. How convenient!

Black Bean Brownies Recipe

Enjoy these plain, with some vegan ice cream, dunked in almond milk, slathered with peanut butter or topped with fresh berries (credit to my smart friend Arleigh for the berry idea).

Better yet, I have another idea for these beauties coming up next week. Wish me luck! In the meantime, bake these brownies and tell no one what’s inside…until they’re three bites in and begging for the recipe. Hooray for healthy deception!

The Ultimate Black Bean Brownies

4.7 from 167 reviews
Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Black bean brownies that are vegan, gluten free, and require just one bowl and about 30 minutes to prepare! Healthy, easy and delicious - the best kind of dessert.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free Brownies
Serves: 12
  • 1 15 oz. can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 large flax eggs (2.5 T flaxseed meal + 6 T water)
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted (or sub other oil of choice)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (the higher quality the better)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/2 cup raw sugar, slightly ground or pulsed in a food processor or coffee grinder for refined texture
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional toppings: crush walnuts, pecans or semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini). Make sure you've rinsed and thoroughly drained your black beans at this point.
  3. Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (besides walnuts or other toppings) and puree - about 3 minutes - scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  5. If the batter appears too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
  7. Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides. I found mine took about 25.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don't be concerned if they seem too moist - that's the point. Plus, they're vegan so it doesn't really matter.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 140 calories Fat: 6 g Carbohydrates: 22 g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 163 mg Fiber: 7 h Protein: 5 g

nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 brownie; does not include toppings.
adapted from mylittlecelebration

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  1. Heather says

    I made these (they were so easy!) and found the bitter chocolate flavor overwhelming. How do you suggest I alter the recipe to make it a little sweeter?

  2. Jessica Ho says

    I just made these and they kinda ended up a baking fail. :( they weren’t gooey in the middle, they were almost cake-like. And they were bitter…. Can you tell me what I did wrong??

    • Dana Shultz says

      Hmm, did you use dark chocolate cocoa powder? that can lead to a bitter taste. Otherwise, not sure!

  3. says

    I just made these and although they taste great (cannot taste the beans at all!), they are crumbly and are falling apart. The only change I made was subbing 2 large eggs for the flax eggs. What could have gone wrong? Please help! I really want to perfect these!

    • Dana Shultz says

      Hmm, I’m not sure! They are supposed to be gentle, so expect that. perhaps you under-baked them. That’s the only thing I can think of!

  4. Courtney says

    These are so so good. I made some and took them to work. I shared them with my co-workers who are not vegan and they all stated they were very good as well! Some even asked for seconds!

  5. says

    I’ve made these about 10 times now and thought it was about time I leave a comment! These have by far become my favorite dessert, and I always get rave reviews when I make them for other people. A couple times I’ve added a bit of mint extract which gives them a refreshing kick. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  6. says

    These were great! I have a couple notes:

    1) Probably for those who baked them forever and they were still gloopy, it seems important to use muffin tins because there aren’t enough dry ingredients in the recipe to solidify a whole big pan. I don’t know, maybe that’s not a thing but it makes sense to me. :) Also, baking in muffin tins makes it easier to put some fresh fruit on top, and they are much cuter with raspberries! Yum.

    2) It is pretty important to let them sit 30-60 minutes before eating them! I love brownies/cookies straight out of the oven (I’m not vegan), but you could definitely taste the beans while they were warm! You lose a lot of the bean taste after they have sufficiently cooled. In fact, we put some in the fridge overnight and they were even better cold!

    This is great and I will definitely make these again (and again and again). We used unsweetened cocoa, I love the semisweet/darker chocolate taste and don’t have much of a sweet tooth anyway. We also replaced the sugar with equal parts raw honey. Loved it.

      • Matt Aiden says

        Most vegans don’t eat honey as they consider it an “animal product” but some vegans do eat honey and still consider themselves vegan. I am vegan, but I do eat honey occasionally, especially if it is local. (:

  7. Jennifer says

    Love Them!!! My husband and I are trying to get away from flour, so it was nice to find that we can still have tasty desserts. Anyone have any luck with substitutes for sugar? I would like to reduce the sugar content. stevia maybe, but I know that it would throw off the ratios. Maybe applesauce in place of some of the oil?

    • Dana Shultz says

      I’m going to develop a version of this recipe with less sugar soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, add non bitter stevia powder and then compensate the lack of dry ingredients with additional cocoa powder.

      • Jennifer Dioguardo says

        Any suggestions on a good cocoa brand? We only had Hersheys, so that it what I used. After making these again, we couldn’t help but wonder what good cocoa powder would do.
        Thanks for the recipe!!

  8. Anna Banana says

    I may have just died and gone to black bean heaven.
    I did use maple syrup and one egg, plus 6 dates & about 9-12 soaked, processed nuts: 3 or 4 of each: pecans, brazil nuts, and cashews. I made a soft “paste” of the syrup, dates, and nut butter and added it into the already-processed beans, which I had soaked for 2 days and slow cooked.
    The texture is truffle-like…dreamy!
    For a little extra “pow,” I added cacao nibs and freshly-grated organic orange zest.
    I blended the baking powder and cocoa powder together, then added to the whole “bean batter.” As I hand-stirred, it became fluffier and fluffier.
    The brownies rose like lovely muffins, and I topped 6 of them with cacao nibs and the other six with a few raw pepitas. They look so inviting!
    Of course, I had to sample just one. Perfection. No beanie taste; pure deliciousness.
    My family is gonna love me for these!

  9. lisa says

    I made these with yogurt (instead of the oil), applesauce (instead of the sugar), 2 “farm” eggs & 2 small bananas.

    Husband says that they are good; except they taste “bananey”. I will leave that out next time. Had to cook for 30 minutes. I put Hershey’s syrup on top for the “drizzle”!

  10. Tonia says

    I was going to google black bean recipies looking for something to make for supper when “black bean brownies” popped up as one of the suggested searches.
    As a new vegan I’ve found it hard to find a baked good that doesn’t taste like cardboard. Well I’m happy to say I’ve found it. These are absolutely amazing I could hardly believe it. Even my non-vegan brothers agree (my younger one ate about a third of the batter before I even got it in the oven).
    I didn’t have flax though so I used organic peanut butter and water instead and was not disappointed.
    Thanks so much for the recipe! It’s definitely helped my transition to vegan a lot more delicious :)

  11. Nicole says

    These are the best brownies I’ve ever had. You can’t tell at all that they are made out of black beans let alone that they haven’t got so much as a teaspoon of flour in them. I love the delicate crispiness of the outside and the gooeyness of the inside, and their cute round shape is irresistible. I gave one to my boyfriend, and he loved it. Only after he’d chomped it down did I reveal (more than a little bit smugly, I’m afraid) that they’re made of beans. I’m not sure he believed me. But at any rate, this is totally my new go-to brownie recipe. Thank you for it!

  12. Natalie says

    I had a bar of Ghiradelli 85% cocoa that needed used, so I substituted that melted with a tbsp of cococut oil instead of the cocoa powder and 3 tbsp coconut oil, and they turned out rich and delicious. Only problem: they weren’t quite firm enough, so I popped them in the freezer and enjoyed them cold. Next time, I’ll definitely use cocoa powder and let them bake longer, but the beans really do work!

    • Dana Shultz says

      Thanks for sharing Natalie! Hope you’ll give them another go next time with cocoa powder. Cheers!

  13. Lydia says

    So i found this recipe when i felt like having some brownies and had come across black bean brownies while doing some surfing of the internet. I have always been very skeptical as to how on earth they would be not noticable, well i am sure glad i have found this recipe. I am not vegan so i just used regular eggs and didn’t have any raw sugar so used plain old white sugar, i plan to make these again with coconut sugar.

    The only problem i had is that my batter was quite hard to get forming (i used my kitchenaid blender) i tried pulsing and just straight up going hard but nothing, i added water as suggested but i found because i used normal eggs maybe there was not enough liquid to combine the dry together. I added two tbs still not enough so i kept adding until it was the right texture, mine also only cooked for 10 could have taken them out at 8 or so to be a bit more gooey which is how i like them but definitely a great easy recipe.

    Don’t be hesitant like i was and try these ASAP!

  14. sweet teas says

    I so wanted to love these but just didn’t. I found the consistency to be too smooth, not chewy enough, nowhere close to flaky, not quite fudgy, slightly bitter and somewhat beany, despite eating them fully cooled.
    60% of the people I served these to liked them enough to comment (in one respect what’s not to love about sugar and chocolate in any form) but my son and I did not. I gave them a 4 out of 10. My son gave them 0 out of 10 and one guest gave them 5 out of 10 similar to me. I will try a more traditional gluten free flour type next time and maybe add some tapioca to give it chew, with the addition of chocolate chips in the recipe to create variation in the texture. I eat plenty of beans and protein so don’t really need it in my dessert.
    But it’s a great idea and I’m glad so many people love it.

  15. Emily says

    Just made these…I’m sure they’re delicious as the recipe is written but I added 1/2 tsp coffee powder and used two eggs (since I’m not vegan). These are some of the most delicious brownies I have ever tasted. The texture is like silk and goes great with chocolate chips or walnuts on top. Where it says to add water one TBSP at a time, I ended up adding about 4 total to get the right consistency.

  16. Lois says

    Just made these, with a few modifications. Used a tin of cannellini beans instead of black beans, swapped the flax seeds for one egg, and used soft brown sugar (I think it’s the same as raw sugar?). I found the mix very bitter so I added some mixed raisins and cranberries to sweeten, and a little more sugar. I topped them with milk choc chips. However, I still don’t find them sweet enough to have mass appeal, though chocoholics would enjoy them.

    Is raw sugar different from soft brown sugar? Should I have compacted it when I measured a heaping half a cup?

    P.S. I’m now eating the one that broke up with blueberries, strawberries and double cream and it is SCRUMPTIOUS :D

      • Lois says

        Hmm, so if it doesn’t contain molasses but it’s still brown sugar, does that mean it’s closer to unrefined golden caster sugar (caster is the usual kind of sugar used in cakes, think you call it superfine or baking sugar? It’s finer that granulated but not powder like icing sugar). Or is it more like demerera (which has larger crystals than granulated)?

        I’ve been googling and have also found something called Turbinado sugar which I’ve never seen in a supermarket here.

        Help much appreciated as this isn’t the first recipe I’ve seen calling for ‘raw sugar’.

  17. Maddie says

    I just made these – they’re super good! I switched the oil for PB and the sugar for a banana. I also only had 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, but ya know. I just did it anyway. I also used a mini-muffin tin instead. They turned out really delicious and fudgy. Not too sweet like a lot of other bean brownies I’ve tried! Thanks for a great recipe!

  18. Whitney says

    I was looking for a healthier low calorie brownie, since the fiber one brownies I was buying were just too expensive. I am not vegan, so I substituted melted butter for the coconut oil, since that is what I had on hand, and just used regular white table sugar. I made them in my blended twister jar. I found I had to add quite a few tablespoons of water to get the right consistency. But I got 13 brownies from the batch, which gave me about 100 or 110 cal per brownie. I couldn’t taste the beans at all and the texture was very silky which I enjoyed. They are definitely more of a grown up chocolate- not very sweet but with a rich deep cocoa flavor. My kids ate them, but mentioned they tasted “funny”. I decided to make a second batch right away, since I like them and thought they made a great chocolate fix snack for my diet. But this time adding a heaping spoon of Splenda for a little additional sweetness, since I do like a sweeter brownie. I almost added mini chips, but wanting to keep my calories down, so I didn’t. But they would be a great addition. Mine firmed up nicely around the edges, silky smooth gooey in the middle. Thanks for the recipe.

  19. says

    Wow, these are amazing! The real deal, texture is fantastic and fudgy with a crispness to the edges. I recently made garbanzo bean blondies which were decent, but this recipe is the best grain free baked treat I’ve ever tried! I took a batch to a friends house and they ate them blind and loved them. No detection of beans at all. So happy (and scared, since I just bought two more cans of beans to make it again and again) to find this!

  20. Jasmine says

    Hi! I’m really excited to try these brownies for the family (and me :). My daughter has a load of allergies and intolerances so the dietician has recommended the use of golden syrup as opposed to sugar in cooking. As it’s a wet ingredient, should I adjust any of the dry ingredients to compensate? Thanks!!

  21. Kayla says

    I’m not a vegan, hell I’m not even a vegetarian nor do I have any issues with gluten. I am however an adventurous eater and a lover of both black beans and brownies so I figured, why not?

    They’re not bad… I did double the sugar in the recipe simply because the batter tasted bitter and after gradually adding more and more sugar twice the recommended ammount ended up being what it took to make it as sweet as I would expect brownie batter to be. Like most vegan baked goods these are moist… Not so much in the wet bread way I’ve come to expect. Basically, if these were regular brownies I would just assume they’re slightly under cooked. Being what they are, the issue isn’t that they’re under baked but that there isn’t enough dry ingredients to compensate for the moisture. It makes me wonder if adding flour to the recipe wouldn’t get them closer to a typical brownie texture (perhaps a rice, bean, or nut flour to preserve the “gluten free” cred). That might also help with how much these fell and improve the structural stability so the end result is thicker and less likely to fall apart while you’re trying to eat it.

    As to the flavor, they taste like brownies. My brother, who hates black beans with an irrational passion, tried one and said simply “it tastes like a brownie” so this recipe gets brownie points there.

    All in all not bad for a vegan recipe.

  22. Leah O says

    Have you tried freezing these? I want to make some ahead of time for this weekend but not sure how the beans do in the freezer. Thanks!

  23. says

    I am so confused. Black beans make brownies?! I have been vegan for almost 3 years and gf for about a year, and it’s time I start eating healthy. So, did you buy a can of black beans and just rinsed them for awhile. PLEASE HELP A SISTER OUT.

  24. Louisa says

    This is the second black bean brownie recipe I’ve used, and I’ve only ever eaten black bean brownies that I’ve made. I rather like this recipe. It did not produce a typical rich, dark, dense, fudgy, crackly-topped brownie for me, however.

    I was rewarded with a pan of soft, almost (almost) -fluffy-but-moist, cocoa-y brownies. The color of the exterior was nice and rich, with a firm, nicely-baked top that reminded me of chocolate cake. The interior is a lilac-brown, pretty and porous, filled with many little air bubbles that collapse when one bites into the dessert.

    I’ve learned not to expect the quintessential brownie (sugary, chewy, butter-scented, very decadent) when presented with a black bean brownie. Otherwise, I experience disappointment, making enjoying the bean brownie harder. Bean brownies are actually very delicious. They make the brownie light and give the moist body a good brownie requires. But there will always be this unique, bordering-bitter note accompanying each chocolate-y bite. It’s the bean flavor, and it’s something that makes bean brownies exceptional. The bean brownie is still rich from the cocoa powder (I used the Tumaco one from Trader Joe’s– it’s rich and dark and fragrant) and the coconut oil, and still passes for a brownie, but a slighter more airy, feathery one. I do find that I can eat more of these than butter- and sugar-filled ones, though. These are not overwhelming. They are more delicate. I like them. So did one of my classmates, who proclaimed them as really delicious, and the best brownies he’s ever tasted. I was surprised. But he was very genuine and pleased with the treat. (In case it helps, I am in high school).

    Changes I’ve Made:
    -just less than 1/2 cup newly-opened organic brown cane sugar (probably added more moisture than turbinado sugar, which I’ve used quite a lot in the past)
    -2 medium brown eggs
    -baked in an 7×6 in. pan lined with foil
    -no add ins
    -baked at 350 degrees F for 22 minutes, then at 300 degrees F for about 9 minutes.

    Happy Baking!

  25. says

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be
    a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and
    she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had
    to share it with someone!

  26. Erin says

    These are delicious!!! My kids licked the bowl clean and started eating out of the muffin cups before I could get them into the oven to cook. I love the muffin pan idea — it allowed me to customize the add-ins for each child, which also ensured that no one else ate “their” brownies. They had no idea about the “secret ingredient.” Thank you!!

  27. Kaspa says

    These are amazing and I think about them all the time! I did not taste the beans. They are rich without being sweet. I sprinkled chocolate chips (okay, so not vegan) and walnuts on top. I was skeptical about the muffin tin, but they came out easy. Thanks!

  28. Sarah says

    Just made these brownies. They were very good! I found that they taste best when allowed to cool in refrigerator. Thanks for the great recipe!

  29. Ronda says

    Wish I could post a picture as these turned out great. Used 2eggs and brown sugar and added a little cinamon. Baked them in a 8 x 8 approx. 25 min. Topped with roasted walnut and shaved dark chocolate before baking. No bean taste here! Fabulous!

  30. Danica says

    These brownies are amazing! I made the recipie for dessert tonight and had rave reviews from the whole family, even my 5 and 7 year olds! No bean taste, just rich chocolate goodness. I can’t wait to try the chocolate beet cupcakes (GF version)! You obviously know your desserts <3

    • Dana Shultz says

      3 Tablespoons! Big T is for Tablespoon and little t or tsp is for teaspoon. Sorry for any confusion!

  31. says

    Hi Dana! Good to hear you realized about making healthy brownies rather than unhealthy ones. And guess what, it is really delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  32. Melissa says

    My life is…I mean wow…did you just? I just don’t know!! I doubted when I saw the recipe, I bought the stuff and still doubted…I put the batter in the pan thinking well thats a waste of stuff, there’s no way. And OMG freaking amazing brownies came out of the oven!!!!! I can’t have dairy or eggs so resigned myself to no chocolate brownies that are GOOD years ago, but wow these are just awesome. Out of beans?? I know right??

  33. Mariane says

    This will help so much when I have my sweet and chocolate cravings.
    Unfortunately I didn’t make right the first time. I was unsure if the black beans were the same as we have here in Brazil so I used adzuki beans wich I know are used to make anko. But the taste of beans was very noticeable and after 25 min the brownies were still uncooked. I’ll try with different beans next time.

  34. Shaileigh says

    I baked these today and they were AMAZING!! I ate them with cashew cream on top and they were divine!! I even took them to a friend’s house and they liked them too :-) Thanks for a delicious AND easy recipe! I will definitely be making them again!
    Shaileigh, Australia

  35. says

    I’ve made some pretty nasty bean brownies in the past…so I was hesitant…
    But these. Oh wow. So delicious. So fudgy. So so amazing and not a hint of beans!
    Also…easy peasy.
    In love. I will make these again and again. :) thanks!

  36. Brenda says

    These are AMAZING! Totally fudgy, soft, sweet, chocolaty. My husband says they are the best brownies he’s ever had. I was skeptical using beans but trusted the recipe. My batter was actually pretty thick and I left it that way. They are so chocolaty you could possibly cut the cocoa back to 1/2 cup and they’d still be great. I will be making these again and again, and telling everybody the recipe too.

    As a diabetic, I measure my craving for a sweet treat against whether it’s worth the insulin. At 15 net carbs per serving, it’s totally worth the insulin!

  37. says

    I’m just eating one still slightly warm from the oven and WOW, these are DELICIOUS! I’ve made them with adzuki beans instead of black beans and baked them in 9 inch brownie pan for 40 minutes. I’ve added 100 g dark chocolate with almonds and they’re absolutely perfect.

    (And I’ve found out that you can make them with ordinary hand blender, hoorray! :) Just blend beans, oil, eggs and vanilla at first and then mix it in a bowl with remaining ingredients.)

    Great recipe, Dana! :)

  38. ishita says

    I am a fan of these brownies. They taste so amazing. I made 12 of those but sadly the 4 that I were treasuring went bad 2 days after I made them :-( Can you please help me find the reason. Thanks.

  39. says

    These are incredible! Chocolatey, moist… I topped them with a frosting made from almond butter, powdered sugar and orange juice – highly recommended! Thank’s for sharing the recipe :)

  40. says

    Just made these, came out well, to my pleasant surprise. And yes, it works fine with a blender.

    Problem: It is very hard to get all the batter out of the blender. What if I just blend the beans and then mix everything else in a bowl – which is easier to wipe?

  41. Lore says

    Idea – what do you think of adding prunes for fiber & natural sugar? It may take away the bitterness & add sweetness? If so, how many?

  42. Megan says

    I made these last night. SO AMAZING. My bf ate 2 before I told him they were made with beans. He was shocked… then ate a 3rd. These just might become a staple in my house.

    Oh, I used Adzuki beans instead of black beans…. just because I had some. Amazing!

  43. ellen says

    just made these tonight, as I couldn’t find my old go-to black bean brownie recipe. they were amazing! I plopped 3-4 chocolate chips onto each one after funneling the batter into the muffin tins, and I think that made such a difference!


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