Refined-Sugar-Free Turtle Brownies (GF)

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Stack of Fudgy Rich gluten-free vegan Black Bean Turtle Brownies

I remember the first time I tried a black bean brownie (circa 2012).

My eyes almost crossed I was so perplexed. I immediately thought, “Oh my goodness, this can’t be real.”

A brownie made with wholesome ingredients that tastes like the real thing? Sounds too good to be true, but believe me, it’s not.

Since sharing my original recipe on the blog, I’ve revamped the ingredients to ensure it’s completely naturally sweetened (!!!), while remaining entirely vegan and gluten free. Plus, I threw in a few add-ins for a fun flavor twist.

In other words, get your black beans, kids. We’re makin’ brownies (and we’re not telling anyone what’s in them).

Three photos of the food processor showing the progression of adding ingredients to make Turtle Brownies

This recipe is simple, requiring just a food processor to make! Yep, it all comes together in one “bowl,” making cleanup a breeze.

To make these “turtle” brownies, I added date caramel, pecans, and chocolate chips. The coconut was just for fun, because obviously, delicious.

The result was a fudgy on the inside, tender on the outside, chocolate- and pecan- studded brownie that passes for the real thing. Try not immediately eating three – I dare you.

Muffin tin filled with naturally-sweetened gluten-free vegan Black Bean Brownies

I think you guys will LOVE these brownies! They’re:

Fudgy
Rich
Tender
Moist
Studded with ooey-gooey toppings
Quick
Easy
& Insanely delicious

Make these for a party and I can almost guarantee no one will realize they’re made with black beans. They also freeze well, making them a great dessert to have around during the week – just pop one out and let it thaw. Top with coconut whipped cream or vanilla bean coconut ice cream if you’re feeling fancy. You can’t go wrong either way.

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers!

Platter of gluten-free vegan Black Bean Brownies for a delicious desert

Refined-Sugar-Free Turtle Brownies (GF)

Fudgy black bean brownies made in a food processor. Entirely naturally sweetened, swirled with date caramel and pecans. A sneaky vegan, gluten-free dessert.
Author Minimalist Baker
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Stack of Fudgy Vegan Turtle Brownies made with black beans
4.91 from 52 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 11 (brownies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 15-oz can black beans (well rinsed + drained // 1 15-oz can yields ~ 1 1/2 cups drained)
  • 2 batches flax eggs (2 Tbsp (14 g) flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp (75 ml) water as original recipe is written)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil (melted // or sub other oil of choice)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Trader Joe's brand)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more for topping)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup chopped raw pecans (plus more for topping)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut (plus more for topping)
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (I like Trader Joe’s brand // plus more for topping)
  • 1/4 cup date caramel*

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C), and 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.
  • Prepare flax eggs by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients (besides pecans, date caramel, coconut and chocolate chips) and puree - about 1-2 minutes - scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  • Add pecans, coconut and chocolate chips and pulse to combine
  • Add the batter to the prepared muffin tin (mine only filled 11) and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger. Then add 1 tsp date caramel to each brownie and carefully swirl with a toothpick or knife.
  • Top with remaining coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips. Then bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the tin. I found mine took about 29 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 20-30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so gently run a knife around the sides, and then lift out with a fork.
  • The insides are meant to be fudgy, so don't be concerned if they seem too moist. Enjoy with additional date caramel (optional, if desired). They would also be delicious with Coconut Whipped Cream, or Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream!
  • Store completely cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to a few days. Will keep in the freezer up to 1 month.

Notes

*If you’d rather not make date caramel (tutorial here), simply substitute finely minced dates.
*Recipe very closely adapted from my Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with all toppings.

Nutrition (1 of 11 servings)

Serving: 1 brownies Calories: 178 Carbohydrates: 24.2 g Protein: 3.9 g Fat: 9.6 g Saturated Fat: 5.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 166 mg Fiber: 4.6 g Sugar: 13.3 g

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  1. Jennifer Hergeth says

    SO good! I made them yesterday and tried them without date caramel, with date caramel and with peanut butter instead. And both (pb and date) tasted DELICIOUS <3 ist made a big difference compared to the plain version!

  2. Georgette says

    This recipe asks for two batches of flax eggs.
    Could you please confirm what is considered to be two batches?

  3. nelda says

    These are so good ! i accidentally mixed the date caramel into the brownie mix but it still tasted amazing. Thank you!

  4. Naomi says

    Would canned kidney-beans do the trick? Black beans are much rarer (and more expensive) where I live.

  5. Susan says

    I’m sorry to say that these were not as delicious as I was hoping. I followed all directions and the beans were an obvious taste/texture even after making the batter smooth. A bunch of people agreed. They were chalky and did not satisfy a brownie craving

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re sorry to hear that these didn’t do it for you, Susan! Better luck with the next recipe :D

    • Kayla Pilato says

      Low quality cocoa powder gives a chalky taste. I can only purchase mine on amazon. Store bought has all been terrible

  6. Brielle says

    What if I was to use a mini muffin pan? What would be different? The temperature to cook them? The time? If anyone has done it or knows, let me know :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Others cooked theirs in mini muffin tins for 20 minutes and found that they were done and this point. Let us know if you give it a whirl, Brielle!

  7. Lucy says

    I couldn’t wait until these were cooked to post this, to be honest they nearly didn’t even make it into the oven. They taste like a delicious chocolate mousse! I could have happily eaten the whole lot raw. I have make do with licking all the utensils, and popped them into the oven.

    Thanks Dana for another fab recipe!

  8. Lucy says

    I couldm’t wait until these were cooked to post this, to be honest they nearly didn’t even make it into the oven. They taste like a delicious chocolate mousse! I could have happily eaten the whole lot raw. I have make do with licking all the utensils, and popped them into the oven.

    Thanks Dana for another fab recipe!

  9. Rachael says

    After making theses I know I won’t be searching for any new brownie recipes! These were the changes I made: reduced coconut sugar to 3 teaspoons, and used 1 tablespoon avocado oil and 1 tablespoon soymilk instead of 3 T of oil. I enjoyed how the slight bitterness of the batter complemented the sweetness of the chocolate chips. Thank you for this recipe! :)

    • Sara says

      I am so interested in making these since I am vegan and also can’t have gluten. My only concern is: could I replace the sugar with stevia-monk fruit blend? If so, what would be the measurement?

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Sara, we haven’t tried that, so weren’t not sure. We’d suggest looking at the substitution recommendations for that brand of stevia-monk fruit for guidance. Let us know if you try it!

  10. Jackie Holmes says

    Oh my days! I made this on the weekend for a friend that was coming over for lunch – let’s just say I shall be making them ALL THE TIME NOW! New favourite recipe alert! :) If I put on 20kgs, I know who to blame….

  11. Kathryn Tawdros says

    LOVE these!! Wanted to know if it would be ok to use liquid sweetner instead of the coconut sugar and I’m not vegan so how many eggs are the flax eggs replacing, 1 or 2? Thanks so much in advance!! :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kathryn! You can replace regular eggs for flax eggs at a 1:1 ratio, so 2 in this case! As for using liquid sweeteners in place of coconut sugar, that should work! Let us know how it goes!

  12. Anne Woods says

    I bought a can of sweetened black bean paste from an Asian market by mistake. I used it and skip sugar and oil. Came out beautifully. I love your website.

  13. Deanna Freidenberg says

    My family and I absolutely love these brownies. I substituted 1/2 cup date syrup for the coconut sugar and maple syrup, since date sugars are the most healthy and nutritious according to Dr. Greger of “How Not to Die”. I didn’t have any coconut, so I left that off. I made the brownies in an 8×8 pan, baked for 25 min. Like everyone else, no one could tell that the brownies had black beans. A really amazing healthy delicious recipe. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We recommend using a food processor, but if you give it a try in your vitamix, report back on how it goes. Good luck!

  14. Crystal says

    Wow! I’m not usually one for black bean-based desserts, but these turned out wonderfully. The brownies are fudgy and decadent, while also having the benefit of being guilt-free! I didn’t add coconut, although I did top each brownie with a square of dark chocolate and additional date caramel before going into the oven. I made a batch of 12 and thought about bringing them into work…. but after a taste, I think I’ll just have to do that next time ;)

  15. oceanile says

    I am a HUGE fan of black bean brownies and was looking for an eggless one to take to the bake sale so kids with allergies at the school carnival can eat them too. This looks perfect! I will have to substitute the nuts with some crunchy seeds or cacao nibs or something and can(t wait to leave a review.

    I know people cringe on the idea of cakes made of beans… I’m half Japanese and it totally makes sense because a lot of the sweets in Japan are traditionally made from sweetened adzuki bean paste. I’ve even found them in supermarket brand cookies, reading through the list of ingredients on Fujiya’s “country ma’am” cookies! So do not fear the bean, it’s tried and true. The recent ones are just a re-discovery of the west ;)

  16. Victoria says

    These brownies were… AMAZING. I chose to start simple and only add chocolate chips (no date sauce, coconut, or pecans) and they were so incredible, I was unreasonably excited about them for far too long a period of time. THANK YOU for birthing this recipe into the world– as someone with a new gluten, cow’s milk, and egg allergy– this is life! PS- husband has none of those allergies and was amazed and delighted.

  17. Aline says

    It sounds delicious, but…. Could I use hazelnuts instead of pecans?
    (i want to make two types of cakes for my birthday and the other recipe also has pecans in it)

  18. Mel Holt says

    I’ve made these a couple of times and plan to make an extra batch to keep in the freezer. The first time I made them I strictly followed the recipe, and they were absolutely delicious!!! But today I tried cutting back on the sugar a bit – I used the suggested amount of coconut sugar but used only 1 Tbs of maple syrup, and added 1 Tbs unsweetened apple sauce and 1 heaping Tbs of date caramel to the food processor mixing it into the batter. I couldn’t tell a difference by cutting back on the sugar – they were just as yummy as the original! I also subbed walnuts for the pecans. This is a new favorite, and I’ve shared the original recipe with several friends. Thank you Dana for sharing your gift of vegan culinary creativity with all of us! So grateful!

  19. N1121 says

    Absolutely delicious!!!! I have made several variations of black bean brownies and have liked all of them. This recipe blows all of the others out of the water! They were sooooo good! They seriously taste like a really awesome brownie! This will definitely be my go to recipe! So glad I found it! Thank you!

  20. Megan says

    Excitedly I just told my 10yr old son, “Alex, I’m going to make turtle brownies for the Super Bowl party!!!” He calming responds, “with or without the shell?” OMG!!! funniest EVER!!!!

  21. Laurie says

    I made these this morning with pinto beans instead of black beans (because I was too lazy to go to the store :)) and they were delicious!

    Fudgey, easy to make, and no beany aftertaste… Can’t ask for better than that. I’m definitely making these again.

    Thanks Dana!

  22. Abigail says

    What an incredible recipe! I chose these brownies for my birthday dessert, substituting the coconut sugar with another 1/4 cup of maple syrup and using 72% dark chocolate chunks for the chocolate chips. With no pecans in the house or located at the store, I used walnuts in place.

    As promised, the brownies contained no taste or texture of black beans, only a delicious, fudge-y treat without too much sweetness. For those who don’t care for dark chocolate, I would recommend increasing the sweetener, but my palette enjoyed the slight bitterness.

    Thank you, Dana!

  23. Jim o says

    Unbelievably delicious and decadent. Seriously – don’t hesitate to serve even to most demanding friends or family

  24. Shelley Alestra says

    Hi Dana,
    I’m very new to the vegan world and wanted to make these brownies. We do not like coconut so is there a substitute like using unsweetened apple sauce?
    Thanks for your advise,
    Shelley

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shelley! You can sub other oils – like canola – for the oil, and just skip the coconut on top!

  25. Emma says

    Hi, is there a reason why you bake these in muffin trays? could they be baked in a brownie pan and cut up or does it cook differently? :)

  26. Tracy Martell says

    I made these with friends, and they were delicious! We were too full from MB’s 7-layer vegan Mexican dip to eat too many, but they were delightful!

    My one question is about their status as refined-sugar free. Don’t chocolate chips contain refined sugar? Should we be using carob chips? Can anyone recommend a refined-sugar-free vegan (and gluten-free) chocolate chip?

    Much love!

  27. Missy says

    Just made these and they turned out perfect!!! I followed the recipe to a T but subbed brown sugar for coconut sugar. Super decadent, chocolatey and not too sweet. Thanks Dana for another great recipe!

  28. Tabatha Cyrus says

    Made these for a wedding shower–huge success! I waited until they were all gone before telling people they were made with black beans. No one believed me!

  29. Dora says

    This was tasty.
    My boyfriend was so skeptical and made fun of me during the entire process. However, he came over to the black bean side after he had one! ???
    Also, gave one to a friend who stopped by and she wanted the recipe for her grandkids.

    Success.

    Due to the fact that I didn’t have coconut sugar, I used 3/4 cup maple syrup.

    Thank you so much for your work. I don’t know how you do it, but I am so grateful.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sonal! While we haven’t tested this recipe with other beans, I would recommend pinto or red beans before lentils with this one. If you give it a try, please report back on how it goes! Hope this helps!

  30. Sarah says

    I have to add a comment about how fabulous these are! I’m starting my second month as vegan and brought these to a barbecue, they completely disappeared. A huge hit, among non vegans. I made them in a mini muffin pan and they were perfect with non dairy ice cream. Thank you!!

  31. Patricia says

    I live overseas where black beans aren’t available. Do you know if any other legume works for these? I am wondering if any variety of lentil might mimic the taste and texture of the black bean? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Patricia! While we haven’t tested this recipe with other beans, I would recommend pinto or red beans before lentils with this one. If you give it a try, please report back on how it goes! Hope this helps!

  32. Caroline says

    is it possible to leave out coconut sugar (and decrease dates)? as well as oil to make it oil free?

  33. Sammi says

    Your recipes always amaze me. I am not vegan but tend to cook more vegan throughout the week. I was looking for brownies with no refined sugar for my kids. They totally devoured these. Of course I didn’t tell them they were made with black beans. This is going to be a staple in my house from now on. I can’t believe how moist and chewy they were. Thank you so much!

  34. Ann-Sofie says

    I just really wanted to know how black bean brownies could taste good, so I made these and was not dissapointed. These are the best brownies I’ve ever had and that’s not even an exageration. So I made them again for my birthday (without telling anyone about the beans obviously) and people loved them, 4 of them even asked for the recipe :)

    I did use olive oil, regular sugar and agave syrup because I didn’t have the other things at the moment.

  35. Melissa says

    Just made these – came out perfectly. I did different amounts of toppings on the individual brownies and decided they were best with just a bit of coconut and pecan on top, no chocolate chips necessary (too much topping also obscured the tops so it made it difficult to see when they were dry). I used sucanat instead of coconut sugar – I would cut the sugar a tad on the next go around, since I haven’t been eating sugar I have become sugar-sensitive and they were a bit sweet for me and I think the moistness wouldn’t suffer; But the flavor and texture were just superb, a fun and elegant little brownie (can brownies be elegant?) and I can totally see eating these straight from the freezer!! (Also a bonus as a potential Passover dessert, always a challenge.)

    • Melissa says

      update – I have made these two more times – once with the sugar cut a bit, totally successful, and once without the chocolate chips and prefer them – less sweet. Any way you do it, a hit!

  36. Emily Gaughwin says

    Hi Dana,

    This is my first post here but I’ve been making my meals, snacks and sauces from your blog for about three years now and wanted to express my gratitude to you.

    You have helped feed young growling bellies hungry after sunrise ocean swims, and fuelled laughter ridden afternoons spent on the carpet with my best friend and her newborn. You have even convinced my Dad that as long as jackfruit can emulate chicken, he might give this ‘vegan thing’ a go!

    Recently you have helped me channel a newfound inner strength in creativity and self care, helping me to overcome a hard battle. For these things I am so grateful to you.

    The turtle brownies are currently cooling on my kitchen bench, ready to be offered to new friends, creating yet more memories.

    Thank you,
    Emily

  37. Liz says

    These are my new go-to brownies, vegan or otherwise. Fed them to parents and friends without telling them they were vegan or black bean, and they were a hit. They’re perfectly fudgy and sweet, and a food processor makes this crazy easy. Next time I may try blooming the cocoa, but I’m skeptical these can get any more delicious. My mom is a convert, too — just added these to the official recipe binder ;)

    One note: At 20 minutes the tops were dry and the edges had pulled away. This tip turned out to be the perfect metric for identifying done-ness. I skipped the date caramel — the only other modification I made to the recipe — the missing moisture could account for the time difference. Took them out of the oven, let them cool for 30 min before removing, and they were perfect! Moist in the middle but not underbaked. Any longer would have been bad news.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sylvia! That should work, however the capacity of a Nutribullet is less than most food processors so you may find that you’ll need to refill it a couple times over. Good luck!

  38. Maddie says

    I made these for my roommates and we are IN LOVE! I used 2 loaf pans because I didn’t have a muffin tin (University struggles) and they turned out great. I thought there was no way I could go vegan or even start to eat healthy before I found your blog! Everything Ive made from here is better than the original! Thank you for all of your hard work in providing all of these amazing recipes.

  39. Shivma says

    Have a few sub questions please:
    Can I sub the maple syrup and sugar with apple sauce or honey? Also, if I omit the Pecans (due to a nut allergy), would that affect the texture? And can i sub 1 egg in place of the Flax seeds? (i have a mix of chia/flax/hemp but not the flax alone) Thanks.
    Really looking forward to making these! They look AMAZING!

  40. charlotte fitzhardinge says

    OMG – these look amazing. I have most of the ingredients, I just have a couple of questions about substitutions. I am not vegan, and don’t have flax so would i be able to use normal eggs? Also, are kidney beans the same thing as black beans, and if not can I use kidney beans? Could I also sub anything for maple syrup?

  41. Olivia says

    Hello Dana, Thank you so much for this lovely recipe ! I tried it this weekend and they turned out wonderfully. I added a little bit of crushed almond on top, and used Canola oil instead of coconut oil. Finally a gluten free brownie recipe that is super moist, not to dense or too crumbly !

  42. Jessica says

    I’ve known about your blog for a very long time and only just now getting to explore it. I have to say, I’m am encouraged. I’ve been experiencing symptoms of IBS and it seems that the easiest way for me to avoid a lot of the symptoms is to go mostly vegan/plant-based. It also coincidentally corresponds with my beliefs so I’m totally on board for transitioning slowly. However, I knew this transition would be difficult but no one ever told me how difficult. I’ve basically had to re-wire my thinking and how I go about planning and brainstorming for meals and recipes and some days it’s tear-inducing. Your blog gives me hope. Even though you use a lot of the ingredients other vegan/plant-based food bloggers use that I usually find overwhelming (like the cashew based cheese sauce and other stuff), you make everything seem so simple and easy. It’s like having a happy, encouraging friend holding my hand through this transition.

    I can’t wait to get your book and keep reading through your blog. I’m so excited. Thank you. Also, these brownies look dope as hell and I’ll be making them soon.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So kind, thanks Jessica! Sorry you’ve been struggling but I hope our recipes give you some relief/joy! xoxo

  43. Emily says

    SO GOOD! These are my new go-to vegan brownies. I’m so happy I found this recipe. :) The inside is just a little gooey and the coconut adds a yummy crunch. I brought them over to a non-vegan house for dinner and they loved them! Thank you for another fantastic, simple, reliable recipe. You’re definitely my favorite food blog out there.

  44. Camilla says

    I am not a creator of recipes. I’m a book cook. Someone else concocts the recipe, and I follow it. Thank you so much for creating easy, fast healthy dishes. Who knew eating dessert could be so nutritious? That’s what I love about your recipes. Even when your eating bad, your eating healthy. Can’t wait to try this!

  45. Suzanne says

    I too was a bit apprehensive, my previous attempts with healthy brownie recipes (not Dana’s) were less than great – these however, are one of the best brownies I have ever eaten, never mind made. The date caramel takes them to another level of yumminess. I can’t believe how good they taste with these ingredients! To be clear, these are a dark chocolate dessert, not very sweet other than the caramel and chocolate, which is how I prefer desserts anyway. The ones I made were pretty delicate, easy to crumble, so I would suggest care taking them out, and definitely ringing the edges as Dana suggested. I think this would taste amazing with some spice too (like Mexican hot chocolate) but I did not try that – go classic first! If you like dark chocolate, I highly recommend these! Another new favourite, thanks Dana!

  46. Krystal says

    Couldn’t get my hands on Black beans so subbed them for Butter Beans…result? MAGICAL! SO happy I found this recipe – particularly well timed as I enter my third trimester of pregnancy and getting all the calories in is essential…for the baby obviously ;)

  47. Rachel @ Baking Up Bliss says

    I have a few friends coming over tomorrow and I can’t wait to blow their minds with these brownies! I love that you made them perfectly portioned in muffin tins because I always seem to find myself eating the edges of cut brownies, if you know what I mean :D Thanks for the recipe!

  48. Latifa Lipton says

    Made these and sooooo…good! I am wondering if I can make them in a sheet instead of individual cups. What size pan would you suggest?
    Thanks :D

  49. Shayna says

    Made them last night – delicious! I did not immediately eat three but I was definitely tempted (I took a lot of self-control to stop at two!) ;)

  50. Tiffany says

    I love your blog and was so excited to try until I realized after reading these are not sugar free. Coconut sugar, maple syrup and chocolate chips. Thats all sugar, especially for those that strictly cant have sugar. Such a bummer. Ill keep searchinhfor truly sugar free desserts.

    • Dora says

      The recipe says refined sugar free. Typically coconut sugar and maple syrup on not considered refined. Also, you can omit the chocolate chips. Considering this recipe is vegan, gluten free, soy free, possibly nut free, grain free, and turns black beans into delicious brownies, I would say that the author has accomplished a difficult feat.

  51. Kiersten says

    OMG. SOOO good. I have made just about every recipe on this blog. I’m absolutely addicted. For these, I substituted peanut butter for the date caramel and it was great! I love that every recipe is simple, healthy, packed full of flavor, and easy to modify. I recommend this site to everyone because not one recipe has let me down. Keep it up!!

  52. Nicole says

    Dana this recipe is fantastic! I have made multiple batches since finding this recipe a couple weeks ago and everyone had loved them! Thank you for sharing!

  53. Heather says

    I absolutely love this recipe. They are so wonderfully full of flavour and goodness and so easy to make! My only struggle, partially (okay completely) due to the fact that when I make these I have no self control, is that the beans are giving me some digestion issues. Any suggestions or substitutions that you would recommend? Thank you for the awesome recipes :) Here is my tip to help with over indulgence – I freeze them individually as soon as they are cool. They last a little longer that way :))

    • Heather says

      Hi Dana, I should have read the other posts – will try using banana with less beans :) Also – I toasted the coconut the second time I made them for a fun twist – worked well ! Thank you!

  54. Zoe says

    Thank you so much for the delicious recipe! It was so good! My first time using black beans to make brownies. There was a hint of black bean flavor but nevertheless it is amazing. We gave it to friends to eat who had no idea. My sister and I couldn’t stop eating it. Thank you for making such a simple recipe that I could just throw in the blender. Not to mention they came out gorgeous too!
    The only changes we made was substituting a bit of the oil with almond milk to reduce fat content.

  55. Jessica says

    Okay, so I don’t usually comment, but I made these last night and my husband and I LOVED them. I was suprised how rich and fudgy they were! My husband is totally in the dark about them being black bean brownies, & I have no plans to tell him ;) Now, if only someone would hide these from me so I stop sneaking bites throughout the day! :/

  56. Tina McMullen says

    just wondering if i can use my vitamix to mash up black beans since i don’t have a food processor? Purchased your cookbook the very first day of release at Indigo. Cant wait to try all your burger recipes for my husband. Lovely book. Love all your recipes.

    Tina.

  57. Sandy says

    These can’t be called “sugar free” if they contain maple syrup (pure sugar when the sap is boiled down) and chocolate chips, which contain sugar.

  58. Ann-Sofie says

    I made these on my birthday for my friends and no one suspected a thing, they all said that they were delicious and that they wanted more. I made it in a big brownie pan and it was perfect after 32 minutes. and the toppings didn’t burn, something I was a little afraid of. But well, these are fucking delicous brownies!

  59. Julea says

    Hey Dana! I was wondering – does this recipe not work at all in a mini muffin pan? I’m going to make these for my work colleagues this week and wanted to make mini brownies.

  60. Paula Paige says

    Dana, I think I have a little blogging crush on you and these brownies… I made a slightly different version of these (no nuts or coconut flakes, thank you!) and then promptly ate THREE of them while standing over the muffin tin. OMG, I did not believe they would taste good. Black beans in brownies? Who has ever heard of such a thing? But I am now one of the converted. And date caramel is just pure genius; where’s your MacArthur Award?

  61. Inna says

    SO delicious!
    I added a bit more maple syrup and left out the coconut sugar completely and do not miss it!

    Thank you!

  62. Maggie says

    Deliciously fudgy! I wish I had dates on hand; I used raisins instead. I think date caramel would have been much better. You’re recipe is awesome!

  63. Catherine says

    Made these last night. They are spectacular!!! Gooey like regular brownies. My family couldn’t even tell the difference! I always have success using your recipes. Thank you for another fantastic recipe!

  64. Theresa says

    LOVE the recipe and would like to bake them for a friend. Do you think I can ship them – will they still be good after a few days?

  65. Kerry says

    My son has had 3 and has no idea what’s in them. I’d call that a success. These were yummy! I’d been looking for a reason to finally make date caramel and now I’m a convert.

  66. Brandi says

    Loved them! My muffin tins must be bigger than yours because I had to make a 1.5 of your recipe to fill up 11 of my cups or perhaps I made mine too big?!! I can’t find coconut sugar so used a little less honey instead and it turned out great! I eat eggs so made a half batch with eggs instead of the flax eggs and they turned out a bit more cake like and less fudgey but equally delicious!

  67. erin says

    The best cocoa powder I’ve found for baking is Penzeys Dutch process cocoa powder. The Durch process is different enough to taste the difference.
    Haven’t tried this yet…

  68. Murielle says

    Delicious recipe! I omitted the date caramel because I did not have some at hand and instead put a bit more chocolate chips on the top. I love the idea of making them in muffin tins, that way they’re already portioned out.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Murielle xo

  69. Josephine says

    Hi Dana – I made these this morning, and just wanted to let you know how much I love them! Properly delicious! Looking forward to seeing if they pass the test with my young sons ?
    I didn’t have pecans or choc chips, but had some Reeses peanut butter chips on hand, so threw them in – holy yum! Another funny thing – when I was getting all the ingredients ready, I opened the tin of black beans, only to be met with a decidedly savoury aroma. They were pre flavoured with onion and chilli ? So I subbed with a tin of red kidney beans and they worked a treat.
    Thanks again for the recipe!

  70. MJ says

    I just made these and my whole family loves them! I baked them for exactly 30 min. and they turned out perfect. So delicious and tasty. I actually didn’t even use the 1/4 cup coconut sugar, and they were just the right amount of sweet with only the honey! My new go-to recipe, yum!

  71. George - The Oven Cleaning Pro says

    Wow! Till now I didn’t know that a brownie could be made of beans! Really! It sounded like a challenge, so I tried it yesterday. I would say that the end result was very very delicious and mouth melting. Thanks for sharing!

  72. Daniel says

    These came out amazing! thank you so much!
    Just let you know I didn’t have all the ingridients so I sub:
    1. Half of the black beans with a small banana (magicly somehow no banana leftover taste!).
    2. Coconut sugar with agave syrup.
    3. Unsweetened coconut with peanuts.

    Thanks again!!

  73. Eve Organic Beauty Recipes says

    Hi Dana, can I use red beans instead of black beans?
    On your photos it looks like red beans and it just happens that I have an organic red bean can in my pantry. Please let me know, I am dying to try it today :-)

  74. Amanda says

    Hey! I have been a long time fan of your blog! I was wondering if it tastes like beans at all? I am trying to get my 12 years old sister to go vegan and it has been a challenge so far. Maybe those brownies my lure her to it!

    • Julea says

      In my opinion, I wouldn’t have had any idea that these had beans in them if I hadn’t made them myself! They really do date like a brownie, and if you have fresh dates for the date caramel, it’s heavenly!

  75. Cassie says

    These look INSANE. If I was using Stevia or Monk Fruit, what would be a good ratio in substitution for coconut sugar?

  76. Danielle says

    I’ve finally made a NEW recipe so I actually feel relevant rating/commenting – ha ha.

    These are INCREDIBLE! So decadent, moist and they feel like such a heavenly treat but they’re relatively healthy!

    This blog has been by far my best resource in my first year being a vegan. I will try anything if you’ve made it – not one of your recipes has failed me and I probably make 1-3 a week!

    I also love hearing your thoughts on minimalism as a whole – I am working on that as well!
    Thank you both for everything!

  77. Danielle says

    Really delicious recipe! I made them in an 8×8 pan and baked for 40 minutes total at 350 degrees. They turned out awesome! I also used toasted pecan pieces and they gave it a little extra crunch. They are super fudgy and great!

  78. Masha | Cardio with Carrots says

    Yum!!!! Turtle brownies…..totally drooling over here! I love making black bean brownies….there is soooooo much less guilt lol.

  79. DessertForTwo says

    Anytime I make black bean brownies, I don’t tell a soul! I just serve them and smile. My soul smiles for feeding people healthy black beans, too!
    I can’t wait to try this new version! <3

  80. Larissa says

    Made 1/2 of the recipe today without the fixings (black beans through to baking powder) and baked in a mini muffin pan for 20 minutes – turned out great! Very fudgy in the middle and delicious!

  81. A.W. says

    These were awesome. I baked mine for 25 minutes and they were super fudgy. I laid a piece of foil over the muffin tin at 20 minutes to prevent the toppings from burning. I also used minced dates instead of date caramel- I’m going to try the date caramel one day tho!

  82. Marieke, says

    Yes! Finally a black bean brownie of which I’m sure it will be delicious! I’ve tried some other recipes before and there were all, mweehh, not so good. But since all the recipes from you I’ve tried so far, where complete hits, I know this one will be as well. Super excited to try it!

  83. Jess says

    Thank you for these delicious recipes! I’ve just found out I need to cut gluten and dairy out my diet and your recipes are a huge help to my new journey.

  84. Allison C Bayer says

    I can’t wait to put these out on the snack table at our next quilting retreat!
    Their eyes will simply bug when I hand them the link to the recipe!!

  85. Jenny Williams says

    I don’t bake very often and am not a vegan, although I do try to use healthier ingredients and am dying to try these. But I don’t understand this:
    “2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp (14 g) flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp (75 ml) water) ”
    What are flax eggs? is the flaxseed meal a separate thing? or is it flax eggs flaxseed meal? I live in a very small town (US) with no upscale grocery stores, so if I’ve never heard of it, I can guarantee I won’t find it without driving 20 miles. Is there something else I can use from a standard small chain store?
    Thanks! Hoping there is a substitute!
    Jenny

    • Anne says

      Here is a previous post about the flax egg, it’s just an egg substitute: https://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-a-flax-egg/. In my *limited* experience it yields more dense/rich results than using eggs. :) I also live in a very tiny town, but have found flax meal at Walmart in the flour and baking aisle, so maybe try there? You can also order from Amazon or other online markets.

    • Isabella says

      Jenny,
      I don’t know if there is a substitute for flaxseed meal, but I live in a small town too and our Walmart has it. I never heard of flax eggs before using Minimalist Baker recipes either, however, so far it has worked great in all her recipes. Flax eggs are just flaxseed meal and water mixed together and allowed to sit for a few minutes. If you use the flaxseed meal and water instructions that she gives it should work fine! Hope that helps.

      • Jenny says

        Thank you! I will run down to my WM and see of they have flaxseed meal. You never know! I’m having a family get-together next weekend and these would be perfect – but I’ll have to make them ahead first to try them… lol

        • Jacklyn says

          You may have better luck finding regular flaxseeds and then grinding them in a food processor (flaxseed meal is just ground flaxseeds).

        • Clara says

          you can also use chia seeds in replacement of the flax seeds but you have to put a lot more water since chia seeds do absorb a ton more water than flax seeds.

    • Deb H says

      There’s always the option of using 2 real eggs, too, if you aren’t allergic or vegan…I made them tonight with eggs, and they’re amazing :)

  86. Kristi says

    These looks amazing. I have beans in the freezer that I already soaked and boiled, and all of the ingrediants to make the actual brownie (not the turtle part)… Such a refreshing feeling to be able to make such a healthy (and kinda crazy-cool-wild since its beans!!!) recipe without needing to buy any or just needing a few extra ingrediants. And also, easy! :D

    But urm… I don’t have a food processor. I have a vitamix (craigslist, baby!). Do you have any recommendations on how to do it with the vitamix? Just highest setting? Does it need as long? Sadly, vitamix tutorials aren’t as easy to find for certain things as I’d like. I use it a lot, I’m just not as good at it as I wish. Lol.

    Hoping I make sense! Up for my baby’s nighttime feeding! Haha :) getting hungry muh-self… These look so, crazy good.

  87. Lilly says

    Hi Dana,

    Two things. I just tried the recipe, and though it tastes good, mine burned… I baked for 28 minutes but the coconut, chocolate chips and pecans came out charred as well as the sides. The inside is perfect though. Should I lower the temp? Maybe it’s my oven…

    Also, I’d like to make mini muffin versions of these. Any advice on adjusting the temp and bake time?

    Thanks for a fantastic recipe! Will share with my family and friends.

    • tricia says

      Mine burned too, but it was my fault – I accidentally cooked them at 375 instead of 350. However, I experienced a similar result – crispy outsides, yummy insides – so maybe try lowering your oven temp? I also did a batch of mini muffins that were done after 20 minutes, but I found it was almost impossible to keep them from falling apart when I took them out of the muffin pan. Could be because I cooked them too high but I think next time I would use baking cups.

  88. Shikha @ Shikha la mode says

    I remember making black bean brownies a few years ago as well and being blown away that I LIKED them. Who knew?!

  89. nina says

    Yum these sound delicious! I love using beans in sweet recipes, they give a really smooth substantial element. I’ll have to try these!

  90. Peanut Butter & Ellie says

    YUM! I’m a bit skeptical of bean-based desserts, but I think these mouth-wathering brownies convinced me to try them again. :)
    I love that you make the brownies in muffin tins- they remind me of those bite-size brownies that you can buy at the grocery store. I always had them at get-togethers when I was little so small brownies bring back happy memories!
    I’ll comment again when I’ve tried them!

  91. Cynthia says

    Oh my goodness! These look SO DELICIOUS.
    I’m newly on a paleo diet after completing the Whole 30. I’m not supposed to eat beans, but everything else here is totally on my diet. Is there a bean substitute that I could use?

  92. Susie says

    Do these tend to produce a lot of gi distress……like gas? Would love to try this recipe, but oh , so afraid of the other side ; )

  93. Elisa says

    I’ve been making your original black bean brownies but subbing the sugar with maple syrup for some time and they are amazing – yeee um. I recommend your blog to just about everyone I know as I’ve every single recipe of yours that I’ve made has been incredible.
    Well done, and thank you Dana!

  94. Nicole R says

    I just ran out to the store and bought all of the ingredients and made these. They turned out amazing! So delicious with such great ingredients, yum! :)

  95. Emily @ Robust Recipes says

    These look mouthwatering. I love black bean brownies and the addition of caramel,pecans, and coconut sound wonderful! :)

  96. Faith VanderMolen says

    This recipe is PERFECTION! Definitely making these as soon as I get home to China cause I have all the ingredients! YUM! Also, your photography just gets better and better:)

  97. Jax says

    Guittard has a chocolate chip that’s vegan & Whole Foods does too. Really good ones! This looks good, but not very minimalist. Lol.

  98. Aleksandra says

    I am yet to be converted to the black bean brownies – I also have problems believing it can actually work. But I am sure at some point I’ll give it a go.

    • Julie says

      I made them this morning and they were great! I was like you very skeptical-but I certainly encourage you to give them a try-they are delicious and guilt free!

    • Tom ~ Raise Your Garden says

      I thought so too, until my sister-in-law (my nickname for her is the white wildabeast so you can guess how things are going on in that relationship) and anyhow, she made black-bean brownies and tricked me!!! The dirty dog. And they were darn good so I’m going to try this now.

    • Shannon says

      I understand the hesitation.. I held out on making these for a long time too. But I took the plunge last week and it was WELL worth it. I’m excited to try the turtle version. Don’t fear the black bean! :)

    • Carol says

      I have made them several times,, Not one person figured they were made with Black Beans!! Tastes great, last forever in a covered container!! You must try them to believe it! ENJOY