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).
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.
I think you guys will LOVE these brownies! They’re:
Studded with ooey-gooey toppings
& 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!
Refined-Sugar-Free Turtle Brownies (GF)
- 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*
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.
Store completely cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to a few days. Will keep in the freezer up to 1 month.
*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 Per Serving (1 of 11 brownies)
- Calories: 178
- Fat: 9.6g
- Saturated fat: 5.7g
- Sodium: 166mg
- Carbohydrates: 24.2g
- Fiber: 4.6g
- Sugar: 13.3g
- Protein: 3.9g