Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

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Stack of Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies with walnuts

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.

Colander of rinsed black beans and food processor of flaxseed meal for making black bean brownies
Measuring cup of cocoa 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 decent 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.

Measuring cups of sugar
Food processor filled with batter for making Black 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 a blender) and a muffin tin.

Does clean up get much easier than that? Let me answer that, NO.

Muffin tin filled with Black Bean Brownies with half of them topped with walnuts
Batch of our Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies on a cooling rack

Besides being simple they’re insanely delicious. The edges have a slight crispness and the inside is all fudgy, chocolaty goodness.

Plus, you don’t have to dirty a knife cutting into them – they’re already baked into bite-size deliciousness. How convenient!

Showing the fudgy texture of the inside of one of our Black Bean Brownies

Enjoy these plain, with some vegan ice cream (coffee, chocolate, or vanilla), 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!

More Black Bean Brownie Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Platter filled with a batch of the Ultimate Black Bean Brownies

Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

Black bean brownies (vegan and gluten-free) that require just 1 bowl and about 30 minutes to prepare! Healthy, easy, and delicious – the best kind of dessert.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Stack of 4 Vegan Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies made with walnuts
4.77 from 688 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 (brownies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 2 heaping Tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans (well rinsed and drained // 1 can yields ~ 1 3/4 cups)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil (melted // or sub other oil of choice)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (the higher quality the better // such as this one)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 heaping cup organic cane sugar (slightly ground or pulsed in a food processor or coffee grinder for refined texture)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

TOPPINGS optional

  • Crushed walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  • Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini // adjust pan size if altering batch size). Make sure you’ve rinsed and thoroughly drained your black beans at this point.
  • 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.
  • Add remaining ingredients (besides walnuts or other toppings) and puree – about 3 minutes – scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  • 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.
  • Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
  • Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without toppings.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 brownies Calories: 113 Carbohydrates: 18 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 4.7 g Saturated Fat: 3.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.52 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.58 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 194 mg Potassium: 176 mg Fiber: 4.6 g Sugar: 9 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 60 mg Iron: 1.4 mg

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  1. Sherri says

    I made these exactly as written then topped them with mini chocolate chips and walnut pieces. They were delicious! I took them to a concert in the park and shared with my non-vegetarian friends and now everyone wants the recipe!

  2. Amy says

    These are the best brownies I’ve ever eaten! The family can’t even tell they are healthy! I’ll never make another type of brownie! Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Kat says

    Tried these last night, and they turned out great! I added shredded coconut on top before I baked which took it over the top. I also didn’t have enough flax so I used half flax and half chia seeds tor the ‘eggs’, kept it nice and chewy.

  4. Susannah says

    These are delicious! I substituted 1 egg because I didn’t have flax meal and chickpeas because I was out of black beans and they still turned out well. Thanks for the great recipe!

  5. Carol says

    I really want to give these a try. I just made some low kal, gluten free brownies and they turned out really tasty, it’s hard to believe that they are so healthy.

  6. Talia says

    I attempted these tonight. Used one whole egg instead of flax eggs but kept everything else the same. They came out dry and powdery. Couldn’t even hold one without it falling apart! :( they tasted good. Really chocolatey minis the powdery consistency. What went wrong!? I did add a little water to get it to blend and cooked for 24 mins. Let cool before attempting to remove. I’m so disappointed. Any suggestions so I can give em another go!?

  7. Annie says

    Excellent recipe. I am not a brownie fan, but I enjoy these. especially with extra nuts. They are very chocolatey and not too sweet. My extra picky brownie loving husband even liked them.

  8. Marie says

    Made these as a gift for a vegan teacher. Have never eaten anything vegan.
    OMG they are delicious and I hope she will think so too!

  9. Janel says

    First attempt at bean dessert, plus the use of flax “eggs”. Tasted great, but the batter was super-runny and did not look anything like brownies or cakey. King of blobbed together. What might I have done incorrectly? Did I just not let the flax eggs set long enough? Thoughts? I’d like to give these another try. Thanks!

  10. Kate says

    I never say this, but- Oh. M. G. These are — they’re so good I don’t even have the words. I’m eating a huge piece as I type and I’m trying to eat it slow because I don’t want this bliss to end… I baked them for my husband and his sceptic friends, “Michael! She’s putting black beans in the $&@#in’ brownies!” And needless to say the pan is completely devoured. They’re like vegan flourless chocolate cake, healthy dark chocolately goodness. Well done. Can’t wait to try your other inventions :) and my husband is in love with brownie batter blizzards (though they’re pure junk so he hasn’t had one since he was in his teens) so I’m most likely making that next. You made my night, thanks ;D

  11. Sally Von Butane says

    I loved the ingredients in this recipe and made them last night, right before Mad Men. I had to restrain myself from eating more than 1.5. They were very fudgy and delish and my boyfriend (non-vegan brownie maniac) ate one and proclaimed them delicious. I didn’t even mention how good for him they were. I also topped them with cocoa nibs for the crunch factor, worked out swell.

  12. Allison says

    I made this brownie! Totally a keeper recipe! I didn’t think a half a cup of sugar would be enough for us… so I had to add more after tasting. After baking…I still will add more sugar next time and believe me… we aren’t big sugar users.. but that just wasn’t enough for us. Otherwise… excellent!
    Allison

  13. Alex says

    ok. bare with me. im a regular guy and i dont bake ( learning tho. )
    this looks like a simple desert. but what rack to use in the oven?
    Im going with the middle one.
    will let u know how it comes out.
    the batter tastes good tho.

  14. Barbra says

    I was wondering if I could use an over ripe banana and reduce the sugar?

    I didn’t see anyone saying anything in the prior posts.

    Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You may be able to, but if it makes affects the consistency of the batter you may want to thin it out. Hope that helps!

  15. Stephanie says

    I just pulled these brownies out of the oven, and am waiting for them to cool a bit. However, if they are half as good as the batter tasted, they will rock! I did not have flax seed, so used 1/2 cup applesauce instead.

  16. cherrychip77 says

    Oooohhh!!! :) I’m making a pan of these for a picnic on Friday, and I can’t wait to see how they turn out. All I can say is, they smell de-lish!! ;) thanks for the recipe…it might be used again…and again…and again. :)

    :D

  17. Naomi says

    Made these to add to your chocolate ice cream recipe and they are SO good! I’ve made black bean brownies before, but this is by far the best recipe! And the fact that they’re gluten free is so perfect. I think I’ll even add some mini chocolate chips next time. Thanks for a fantastic recipe!

  18. Island girl says

    OMG! I was craving a rich chocolate brownie and thought I’d try this. I love making favorites foods even healthier! These were AMAZING! I am a chocolate snob and they were perfect taste and texture without the sugar taste or sugar crash afterwards! I try tons of online recipes and this is the first comment I’ve ever written! THANK YOU!

  19. Mariam says

    This is so delicous, thank you so much for the amazing recipe! Totally in love with them and don’t feel guitly eating a little too much! So delicous, i’ve converted my family and can’t wait to bring a batch for my friends without telling them what’s in it! The worst thing is waiting for them to cool, I still sneak in one while warm but it’s so much yummier once cooled!

  20. Meesa says

    I tried these tonight w/high hopes that were quickly extinguished. I did sub in dates for the sugar (after looking up and verifying several times how to do it). I am going to try once again following the directions to a tee this time and adding perhaps a bit more sugar than called for. Honestly, it kind of tasted like bitter mush, w/no other flavor. Hoping changing the sweetener makes the difference as I really want these to work.

  21. Brooke says

    I just made a double batch of these babies for our house warming party!
    This recipe is gorgeous & just the perfect proportions.
    Great recipe, I’ll be making a lot of these goodies !

    Keep em comin,
    Brooke in Toronto

  22. Laurie says

    OMGosh!! AMAZING!! I made using 1/3 cup honey, 10 drops of Chocolate Stevia, 1Tbs of GF flour & I flubbed on the “flax egg” making with only 2Tbs flaxseed meal & 4Tbs water…(but it worked) everything else per the recipe..sprinkling w/chopped walnuts. Baked for 22 min & next time will bake for only 20, as the center wasn’t quite as gooey as I like, but still AMAZING & DELICIOUS!!! I’ll put them to the test serving to friends that are neither GF or plant based to see if they notice a difference.

    Thanks for posting such a healthy, delicious & GF dessert recipe!!

  23. Sean says

    For the imperially challenged among us, also I wasn’t able to find tinned black beans, so used chickpeas (400 g) instead. I also substituted maple sirup for the sugar, added more cocoa approx. 1 cup as you mentioned; and added approx. 3 tsp Hemp flour. They would have turned out perfectly had I cooked them another few minutes but they were looking ready. Thank you very much indeed for a great recipe.

  24. Katie O. says

    I’m going to try my hand at these tonight, but since all of the reviews are raving about the recipe as is, I am going to follow it to a “t”. I don’t need them to be vegan (just gluten free), but I have no clue about these “Flax Eggs”! In the recipe, does “2 large flax eggs (2.5 T flaxseed meal + 6 T water)” mean that the 2.5 T flaxsee meal/6 T of water make one “flax egg” or is the amount for the 2 flax eggs the recipe calls for?

  25. Swellnomad says

    Made these… Exactly according to the recipe. They are edible, not amazing. The texture is good. They taste about as good as a chocolate diet bar. While the beans aren’t detectable, the high fiber taste is there. I am so disappointed, all these comments got my hopes up. But apparently commenters are not comparing these to real brownies. Headed to the bakery to buy real brownies, can’t take these to a luncheon.

  26. Megan says

    I tried this recipe and they turned out great! My friend made them too and had similar success. Thanks for posting!

    I do have a question though:
    You mentioned that you had trouble with another recipe setting up. I have this problem all the time but I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong! I feel like it has something to do with the flax but I can’t seem to find a pattern – do you have any insights?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes, flax definitely has a tendency to leave baked goods extra moist in the middle, but it’s something I don’t mind. Ashley at EdiblePerspective would actually be a great resource if you’re looking for more information on the topic. She’s done a TON of experimenting and has come up with alternative “egg” substitutions that set up nicely. Hope that helps!

  27. Leila says

    Made these exactly as directed and they were amazing! My (very picky eater) kiddos devoured them…what a great recipe! We will be making again and again!

  28. Jon Brandt says

    These look great. We intend to bake a few dozen to sell for fundraising at the Relay for Life in Salinas on June 8th, 2013. Would it be appropriate to print and distribute the recipe in case any of the walkers or visitors want it? I would print it as it comes off the web, with credit to the author. I just don’t want to presume. Thank you.

  29. Kristin Tran says

    I’m in the process of making these brownies and was just wondering… I thought vegan excludes eggs…

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      flax eggs are a vegan substitute for real eggs. See the notes in the recipe. 1 flax egg = 1 heaping Tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp water.

  30. Donna says

    I just made these with dark red kidney beans,1&1/2 real eggs and added a hand full of fresh spinach…they are great!! I topped them with melted choc chips for my kids. I love this recipe! Thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sarah, some other readers have. We would recommend searching the comments to see their feedback!

  31. Lucie says

    Just made these and they were delish! Didn’t have any black beans so made them red kidney beans and they turned out yummy! Also left them in for 20 mins and probaby could have even done them for 15 to get them more fudgey. But yum!

  32. Iva says

    These are SO good!! I made them with a regular egg, since I’m not vegan, just avoiding gluten and dairy and they turned out amazing! I almost ate the whole batch before I even baked it, so I made double the quantity :)) My whole family, none of who are vegan or interested in eating healthy even loved it! It was hilarious when I told them the ingredients, haha I’m making more today :D
    Thank you for this recipe! I honestly like these more than regular brownies!

  33. Michele says

    I was skeptical about these, because of the beans, but they are absolutely amazing! So fudgy and delicious, you can’t taste the beans at all.

  34. Sharon says

    This was the best bbb recipe I had seen and had to try. Made them a couple of days ago, only I substituted 2 eggs for the flax egg (although I do have flax on hand and will try that also in the future), and organic agave nectar for the sugar. Love them – they are so dark chocolaty and I don’t feel guilty eating two of them with a glass of red wine! Hubby likes them also, but he has no idea what’s in them!

  35. cristina says

    This are amazing! I think I added a bit too much water – but not too bothered as they taste like a cross between fudge and a brownie. A winning recipe – many thanks!!

  36. Bulut says

    Thanks for the prompt response! I’ll try the recipe as is, it makes sense to use plenty of cocoa to hide the bean flavour.

  37. Bulut says

    Wow I really love the looks of these. Do you think I would have success with baking these in an 8 inch square pan? Also that looks like a lot of cocoa. Is the amount of sugar enough to offset the bitterness of cocoa? I love bitter chocolate, but sometimes when I try to reduce sugar in recipes, the bitterness tends to be off-putting. I’ll be trying these asap!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes! Some readers have commented that they used an 8×8 pan without any issues. Also, if you prefer a less chocolate intense flavor simply add more sugar! It sounds like a lot of cocoa but I wouldn’t cut that back or the bean flavor may shine through a bit more. Hope that helps!

  38. Lori Beasley says

    1st attempt: in the oven now, I was so surprised that the flax and water, after sitting had the egg consistency. I could not help but to eat the batter, oh my goodness. If the finished product is anything like the batter… well lets just say it totally fooled me. I will bring these to family functions and then tell them after they eat it. Thanks for sharing, I am now subscribed to your emails. Looking forward to trying other recipes.

  39. Noor says

    These brownies were absolutely amazing! I used stevia instead of the sugar for reduced calories.. everybody in my house loved them so much! Thank you for a great recipe!
    All the best from Amman, Jordan

  40. catbear says

    Wow…amazing! I wouldn’t have said so yesterday when they came out of the oven (not set and crumbly at the same time), but after sitting in the fridge overnight they are fudgy fantastic! The texture is perfect.

    I used some black beans I had around with onions and chipotle peppers in them (tried to pick it out) and that little chipotle kick is amazing! Just the batter was so awesome, I knew these were going to be great.

    To make them healthier, I used coconut sugar. I want to try using dates next time like Dr. Fuhrman’s recipe. You would never know they are made with beans, really!!!

  41. Sara says

    OH MY GOD. I made this last night and they are unbelievably good!! Even though I have a very small food processor, which started smoking and smelling weird, and I had to blend the beans with a hand mixer, and then I miscalculated the temperature conversion and nearly burnt them, and even though I almost forgot to put the beans in at all…..

    This is a failsafe recipe. Despite my ineptitude, the brownies are sticky, fudgy, rich and gorgeous. Next time I think I’ll add some chopped dates as well. Mmmmmm. Thank you so much!

  42. Diana says

    Since we are vegans who don’t use sugar, we tried substituting erthyritol sweetener for the sugar. It was awful! Had an aftertaste so bad we had to throw them out. I am sure it must have come from the erythritol. I am wondering if agave syrup or stevia would be more healthy?

      • Chris says

        Hi Sharon –

        I’m considering baking these with the agave nectar (afraid to put in sugar – don’t want to trigger the sugar cravings that come with it). Did you have to adjust the ratio of agave? (meaning, did you put in the full 1/2 cup, or did you reduce it or add more?) Was the batter thinner because of more liquid and if so, did you just add more flour and/or cocoa?

        Thanks!

        • Sharon says

          I used between 1/2 half and 3/4 cup of agave, and the batter was just perfect. I made them once with stevia, and even though the batter was a little more stiff, the fudgy consistency was still the same. I prefer the agave flavor, though. As a side note, I have also made these with real eggs…they come out like muffins instead of fudgy brownies.

          • Jennie says

            Hi Sharon,

            How much stevia did you use? Half a teaspoon? I have pure stevia powder and from what I remember one teaspoon stevia is like one cup sugar. Did you change the cooking time?

          • Sharon says

            Jennie, I used the same amount of granulated stevia as the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. Personally, it could have used a little more sweetness, so some extra granulated stevia with a little extra liquid would probably work well.

          • Jennie says

            When you say granulated stevia you mean something with erythritol in it?

            Oh, and thanks for your quick reply!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

            erythritol would probably work fine, though I have not tried it. When I say Stevia, I am referring to powdered stevia. I use Nu-Stevia, non bitter.

          • Jennie says

            Hi Dana,

            Do you use a baking blend or regular stevia. I have something like the second one but one teaspoon of stevia equals one cup of sugar and the results aren’t really that good. To be honest, I actually don’t want to try erythritol and I would prefer if I could stick to plain old stevia, but like I said before, the results, not so good. :(

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

            Just Nu-Naturals Nu-Stevia non-bitter packets. And a little bit goes a LONG way.

          • Jennie says

            I made a boo-boo, 1/2 tsp stevia = 1 cup sugar. No wonder the brownies I tried making (different recipe) tasted kinda funny. So, I’ll use 1/4 pure stevia powder because that equals 1/2 cup sugar. Should I add anything else to bulk it up since I’m omitting the sugar (maybe 1/3 cup apple sauce) or should I follow the rest of the recipe as is?

            Thank you so much for your replies. :)

  43. Jazz says

    THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!
    Due to my daughters allergies we’re on a strict no dairy, egg, wheat or soy diet which has made baking quite the hassel… These brownies however are a true enlightenment! We no longer miss “real” brownies. I don’t think I’ll ever want to bake “traditional” brownies ever again!
    Love from Germany,
    Jazz
    P.S. I couldn’t get black beans so I subbed cannellini beans. Works just fine!

  44. Beth Swallow says

    You left out part of the directions. After making the flax egg and adding the beans (step 4), you proceed to scraping down the sides and putting in the pan! Is the order of adding the rest of the ingredients important? You might want to change your directions to include the other ingredients so us linear-thinking folks can understand it. Thanks, Beth

  45. Anonymous says

    As a preschool teacher, I’m always looking for awesome healthy projects to bake with my kids! I made a batch of these at home last night and they are seriously DELICIOUS. Skeptics, take heart! It would be impossible to detect the black beans in these. I also added chocolate chips for my sweet-tooth hubby, and replaced the cane sugar with coconut palm sugar – more nutritive and lower glycemic. I’m definitely using this recipe for my next baking project at school! Also great because the kids can lick the bowl as much as they want :)
    Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  46. Emily P. says

    I made these on Sunday because I simply could not stand the curiosity anymore! I used one real egg instead of a flax egg and they were PERFECTION! I think I like them better than “real” brownies. Thanks for the recipe!!

  47. Pamela says

    AMAZING!! Fantastic recipe :) I had not tried anything like this before, but am soo happy I did! Super easy to make, and took hardly any time or effort, but they turn out soo decadent and look like you’ve been chained to the stove for ages :)
    Hubby was super impressed, and shocked even more when I told him the ingredients ;)
    (Only thing I did different was chia instead of flax, and coconut sugar instead of raw)

  48. Laurie Higgins says

    I tried some black bean brownies the other day and decided to look for a recipe. This looks great.

  49. Kirsten says

    Delish! I added a pinch of instant coffee (to take the edge off the bean taste) and accidentally forgot to add vanilla… still fantastic – couldn’t taste the beans at all. Can’t wait to try them WITH vanilla. :)

  50. Mimi says

    Question: I don’t have raw sugar… can I use granulated sugar? Or would brown sugar be a better substitute?

    • Kelly says

      I used granulated sugar and they came out quite nicely. I used the same ratio and they are pleasantly sweet. I’ve never made it with raw sugar though so I don’t know if it’s different in the end.

  51. Sahej says

    Thanks for the great recipe. I just made these. Because I don’t eat chocolate I substituted organic dehydrated coconut powder for the cocoa. They turned out FANTASTIC. I almost didn’t give them to my grandchildren because I like the muffins so much. In the end I did, because I know how to bake and they don’t.

  52. Theresa says

    Hubby LOVED them! No reason to let him know they’re made with black beans…LOL The next day out of frig the taste is even more intense…YUM! Thank you for posting the recipe.:)

  53. Theresa says

    In the oven as I write this and none too sooner…my hubby just walked through the door! Told him I’m making him brownies. I tasted the batter and no way will he even suspect black beans!! LOL They smell DELISH!

  54. Penny says

    These are so good!!! If I hadn’t used two eggs because I was too impatient to wait for the flax ‘eggs’, my 3 year old and I may have eaten the entire bowl of batter.
    I used my Magic Bullet, so I had to pour each ingredient out into a bowl and then combine it with a spoon. I’m not a big fan of any kind of sugar, so I would like to try maple syrup next time. Has anyone had any success subbing maple syrup in this recipe?

  55. Candice says

    Just made these, delish! I only changed two things, one: I lined my pan with If You Care cupcake liners and two: I threw in a handful of 60% cacao chocolate chips into the batter while it was whirling around versus putting them on top before baking. I sprinkled with pecan chips, baked…and they are wonderful. Thanks for such a great, healthy alternative to regular brownies! Love your website and always look forward to the emails.

  56. Melissa says

    What are your thoughts on subbing unsweetened applesauce for the oil? I know that making that switch often results in more cakey rather than fudgy baked goods, but since these are already flourless and pretty fudgy I’m wondering if they’d still be nice and fudgy with the applesauce instead of oil. What do you think?

  57. Marcy says

    The first batch came out a little dry, but I added some applesauce and olive oil and oh my goodness, moist brownie heaven. I’m eating these for breakfast tomorrow.

  58. Moni Meals & Fitness says

    Just lovely! Talk about wonderful photos too! Amazing.

    I also have a few black bean recipes that I adore but I am totally diggin’ these. Great job! I am sooo hungry now. :)

  59. Trish says

    Hey! I have yet to try out any of your recipes but they look so good! I have a 7 year old cousin with gluten allergy and I am definitely trying the recipes out for her when I visit her this summer. :)
    Can you subsite dates instead of the sugar? I have a lot of dates in my house (I try to eat a date a day) and I noticed that some of your recipes use dates instead of sugar. I was wondering if I could use some of my dates (especially the slightly dryer ones) in the recipe

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think that might work, but no guarantees on the texture and taste. I find that processing dates rarely fully purees them, which would make the brownies unevenly sweet and chunky. But if you were able to get them down to a puree, I don’t see why not! Hope that helps.

  60. Gaby says

    These look fantastic! Do you think using Egg Replacer would be ok, instead of flax seeds? I don’t have flax seeds, but have everything else ready and waiting in the cupboards! Thanks xx

  61. Kathy says

    I made these and loved them! I did however put 2 tsps vanilla instead of 1. I also added a little honey and pecan bits to the mix . So good! I dont feel so guilty eating these brownies so Thank You!! :)

  62. hannah says

    These look great, but where in the intructions does it mention the rest of the ingredients? I dont see any mention of cocao powder, salt, vanilla, or sugar.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      In the instructions I say “add black beans through baking powder,” meaning all all the remaining ingredients besides the toppings. That includes the cocoa powder, salt, vanilla and sugar! Hope that helps.

  63. Karin says

    This recipe is great! Just made them today, and wanted to ask, can they be frozen and saved for later? Did anyone try this?

  64. Hopephilosophy says

    Great recipe! Think this would work in a brownie pan (8×8 or 9×9)? Would the cooking time vary in that case?

    • Gill says

      I used an 8×8 and cooked 27ish minutes, maybe 30, I can’t recall. But they were fudgy with a cakey top. Amazing.

  65. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says

    need to incorporate black beans more often into my desserts. that looks insanely delish!

  66. Jess says

    Dana, you have such a way with desserts with extra nutrition “snuck” in! The texture of these looks amazing, and I just love that they are made in a muffin tin – such perfect little rounds!

  67. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe says

    Holy. Crap. Dana, these look amazing! I’ve made black bean cake before, but these totally look better. I like the use of the flax eggs too. Must try!

  68. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat says

    I’ve made black beans brownies before and you’d never know. In fact, they’re super tasty!!

  69. Rebekah says

    I just made the original black bean brownie bite recipe for easter. Eager to try the new and improved updated version now.

  70. Kate says

    Okay, just made these and they are all gone. My 3 kids and husband scarfed them up! They came out perfect, looked just like your picture. Nobody knew they were gluten-free, or made with beans. Shhh our secret!

  71. Amanda@ Spiritual Sweat says

    I’ve recently made the similar version and LOVED them! I used coconut sugar and it worked great. SO YUMMY!!!

  72. EW says

    Just made these! They really are the perfect brownie, no joke. I’m a dark chocolate lover and these have a really rich taste. I licked quite a bit of the batter out of blender and even without baking they tasted great: no bean flavor.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Wendy, I would guess, but I haven’t tried that so no guarantees. The flax substitution is fine. But the maple syrup will likely make them runnier, so I’d recommend compensating with more cocoa powder and/or some gluten free flour.

    • Angelina says

      I used chia seed/flax seed blend and it worked JUST FINE.

      By the way this recipe is delicious. I don’t taste no beans. Just chocolaty sweet goodness.
      I’m not crazy about sweets :) So just one overwhelmed me.

  73. Courtney West says

    Oooh yum! These are similar to some chocolate black bean cookies I’ve made. I added cacao nibs to those so I might have to add them to these, too!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I can’t speak to that since I haven’t tried it, but I would guess, yes. Honestly, I’d only do one egg if it were me. If you give it a try, report back with how it went!

      • Jessica says

        I used 2 eggs and cooked for 20 minutes. They came out cake like instead of fudgy, but still delicious.

      • Debbie B says

        I also made these with an egg. Works fine! This is a great recipe. I want to let others know that I halved the recipe with no problems either. Definitely a keeper recipe. I would have no problem setting these treats out without feeling obligated to reveal the beans. Thanks for printing such a good recipe.

    • Erika says

      Hi, I make a version of these and they are very good (often even better the 2nd day). You can easily sub out the eggs with milled flax seed: just use 1 tablespoon milled flax seed and 2 of warm tap water for each egg. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes in a separate small bowl, then whisk or stir with a fork and add to the recipe as you would an egg. This works for most baking recipes.

      • Rachelle Martinez says

        Erika,
        Let me make sure I understand. 1 tablespoon of milled flax seed with 2 tablespoons of warm water? I need to use 2 eggs, so do this twice? I would love to try baking without eggs.
        Thank you

        • Erika says

          Hi Rachelle,

          Yes, you would multiply the flax and water amounts for each egg in the recipe. I have had a lot more luck in vegan baking with the milled flax seed vs. something like Ener-G egg substitute.

          It even works for cake!
          Good luck and enjoy!

          Erika

  74. eryka says

    I made your black bean brownies the last time you posted them and they were incredible. Since then I discovered Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies too, essentially subbing out the black beans for cooked sweet potato. They’re fudgy, decadent and completely yummy too.

    • Allison says

      That’s a great idea using cooked sweet potato. Especially to use up extra sweet potatoes we might have for leftovers.

    • Kirsten says

      Is it the exact same amount of sweet potato? I made these yummy brownies and my husband doesn’t digest beans well. It’s an issue so that would be great. Do you add more oil?
      Thanks

  75. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) says

    These look great! I haven’t made black bean brownies before, but I have used chickpeas in a similiar idea. These look a LOT better though.

    Can I ask what editing software you use for your photos to add texts? Photoshop? Thanks! :)

  76. Lisa says

    I second Tiffany’s question.
    I am also scared of using beans in desserts! But hopefully I will become brave enough to give this a try. :)

  77. Ashley says

    I made black bean brownies yearrrrs ago and brought them into work. People freaked out (like, became grossed out) after I told them what was inside. It was funny! I’ll have to give them another go as I feel like people have been perfecting them over the years. The ones I made were like eating pure fudge. These look great!

  78. Tieghan says

    I can not believe I still have not made black bean brownies!!! Yours just look to tempting not to make!! Plus, I have been craving brownies for weeks!

  79. Sophie {The Cake Hunter} says

    These look delicious. I made a chickpea chocolate cake not long ago and it was delicious. Beans make awesome cakes! I’m definitely going to give these a whirl. We have a long car journey coming up in 2 weeks and these would be the perfect snack!

  80. Mariam says

    These look so good but I’m scared of putting beans in brownies! However if I manage to find any I definitely want to try it!
    Totally get what you mean about baking fails, waste of time and expensive ingredients! Tried wholewheat chocolate cake bars and they were not to mention completely disgusting but also wasted some pricey high quality coconut oil, cacao and flours!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Fear not! These brownies are legit. I’ve even tried other bean-based desserts before without luck. But these, are SERIOUSLY legit. The beans are completely undetectable!

      • Jenn says

        These look amazing! How would I adapt this to a 9 by 13 pan as I am planning on making a few pans of these to feed a crowd? Thank you so much!

        • Dee says

          Help!! I made double batch!! Put in 9×13 after 30eating mins. Still soupy, will it firm up as they bake, also I turned heat down so brownies do not burn..!!????

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hmm, how high up the pan did they go? I’ve never done a double batch. They shouldn’t have gone too far up the sides…These are nearly impossible to burn. I’d continue baking until they are no longer giggly when shaken. Then, if they still seem soft once cooked, pop them in the fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes to set even more. Hope that helps!

          • Dee says

            Thanks for replying back!! I BAKED FOR NEARLY 2 HRS!!! DID NOT BURN!!! They turned out looking just like brownies!! Just the bean flavor was still too noticeable????

      • Patricia says

        Bee, what kind of cocoa powder did you use? I’m a “new vegan” (meaning I still like the taste of the real stuff) and I thought these were excellent. By the way, I used coconut oil and xylitol. I was just wondering if that could have caused the beans to be detectable for you. Even my non-vegan, chocolate loving kids loved these and I could never get them to eat black beans and chocolate before! :-)

        If you can, give them another try. Be sure to rinse the beans thoroughly too. Good luck and Happy New Year Year!

          • Rianey says

            Just made these with a combination of adzuki & mung beans that I had prepared earlier, I only had one cup of beans so I also included one cup of walnuts to make up for the bulk, otherwise I stuck to the recipe….turned out amazing!!! Thankyou very very much :)

      • Dee says

        I could totally taste the beans!!!! :-(:-) Hoping too try again with more raw sugar ?? Really like recipe want it too work for whole family!! Hubby will detect bean flavor!! Any other additives too disguise bean flavor?? Maybe butter extract!!!! Yeah!??! More vanilla?? Definitely cinnamon!!!!

        • Stephanie says

          No one so far that has tried this recipe can detect the bean flavor. The only thing that’s noticeable sometimes is the bean skin. I have made these twice, for 6 different people.

          • leah leitch says

            If the bean skin is noticeable just process them longer so that they grind down more. I make mine in a food processor and they turn out great!

        • Call It Like I See It says

          I made this twice, for my kids (6 and 9 years old) You cannot taste the beans at all. They even saw me making them with beans and were “yuck this” “yuck that” and when I served them they asked if these were the ones with beans. I said “No, these are different ones” and they suspiciously started eating them moving on quickly onto devouring.
          If anybody feels the bean taste is all in your head. Taste is a product of your brain!!!
          I am annoyed by people who say they want to eat healthy and then start expecting things to taste the same as the bad stuff. Go ahead Dee, add a pound of butter followed by 3 cups of high fructose corn syrup and I am sure you won’t feel the bean taste anymore! SHM. Jeesh!

          • Vanessa says

            Some people have a more sensitive palate. Your response was pretty rude by my standards. You did not ‘call it like you saw it’, you made assumptions that Dee would add excessive quantities of the less-healthy items. It appears, to me, that she is attempting to make something different and healthier than the original version palatable to her family. It’s not always easy to go from one extreme to the other for everyone and you have no idea of what happens down the road after transitioning further. My own personal dietary changes have adapted over time, and my husband’s have been more drastic. We needed the alterations or we would never had stuck with it.

          • Petey says

            I just made these and they are so good. Can not taste the beans. My family will not eat beans, yet they did and they dont even know it..LOL. I used avacado oil instead of coconut oil bc my daughter doesn’t like the taste of coconut. Awesome and healthy recipe. 5 stars

        • mikie says

          I absolutely love these. I added a heaping tablespoon of instant coffee along with a few dashes of cinnamon. Am amazed that they come out so cakey/fudgy. I didn’t taste beans at all – and subbed Splenda for the sugar to boot. Good luck!

        • Parisa says

          DEE listen TO me!!!! No bean taste over heree!!!!!!!!! Hubby could not tell and sayd to me “yum!!!!!!” delicious maybe next time add mre nuts????!! yum!!! nice work

      • Dana Preshous says

        I made these the other day, and they were fantastic! I mixed everything by hand but the black beans, those went in my Walmart version of the bullet blender. To add some extra creaminess, I made cashew chocolate frosting, yummmmmm!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Lovely idea with the cashew frosting! So glad you enjoyed these, Dana. (great name, btw : )

          • Merriam says

            Hi! I was browsing the web for vegan desserts that I could bake for a friend and these look stunning! I was wondering though, because this recipe calls for raw sugar, if you know of any specific type of sugar I could use that’s 100 percent vegan friendly because I did a little research and apparently there’s some controversy about regular sugar.
            Thanks :)

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Yes, but I would recommend using far less since it’s much sweeter than sugar. And you may have to compensate with more cocoa powder or even a little flour for dryness since you aren’t using as much sugar, which dries the batter out. Hope that helps!

          • Andy says

            I was also wondering about using stevia extract, so to add some dryness to the batter, could i use some coconut flour? How much would you recommend (i know coconut flour REALLY dries it out)

          • Judy says

            Andy, be aware that at least some of the powdered stevia contains some other ingredient to prevent caking. I switched to liquid stevia because the brand of powdered stevia I tried had Erythritol as the other ingredient, which is a migraine trigger for me. I am not sure how much of the liquid stevia to use though.

        • teri vogt says

          I used 1/4 cup of honey instead of sugar, added cashews and poured in muffin papers, baked 25 minutes. Awesome. Also I made a cashew topping with natural peanut butter and chocolates made with honey. What a desert this is. 2 cups soaked cashews rinse and drain, 1/4 cup of honey, pinch of sea salt, 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 cup adams peanut butter or almond butter. Mix well in blender. Yummmm…. for chocolate… 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, 3/4 cup coconut oil, 1/3 cup honey, pinch of sea salt. Heat on low heat to melt honey. Pour in baking dish 8×8 or mini muffin papers. Chill they will firm up within an hour. You can add more sea salt for a more salty touch or sprinkle on chocolates in pan. Also you can add chopped nuts to the chocolates if desired. PS I also boil my own beans in water and sea salt. The best and economical by far. I did not notice any skins from the beans this way.

          • Fuchia says

            Thanks Teri I’m about to make these and cannot have sugar and plan on using maple syrup as part of the sugar then subbing in crushed walnuts to make up for the dry amount.

          • Brandy says

            Thank you Teri! I’m trying to not eat any processed sugars or flours and was wondering how I could adapt this recipe. THANK you for already doing the work and for the awesome “extra” recipes as well. Can’t wait to try them. This is why I spend the time to read comments! =)

          • Mamuska says

            So you turned vegan brownies into non vegan brownies. Vegan sugar is same as honey why did you changed ??????

        • Cathy says

          Please use caution when using Stevia. I used it for ten years and couldn’t figure out why I developed asthma. If you are allergic to ragweed, you will probably be allergic to Stevia. The asthmatic symptoms begin gradually and worsen to the point, when exposed to other antagonists, that you can’t even talk to save your breath to enable breathing. Stevia should be treated the same as peanuts or any other food allergen.

          Within three days of stopping Stevia I was able to breathe normally again.

        • Huwayda says

          Bocha Sweet is my go to natural sugar substitute. Made from Kabocha squash, No aftertaste, one to one sugar replacement

      • Katjus says

        Do I have to cook them first? I have only dried black beans, left them in water for a couple of hours and drained them. I think it´s not really possible to use them like this?!

        • Kara says

          you have to cook the dried black beans first. Best way is putting them in the slow cooker overnight just covered with water. I leave them in the slow cooker for about 10-12 hours until soft. Then drain the water and rinse the beans before use

      • Karen says

        I am newly diagnosed with type II diabetes….so I substituted SPLENDA (granulated) for sugar. These turned out wonderful and they keep well frozen. Thank you so much for sharing this good recipe!

      • Stine Ramsey says

        We made these for my sons sweet sixteen and it was a big hit !
        So big a hit that multiple ppl wanted the recipe and did not believe it contained black beans … they thought I was joking ?

    • Rhiannon says

      This is my new favourite recipe! You really can’t taste the beans, no one I’ve fed these to has ever noticed, it’s compliments all round. If you can’t find black beans red kidney beans work really well too.

    • Jane says

      I tried making these today and followed the recipe to a T. But unfortunately, it did not turn out like a “real” brownie. It was OK, and would probably pair really well with vanilla bean ice cream, but it doesn’t fulfill my brownie craving!

      • Jaclyn says

        Then you did it wrong. These are amazing. I’ve made them twice in 2 weeks because between my boyfriend and friends, 12 do not last long.
        The only issue I can see people having is subbing white sugar for cane sugar. I do 3/4 cup of white sugar for this recipe instead of the 1/2 cup of cane sugar recommended. If you are in Canada, Redpath sugar is vegan.

    • Hilary says

      These are delicious and sooooo easy to make – I couldn’t believe it! I like them better than regular brownies. Partially because they are so less awful for me. I added two eggs instead of the flax eggs and added chocolate chips on top – yum!

      Are there other recipes for less sweet sweets that people love???

    • Juanita Ecker says

      My daughter made these for me for my Thanksgiving dessert yesterday. Since I can’t have gluten or sugar, she used the coconut palm sugar in the exact same proportions as the raw sugar. OMG they were delicious!! I begged her for the recipe and some to eat the next day!! Now, I will be making them for my guests. It will be fun to make them and then tell people what’s in them. Thank you Dana for your tasty, tasty recipes.

      • C says

        Subbing sugar with coconut palm sugar is nonsensical. Both are refined sugars. Both have pretty much no nutritional value. Coconut sugar has nearly as much fructose as cane sugar. Environmentally, they both come from impoverished tropical areas, and rainforest is cut down to plant coconut palms.

        If you want a sugar substitute, i suggest a sugar alcohol (xylitol or erythritol) which has much less calories. Or dates, which are high in fiber and nutrients because they are a whole food.

        • Bridgett says

          Coconut palm sugar is much lower on the glycemic index than regular sugar, making it a better choice for diabetics or pre-diabetics.

    • theresa.alley.3@facebook.com says

      I used canned well rinsed garbanzo beans instead of black beans. The coconut oil that I use gives a slight hint of coconut. Very delicious , could not taste the beans.

    • Mariel says

      Don’t fear the black beans!!! I made this yesterday and another batch is baking again as I’m typing this! You don’t taste the black beans at all!!

    • Mama bear says

      I have made these more than a dozen times now. No one can ever detect the beans. Ever. Everyone loves these. I use coconut sugar and depending on the crowd I might add a bit more. Thanks Dana for such a healthy, delicious, and foolproof recipe!!!!

    • Sufia says

      My sister is sensitive to gluten and we have tried a few variations of this recipe. Our most foolproof recipe is posted on my blog at.

    • Rancher girl says

      Yuck! I wasted my time and ingredients making these brownies. I’ve tried several healthy desserts and am yet to find one worth a darn. I guess sweets aren’t meant to be healthy.

      • Sue says

        You must have done something wrong. Why not post and ask for tips? I’m not a baker, but made these yesterday and they were awesome. My non-vegan husband loved them too. You’re missing out if you think healthy can’t be tasty.

      • Liz says

        I have an excellent recipe for you to try. My friends who never eat healthy even love these little muffins.
        gluten free vegan double chocolate zucchini muffins
        makes 12 muffins

        1 1/4 cups Sarah’s gluten free flour blend (I use Namaste flour blend from Costco)
        1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
        1 teaspoon baking powder
        1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        1/2 teaspoon salt
        3/4 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk
        1 tablespoon white vinegar
        3/4 cup organic cane sugar
        1/2 cup finely shredded zucchini, packed (about 1 zucchini)
        1/4 cup canola or sunflower seed oil
        1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
        3/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips

        Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tin by lining with paper liners or spraying with cooking spray. In large mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Mix together coconut milk and vinegar until curdled. Add sugar, shredded zucchini, oil and vanilla. Add flour mixture and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Stir until just combined.

        Divide batter into prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on muffin tops. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place muffins on cooling rack to cool. Store in air-tight container. Best enjoyed within 1-2 days.

        • Sage says

          I plan on making these today but I have one question.. Is there a replacement for the flax egg? Could I skip it? Otherwise would a Chia seed egg work? Thank you in advance :)

          • Tao says

            Hey there!

            I’m a wee bit late replying to this, but when I first made it I used a chia egg instead and they turned out beautifully. :)

            Have a great day!

      • Angela says

        Hello! I felt the same way. I’m Italian. I love to cook and eat GREAT tasting food and I get annoyed when it doesn’t happen. Actually I get angry…I’ve been trying to find a refined sugar free healthy dessert recipe–that’s easy. I stumbled upon “Chocolate Covered Katie” website/blog. OMG! I made her chocolate chip cookie cake-it is phenomenal. Even cold it tastes great. But heated in microwave for 20 sec next day and it tastes just like a choc chip cookie. Unbelievable. She has a sugar free version, which is what I used. I PROMISE you won’t be disappointed. Hope this helps

    • gail clark says

      Great taste. But dry as dust. I made the mistake of using a convection oven. So even at 20 min they were overdone, and a big disappointment. My own fault, but heads up if anyone is using a convection oven. Reduce the temp and or time. Didnt imagine I would ever throw out a brownie, but these are sad.

    • gepe says

      I just made these healthy brownies and I’m blown away they taste yummy. I did add real eggs and the batter was dry so I added 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted choc chips and I used Trivia an Stevia as my sweeter.Plus I tossed in a half cup of the choc chips an topped with a few pecan halves.I have pre diabetes so this why no raw sugar.

    • CGothe says

      I am not a brownie person but a brownie fanatic friend of mine is celebrating his birthday tomorrow and I want to surprise him with a healthier fare since he is now concerned with his health. These brownies are amazing, I am a vegan and I bake so I had no problems, the recipe works like a charm. Thanks do much!

    • Kelly says

      Hi there,
      Made these brownies once and they are delish! Thing is I had to wing how much water to add to the eggs since you don’t specify in the ingredients listings. So my questions is how much water? Thanks.

      Kelly

      • VanMitch says

        There’s a link under ‘flax egg’ in the ingredients. But it’s 1 tbsp of ground flax to 2.5 tbsp of water :)

    • Joy says

      just made these for my daughter’s preK class and they are soooooo yummy! added a dash of cinnamon, a 1/4 cup ground up bittersweet chocolate chips and made them into minis. baked for about 10-12 min. definitely a keeper!

    • Denise says

      These are awesome. I don’t like black beans at all, you don’t taste them . I have some in the oven now.

      Denise