Vegan Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

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Large slices of gluten-free Vegan Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl

Several years ago I discovered the wonders of black bean brownies. Since then I haven’t stopped dreaming of ways to reinvent them. Friends, this one has been a long time coming. I present: Peanut Butter Swirl Black Bean Brownies! Yes, gluten-free AND vegan! Whoop whoop!

Measuring cup of cocoa powder for making gluten-free vegan brownies
Pouring Vegan Gluten-Free brownie batter into a glass baking pan

It all starts with a luxurious batter that comes together in the bowl of your food processor. That’s right. No hand mixing or beating required. Just dump and whirl. It’s as easy as it gets.

Mixing peanut butter and powdered sugar to make the peanut butter swirl

You can even mix up your peanut butter swirls in the measuring cup! Look ma, no extra dishes!

Using a chopstick to create a Peanut Butter Swirl in the batch of brownies
Showing step 1 for how to create a peanut butter swirl in brownies

Once you drop, swirl and whirl it’s into the oven. Depending on if you use an 8×8 or muffin tins, time will vary. But the important thing is the edges pull away and there’s no more jiggle. Yes, we want fudgy insides but no, we don’t want jiggle (no matter how vegan these are).

Batch of our Vegan GF Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies in a glass baking dish
Pan of Vegan Gluten-Free PB Black Bean Brownies

The finished product was AMAZING.

Fudgy
Chocolaty
Peanut Buttery
Cakey on the edges
Mega moist in the middle
Totally decadent
& Satisfying

Can someone remind me again how these are vegan and gluten-free?

Plate with squares of our Fudgy Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Hubba hubba. Make these little gems! For Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions (any occasions). Just make these brownies! You NEED them in your life. Enjoy!

Plates with slices of Vegan Peanut Butter Swirl Black Bean Brownies
Squares of delicious Vegan Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies on a plate

Vegan Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Indulgent, fudgy black bean brownies with a rich peanut butter swirl. Simple with just one bowl and easy-to-find ingredients. Just pure, healthy decadence at its finest.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Spoonful of peanut butter and plate with slices of our Peanut Butter Swirl Black Bean Brownies
4.76 from 66 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 (brownies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (well rinsed and drained // 1 can yields ~1 3/4 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal (to make flax eggs)
  • 5 Tbsp water (to make flax eggs)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil (melted // or sub other oil of choice)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (the higher quality the better)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave (or sub honey if not vegan)
  • 1/4 heaping cup raw sugar (ground to fine texture // or sub granulated)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup salted natural peanut butter (smooth or creamy)
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips (plus more for topping)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  • Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan or a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini // as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Prepare flax eggs by combining flaxseed meal and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients through baking soda 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. Add almost all of the chocolate chips and stir.
  • Evenly distribute the batter into the 8×8 or muffin tins and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
  • Measure out peanut butter in a mixing cup and add in powdered sugar – mix to combine.
  • To the brownie pan, add dots of the peanut butter powdered sugar mixture and swirl with a toothpick or knife. Sprinkle top with a few more chocolate chips or shaved chocolate.
  • Bake for 20-26 minutes if using muffin tins or 35-45 minutes if using an 8×8 dish. You want the top dry and the edges to start to pull away from the sides. It shouldn’t be jiggly when shaken.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes in the pan before serving. They will be tender, so remove gently with a spatula or fork. If they’re too tender, let set in the freezer to stiffen so they’re easier to lift out. 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.

Notes

*Adapted from my gluten-free vegan black bean brownies
*Prep/cook time does not include cooling.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 brownies Calories: 199 Carbohydrates: 20 g Protein: 5 g Fat: 12 g Saturated Fat: 5.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 170 mg Fiber: 5 g Sugar: 13 g

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  1. Jenny says

    I definitely underbaked these a little (but on purpose), but they turned out so yummy! I added some crumbled pb cookie dough to the batter, and MMMM. I was skeptical of a black bean brownie recipe, but thanks for a good one!

  2. Karen says

    Another awesome MB recipe! I was really skeptical of the black beans but had become a regular sweet potato believer from your other recipe so finally decided to try these. I used two local organic eggs per a response but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I also added a little tahini to the pb, and it was delicious. But mine were looking done after about 15 minutes in an 8X8 pan. I jiggled it and the center was definitely jiggly so I waited another 10 minutes but they were overdone- instead of fudgy they crumble.
    Still delicious, but for next time? Would you bake so much shorter of a time? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karen, we’re so glad you enjoyed it! Eggs can make these dry, so we’d suggest using the flax eggs next time, if possible!

  3. Ellen says

    These are delicious! I have made these a few times now and the people I’ve shared them with are so surprised they are vegan. Only change I make is using maple syrup in the PB swirl, I tried sugar the first time and it went a bit stodgy. Thanks for another wonderful recipe 🙏

  4. Justine says

    Made with beans and no flour??? had to check the recipe twice to make sure I didn’t miss something!!! I only had grocery store brand cocoa on hand and I still wasn’t disappointed. I made sure I rinsed and drained the beans very well. These brownies are amazing!!! And 5 gm of protein and under 200 calories. Ditto another reviewer. I put my trust in Minimalist Baker!

  5. Patricia says

    OMG, how good are these brownies. I have always shied away from brownie recipes that have black beans as a main ingredient as I can’t get my head around making a sweet with beans. I gave it a try after reading the comments and I am so glad I did, so easy and quick and you can’t even taste the beans. Another winner from minimalist baker that I will be making again, thanks Dana.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! So glad you gave them and a try and enjoyed! Thanks for sharing, Patricia! xo

  6. Aluna says

    I want to double the portion and bake in a larger pan 9″ X 13″. I can’t estimate the baking time and the heat.
    How long should I bake and should I still bake in 350?
    Thanks

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Aluna, we haven’t tried it that way, so we’re not certain. But yes, we’d suggest 350 F for an additional 10 or so minutes.

  7. Miss U says

    These look lovely! Can I ask if there’s a reason why flax eggs are used over aquafaba here? It feels like it would make sense to use the liquid from the drained beans?

    Thanks so much!

  8. Priyanka Thatipamala says

    I have never had black bean brownies before and I was skeptical, but I trusted you and WOW!! These are amazing!! I left the peanut butter out of the baking and just spread some on top as an icing and they were spectacular! You’ve totally changed the way I’ll make brownies forever.

  9. vesna says

    And you did it again. Another amazing recipe—how can it be so simple, delicious, and yet so wholesome? I’ve tried my share of black bean brownie recipes; each one of them was “okay”—decent “for a black bean based brownie” but left something to be desired. Somehow you always find the exact proportion of ingredients to make the concoction magical.

    This will now be my go-to brownie recipe; the fact that it can be eaten for breakfast virtually guilt free is a total bonus. You guys rock; thank you for sharing your culinary genius with us and taking the guesswork out. Your recipes are so foolproof and consistently awesome.

  10. Jess says

    These are superb -totally fudgey and delicious!!

    I made them in individual muffin papers, and followed the recipe aside from leaving out the maple syrup -just used a smidgen more (coconut) sugar instead. I’ve also on occasion used almond butter instead of peanut -totally yum as well :)

    Have made them several times with consistently great results and they are super quick and easy too.

    Thanks from NZ

  11. Jamie says

    I wanted to make mine a little more protein packed, so I added some oats, coconut flakes, a little cold brew coffee, and a few dashes of almond milk. I also cooked mine in mini-muffin tins at 350 C for 15 minutes and they came out like little cakes! So fluffy and very delicious:)

  12. Morgan says

    I made this with kidney beans because I didn’t have black beans and it came out delicious. I also added walnuts. I didn’t have powdered sugar or almond butter so I just put a dollop of cashew butter on the top. Next time I might add the nut butter throughout the center of the brownies.

  13. Allie says

    I was looking for a way to use up some cooked beans and this was perfect! I blended in a mix of 1 cup of cooked plain lentils + 3/4 cup kidney beans in place of the black beans. I also didn’t have enough peanut butter so my topping was a mix of PB and tahini. Everything else was the same. They’re delicious and fudgy!

  14. CB says

    These are amazing!!! Didn’t have flax seeds so I used chia seeds, and the recipe came out perfect. Best vegan brownies I’ve ever had. Love one of the comment suggestions to use vegan cream cheese too, will have to try that option in a future batch :)

  15. Laura Stone says

    Delicious and moist brownies! I could not taste or feel black beans—only brownie! My only modification was to use regular semisweet chocolate chips since I didn’t realize the regulars contained milkfat until I started cooking. I’ve already shared the recipe with others and plan to make these again. Thank you!!!

  16. Esther Rowan says

    Hey Dana! I made these Thanksgiving day and they are SO DANG GOOD!!! I want to sub coconut sugar for the granulated sugar for the next batch. Is this a bad idea i.e. would negate baking properties and ruin the loveliness of these brownies??

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Esther, we’re so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for sharing! We haven’t tried coconut sugar in this recipe, but it might work. Sometimes coconut sugar impacts the texture though. Let us know how it goes!

      • Tori says

        I’ve used coconut sugar and monk fruit in Place of granulated in these! I love them and don’t notice much of a different! They’re one of my favorite vegan treats to make!!
        Thanks for the great recipe!

  17. Kelly says

    My go to brownie recipe. Absolutely delicious. Sometimes I swap out the peanut butter for Miyoko’s Cream Cheese(vegan). So easy, so good!

  18. Bex Gowen says

    Amazing! I was looking for black bean peanut butter brownies – I thought I’d end up having to Frankenstein together a couple of different recipes, but here was your recipe, and it was exactly what I was looking for! I really appreciated that you had baking instructions for the brownies in a pan OR in muffin tins – I only had half a can of black beans (the rest being used in beef Tacos the other night) so I liked that I was able to easily half the recipe and make it in muffin tins.

    It was amazingly fudgy – maybe not as chocolately as I like in my brownies, but I will definitely be making this again so I will experiment with adding melted dark chocolate (maybe half oil/butter, half melted chocolate?) to the mix. I also made these with actual eggs not flaxseed eggs (I’m not vegan) and can report that it still works.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for sharing, Bex! We are so glad you enjoyed these! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  19. Amanda Earles says

    Absolutely delicious! I have wanted to make these for along time but couldn’t get my head round using black beans ? I actually have never made brownies before, I will definitely make these again ?

  20. Marilyn says

    Excellent! I decided that since these were so high in fiber that was acceptable for breakfast. I cannot detect the black beans at all, these are not sweet but just sweet enough. Used Biscoff cookie spread instead of peanut butter and is fantastic. Made in cupcake liners for the perfect size serving.
    Thank you Dana, another winner

  21. Christine says

    To be honest I was disappointed with these brownies. They were quite bland and didn’t have that delicious chocolate fudge taste and texture that I like in a brownie. Next time I will try one of you other brownie recipes without peanut butter.

      • Christine says

        Thanks for your reply. No I followed the recipe exactly and I’m an experienced cook. I think the issue for me is the peanut butter (which sounded great in theory!) The other person who tasted my brownie said it was OK but not great. I’ve got to admit that it does taste much better a day later. I will definitely try your other brownie recipes. I usually love your recipes, thanks for creating and sharing them.

        • Kimberley Martin says

          I found the same issue :( I followed the recipe exactly and unfortunately didnt get what i was expecting. brownies came out really dry and the peanut butter became quite strange after baking. Also not as sweet as I would like a brownie to be, Will try one of the other recipes

  22. Krisha says

    Looks great! Question- I have a sister who is allergic to seeds and coconut. What could I sub for the flax egg? Does applesauce work and how much? Thanks!

  23. Rena T says

    This an outstanding recipe! I followed it almost exactly but a few words of wisdom for those looking to make it for the first time:
    – I forgot to stir in the chocolate chips as I was too busy eating the delicious batter/ somewhat in a state of shock as the beans were not detectable at all. I ended up throwing a few chocolate chips on the brownies in the baking dish (nowhere near the 1/3 cup) and this accidental variation really worked for me. I’d even consider adding nuts instead on the next go around.
    – I didn’t have an 8×8 dish so I used a 7×7. Frankly, I think I ate enough of the batter that this sort of evened out in the end. They came out great- I baked for around 40 minutes and checked very diligently. I was pretty sure that I had overbaked them but when I cut into them 30 minutes later I was relieved to see that they turned out perfectly fudgey but still held their shape.
    For next go around, I’d like to try a little coffee instead of vanilla extract (a la Ina Garten) to bring out the chocolatey flavors and I think I may add pecans? We will see. I recommend making this even if you are not vegan or gluten free!

  24. Isaac says

    I was blown away when I made these! I’m a vegan with an addiction to chocolate so this recipe is a godsend. I was thinking about tweaking the recipe to make the brownies even healthier, and I’ve heard that making date puree (say, 1/2 cup dates + 1/4 warm water blended in a food processor) can be a substitute for sugars/syrup in baking – do you think that would work for these brownies?

    P.s. I absolutely love the work you do. Big thanks and keep it up! :)

  25. Zach says

    These are the GREATEST black bean brownies I’ve ever made or tasted. Someone mentioned above that theirs tasted like beans–that might be a case where the beans need to be blended more. When I made them they didn’t taste like beans at all; I’m really surprised by how fudgy/gooey they taste and how much like traditional flour-based brownies they are. Amazing; thanks so much for this recipe ;-;!

  26. The Little Vedgehog says

    Hi Dana – going to try these today w/ red kideny beans (need to use up the cans) and thinking of trying a date+tahini caramel swirl instead of PB – stay tuned!

    • The Little Vedgehog says

      Followed the recipe but swapped the peanut butter swirl for a tahini-date caramel loosened with strong coffee instead of water + added big chocolate chunks and some bonus date chunks, served with a sprinkle of sea salt! The result is a gooey coffee-caramel dark chocolate dream so good! Thanks for the great recipe !

  27. Tony says

    Hi, would much appreciate metric weights and measures . For me a tablespoon is to variable .
    A tryin baker T

  28. Esther says

    I made these and the mixture tasted AMAZING! And smelled AMAZING in the oven. But they really did taste of beans post cooking! Next time i’d leave the beans.. interesting..

  29. Christine says

    These are so fudgy and delicious. Not your cake brownie but a gooey delight. There is absolutely no taste of black beans – just make sure you process very well so there arent any whole beans. I used a blender. Black bean brownie recipes are genius. The beans work like a flour and give it an amazing gaanchey texture. The PB swirl put it over the top. Thank U Dana!

  30. Rachel says

    I made these tonight and they are yummy. I didn’t have flax so I used chia seeds instead. 1 tablespoon plus 3 tablespoons of water X 2. It would probably have been better with flax, so I’ll try that next time :) Now just to convince my boyfriend to try a brownie after he saw the tin of black beans… whoops! :)

  31. Sandra says

    I made these per the recipe but just without chocolate chips, and they turned out a bit bland and had a bit of a paste-y texture. Would definitely recommend adding more sugar and/or nuts if you aren’t using chocolate chips to make these more interesting!

    • Christine says

      Well, the chocolate chips are a large part of the recipe so removing it will obviously alter the recipe significantly. I have made this multiple times and it’s always a hit.

      • Sandra says

        I wouldn’t say 1/3 of a cup is a large part of the recipe, but thanks for your comment Christine! I posted my comment to let others who didn’t have chocolate chips on hand know that they may need to add something else.

  32. Emily says

    I’ve made these for a few years now. They are my all-time favorite. I always give the credit back to you when people ask how in the world black bean brownies could be so delocious. (;
    A tip my mom recently told me is to sub the vanilla extract for coffee (extract or brew) because it enhances the chocolate flavor. And I believe it to be true! Your recipes are amazing though and I am so glad I found your site. I just wanted to share the coffee tip and see what you think (:
    thanks for all that you do and share!

  33. Bo says

    I’ve made these 3 times in the past week. WOW. They’re so good. Not as sweet as most brownies, instead a fuller, earthier darkness of dark chocolate and black beans. Nice and gooey too. Best brownies I’ve ever had.

  34. Kristin says

    These were absolutely delicious! One would hardly be able to tell they weren’t traditional brownies. My son is GF, but not vegan, so we opted for 2 eggs instead of flax eggs since we didn’t have flax on hand, we opted to use agave syrup, and used Ghiradelli chocolate chips. Other than that, we followed the recipe exactly. Thanks for posting!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Kidney beans should work! Just make sure they’re unseasoned, unsalted and rinsed/drained well.

  35. Grace B. says

    These are amazing! Made them for dinner with friends and everybody loved them and couldn’t tell that they were made with black beans until I told them. They didn’t stay together as well as I would have liked, but I’ll take a gooey brownie any day.

  36. Marie says

    I made these by the recipe and they were gorgeous! For the next batch I’ve had to buy dried black beans as there were no tinned ones at the store. I’ll soak them overnight but I’m wondering if I need to cook them too before baking with them?

  37. Buster says

    I made these twice already. The first time my kid said they wanted peanut butter in all bites of the brownie, so the second time I used a frosting bag and applied in a grid all over the top and then used a toothpick to do the marbling design. It came out great. My kids and coworkers loved it both times. thanks – I don’t feel guilty for eating protein vegan brownies!

  38. marta says

    8×8 means 8×8 inches or 8×8 cm?
    i made this with coconut sugar and red beans but unfortunately it didin`t taste well:(
    ps. i used 18cm round tin.

  39. Anne says

    Wow I wish I could post a picture of what these look like. I can’t wait for them to cool down!!!! Wow they look and smell amazing!!! Thank you for this recipe! Think I’ll post on Instagram!

  40. Beth ~ Gneiss Spice says

    Okay, I heard of your blog a while back (but I was pregnant and hate cooking when I’m pregnant, both times). Anyways, finally got around to making your granola last Sunday. Amazing. I’ve told everyone (everyone in Maine makes their own granola). Now, this is now the 4th recipe I’ve made in 4 days. I’m headed to a party where I know the person is gluten-free. They will appreciate that I found you. I’m completely obsessed. I haven’t even tried these yet…they are in the oven…but I licked the bowl and can tell they will be dynamite. Oh, and to the person that had clumpy peanut butter. I put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften. Make swirling magical and beautiful.

  41. aya says

    I substituted dark chocolate hazelnut spread for the chocolate chips, added cinnamon, subbed sugar for coconut sugar, and used ener-g egg replacer rather than flax seed eggs. This is SO delicious. You remember licking the bowls after making cookie and cake batter when you were a child? You’ll be doing that again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I think so! But it will change the consistency and you’ll need to compensate with more cocoa powder or almond meal, etc. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

  42. Louise says

    I was hoping to make these but I was only able to buy dried black beans. Can I soak these and use in the recipe? If so how many grams of beans would I soak and in how much water?

  43. Ross says

    Although the beauty of this recipe is that is vegan, I find myself in need of making a bunch of these since I have some people coming over and I can’t find flax meal anywhere so I’ll have to use real eggs. How many? 1 or 2 ?

    • Ross says

      Well the author herself said that you could use honey if not vegan so I don’t think it’s disrespectful to ask for eggs! Also I read a few comments and she already suggested someone to use real eggs if not vegan I just couldn’t really understood how many that’s why I asked. Oh and I come from a country where it’s not so easy to find a flax meal especially if organic. And lastly, I really can’t stand when people are offended on someone else’s behalf without knowing if that person would be actually offended.

  44. Mikayla O says

    I initially skipped over this because I was honestly a little weirded out by beans in dessert. But after looking through (all 16) pages of desserts, I couldn’t find anything else that looked as good, so I tried it.
    You really can’t detect beans at all and it was pretty simple to make. I used my ninja blender because I was too lazy to get the food processor from my garage. Still perfect and smooth.
    The only thing that went wrong is that my peanut butter was too thick and didn’t swirl but stayed in clumps. Still yummy. I’ll be trying your original brownie recipe next :)