Vegan Peppermint Black Bean Brownies

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Stack of Vegan Peppermint Brownies topped with coconut whipped cream and crushed candy cane

Happy (almost) Christmas week! I feel we’ve nearly reached the pinnacle of holiday spirit. For me, it peaks around the 20th and by Christmas Eve I’ve calmed back down to normal person emotions. But until then, I will buy gifts and wrap presents and bake Christmas-y treats like these 1-bowl fudgy peppermint brownies like a mad woman. They’re so good you’d never guess they were vegan, gluten-free, and loaded with good-for-you nutrients. Yipeee!

Food processor filled with ingredients for making our Vegan Black Bean Peppermint Brownies

The batter is so simple. It all happens in ONE BOWL – your food processor! This ensures the the black beans are completely pulverized and undetectable in the finished product.

Freshly pureed Black Bean Peppermint Brownie batter

Look at that fudgy goodness. It’s honestly so good you could just eat it straight, which I have a number of times. Because there’s no eggs, no regret. It’s science.

Rubber spatula resting in a food processor scraped of brownie batter

Black Bean Peppermint Brownies cooling on a rack

Baking these  guys in a muffin tin allows every brownie to achieve that perfect, slightly-firm edge and ooey-gooey center. But, I’ve had plenty of people bake these in pans with similar success. So really, it’s your call! I just prefer the bites because I like miniature things. There, I said it.

Sprinkling crushed candy canes onto Vegan Black Bean Brownies

These brownies get their peppermint two ways:

1) Peppermint extract inside the brownies, and
2) A dusting of crushed candy canes on top.

Chocolate and mint are kind of meant to be together, and these brownies only solidify that fact.

Plate stacked with Vegan Gluten-Free Peppermint Black Bean Brownies

These really are the perfect, healthier GF and V dessert for all your holiday gatherings this coming week (and even New Year’s parties!). They are super moist and fudgy in the center, firm but not too crisp on the edges, and loaded with intense chocolate flavor from both cocoa powder and chocolate chips.

Candy canes surrounding a plate of Peppermint Black Bean Brownies

Plate with Vegan GF Peppermint Brownies topped with crushed candy cane

You and your friends will LOVE these brownies. Trust me. I took these down to the staff in our new apartment building and I believe the phrase “inhaled them” was the word most used when I returned later to drop off more treats. Total win (and no black beans detected). Score and score.

Stacked batch of our Vegan Black Bean Peppermint Brownies recipe

And if you happen to have some on hand, coconut whipped cream makes thee BEST frosting for these little guys! Enjoy!

Stack of four gluten-free Vegan Peppermint Black Bean Brownies

Partially eaten Fudgy Vegan Black Bean Brownie topped with coconut whipped cream

Vegan Peppermint Black Bean Brownies

1-bowl vegan brownies infused with peppermint and dusted with crushed candy canes. So delicious and fudgy you'd never guess they were vegan, gluten-free, and made with black beans!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Stack of four Peppermint Black Bean Brownies with the top one frosted
4.85 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 (brownies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 15-oz. can unsalted black beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained // 15 oz can yields ~ 1 3/4 cups)
  • 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)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 heaping cup raw sugar (finely ground in a food processor // or sub granulated)
  • 1/4 scant tsp peppermint extract* (I like Frontier brand)
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (non-dairy, gluten-free)
  • 2 Tbsp finely crushed candy canes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • 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 candy canes, peppermint extract and chocolate chips, and puree – about 3 minutes – scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  • If the batter appears too thick, add 1-2 Tbsp water or almond milk and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.
  • Add in peppermint extract a little at a time, pulse, sample and adjust until it's to your liking. I liked 1/4 tsp (as original recipe is written). Then stir in chocolate chips.
  • Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
  • Bake for 21-26 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 20-30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a butter knife or 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 anyway.
  • Dust with crushed candy cane and serve immediately. Topping them with coconut whipped cream makes them ultra decadent and pairs perfectly with the chocolate-mint flavor.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.

Notes

*Heavily adapted from my V GF Black Bean Brownies
*You can bake these in an 8x8, just extend the baking time to between 25-30 minutes. 27 should be your sweet spot.
*Prep/cook time does not include cooling time.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 brownies Calories: 187 Carbohydrates: 30 g Protein: 6.2 g Fat: 6 g Saturated Fat: 4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 99 mg Fiber: 5.7 g Sugar: 12 g

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  1. Jennifer says

    Hello! This recipe looks great! Before I try it, do you think I would be able to substitute coconut sugar for the cane sugar? Or could another option be maple syrup and/or blended dates as another possible option? I found sugar free peppermints to top as well, so I’m very excited to give this recipe a try as part of my Christmas baking for this year!

  2. Vanessa says

    I have been aware of black bean brownies for years but I finally decided to try them and knew you would have a good recipe, Dana!
    We were amazed by how good these were! You do not get any sense of a bean in there and they have a lighter texture than a typical brownie, which we really liked. Satisfying our household sweet tooth while also sneaking extra protein in is a great combination! I didn’t have a candy cane but the peppermint extract was a tasty addition! Mint + chocolate has always been my favorite!

    My only sub was chia eggs instead of flax and I used pure cacao chips for half of my chocolate chips. I made these a week ago and I’m making them again tonight for my mom now that I know they’re a winner!

  3. Tanya says

    Dear Dana, just checking: NO FLOUR?! Wow. Omw to the kitchen.

    Given this circumstance and it being May, what can I sub the peppermint extract for?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tanya, no flour! You could omit it or perhaps a drop of food-grade peppermint essential oil?

  4. Erin says

    Is there a substitute for coconut oil that you would recommend? Looking for an alternative that is nut, dairy, and coconut free!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried these with another oil, but would suggest trying avocado oil. Let us know how it goes!

  5. Becky says

    Have you tried freezing these, Dana? I want to make 6 dozen for a Christmas baking exchange but would like to bake some ahead of time. Wonder if they’d freeze ok…

  6. Maria says

    Made them and they are so good, but they look really flat ish….do you think doubling up the recipe would generate more thicker brownies?

  7. Joya Matza says

    I really want to make these with my preschool children for a holiday treat~ can I use a mini muffin pan? Will it work?

  8. Lisa @ Chocolate Meets Strawberry says

    Ooh, very keen to try these! I’ve made black bean brownies before that tasted super beany, so you had me at “undetectable”! Yummo!

  9. Kay says

    What brand of black beans do you use? I use the trader joes one and when I make the brownies, I sort of taste the beans in it. I can’t wait to make this, peppermint is so festive! I love your blog so so much, always checking in a couple times a week :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I use Trader Joe’s, too. Try and use unsalted. And be sure to thoroughly rinse them before using!

  10. Alex says

    These are fantastic! Got bored tonight and had the ingredients in my cabinet, and I just had to try them out! I subbed half of the black beans for garbanzo beans, and I ended up making two batches because my muffin tin is pretty big. They turned out so fudgy and so yummy, I can’t wait to share these with the fam for Memorial Day!

  11. Casey says

    I made these as an after school snack for my 3 and 5 year olds because I wanted something they would like with some protein in it. The kids *loved* them. Later my husband tried them and asked what was in them.

    Me: “I don’t want to tell you”

    Husband “Why? Do they have Andes mints or Hershey’s kisses?”

    Me: “no, I wanted something I could give the kids as a snack…”

    Husband: “you mean they have something healthy in them?!? Don’t tell me…”

    :)

  12. Sonia says

    These were awesome! The only thing I did differently was use egg replacer instead of flax egg. Everyone loved them. Thank you!

  13. Emily says

    Can’t wait to make these this weekend for company! LOVE that they are vegan and GF! Are you on Instagram? Your pictures are great!

  14. Anon E Mous says

    Oh. So. Delicious.
    I’ve made these brownies multiple times and have loved them every time. So fudgey, so chocolatey, so minty. . . ah, black bean brownie perfection. I used dark chocolate cocoa powder and the intense chocolate flavor was so good. And as I didn’t have any candy canes, I crushed up some Ghirardelli dark chocolate-peppermint bark squares for the topping — fantastic! This is now my go-to recipe for brownies.
    Keep up the awesome work! Love your blog!

  15. Shelley says

    Oh my goodness! I made these for my youngest son who is allergic to dairy and eggs since the rest of us will be having “normal” chocolate cake tomorrow and I wanted to make sure he had something tasty as well. These were SO GOOD!!!! I couldn’t detect the black beans at all (and believe me I tried)! Seriously SO good! Everyone needs to try these because they are amazing!!!! My baby will be lucky if he gets any of these tomorrow because I can’t stop eating them!

  16. Lindsay says

    2nd time making these… they are too good!
    I used maple syrup (1/2 cup) in the place of sugar and about a 1/4 cup of apple sauce in the place of oil. Worked just great!! Thank you for this amazing recipe…its definitely one I will keep in rotation!

  17. lisa says

    Good News! After letting them set; putting them in the refrigerator overnight; they have a great appearance & spell much better. I will not use bananas next batch though; or maybe just one; maybe just a half. But I am going to try the cupcake method; much funner & easier to eat.

  18. Leigh says

    So my food processor has arrived and THIS is going to be the inaugural recipe! We are so excited!! Of course Christmas is long over so we haven’t any candy canes but we don’t care ~ peppermint black bean brownies & coconut cream are happening. NOW. Right now.

  19. Sarah says

    Quick question – how would you substitute real eggs in this recipe? I’m not vegan :-) so I’m not very familiar with the flax eggs. Does 1 flax egg = 1 egg? Thanks!!

  20. Hanna says

    Hello! My mom made this recipe for my birthday and it was absolutely DELICIOUS!! Thanks so much for the recipe. :) This one’s a keeper. Oh, and several people have already asked for the recipe.

  21. Lillie says

    First on the list of things to register for with my fiancé is a nice food processor so I can undertake more of your recipes!

  22. Meital says

    Hi, they look great!
    A question – Do I need to leave the beans for 24 hours in water before using them? Do I need to cook them before using them?
    Thanks!

  23. Katie @ Produce on Parade says

    I looove your original brownies, so I know I will love these. They are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health says

    i have been eating so much sweets lately I kind of needed a break..however these little guys are telling me to dive right in. Coconut whipped cream sounds heavenly too.

  25. Robin says

    Holy yum! I made these yesterday afternoon for a Christmas party and they honestly came out SO WELL. Like, I’ve never made a black bean dessert and no offense to any black bean dessert recipes, did not expect these to turn out as heavenly as they did. I think I gave ’em 24ish minutes. A little crumbly on the outside yet dense and fudgy on the inside! Putting them in muffin tins was genius. I waited until everyone at the party had grabbed one and tasted them before telling anyone they were vegan brownies. Everyone was literally so impressed…and then I told them the main ingredient and they were doubly shocked. This one woman went on about how amazed she was for the entire rest of the party! Seriously, thanks so much for this recipe. With all natural ingredients, I felt great serving these to friends!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ha! This makes me so happy. I did the same thing to my apartment office staff. I didn’t tell them until afterwards that they were vegan, GF and made with black beans. Quite a shocker, eh? Glad you all enjoyed them so much, Robin! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  26. Rebecca @ Dorm Room Baker says

    These look delicious! I’m just worried if I made them I’d end up eating all the batter before it ever made it into brownie form!