Black Bean Brownies (Flourless & Fudgy)

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Meet the best black bean brownies. They are rich and fudgy, and taste like the real thing! (Not some “healthy” alternative.) You can’t tell there are black beans in here at all.

best black bean brownies on wire rack

Are Black Bean Brownies Actually Good?

You should know that I’m pretty picky about brownies. To me, a good brownie needs to be rich and moist, with a fudgy texture. If I wanted a cake-like texture, I’d reach for a piece of cake. Brownies need to feel more moist and decadent.

What I love about these Black Bean Brownies is that they are:

  • Flourless! (which also keeps them gluten-free)
  • Naturally sweetened with coconut sugar
  • Oil-Free
  • Loaded with fiber and protein from black beans
  • Sneaky– you can’t detect the black bean flavor AT ALL.
  • Rich and fudge-like

Trust me when I say that these brownies taste totally decadent.

How to Make Black Bean Brownies

All you need to make these brownies is a food processor and about 10 minutes of hands-on time. You’ll process the ingredients in a food processor until they are smooth, and resemble a thick brownie batter. (It won’t be as runny as traditional brownie batter.)

black bean brownie ingredients in food processor

Note: I originally made this recipe grain-free, without using the rolled oats, so keep in mind that you can leave out the oats if you want to! After making these for years and collecting reader feedback, I wanted the brownies to have a little more structure so they don’t get quite as gooey in the middle, so I added in a small amount of oats to the beginning of this recipe. I think the addition gives the texture a nice balance of structure, while still being fudgy, but if you miss the original version, just leave out the oats. The rest of the recipe has been left unchanged.

How to Guarantee the Brownies Won’t Stick to the Pan

Since this isn’t your typical brownie recipe, I recommend lining your baking pan with parchment paper, so you can easily lift the baked brownies out when they are done cooling.

brownies in parchment lined baking dish

Pro Tip: To keep the parchment paper in place, spray the pan lightly with oil first. It will make the parchment paper stick in place, so you can easily add the brownie batter without worrying about the paper moving around.

I like to add some chopped dark chocolate chips on top for texture, but that’s totally optional. Feel free to leave them off if you want to avoid the added sugar, and use walnuts, pecans, or some crunchy cacao nibs for a sugar-free option, instead.

black bean brownies overhead

best black bean brownies on wire rack
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4.89 from 59 votes

Black Bean Brownies (Flourless & Fudgy!)

This is the BEST black bean brownie recipe I've ever tasted. No eggs, flour, or dairy, so they are vegan and naturally gluten-free. So rich and fudgy!
Course Dessert
Cuisine vegan
Keyword black bean brownies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 133kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. In a large food processor fitted with an S-blade, process the rolled oats briefly, until they resemble a coarse flour.
  • Add in the black beans, almond butter, cacao powder, ground flax, vanilla, sugar, vinegar (which helps the brownies rise), salt, and baking soda. Process until a very smooth and thick batter is formed, stopping to scrape down the sides at least once to make sure everything is mixed evenly.
  • Use a spatula to transfer the batter into the lined 9-inch baking dish. The batter will be rather thick, so you'll need to use the spatula to spread it evenly into the pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, and press them lightly into the batter.
  • Bake until the top begins to crack and the center feels relatively firm to a light touch, about 30 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely before attempting to cut them into squares, as they are fragile when warm.
  • Serve at room temperature, and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. (I imagine these would freeze well, too!)

Video

Notes

You can leave out the rolled oats for a grain-free dessert. They are just slightly more gooey and fragile that way.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 173mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition info above is for one brownie.

Substitutions & Notes:

  • If you prefer a darker chocolate brownie, go ahead and use 1/2 cup of raw cacao powder in this recipe. I’ve tested it that way, and I thought they were delicious, but they were a little “too dark” for some of my taste testers.
  • I imagine that any other nut or seed butter, such as peanut butter or sunflower seed butter, would work well in this recipe if you’d prefer to replace the almond butter.
  • If you don’t have balsamic vinegar on hand, I think another vinegar would probably work well, too. You just need some sort of acid to react with the baking soda. (And I think balsamic pairs really nicely with chocolate recipes.)
  • Coconut sugar gives these brownies much of their substance and texture, so don’t be tempted to use a liquid sweetener or sugar substitute without expecting significantly different results. Granulated sugar = chewy, fudgy brownies, so keep that in mind.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below and let me know how you like it! And if you try any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite way to use black beans? Have you tried using black beans in a desert before?

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Comments

Daryl

This recipe posted the week that I found out that I was allergic to chocolate, and I was super bummed that I wouldn’t be able to try it. Last week, however, I decided that I would give carob a shot. I first tried it in avocado pudding — which I used to eat pretty much every day — and it really didn’t work flavor-wise. I am not sure who these people are that claim that carob is just as good as chocolate, but I will definitely not be joining their club. Having accidentally ordered 4 pounds of carob powder from Amazon, however, I decided that I needed to keep trying. So, I decided to give this brownie recipe a try. Keep in mind that I am also off of nuts for the foreseeable future, so I needed to substitute the almond butter for sun butter — so I was more than a little surprised that they were kind of delicious. I added several drops of peppermint oil to help mask the carob, and that worked really well. And I also needed to sub the delicious dark chocolate chips for white chocolate. All in all, they turned out great, and I will definitely be making them again.

Joy

Have you ever baked with date sugar? Could date sugar be substituted in this recipe?

Kaitlyn

Just made these yesterday for some friends (one who is vegan and two who are gluten free and only eat natural sugars). They absolutely loved them, as did i!

I do not have a food processor, so I tries the mashing by hand method someone suggested in the comments. It worked for the most part, but I had to go back and mix the beans up with a fork. I but them in a medium-ish plastic measuring cup for smashing and then used a fork to do the rest. A bit time consuming, but totally worth it.

I also skipped out on the balsamic vinegar (because I don’t really like it) and they still tasted amazing.

    Kaitlyn

    Sorry for all the typos! Using my phone to write this. Hopefully you understood the basis of what I was saying.

Tracy

I just made these brownies and they are very good. I can’t wait to have another one tomorrow morning. I like that I was able to throw everything in the food processor and mix away.

sylvie

My favourite brownie recipe! I use an egg instead of the flax and they turn out great 🙂 thanks for the awesome recipe!

Heidi

Cooked for slightly less time for them to be a little gooey. Used almond flour instead of flax (i didn’t have any flax on hand) and they turned out fabulously! Everyone LOVED them. Now, i have to make a double batch or they don’t last more that 24 hours.

J

Just made these tonight! These are really fudgy, thick brownies! I couldn’t resist and ate these as soon as they came out of the oven. They are much better texture-wise as they sit like you said! 🙂 I’m going to chill these overnight to thicken the texture.

I used ingredients I had on hand: smooth almond butter, non-alkalized cocoa powder, granulated sugar and golden flaxmeal.

The flavor is incredible and I’m considering adding another tablespoon of ground flax to thicken the batter and give the brownies a little more structure. Overall a fantastic recipe and a great way to use black beans, thank you for sharing!

Karine

A success! If you do not say anything, your guests cannot guess it is a vegan and healthy cake.
The perfect indulgent treat!

Sanjana

These are absolutely delicious. I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup and still really good.

Do you have a recipe for chick pea bolindies?

Thanks for this great recipe and all the work you do. I am a faithful follower!

Francesca

Just made these. They’re so so good!! Thank you Megan!

Muva Tofu

Yum. Made these with peanut butter instead of almond and used ground oats and agave instead of coconut sugar. Also yum.

Laura C

Made these brownies today and they’re delicious. Better than my other BB Brownie recipe (using oats). One thing I noticed…a can of black beans is 2 cups. The recipe states 1-1/2 cups. I was worried about them being too dry so went with 1-1/2 cups. Glad I did…I think the full can would have been too much.

Corinna

These are fantastic!! I had to make some last-minute substitutions because I ran out of a few things, but they STILL turned out 100% better than any other attempt at black bean brownies I’ve ever made. And I’ve recently discovered that gluten gives me lung inflammation, so I’m loving these more than ever. And my meat-eating friends just polished off two each without knowing they were mine!

Leanna

I know you posted these awhile ago but I finally had an opportunity to make it….& wow, are they fantastic!!! Both my kids loved them (without knowing the sneaky ingredients 😉)
They were easy to make and not overly sweet! Thank you for always coming up with healthier options for sweet treats! It’s a game changer when you have Little’s with GF/DF allergies.

Allison

perfect! loved! so tasty you can lick the bowl or better yet roll balls of brownie mix in GF rolled oats and freeze for a yummy breakfast on the go that tastes naughty but mmmm is so nice!

Jan Janzen

My husband was horrified that I was going to make brownies with black beans. However, he was soon eating his words and then eating 3 of the brownie squares! These brownies are amazing! Absolutely loved them and so easy to make. We also love your date-sweetened chocolate brownies and I am wondering if the coconut sugar in this recipe couldn’t be successfully swapped out for dates as both recipes have a fudgy texture. Just a thought. A huge hit in the house yesterday and I have a feeling I won’t have to worry about freezing them as they aren’t going to last long.

Jan Janzen

Just made these brownies for the second time with the date paste substitute and they turned out fabulously! Smoother consistency than when using coconut sugar. I preferred the sweetness level of these with the date paste more than with the coconut sugar which we both found a tad sweet. These were perfect. I swapped out 1:1 ratio and loved it. Will be making them again and again with the date paste. Thank you!

Judy

How about using dates instead of the coconut sugar? I have a recipe for black bean brownies that uses dates.

JOy

Since I’m not usually a fan of beans, I’ve always been so hesitate to try a bean brownie recipe. But because all your other recipes are always so good, I wanted to give it a try. Completely BLOWN AWAY! These brownies are rich and ADDICTING. Loaded with fiber and nutrients. Can’t taste any bean flavor at all!

Kristen

Great recipe! The flavor was delicious and I don’t think my husband would have even known if I hadn’t told him it was made out of black beans.

The only thing is that mine were also pretty dry and very thick and did not rise as high as the ones in the photo. I added a little bit of water to help it blend in the food processor. Still tasted great though!

    KRISTen

    I made these again and I think I used too much cacao powder the first time. I also kept the black beans a little wet after straining baked 20 min and they came out great!

JULIE POTRYKUS

Someone made these for me and I am in love. I want to make them as well, but I was wondering if I could add a scope of chocolate protein powder and if so would I need to alter the recipe for the extra dry ingredient?

Mary

Just made these !!! So delicious I’m impressed.

Freda

Decadent and delicious

K. Campbell

Let me first start by saying – I am the queen of substitutions! I almost never have all of the ingredients for any recipe, and this recipe was no different. In this case, I substituted the coconut sugar for granulated sugar and the cacao for cocoa powder. I also misread the recipe a couple of times as well – 1 tsp of baking soda [instead of 1/2tsp – which is tried to rectify by scoping out some before mixing] and 6 tbsp of almond butter [instead of ¼ cup – which I only realised as the food processor was buzzing away].

Regardless, this was a fairly easy recipe to follow. I have a regular Cuisinart food processor and it was a little taxed when trying to blend the beans. Luckily I didn’t succumb to my urge to add any liquid! Once everything was added it blended to a lovely consistency.

After baking for the recommended time, the top of my brownies hadn’t cracked and it was fairly soft to the touch. I ended up baking them for another 20 minutes and left them cool overnight.

When I cut the brownies this morning, there were super moist and fairly delicate. They seemed to have a slightly bitter taste [I wonder if this was due to the extra baking time or the use of the cocoa powder]. They also have a slight grittiness to them [maybe the ground flaxseed?]. Other than those two issues, the brownies are quite nice – I doubt they will last the day. I think I will try them again, with the correct proportions and the recommended time, and maybe a little more time in the food processor.

Liz

I used eggs instead of flax seeds and they turned out great. If you aren’t going for a vegan brownie just use eggs in place of flax seeds. They are still gluten free and yummy!

    Stephanie Slocum

    How many eggs did you use?

Maxi

Hello,
I was wondering if I could double up the ingredients and bake thr

Phyllis

I don’t know what happened but my batter was just pure gritty powder … no moisture at all. I ended up adding two eggs, 1/4 cup coconut oil and about 1/2 cup almond milk. Still dry. I double checked my measurements and all were accurate. Maybe my almond butter wasn’t creamy enough or my food processor too small. We shall see how they turn out.

Mary

Delicious but feeling guilty about the sugar. Have you made these with date paste? I see you have another recipe for making date paste.

veganjenny

These are so fun (I mean black beans in a brownie?) and delicious. I have already made them twice and will make them many times in the future. Would love to discover an equally delicious way to make these without the coconut sugar, might have to play around a bit. Totally recommend – Thank you! Love your recipes.

Nicole

Wow, these are amazing. I’ve never found a good black bean brownie recipe (they always have a weird texture and somehow taste “empty”), nor even a really good regular brownie recipe, but this recipe has changed things! They taste like brownies you’d buy at a fancy bakery. I wonder if the secret ingredient is the balsamic vinegar.

Monica Perez-Brandes

This was so good!!! My coworkers couldn’t believe it had no eggs, flour or dairy.

Kelly

I’ve made these so many times and told everyone about them.. LOVE this recipe! What I don’t get is the high variability.. usually they’re the best brownies I’ve ever had; other times, they’re overly dense, undercooked on the inside, and almost scorched on the outside. I feel like it has to do with the baking soda/vinegar reaction. My mom has made two batches – one I remade immediately afterwards from the same ingredients, and it turned out perfectly. But recently I made a bad batch too, and this leaves me confused. I tested my baking soda and vinegar, and they are still good.

I’m not 100% conscious of the order I’m adding the ingredients, but I believe in this recent bad batch, I added the vinegar to the beans initially to help with blending. I think I did this the other times I’ve made good batches, too, but I’m not sure. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know 🙂 otherwise I’ll keep experimenting and let you know.
Thank you for the recipe!

Melanie

These were absolutely DELICIOUS!!! I was always a skeptic about the idea of black bean brownies. I always thought there was no way to make something like that taste good, but WOW! These were fudgey, decadent and yummy, to say the least! Thank you for such a great recipe!!

Stephanos

I’ve tried other black bean brownie recipes, I’m going to try yours. I may use raw sugar in the recipe, halfway between processed white sugar and coconut sugar. I would want them sweet after all, they are brownies! (Maybe use Mexican sugar, which is less processed than American white sugar. It has a slight brown shade to it, as it still has some of the molassas, being less processed.

Janice

My daughter didn’t believe there were beans in her brownie. I had to show her your video! Then she ran to tell her sisters they had to try them. Another winner Megan! These are awesome!

Cristy

I just baked this brownies but I’m substitute coconut sugar with dates.

Gabbie

Hi,
Do you know if this recipe would work if I ground dates into a date paste instead of coconut sugar?

Sue Murray

These brownies were perfect and I will definitely make again! Anyone would love them. They are so fudgy and so good!!! And I would guess that if you are nut free you could probably use tahini. Such an allergy friendly recipe.

Ali M

THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE RECIPE! THANK YOU!

Stephanie L Slocum

These look so good! Two questions:

Can you substitute one egg for the flax seeds?

What about 1/2 cup golden monkfruit sweetener instead of a cup of coconut sugar?

I will try those variations if no one else has yet…..

Marie-Eve Dubuis

I made them yesterday for Valentine’s day. They taste even better this morning (with a cup of coffee!). Can’t even guess that they are made with black beans.
I will definitely make them again, but I will cut back on the sugar since I only had white sugar. Maybe 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup.
Thank you Megan for this amazing recipe!

Agathi Yap

Hi…can i use rolled quinoa instead of rolled oats?

    Megan Gilmore

    Ooh, I have no idea– I’ve never seen rolled quinoa before! Please let me know if you try it.

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