Easy Black Bean Brownies (Vegan + Oil and Gluten-free)

October 3, 2018

Gluten Free

By: Jasmine Briones 

Who would have known that black beans were the secret ingredient to perfectly rich and fudgy brownies? These make for the PERFECT dessert as they are oil-free, gluten-free, flourless, rich in fiber AND ready in about 40 minutes. Everyone will love these, especially kids!

These easy black bean brownies make for the PERFECT dessert as they are oil-free, gluten-free, flourless, rich in fiber AND ready in about 40 minutes...that was a mouthful! AND everyone will love these, especially kids.

Have some black beans in the house that you don’t know what to do with? Make brownies!

I remember when I first went vegan, I was OBSESSED with bean desserts. From black bean brownies to white bean cookies, I thought it was so freaking cool that something like a bean could taste amazing in a dessert. My family, well…. not so much. They were not vegan at the time and were SO weirded out by the concept of bean desserts. There are definitely still people out there who are skeptical about the whole thing, so my recommendation is to just not tell them and let them realize that it is delicious regardless.

These easy black bean brownies make for the PERFECT dessert as they are oil-free, gluten-free, flourless, rich in fiber AND ready in about 40 minutes...that was a mouthful! AND everyone will love these, especially kids.

Not only is this recipe easy, but it also only requires simple and easy to find ingredients. Black beans, sugar, cacao (or cocoa) powder, organic cane sugar, flaxseed meal, baking powder, vanilla extract, and salt. The walnuts and chocolate chips are optional but HIGHLY recommended 😉

These easy black bean brownies make for the PERFECT dessert as they are oil-free, gluten-free, flourless, rich in fiber AND ready in about 40 minutes...that was a mouthful! AND everyone will love these, especially kids.

This recipe is a part of our Leftovers Series on our blog. Each month, we are going to take common leftovers and show you how to repurpose them. Last month we showed you what to do with leftover rice, and this month we are showing you what to do with leftover black beans! We figured “beans” can be a broad topic (depending on how you look at it), so we are going to cover different kinds of beans in the future 🙂

These easy black bean brownies make for the PERFECT dessert as they are oil-free, gluten-free, flourless, rich in fiber AND ready in about 40 minutes...that was a mouthful! AND everyone will love these, especially kids.

These easy black bean brownies make for the PERFECT dessert as they are oil-free, gluten-free, flourless, rich in fiber AND ready in about 40 minutes...that was a mouthful! AND everyone will love these, especially kids.

Also, we just wanted to share a quick disclaimer that our pup did not eat any of these. He just popped in during the photo shoot and we thought it was the cutest so we wanted to include the shot 🙂

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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These easy black bean brownies make for the PERFECT dessert as they are oil-free, gluten-free, flourless, rich in fiber AND ready in about 40 minutes...that was a mouthful! AND everyone will love these, especially kids.

Easy Black Bean Brownies (Vegan + Oil and Gluten-free)


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 small brownies

Description

Who would have known that black beans were the secret ingredient to perfectly rich and fudgy brownies? These easy black bean brownies make for the PERFECT dessert as they are oil-free, gluten-free, flourless, rich in fiber AND ready in about 40 minutes. They are delicious and everyone will love these, especially kids!


Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 6 tablespoons water)*
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (we used raw but it is not necessary)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can (1 3/4 cups) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanut or almond butter*
  • 3/4 cup cacao (or cocoa) powder
  • 2 tablespoons brewed espresso (or strong brewed coffee; optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Optional

  • 2 tablespoons crushed walnuts
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Instructions

  1. Prepare the flax eggs by mixing the flaxseed meal with the water in a small bowl. Set aside to thicken for about 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. You can oil the baking pan instead as well. 
  3. In a food processor, add in the sugar and process it enough to bring it to a finer texture. Whether you are using raw or not, the sugar should be broken down for better brownies. Add in the black beans and almond butter, and process until smooth.
  4. Add in the prepared flax eggs, cacao powder, espresso, vanilla extract, baking powder, and sea salt, and process smooth. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of the chocolate chunks and mix them in by hand. Pour the batter into the lined baking dish and use a spatula to smooth out the top. Top with 2 tablespoons of walnuts and the remaining to tablespoons chocolate chunks as desired.
  6. Place into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick runs clean. remove the brownies from the oven and cool completely before digging in.

Notes

  • You can also use 2 tablespoons chia seeds in place of the 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal.
  • To make this recipe nut-free, avoid the optional walnuts and use sunflower butter in place of the peanut or almond butter. We have not yet tested the sunflower butter and cannot guarantee the results will be the same, but it is what we would do to make it nut-free!
  • Store the brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. 
  • The nutrition facts take into account the use of almond butter + all of the optional toppings.
  • This recipe is adapted from Minimalist Baker.
  • Category: Dessert, Leftovers
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-free

Keywords: Dessert, Leftovers, Black Bean, Brownies, Baking, Vegan, Gluten-free

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

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Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. Amanda says:

    Do you think brown sugar can be subbed for cane?

    • Yes! You can substitute 1/2 cup of brown sugar for the 1/2 cup cane sugar in this recipe. Since brown sugar contains molasses, the texture and flavor may change a bit but the sweetness will be the same!

  2. Oh my goodness, these look fabulous! Desserts are such an unlikely recipe when it comes to using leftovers. The most common ones I see are Buddha bowls, salads, soups, or stir-fries. I love this twist on using black beans! I bet these were too irresistible–how long did they last? I’m sure not for too long though! ;D

  3. Melissa says:

    AMAZING! These are the best black bean brownies I have tried! Super smooth consistency and super fudgy, therefore not at all “bean-y” like some other recipes. Keep the leftover series comin’! 🙂

  4. Melissa says:

    AMAZING! These are the best black bean brownies I have tried! Super smooth consistency and super fudgy, therefore not at all “bean-y” like some other recipes! Keep the leftover series comin’! 🙂

  5. Christen says:

    THIS. IS. THE. BEST. BROWNIE. RECIPE. IN. THE. WHOLE. WORLD.

    p.s. some ovens require about 10-15 more minutes of baking time
    p.s.s. sub 1/2 cup of the cocoa powder for dark cocoa powder for a even more deliciously rich chocolate-y flavor

  6. Julia says:

    I can’t get black beans where I live. Could I sub other beans? I need to make these asap!

    Love your supper chill stile and awesome food. ❤️

  7. Mel says:

    Can you sub maple syrup instead of sugar?

  8. Ashley says:

    I just made these and they turned out amazing! I followed the main recipe as is, though for the “toppings” I chopped up part of a dark chocolate bar (I didn’t have any chocolate chips) and omitted the walnuts (I don’t prefer nuts in my brownies). The best part of these brownies was the texture – almost like a cross between a regular brownie and fudge! And they got even fudgier after I had them in the fridge for a few hours!

  9. Monica says:

    Hi, thanks for sharing this awesome looking recipe! I would like to try to make it without coffee or espresso – do you have any suggestions for a substitution? What about carob powder, or can I just leave it out?

    Thanks!

  10. Wendy says:

    These brownies were rich and satisfying. However, why the espresso? I mixed in the indicated amount of espresso into the batch, but I ended up with bitter, very caffeinated brownies! It was a bad idea, and next time I will replace that with some peppermint extract…

    • That is strange! The amount we added was so little that it enhances the flavor, not diminishes it. Did you use brewed espresso and not espresso powder? Powder will definitely ruin the flavor.

  11. Belén says:

    thank u for this recipe! I’ve always tried dif vegan regular brownies and gave up because none were that tasty so I just stopped trying. I never thought a black bean brownie would be the one I actually loved. this will be the only ones I’m making for now on.
    my non vegan family loved them too, they didn’t even noticed it was made from black beans until I told them.

  12. Joy says:

    is it okay to cut down on the sugar?? is it going to affect it??

    • Chris Petrellese says:

      We haven’t tested it with less sugar, so it may affect the way it bakes. Also, the bean flavor may be a bit more prominent with less sugar. Hopefully, this helps!

  13. Mimi says:

    I have looked long and hard for a good vegan brownie recipe, and this is one of the best ones I’ve ever tried. They are a little crumbly while still warm, but they become perfectly dense and fudgy once chilled! The cocoa flavor comes through strong and rich since the brownies aren’t overly sweet, and I love how simple the ingredient list is. As a note for other readers looking to make a smaller batch, I halved the recipe and baked it in a loaf pan for 30 minutes and they came out great!

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