Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

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Listen. Sometimes a girl’s got a do what a girl’s gotta do. And when it comes to wanting something sweet I want it to be well worth it. These brownies did not disappoint.

We were going to a Fourth of July party last week with a “everyone contribute” clause, which I am always happy to do. Being that I have a very large vegetable garden, I am typically on salad detail, pulling some fresh lettuce and tomatoes with anything else that is growing. But this time I decided to go rogue and announced, “I’m making brownies. But be warned, they are made with black beans”. If I am looking for a sweet, it might as well be “healthy” and I might as well share.

Full disclosure: this is not fully my recipe (however I did tweak it a bit). But these brownies are so good I wanted to pass this recipe along. You won’t have any idea there are beans in your brownies. But you will remark at how gooey and fudgey they are.

I almost left half at home because of the black bean warning, thinking they would not be a popular party item. It also would have meant more for me. But I’m so glad I shared them with the group I was with. They were gobbled up in minutes, with everyone asking for the recipe.

Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers (if you can even keep them around) or do the next best thing and share them with your friends at your next summer party.

Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies


Makes 9 brownies


2.5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed well
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon instant coffee
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup real maple syrup
¼ + ⅛ teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
6 tablespoons oat flour

Ganache (totally optional but well worth it)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon creamy almond butter
½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
Optional: coarse sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to the melt the chocolate completely.
  3. Place the beans, ¼ cup of walnuts, vanilla and half of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Blend until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans totally blended.
  4. In the bowl with the reserved melted chocolate (handle carefully, it will be hot), mix together the remaining ¼ cup chopped walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, instant coffee and salt. Mix well. Add the bean mixture to the chocolate mixture. Stir until well blended.
  5. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the maple syrup and beat well.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture. Then add the flour and baking powder and mix by hand until just blended.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the brownies are just set.  Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares.
  8. Make the ganache: Add the cacao, coconut oil, almond butter and maple syrup to a small saucepan on medium-low heat and whisk until fully melted and combined.
  9. Pour the chocolate ganche on top of the brownies and spread evenly across. Cut the brownies into squares and serve.  Top with the sea salt if desired.


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