Dark Chocolate Brownies – Flourless & Vegan

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Dark Chocolate Brownies - Flourless & Vegan

I have seen more recipes with black beans baked into luscious chocolate treats than I can shake a stick at.  This is not an original idea, by a long stretch!  But every time I make these, everyone always wants the recipe, and I have hope that at least a few of my readers haven’t jumped on this bandwagon as of yet.  That maybe I will be the one to push them over that hump and give these deceptive treats a go!

So dense and moist, no one ever guesses (and I mean NO one) that there are black bean lurking within.  The whole mixture is pureed within a food processor, and then baked….couldn’t be any easier, and most people have these ingredients on hand already or can easily get them at any grocery store.

I have made several variations, and they are all good!  My New Roots adds cherries and chili to her recipe, Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free adds nuts and yogurt (in her cookbook), and others add coffee granules.  There are lots of ways to play around with this recipe.  I chose my ingredients to make them as simple & healthy as possible while still remaining tasty.

These do not move once you form them, don’t assume they will smooth and spread out as you bake!  These could easily be formed into cookies instead of brownies as you prefer, with only a 10-12 minute bake time.

Yield:  About 16 squares @ 80 calories, 1.1 g fat, 16.2 g carbs, .6 g fiber, 9.4 g sugar, 1.9 g protein

Dark Chocolate Brownies - Flourless, Gluten Free & Vegan

5.0 from 3 reviews
Dark Chocolate Brownies - Flourless
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
  • 15 oz can black beans, or about 1½ cups cooked beans, thoroughly rinsed
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil or other oil/melted fat of choice (Trader Joes and Whole Foods both have 16 oz jars for $5.99)
  • ¼ cup honey or other liquid sweetener
  • ½ teaspoon NuNaturals clear liquid stevia (or ¼ cup more honey or other liquid sweetener
  • 2 tablespoons any granulated sugar
  • 2 T chia meal or flax meal (or one egg)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar (apple cider vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor bowl (a blender should work too), add all the ingredients through the chia meal. Puree until smooth.
  3. With the motor running, add your other ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour into a greased or parchment lined 8 x 8 pan.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven until 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool, cut into desired shape, and store in an airtight container.


PS: the raspberries coupled with the dark chocolate were perfection!Dark Chocolate Brownies - Flourless & Vegan

This recipe was shared over at Fat Tuesdays, Hearth & SOul, GF Wednesday, Waste Not Want Not, Foodie Friday, Real Food Friday, GF FridayLet’s Get Real FridaysSavoring Saturdays


It's only fair to share...Share on YummlyTweet about this on TwitterShare on StumbleUponShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

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62 comments on “Dark Chocolate Brownies – Flourless & Vegan
  1. Just in time; I just made a huge batch of black beans today. I have a recipe for black bean brownies that my kids like, but it has oatmeal in it; I have never tried a flour-less one. This looks so fudgy; I am going to have to try it!

  2. I’m so glad I found your post today. I tried to make blondies the other day using garbanzo beans and they were an epic fail! I used some oats instead of flax or chia and I think I may have used too much liquid (bananas). I’m going to try your recipe here and try to redo my blondies recipe!

    • Oh Shelby…I have BEEN there! Bean based treats are always very thick, so yes, too much banana could throw it off. Are you going to try and make these with garbanzo? Won’t be quite the same. Chocolate Covered Katie has a bean based blondie I thought was good, and on my sweets pin board is one that I loved at Blissful Bites by Micha!! http://blissfulbitesbymicha.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/healthy-decadence/
      Let me know if i can help you!

      • I actually was trying to tweak a recipe I found on chocolate covered katie…my use of the bananas was to try and make it more low fat and didn’t want to use any added sugars. Epic fail! I will check out that other website you suggested. I definitely want to try yours but will use the black beans…do you think using applesauce or banana in place of the coconut oil would work? Uh oh, here I go again with the banana 😉

  3. Tessa, Your brownies look delicious! I have some black beans so I will be making this recipe. Thanks for sharing another healthy treat.

  4. Amber says:

    Hi Tessa,

    Scott said he’ll be right over! :-)

    These are awesome Tessa! Can’t wait to try!

    • now i feel guilty for creating all these chocolate treats….since it is one of his triggers!! My husband is in love with these brownies….always a good sign! IO am testing them out on the school staff tomorrow…THAT will be a test!! nary a food allergy in site and lots of candy lovers….

  5. Kim says:

    Those brownies look unbelievable…and pairing them with those raspberries is an amazing idea! I love black bean brownies! You just inspired me to whip up a batch for a baseball party tomorrow!! Love this recipe, Tessa!!

  6. Dark beany brownies with raspberries .. definitely perfection! I have to try a bean brownie soon. i am just so intrigued by beans in baked goods.

  7. April Harris says:

    What a great way to hide something nutritious in a delicious treat! Your brownies look wonderful!

  8. Jen says:

    These look great! Still looking for the perfect GF brownie. Almost made some this week. Maybe I will try these instead! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Diane Balch says:

    Black beans.. bizarre. I can see how they might work with chocolate. Thanks for sharing another interesting recipe. See you next week on Foodie Friday.

  10. I am SO making these tomorrow! Love how fudgy and dense they look — just like the perfect brownie. I swear I could skip all meals and just eat dessert all day long!

  11. Laura says:

    Healthy delicious brownies…can I come running to your house right now?! My daughter saw the picture and asked me to make these very soon. Thanks for another divine recipe Tessa!

  12. Alison says:

    Tessa maybe you can help me. I’ve made these brownies 3 times this week! The first time I used an egg (no chia) and 2 Tbs sucanut instead of xylitol (I don’t do well will xylitol). The brownies were delicious but extremely crumbly. The second time I made them I made sure to measure very carefully and add the baking soda and vinegar at the end and only mix quickly in the food processor. I didn’t add the sucanut and added about 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips.They turned out better but still very crumbly. The third time I used two eggs and no sucanut and also added about a teaspoon and a half of instant espresso (to bring out the chocolate flavor), and again 1/2 c. of chocolate chips (which I pressed on top (b/c they had all gone to the middle on the last batch). This turned into a very nice chocolate cake. Still pretty crumbly, but less so. Would be excellent frosted.
    Kirsten (your sis) said she made cookies out of it that were not crumbly however my batter was too wet to make into a cookie.
    I am wondering if it needs more coconut oil. Any ideas? Are yours crumbly?
    Thanks! Your site is great!

    • Hmm. I am thinking too much egg possibly, or cooking too long? The batter is very thick and sticky, and when you plop it down it stays put. Do you have flax for flax meal? These brownies are the opposite of crumbly in our house, super dense and moist. I have also used palm sugar in place of the xylitol with no issue…the sucunat shouldn’t be the case. Are your beans drained very well? If the batter is thin, we need to thicken it up (chia, flax, cocoa powder) or reduce the the things that are making it wet – eggs.
      I have also frosted these with a melted chocolate chips (thinned w/ a couple of teaspoons coconut oil), very tasty!
      I am way impressed you have hung in there so long, how frustrating!

      • Alison says:

        I thought maybe I was cooking them too long too. How do YOU test that they are done (I use a toothpick and wait for a crumb- next time I’ll try taking out when there’s crumb around the edges and still gooey in the middle).
        I have been rinsing and draining the beans quite well so I don’t think that’s it. I do have flax meal but since I’m on a grain free diet I’m trying to stay away from anything that may irritate the gut (such as flax or chia).
        I’m soaking cashews right now so I can make The Urban Posers chocolate peppermint cashew (fake buttercream) frosting. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
        Either way, these brownies taste delicious. Clearly, if we’ve gone through three batches in a week they are very popular in my house!!

        • i test by touch and a knife inserted in the middle. I like there to be a couple of damp crumbs left on the knife, not clean necessarily. I would also compare a couple of other cookie recipes that use eggs. If you click on My New Roots link above, she has an egg option too to compare ratios! I have a buttercream frosting that looks very similar to Urban Poser, it is the Christmas Fudge recipe here on my blog. I use at room temperature and it is divine. I have also been making my own chocolate with cocoa butter/cocoa powder and playing around with the non-cane sugar sweeteners. Honey and coconut nectar are my favs so far. Delish drizzled over the top with some raspberries (i mixed in pureed raspberries to the chocolate mixture)

  13. lelaniedenso says:

    Hi, Tessa! We loved this recipe so much, we included it in our The Pantry feature. Also pinned, gave a thumbs up and promoted! Thanks for a delicious recipe.


  14. Just had to tell you that I made these today — wow! We smeared a little bit of natty peanut butter on ours for a little faux Reese’s action and they are delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Elsa says:

    I love the idea of using black beans. My toddler loves sweets and it’s a constant battle to get her to eat anything without sugar in it. I wouldn’t feel so bad feeding this to her though. I love sneaking healthy food into sweets. :) Thanks so much for sharing with Hearth and Soul! By the way, the pics are beautiful!

    • Oh Elsa, I GET it!! I know they say don;t sneak things in…but I HAVE too!! It is either that, or nothing sometimes! I still continue to plus away and serve everything to them, but it’s nice to have treats that get all sorts of goodies into them, especially when there is not a ton of sugar!!

  16. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  17. solitaire says:

    have been thinking bout trying a black bean brownie for a while but other recipes all seemed to hard with diff ingreds that i didnt have on hand. but this seems easy peasy and delicious so i will be trying this! thanks again :)

  18. Jane says:

    Nice recipe. I love a simple brownie recipe which is easy for the kids :)
    I also like the below brownie recipe.

    Thanks for sharing,

  19. Run DMT says:

    Since I’m relatively new to baking, black beans in brownies is new to me. 😀 I love the rich, dark color. Thanks for linking up at Friday Food Fight. This week’s linky is open.


  20. JoAnn Whitley says:

    My second batch is in the oven!!! Delicious. topped my first batch with peppermint buttercream frosting…yumm. I do have a question…could I substitute a half cup honey for 1/2 cup regular or coconut sugar?

  21. Andrea says:

    Ooh, these look great! I have made a cake out of garbanzo beans that turned out wonderful, but I haven’t tried black beans. This is actually a new concept for me :) I’ll pin this and bake some up this weekend!

    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

  22. Lisa says:

    These look delicious! Coming over to visit from Miz Helen’s. Feel free to stop by and link them up with my “Try a New Recipe Tuesday.” I’d love to have you join us. http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/2013/05/try-new-recipe-tuesday-may-14.html

  23. Tammy Eakes says:

    These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them. I am in the process of making over my pantry and ridding it of all things processed. These look like a perfect replacement for the sugary delights my children love to dig into after dinner. I found you on Thank Your Body Thursday. My post is for Gluten Free & Vegan Choc Chip Cookie Dough Brownies. Check it out: http://noskinnies.com/blog/2013/5/13/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-brownies-vegan-gluten-free

  24. Oooh, I haven’t made black bean brownies in so long. Time to fix that! I am loving your version!


  25. Now this is my kind of dessert! YUMO, Thanks for sharing at Gluten Free Fridays!

  26. Wendy says:

    Hi! I only have powdered stevia, how much would i use and will it work? Also, would maple syrup work in place of honey?


    • Of course Wendy…all liquid sweeteners will work in this. And with powdered stevia, I have noticed a huge variance in brands, so hopefully you know yours well enough to reach 1/4 cup worth of sweetener. It’s ok t use more maple syrup or granulated sugars if you choose that route too!

  27. Melanie Davis says:

    Hi! I am wanting to make these tomorrow! Is chia meal just ground up chia seeds or is it the gel or just straight chia?

    Thank you!

  28. Sandra says:

    These look fab. I had bought some black beans for a recipe,then couldn’t find the recipe I had bought them for. I will use them for this one instead. Thanks for all your great recipes.

  29. Erin Hill says:

    These look amazing and I am going to make them tomorrow! I’ve made a deep dish chocolate chip cookie with garbanzo beans which was great, so I am sure this will be yummy as well. Just wondering if it is necessary to use the liquid stevia or if it is ok to use the powder (crystals). Will it change the texture too much? I have ALL the ingredients except for the liquid stevia and was hoping to avoid a trip to the store! Thanks!!

  30. Dianne says:

    Absolutely delicious and I’ve made quite a few bean brownie recipes. I use adzuki beans and one third less cacao powder was substituted with carob and the rest cacao and they are plenty chocolaty. I also used vegetable glycerin for the sweetener as the liver doesn’t process it like it would another sweetener.

    This is my favourite bean brownie recipe by far.

  31. Nikki says:

    I used dark red beans — egg replacer — and all granulated sugar+2T water. We looooove them!!! These were sooo good!! My 2 year old and 4 year old kept asking for more, My teenagers wanted them all.

  32. Marla says:

    Yummy chocolate brownies. How unique with no flour a sure winner for food allergies. thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted
    Marla recently posted…Real Food Friday #84 – Come Share Real FoodMy Profile

  33. These look amazing! I have never made black bean brownies but keep hearing how wonderful they are. These look like a great place to start. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Ali Williams says:

    Hi Tessa! Thanks so much for linking up to Savoring Saturdays. I am featuring your lovely brownies this week. Hope to see you again!

3 Pings/Trackbacks for "Dark Chocolate Brownies – Flourless & Vegan"
  1. […] so bad, i wouldn't even want to consider what it tastes like! What do you think? Answer below! Question by Poohgie: how can apple cider vinegar help you lose weight? what is apple cider vinegar … what it tastes like! What do you think? Answer below! WordPress › Error html { […]

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My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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