Vegan Black Bean Brownies

These healthy Vegan Black Bean Brownies are rich, fudgy, and ultra chocolatey. This recipe uses only 10 ingredients, meaning these brownies are ready to dive-into in no time.

If you love chocolate desserts, this Chocolate Pudding Cake is a must!

A stack of vegan black bean brownies has chocolate chips sitting around it.

I never thought I’d be sharing a recipe for brownies made with black beans. And yet, here I am. Every time someone tastes them they love them. But then they’ll ask me something like, “What are the ingredients?”

Do I lead with black beans? No, I leave that until last. Because who wants to think they’re eating brownies with beans? And yet, they’re so good, they always ask for seconds.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Black beans add an incredibly dense base to these brownies
  • Coconut oil gives this dessert a wonderful texture
  • Chocolate chips add a rich, chocolate flavor to every bite

It’s hard to imagine brownies made with black beans, but you may never go back to traditional brownies again. Of course, it’s not enough to have just any brownies, I had to make these black bean brownies vegan, too!

Ingredients to make vegan black bean brownies on a white counter top.

I also love to serve these brownies with a dollop of Coconut Whipped Cream on top.

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

These easy vegan black bean brownies are made with only a few ingredients, including:

  • Coconut oil — I used virgin coconut oil for added coconut flavor to these brownies
  • Black beans — A 15-ounce can of black beans works great, or 1 ¾ cups of cooked black beans.
  • Sugar — I use granulated sugar, but you can substitute coconut sugar.
  • Chocolate Chips — Choose from many Dairy-free chocolate chips available these days.
  • Cocoa powder — I have used both natural and dutch-process cocoa powder and both work well.
  • Flour — I used all-purpose flour, but whole wheat pastry flour would work, too.
  • Cornstarch — We’ll add just a bit of cornstarch to serve as a binder. You can substitute arrowroot powder if you prefer.
  • Flax — We’ll add a bit of ground flax seeds, but you can substitute chia seeds.

I imagine you have several of these ingredients in your pantry right now. Although it’s true I’m making these vegan black bean brownies with flour, you’ll notice that it’s not too much. That makes an extra dense brownie, that’s sure to please.

Tip: Use virgin coconut oil for a more defined coconut flavor or refined coconut oil for a more neutral flavor.

How to Make Vegan Black Bean Brownies

Here’s a summary of the steps involved to make this recipe:

  1. Pulse Beans and Coconut Oil — Pulse together the melted coconut oil and black beans in a food processor.
  2. Sugar and Chocolate — Add the sugar and chocolate chips to the food processor. It will be a bit bumpy, but pulse in short bursts to break up the chocolate chips.
  3. Make the Batter — Add in the cocoa powder, flour, ground flax, cornstarch, and water. Give the mixture one more pulse until the ingredients are combined.
  4. Pour and Bake — Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to distribute it equally across the pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle, comes out clean.
  5. Cool — Once the brownies are done, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool before serving. The brownies will firm up as they cool.
Blended black beans, chocolate chips, and sugar is in the bottom of food processor bowl.
Chocolate brownie batter is being poured into a baking dish.

Marly’s Tips

Here’s some tips for these vegan black bean brownies:

  • You can add ¼ cup chopped walnuts to the batter
  • Make these into flourless black bean brownies by subbing almond flour for the flour (I do not recommend coconut flour).
  • Make black bean muffins by pouring the batter into greased muffin tins. Reduce the baking time to 25 minutes.

Sugar-Free Black Bean Brownies

Here are ideas to to reduce the refined sugars or to make keto black bean brownies:

  • Zero-Calorie Sweeteners — Substitute Swerve 1:1 with sugar.
  • Natural Sweeteners — Substitute 1 cup of Medjool dates (remove the pits first) for the sugar. You’ll need to pulse them in the food processor, and they’ll add natural sweetness.
  • Flour — Substitute almond flour for the all-purpose flour for a low-carb option.
  • Chocolate — Use sugar-free chocolate chips, such as Lilly’s dark chocolate chips made with stevia.

Reader Reviews

First vegan dessert I have made, and it was great! The family loved it. I took the left-overs to work so I wouldn’t eat them all. The guys at work were skeptical once I said the word vegan, but they all loved them. When they were done I told them about the black beans and the fiber, they couldn’t believe it!

Jessie H.

Hands down, the best black bean brownie recipe I’ve made!

Kerry A.

This has become my go-to brownie recipe!

Terry

Protein Brownies

You would think these healthy black bean brownies would be loaded with protein because of the black beans, however, they only deliver 3g of protein per brownie. If you want black bean protein brownies, feel free to add a quarter cup of chocolate plant-based protein powder. It will boost the protein level up to 5g of protein per brownie.

Regarding fiber, the average brownie has around 1 gram of fiber per serving. Because of the black beans, these brownies boast nearly 4 grams of fiber per serving.

A stack of 3 black bean brownies sit on a plate.

Are Black Bean Brownies Actually Good?

If you’re worried these black bean brownies taste beany, worry no more. You’ll get the added bonus of fiber, with the amazing decadent and delicious flavor of the best brownies ever.

More Vegan Brownies

These vegan black bean brownies are amazing! And if you’re ready for even more delicious brownies, start with these:

That’s it for these vegan black bean brownies.

A stack of 3 black bean brownies sit on a plate.

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

You will be swooning for these Vegan Black Bean Brownies, made with less than 10 ingredients. They're easy, delicious, and even healthy too!
4.91 from 10 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 264kcal
Author: Namely Marly

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with vegetable cooking spray.
  • Combine the coconut oil, black beans, and water in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
  • Add the sugar and chocolate chips to the food processor. It will be a bit bumpy, but pulse for a few seconds (up to 20 to 30 seconds) to break up the chocolate chips. You can always chop the chocolate chips into pieces on a cutting board if you prefer not to put your food processor to the test.
  • Add in the cocoa powder, flour, ground flax, and cornstarch. Give the mixture one more pulse until the ingredients are combined.
  • Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to distribute it equally across the pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle, comes out clean.
  • Once the brownies are done, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool before serving. The brownies will firm up as they cool.
  • Store brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Individual brownies can be frozen. Allow them to cool, slice them, and place them on a tray. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then transfer to a freezer bag. They will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Video

Notes

Use extra dark cocoa powder (Dutch-process) to make these brownies even richer.
You can make these gluten-free by using gluten-free baking flour.
Make these into black bean muffins by pouring the batter into greased muffin tins and baking for 20 to 25 minutes.
Add water or use the liquid from the can of black beans. Each can has a varying amount of liquid so if yours doesn’t equal 4 tablespoons, supplement with water.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Black Bean Brownies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 264 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 11g55%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 149mg6%
Potassium 218mg6%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2015 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

67 Responses to Vegan Black Bean Brownies

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJune @ How to Philosophize with Cake Reply

    That’s actually a great comeback to people who ask vegetarians “where do you get your protein?”–saying “where do you get your fiber?” lol. It is an awfully neglected nutrient, and if I can get it from eating brownies then all the better! 😀

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I never thought about it as a comeback to that age-old question. LOVE IT!! Maybe we should design a t-shirt.

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRebecca @ Strength and Sunshine Reply

    These look beyond perfect!!!! I want a huge bite!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyA L Reply

    In step #2, do you mean black beans, not chickpeas?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Great catch! I experimented making this recipe with black beans or chickpeas. Or said better – I made them once when we were out of black beans and only chickpeas were available. 🙂 You know what? They were great both ways, but the black beans version won out. The recipe has been edited. Thanks!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarianne Reply

    I am going to a Halloween Party and I want to make cupcakes. Do you think this recipe would work well? I have these great cupcake papers with blood dripping on them and so I will make icing and red beet juice dribbles on top. I will take a photo when I make them. Love the sound of these fudgy chocolate-ie brownies.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Marianne! This is a great question. I have used this recipe as cupcakes, but I could see where it could work. It doesn’t raise a lot, so it would result in some very dense, but tasty cupcakes! Please send me your photo – I’d love to see it!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRayna Reply

    Can I use xylophone instead of sugar. I am diabetic

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I assume you mean xylitol? I haven’t used xylitol in this recipe, but I’ve had great success with it in other recipes. I typically use a 1:1 ratio when baking with xylitol, but if I were you, I might start with 1 cup and see what if that works. Let me know how it goes!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAli Reply

    These look great! When you say bean brine, do you mean that you just dump in the whole can instead of rinsing? Thanks!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Ali – Yes, just pour the whole can (liquid and all) in the food processor. It’s amazing what a difference that makes!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTrisha Reply

    is bean brine the liquid that comes in the can ?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Trisha! Yes, bean brine is the liquid in the can. I’ll add a note to the recipe to clarify. 🙂

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMelody Reply

    do you need to melt the coconut oil first? I don’t use it often so I am never sure.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I don’t typically melt the coconut oil, but if it’s cold where you are, you might need to. I will put a container in the microwave with water and heat that up for about a minute and sit the container of coconut oil in that to loosen it up. Hope that helps!

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNancy Reply

    When you said with bean brine, do you mean the liquid in the can? Use the whole can-beans and liquid??

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Nancy – Yes, the bean brine is the liquid in the can. I’ll add a note to the recipe to clarify. Thanks!

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJana Reply

    Can you substitute Turbinado sugar for the granulated sugar?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Jana – I’ve always had good luck substituting turbaned sugar for granulated sugar. I use a 1:1 ratio. I have not tried that substitution with this recipe so I can’t say for sure, but I think it should be just fine. Let me know how it goes!

  11. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMelanie Reply

    This recipe sounds delicious. I was wondering, would it also work with different beans, like kidney beans?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Kidney beans have a distinct flavor that I think might come through in the finished product. That said, I would probably try it if it were the only beans I have in the house. Just be prepared the final outcome is not guaranteed. I have tried this recipe with a can of chickpeas and it worked great! Hope that’s helpful – let me know how it goes!

  12. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAlby Reply

    I don’t have flaxseeds. What could be a good substitute?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      You could just replace it with cornstarch. Let me know how it turns out!

  13. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAmanda Reply

    These look so great ! Do you think almond meal could be used instead of all purpose flour??

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I have used almond meal in other recipes with great success and since there’s just a little bit of flour in this recipe, I think it should work fine. That said, I haven’t tried that so I can’t say for sure. Of course, now I totally want to try it!

  14. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyStephanie Reply

    Would honey work instead of sugar?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I haven’t tried using honey in this recipe so I can’t say for sure. It could change the texture of the finished brownies.

  15. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNutmeg Nanny Reply

    I really love black bean brownies so I’m all over this! They looks so fudgy and delicious….yum!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks so much! I hope you love this recipe. We sure do. By the way, loving your snapchat! 🙂

  16. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDerek Reply

    Made these last week and had to make them again this week because they were soooooo delicious! Great recipe.

  17. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly Reply

    Thanks, Derek! I’m so glad to hear this. Just so you know, you have company…we made this recipe again too…and again. 🙂

  18. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyIvalu Visani Reply

    HI! instead of Black beans what can i use??

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I love this question Ivalu, because I’ve actually made this same recipe using chickpeas instead. Just like with the black beans, pour the entire can into the food processor, including the liquid from the can. You can add some powdered cocoa if you’d like to make it a little darker, or go with it as is for a more lighter chocolate color. Let me know how it goes!

  19. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMelanie Reply

    I’ve made these brownies twice already, they’re absolutely delicious. The second time I added some seasalt (about half a tablespoon), that worked out great as well!

  20. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlykatie Reply

    Added in some pecan nuts and rosemary for a ‘grown up’ version, taking out the choc chips (gasp)
    Ended up lovely! So fudgy, and not cloyingly sweet.

  21. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyConnie Reply

    I was so skeptical about combing black beans with brownies that I read through review after review on Google to see if the hype was true. After making this recipe tonight I can hands down say, this is one of the best brownie recipe I have ever made. And not just for black bean brownies – all brownies. Thank you so much for sharing! Can’t wait to make this again and again.

  22. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAlyssa Reply

    I’d like to double or even triple this recipe for a party… Anything I should look out for? Thanks!

  23. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJen Reply

    The taste was phenomenal! Couldn’t even taste the beans! However, they turned out very ver gooey. Do I just add more flour or bake longer? (I baked for 40 minutes)

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Jen, You’re making me think I should make another batch…like maybe tonight! Sometimes these brownies seem too gooey when they’re first pulled out of the oven, but after they cool they firm up. This is especially true if you store them in the fridge. They will firm up quite a bit. If not, yes, I would recommend cooking a little longer, but I’d put a piece of foil over the top so the top doesn’t get too crispy. Hope this helps!

  24. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAllison Reply

    Hi I’m just wondering if you used Cacao powder? Traditional cocoa powder would have milk in it no? Which would mean these aren’t Vegan?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Allison. Thanks for your note. Most cocoa powders are made after the cocoa butter is removed from the bean. What’s left is ground into a powder, creating cocoa powder. However, there might be some cocoa powders where milk products have been added. For the most part, I have no trouble finding dairy-free cocoa powders. Hope that’s helpful!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyf nord

      As long as I can remember, cocoa powder comes in two varieties: “natural” and “Dutch” (alkalinized).
      Hot Chocolate powders had milk and sugar in them, as well as cocoa.

  25. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPaula Reply

    Surprised to see, white refined sugar, white refined flour and refined cornstarch in this “healthy” recipe.. Mmmm wouldn’t go near it!!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Paula. Thanks for your comment. I understand that the word “healthy” is relative. I mean, some people think raisins are not healthy. I get that. This recipe uses only a half a cup of flour, compared to 15 oz (basically 2 cups) of black beans. That’s a pretty good ratio. I agree that it’s important to pay attention to how much sugar we consume. I care about these things as well which is one of the reasons we have reserve treats like these brownies for indulgences.

  26. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJanice Reply

    Sounds delicious and would like to try this recipe. Is the 40 grams of sugar listed on the nutrition facts for the entire pan of brownies or for one serving (doesn’t say how many servings per pan)? Also wondering how using maple syrup instead of sugar would change the texture. Do you know if it would it make them more fudgy or less fudgy? And If using home made black beans how much liquid (water I guess) to add since there wouldn’t be any brine from a can?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Janice. Thanks for your note. You raised a good point and I went back to the recipe and changed the serving size. Because these vegan black bean brownies are so rich, we always cut them into smaller slices. The nutritional information provided is by serving. I have never tried using maple syrup with this recipe, but I totally would do it. I would reduce the amount of maple syrup by about 1/4 to 1/2 cup vs. the sugar. And you might need less liquid anyway so the fact that you’re not using canned beans is good. I would probably have some water at the ready, and if the batter is too dense, add a tablespoon at a time until you get the right spreadability (you want some denseness, otherwise it won’t set right). I hope this is helpful!

  27. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJessie Kehoe Reply

    First vegan desert i have made, and it was great! Family loved it. I took the left-overs to work so i wouldnt eat them all. The guys at work were skeptical once i said the word vegan, but they all loved them. When they were done i told them about the black beans and the fiber, they couldnt believe it. They are more than willing to help me eat more when i make them again. Thanks for everything!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Jessie! I’m so glad you (and everyone else) liked this recipe! It’s one of my favorites too, because it’s indulgent, but also healthy because of the beans! I used to have the same thing when I took delicious vegan treats to work. People would be so hesitant, but then they’d love it! 🙂

  28. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKerry A Reply

    Hands down, the best black bean brownie recipe I’ve made! I subbed almond flour for all purpose and instead of the sugar, I used 1/2 c of coconut nectar and 3 medjool dates. HEAVEN!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Kerry! I’m so glad to hear this. And your substitutions sound DIVINE! I love almond flour…and coconut nectar! OMG!  🙂  

  29. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyT Reply

    This has become my go-to brownie recipe. I use coconut sugar and white spelt flour but only out of preference. The ingredients and ratios are spot-on in my opinion, Gooey yumminess! Thanks

  30. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJohn C Reply

    The brownies I made with this recipe turned out wonderfully. I used almond butter instead of coconut oil and used whole wheat flour. This is the best brownie recipe I’ve ever tried! Thanks for this! 🙂

  31. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRabab Reply

    Can I substitute granulated sugar with erythitol sugar , I am diabetic and on diet .

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Rabab. Thanks for your note! We have began experimenting with erythritol lately…in a quest to reduce refined sugars in our diet and have had great luck with it! I haven’t used it in this recipe but I think it would work great. I may have to try it out myself soon. Let me know how it goes!

  32. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBarbara Reply

    Hey, is it possible to prepare the dought the night before?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Barbara! You could prepare the dough the night before, but if it were me, I’d just go ahead and bake it and then either freeze or refrigerate the brownies. They will taste just fine the next day!

  33. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyHeidi Pafford Reply

    Am I right to say that the bean brine is actually what takes the place of the egg in these brownies? Heidi P.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      That’s right! Although if you don’t like the idea of having bean brine in your brownies, you can drain them if you like. It will work either way!

  34. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAlba Reply

    No one will EVER know!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      It’ll be our secret! 🙂

  35. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMary Reply

    Can I skip bean brine and use 1 or 2 eggs for the extra protein. I’m not vegan but am always looking for high protein snacks. I make my own black beans at home and want to use them in different recipes.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Mary. If you’re looking for an alternative to the bean brine, I would highly recommend adding ground flax seeds. It’s a great egg substitute because it creates a binder, but it also has protein. There are many concerns about using animal-based protein, and the lack of fiber is high on that list. I hope this is helpful information. Wishing you the best! Marly

  36. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBette Hadkin Reply

    I’d love to know the nutrition facts and macro facts for this recipe

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Bette. Thanks for your comment! Here’s more nutritional estimates per serving on these black bean brownies: calories: 292, carbs: 43, Protein: 3, Fat: 13, Fiber: 4. If you’d like to reduce carbs, I would suggest using almond flour and using a non calorie sweetener too. I hope this helps!

  37. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCrystal Reply

    Theses brownies are awesome and definitely my favorite brownies

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Crystal. I’m so glad to hear that!

  38. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJaime Murphy Reply

    Hey there LOVE this recipe and make it often. Notice you took out cornstarch do you mind sending me the older recipe? Thank you

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