Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

Is it possible to create a five-ingredient brownie?


I could have excluded the vanilla, but it’s too fragrant and delightful. There’s a fine line between clinging to a challenge and deprivation. And so, a six-ingredient brownie will have to do.

This recipe is incredibly easy to pull together and creates very little mess. I used a food processor to get the beans smooth, but the batter is quite liquidy so a blender would likely get the job done, too.

I loved how simple, dense and fudgy these were. My husband thought they tasted too beany.

For the ultimate taste test, I offered one to my three-year-old nephew and said, “You may not like this, but here you go.” (Probably not the best way to introduce food to a child, but perhaps he thought I was attempting reverse psychology.)

He devoured it.

(Love desserts? Me too! That’s why I wrote an e-book about how to make them healthy. Take a peek here.)

3.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Black Bean Brownies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, egg-free, sugar-free, soy-free, five ingredients or less
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 to 12
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or other alternative milk)
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup (These brownies are not super sweet - if you'd like yours to be more sugary, add in a few more tablespoons)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add the beans, coconut milk, maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla and brown rice flour to the bowl of a food processor. If you like sweeter brownies, add in a couple of extra tablespoons of maple syrup.
  3. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. This may take a few minutes.
  4. Pour the batter into a prepared 8 x 8-inch pan (square or round), and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is slightly cracked and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  5. Allow the brownies to cool on a wire rack, then cut into squares and serve.


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19 Responses to Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

  1. Organized Living Essentials August 6, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    I love chocolate. I love brownies. But I like to eat clean. I so have to pass this recipe on to my daughter who likes to bake but keep it healthy. I will be trying these soon. To keep a record of this recipe i have pinned it on PInterest. Thanks!

  2. Gail Elise August 9, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    These brownies look so dense and delicious..kind of like fudge!

  3. Noel Arthur August 9, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Sounds so easy and delicious! Would it be possible, though, to substitute the rice flour with wheat flour if that’s what’s available? Or might that change the whole recipe.

    • Sondi Bruner August 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      If you’ve got wheat flour, give it a try! I don’t think it will change the overall recipe much. Let me know how it turns out.

  4. Hanna V August 10, 2012 at 5:41 am #

    Delocious and very chocolatey! Yummy! Used a little more sweetener indian sugar/agave half and half and worked well. Thanks for the recipe :)

  5. MarinaFitty August 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    would they be good if I use soy flour instead?

    • Sondi Bruner August 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

      I think that should work. Let me know!

  6. Rachelle September 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    I’m so sorry to report that these did not win me over. I like a much sweeter brownie and even though I added 2 Tbsp of maple syrup, the taste was not sweet enough. Maybe these would be OK with a sweet chocolate avocado icing or with banana ice cream.
    I subbed oat flour for rice flour and the only thing I noticed was that my baking time was about 15 min beyond the 30 min you suggested. Thanks for the recipe and the beautiful picture!

    • Sondi Bruner September 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      Fair enough. Did you use 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp, or only 2 tbsp of maple syrup? Because they would definitely not be sweet enough if you only used a couple of tbsp. You could definitely add more sweetener, and they would be truly awesome with an avocado icing or ice cream on top. Yum.

  7. Linda September 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Yummy….only had coconut flour and they are great. Thanks

  8. Ann November 10, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    Is there any reason I could not use regular or lactose-free milk, if I do not have coconut milk?

    • Sondi November 11, 2013 at 9:52 am #

      You could use any type of nut milk here. I’m not a fan of cow’s milk, so it’s not one I would recommend – if you don’t have coconut milk, I’d suggest almond milk.

  9. sarahlove April 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    Thank you so much for this recipe! It wasn’t overly sweet which was welcomed. The top cracked as described however the middle is so soft that it’s more like a pudding.

  10. Shirah July 1, 2014 at 3:56 am #

    Hey Sondi,

    Can I grind dry black beans using a spice mill and substitute the bean flour for regular flour in this and other baking recipes? Or must the beans be cooked and pureed?

    • Sondi July 1, 2014 at 9:53 am #

      For this recipe, you need the pureed beans to give the brownies that dense, fudgy texture. However, in most of my other recipes you could easily substitute a bean flour instead of a flour made from grains.


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