The Best Vegan Black Bean Brownies Ever

My husband thought these should be called ‘Bodybuilder Protein Brownies’.


Each of these brownies has more protein than one egg, which astounded my husband who is an avid gym rat. That fact also had him inhaling the decadently delicious squares at seven o’clock at night, but that’s another tale.

Black bean brownies are obviously nothing new, but what this blog is and has always been is a place for me to share my experiences with cooking and baking and what works for my family and our allergies.


In order to accommodate all of our itch-inducers and make the recipe the best it could be, I had to eliminate all nuts, seeds, and eggs. I am LOVING using beans lately because our entire family tolerates them well and they’re so versatile.

The beans are truly undetectable in these, and they have that rich and fudgy consistency (not cakey) that is characteristic of any fat-boy brownie.

The Best Vegan Black Bean Brownies Ever
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 brownies
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ c. cocoa powder
  • ¼ c. oats
  • ½ t. sea salt
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • ¼ c. coconut sugar
  • ⅛ t. powdered stevia extract
  • ¼ c. maple syrup (you can also use raw honey if not vegan)
  • ¼ c. coconut oil, melted
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1-2 T. water, as needed
  • 3 T. dark chocolate chips, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Process all the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) until smooth and well combined.
  3. Add water in as needed to create a pourable, but thick, batter.
  4. Pulse in the chocolate chips, if using.
  5. Pour the batter into a well-oiled 8 x 8 baking dish.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes (knife or toothpick should come out clean).
  7. Put the brownies in the fridge to cool (still in the pan), untouched for about 30 minutes. This is crucial to keeping the shape of the brownie, as there is no binding agent present.
  8. Once cooled, cut and serve!
Nutrition facts are based on making the recipe without the optional chocolate chips. Weight Watchers points (new system): 5
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/12 of recipe Calories: 209 Fat: 5.6 g Saturated fat: 4.4 g Unsaturated fat: 1.2 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 33.7 g Sugar: 8.8 g Sodium: 133 mg Fiber: 6.6 g Protein: 8.5 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

Adapted from this recipe

My favorite way to eat these (and most sweets) is actually when they’re cold (after sitting in the fridge for a day). They become even more dense and the flavor seems to amplify. :-D


The thing I notice most with adding beans to desserts is that I don’t get the high and low of a treat that doesn’t have protein. The protein seems to help balance out my blood sugar a bit more, allowing me to tolerate the sweetness better. For reals.

Do you find you tolerate treats better when they have added protein? Have you ever tried a bean dessert?

Shared with: Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Healthy Vegan Friday



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Comments: 63

  1. Gabby @ the veggie nook November 4, 2013 at 5:20 am Reply

    These look delicious and so fudgy! I have made black bean brownies in the past, but haven’t been thrilled with the results. Yours look like they could be the ones!

    I definitely notice a difference when my dessert has protein. Otherwise my blood sugar (and mood…) goes for a bit of a roller coaster ride!

    • Lauren November 4, 2013 at 8:30 am Reply

      Thanks Gabby! Let me know how you like them if you ever get a chance to try the recipe out. :-)

  2. Lisa November 4, 2013 at 9:32 am Reply

    These are definitely going to be on my must make list! These look incredible.
    I’m especially happy that they are vegan:)

  3. Amanda November 4, 2013 at 10:21 am Reply

    I was totally going to use my can of black beans for dinner tonight, but I think they are destined for your brownie recipe instead! The texture looks phenomenal. <3
    Amanda recently posted..Vegan in NYC: Union Square, Midtown, East Village & Upper East SideMy Profile

    • Lauren November 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm Reply

      Thanks girl! I hope you do try (and like) them! :-D

  4. The Best Vegan Black Bean Brownies Ever November 4, 2013 at 11:55 am Reply

    […] See on […]

  5. […] you make my Black Bean Brownies, pleeeeease put some in the fridge overnight and try them the next day. They are even more […]

  6. Peggy November 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm Reply

    I have tried black bean brownies before with little luck. I’m excited to give these a try..they look yummy and the recipe would work for us.
    Peggy recently posted..An Allergy Friendly Thanksgiving DinnerMy Profile

    • Lauren November 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm Reply

      Thanks Peggy! We’ve been eating these like crazy, so I hope you enjoy them if you try them! :-)

  7. […] in the midst of trying out for a food-related gig and am using my Black Bean Brownies as my ‘signature dish’, so, in order to practice, I’ve been making A LOT of […]

  8. […] Chocolate Craving Cure: The Best Vegan Black Bean Brownies from Lauren @ Oatmeal with a […]

  9. Mindy November 19, 2013 at 10:51 am Reply

    I have tried other vegan brownie recipes but this one is the best! I did use carob chips for chocolate chips but everything else I did as the recipe suggested. These are delicious!!

    • Lauren November 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm Reply

      Yay! That’s awesome Mindy, thanks for letting me know! :-D

  10. Ruth November 24, 2013 at 10:33 am Reply

    Great recipe! I added some crushed hazelnuts for a bit of crunch. Think this is my new go to brownie recipe. I especially like them cold. Thanks for the recipe :)

    • Lauren November 24, 2013 at 10:39 am Reply

      Thanks Ruth! I agree on loving them cold. They are so fudgy and delicious that way! :)

  11. Tammy November 26, 2013 at 11:44 am Reply

    Made these this morning, they’re delicious! I used 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 cup carob powder because I ran out of cocoa. Turned out great! My husband actually likes them more than regular brownies lol

    • Lauren November 26, 2013 at 7:19 pm Reply

      That’s awesome Tammy! My husband loves them too. :-D

  12. […] AMAZING. I like my brownies gooey, thick and fudge like and these were spot on! I found the recipe here and of course changed out some ingredients to what I had at home and what I consider more healthy. […]

  13. […] and cooked them not really knowing what I would do with them. I used about half the batch for my Black Bean Brownies, and the other half we used in healthy […]

  14. Black Bean BrowniesYeah…imma eat that February 5, 2014 at 5:02 am Reply

    […] the best vegan black bean brownies ever from Oatmeal with a Fork.  she mentioned that her husband ate them.  always a sign of success. […]

  15. […] Another little item my husband got me hooked on is chocolate. Unfortunately, the irony of that little deet is that he has since become sensitive to copious amounts of the delicious confection, thereby reducing his ability to indulge in his Bodybuilder Brownies. […]

  16. Molly March 10, 2014 at 8:26 am Reply

    WOW!!!! This is soooo yummy!! made it today and just incredible!!

    • Lauren March 10, 2014 at 9:00 am Reply

      I’m so happy you enjoyed them Molly! These are the only brownies I eat anymore! :)

  17. […] example, there is this mouth-watering recipe for The Best Vegan Black Bean Brownies Ever, which boasts having more protein than an egg per brownie square. For a spicier version (that I […]

  18. Charlene March 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm Reply

    Is there something I can substitute for the powdered stevia…or can I just leave it out? These sound yummy and I’d like to try them!

    • Lauren March 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm Reply

      Hi Charlene,

      You can add in an additional 1/4 cup of coconut sugar or any natural granulated sugar for the stevia. Happy baking!

  19. nathalie March 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm Reply

    Hi, I don’t have coconut sugar, can I substitute with white or brown sugar? Also, I don’t have brown rice flour, so I should grind Old Fashion Oats into flour? Looking forward to trying out this recipe!

    • Lauren March 28, 2014 at 1:20 pm Reply

      Hi Nathalie,

      Yes, any granulated sugar will work here, and yes, just measure use ground oats for the rice flour. I hope you enjoy them!! :-)

  20. nathalie March 28, 2014 at 3:44 pm Reply

    thanks!! will let you know how they come out!

  21. Andrea May 7, 2014 at 11:10 am Reply

    Hi, Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe! I have never had much luck with black bean brownies, not-to-mention gluten-free/vegan ones, and these are ridiculously good! I have made them twice now and am still amazed by the results! Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes. Much Thanks!!!

    • Lauren May 7, 2014 at 12:26 pm Reply

      Thanks so much Andrea! We make these all of the time too. :-D

  22. Meg May 9, 2014 at 11:08 am Reply

    I have these in the oven right now. I gave my son the spoon to lick and he said “this is the best chocolate I’ve ever had, I’ve never had this kind before.” He is right. The batter is good, I will be so impatient waiting for them to cool. I also like that this is a baked good that doesn’t even use one egg!

    • Lauren May 9, 2014 at 11:12 am Reply

      Thanks Meg! Pop them in the fridge to get them to cool quick (the more chilled they are, the better they taste!). I hope you guys love them!! :)

  23. Meg May 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm Reply

    WOW!! So good, no one knew they had black beans in them and they are good for you. I used almond flour since we are doing grain-free right now and xylitol w/ stevia. Don’t think I will make any other kind now!! I love this website!! You are awesome :) Thanks for all the recipes

    • Lauren May 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm Reply

      Thanks so much for reporting back Meg! I’m thrilled you liked them!! :-D

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  28. Kylie @ immaeatthat June 6, 2014 at 8:27 am Reply

    I remember using these for inspiration for my very first attempts at black bean brownies. Such a great recipe!
    Kylie @ immaeatthat recently posted..Milk Soaked Oats Layered SmoothieMy Profile

    • Lauren June 6, 2014 at 12:24 pm Reply

      Thanks Kylie! :-)

  29. Donna June 13, 2014 at 4:47 am Reply

    Lauren, not sure how you did it or do it but as everyone else has stated, these are the BEST freaking ‘brownies’ period. Never mind being ‘black bean’. I also have failed in prior attempts to black bean recipes…..made them twice, second time even fudgier!!
    I just printed your “Best fudgey Guilt free brownie recipe” and i cannot imagine those being any better than these. Just knowing they are like 90% black beans as opposed to flour is the best thing. I was so glad to read that another viewer used Almond Flour in place of the 1/4 of oats and it worked! i will try it next time. just to be comp grain free and dlish would be crazy. my guess is however they will be even more fudgey, which could be a good or a bad thing. We shall see. thanks so much….so far so good oxoxox

    • Lauren June 13, 2014 at 8:04 am Reply

      That’s great Donna, I’m so happy you liked them! I have a video coming up on Monday for the Guilt-Free Fudgy Brownies, fyi. They’re a nice blend of light, fudgy, rich, and creamy, as opposed to the fudgy density of the black bean version. Both are so delicious, it just depends what mood I’m in!

      Thanks for your comment! :)

  30. […] I love my Black Bean Brownies, these are special in that they have far less added oil, and, subsequently, […]

  31. Karen Flammang June 28, 2014 at 5:04 pm Reply

    these are great, I’ve made them a bunch of times! I use cashew flour instead of oat flour to make them gluten free, and instead of chocolate chips, i put chia seeds. i also add about 6 drops of doTerra peppermint essential oil. everybody loves them and gobbles them up, then i have to make more!!

    • Lauren June 28, 2014 at 5:55 pm Reply

      That’s great Karen! I will definitely have to try adding peppermint oil sometime. :-D

  32. […] room temperature before serving so that it is fudgey and chewy :). To make it even healthier, try this, my go-to black bean brownie recipe, or even a raw version to maximize […]

  33. […] Now, since this is a Fun Finds Friday (a recipe I found from another blogger), you can find the recipe over on Oatmeal With a Fork. […]

  34. Peggy August 15, 2014 at 2:09 pm Reply

    I love these brownies and am featuring them today on my site. Sending readers to you for the recipe!
    Peggy recently posted..Banana Ice Cream Pie With Biscoff Cookie Flavored Pie CrustMy Profile

    • Lauren August 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm Reply

      Thanks so much Peggy! They’re a favorite around here too. :-)

  35. […] place in his mouth for the ones that are higher in muscle-building aminos (like these cupcakes or these brownies), so this got me thinking about chickpea […]

  36. Chia December 14, 2014 at 8:56 pm Reply

    Hi I tried a few of your recipes and love all of them. This one is my favourite it tastes even better than the ‘normal’ brownies. I am breastfeeding a toddler who has several food allergies so I have to be on very restricted diet with him. Thanks to you I find joy in food again. Thank you thank you thank you.

    • Lauren December 15, 2014 at 9:42 am Reply

      Thank YOU Chia, for your sweet comment! It made my day! :)

  37. Enrique December 20, 2014 at 2:02 am Reply

    These look extremely delicious and heathly. Is one of the ingredients regular cacao powder or organic raw cacao powder?

    • Lauren December 20, 2014 at 8:15 am Reply

      Hi Enrique,

      The second ingredient listed is for cocoa powder, which is similar. You can sub cacao if you like.

  38. […] this fantastic recipe for The Best Vegan Black Bean Brownies– these boast […]

  39. […] Lauren Goslin – – The Best Vegan Black Bean Brownies […]

  40. Maria March 25, 2015 at 11:08 am Reply

    Just made these today and they are soooo yummy! I added in a scoop of chocolate protein powder and omitted the stevia (since the protein is stevia sweetened) and holy amazeballs I couldn’t stop stealing licks of the raw batter. The end result was an even bigger hit! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

    • Lauren March 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm Reply

      That’s great Maria, thanks for the feedback!

  41. L April 24, 2015 at 9:28 am Reply

    I hate to comment negatively on here, but I don’t think it’s possible for each brownie to be 8g of protein. According to my black beans, there’s only 28g in the whole can. Depending on which oats you use (rolled vs quick) you’re maybe looking at 3-3.5g. In total, let’s round that up to 33g of protein in the whole dish. Spread out over 12 servings, that’s still less than 3g per brownie. Where are these other 63g of proteins coming from?

    • Lauren April 24, 2015 at 2:54 pm Reply

      Feel free to analyze the recipe yourself!

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