Awesome Black Bean Brownies

I've been playing around with black bean brownies for a while now, because they're so delicious and nutritious. Think about it, a dark chocolaty brownie made with protein and fiber-rich black beans that's also lower in fat and sugar than a traditional brownie but still has all the chocolate and flavor. Breakfast! They seem to make a lot of sense here in Mexico, the land of black beans and chocolate, so it's not surprising that my amigos here love them.

I've made 4 different variations of black bean brownies in the last few months, and all of them were super-yummy, but my most recent batch was awesome. I nailed the ingredient ratios, making a dark fudgy complex brownie that plays off of 5 different kinds of beans: black beans, cacao, carob, coffee, vanilla. I also used just enough natural sugars, just enough flavorful fat, just enough dark chocolate, and just enough booze to make these decadent and beautiful tasting without going over-board and making a sugar-coma inducing empty calorie-packed brownie. So as rich as these are, they're rich *and* healthy: full of fiber, protein, natural sugars, antioxidants, and love!

There is one unusual ingredient in these that may be hard to find, and that is carob syrup. I managed to score some in a little Asian import shop in the Zona Libre (the "Free Zone" between Mexico and Belize). Carob syrup is naturally sweet and delicious, great stuff, and you can probably find it in Middle Eastern grocery stores. But if you don't have it, you can still make these brownies and they'll be delicious with or without carob.

Awesome Black Bean Brownies
(aka 5-Bean Brownies)

Puree and blend together:

2 c cooked black beans
2 large eggs (or egg substitute)
*1/4 c carob syrup
1/4 c agave nectar or honey
1/4 c Kahlua liqueur (or brewed coffee)
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 c coconut oil or unsalted butter (melted)

Sift together, then blend into the wet ingredients:

1/2 c cocoa (preferably not Dutch cocoa)
2 Tbsp tapioca starch (or corn starch)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt (use 1/4 tsp if your beans are salty or using salted butter, otherwise use 1/2 tsp)

Mix in:

1/3 - 1/2 c chopped dark chocolate

*If you can't find carob syrup, substitute 1/4 c carob syrup for:  2 Tbsp honey or agave + 2 Tbsp water +  3 Tbsp carob powder
*If you don't like carob, you can substitute 1/4 c carob syrup for:  1/4 c honey or agave +  2 Tbsp cocoa powder

Sugar-free: use brewed coffee instead of Kahlua. Substitute the chocolate for unsweetened carob chips (or sugar-free chocolate).

Egg-free or vegan: I'm pretty sure an egg substitute for 2 eggs would do the trick - if anyone tries please let us all know in the comments. See comment #18. Thanks Jen!

Grease and dust a smallish pan - I use a 10" x 7.5" stainless steel pan greased with coconut oil and dusted with icing sugar mixed with a bit of cinnamon (cocoa or carob works too). Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 till set - about 20 min. Allow to cool to room temperature then cut into squares. Store in a sealed container in the fridge - they'll firm up a bit - I really like these cold out of the fridge.


Hi patty- I had a can of

Hi patty- I had a can of black beans at home and knew I had to try these. I have never liked the other recipes of these. I used coffee instead of kahlua and arrowroot powder instead of tapioca. I also didn't have carob but used your sub with agave nectar. And I added a pinch of chili powder. Fudgy and yum!!! I'm sure the coconut oil is a big reason why. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Hi Mary, Thanks for the

Hi Mary,
Thanks for the great feedback, and for sharing your alterations. Good to know that coffee works as a substitute for the Kahlua - less sweet no doubt, but sometimes less sweet it better. (I'll update my recipe to include coffee for the sugar-free variation.) A pinch of chili would be delicious as well... Yes, coconut oil is so lovely, aromatic, and rich. Happy you enjoyed these! You're welcome!

Awesome Idea!

Wow! Thanks for sharing this idea Patty! I've never thought about using black beans in a brownie recipe, I love the idea!

Love your blog Patty!

Chef Veronica

Hi Veronica, Thanks and

Hi Veronica,

Thanks and you're welcome - happy you like the brownies!


Good thing I don't have an oven, otherwise I'd be making these far too often. But I may have to attempt anyways -- they look too good to be true. I wonder if I can do it like a pancake, and cook it on a frying pan? Wish me luck. Bean pancakes, here I come!

Great photos :)

Thanks my dainty little pig.

Thanks my dainty little pig. :)
I think you could make these on a cast iron frying pan, over super-low heat, with a lid on... (I've baked that way before when I lived in the jungle with only a 2-burner stove and was desperate for brownies!) The beans are cooked, and you just need to set the eggs, so it wouldn't take too long...

stove-top brownies!

yummy yum yum!
first attempt... almost there! no eggs (allergic), and no cast iron pan...but flax eggs and a normal frying pan with a lid. almost perfect! A bit more like crumbly cocoa pancakes, but hey?? who's complaining about that?

Will try again soon :)

Cool - sounds like a tasty

Cool - sounds like a tasty experiment, my favourite kind!

I just baked up these

I just baked up these brownies, but I didn't have tapioca starch and decided to use instant tapioca in it's place. Not quite right, but still edible and tasty.

Ya, the instant tapioca

Ya, the instant tapioca would have a funny texture. If you can eat wheat, using all purpose flour instead of tapioca starch would work here.


I like your idea! This is interesting. I like the color of the brownies. The beans made it so dark.

I made these for a potluck

I made these for a potluck the other night. Yum! Better than another version I've made. I used bittersweet chopped chocolate (not sure if that's what you meant by dark), subbed coffee for the kahlua, and used the carob powder substitution for the carob syrup. They were actually better the second day!

Wonderful, thanks for

Wonderful, thanks for sharing! As for the chocolate, anything from semi-sweet to bittersweet (or 70% cocoa chocolate) will work. I agree, they are better the next day as the flavours get a chance to meld - they are also surprisingly good cold out of the fridge! Or maybe that's just because it's so hot where I live. :)

You are right!

Patty - Made these for the 4th of July picnic and they were a hit! I just had a piece and enjoyed every bit of it. I like the fudgey consistency. Thanks for your hard work to come up with an amazing recipe!

Yay! So happy you're

Yay! So happy you're enjoying them. You're welcome Kaori - it's really fun to muck around and come up with these recipes. I have a backlog of yummy treats I'd love to share (but have no time) - if only I had a friendly robot to take pictures and post them all for me. :)

I made these a couple weeks

I made these a couple weeks ago and was pretty impressed. They didn't seem done when I pulled them out of the oven, but once they had sat and cooled off they were perfect.

Excited about black bean brownies I tried another recipe. The second recipe was less than stellar, brownies came out tasting like mashed beans with bananas and a hint of chocolate.

I'm sticking with this recipe and recommending it to everyone.

Thanks for the excellent

Thanks for the excellent feedback!

egg substitutes

i just made these yesterday and they are sooo yummy!

thought i'd let you know that i used 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce and 2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed well with 2 Tbsp. water instead of the eggs and it worked really well.

thanks for posting the recipe - i'll definitely be making them again :)

You're welcome and thank you

You're welcome and thank you for sharing your healthy egg substitute! I'm sure the extra bit of sweet and tartness was nice in there. :)

Bean Brownies

Hi..thought I'd let you know that I tried a Vegan recipe for cupcakes that called for 1 Tablespoon of cider vinegar in place of eggs...I
spoke to a baker at Wholefoods and she said that is how they make their devils food cake. The Cupcakes were served at my daughter-in-laws baby one knew the difference and they were Great!!! I personally am a chocoholic and because of heart issues have had to change my way of eating..I Loved em!!!!

Cool - thanks for sharing :)

Cool - thanks for sharing :)



Very tasty, awesome texture

I used one shot of brewed espresso in place of kahlua and I found them a bit too strongly coffee flavored. Other than that the texture was unexpectedly awesome and they were delicious!

I used this recipe for icing which was soft but complimented these brownies well:

6 oz. fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup agave syrup
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp semisweet mini chocolate chips, melted

Next time, I'm going to try these with honey instead of agave (cuz it's SO expensive) and sub out the coffee for something else, perhaps cream? Applesauce? Half a shot of coffee instead?

Thanks for posting this!

Thanks for the great

Thanks for the great feedback! Good to know that the full shot of espresso was a bit much - maybe a half or even quarter shot of espresso would have been better - like an "americano" style espresso. (I've only tried it with strong coffee and figured espresso would do the trick too - I'm going to take it out of the recipe.)

They Look Amazing!

But I'm a little scared of the black bean addition. I'm a brownie connoisseur so I'm gonna try it but with raw sugar instead of carob syrup.

Wow! These are delish! I

Wow! These are delish! I had been searching for a sugar-free, grain-free brownie to please my hubby, and satisfy my sweet tooth. I actually cooked a handful of dates in a little water and substituted them for the carob syrup. Worked great!

Thanks Chris - love the

Thanks Chris - love the sounds of dates in these - yum!

If I can't have coffee would

If I can't have coffee would I be able to omit and it still turn out ok?? What's another sub if not???

Thanks! This is the best black bean brownie recipe I have found and hope I can make-without coffee :)

Hi Wendi, You'll want to

Hi Wendi,
You'll want to replace the coffee/Kahlua with 1/4 c of another liquid. You could use 2 Tbsp of rum + 2 Tbsp agave/honey/maple syrup (if you like booze) or use 3 Tbsp water + 1 Tbsp molasses... the coffee flavor is nice but isn't that important. Have fun :)


After my tofu and broccoli brownies, I wasn't expecting much, but wow, these are awesome!! As I didn't have carob syrup, I substituted the dates and water as suggested by another reader. I also didn't have coconut oil. Not wanting to miss out on any coconut flavour, I cooked my blackbeans in diluted coconut milk with a couple coffee beans added to make-up for the lack of brewed coffee. I used half the butter and added bean juice to make up the rest of the needed fluid/fat. I might have to follow the recipe sometime to see how fantastic they are supposed to taste. I can't believe these will be BETTER tomorrow. Thanks for such a fantastic recipe - and to everyone else for their helpful variations

You're welcome - and thank

You're welcome - and thank you for sharing your wonderful sounding variation! Broccoli brownies, that sounds interesting... :)


I am notorious for taking unhealthy recipes and making them more unhealthy...I add more butter and sugar to my chocolate chip cookies, and I always use real cream! However, I was intrigued. I LOVE eating brownies for breakfast from the previous night, but after trying to get a little healthier I thought I would try these... after all they still have fat and sugar in them...just with some added nutrients. I replaced the Kahlua with some coffee grinds (I like the bits!) and amaretto, used real sugar (but only 3/4 cup) and butter, and left out the cinnamon (mostly b/c these were the ingredients I had on hand). I tasted the batter and was really surprised. This could be the chocolate fix that I don't feel so guilty about. I couldn't wait until they were set, but either way they are a delicious chocolate treat...skeptics just try it!

* sorry that should have said

* sorry that should have said 1/3 cup sugar (the amaretto is sweet)

Awesome - thanks for sharing

Awesome - thanks for sharing your variation (and for the clarification). I'll have to try theese with ameretto - yum!

i made these for our 5 year old

who is on a 'Nourishing Traditions'-type diet to help her while has intolerance to wheat dairy and egg. I substituted chia seeds for the eggs and left out the coffee and think she'll love them (am delighted as she's refused to try any beans til now so we're expanding her diet too!)

Ha ha, chocolate is a lovely

Ha ha, chocolate is a lovely "disguise" for beans. I wish my mom would have made these for me when I was little - I didn't do beans either. :)