On a small white plate, there are 3 pieces of vegan black bean brownies topped with a peanut butter frosting that are piled over each other in a tower. You can see more of the squares in the background.
Dessert

Vegan Black Bean Brownies with peanut butter frosting

These vegan black bean brownies are so tasty you won’t believe what’s hiding in there! Packed with canned black bean, raw oats and sweetened with Medjool dates, enjoy these flourless and gluten-free fudgy brownies without any guilt!

Sneaking healthy black bean in brownies is not what you would think of doing when you feel like a satisfying sweet treat. I hear you.

But, oh boy. These gooey, soft and extra chocolaty brownies are sooooo delicious, you won’t even notice they are hiding in there.

What’s to love about these vegan black bean brownies?

  • They are gluten-free, dairy-free and low in fat (only 3 tbsp of oil!).
  • They are a perfect healthy alternative to the classic brownies.
  • Super easy to make! Most of the dough is done in the food processor.
  • Freezer friendly. Make more and hide them in your freezer for later.

What makes these vegan black bean brownies healthier?

The base is made out of black beans! Nutrient dense and fiber packed canned black beans! You won’t taste them and it provides a perfect texture when making dense and chewy brownies.

Also part of the base, you will find lots of oats instead of flour. The oats are crushed in a food processor, so in this case too, you won’t realize they are hiding in there. They provide even more fiber and precious nutrients.

Also, to sweeten the dessert, leave the granulated white sugar aside and grab a few Medjool dates. These sticky, sweet, caramel-like and chewy dates will also help hold everything together.

On a small white plate, there are 3 pieces of vegan black bean brownies topped with a peanut butter frosting that are piled over each other in a tower. You can see more of the squares in the background.

Cacao vs cocoa? Which one is best.

The deep chocolate flavor comes from the raw cacao powder. You can easily find it at any regular grocery stores, but be careful of choosing cacao powder and not cocoa powder, if possible.

Why? Both comes from the cacao bean (seed) and usually are used to prepare chocolate products, but their health benefits are what sets them apart:

CACAO is the unprocessed option. This means that the bean is cracked out of its shell, ground and packaged. Its mostly used for vegan and unprocessed chocolate product. It contains a load of anti-oxidants and is therefore the healthiest version.

COCOA is the processed option. The beans are removed from their shells, but then brought to a factory where the beans are roasted in high heat and processed, then ground into cocoa powder. The manipulation of the beans makes cocoa a less healthy option since lots of its health benefit (anti-oxidants) have been eliminated in the process.

You can see some vegan black bean brownies squares that has just bean cut in squares. On the side, there is the knife used to cut it and a pink hand towel.

How to make these vegan black bean brownies?

You will have to first boil the dates in water for 5 minutes to soften them.

Then, add them and the other ingredients (except for the chocolate chips) to a food processor to prepare the dough. Super easy! Transfer to a bowl and fold in the chocolate chips.

The dough goes in a square oven safe container and pop in the oven.

Once the brownies are cooked, top it with an easy and delicious 5 minutes peanut butter frosting. You only need 4 ingredients, one bowl and a little whisk to make this healthy frosting!

These brownies are also delicious eaten cold, so it makes for a perfect dessert to make ahead! Just prepare it when you have more free time, store it in the fridge and you will have a satisfying healthy dessert for your busy week to come.

How to store it

These brownies can be stored in a air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

They also can be frozen! Just be sure to cut them before storing in the freezer so you can grab individual portions when craving something chocolaty.

You might also like these chocolate treats:

I hope you will love these brownies as much as we do! If you try them, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was.

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On a small white plate, there are 3 pieces of vegan black bean brownies topped with a peanut butter frosting that are piled over each other in a tower. You can see more of the squares in the background.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Vegan Black Bean Brownies with peanut butter frosting

These deliciously rich vegan brownies are made out of black beans, oats and dates. They make for a perfect healthy alternative to the classic brownies. It's easy to make, so chocolaty and you won't even notice how good they are for you!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate, freezer-friendly, gluten-free, Vegan
Servings: 9 squares
Author: plantbasedjess

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 15 large Medjool dates (about 1 packed cup) pitted
  • 15 oz canned black beans rinsed and drained very well
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder + 2 tbsp Not cocoa
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven at 325°. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.
  • In a small pot, combine the Medjool dates with 1 cup of water and bring to a gentle boil. Keep on boiling for 5 minutes. Then, drain well in a fine mesh colander and press gently on the dates with a spoon to remove the excess of water.
  • In a food processor, combine the softened dates, drained black beans, oats, cacao powder, coconut oil, chia seeds and salt. Process for at least one minute taking a break or two to scrap the walls with a spatula. When the dough is well combined, add the baking powder and pulse a few times to incorporate it. The dough should be thick and sticky.
  • Transfer the thick dough to a bowl and incorporate the chocolate chips with a spoon. Again, the dough is thick so you will have to work a little to mix them in!
  • Transfer the brownie batter to the prepared baking dish and press with your hands gently to even the dough.
  • Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Make the frosting by whisking all the frosting ingredients in a medium bowl until very smooth.
  • Spread the frosting on top of the cooked brownies and let the brownies cool down completely before removing from the baking dish and cutting in squares. Enjoy!

Notes

Store the frosted brownies in the fridge for up to 5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer (cut in squares before freezing for easy single portion sweet treats).

8 Comments

  • Nancy

    5 stars
    These are soooo good. I couldn’t believe how creamy the frosting is and it didn’t take much stirring. They are easy to make too!

  • Linda

    5 stars
    I made these for a small party with some friends and they were such a hit! I love that they are moist and chewy just the way a brownie should be – I couldn’t taste the black beans at all but knowing they were there made me feel so much better knowing I was enjoying a healthy treat. My friends loved these too and I directed them to your blog! The peanut butter frosting was so good. Thanks for another great recipe Jessica!

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