Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

Black bean brownies may sound extremely unappealing, but I can assure you they are phenomenal. You will not notice the black beans in these, I promise.
01/24/2014 09:14pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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Black bean brownies may sound extremely unappealing, but I can assure you they are phenomenal. You will not notice the black beans in these, I promise.


I put this to the test on my mother-in-law. Now, she usually turns her nose up at my healthy meals and any attempts to make things healthier, lower in calories or more whole-grain.

It's not that she doesn't like that we try to live a healthy lifestyle. It's not that she isn't grateful that I'm trying to keep my family healthy and well-fed. It's more that she's just a meat and potatoes, white pasta, white bread kind of girl.

I should also add that she eats and appreciates most everything that I make and is always very willing to try new things. And like me, she has a major sweet tooth. Especially when it comes to brownies and cupcakes. When they said they were coming over for dinner, I knew I was going to make these brownies and put them to the ultimate test. I told my husband about my evil plan and got to baking.


I pureed the beans and got out the cocoa powder. I left the eggs in the fridge. I left the oil in the pantry. I pulled the whole wheat flour out of the fridge and left the all-purpose in the pantry. I got the chocolate chips out though, because let's be real, they were necessary. I also grabbed some espresso powder to deepen the flavor of these and really bring out the taste of the chocolate.

Mixed it all together and baked them in what else? A 350 degree oven. Set them on a cooling rack and quickly got rid of all evidence.

Keep in mind that I'm a terrible liar. I mean, really, really terrible. So my mother-in-law comes in and I can barely wait to shove a cold glass of milk into her hands with one of these moist, rich black bean brownies.

She tastes them and barely finishes saying, "These are great" before I blurt out, "They have black beans in them!"

I think her exact words were, "Really? Wow! I'd still eat another one even though I know that."

But she didn't. Minor details, really. These brownies are phenomenal. Try them, you'll see!

And don't worry, my husband and I didn't let these go to waste. They disappeared all too quickly. Thank goodness for the reduced calorie content!

Craving more chocolate brownie goodness? Try these protein brownies, Mexican chocolate brownies, Kahlua-cinnamon brownies, or sky-high confetti cream cheese brownies.

  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained, rinsed, and refilled with fresh water
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking or baking spray.
  2. Drain a can of black beans and rinse until the water runs clear. Return to can and then refill to the top with fresh water. Pour into a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt and baking powder. Add pureed black beans, vanilla and water and stir until everything is moistened. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until almost firm, rotating the pan 180° halfway through baking time.
  5. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

About Rachel Rachel freely admits she could eat popcorn every day on her blog Rachel Cooks. Given her love of snacks, we decided she'd be a perfect addition as a Snack Fanatic.