Bean Brownies

Yes, you read it right, we used beans and brownies in the same headline. And we don’t mean cacao beans or coffee beans. No, these brownies are actually made on black beans and garbanzo beans instead of flour, which makes them gluten free and much more nutritious than your ordinary brownies. Pretty cool, right?

If you follow a lot of food blogs this combination might not come as a total surprise to you, there are a couple of different bean & brownie recipes out there. And if you travel around in Asia you might come across a couple of desserts based on red or yellow lentils. But you still have to admit that it is pretty mind blowing that you can use one of the most nutritious food ingredients in one of the least nutritious cakes.

And how is the result, how beanie do they get? The truth is that they don’t taste beans at all, and I used quite a lot of beans in this recipe. I even brought them to work, and no-one could guess the secret ingredient. They do however taste a little bit different to an ordinary brownie recipe. The beans makes them a little bit more dense and they have a very rich taste, which basically means that you can’t have 10 of these at the same time, but that’s only a good thing, right? The agave syrup makes them sweet, but maybe not as crunchy as with sugar. In all other aspects they are similar, and depending on which dark chocolate you use you will get a variation in taste.

Bean Brownies Adapted from 101 cookbooks
makes 16 squares

125 g butter
180 g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1,5 cup cooked or canned black beans & garbanzo beans (chick peas)
3 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp coconut flakes
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
a pinch of sea salt
3 eggs
2/3 cup agave syrup

Preheat the oven to 325°F and line an 11-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
Melt the butter on low heat in a medium size pan, break 150 g of the dark chocolate into small pieces and add them to the melted butter. Stir around until the chocolate mixture is completely melted.
Put beans, cacao powder, coconut flakes and 1/2 cup of the walnuts in a blender or a food processor. Blend for about two minutes, then add the chocolate mixture and blend for one more minute.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes, add the agave syrup and whisk for one more minute. Save four spoonfuls of the egg mixture in a separate glass and pour the rest over the chocolate and bean mixture. Add the remaining walnuts and dark chocolate and stir everything gently with a spatula until the whole mixture has the same color.
Pour into the baking pan. Drip the remaining egg mixture on top of the chocolate mixture and use a toothpick or a knife to create a marble effect. Bake for 30-40 minutes. They might still feel a little bit loose in the middle when you take them out, but the trick here is to wait until they cool off completely (I know, it’s hard, but it’s totally worth the wait). Enjoy!


  • Leah
    Just made a double batch... Amazing, love these brownies!! I didn't add the coconut because i thought i had some and i didn't. Nor the walnut, because of an allergy. I had everything else, just spot on!
  • Elii
    I made these yesterday and they are AMAZING!! Super delicious and chocolatey. I'm wondering if there's a way to make this nut-free - I'm a teacher and nuts in school are something of a no no, but I'd love to make them with kids :)
  • maria
    This looks delicious. Is there an alternative to the butter here?

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