These easy vegan brownies are made with black beans, oats, Medjool dates, coconut butter, and maple syrup and are oh so fudgy good! Because these vegan black bean brownies are made with high fiber, protein-rich, wholesome ingredients, they are considered whole-food plant-based and are nutritious as well as delicious!
To Make Black Bean Brownies You Will Need:
- canned black beans (unseasoned and undrained)
- Medjool dates
- maple syrup
- coconut butter
- old-fashioned oats
- cocoa powder
- instant coffee granules
- baking powder
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Tips and Tricks for Making Vegan Black Bean Brownies:
Please read through the tips and tricks section because I want to make sure your brownies turn out as fudgy delicious as mine did! There is a handy printable recipe card at the end of this post with the ingredients and directions. The following section gives some pro tips as well as answers to some of your burning questions.
Can I make brownies without eggs?
We can absolutely make brownies without eggs. Some brownies will use ground flax as a substitute and others use a fruit puree. In this recipe, we use the entire can of black beans without draining. The “bean juice” or aquafaba substitutes as the egg.
Are chocolate chips vegan?
No, chocolate chips usually list dairy as an ingredient. BUT – you can easily find vegan chocolate chips if you look for them though. Just read the back of the package and check the ingredient list.
If you are unable to find dairy-free chocolate chips at the grocery store, these are some of my favorite brands I order from Amazon (affiliate links):
How to Make Black Bean Brownies:
Medjool dates, the healthier option:
This recipe uses Medjool dates and real maple syrup as sweeteners. These are both considered whole-food plant-based and are a healthier option than processed sugar. For more information on Medjool dates as well as some great recipes that use Medjool dates as a sweetener, read this article on 13 Surprising Facts About Medjool Dates and How to Cook with Them.
Start out by soaking the pitted Medjool dates in hot water for about 30 minutes. While they are soaking, you can prep the pan, heat the oven, and prepare the dry ingredients.
Once the dates have soaked and are softened, drain the water and throw it out. You won’t be using the soaking water in this recipe. You will process the soaked dates in a high-speed blender along with the other wet ingredients.
Preparing the pan:
- A 9×9 pan is the best size for these brownies (affiliate link).
- I line the brownie pan with parchment paper but make sure I leave a little hanging over two opposing sides. That way I can use the paper that is hanging over as a handy tool to lift the brownies out of the pan in one piece.
- Measure out how much parchment paper you will need. I measure out about 18 inches – nine for the pan, four for the sides and about four to hang over the two sides.
- Roll it up loosely, and then hold up to the pan and cut across so that it will fit.
- I spray the pan with cooking spray so that the parchment will stick.
The dry ingredients:
- It is important to mix the dry ingredients together in a dry blender. Make sure to mix them up and process the oats into oat flour before you use the blender for the wet ingredients.
Are black bean brownies gluten-free?
This recipe uses oats rather than flour. It could be technically gluten-free as long as you correctly source your oats. There is a real concern with cross-contamination and not all oats are certified gluten-free. Bob’s Red Mill has certified gluten-free oats (affiliate link).
Why do we use instant coffee powder?
The instant coffee crystals were honestly the game-changer with this recipe. I had made black bean brownies before and was never really a fan. The coffee adds a real richness of flavor. If you do not want to add in coffee, consider adding in a Tablespoon of tahini to add a depth of flavor.
The wet ingredients:
- After you have processed the dry ingredients, dump them into a medium-large mixing bowl and set aside. Then add the soaked dates, black beans, maple syrup and vanilla to the blender.
- Do not drain the black beans. Just add in the whole can, juices and all! This will help to make the brownies moist and acts as an egg replacer.
- You will need to use the tamper that came with your blender to push down the ingredients. It will be quite thick when finished.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape out the blended black bean mixture into the dry ingredients.
- Then, along with the chocolate chips, mix everything up by hand until mixed well.
Baking the black bean brownies:
- Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Pro tip: sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on top for a finished look.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. You will know when the brownies are done because they will be somewhat dry and solid to the touch.
- Take out of the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.
Using the parchment paper hanging over the side, gently lift the brownies in one piece and allow to finish cooling on a rack.
- Cut the brownies into 12 even pieces. These will continue to get more solid as they cool. I
- f you are short on time, you can always stick the pan in the refrigerator for quicker cooling.
The Recipe for Vegan Black Bean Brownies:
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Vegan Black Bean Brownies
- 10 Medjool dates pitted
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoons instant coffee powder/crystals
- Soaked Medjool Dates (see above)
- 15 ounce canned black beans do not drain
- ¼ cup coconut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
- more chocolate chips for topping optional
- Take the pits out of the Medjool dates and soak in hot water for 30 minutes. While they are soaking, you can assemble the other ingredients, prepare your pan, and preheat the oven to 350°
- Prepare the baking pan by cutting a piece of parchment that will hang off the sides of your pan a couple of inches and will fit the bottom of the pan. I spray the pan with cooking spray to help the parchment stick. See the blog post above for an example photo.
- Put old-fashioned oats, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and instant coffee powder into a dry high-speed blender. Blend for about 30 seconds until the oats are a fine powder.
- Pour processed oats mixture into a medium-large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Drain the pitted, soaked dates and put into the same high speed blender along with maple syrup, coconut butter, vanilla and black beans.
- It is important you do not drain the can of beans. Pour the whole thing in, including the liquid (make sure your beans do not have added seasonings - just beans.) If you didn't read the instructions through and already drained the beans, just add in 1/4 cup water. Be prepared to add in up to two Tablespoons more water if it isn't processing smoothly.
- Blend/process on high for two minutes. You will probably need to use the tamper provided with your blender and tamp it down as it is blending. The mixture will be quite thick.
- With a rubber spatula, scrape out the processed black bean mixture into the dry mixture. Add in the chocolate chips. Stir until well blended.
- Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared 9x9 baking pan. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary and smooth the top.
- Sprinkle on a handful of vegan chocolate baking chips.
- Bake in a 350° oven for 15-18 minutes. It will feel dry and somewhat firm to a gentle touch. Remove from the oven.
- Allow cooling in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, using both hands, pick up the brownies holding onto the sides of the parchment paper and lift to a cooling rack. Allow cooling for up to 30 more minutes on the rack.
- Cut into 12 pieces. These brownies will continue to firm up as they cool. I have put the entire pan in the fridge when I was short on time. It work out great!