Secret Ingredient Flourless Brownies

Black Bean Brownies

Yes, they really are full of beans.

Astonish your family with this recipe! Have them try to guess the secret ingredient – I promise it will take them quite a while, if they ever get it at all. Just looking at the picture, can YOU guess what it is?

I had the pleasure of trying a version of these at a friend’s house last week, and of course couldn’t wait to share it with you here. It’s perfect for gluten-free folks, or for those simply looking to decrease the starch and increase the healthy, fibrous protein in their diets. I haven’t tried making it with a sugar substitute yet, but if you did, it would be a PERFECT low-carb dessert (omitting the chocolate chips, perhaps substituting some pecans or walnuts). Like, award-winning, I daresay. I’m going to have to try this soon, actually – I’ll report back! Have you guessed yet? Okay, without further ado, I present . . . BLACK BEAN BROWNIES.

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and spray an 8×8 square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, sugar, and instant coffee in a high-speed blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the  baking dish. Sprinkle half the white chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.

Bake about 30 minutes, until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool. Melt remaining white chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. Amaze your friends.

Other yummy gluten-free brownie recipes:

Dark Chocolate Brownies from Gluten-Free Goddess
Vegan, Gluten-Free Brownies from A Mighty Appetite
Nutella Brownies from Going Gluten-Free
Orange Almond Brownies from Gluten-Free Mommy
— posted by Anne


  1. says

    Yea! I found your site while looking for flourless dessert recipes. I have heard about black bean brownies for a couple years now, but I am actually going to make them this week. :) If they are good, I may do a post about them on my blog – I’ll definitely reference you if I do! Thanks for the amazing looking recipe!!

  2. Anne says

    Megan, I’m sorry to hear that! Sometimes oven temperatures are to blame – they can be WILDLY off even in new ovens. Cook’s Illustrated is big on making sure you always use a separate oven thermometer (unless you can afford to have your oven calibrated regularly).

    I’m glad you enjoyed the pudding, anyway! Do try them again, just maybe use a thermometer to be safe, and watch the wet ingredients carefully as well?

  3. Megan says

    I’m not sure what I did wrong, but for some reason mine didn’t get done. They were all gooey, and I like my brownies gooey, but they were too gooey, like not done gooey. It might be my oven, because it’s really old. But, other than that I was really surprised at how good they were. I didn’t use the walnuts of white chocolate chips because I didn’t have any. I’ll definitely try this again! :-)

  4. larry in rochester says

    I had my doubts – but I a was proven wrong. These were great. I skipped the white choc and added walnuts and dark choc to the top. Thanks for sharing.

    For the next batch, I’ll try palm sugar. Palm sugar glycemic index is 35, just over 1/3 the glycemic index of cane sugar (GI 93).

  5. says

    Those brownies look incredible! And of course the glaze doesn’t hurt ;)

    Thanks so much for including my blog in your blogroll! (And for anyone looking for a vegan, gf, black bean brownie, there’s a recipe on my blog, too). :)

  6. says

    OMG! I tried making brownies tonight and my oven went on the fritz. So I’m still craving brownies. How timely this is! Thank you! I can’t wait to try them.

  7. says

    I wanted to leave my Amen! to this recipe – Anne made these for us when she was here a few days ago and I was truly astonished at how wonderful these are. The texture is fine and soft and moist – these are some of the most flavorful brownies I have ever eaten (and I confess I did eat more than a few of these!).

    Everyone at my house is used to playing the “Guess What’s In This” game because of my constant recipe experimentation, and so about a dozen people were at the house trying to guess and no one did. The black beans are the perfect base for these brownies.

    Put this recipe on your “Must Try Soon” List – What could be better than healthy brownies???


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