Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

12 Brownies
1 hr 30 min

If you’re looking for a healthy treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth, these Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies are for you!

Healthy, Easy-to-Make & Tasty!

Is there anything better than warm brownies straight from the pan? There’s no better smell than freshly baked brownies. As a kid, brownies were one of my favorite things to bake. Of course, I just used the Betty Crocker box and didn’t so much care about baking them as I did eating them. If you were anything like me, the process consisted of licking the spoon and grabbing the corner pieces the minute they came out of the oven.

While I love a good brownie, I rarely crave them now. Most brownies are very rich, and- dare I say- too chocolate-y? One fudge-filled brownie will have me in a food coma for days. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss brownies. So, I decided to create a healthy brownie recipe. A brownie recipe where you could have multiple in one sitting without feeling like you over indulged. A brownie recipe that was also good for you!

These Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies are not only delicious, but also have protein & fiber in them too! This recipe uses two cans of black beans and dates to provide a healthy and filling flavor profile. But don’t be fooled by the word healthy. These brownies still have all the great, classic flavors thanks to the unsweetened cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips! Did I mention they are also a breeze to make?

These brownies come together faster than you’d think!

The Dry Ingredients

This easy recipe comes together in a blink of an eye! There are only three dry ingredients you need.

  1. Gluten-Free Baking Flour. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’m partial to Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. This flour is great for baking desserts and has a fluffy consistency. Unlike other gluten-free flours, you don’t have to mix multiple flours (rice, almond, etc.) to get the desired consistency.
  2. Baking powder is a must with these brownies! A little bit goes a long ways so you only need a teaspoon to get perfectly fluffy, moist brownies.
  3. Salt will balance the sweetness from the dark chocolate and also compliment it well. You’ll need less than a teaspoon here.

That’s it! While there are other dry ingredients in this recipe, like the espresso powder and cocoa powder, those will be mixed into the wet ingredients. But, we’ll get to that later!

The Dark Chocolate

It wouldn’t be a true brownie recipe without chocolate. Over the years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best dark chocolate chips. And I’m happy to say that after a lot of recipe testing (and taste testing), I’ve found them! For this recipe, I used Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips. These dark chocolate chips contain 55% cocoa and are sweetened with stevia. Would you believe there’s no sugar added to these? There’s also no dairy! So, if you use these chips then this recipe can also be paleo.

To incorporate these dark chocolate chips into these brownies, we combine them with melted coconut oil. I like to heat up one third cup of coconut oil in the microwave for about thirty seconds. Then, I pour the dark chocolate chips in a bowl. I pour about one tablespoon of melted coconut oil into the chocolate chips at a time, and stir after. I found that if you pour all of the oil in at once, it gets too watery. However, if you do it slowly, then the chocolate is able to melt and become a beautiful syrup-like consistency.

So, as tempting as it to dump the melted coconut oil into the dark chocolate chips, just do it one tablespoon at a time and stir between. I promise the result will be a thousand times better!

These thick, fudge-like brownies have an addicting texture and flavor.

The Rest of the Ingredients

By now, you’re probably asking yourself where the rest of the ingredients are. We’ve covered the dry ingredients, the dark chocolate chips, and coconut oil. But what about everything else?

Would you believe me if I said the rest of the ingredients are combined in a blender? Yes, you read that right. No kitchen aid or hand mixer required! That’s one of the great things about this recipe, it truly is so easy to make. So, here’s what’s going in the blender….

  • Two 15 ounce cans of black beans
  • Four room temperature eggs
  • Six pitted dates
  • Two thirds cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Half a cup of maple syrup
  • A fourth cup of honey
  • Two teaspoons of espresso powder
  • One and a half teaspoons of vanilla extract

So, let’s break that down. First, you’re going to drain and rinse the black beans. Make sure you rinse the beans until the water runs clear. Then, add the beans to the blender and pulse on high for one minute. It’s important to mix the beans first because they are our main ingredient and we want them to have a smooth texture. After the beans are pureed, you can add the rest of the ingredients to the blender. There’s no need to add one egg at a time or dice the dates. The blender will mix everything for you!

Can you believe these brownies are good for you too?

The Final Steps

We’re almost done! All the ingredients are laid out, now it’s just time to bring everything together. So, we have….

  1. The blender with the mixed ingredients
  2. The bowl of combined dark chocolate chips and coconut oil
  3. The dry ingredients

First, transfer the batter from the blender to a large bowl with a spatula. Then, pour in the melted chocolate from the small bowl. Use a whisk to throughly combine the ingredients. Finally, sift in the dry ingredients to the large bowl. Whisk until all of the dry and wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Now, it’s time to transfer the batter to a baking dish.

Line a 9″ x 9″ baking dish with parchment paper. This will save you so much time and energy from trying to get the brownies out of the pan! Then, pour the batter over the parchment paper into the pan. The batter should fill the pan a little more than halfway. Place the pan on the middle rack in the center of the oven. Bake the brownies at 375 degrees for 75 minutes.

After the allotted time, turn off the oven and remove the brownies. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Then, pick up the corners of the parchment paper and remove from the pan. Both the paper and brownies should come off clean. Place the parchment paper with the brownies on top of wire rack or cutting board. Allow the brownies to cool again for five minutes before slicing with a clean knife. Finally, garnish with flakey sea salt and enjoy!

Add a little flakey sea salt for the perfect balance of sweet and salty.

Refined Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free

You may have noticed that there’s no cane or brown sugar in this recipe. There’s also no butter or heavy cream used. That means that this recipe isn’t only gluten-free and dairy-free but also refined sugar free. Those three combined make for a paleo recipe!

As mentioned above about the dark chocolate, this recipe can be made paleo if you use the correct chocolate chips. Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips are sweetened with stevia, but have no added sugar or dairy! While you don’t have to use those exact chocolate chips, if you are trying to make this recipe paleo just be sure to use the correct chocolate.

Dairy-Free & Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies
Recipe details
  • 12  Brownies
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 75 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 30 min
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  • 2 15oz. cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup gluten-free baking flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus flakey sea salt for topping

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9″ by 9″ baking tray with parchment paper
Drain and rinse the black beans, then add them to a blender
Pulse to combine until smooth, about one minute on high
Add the eggs, dates, cocoa powder, maple syrup, honey, espresso powder, and vanilla extract
Blend to combine all the ingredients, then transfer to a large bowl
In a small bowl, combine the dark chocolate chips with one tablespoon of warm, melted coconut oil. Stir between, then pour another tablespoon until all the coconut oil is mixed in.
Stir to combine until all the chocolate chips have melted and it resembles chocolate syrup
Pour the melted chocolate into the large bowl and whisk to combine
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt
Sift in the dry ingredients into the bowl, then stir to combine until thoroughly mixed
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish
Bake the brownies for 75 minutes
Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully remove and cool on a wire rack
Cut the brownies with a clean knife after 10 minutes
Garnish with flakey sea salt and enjoy!
  • Store in an air-tight container for up to five days.
Arianna Litrenta
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  • Thatsagoodidea Thatsagoodidea on Nov 03, 2022

    I haven’t found espresso powder that is gluten free so it would have to be omitted to be gluten free or perhaps there’s a brand out there I just haven’t located?

  • Joanna Joanna on Nov 24, 2022

    Can I use regular flour? I don't know if it works the same way as gluten free flour.