It’s Brownie Day! Vegan Black Bean Brownies

Vegan and gluten free Black Bean Brownies


As I continue on my quest for the perfect vegan brownie today is the turn of the infamous black bean brownie. I’ve heard good things about them and have had the recipe in my mind’s eye for a little whiley. Apparently you’re not supposed to tell anyone what’s in them before they try one….

Bowl of black beans
A tasty bowl of black or turtle beans for making vegan black bean brownies

Last night I cooked the black or turtle beans (you could use them from a tin) which, wonderfully, don’t need soaking although do need cooking for over 1hr. Still I had some for my tea as well to make the cooking more worthwhile. They are tasty if you haven’t tried them before.

There are various recipes around. I decided to start with one from The Minimalist Baker but ended up modifying it as I went along, so here’s my recipe.

BTW: keep updated with my cooking and floriforous exploits on Instagram: @raffanous

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

  • 1 3/4 cup cooked black beans
  • 2 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 8 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp hemp powder
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • large pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar granules/crystals
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp soya milk
  1. Put fan oven on at 160°C and grease and line an 8″x10″ baking tray.
  2. Add water and hemp powder to chia seeds and mix well with a spoon, whipping it up a little as you go. I thought that adding the protein powder should make it more representative of an egg! Put aside.
  3. Put sugar into food processor and blitz for a minute or two.
  4. Add all the other ingredients and blitz away for a good few minutes until as smooth as you would like it. Mixture should be fairly lax – use more soya milk if required.
  5. Spread into tray.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out almost but not quite, clean.
  7. Cut into squares while still in the tray and allow to cool a little. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Black bean brownie
The finished article – cooked vegan black bean brownie

These are completely moreish and not at all sickly which some brownies can be. There is a taste of the black beans but it goes really well with the chocolate. The texture of these is really good and there is even a crispy crust. I’d rate these pretty highly. There is a little something missing but only just. These are great if you like a fudgy brownie.

Next time I make them, and I think I will make them again, I’m going to use ‘normal’ white sugar and up the quantity of it a bit just to make them a touch sweeter. I also might perhaps try them with some nuts. I think they might work well with a few oats or something like that and some chocolate chips.

Vegan and gluten free brownies
Vegan and gluten free brownies

Definitely a recipe to work on for the perfect vegan brownie.

  1. Cakiness: 6
  2. Gooiness: 9
  3. Crispy top: 7.5 (not a sugar crisp top but a chia crisp top!)
  4. Chocolateyness: 8 (it was a deep, dark, verging on bitter, chocolate flavour)
  5. Sweetness: 8
  6. Ease of making: 9 (assuming you have the black beans ready to go, 6 if not)
  7. Ingredient complexity: 7
  8. Overall taste: 8.5 (different, but good different)


Here’s a quick reminder of the other vegan brownies I’ve investigated so far:

I’ll leave you with a co-ordinating pic of my lily ‘James Brydon’ which is flowering away at the moment.

Pink water lily (Nymphaea 'James Brydon')
Pink water lily (Nymphaea ‘James Brydon’)




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