top of page

Black Bean Brownies

This seems plain wrong to me, but having been sent a gluten free recipe by my friend Bernice, I'm giving it a go.

The recipe wasn't vegan so I've replaced the eggs with flax seed. Would apple sauce work better? Not sure, but I was afraid that would be too sweet for me. How this recipe can possibly work with no flour whatsoever seems impossible to me, but here goes!

Preheat oven to 175C 350F and assemble ingredients.

There aren't many photos today as this whizzed up in no time. One bowl, chuck it all in, blitz and bung it in a lined baking tin.

I keep the bowl on my scales and weigh the ingredients straight in.


400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed

3 tbsp flax seed (mix in a small bowl or cup with 9 tbsp water, let rest for 5 mins)

45 ml vegetable oil

20g cocoa powder, sifted in

large pinch of salt

teaspoon vanilla extract

150g white sugar (I've used caster)

teaspoon of instant coffee powder (optional - I wanted to add this but didn't have any)

tsp baking powder

85g vegan milk choc chips (optional)


Recipe says to whizz everything up in a blender. I can't be bothered with scraping it out of the blender, or washing it all up afterwards, so I'm going in with my stick blender instead. This seems to work fine, I can't see anything wrong with the texture.

Weigh and chuck everything in and then blitz it. Simples.

But surely this can't be right?

Looks ok.

Lets try a bit of the batter....

This is mind blowing.... it tastes exactly like Brownie batter, but can it really come out the same?

Surely not!

I've poured the batter into a tin lined with no-stick baking parchment. I know my smallest tin is still really a bit big for the job. One of these days I will invest in a proper brownie pan, I've never had one.

With no vegan choc chips at hand, I've chopped a few squares of vegan milk and scattered over the top.

That photo deserves an award for its awesomeness. I'm sure it could place in the "Really not worth the effort to take" category.

Bung into the oven for 30 mins. Recipe states that the top should be firm and edges starting to come away from sides of pan.

The top looks firm, but my instinct says this looks just a tad too soft when the timer binged, so I turn the oven off and leave the pan in the closed oven whilst cooling down.

Once out of the oven, even I have to admit it looks like proper brownies. I mark the squares whilst still warm and leave to cool completely.


My finished brownies are definitely too thin due to the size of the pan I've used. However, they taste good and the texture is ok. Another time I'll leave them in for another 5 minutes as they are just a bit too soft for my liking. The square I tried did hold together whilst eating. Perhaps I could just add a tablespoon less water to the flax mix? Perhaps I'll try that next time.

There will be a next time. These aren't overly sweet which is just fine for me. Can I tell there are beans in them? Yes I can, but it's not unpleasant at all. They've certainly turned out better than the version I made with gluten free flour. I wonder how a mix of half black bean, half butter bean would turn out? What about using soft brown sugar instead? I forsee tweaks ahead.

So all in all, not bad at all.... thank you Bernice :)

bottom of page