Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies for #SundaySupper

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When I was 5, my mom told me I was allergic to chocolate.

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Now, you’d think that a future 20-year product of the public education system would have smelled something fishy, but I smelled nothing but the tantalizing, forbidden scent of chocolate.

Believe it or not, the ruse lasted until age 10, when we were selling Hershey’s bars for a school fundraiser and I sank my teeth into a gorgeous, silky chunk of chocolate heaven.

Half a decade of my life. Irretrievable. Lost. Goner than a koala chucked into a black hole.

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Aside from those five years of chocolate-less existence–and opting out of meat–and okay, my insanely picky palate–I’ve never had eating restrictions, really. At least not the kind of allergy that will debilitate you and close your throat and send you to the hospital with an EpiPen sticking out of your arm. Thank goodness.

I’m lucky in that respect, but it really wasn’t until grad school that I met friends who really did have food allergies. One of my closest classmates is allergic to a whole score of things, including nuts, dairy, and soy. I’ve told you about my recent student who has all of those allergies, plus corn, bean, fruit, and gluten allergies. Another guy in my office has Celiac, meaning gluten is a no-go for him, either. And this one’s not just a fad diet or a “gluten sensitivity,” I’ll tell you that much.

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That’s why you may have noticed a lot more “allergy-friendly” recipes around the blog lately. Have you checked out last week’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Crumble Peanut Butter Mousse Parfait Cups? Seriously though–gluten-free doesn’t need to mean un-tasty. In fact, I’ve had so much fun baking GF lately, my friends with gluten allergies have started asking whether the latest batch of treats is gluten-free–and it’s so nice when you can make someone who usually can’t participate feel included in something as simple as dessert.

This recipe for Gluten-Free Black Brownies was the latest (and tastiest and fudgiest!) of my recent experiments in allergy-free baking. Plus nobody else even knew these were gluten-free. Make these and you’ll not only be a superstar–you’ll be that super-nice, accommodating person who brings treats everyone can enjoy!

Though I’ll be honest: I might just have to try the “chocolate allergy” thing on my own kids one day and see if it works.

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Kidding. Just kidding.

Cheers to gluten-free and one bean-tastic brownie!


Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies for #SundaySupper

If you want to satisfy your chocolate cravings without the guilt, sink your teeth into THIS recipe! No one needs to know they are made from black beans--but you will want to tell the world they are wondrously gluten-free! Recipe slightly adapted from Minimalist Baker.


    For the gluten-free brownies:
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 eggs (you may substitute flax eggs to make this recipe vegan)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips (use vegan chocolate chips to make this vegan)
  • For the chocolate frosting:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk (add up to 1 tablespoon more as needed)


    For the gluten-free brownies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in food processor. Blend (in pulses) for 3 minutes, until your batter is very smooth. (In her original instructions, Dana says the batter should be "slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.")
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Press the chocolate chips into the batter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, keeping a close eye on your brownies throughout. Make sure not to overbake! The center should still feel slightly underbaked and fudgy when you remove the pan from the oven.
  5. Allow brownies to cool completely before frosting, cutting into squares, and serving!
  6. For the chocolate frosting:
  7. In a medium bowl, cream butter. Add cocoa powder, powdered sugar; vanilla, and soy milk Beat until light and fluffy. Frost cooled brownies.

Beantastic Beginners:

Bean-a-rific Soups and Stews:

Bean-a-licious Sides:

Incredi-bean Main Meals:

Amaze-beans Sweet Endings:

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Brownies & Chocolates, Healthy

58 Responses to Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies for #SundaySupper

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  5. Jen

    Those look sinful. Wow!

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  11. Oh how funny your mom told you that you were allergic to chocolate! At least you got to make up for it. Great brownies for those with special dietary restrictions. They look nice and fudgy.

  12. Liz

    I need to add your marvelous frosting to my bean brownies!!! Yours are super fudgy and irresistible!!!

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  17. Chocolate must be extra special now! After all you have five years to make up for! Gluten free never looked so good. Those are scrumptious Brownies!

    • Haha–well, I do enjoy it, but I think I would’ve fallen in love regardless! Gluten-free really does wonders sometimes, especially when you don’t have to worry about over-stirring. Thanks, Deb–happy Monday!!

  18. All that fudginess! Wonderful!

  19. Diana @DandelionGreensBlog

    Little bits of fudgy deliciousness… yum!

  20. I am SO trying these! I’ve heard of black beans in brownies, but never had them before! Your photos make me want to jump through the screen! They look delicious!!!!

  21. We have a good friend who just can’t tolerate gluten. She bakes a brownie that’s quite similar to this. It’s really good! This looks excellent — thanks.

  22. I love black bean brownies, yours look so fudgey good!

  23. omg … we were totally on the same wavelength this week, Ala! I am so digging your frosting though … and I am totally making it to go on my next batch of black bean brownies!

    P.S. So glad you found out chocolate can be a wonderful part of your life!

  24. Ooooh they look so fudgy and awesome!!

  25. I’ve seen so many black bean brownies, but I’m always wondering about the taste. Can you taste the black bean? I’m a huge fan of brownies in all forms and these look so fudgey and delish!

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  28. THESE LOOK AMAZING!!!! There are no words.

  29. I’d scream out loud if I found out allergic to chocolate. Thankfully, I’m not and glad you’re okay. A friend of mine is allergic to MSG and we *cough cough* ‘used’ her to test if a restaurant use MSG or not. This black brownies sound amazing though. I’ve never tried adding beans to baked goods but just converted me.

    • How did I miss your comment? I’m so glad both of us are chocolate-safe…but LOL, using your friend to test MSG sounds like a really interesting idea. Hehehe. I hope your friend is okay! You definitely need to try these, Linda!

  30. I wouldn’t worry too much about your kids eating chocolate since their Mom is smart enough to make brownies with nutrient dense and protein packed beans.

    • Wendy, I don’t even know how I missed your comment–but I laughed so hard when you said that bit about a smart mum. Ha! Well, at least I hope I will be :) thanks, and I hope you have a great weekend!

  31. Wow, those look like fudge, nicely done!!

  32. My mom always told me I was allergic to Cheetos! It seems like they were kindred spirits. These brownies look so crazy fudgy…I can’t imagine missing out on them because of a made up allergy!

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  34. You’re so nice to make all these allergen friendly treats for your students :) I’ve always wanted to try brownies made with beans and these look so fudgy and delicious! Definitely have to add them my next brownie baking session!

  35. Wow – can’t believe these are made with black beans – you’d never know!
    they look sooooo delicious! Plus guilt free – win win :D
    Hope your studies are going well Ala :)

    Bec {Daisy and the Fox}

  36. Black bean brownies are the BEST, I have to try this!

  37. WOW those brownies look amazing! I would be hard pressed to share them with anyone LOL

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