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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 16 brownies

Black beans are a secret weapon of whole-food, plant-based bakers. Blended, they help create a fudgy base for chocolatey treats, such as Outrageously Healthy Brownies and these delicious vegan Mexican chocolate brownies. Cayenne pepper gives these rich brownies a little kick: Add more if you like the heat.

Craving more wholesome vegan desserts? Check out these 5 Scrumptious Plant-Based Desserts.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup no-salt-added canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup pure cane sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon powdered pure cane sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick foil, extending foil over edges
  2. In a food processor combine beans, applesauce, and chopped chocolate. Cover and process until smooth. Add granulated sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla; cover and process until combined.
  3. In a small bowl stir together the next six ingredients (through cayenne pepper). Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture. Cover and process just until combined.
  4. Spread batter in the prepared baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or just until center is firm and edges are slightly puffed. Cool in pan on a wire rack. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Using foil, lift brownies out of pan. Cut into squares.

Comments (21)

(4.82 from 11 votes)
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Little lady 856 months ago
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Has anyone tried this without the chopped chocolate? I’m hoping to do a variation of these with a few little tweaks and just cacoa powder…if you’ve given it a whirl let me know how it turned out!

Thanks guys 🙂

jane luginbuhl7 months ago
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I have made this many times,i add walnuts and raisins and I love it. Mist people bever guess it is made from black beans!

Amie King8 months ago
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Excellent! I had to sub pumpkin puree for the applesauce (I didn’t have any applesauce) and these were fantastic.

Betty10 months ago
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Love these brownies! Used dates & quinoa flour….this is a definite recipe keeper!

Alex10 months ago
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I made this with some substitutions. In place of the cane sugar and applesauce, I soaked a heaping cup of deglett dates in hot water and tossed that in to blend with the beans. But since I didn’t have unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate bar I didn’t feel I needed to add regular sugar either. They came out well though the batter did not fill up the 8×8 pan I had. I’d make it again but tweak the wet to dry mixture.

Sarah10 months ago
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You had me until the cane sugar! Come on, there’s better options! Easy to substitute.

Hughes10 months ago
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Dr. Barnard (PCRM) recommends against cooking food in aluminum, including aluminum foil. If you want the brownies removed from a pan, use a springform pan or line the bottom with parchment paper. Brownies are great!

Michelle10 months ago
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Has anyone this tried gluten free?

Laura10 months ago
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Was wondering the same thing–may try this with Bob’s All Purpose Baking Flour and add a bit of xantham gum.

Sandra10 months ago
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Made these today, had to switch some ingrediënts ( used oat flour and 5 medjool dates instead ) due to not having the other ingrediënts. They came out amazing, as always!

Scott Teal10 months ago
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What did the oat flour replace? The black beans?

Lu12 months ago
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Could you use dates to sweeten instead of the sugar? We’re trying to avoid added sugars.

Sandra10 months ago
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Yes you can. I replaced the sugar with 5 medjool dates. Brownies came out great. Perhaps a bit less sweet, but my kids loved them

Alex12 months ago
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These are by far the best oil-free brownies I have ever made. Nobody can tell they are healthier than most brownies. I will definitely be making these often!

Hannah12 months ago
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I’ve made these at least 4 or 5 times now and they come out great every time! I use at least 1/2 tsp of cayenne because I like the kick to be a little less subtle and a little more oomph. Those with a sweet tooth will love them, but if I’m making them for someone who likes a lower level of sweetness I’ll substitute half of the sugar for monk fruit sweetener. Could maybe substitute all the sugar if you want to avoid it completely.

Shelly1 year ago
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These are delicious! I’m going to make some to take on an ATV trip. Has anyone tried freezing them? I’d like to make them ahead and freeze them.

Angie1 year ago
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Easy and delicious. I love the earthy taste from the black beans and kick from the cayenne.

Sheilah2 years ago
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We love this recipe — so simple and easy, and just delicious. Works every time!

Julia2 years ago
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Delicious! I added agave syrup instead of the cane sugar but reduced the amount a bit. The brownies have a soft texture and we really liked the zing of the cayenne pepper. Will definitely make this again.

Tillie3 months ago
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Remember that agave syrup is ~75% fructose. If you’re avoiding fructose (aka fruit sugar), don’t use agave syrup. It’s also ~2X sweeter than sugar.

Tessa Rosalie2 years ago
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Hi Julia, do you think the apple sauce will make it sweet enough? I don’t eat any sugar, the applesauce will be OK, or do you think it will taste just like beans with chocolate maybe I’ll give it a try with half the dough.

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about the author

Carla Christian, RD, LD

Carla Christian received her associate’s degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America in 2006 and her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Michigan State University in 2009. She finished her dietetic internship from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2010 and is a former chef in the Better Homes and Gardens® Test Kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn. Photo by Jason Donnelly.

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