Black Bean Brownies {with shredded coconut & chocolate chips!}

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on June 3, 2010


I think I only got a few shots of these little beauties before little people hands started showing up in the viewfinder of my camera. (See below!)

Let’s talk about these brownies for a minute.

While some of you have probably been making brownies with black beans for years, I have just been enlightened. My mouth thanks you Pam, not so much my waistline!

Pam’s version used a box mix and since I recently rid of all my box mixes, a from scratch version it would have to be!  I took my basic brownie recipe and added some pureed black beans…and it was all better!

By far, these are the BEST “from scratch” brownies I’ve ever made!!!

I have tried to make “box like” brownies from scratch over and over and over…to no avail.

Alas, these are quite close!!!

They have an OBSCENE amount of sugar. But I’m OK with that.

Because the protein and fiber in the black bean puree outweighs the calories from the sugar. Right?

Please tell me so!

Le photos

Puree black beans.

Add to mixer. Mix with sugar, vanilla, milk.

Add dry ingredients.

(Can you see the reflection of the chocolate chips bag!?)

Mix away.

Add coconut.

Add chocolate chips.

And if a few don’t make it into the bowl and get stuck on the mixing tool, feel free to snack on those.

Mix on low.

Pour and bake.

And enjoy…pretending they are not loaded with sugar. ;)

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Black Bean Coconut Brownies

Yield – 16 brownies

Preparation Time – 20 minutes

Cooking Time – 40 minutes


  • 3 cups pureed black beans (I filled up the blender to the 4 cup line and added a little water)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk (or rice milk)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened) (and optional)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Puree black beans with a little water. I went for a “smoothie” like consistency.
  • Add the sugar to the mixer or mixing bowl and then pour in the pureed black beans. Mix until smooth, adding the vanilla and milk as it mixes.
  • Dump in all the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa, powder, soda and salt.
  • Mix up, then toss in the coconut and chocolate chips.
  • On the lowest speed, mix in the coconut and chocolate chips for 10-20 seconds.
  • Pour the brownie batter into the greased pan and bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean in the center. Let cool on a cooling rack before cutting.

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather June 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm

umm…YUM! I would REALLY like to make these!


The Working Home Keeper June 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I just made Flourless Black Bean Brownies last night for dessert! My kids loved them!

Mary Ellen


Sue October 5, 2014 at 7:32 pm

How did you make the flourless black bean brownies? Ingredients and directions please!


Katie B June 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I have seen this recipe as a Weight Watchers recipe that just uses the boxed mix and a can of the beans, purreed. I have never tried them as I was too scared to, but I have read some good reviews.

I like to mix a can of pumpkin with a box of Devils food cake mix and make cupcakes… those are very good and the pumpkin is so good for you!


Debbie June 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Do you think you could use Splenda instead of sugar?


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom June 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm


I’m not sure Debbie…but it’s worth a try!

I’ve never baked with Splenda, so I’m not sure how it would compare…nor do I have any recommendations!

If they work out, please let us know!!!



Karen June 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm

@Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom,
I think splenda can be substituted cup for cup so I don’t see why not. :)


Heather June 3, 2010 at 8:19 pm

@Karen, they say to use cup for cup, but ive also used half the amount of splenda when subbing and its been plenty sweet. all depends on your taste


Pam @ Keeping Life Creative June 3, 2010 at 10:09 pm

@Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom, I’ve made my scratch brownie recipe with Splenda before and they didn’t work AT ALL. While Splenda does work well as a sub in many baking recipes, it seems like the brownies needed the weight of the sugar. I’m not really sure…but mine came out flat as a pancake and really crispy. Not at all like brownies and not good at all. Maybe you’ll have better luck though.


Mary June 4, 2010 at 11:42 am


Use Splenda for Baking or whatever the new name is now. The Splenda/Sugar blend works very well in baked recipes as it helps maintain the texture.

Splenda would work but the outcome would not be as tasty.



Karen June 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I think that jerry seinfeld’s wife made a puree cookbook, the kids never know the taste. :)


Jamie June 3, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Erin, here is a dairy free, gluten free black bean brownie recipe. I work in a daycare, and we serve these for snack once every few weeks for a treat.
I am not sure of its origin, but it works every time.
Black Bean Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 F
Oil or spray an 8×8 square pan.

1 19 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 eggs
3 tbsp veg oil
1 tsp vanilla
¾ c white sugar
¼ c cocoa powder
1 pinch salt

Optional: 1 tsp instant coffee and ½ c chocolate chips.

Process beans in a food processor until very smooth (I usually turn it up to high and let it go for 2 -3 minutes). Add eggs, and beat the mixture with a hand mixer on med to high for at least 1 minute. Add all other ingredients, beat on med to high for another minute.

Pour into baking dish, bake for 30 minutes or until the top is dry and edges are pulling from the pan. Allow to cool, cut into squares.


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom February 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Thanks for sharing this one Jamie!!!



Pam @ Keeping Life Creative June 3, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Wow, the chocolate chips and coconut would probably be amazing!! I’ve been wanting to try a “from scratch” version!


Amy June 4, 2010 at 8:04 am

That’s funny, I made black bean brownies for the first time last night!
I used Donielle’s recipe from Naturally Knocked Up:
No sugar, sweetened with honey!
They were pretty good, worth a try.


Chysom August 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I would use Honey too. Way better then sugar, but really, so long as you get an extra bit of exercise/play with your kids(their games, not yours), then it won’t matter, it ain’t how many calories you eat, it is how many you burn, and we all know that a calorie is just a measurement of energy, the amount of energy need to raise one gram of water by one degree Celsius, or at least we do now.

So, high health food, use honey, I love honey. Bake a 25F less, and mix the honey with half the amount of sugar, use a bit less liquid, and add a touch of baking soda, and your good to go.


Debbi Does Dinner Healthy June 4, 2010 at 9:10 am

I so want to try these at my Luau coming up. Are you sure that they are THAT good and people won’t know there are beans in there?? I’m serving like 60 people.


Linda June 4, 2010 at 1:52 pm

This is amazing. Have never used black beans in a recipe like this before but I’m intrigued. The picture is making my mouth water as I write this.


Christina June 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm

So are these canned beans or dry beans?! Sorry to ask a dumb question, but I’ve never made anything like this before!


Cupcake Mommie (Jessica) June 4, 2010 at 8:30 pm

I can’t wait to try these. I’ve rid our house of any HFCS and mixes as well and I’m doing all my own. I’ll have to try these out when I’ve got some alone time so I can sneak those black beans in! Everyone is fine about eating the black beans until they know they are in the brownies…ya know?

I LOVE the picture with the hand! It could be on a brownie box–oh wait, we don’t do that anymore??


Melanie June 6, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Tried these tonight with 2 cans of black beans. They were a big hit! My husband thought they needed a tad more sugar but I thought they were fine without it. So yummy and moist. You should have seen the look on my kids faces after they ate them and I told them they were black beans. :) I’ve been meaning to try the bean puree route and glad I finally took the plunge. Way better than boxes mixes! They are REALLY rich (but semi healthy!) though and if you could eat 2 squares of boxed brownies before, you can only eat one of these. Yum!!! Thanks!!!


Holly June 13, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Just made these tonite and they were amazing!! Even with the sugar, they have no eggs or oil, PLUS the beans…. they’re almost health food! At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself when I have another b4 bed.

Even fooled my 5 year old, who is very anti-bean!


Andrea June 15, 2010 at 8:37 am

I made the brownies Sunday while my kids were gone, and I think I must have ate three or four over the course of the day! Last night for dessert I took a brownie and cut it up, dropped a spoonful of vanilla greek yogurt on top, and then drizzled about 2tsp of carmel sauce, and it was yummy! All three of my kids asked for more dessert, and had NO idea the brownies had beans in them…thanks for an amazing recipe I will use many times over!


Chris July 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I made these brownies today. What wonderful flavor! Many thanks for sharing!

I only recently began experimenting with beans to replace flour. As a diabetic my blood glucose responds to wheat flour (a simple carb) like it does sugar (a simple carb). Other recipes with only beans – no flour -were too heavy for my taste.

Substituting almond flour in this recipe & replacing sugar with Truvia & Stevia pkts & applesauce resulted in brownies that were delicious but so delicate they come apart as you try to eat them. Maybe I shouldn’t have added the applesauce which is needed with the liquid stevia concentrate for “bulk.”

I’ll work on making them more ‘sturdy’ but this is a keeper. Thanks again!


Chris July 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm

@Chris, One more note… after tasting the cooled brownies I put them in the fridge overnight… they firmed up like magic!


susan August 9, 2010 at 8:45 am

trying these out on my bible study ladies today. can’t wait to try them b/c i’ve been looking for a good from scratch recipe for brownies


Christina Havens October 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I am going to give these a try. I really hope they are as good as you say ;) I am going to give Stevia a try, maybe half sugar half Stevia. Stevia is the best natural sweetener that is really and truly natural! It is somewhat of a acquired taste but a little here and there and you get used to that slight aftertaste. Then again if anyone is used to the poison artificial sweeteners then they should not mind a slight aftertaste.
Thanks again and I love the new website look.


elva January 3, 2011 at 5:44 am

I don’t really like black beans, I wonder can you replace it with pinto beans?


Kathleen January 8, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Just made this recipe!! It was DELISH! I cut the sugar to 1.5 cups. The kids had no idea there were added ingredients. I’d recommend cutting the pieces smaller than normal because as said above-they are rich but SOOO chocolately and moist!!


Black Bean Brownies March 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm

You can make Black Bean Brownies in so many different variations. Nobody can taste the black beans. I’ve given them to dozens of people and everyone loves them. Try different kinds of beans also. Here’s a link to my website for many Black Bean Brownie Recipes and a list of other beans that I have used to make brownies. They are all delicious! Give them a try! Judy


Shawna April 1, 2011 at 1:08 am

Made these last night, they were amazing. I have never really liked brownies in the past, but wanted to try and these we awesome! I made with 2 C. of black bean puree and didn’t have enough for the recipe so added in 1 C. lentil puree. You could not tell I had two different beans in the recipe. I cut the sugar to 1-1/2 C. and still was great. Amazing moist delicious brownies.


allison a April 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Had been hoping to make these over the weekend and did this morning – oh my goodness – wonderful texture, yummy taste. I used 2 cans of black beans and didn’t drain them; just pureed. Topped with royal icing (meringue powder icing which hardens in a thin white layer) to add some color. Thank you for posting this – definitely a way to get some fiber in to my girl’s diet!


Maria May 11, 2011 at 11:44 am

If you substitute the white flour for almond or some other type of healthier flour and use sugar alternatives like honey, sugar in the raw, and the like – they would be spectacularly healthy. :)


Debbie August 17, 2011 at 2:53 pm

These look so yummy! I tried to print out the recipe to save it for later but when I click on the link to go to the printable page, it doesn’t show up right (just a big, long box with a line inside it:) Is there a way to fix this? I know if I don’t print this out, I will forget it :/


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom August 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Let me take a look at it Debbie…I may need to reformat the recipe.


DavetteB August 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm


Have you tried WheyLow ( )? It is a natural sugar made of 3 natural sugar, but only 1/4 of the carbs and calories. Most important you can bake with it cup for cup (just lower the oven temp 25 degrees) and there are no chemicals so feed you or your family. It comes in regular granulated, for Ice cream [just superfine], Gold [brown sugar], Powdered and Maple.

I would also agree with the comment on using whole grain flour. I use white whole wheat for just about every thing, or I grind spelt on pastry fine and use a combination of that. For anyone that uses white flour, please try to at least get Unbleached to avoid the extra chemicals.

Take care :o)


Melanie August 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I made these and they are great but REALLY heavy! Seriously! You think you can eat a lot and after one square, you’re full. Thanks beans! Next time I would make a half of a batch and still freeze.


Barbara August 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Don’t mean to be rude, but do you think these will make kids (or husbands) gassy? Our kids love beans, but this is always a problem!


Bethanie August 20, 2011 at 9:33 pm

I made these a few nights ago and they are ridiculously good! I used two cans of black beans, drained, rinsed and pureed with about a half cup of water. Exactly 3 cups. I subbed in 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/2 c of oat flour, 1 cup of organic sugar and 3/4 cup of sucanat. I can’t wait to try them with walnuts. I’ve thankfully given some away or I’m afraid I should have eaten the whole pan! Mine were very light in texture, rich and moist.


Bethanie August 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm

If you use all sucanat for the sweetener I would do only 1 c to 1 1/2 c instead of what the recipe calls for. It’s sweet like brown sugar.


Adrienne October 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

Gonna try it today. I add black beans to everything I can think. They are very nutritous and so good for the kids, and husband. I wonder could you half the sugar and still get the same effect? Thanks, A


janea (2brokelagirls @ blogspot) January 25, 2012 at 8:13 pm

could you substitute the cow milk for almond or soy milk? does that have any effect on the recipe? that is the only thing keeping me from trying this recipe. I’m going to try the one posted in the comments (the dairy, gluten free brownies your reader makes for their daycare)


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Whitney December 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I made these for a holiday party on Friday and they were a huge hit! Everyone asked how I got them so moist and fudgy. Bwahaha. I made them without the coconut, topped with chocolate peppermint ganache, and sprinkled with crushed candy canes!


Shannon January 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I made half the recipe and I loved them. They are very delicious. I would definitely make these again, thanks for sharing this recipe with us.


Allison Schoonover July 10, 2013 at 7:21 am

These are the best brownies I’ve ever made or eaten!! Even my kids, who usually refuse to eat my homemade sweets, snarfed these down. Thank you so much for the recipe!


kaitlyn September 17, 2013 at 2:25 am

hey i made these brownies the out side became toughand the inside remained thick squishy what did i do wrong?t


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