Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies



I was skeptical.  Sure… I’ve heard people talk about beans in brownies, but really!?  Must we really put beans in our brownies?  Isn’t that just like having a CNN news break right in the middle of Teen Mom 2?  Kind of a bummer.

I was skeptical and I was dang wrong.  Beans in brownies is totally not CNN!  (When was the last time you typed ‘totally not CNN’?) Beans in brownies is a trick that knocks down the fat and boost up the protein (even if just slightly).  Sea salt and big walnut chunks are also highly advised….so advised, that you may find yourself indulging at breakfast.  Like I did.  This very morning.

black bean brownies


Three different kinds of chocolate make these brownies worth their salt.

Semi-sweet chocolate rounds, unsweetened chocolate chunks, and cocoa powder.

Black beans get pureed smooth and you’re well on your way to delicious brownies!


Just look at that.  Not a black bean in sight… but they’re in there!

black bean brownies

A 9-inch square pan is buttered, papered, buttered again, and floured.  It may seem like a lot of work, but this trick is wonderfully helpful when it comes time to remove the brownies from the pan.  Just lift the paper and ease ‘em out!


Whole walnuts left over from the holidays.  These beautiful nuts look like brains… I’m all about it.  I leave the chunky and almost whole to top the brownies.  A sprinkling of coarse sea salt is also ideal.


See the tiny specks of sea salt?  That’s where delicious lives.  Black beans disguised by chocolate and sugar, beauty indeed.

black bean brownies

The nut-studded, dry and crackled top.  These brownies are undeniably delicious.   So good you’ll want to share them with friends and show off what you can do with beans.

I like to just slightly under-bake these brownies.  Twenty five minutes is pretty golden, and if the center is still slightly moist, it will firm up and cook just a bit as it cools.  Dry brownies are a mild tragedy.

Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownie

makes 9-12 brownies

recipe from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food

Print this Recipe!

1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (about 1/3 cup)

1/4 cup black beans, rinsed, drained, and pureed until smooth in a food processor

1 1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

walnut chunks and coarse sea salt for topping (optional)

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving 2-inches of overhang on all sides.  Butter and flour the parchment paper as well.

Fill a medium sauce pan with 2 inches of water.  Bring the water to a simmer.  Place butter, semi-sweet, and unsweetened chocolate in the bowl.  Place the bowl over simmering water and stir until chocolate and butter are melted and combined.  Remove the bowl from the simmering saucepan (the bowl might be hot!).

Allow the melted chocolate mixture to cool for a few moments.  Whisk in the eggs and white, one at a time, until mixture is glossy. Whisk in the sugar.  Whisk in the bean puree and vanilla extract.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and sea salt.  Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the chocolate mixture.  Use a spatula and fold to incorporate.  Once thoroughly combined, pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Top with walnuts and sea salt, if using.

Bake brownies for 25-28 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few chocolate crumbs on it.  The center may seem undercooked, but it will cook further as it cools.  Brownies are better slightly underdone than overdone.

Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.  Use the overhanging parchment paper to remove the brownies from the pan and slice.

Cut brownies into 9 or 12 generous pieces.  Store brownies, wrapped individually, at room temperature for up to 4 days.  

173 thoughts on “Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

  1. oh how i adore you, joy the baker…

    was just making your old fashioned brownies last night – my fave brownie recipe ever – but have been wanting to try beans in brownies. thanks for giving it a try so that i can just follow what you did!

    btw – can’t wait until february when your new book ships! :)

  2. Don’t forget that the walnut halves have omega 3s so this is basically a legitimately healthy breakfast food. I have been wanting to make beany brownies for ages, it is just a mental hurdle that needs to be overcome!

  3. I love how yesterday you were eating the healthy oatmeal for breakkie and today its brownies. Everything in moderation! I thought I overdosed on chocolate over christmas but I think I’m ready to reconcile my differences with it.

  4. I’ve made black bean brownies several times. The first time they turned out kinda gross. Somehow though they didn’t deter me from trying again with a different recipe and they were much tastier! I love the giant walnuts on top of yours, a perfect breakfast treat for sure!

  5. Did you know that you’re supposed to eat food that looks like body parts because it will help the health of those body parts? So this means that walnuts are good for your brain! I don’t want to tell you want a razor clam is good for….

  6. I once made a gluten free chocolate cake using a can of chickpeas instead of flour! I served them alongside regular chocolate brownies and no one could tell the difference :) Unfortunately, I couldn’t really tell most people what the “secret ingredient” was as I knew they wouldn’t trust my baking anymore. Also, your bacon cookies have been a huge hit with all the guys in my choir! Must make another batch soon, yummy!

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