Grain Free Blender Brownies {with a Secret Ingredient}

Black Bean Brownie Recipe

On the rare occasion when I make a sweet treat, I really like brownies. But lately we have been having bad reactions to almond flour, and I often find that I can’t spare the extra eggs to make a treat from coconut flour.

So I thought I’d try one of the many brownie recipes made with beans out there on the Interwebs, and adapt it to be gluten free, dairy free, grain-free, GAPS legal (advanced level), and just plain yummy!

A little cake-like, but also a little fudge-y, you’d never guess the main ingredient in these brownies is beans. But by using whole, minimally processed ingredients like organic black beans, raw honey, raw cacao powder, coconut oil, and pasture-raised eggs, these gluten free, chocolatey treats actually have decent nutritional value as well. (And if you’re Paleo, they’re a pretty reasonable cheat.;)

Since they are so incredibly easy to make, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this grain free brownie recipe again and again. You can easily add it to your weekly meal plan with the Real Plans customizable meal planner and shopping list app!

Grain Free Blender Brownies
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  1. 1 can organic canned black beans or 2 cups cooked, soaked dry beans (where to find BPA-free cans)
  2. ¾ cup Rapadura or coconut sugar OR 1/3 cup honey (where to find coconut sugar)
  3. 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
  4. 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa or raw cacao powder (raw cacao powder is least processed and has more nutrition) (where to find raw cacao)
  5. 3 eggs, preferably pasture raised, which are more nutritious
  6. 1-½ Tbsp. vanilla extract
  7. 1 pinch sea salt
  8. Walnuts, previously soaked and dried, or other brownie toppings (Optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse beans very thoroughly and drain them completely. Now do it again. You really don't want any "beany" tasting liquid in your brownies!
  3. In your Vitamix or blender, add rinsed and drained beans, eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, sugar or honey, and cocoa powder. Blend until smooth, then add the salt and pulse until well mixed. Batter will be thin.
  4. Grease an a 8"x8" baking dish liberally with coconut oil, and pour batter into dish. Top with optional walnuts or other toppings.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top and sides are set, and the insides are just a little soft.
  6. Cool before serving and enjoy!
  1. Vitamix or blender (food processor will work too)
  2. 8"x8" cake pan
  3. (These come out only about an inch thick, so if you like them thicker, double the recipe, change to a 9"x13" pan, and add a little more baking time.)
Small Footprint Family
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About the author

Dawn Gifford

Dawn is the creator of Small Footprint Family, and the author of the critically acclaimed Sustainability Starts at Home - How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. After a 20-year career in green building and environmental sustainability, chronic illness forced her to shift her expertise and passion from the public sphere to home and hearth. Get the whole story behind SFF here.


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  • Hi Dawn
    Donna again 🙂
    Do you have a sign up email newsletter?
    I’ve searched your site but nothing pops up.
    I’d like to receive your new posts.

  • Hi Dawn, I’m new to your site. Thank you. I love no grain or other alternative flours. My question is you state dried sugar or honey/liquid. Does it not make a difference in the batter and how they turn out?
    Also I’d like to cut that sugar at least down to half cup. Any thoughts? I noticed some comments using applesauce but not sure that was a sub for the fat or sugar.
    Thank you for replyimg!! 🙂

    • Both types of sugar work great in the recipe. I usually use dry coconut sugar because I prefer it to honey. You can use applesauce in lieu of sugar, but you may find they just aren’t sweet enough. These are already not very sweet brownies. Whichever you use, just keep an eye on them as they bake so they don’t come out too runny in the middle or too dry.

  • Just made this tonight. They are not bad considering the ingredients. I used 3/4 cup of white sugar. Cacao powder. The only problem is its either to much vanilla, or mine is just to strong(i used real and it is so strong smelling). Wish i hadnt used as much. Hopefully my kids will eat them. I will make another batch with either less vanilla or vanilla extract.

  • Hi Dawn! I’m making these brownies with my friends this weekend as a way to de-stress before finals. As college students we are a little limited with some items, but hopefully we can make it work. Since we will be using a 9×13 pan how long would you recommend for baking time? Also could we sub coconut oil for olive oil? Please let us know soon!

    Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try these out!

    • Olive oil is not a good oil for cooking (it doesn’t hold up well under high heat), and it might change the flavor of the brownies a little, but it will work in the recipe. The brownies will be much thinner in a 9×13 pan so bake for less time and keep a close eye on them, using a toothpick to check for doneness. Good luck on finals!

  • I have made these as per the recipe a dozen times, I always cover the top with chocolate chips before baking & they’re to die for obviously! I just did KIDNEY BEANS tonight and blended for a nice long time and it came out even better! Less bean texture I believe because the skins are more tender to begin with. So cakey & awesome :))) a billion thanks

  • The batter was amazingly decadent. I was going crazy with a spatula, cleaning out the little bit left in the blender. Yum! That sure brought back memories of my childhood when my mom would give me the mixer blades to lick. Unfortunately, the brownies lost some of the richness and sweetness as they baked. I used a 9″ X 9″ pan with a single batch, so that might have been the cause of that. That being said, they are good, but not very sweet. If you are expecting the conventional very sweet brownie, look elsewhere. But if you have already been cutting way back on sweets, these will zap those chocolate cravings. I’m a dark chocolate fan, so I’ll add more cocoa and a paleo chocolate frosting next time.

    • Thanks so much for your comment. You nailed it and I really appreciate that. Since changing my diet, I’ve gotten used to eating a lot less sugar and many dessert recipes are simply too sweet for me now. These brownies were meant to hit that “chocolate spot” without sending the blood glucose levels over the cliff.

    • The flavor comes from the cocoa. Make sure you use a high-quality, fresh cocoa or raw cacao. You can up the quantity of cocoa a bit if that is to your taste.

  • Hi I would love to make it for a 13 x9 dish but i would need the right measurments can you help me ? thanks donna

  • I just came across this recipe and made these last night – they came out really well for me! Very moist, delicious and brownie like! Would you mind if I shared this recipe on my site: I will give full credit and link to Small Footprint Family and link back to this page. Thanks for sharing!

  • Silly question, but I can’t figure it out! If I do the soaked dry beans instead of the canned beans, do I cook soak and cook the beans before using them in the recipe or just soak them?

  • These look delicious. The owner of the all-edible plant nursery that I manage follows a GF diet, so I will make these for his birthday tomorrow. Yum!

  • These look wonderful. I’ve been thinking about doing black bean brownies for some time. My oven is not working at the moment! But, this is on the docket to be made.

  • I’m always looking for healthier versions of desserts for my toddler and husband so I’m glad you posted this. I tried this recipe today and it turned out a bit dry. Maybe I overbaked it slightly by a couple mins since I was busy nursing. My toddler thought it was just okay probably due to the texture.

  • These are awesome! Finally, something that satisfies my sweet tooth without guilt! I used 2 eggs, 1/4 cup natural applesauce, and 1/3 cup honey… but to cut the sweetness a bit, I think I’d use either 1/4 c mashed banana and 1/4 cup honey or 1/4 c applesauce and 1/4 c honey next time. You could get really creative with these! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • I know in some recipes some people find that a can of black beans is interchangeable with a can of pumpkin. Do you think that would work in this recipe?
    Or do the blended beans have more consistency/weight/texture than pumpkin?

    • Beans are certainly drier than canned pumpkin and come in BPA-free cans, but otherwise, I don’t know the answer to that because I haven’t tried it myself. Give the pumpkin a try and let us know!

  • Just made these with kidney beans and a little ground almond to make them up to 2 cups – delicious, thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • I substituted the eggs for 3 tablespoons flax meal and 9 tablespoons water which I whipped up in the vitamix to get nice and gooey. It worked pretty well. I cooked them for 20 minutes longer than the recipe said because otherwise they were rolling all over the pan.
    They aren’t holding up well at room temperature, but absolutely rock just out of the freezer.

    • If by raw sugar you mean dehydrated sugar cane crystals, then yes 3/4 cup. Dehydrated cane sugar is a bit sweeter tasting than Rapadura in my opinion, so you could probably cut back a bit, to taste.

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