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Flourless Chocolate Chip Brownies

by TastefullyJulie on April 25, 2012

No one will ever guess the secret ingredient in these brownies.

OK. I think you’ve waited long enough. My family has enjoyed these brownies not once, not twice, but three times since I discovered this recipe. That’s how good they are.

I haven’t been holding out on you on purpose, but I’ve been busy with a bunch of other things. One of those things has been working on material for my new column on Honest Cooking. Wheee! So. Freakin’. Excited.

My Menu on Honest Cooking

Sadly, as some of you may know, I’ve also been mourning the loss of my father. Although most of the time I don’t feel like doing anything at all, one of the last things he told us to do was “carry on”. So here I am. He LOVED chocolate and I think he would have enjoyed these (unless I told him the recipe).

Nothing but rich, chocolaty goodness here.

Rich, chocolaty goodness and black beans, that is. I promise no one would ever suspect that these are bean brownies. Even my most ficklest of fickle children went bonkers over these. She still requested subsequent batches after I told her there was a secret ingredient. She said “please don’t tell me what it is, mom. These are too good for me not to like them anymore.”

The texture is a bit… off. Not off in a bad way, just not exactly what you would get out of a boxed-mix brownie. They are rich and dense, however, and not at all like cake. Cakey brownies, in my humble opinion, are just wrong. The texture also gets better after they cool making this only baked good for which I am able to practice enough restraint to let them rest before digging in. The black beans add protein and fiber, too! So they’re, um, good for you. Yeah.

They're also really good like this.

4.8 from 16 reviews

Flourless Chocolate Chip Brownies
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 12-16

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grease or spray an 8-inch baking pan.
  3. Process all ingredients EXCEPT chocolate chips in a food processor until well blended.
  4. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  5. Bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until just set in the center.
  6. Cool before cutting into squares.

Nutrition Facts for 1 (2-inch) Flourless Chocolate Chip Brownie: Calories: 123 Fat: 5 grams Protein: 3.5 grams Carbohydrates: 17 grams Fiber: 2 grams Nutrition Facts for 1 (2-inch) Ghirardelli Ultimate Chocolate Brownie: Calories: 170 Fat: 4 grams Protein: 1 gram Carbohydrates: 23 Fiber: 1 gram

Adapted from Whole Foods.

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bonnie April 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm

black beans….shut up! Ashley actually considers black beans her favorite food…not even kidding. I will try these for sure!


2 TastefullyJulie April 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Let me know how they work out for you!


3 Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks April 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm

These look great. I wouldn’t have even suspected the beans!
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4 Jessica @ Chockohlawtay April 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm

OMG I just saw this on FoodBuzz and clicked right away. I love how you don’t use 4-6 eggs like some other recipes out there, and you kept butter to a minimum :)

Once I’m at a regular altitude, I’ll definitely be making these!!
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5 TastefullyJulie April 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Oh good, because I have no idea how to adjust them for high altitude!


6 Jessica @ Chockohlawtay April 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Just buzzed it, this was my first buzz!
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7 Abby April 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm

CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!! I subscribe to Honest Cooking and just got the email and saw you :D That is so freaking awesome! Cheers!
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8 TastefullyJulie April 25, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Thanks Abby! I can’t quite believe it, myself.


9 HeathersCreativeConcoctions April 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm

So these totally look amazing. But I am hesitant because I have tried black bean brownies in the past and they were no bueno. I am willing to give it another shot though, especially since I just bought more black beans today. Can I use coconut sugar instead? Heather :)
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10 TastefullyJulie April 25, 2012 at 9:07 pm

These are the first black bean brownies I’ve tried so i have no others to compare them to. I’ve also never used coconut sugar! If it’s a 1:1 substitute I’d say give it a try.


11 HeathersCreativeConcoctions April 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Ok you’ve sold me, lol. And I will keep it my little secret that they are black bean brownies… ;) I’ll let you know how they turn out! P.S. your buzzing
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12 Kiri W. April 25, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Oh wow, these must be incredibly dense and rich :) They look fantastic with those chocolate chips!
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13 Spencer April 26, 2012 at 12:13 am

Looks absolutely delicious! I would love to try some. I love Brownies.
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14 Mary@FitandFed April 26, 2012 at 2:11 am

Nice, Julie. I’m with you that brownies should be chewy, never cakey. I haven’t tried flourless black bean brownies before, though I’ve seen the Happy Herbivore’s vegan version, which also have 3.5 g of protein per serving. They use agave and banana as the sweeteners, and of course don’t have eggs and butter. Yours are pretty darned healthy– I mean c’mon, you’ve got to have sugar in chocolate, and other than that, your RD credentials are shining through. I’ll have to have a stab at these– do you like nuts in your brownies? I do. I think walnuts will be in order in mine– and maybe a little espresso powder. I’d be willing to try coconut sugar in here– it has a caramel flavor that goes well, but you might need a little extra sugar.
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15 bigFATcook April 26, 2012 at 3:38 am

black beans?? interesting! I’ve never tried that!
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16 Bloggy April 26, 2012 at 11:22 am

Looks lovely and tastefully super.
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17 Reeni April 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I’m late to the black bean brownie party although I can’t say I haven’t been tempted. Of all the black bean brownies I’ve seen these look the best! I love that your kids don’t know. That is the true test. I’m inspired to try them now. Congrats on your column! Exciting.
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18 Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies April 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Oh my gosh, these look absolutely divine. You can *see* how dense they are in the photos. I am drooling!
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19 Dana S. April 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm

We make a chocolate black bean cake all the time…delish!…it uses coconut oil in place of the butter…wonder if I could do that with this recipe too!?…Cannot wait to try these! I heart brownies!


20 CJ at Food Stories April 27, 2012 at 1:15 am

I recently tried the whole foods recipe and was not impressed all that much. They were good, just too bland in the chocolate arena and the texture was very crumbly. Now, I did recently try a white bean blondie that was amazing. Recipe is on my site.
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21 TastefullyJulie April 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

Hmmm, I did up the cocoa powder because the Whole Foods recipe didn’t seem to have enough. Not sure why they were crumbly, though. These stay together really well. White bean blondies sound fab, going to check them out now!


22 CJ at Food Stories April 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

Does your posted recipe have the “upped” cocoa amount? The recipe was just okay for me but definitely worth tweaking. I may have to give them another go!
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23 TastefullyJulie April 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

Yes. An extra Tbsp of cocoa powder, a little less butter, less vanilla, and more sugar. I also substituted 2 egg whites for one of the eggs, and used regular black beans with salt (instead of no salt added) and omitted the 1/8 tsp additional salt. Once they’ve been allowed to set these didn’t crumble at all. Part of the reason why I like giving them to my kids! :)


24 CJ at Food Stories April 27, 2012 at 10:24 am

Thx for taking the time to type all this out for me. I may have to give these another go :-)
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25 Jane April 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Nice recipe. I love a simple brownie recipe which is easy for the kids :)
I also like the below brownie recipe.
Thanks for sharing,


26 shannon April 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm

these brownies look delicious! i’m so excited about making these; i have a very picky eater at home and she has a massive sweet tooth. However, i think she could be fooled with these little brownies. can’t wait to try them!
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27 Katherine Martinelli April 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm

These look amazing, and I love the secret ingredient! Congrats on your Honest Cooking column! And I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. My thoughts are with you. xo
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28 TastefullyJulie April 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Thank you so much, Katherine.


29 Caitlin May 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I want these so badly right now! Having a major afternoon chocolate craving and these pictures aren’t helping :)


30 Sarah, Simply Cooked May 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

I got here from Katherine’s bean blog hop. I love this idea and I haven’t tried it before! But I have made chocolate cookies with chickpeas, which were fantastic. Thanks for writing so convincingly about the brownies. I have some colleagues who will love them. :)
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31 TastefullyJulie May 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

I’m glad you found me! These won’t disappoint. I know people who have made them several times:


32 Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z May 11, 2012 at 11:08 am

This is a perfect gluten free recipe and healthy too.. Can’t wait to try it…
Saw you on Katherine Martinelli’s blog hop


33 Naomi May 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Easy to make and very very tasty! If I hadn’t make them myself I wouldn’t know they were any different to normal brownies. I’ve just tried the crumbs left in the tin and now can’t wait for my dinner to hurry up so I can enjoy these for dessert!


34 TastefullyJulie May 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Yay! I’m so glad you liked them. It’s hard to beat easy AND tasty :)


35 Samantha Lawler May 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I made these brownies, but cut the sugar a lil…ummm. prolly next time I’ll put the whole amt. of sugar and then some, they had a slightly bitter taste. I just put some vanilla frozen yogurt on top, and that made it better :) . But all in all, a great recipe, thank you for sharing!!


36 TastefullyJulie May 24, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Yes, I actually upped the sugar from the original Whole Foods recipe because I didn’t think it was enough. 2/3 cup is still less than most brownies. Thanks for trying them!


37 Mary May 27, 2012 at 9:30 am

Wow! Must try these! Can you replace the butter with applesauce?
Trying to cut calories -


38 TastefullyJulie May 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

I haven’t tried it but I wonder if they would turn out too dry? If you do it I would start by only replacing half the butter. Let me know if it works!


39 Daniel December 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I tried these today, using Splenda instead of sugar. They were delicious, but could have been a smidge sweeter. I found them a bit crumbly, though manageable. I’m still curious to know if applesauce in lieu of half the butter would work out.

Here’s a photo of mine:
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40 Jane June 5, 2012 at 9:56 am

Nice recipe. I love a simple brownie recipe which is easy for the kids :)
I also like the below brownie recipe.

Thanks for sharing,


41 ReneeNYC July 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Hey! The black beans are a brilliant idea! I can see how it makes them a dense texture and rich taste. What would you think of this recipe + chunks of caramel + sea salt topping? I don’t think I would make caramel from scratch, I would poke around my neighborhood for some high quality caramel.


42 Marsh July 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

When a friend served these, she gave us her recipe.
She used dark cocoa powder and added
1/4 tsp mace
2 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of cayenne pepper.


43 TastefullyJulie July 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Great ideas. Thanks for sharing!


44 Kristine August 1, 2012 at 6:58 am

I’m going to try these. I have to say though that whenever I see “flourless, dairy free soy free” etc I giggle to myself and ask myself “what the hell is in them? LOL!


45 kathy August 1, 2012 at 10:02 am

These brownies sound delicious. How do I make them vegan? What is the alternative to egg and butter?


46 TastefullyJulie August 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I’m sure you could substitute oil for the butter. I’ve also heard that 1/4 cup mashed banana can take the place of one whole egg. I haven’t tried it, though, so I can’t tell you if it would be good or not. Good luck!


47 Jenny August 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm

These are the most amazing brownies I have ever had in my 25 years! They are super quick and easy to make and the taste and texture is DIVINE!!! The only difference I made to your recipe was using Dark Chocolate cocoa powder. So delicious. Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipes as I will be making these all the time now.


48 TastefullyJulie August 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Thank you so much for sharing. This is awesome! :)


49 lisa August 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

great recipe for my sis who can’t eat gluten! it’s just a great recipe, period.

i used 3 whole eggs instead of 2 eggs and 2 egg whites. (i didn’t want to waste any) they turned out great.


50 Pamela November 22, 2012 at 11:20 am

I did the same thing for the same reason. I also used brown sugar instead of white, and they still were awesome!


51 Leslie October 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I tried these and used my vitamix to blend. Result, extremely smooth. Good chocolate fix. Love them, and they replace the old brownie recipe that was way too sweet anyway!


52 TastefullyJulie October 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I’m glad you liked them. I’m craving some now and I don’t have any black beans. I’m tempted to try kidney beans!


53 Pamela November 22, 2012 at 11:19 am

Made these yesterday and I am in LOVE!! They are chocolatey, tender and flavorful! Definitely a keeper!


54 Denise November 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm

These look amazing! If I make them without the chocolate chips, will they still taste sweet enough??


55 TastefullyJulie November 23, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Actually I think the chocolate chips are the best part! I’m not sure if they will be chocolately enough without them.


56 Ericka November 28, 2012 at 12:58 am

I found this recipe on pinterest and made up a batch. They were amazing. I brought them in to work and they were a big hit. They make a perfect gluten free, dairy free, corn and soy free snack. I’m sticking a bunch in the freezer..I hope they freeze well.


57 Susan December 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm

These are FANTASTIC. I used liquefied coconut oil in place of the butter and about half of the amt of choc chips. I greased the pan with liquefied coconut oil. Thanks for the recipe! How do they freeze?


58 TastefullyJulie December 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I wish I knew, Susan. They never last that long!


59 lauren December 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Have you ever tried sweeten them with dates? i’ve seen so many recipes that use dates as a sweetener but am afraid to try it. I look forward to making these though.


60 Kate February 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm

WOW. I am shocked. I love chewy brownies and just did not believe these would be decent…and yet, I was still intrigued. I continued to shake my head as I blended, poured & cooked the ingredients. Never once wanting to lick the batter LOL. And then they cooled. Oh my word I am so surprised how yummy these tasted with no black beans taste! I used dark choc cocoa & happened to add 1 more TBSN of both sugar & cocoa out of fear LOL. Next time, which will be soon, I will try the Coconut oil in place of butter.
Nice work on this !!


61 Kinga April 22, 2013 at 1:37 am

This was my first flourless cake ever and I loved it! The texture is amazing! The day I made it I could still taste beans… but the next day was just awesome…


62 ali July 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm

These are in my oven as we speak!


63 Jenny March 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Thanks for the idea! Just found this recipe through Pinterest! I’m going on a no/low carb diet and I’m looking for foods I can have. Just wondering how many carbs this holds? This might work on my kids who don’t eat beans in any way, might trick them with this, hahaha!


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