Cannellini Bean Brownies

If you have spent any time with me at all, you know that I LOVE chocolate.  In particular, I LOVE brownies, they hold a special place in my heart (but that is another story).  I needed a healthier option than the boxed brownies you can pick up at the store – but it still had to be easy.  This recipe actually has some nutrients, can be made with stuff I keep in my pantry, and takes care of my brownie cravings.

You may recognize this recipe from the Dessert Competition.  A version of this recipe submitted by Upstate BirthNetwork, from Chocolate Covered Katie, tied for second place.  I found out by necessity (my craving for brownies crept up on me) that you can swap out the black beans for cannellini beans with nearly identical results.  So here, you go brownie lovers!

Ingredients from our Pantry

Ingredients from our Pantry


  • 1 1/2C cannellini beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
  • 2T cocoa powder- dutch or regular (10g) (add a little extra if desired)
  • 1/2C quick oats (40g)
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/3C pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.) (75g)
  • 2 nunaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4C coconut or vegetable oil (40g)
  • 2t pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • 1/2C to 2/3C chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
  • Optional: more chips, for presentation


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.)
  • Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
  • Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top.
  • Cook 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut.
  • Makes 9-12 GLUTEN-FREE brownies.


  • The original recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie, and the one that earned second place in the Dessert Competition calls for black beans rather than cannellini beans.  I didn’t have enough black beans to make black bean burgers for dinner AND make the brownies last week so I had to substitute cannellini beans in the brownies.  Terrific results!
  • I have used rolled oats when I didn’t have any quick oats.  You will probably not get as smooth of a texture with the rolled oats, but I didn’t notice them in the finished product.  In other words, use what you have in the pantry.
  • I usually omit the salt.
  • I usually just use 1 Tablespoon of sugar rather than 2 Tablespoons.
  • If you choose to use coconut oil beware that the finished product will have a coconut-y flavor.  If you aren’t a fan of coconut, stick to vegetable oil.