If you’re looking for the fudgiest brownies, you’ve come to the right place. The secret ingredient is black beans, but don’t panic as you won’t be able to taste them at all! These black bean brownies are incredibly easy to make, moist and fudgy, and packed with protein. I use my favorite dark brown sugar by Redpath, which I have been baking with for as long as I have lived in Canada. The sugar adds a deep caramel taste, which brings depth and richness to decadent sweets, like these brownies. Redpath is sustainably sourced and ethically grown, which means that the raw cane sugar comes from suppliers who respect and work towards the highest environmental and social standards. These brownies take no time at all so I hope you make them this Valentine’s Day and beyond!

The Modern NonnaThe Modern Nonna
The secret ingredient in these fudgey, rich brownies is black beans, but don’t panic as you won’t be able to taste them at all! These are gluten-free and vegan, as well!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 16 brownies


  • cup large rolled oats (59 g)
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder (25 g)
  • ½ tsp baking powder (make sure it’s not expired) (2 g)
  • ½ tsp salt (3 g)
  • One 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee (45 ml)
  • cup Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar (145 g)
  • ¼ cup avocado oil or any neutral oil (63 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (15 ml)
  • cup vegan chocolate chips (divided), or roughly chopped chocolate (113 g)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly grease and line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides for easy removal.
  • In a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment, process the oats until finely ground. Transfer the oat flour to a small bowl. Whisk in the cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until well combined and no lumps remain.
  • In the same food processor, add the drained black beans and the coffee. Process until a smooth paste is formed. Add the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically, until the mixture is well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the food processor and process until the mixture is smooth and the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  • Remove the metal blade from the food processor bowl and fold in ½ cup (85 grams) of the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and evenly smooth using a small offset spatula. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the surface of the batter.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the center is just set and the edges are dry and starting to pull away from the pan. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool completely before slicing; at least 30 minutes. Enjoy!



Ensure the oats used are certified gluten-free as some manufacturers have factories that process wheat products which may cause cross-contamination.
Avocado oil can be replaced with melted coconut oil or mildly flavored olive oil.
If you have instant espresso or coffee, replace the strong brewed coffee with 2 teaspoons (2 grams) instant espresso powder or coffee dissolved in 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of hot water.
Most dark chocolates with a high percentage of cocoa are vegan. To ensure that the chocolate is vegan, check the ingredient list for milk solids, animal enzymes, or animal products (e.g. gelatin) and the package for vegan certification. You can also use any chocolate chips of choice.
Vegan or non-vegan chocolate chips can be used in place of roughly chopped chocolate.
If desired, the full amount of the chocolate can be folded into the batter for a smooth-topped brownie.
Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar can be used in place of the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar. Note that the resulting brownie may be lighter in colour and have a less noticeable caramel undertone.
When using baking powder, always check the expiration date. Expired baking powder will not help your recipe rise in the oven, and you’ll have sad, deflated brownies.
Tried this recipe?Mention @themodernnonna or tag #themodernnonna!
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Thank you for bringing me into your kitchen <3

2 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    These are delicious. I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of flavor and richness that these had, plus the fudgy quality cannot be overstated! I needed to cook for a bit longer, an extra ~5min or so in an 8×10 pan. Will definitely make again.

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