German Chocolate Black Bean Brownies: Trickery at it’s Finest

Today, folks, we’re getting a bit sneaky. Let me explain. For the past few weeks, I’ve shared with you a couple of clean eating, but seemingly indulgent treats, to keep us on track. But, when looking at the Apple Raisin Walnut Oatmeal Bread, Mango Coconut Chocolate Granola, and the PB&J Energy Balls, it’s been pretty obvious that they were meant to be healthy. If you were in my kitchen, looking at any of those, you might be thinking, “Oh, Erin’s trying to get her life together…for once.” Well, today’s recipe is a bit less straight forward.

Why is it less straight forward you ask? Well, because they’re brownies…that are flour-less. Oh, and they’re made mostly of beans. Yes, beans. Can you tell? No sir, you can’t. And, that’s a promise.

These German Chocolate Black Bean Brownies have indulgence written all over them. The only thing is, aside from the few chocolate chips thrown in there, there’s no added refined sugar in here at all. Plus, because they’re made from a base of black beans, they’re higher in protein than any other brownie you’ll ever take a bite of.

Now, I know that you’re probably thinking, “Erin, you’re just saying that you can’t taste the difference. Clearly, I know the difference between chocolatey-goodness and beans.” For all of you nay-sayers out there, I conducted an experiment with a picky 10 year old and a woman who is chocolate’s biggest fan. I’ll tell you how it turned out in the end. But, for now, let’s get started!

You guys are going to be amazed how easy it is to put this dish together. First, you’ll start by food processing your beans until they are a smooth puree. 

Put those in a medium sized bowl, with the cocoa, honey, salt, vanilla, baking powder and coconut oil. Mix until combined.

Then, mix in the eggs, one at a time, in order to allow each to be fully incorporated with it’s bean-y friends.

Here’s when we get to the best part. Now, you could leave these brownies be and bake them just like this. They’d be delicious. But, since the ingredients we’ve put in there so far are so wholesome, a few add-ins can’t hurt. To get the biggest bang for our buck, we’ll choose one of the most indulgent chocolate desserts in existence, and mock it! German Chocolate Cake, while delicious, also makes you feel like you ate a bowl of sugar by the spoonful, after a slice. By adding chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut, and pecans to these brownies, we get a bit of the German chocolate taste, without the three day bloat that normally follows. So, go ahead, do yourself a favor, and throw in a half cup each of the good stuff.

Now, spread this mixture into an 8×8 pan, that has been either sprayed with baking spray, or lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons each of chocolate chips and pecans, onto the surface of your brownies.

Bake these bad boys in an oven set to 350 degrees for about 22-ish minutes, or until they are set in the middle. Let them cool on a wire rack before trying to scoop out the first piece.

There you have it folks, the ultimate trickery. 

When testing these out on my subjects, I “accidentally’ neglected to tell them about the brownies’ main ingredient. That was after they ate two each.

That was my brother’s face when he found out he had eaten “gross beans”. I should have taken a damn video. If you do this experiment on your family, please take one. And post it on Facebook, promptly.

Next week, we’re going back to the namesake: bread. Not just any bread, but…well, you’ll find out berry soon. Too much? Sorry. Until then, stay tuned and stay hungry!


German Chocolate Black Bean Brownies
A wholesome, fudgey brownie, featuring black beans as it's main ingredient!
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  1. 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  2. 1/4 cup cocoa
  3. 1/2 cup honey
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  7. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1/2 cup, plus 2 TBS chocolate chips
  10. 1/2 cup, plus 2 TBS chopped pecans
  11. 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use a food processor to process your beans, until they are smooth and have a spreadable consistency.
  3. Put these beans in a medium sized bowl. Add in the cocoa, honey, salt, vanilla, baking powder, and oil. Mix until combined.
  4. Add in egg, mixing after each is added.
  5. Stir in 1/2 cup each of chocolate chips, pecans and coconut.
  6. Spread batter into an 8x8 pan, that has been prepared with either a coating of baking spray or a lining of parchment paper.
  7. Sprinkle on the remaining two tablespoons of chocolate and nuts.
  8. Bake the brownies for about 21-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely before slicing and removing brownies from the pan.
The Bread and Breakfast
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