Chocolate Chunk Black Bean Brownies with Cherries and Toasted Pecans

Chocolate Chunk Black Bean Brownies with Cherries and Toasted Pecans

Black bean brownies are great. But you know what’s better (provided no nut allergies)? Black bean brownies chock full of the goodness of chocolate chunks, dried cherries, and toasted pecans. Oh yeah, I went there. And you should, too.

Chocolate Chunk Black Bean Brownies with Cherries and Toasted Pecans

Recipe by Legume LadyCourse: Desserts, On-the-GoDifficulty: Easy


Prep time



Black bean brownies taken up a notch with the rich nuttiness of toasted pecans and the classic combination of chocolate and cherries.


  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans (1 15-oz. can)

  • 25 g (scant 1/4 cup) oats – instant may blend up better/a bit smoother, but old-fashioned work too

  • 20 g (scant 1/4 cup) cocoa powder, unsweetened

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 Tbs neutral oil (like canola or vegetable oil)

  • 1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup, or to taste – If you want the brownies a bit sweeter, add a bit more maple syrup, up to ~1/2 cup. You can compensate for the extra liquid by adding less/no milk.

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt – Use your judgment here, based on the saltiness level of the beans you are using.

  • 2 Tbs milk of choice, or as needed

  • Add-Ins
  • 60 g (1/2 cup) pecan halves, toasted and then roughly chopped

  • 65 g (1/2 cup) dried cherries, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chunks – Either buy chocolate chunks or chop up a chocolate bar you like. Also, if you want to use more chocolate no one will judge you.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (~175 degrees C).
  • Toast pecans and roughly chop them after they are done and have cooled slightly (read: please don’t burn yourself). See note below about toasting pecans!
  • Drain and rinse beans well.
  • Blend oats in a food processor or high-speed blender to the consistency of flour. Or be lazy like I often am and skip this step (assuming you have a high-powered blender that works smashingly) and just dump the oats in with the rest of the ingredients in the next step. However, blending the oats first can help.
  • Add beans, oats, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, vanilla, maple syrup, and oil (i.e., all ingredients except chocolate chunks, dried cherries, pecans, and milk) to a high-powered blender and puree until smooth. If it is not blending well, add a tablespoon or two of milk of your choice to help it along.
  • When the batter is smooth, scoop it out of the blender and place in a bowl. The batter will be very thick – that’s okay! Add the toasted pecans, dried cherries, and chocolate of your choice to the batter and stir to combine. There are no raw eggs or uncooked flour (tragic fact for those of us who love the flavor of raw cookie dough: uncooked flour is also a food safety risk, not just raw eggs). So, at this point, I would recommend tasting the batter for flavor. If you want to add a little more of anything, now is your chance!
  • Grease a baking vessel of your choice (like an 8×8 baking pan or mini loaf pan) well with cooking spray or a neutral oil, or line it with parchment paper. Pour in the black bean brownie batter.
  • Bake until the edges are firm and the middle is set, which is ~15 minutes in a mini loaf pan and will be slightly longer in an 8×8 pan.
  • Allow to cool slightly in the pan so that the brownies hold their shape when you remove them.
  • Enjoy! If you have leftovers, they store well in the fridge for a few days. They also freeze well, which is a lovely way to keep these on-hand. Warm them slightly before eating to enjoy nice and melty bits of chocolate.


  • You can wait until the oven is preheated to toast your pecans, or you could toss them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper while the oven is preheating. This is my strategy to save energy and time, but totally your call! Either way, I recommend toasting pecans halves and then chopping them after. Keep an eye on them, tossing as necessary. Toast them so that they slightly darken in color, majorly boosting flavor and texture. When they are done, put them in a bowl to cool – leaving them on the cookie sheet can result in continued cooking and burnt pecans. I tested this (unintentionally) so you don’t have to… you’re welcome. 
  • Yes, you can use chocolate chips instead. But I really do recommend chocolate chunks or even chopping up your own chocolate bar – they melt so much better, making for amazing gooey chocolatey bites.
  • I love my mini loaf pan because it makes these into pre-shaped little brownies my husband and I can easily pack to enjoy a sweet treat while hiking, at work, etc.

Maybe you want to have a black bean party (because who doesn’t?!) by enjoying a savory black bean dish and following it up with these black bean brownies? Try this black bean and sweet potato bake, which is especially perfect this time of year as we head into fall flavors. Or maybe I just feel that way because I have been at over 10,000 feet elevation for the last week and every morning is already under 40 degrees F even in August…

Or do you want to try more delicious ways to bake with beans? Because once you add beans to baking, I challenge you not to be hooked! Beans adds an amazing texture and moistness to baked goods while also conveniently boosting nutrition. So go ahead and check out these awesome peanut butter chocolate chunk blondies!

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