Foodies are always trying to hack foods, adapting them to be gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, dairy-free – you name it. I’ve had my hesitations to hop on any of these bandwagons but they seem to be consistently trendy, so I figured I’d try it out.

Katie Quinn, or better known by her YouTube username qkatie, is one of my favorite food YouTubers; her videos have great production value. Late last year, she posted the recipe for black bean brownies and they looked appealing, but not enough to make me go make them myself.

Again, the recipe resurfaced in my subscription feed as she made the same recipe for Tastemade. Now, it seemed that the universe was telling me I must experience this new take on quite possibly my most favorite dessert.

Living in a residence hall, I don’t have the best access to cookware or a plethora of ingredients. This recipe is college-friendly as it calls for just 10 ingredients and a blender (most of which I was lucky to find in the cupboard). It’s a dump-and-go kind of recipe, the hardest part being measuring out each ingredient.

But were they worth eating?

For not containing gluten, eggs, and flour, they are a great alternative to their decadent cousin. They’re reminiscent of protein bars, with a more dense consistency than one would traditionally assume from a brownie. I’d recommend eating them with whipped cream, berries, or an ice cream of your choice to enhance the eating experience.

Overall, this recipe was super easy to make and pretty inexpensive. The cook time was just long enough for me to clean and put away all the dishes/ingredients. None of the ingredients are obscure and can easily be bought cheaply at any grocery store.

Black Bean Brownies

  • Prep Time:5-10 minutes
  • Cook Time:15-20 minutes
  • Total Time:30 minutes
  • Servings:6 servings
  • Easy


  • 15 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
Photo by Rebecca Sather Jenkins
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Step 2

    Place all ingredients, sans chocolate chips, in the blender and blend until smooth. (You really want to make sure all the ingredients are well-combined and there aren’t any full beans left in the mixture.)

    Photo by Rebecca Sather Jenkins
  • Step 3

    After the mixture is the desired consistency, pour the batter into a greased pan.

  • Step 4

    Then, fold in the chocolate chips, adding a couple to the top.

    Photo by Rebecca Sather Jenkins
  • Step 5

    Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the desired firmness.

    Photo by Rebecca Sather Jenkins
  • Step 6

    Let cool slightly before removing from the pan and digging in.

    Photo by Rebecca Sather Jenkins