Dark Chocolate Chunk Healthy Brownies

Dark Chocolate Chunk Healthy Brownies

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Dark chocolate chunk brownies that are actually healthy, how can that be possible you say? Enter the mighty black bean! You say, “yeah, yeah Danielle, I’ve already seen that before” and to that I respond, have you ever seen black bean brownies using instant coffee to enhance your chocolate flavor? Or topped with a decadent {healthy} frosting? And didn’t you also stop here because you wanted to check out these {↓↓} insanely delicious looking brownies?! That’s what I thought.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Healthy Brownies - These healthy brownies are so decadent and made with a special ingredient...the mighty black bean!

I mean just look at that fudgy frosting swirled all over the top of thick, rich brownies. I’m sorry, I need to wipe my keyboard off from these drool-worthy brownies……… Now, back to these babies! Black beans are blended with dates and applesauce for a natural sweetness that helps mask any black bean flavor that would happen to stick around. Blend in some cocoa powder and melted chocolate {the best part, obvs!} and another sneaky ingredient: instant coffee. For those of you who are unfamiliar with using coffee in baked goods, you should definitely start. Especially with anything chocolate. Coffee helps to bring out the deep, rich flavors of chocolate, and in this case, dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Healthy Brownies - These healthy brownies are so decadent and made with a special ingredient...the mighty black bean!

The very first time I made these brownies I used way too much instant coffee. Instant coffee is supposed to enhance, not overpower the chocolate. They were also super fudgy, which can be a good thing, but in this case they were almost falling apart. Not what I want in a brownie. Round number two yielded brownies you could actually pick up and eat, but according to my father-in-law tasted like homemade coffee stout. Also not what I was going for in a brownie. In this case, the old saying, “the third time’s the charm” was actually accurate. The brownies were a good fudgy, held together nicely and had an enhanced chocolate flavor and not a coffee flavor.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Healthy Brownies - These healthy brownies are so decadent and made with a special ingredient...the mighty black bean!

The best part are the chocolate chunks that are folded into the batter for a nice little chocolate surprise. But some may disagree and say the best part is actually the frosting, which is so creamy it’s hard to believe that it’s made up only of coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder. I think this may be the only way I ever make chocolate frosting again {okay, that’s likely a lie and I will end up making a chocolate buttercream for some insanely decadent chocolate dessert}.

I want to hear how these brownies turn out for you! Were you able to deceive {in a nice way, of course!} your friends and family with these black bean brownies? If you make them, make sure to take a photo and #ionlycameforthecake on Insta!

Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
22 mins
Total Time
37 mins
Decadent, chocolate-y brownies are secretly healthy with the help of the mighty black bean!
Course: Dessert
Servings: 16 brownies
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup pitted dates* (about 10), chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. butter extract
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. instant coffee
  • ½ Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ cup GF oat flour
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chunks , divided**
Frosting Ingredients:
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease an 8”x8” pan.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, add the beans, dates, applesauce, vanilla, butter extract, salt and egg and blend until smooth.
  3. Add the cocoa powder, instant coffee and baking powder.
  4. In a small bowl, add ¼ cup chocolate chunks and microwave for 15-20 seconds at a time until melted.*** Add melted chocolate to the food processor.

  5. Process until all ingredients are combined. Pour into a medium-size bowl.
  6. Stir in the oat flour until well combined. Fold in remaining ½ cup chocolate chunks.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  8. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the frosting ingredients.**** Pour frosting on to cooled brownies, slice and enjoy one…or five!

Recipe Notes

*soak your dates in water for 20 minutes if they’re dried out

**Note: if making these vegan, use dairy free chocolate chips

***Note: stir after each time microwaving. Even if there are a few chocolate chunks that haven’t melted, just keep stirring and they will melt into the rest of the chocolate. Don’t overheat your chocolate or it with seize up. 

****Note: make sure the coconut oil isn’t too hot after being melted. If it is, it makes it difficult for the frosting to set up properly. 

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