Fudgy Flourless Black Bean Cookies

Fudgy Flourless Black Bean Cookies

Incredibly fudgy, rich chocolate black bean cookies have absolutely no flour of any kind. They’ll never know about the beans if you don’t tell them!

Incredibly fudgy, rich chocolate black bean cookies have absolutely no flour of any kind. They'll never about the beans if you don't tell them!

If you had told me a couple of years ago that I’d be baking with black beans, I’d almost certainly be rolling my eyes at you. I have been on a crusade since my son went gluten free in 2004 to kill the phrase “good, for gluten free”—for good.

So believe me when I tell you that these amazingly fudgy black bean cookies taste nothing like black beans. It all started when I made perfect black bean brownies and found out that they’re good for more than, say, burritos and black bean burgers.

These cookies are not overly sweet at all, but you can increase the sugar to 3/4 of a cup from 1/2 if you’d like a sweeter cookie. I like them just like this—and why bake with beans if you’re just going to load it up with sugar, right?

You just can’t believe how intensely chocolatey they are until you try them. And what are the chances you don’t have these basic ingredients already in your pantry? If you don’t have unsweetened chocolate, just use the darkest chocolate you have and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Incredibly fudgy, rich chocolate black bean cookies have absolutely no flour of any kind. They'll never about the beans if you don't tell them!

Why Black Beans?

If you’re wondering why we’re using black beans, in particular, I blame it on the Internet. I don’t know who the first person was to start this experiment, but suddenly black bean brownies were everywhere.

When you drain and rinse a can of black beans really really well, the beans taste very neutral. And I first decided to give black bean brownies a try when the quality of a beloved brand of black beans went downhill and every can was suddenly mushy and pitiful.

Incredibly fudgy, rich chocolate black bean cookies have absolutely no flour of any kind. They'll never about the beans if you don't tell them!

I haven’t tried these cookies (or my black bean brownies) with another type of bean, but I have to imagine that most beans would work. Speaking of other ingredients that I haven’t tried…

Incredibly fudgy, rich chocolate black bean cookies have absolutely no flour of any kind. They'll never about the beans if you don't tell them!

Ingredients and Substitutions

If you’re dying to make this recipe, but wondering (you know you are!) how to make it suit your family’s particular dietary needs, here’s what I can offer you:

Dairy-Free: Easy peasy. Just use softened Earth Balance buttery sticks in place of the unsalted butter, and omit the salt from the ingredient list. Those sticks are plenty salty!

Egg-Free: Eggs are always a little tricky to replace in baking, but since there is only one egg in this recipe, a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) should work. The only problem here is that, since there’s no flour, the egg provides most of the structure. You’ll have to experiment!

Sugar: You definitely cannot replace the granulated sugar with a liquid sugar (I seem to get that question a lot these days), but you might be able to replace it with coconut palm sugar. But since granulated coconut sugar is quite coarsely ground, I’d recommend pulsing it alone in a food processor before adding it to the cookie dough.

Incredibly fudgy, rich chocolate black bean cookies have absolutely no flour of any kind. They'll never about the beans if you don't tell them!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 12 to 14 cookies


1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled briefly

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, place the black beans, butter and egg and pulse until mostly smooth. Add the vanilla, sugar, baking soda, salt and melted chocolate, and pulse again until smooth. The cookie dough at this point should be the consistency of hummus. Add the cocoa powder and pulse until the mixture is well-combined. The consistency should be more like fudge. Add most of the chocolate chips (about 3 ounces) and mix by hand until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.

  • Using a spring-loaded cookie scoop or two spoons, scoop portions of the dough about 2 tablespoons each and place about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet. Using the back of a moistened spoon, spread each portion of cookie dough into a round about 1/2-inch thick. Sprinkle the top of each piece of dough with a few more chocolate chips. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes or until mostly firm to the touch.

  • Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies have taken on a crackled appearance and are mostly firm to the touch, about 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. They’ll be quite fragile when they’re warm.


Comments are closed.

  • Kate L
    August 24, 2017 at 12:40 PM

    Just made these and have popped them back in the oven for a bit longer cooking as wasn’t sure if they were done. What texture should the cooled cookie have?
    Flavour is great. I definitely made them too big as only got 9 !

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 25, 2017 at 10:00 AM

      If you only got 9 cookies, Kate, as you said you made them too big. That’s why they took longer to cook! I’ve already done all I can think of to explain the proper size and texture of the cookie at every stage right in the post and recipe, I’m afraid!

  • Caroline Arcand-Wright
    August 18, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    I always seem to be in a hurry when I need to bake something to take with me. I picked this recipe. I had no butter out, so used virgin coconut oil. I didn’t have time to refrigerate SO I used muffin cups and put the same amount as I would for a cookie. No time to cool before we left home, so put them in a container to cool off as we travelled. Arrived, presented and they loved them. I did not tell our friends there was black beans in the cookies until it was time to go. They hate black beans!

    I will make them again … and freeze a batch. One a day? Hummmmm…. great recipe!

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 18, 2017 at 10:11 AM

      That’s awesome, Caroline! This is such a fun recipe, and perfect to make last minute since it has such basic pantry ingredients. Glad to know it worked out so well for you. :)

  • Vicki Ross
    August 17, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    Would these cookies freeze ok? I’m thinking of making a large batch to send with my daughter when she goes away to school in the fall.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 17, 2017 at 3:32 PM

      They freeze amazingly well, Vicki! I made so, so many batches in recipe testing, photographing and making the video that I have a freezer full of them. In fact, I almost prefer them straight from the freezer.

  • Linda
    August 14, 2017 at 1:29 PM

    What about coconut oil as a substitute for the shortening?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 14, 2017 at 7:12 PM

      Hi, Linda,
      There isn’t any shortening in these cookies, just butter. You can definitely try substituting virgin coconut oil (the kind that’s solid at room temperature) for the butter, although I haven’t tried it so I can’t make any promises!

  • Marty
    August 13, 2017 at 10:16 PM

    For a cookie with fiber and more protein content, I was set to experiment this week and create a recipe with chocolate and garbanzo-bean flour. Now I’m definitely try your black-bean chocolate cookie, too!

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 14, 2017 at 8:06 AM

      I have a pretty strong aversion to anything with garbanzo bean flour, Marty. It smells terrible even when it’s baking. I’d definitely go with this recipe. It only smells lovely, beginning to end. :)

  • Nan
    August 13, 2017 at 10:12 PM

    Can you use soft (i.e. tub) Earth Balance, or do you need to use sticks?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 14, 2017 at 8:07 AM

      I’m honestly not sure, Nan! It’s only 4 tablespoons of butter in the whole recipe, so it’s worth trying with the tub if that’s all you have.

  • Deb Nei
    August 13, 2017 at 10:48 AM

    So what about gas from the beans? Does that cause anyone discomfort?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 14, 2017 at 8:05 AM

      That’s a very personal decision, I’m afraid, Deb!

  • Whitney Montague
    August 12, 2017 at 3:26 PM

    What about aquafaba as an egg substitute? Maybe even the black bean “water” from the can?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 13, 2017 at 10:07 AM

      Interesting idea, Whitney. Aquafaba is an egg white substitute, though, not a whole egg sub, so I’m not overly optimistic. But since it’s just one egg, it might be worth a shot!

  • Gail Defour
    August 11, 2017 at 6:04 PM

    I made these today, so good.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 13, 2017 at 10:05 AM

      Awesome, Gail!

  • Janet
    August 11, 2017 at 4:00 PM

    Just made them. I used a smaller ice cream scoop , about 1 table spoon size. No one would ever know they were Gluten Free. Very fudgy, moist and has a nice consistency. I actually used my kitchen aid, it turned out fine.

    Definitely recommend and would make this again.

  • Kay
    August 11, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    These look amazing! I’ve been a bit obsessed with baking with beans (thanks for the brownie recipe which is great!!) this year so can’t wait to try the cookies out.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 13, 2017 at 10:05 AM

      I think I might be obsessed with baking with beans now, too, Kay! Color me surprised. ?

  • Mare
    August 11, 2017 at 11:58 AM

    When I had to do AIP protocol diet, I saw a lot about using gelatin as egg replacement. I haven’t tried it, but I got some gelatin, so I think I will try that, too, in my baking. I will be baking this weekend and will report in on egg substitutions.

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 13, 2017 at 10:06 AM

      Sounds good, Mare! I’m not so sure about gelatin as an egg substitute, to be honest, but if you’re willing to experiment I’ll be happy to hear the results.

  • Rebecca
    August 11, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    These look great! But with 4 kids, making one dozen cookies at a time is not efficient for me. Have you tried doubling this recipe?

    • Nicole Hunn
      August 11, 2017 at 10:49 AM

      This recipe makes 12 to 14 cookies depending upon the size you make the cookies. And yes, a cookie recipe can always be doubled or even tripled. Just be sure you have a large enough capacity food processor or it won’t blend everything together properly and they won’t turn out. You could always try just making serial batches if your food processor isn’t large enough.

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