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Black bean brownies with ‘Nutella’ frosting

Black bean what? I hear you say. Yes, these brownies are full of beans and you would not know when you try them. This also makes these black bean brownies with ‘Nutella frosting’ very nutrient-dense, full of fibre and gluten-free.

The original recipe is from Wholesome child and I have been making them for years. I taught them in my cooking classes. I have made them for my children’s parties and school lunchboxes. It is such a quick recipe and all you need is a good blender to make sure the beans are blended into a smooth consistency. I have adapted the recipe slightly and then also added a delicious frosting that tastes like Nutella but is healthier. The frosting is totally opposite though.

The ‘Nutella’ frosting is also great stirred through porridge, on rice cakes or bread or to dip fruit in or just eat it with a spoon. It really is delicious! And all you need is a blender to make it. I love using my Omniblend for making this frosting, smoothies and smoothie bowls. It is really one of my favourite kitchen appliances.

Black bean brownies

You could use tinned black beans for the recipe but if you are keen on batch cooking and want to use the beans for a salad, soup or Mexican wrap you could make a large batch of beans in my other favourite piece of kitchen equipment; the Instant pot. It only takes about 50 minutes without any checking or soaking. The instant pot will just do its thing and you will have a ton of beans and also save some bucks in the process.

Black bean brownie with 'Nutella' frosting

Black bean brownies with ‘Nutella’ frosting

  • Author: Ankie Niesing
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 60
  • Yield: 15 1x


These brownies are nutrient-dense, gluten-free, and easy to make. I have made them for children’s parties and for my kid’s lunchboxes. They are  always popular and you would never guess what the main ingredient is when you eat them.



400 g tinned black beans or cooked in Instant pot

3 eggs

3 tbsp coconut oil (plus extra for coating tin)

1/3 cup cacao powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

½ cup coconut sugar

Ingredients for ‘Nutella frosting’

½ cups roasted hazelnuts (without skins)

1/3-1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp melted coconut oil

2tbsp maple syrup or honey

6 soft dates pits removed

1/3 cup cocoa powder

¼ tsp salt


Grease a small square baking dish with coconut oil and line with greaseproof paper.

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process at a high speed until smooth.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes by sliding a knife into the brownie. If it comes away clean, the brownies are ready.

Notes: Why not cook your own beans instead of buying tinned beans. To an Instant pot add black beans and cover with water. Place lid on Instant pot and set to Manual, High and set the time for 35 minutes. Let it natural release for 15 minutes, then turn the valve to quick release making sure to wait until the cycle is complete before unlocking and then removing lid. 


Instructions for ‘Nutella frosting’

Add hazelnuts to a food processor and blend until it forms nut butter. It will take about 4-5 minutes. You will have to stop and scrape down the sides every few minutes.

You could also use raw hazelnuts but then you will have to toast them until golden brown and remove the skins by rubbing the nuts in a cloth.

Now add the rest of the ingredients. If the dates are not soft you could soak them in boiling water for a few minutes and drain them before adding them to the food processor.

Blend all the ingredients for about 2-3 minutes.

Taste test. If you prefer a thinner more “fluid” consistency, consider adding milk and blend again. You could also adjust the sweetness. Spread icing over cooled brownies and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. This is also a great recipe for lunchboxes.



*If you batch cook beans you could also use it in a salad, curry, soup chili, burger, or quesadillas to make meal prep a little easier in the week.

*With the leftover ‘Nutella’ you could serve it with oats, use it as a dip for strawberries, or spread over bread. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week

Keywords: brownies, nutrient dense, instant pot

Ankie Niesing

Hi, I'm Ankie! Welcome to Wooden Spoon Kitchen, my pantry of life, love and health where we constantly stir laughter, learning, eating and cooking together!

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