Black Bean Brownies w/ Peanut Butter Cup Frosting

August 29, 2017

Black Bean Brownies w/ Peanut Butter Cup Frosting #Vegan

It’s just silly how long I’ve waited to share this black bean brownie recipe with you. All due to complete vanity. Let’s be frank, black bean brownies on their own are not total lookers. I’ll eat them plain any day cause I know how good they taste. But show them to a non-plant based folk and they will start to really question what is in that green drink you sip on every morning. I’ve been mixing a cocoa powder, almond butter, and maple syrup frosting together to try on them from time to time but found it too heavy and thick. Then I was watching one of Andy’s stories on Instagram and she added plant milk to her recipe! Brilliant. She also used peanut butter instead of almond. Double brilliant. I blended it up the next day and said thank you Andy! out loud as I licked the spoon clean and smothered my brownies in this peanut-butter-cup-heaven. Go make these brownies. Go make this frosting. I’ll wait.

Oh you’re still here? The brownies are in the oven and the frosting is already whipped in the fridge? Perfect, lets hang and chat a little longer. First off, wasn’t that incredibly easy?! One of my favorite things about eating a whole plant foods diet is how my ingredients seem to overlap from one meal to the next. I mean, I just took my favorite burrito bowl ingredient and put it in my dessert. And it taste amazing. Things could be crazier, and this idea isn’t new under the plant-based-sun, but lets take a moment to realize how neat that is! Healthy starches and fiber and protein are now packed in this chocolatey treat, and something like peanut-butter-cup-frosting exists in four plant based ingredients. Hallelujah!

I started eating dessert before dinner a little over a month ago and have been really enjoying the new routine. I usually eat a snack between two and four in the afternoon, sometimes it’s sweet and other times it’s savory. So on the day I made these brownies I sat with a glass of almond milk and a few of these squares and enjoyed my afternoon snack/dessert immensely. I’ve come to love having my last meal of the day be a warm dinner that really fills me up for the evening. My energy and digestion feels better this way, plus I don’t have to wait all day to dig into something like these brownies, so I’m all for it ;).

Are the brownies out yet cooling? Perfect. I like to chill mine before slicing and frosting, but you’ll read all about that in the next paragraph of the recipe instructions so I’ll leave that decision to you. Other than heating up your oven in the middle of the day, is there anything else you’ve been especially enjoying this summer? I think if I had to pick one ingredient that has been the star of my plate this month it would have to be tomatoes. Corn and zucchini happen almost every day right now too, but the tomatoes from the local farmers this year have been unreal. I keep eating plain tomato sandwiches with a little homemade spread thinking there can’t be anything better! But then I remembered how much I missed baking, something I do seldom in the summer. This got me thinking and yearning for fall, and thus these brownies were churned out of my kitchen to help hold me over. Plus this frosting! Have you tasted a spoonful yet? What am I saying, of course you have, you’re probably on cloud nine right now hardly taking in a word I’m uttering. Go enjoy your brownies and throw a second batch in the oven to share (we all know where the first batch is going). Make sure to pop over and tell Andy thank you for that frosting too – xx.

Black Bean Brownies w/ Peanut Butter Cup Frosting #VeganBlack Bean Brownies w/ Peanut Butter Cup Frosting #VeganBlack Bean Brownies w/ Peanut Butter Cup Frosting #VeganBlack Bean Brownies w/ Peanut Butter Cup Frosting #VeganBlack Bean Brownies w/ Peanut Butter Cup Frosting #VeganBlack Bean Brownies w/ Peanut Butter Cup Frosting #VeganBlack Bean Brownies w/ Peanut Butter Cup Frosting #VeganBlack Bean Brownies w/ Peanut Butter Cup Frosting #Vegan


Fills one 9×5 loaf pan, makes 8 brownies or 4 servings. 

2 tablespoons ground flax
8 tablespoons filtered water
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed & drained
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

frosting (makes a double batch, see note)
Recipe based off of Andy’s.

1/2 cup creamy, natural peanut butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk (or almond milk)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Begin by combining the ground flax and water in a small bowl. Whisk and set aside to thicken for five minutes. In a large blender container, or food processor bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients for the brownies. Add the flax egg last, cover, and blend until silky smooth. You may need to stop and scrap down the sides of the food processor a few times, or insert the tamper if using a blender to help it keep going. Above all else, make sure it is smooth before proceeding.

Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment. Pour/scoop the brownie batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Bake for 25 minutes for set but still gooey brownies (my preferred method) or 30 minutes for less gooey brownies.

Pull the sides of parchment to release the brownies from the tin and set the parchment lined brownies on a wire rack to fully cool. For neater brownies, once cooled, transfer to an airtight container and place a paper towel inside to capture any moisture. Refrigerate for a few hours before slicing and frosting. Other wise proceed to making the frosting and eating straight off the cooling rack. (Any brownies leftover should be refrigerated in this same way.)

Make the frosting by combining all of the listed ingredients in a blender and turn on low, working your way up slowly as the frosting begins to thicken and turn creamy. Similarly, use a food processor and stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed until creamy. Use right away, or transfer to an airtight jar and keep in the fridge until ready.

Slice the brownies and frost individually when ready to eat. ENJOY!

NOTES: This frosting recipe makes twice the amount you need for the brownies. I found making a smaller amount tough to blend smooth in a machine. You could always half the recipe if desired and try whisking it smooth in a small bowl. Otherwise, keep the second half batch of frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for another batch of brownies later in the week ;). It should keep for 7 days, and is amazing spread on other things (like toast). Not a bad thing to have at the ready.

I love seeing what you create! Be sure to tag your photos on Instagram with #FWmakers.

This post contains affiliate links (they are underlined for clarity). Purchases you make through these links will help fund the work I do here on Faring Well at no extra cost to you. Thank you sincerely for your constant love and support.


  • Reply Jess August 29, 2017 at 3:04 am

    Making these today!!!! I’ve been making a similar version to satisfy that chocolatey sweet tooth, but I cannot wait to try your slight variation (aka: peanut butter frosting…o.m.g.) I am SO with you on how amazing plant based foods can easily transition to something sweet or savory and meld into meals or desserts! I’m currently working on a (free) “reset” guide that is rooted in simplicity. Basically, a 7-day guide to nourishing foods and simple meals. For instance, once you have your 1 type of beans and 1 type of grains, but you can use them in so many different ways throughout the week. Dinner in 10 minutes? Yep, I got you. Anyways, I just realized I turned this into something about me (eye-roll), ugh, not my intention. I hope you are SO well!! It sounds like you are :) Catch up soon? Hugs, Jessie!

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2017 at 7:15 am

      You are amazing Jess! Thank you again for making my recipe and sharing, I’m over the moon you were as crazy about them as I was ;). I love this reset guide idea too. Hoping you are so well friend!

  • Reply Janel | Peach and the Cobbler August 29, 2017 at 6:30 am

    holy smokes, these look so FUDGY! can’t wait to give these a go!

  • Reply Cookbook August 29, 2017 at 8:37 am

    ❤️ I just love the way you take photos. The brownies look uhmazing!

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2017 at 7:16 am

      You are way too sweet, thank you! xx

  • Reply Lola August 29, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Amazing recipe! This looks absolutely delicious, thanks for the share. Keep up the posts!

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2017 at 7:16 am

      Thank you Lola! I appreciate it <3.

  • Reply Valentina | The Blue Bride August 29, 2017 at 9:23 am

    These look amazing! I’ve been looking for a “beany” dessert for a while – I bought too many adzuki beans :P – and this one seems just perfect for the purpose! And I also have a lot of homemade peanut butter in the fridge… Even more perfect!

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Ooo I would love to know how the adzuki bean version comes out (!!!).

  • Reply Tori// August 29, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Thanks for sharing these! I am so inspired to try them.

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Yay! I hope you love them too Tori – xo.

  • Reply Laine August 29, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Guilt free brownies…seriously, what can beat that?! :D They look absolutely amazing, Jessie! <3

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Yes yes yes! Thank you tons Laine, you’re so sweet!

  • Reply puluelina August 29, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Ah this is so strange, I literally discovered this ‘peanut butter mixed with plant-based milk’ trick just the other day when I was craving something a bit smoother to dollop over my pancakes! I mixed a splash of almond milk with a tbsp of peanut butter in a small glass using a fork. Universe knew what we were after heh. Thank you Jessie, your recipes and your writing is super inspiring and has helped enormously whilst I’ve been making the transition from vegetarian to a plant-based diet (Im currently trying to calm down my IBS and finally a bit more on the map with what I can eat without bloating like a balloon and stomach pain & gas. It’s such a horrible state of being and really affects all aspects of your life, which I know you understand!). You have a really lovely way of letting your sweet personality shine through, Im always looking forward to reading new posts. Keep it up girl! :)

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2017 at 7:21 am

      I am just smiling ear to ear reading this Elina, thank you :). I’m so sorry you’re going through those same tough tummy troubles, and hope you can fully tame them soon – I’m cheering you on from this side of the screen! And I LOVE that idea for a pancake drizzle. May need to try it soon too, thank you for sharing and inspiring ME girl! xx

  • Reply D'Ana Joi August 29, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    I found your blog via Instagram, and I’m so glad I did. I’m a new blogger and constantly looking for inspiration, such as your lovely blog. My brownies are cooling now, and my laptop keys are a bit messy from the frosting all over my fingers. Thank you!

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2017 at 7:23 am

      Aw Joi thank you! I’m so happy to have you here now and thankful for Instagram for connecting <3. Hoping you enjoyed the brownies tons and that there was a little frosting left to frost them with ;) I wouldn't blame you for downing that entire jar - the struggle is so real with this one! Hehe. Xx

  • Reply Cynthia August 30, 2017 at 5:08 am

    Hello, these look amazing. What is the nutritional value? Esp the carb count?

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2017 at 7:13 am

      Hi Cynthia! I do not count carbs or provide this for my recipes, but you can always use a calculator online for your own needs if desired <3.

  • Reply Rachel August 30, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Can you use chia seeds instead of flax?

    • Reply Faring Well August 30, 2017 at 7:24 am

      I have not tried it and would think it would change the texture a bit!

  • Reply Pia August 30, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Honestly Jess, you’re just amazing. Like, could you be any cuter?! I doubt it.
    You really are so down to earth and words cannot express how grateful I am for having discovered your work, and thus you, a few years ago. And while I don’t comment on every single post of yours, I want you to know that I DO challenge myself (I bet you get what I’m saying…) to read them all, and trust me, at I’m always so happy I did because your words are always super comforting in some way. Really, for some reason I find your voice -written and otherwise- incredibly soothing, calming, reassuring and so forth. It’s just so natural and genuine, and your words just add a little extra something to my days. So, thanks. Friend. I like that word, although I have to admit that I feel tempted to consider myself a fan in addition to that. Hmm. In any case, rock on and I hope you have a lovely day. Big hugs xxx (PS: yay for awesome looking healthy brownies :P)

    • Reply Faring Well August 31, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Oh sheesh, this makes me blush Pia – I’m so happy your finding my “voice” that way and am really grateful for both your friendship and fan-ship over these few years girl! You really are a special soul, and I hope you know the adoration is mutual. Big hugs being sent right back Pia! I hope you are having the sweetest week ever. xoxo

  • Reply lynn September 2, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Bookmarking – it’s not everyday I find a gluten-freevegan brownie recipe! So great to meet you last night.xo

    • Reply Faring Well September 4, 2017 at 10:02 am

      You are so sweet thank you for stopping by here Lynn! It was lovely meeting you the other night too, such a magical time <3.

  • Reply Melanie September 2, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    HOLY WOW! I made these brownies this afternoon and they were SO good that I just had to let you know! I definitely found myself sneaking bites off the cooling rack, too :) I’ve made black bean brownies before, but they usually turn out to be a gloppy mess – I love that these actually held together! And that frosting…oh, that frosting…you nailed it! I don’t think there is anything more heavenly than peanut butter + chocolate <3 Thank you for sharing! I found your blog a few months ago and I always have so much fun reading your posts and trying out your recipes in my own kitchen :)))

    • Reply Faring Well September 4, 2017 at 10:04 am

      You are THE sweetest! Thank you for this note Melanie! I’m positively beaming. Thank you thank you <3.

  • Reply Ashley September 2, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    I have a similar brownie recipe that demands this frosting! I am very much in love with these photos and I 100% support dessert before dinner! It’s never too early in the day for chocolate!

    • Reply Faring Well September 4, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Thank you Ashley, hope you enjoy the frosting! xx

  • Reply Amanda September 4, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    These look so good, Jessie! I’ve made black bean brownies before, & they were surprisingly good! I’ve been looking for a way to make them vegan though for my vegan friends, & I’d like to try your recipe! Just one question: Do you know of a good vegan, whole-foods substitute for flax “eggs”? I am allergic to flax seeds (I know!), and sooo many vegan baked-goods recipes use them. I eat eggs, so that’s usually what I end up using instead, but obviously I can’t share them then with my vegan friends.

    • Reply Faring Well September 5, 2017 at 8:28 am

      I’m so glad you think these look good Amanda, thank you! Black beans are one of those magical ingredients for sure. So sorry to hear about your flax allergy! I’ve heard people can use ground chia seeds too, but haven’t tried it yet. Apple sauce is another substitute, but I’m not sure how it would affect the flavor of these. I’ve also read combining a starch with water like you would a flax egg could work, such as arrowroot or tapioca. But again, I haven’t tried it as of yet – but am interested in doing so in the future after receiving this note from you <3 thank you for inspiring me! And I hope this helps a bit.

      • Reply Amanda September 6, 2017 at 9:01 pm

        Thanks so much, Jessie! Yes, this does help– gives me some ideas to try! I will let you know how it goes when I get around to trying your recipe! Can’t wait! 😋

  • Reply Gena September 9, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Jessie, I’m chuckling because I typically have a sort of knee-jerk aversion to the idea of baking with beans! But you’ve rendered a black bean brownie that is so beautiful and moist and appealing that I’m going to get over my mental block and give them a try ASAP. What an awesome, simple vegan dessert. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply Faring Well September 10, 2017 at 5:20 pm

      I totally understand your knee-jerk, Gena! I admittedly did too for a long time. I hope that if you give these a go that they are worth the risk ;).

  • Reply Ruthie reed September 13, 2017 at 9:52 am

    These look so good. I’m totally trying these!

    • Reply Faring Well September 13, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Oh thank you Ruthie! I hope that if you do that you love them too <3 happy baking.

  • Reply Deborah(vintagemacaroon) October 14, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Just made these! Was hardhat to eat the frosting while waiting for the brownies to cool….although you did say there was more than what was needed. I made mine more on the fudge side too and the frosting takes it to the next level😧

    • Reply Faring Well October 14, 2017 at 5:03 pm

      Oh yay I hope you enjoy them tons this weekend Deborah! Thank you for trusting my recipe enough to give it a spin, I appreciate you leaving me a note too. <3

    Leave a Reply