Black Bean Brownies with Creamy Avocado Frosting

“Black beans singing in the dead of niiiiiight…make these little bars and don’t ask whyyyyy—a-yyyy”.

There, I did it. I defiled the greatest rock band in the history of mankind in a lame attempt to get you to read further. Can you blame me? Well, ok, yes you can. But seriously, when you read “Black Bean Brownies and Avocado Frosting”, you have to admit that I’m fighting a battle to get you past the picture. But wait..don’t go! I swear on my second cousins dog’s best friend that these are amazing. They’re at least much better than my singing. Angie and I went to a dinner party the other night and the theme was “Mexican”. My group being on the rather low-brow side, “Mexican” means Corona beer, a bowl of Tostitos and some Pace salsa.

I had a choice of either goat cheese and black bean tacos, Sam’s amazing crispy black bean tostadas or coming way out of left field with a dessert that uses some traditional southwest ingredients and would help fill the gaping void left at every “Mexican” themed dinner party-dessert. We rode Angie’s scooter to the party so the options dwindled fast. On top of all that, I’ve read with amazement and skepticism several recipes using black beans in place of typical baking ingredients and avocado frosting recipes in place of the stand-by buttercream. The daredevil in me has been itching to experiment. If you’re going to conduct wild and potentially disastrous experiments, then who better to absorb the risk than friends? These black bean brownies are nearly indistinguishable from the standard flour-based lot, with a rich texture and sweet, chocolate taste that immediately won it’s way on to our permanent recipe list. The benefits are high protein, low-fat and, of course, great taste.

The avocado frosting comes with a gentle warning; it is absolutely fantastic IF you love avocados. The avocado flavor stars in this recipe, but the sweetness added by confectioner’s sugar, along with a hint of vanilla are surprisingly complimentary and perfectly adapted to the brownies. From the kids (guinea pig test group A) to the guests (test group B), they were a complete smash. I’ve been emailing the recipe since. Neither one is a FamilyFeed creation by the way. Sources are listed below. You HAVE to make these. Let us know what you think…enjoy.

Avacado Frosting:
Black Bean Brownies:

Angie brought home a pastry box from the bakery. We powdered the tops, stacked them between layers of parchment paper, bound the box with a bit of twine and they arrived in perfect shape after a 1 mile Vespa ride. Let them cool completely so that the frosting stiffens before packaging them up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8×8 square baking dish. Yields: 16 (small) brownies and enough frosting to cover the same. You have enough frosting for two batches so either cut the measures in half or save the rest in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to one week. It will not turn brown. Or, freeze for up to two months in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Time: 10 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to bake. About 40 minutes.

Soundtrack: I already insulted Sir Paul, so I better not push the envelope. Today, I’m imploring you to get to know Los Fabulosos Cadillacs . Nothing to do with Mexico (they’re from Argentina) but I had them on the iPod during this bake session and I danced a little..and I don’t dance. I’m pretty sure I saw Blue the Bassett shake her little backside too. If you can listen to Matador without dancing, I’ll need to check your pulse.


Avocado Frosting:
1 large ripe, organic avocado
2 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Black Bean Brownies:
1 (15.5 ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
3 eggs
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup organic granulated sugar
1 Tbsp espresso or 1 tsp. instant coffee (optional but suggested)
1/2 Cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped (optional)


Avocado Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the avocado at medium speed until creamy. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add in the vanilla then slowly add the powdered sugar, again stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, until a smooth frosting forms. Wait for the brownies to completely cool to room temperature before frosting.

Black Bean Brownies:
Combine all ingredients into a food processor and process until completely smooth and creamy. Pour into the prepared baking dish and, if you choose, sprinkle the chopped chocolate over the top of the mixture. Bake until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

12 responses on “Black Bean Brownies with Creamy Avocado Frosting

  1. The brownies look amazing. I’m really not sure about the frosting though, I’m not the greatest fan of avocado. I kinda like it in guacamole, but that’s about it. Great colour however, very halloweenie!

    • The Avacado taste is definitely present, so you might want to substitute another frosting, or even no frosting. The brownies are nearly indistinguishable from a basic, flour-based brownie, so they’re just as flexible. I know for a fact, you’ve no shortage of great frosting recipes in your arsenal!

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    • Thank you and good luck! I’m playing with a peanut butter, black bean brownie recipe now. If I don’t blow up the kitchen trying it, I’ll post it someday soon. Happy Holidays!

  4. These look fantastic! I normally equate bean brownies with the overly-healthy recipes I don’t like making (I feel like desserts should always be somewhat indulgent), but I like how you made them fit the Mexican theme. I’m not sure what I think of avocado as a sweet food, but I have a tonne of friends who’ll go crazy over these.

    • We were surprised by how good they are…have absolutely no “weird” taste to them. The avocado frosting is, admittedly, a little offbeat, and some people love it…some people get out the pitchforks and form a riot at the sight of it…you can frost the brownies with anything though.. We should have a post of chocolate avocado frosting up in the next couple of months. Great to meet you and thanks for coming by!

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    • Hi Rebecca…thanks for stopping by. I don’t track those or have the resources handy. But, if you follow the link to the original source for the brownies, I believe they’re included. As for the frosting, they’re made of avocados and confectioner’s sugar, both of which can be easily researched with a quick Google search, then multiplied by the weights and volumes of the recipe. If I can be of any more help to you, just give a shout. Kevin