Fudgy Blackout Brownies (Vegan)

by Alena
Apr 20, 2021
white parchment paper with four pieces of homemade vegan blackout brownies with chocolate drizzle

These vegan blackout brownies will make every chocolate lover’s heart beat faster! Made with easy to find, wholesome ingredients, they are super fudgy, deep in flavor, protein-packed and total crowd-pleasers.

If you’ve been wanting to bake up some goodness for your whole family that is sure to swoon any dairy-lover but still packed with nutrition, these blackout brownies are perfect!

Super fudgy on the inside, deep in flavor and filled with all the chocolate you’ll ever need, they are the perfect portable treat year-round and taste fantastic with a good cup of coffee. 

If you enjoyed our vegan chocolate mousse or chocolate mousse cake, these blackout brownies will make your chocolate love grow even further! Thanks to special dark cocoa powder, they are much richer in taste than regular brownies.

You won’t find a deeper or richer flavor than these black bean brownies. They are just sweet enough, offer a pleasant crunch from the roasted hazelnuts and almost melt in your mouth!

three homemade black bean brownies on top of each other being drizzled with melted chocolate

Why these are the best blackout brownies 

  • Deep in flavor & incredibly chocolatey 
  • Bakery style delicious 
  • Fudgy & filled with crunchy hazelnuts
  • Gluten-free, sugar-free & vegan
  • Easy to make in 30 minutes
  • Decadent but not too heavy
  • Kid-friendly and portable

Sounds great, right? In terms of kitchen equipment, you will need a 9×13 inch baking pan, parchment paper, food processor, large bowl, mixing spoon and cutting knife.

Let’s check out what goes into these blackout brownies!

white table with dark chocolate, flour, dates, black beans and spices

Ingredients needed

  • Black beans — cooked black beans from a can work well if you rinse them or if you’re a kitchen-pro, you can go for home-cooked!
  • Dates — our favorite whole food sweetener that even adds some fudginess. 
  • Almond flour — gluten-free & higher fat flour to bind the wet ingredients together.
  • Almond butter — any nut butter of your choice will work to ensure fudgy brownies that hold moisture over days!
  • Dark cocoa powder — for the deep, rich flavor; if you only find traditional cocoa powder, that’s fine.
  • Almond milk — any plant-based milk will work here.
  • Molasses — offers more sweetness, depth and chewiness to your brownies.
  • Hazelnuts — can be omitted but we highly recommend them for some added crunch!
  • Dark chocolate — that should come as no surprise, right? Choose how dark and low-sugar you want to go here.
  • Espresso powder — highly recommended especially if you’re a coffee lover like us! If you want to share these with your kids, probably omit this ingredient.

You can find the exact amounts in the recipe card below. If you have any questions about these ingredients and possible adjustments, I’ll share more about them in a bit!

Here’s how easy it is to make these brownies.

six chocolate drizzled vegan brownies on a table next to a knife

How to make vegan blackout brownies

Before you start

Soak your pitted dates in a small bowl of hot water for about 30 minutes and then preheat your oven to 350° F (180° C). Line your 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.

If you don’t have almond flour on hand, use 1.8 oz (50 g) of blanched almonds and blend them into a fine powder. You can leave some chunks for added crunchiness if you like!

Mix the wet ingredients

Drain your soaked dates and put them into a food processor alongside the molasses, almond butter, almond milk and vanilla extract. Pulse and mix to obtain a creamy puree.

Add the rinsed black beans and then process again until a smooth batter forms.

food processor with nut butter, dates, black beans, flour and spices

Add the dry ingredients

Put the almond flour, espresso powder, flax seeds, cocoa powder and baking powder in your food processor jar on top of the black bean mixture. 

Process to obtain a homogeneous, smooth mixture. And now, get a small spoon and make a taste test! Is it sweet and balanced enough for your liking? Adjust to your preferences.

Fold in the hazelnuts & chocolate

Transfer your blackout brownie batter from the food processor into a large bowl and add your chopped dark chocolate as well as the toasted hazelnuts.

Gently fold them in using a large spoon.

large white bowl in which vegan brownie batter is mixed with hazelnuts by a spoon

Bake & enjoy

Transfer the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it into an even layer. Place the pan into your preheated oven and bake for 20 mins. 

Check after 15 mins to see whether your brownies are almost done and test with a toothpick — stick it into the middle of your batter, if it comes out clean, the brownies are ready to eat!

Once done, remove your freshly baked blackout brownies from the oven and let them cool. You can then drizzle them with some melted chocolate before cutting the batter into brownie squares and serving them!

close up of of three homemade vegan brownies on top of each other

Storage & serving suggestions

The baked brownies need to cool completely before being stored in an airtight container. You can choose between leaving them out on the counter at room temperature, putting them in the fridge (awesome during summer) and freezing them!

While they usually don’t last for more than 4 days in our house, that’s about how long they stay good for on the counter — when storing them in the fridge, you can add a few days.

These blackout brownies can also be frozen in a container for around 3 months. It’s best to arrange them in a single layer and cover that layer with some parchment paper before adding more brownies on top!

Once you’re ready to eat them, defrost however many brownies you want and let them thaw at room temperature for 3-4 hours or pop them in the microwave for a few rounds, 30 seconds at a time.

During the summer months, we like to eat them half-frozen!

Enjoy these fudgy blackout brownies on their own, with a glass of almond milk or serve them with a dollop of vegan ice cream!

We like to have them alongside a good cup of almond milk latte, coconut whipped cream (oh, my!) or some fresh seasonal fruit.

three vegan brownies on white parchment paper

FAQs for this recipe

What are blackout brownies?

Blackout brownies are similar to regular brownies, except that they are made with special dark cocoa powder to give them a much richer chocolate taste. We came across this awesome idea when browsing Yoga of Cooking and decided to make a whole food plant-based version of it!

I can’t find dark cocoa powder!

Our black bean brownies taste great with just regular cocoa powder, too. They aren’t quite as rich and chocolatey, but still a fantastic vegan treat!

Do I have to soak the dates?

Yes, this is highly suggested for a smoother and creamier result. Using hot water decreases the soaking time!

Which size baking pan do I need?

You can choose between 8 and 9 inches, the result will vary in thickness, of course. If you’re going for the larger-sized one, reduce the baking time.

white parchment paper with six black bean brownie squares next to a knife

I don’t have any hazelnuts

No problem, you can just use any of their cousins: almonds, walnuts, pecans or cashews! If you want to make this nut-free, add more chocolate chips to the batter.

Why use dates instead of syrup?

Dates create a fantastic texture and add some vitamins and minerals to your sweet treats. If they are hard to find, you can use maple syrup or more molasses instead.

In this case, add less almond milk to the batter at first and then see how it comes together!

More vegan dessert recipes

If you like easy and healthy desserts, try these chocolate-infused plant-based recipes next.

Did you make our vegan blackout brownies? We’d love to read about it, so be sure to leave a review and tell us more in the comments below. You can also Pin this recipe here!

three homemade black bean brownies on top of each other being drizzled with melted chocolate

Fudgy Blackout Brownies (Vegan)

Yield: 12 brownies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These vegan blackout brownies will make every chocolate lover's heart beat faster! Made with easy to find, wholesome ingredients, they are super fudgy, deep in flavor, protein-packed and total crowd-pleasers.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dates, soaked & drained (75 g)
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 3 tbsp almond butter (48 g)
  • ½ cup almond milk, unsweetened (120 ml)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups black beans, drained & rinsed (340 g)
  • ½ cup almond flour (50 g)
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds, ground
  • ⅔ cup dark cocoa powder (57 g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup dark chocolate, cut into chunks (70 g)
  • ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped (50 g)

Chocolate Drizzle

  • ½ cup dark chocolate, melted (70 g)

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C) and line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
    2. Add the dates, molasses, almond butter, almond milk and vanilla extract into a food processor and mix to obtain a creamy puree.
    3. Add the black beans and process until really smooth. Finally, put the almond flour, espresso powder, flax seeds, cocoa powder and baking powder in your food processor jar. Process to obtain a homogeneous, smooth mixture.
    4. Transfer the brownie batter into a large bowl, add the chocolate chunks and hazelnuts and gently stir with a spoon to incorporate.
    5. Transfer the batter into the lined pan and spread it into an even layer.
    6. Place your pan into the oven and bake for 20 mins. Check after 15 mins to see whether your brownies are almost done and test with a toothpick — stick it into the middle of your batter, if it comes out clean, the brownies are ready to eat.
    7. Once done, remove your freshly baked blackout brownies from the oven and let them cool.
    8. Drizzle with melted chocolate, cut into squares and serve.

Notes

  • The chocolate drizzle at the end is optional but recommended. You can melt dark chocolate in a water bath on the stove or in a small bowl using your microwave.
  • If you want to share these blackout brownies with your kids, you might want to skip the espresso powder!
  • Any leftover brownies can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. This recipe is also freezer-friendly.
  • If you don’t have any molasses, you can use 2 tbsp of maple syrup instead or just increase the amount of dates in the recipe!
  • Find more tips & substitution ideas in the article.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 Brownie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Alena enjoying a bowl of fresh plant-based food and coffe in a restaurant
Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.

4 thoughts on “Fudgy Blackout Brownies (Vegan)”

  1. How much do you think I could increase the dates by? I’m not sure that these would be very sweet at all but I still like the look of the recipe. (also I thought that 1/2 cup of dates was around 100-120g…)

    Reply
    • Hey Anna,
      the weight of 1/2 cup dates depends on how tightly you pack them :) You could probably double the amount and add a bit more almond flour to achieve the right texture.
      Let us know what you end up doing!

      Reply
  2. Hi there,
    I don’t have a food processor. What can I use instead?
    Can’t wait to make these!! Oh yum!
    Thank you!
    Melanie Serre

    Reply
    • great question, Melanie! Do you have a blender? Use it for the wet ingredients (soaked & drained dates, molasses, almond butter, almond milk, cooked beans) and blend it into a homogenous liquid puree. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a spoon, then add the blended wet ingredients and keep mixing until well-combined :)
      Please let us know how you like the brownies! Thanks :)

      Reply

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