Black Forest Black Bean Brownies (gluten & dairy free)

Desserts & Baking, Gluten-Free, Recipes

Black Forest Black Bean Brownies - dairy free and gluten free

These Black Forest Black Bean Brownies are fudgy, gluten and dairy free, made in a blender and are laden with rum-soaked Okanagan cherries. Basically perfect!

My husband Charles doesn’t really have a sweet tooth.  He’s the kind of guy who would rather have another serving of dinner and skip the dessert (I can’t relate, for the record).  Despite this, he has a real soft spot for Black Forest cake. Therefore, once a year I indulge him for his birthday and make a towering cake piled high with layers of soft, moist chocolate cake, fluffy whipped cream, shaved chocolate and rum-laden cherries.

I wanted to do something different this year (playing with fire, I know), and figured I would try my hand at a black bean brownie version.  I mean, we’ve been married for 10 years, isn’t it time we mix things up?  Maybe the cake wasn’t the place to start…

Nevertheless, my risk paid off.  While it wasn’t the SAME as the real deal, this black bean brownie version of a Black Forest cake was an absolute hit.  Rich, dense and laden with rum-soaked cherries, it passed the husband test.  Top it with a heavy spoonful of coconut whip topping or ice cream (we tried both, equally delicious) and it is pure heaven.  And since the cake is literally made in a blender in one step, I saved myself many painstaking hours baking a fancy cake.  Happy Birthday to me?

Black Forest Black Bean Brownies - dairy free and gluten free

Black Forest Black Bean Brownies - dairy free and gluten free

Of course let’s not forget that the cake is much healthier than the original version, made with black beans and free from dairy and gluten in case you’re avoiding both or either.  Not that you will know, this cake is to DIE for!

Now let’s talk about cherries.  We live in the heart of cherry country, and the Okanagan has the best in the world (I’m not biased at all…).  Some of my fondest memories include sitting in my grandma’s cherry tree on that one perfect branch and eating fruit until my tummy hurt.

I feel SO lucky that I get to partner with BC Tree Fruits to create recipes out of fruit that’s grown by the hard-working farmers in my back yard! Buying local when possible feels (and tastes) so good!  Make sure that you keep fresh cherries chilled to keep them from spoiling and freeze any extras (if you are lucky enough to have a surplus!) to use instead of ice cubes in a glass of sparkling water!

Fresh cherries in stainless steel pot


You can easily skip the rum in the cherries if you don’t want to add it, and you could add a couple of drops of almond extract in its place should you want to jazz it up without the alcohol!

Rum Cherry Sauce

This rum cherry sauce isn't too sweet and is the perfect sauce for drizzling over ice cream or these Black Forest Black Bean Brownies.

Course Dessert
Keyword Rum Cherry Sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 cups


  • 5 cups fresh pitted BC Tree Fruits cherries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water, divided
  • 1/3 cup dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 5 tablespoons water


  1. In a medium saucepan combine the cherries, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water.  Cook over medium heat until the cherries soften and the sugar dissolves, approximately 10-15 minutes.  Add the rum and stir.
  2. In a cup, stir together the corn starch and water until the corn starch is dissolved and smooth.  Slowly drizzle it into the cherries while stirring.  Continue to cook on medium heat until the cherries thicken and look clear not cloudy, approximately 2 minutes. Set aside.


Black Bean Black Forest Brownies

Fudgy and chocolaty and basically perfect with a scoop of rum cherries - serve this with a dollop of coconut whip or 'nice cream' to make it dairy free.  This recipe is gluten free.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10
Author Fraiche Nutrition


  • 19 oz can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks (dairy free if needed)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease a 8x8' pan and line with parchment paper.

  2. Place all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips or chunks in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides if needed.

  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Portion out 3/4 cup of the rum cherry mixture and randomly spoon it on top of the batter. Take a knife and run it through the batter to spread the cherries out a bit (not too much).  Sprinkle the chocolate chips or chunks evenly on top and bake until set, about 40 minutes.  Set aside to cool before serving.

  4. Serve with a dollop of coconut whip or 'nice cream' and a spoonful of the rum cherry sauce.


Thank you BC Tree Fruits for sponsoring this recipe!

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29 Comments on “Black Forest Black Bean Brownies (gluten & dairy free)”

  1. Carla

    Thank you for this recipe! I can’t wait to try ir! I’m celiac and I never realized how excited I’d get over new and delicious gf recipes until 12 years ago when I was first diagnosed!! It’s the simple things in life, like gf brownies, that make me smile!! Oh, and wine, cuz thankfully that’s gf!!

  2. Rheagan Stewart

    I made these brownies today in preparation for the camping trip my family is embarking on next week. I didn’t make the sauce but I added fresh pitted and halved BC cherries into the batter after I poured it into the pan. I sliced into triangles and threw them into the freezer but not before taste-testing. Seriously amazing! I’ve tried making black bean brownies in the past but your recipe far exceeds my leery expectations. So dang good (and much healthier than the original!) I love your blog and following you on insta…you and Jillian are so inspiring…I’m slightly obsessed! Slainte! And thank you for an amazing recipe I can’t wait to share with my boys!!! xo Rhea

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Rhea thank you SO much that made my day! I’m glad that the sub with the cherry halves worked well I will share that with our followers! Happy summer and thanks for following along! xx

  3. Monique

    This looks so good Tori. I’ll be honest straight up…..I’m not a great cook or baker. I would love to make this for my family. My husband is diabetic. What do you recommend that I use instead of the sugar and will still be yummy. Can I use Truvia?

    Thank you for your help!


    P.S. I really enjoy your site and interactions with Jillian. 🙂

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Monique! Thanks so much for following along! This one is a pretty easy recipe, and I’m sure you could try stevia or a similar substitute in its place (stevia is the best one in my opinion). I haven’t tried it with the replacement but would be thrilled to hear from you if it works out!

  4. nathalie spooner

    This recipe looks devine and I can’t wait to try with cherries I get from Kelowna Farmers Market. Can I leave out alcohol? Would I use maybe cherry juice in its place?

  5. Christy Trombley

    Hi Tori,

    I’m currently dairy free due to my infants sensitivity to dairy- and I have been missing good desserts! I was excited to try these. While they were still quite good, even in the oven for only 40 minutes they seemed a tad dry. One exception I made to the instructions is that I did not have parchment paper. Could that have made the difference? Or perhaps my oven is hotter than 350? I’ll try them again to try and correct- they were so easy! Thanks!

  6. Ella

    These look fantastic! I can’t wait to try them. Could I substitute the coconut oil for another type? The Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation has released a study with coconut oil as one of the worst fats you can consume for your heart (on par with beef lard!)

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Sorry for the delay Ella! I haven’t tried it with another type of oil or fat, yes coconut oil is high in saturated fat. It’s tricky when you want to use a fat that is solid at room temperature as your options are: butter, margarine or coconut oil. You could try any of these without messing up the end result, and it’s possible that an oil that is liquid at room temperature may work…I will give it a whirl next time I try making a batch!

  7. Karen

    Hi there Tori. I made these brownies today and we just had them for dessert. This has to be the best black bean brownie recipe that I have tried to date. I found your recipe on bctrees and waited until I had some fresh cherries to make them. Yummy! I was wondering if you could provide what the calorie and carb counts are? Thank you.

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Karen! Thank you so much! Unfortunately I don’t have that information at this time but hope to be able to run the nutritional calculator for the recipes down the road. Glad you loved them!!

  8. Tara

    Tried these this weekend. Absolutely LOVED them! I’ve tried quite a few black bean brownie recipes, and this one is by far the best. You can’t even tell that they’re made from beans! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. Erin

    On round two already! These puppies are by far the best brownies I’ve ever made or eaten for that matter. I was blown away by how good they are #nailedit. Thanks for another winner Tori!!

  10. Maureen

    Hi Tori! I’m so glad I found this post! I live in Kamloops and have enjoyed my sister’s cherry tree for many years! I made these brownies last night and they were a big hit for my husband’s sweet tooth! One question… what could I use instead of eggs in the recipe? I have a SIL that is gluten, dairy and egg free. I’m always looking for dessert recipes for her. Thanks!

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Maureen! You could use a chia or flax egg: for each egg mix together 1 tablespoon of either ground flax or whole chia seeds together with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 10 minutes before using!

  11. Johanna

    Hi Tori…
    Really excited to try this recipe. Can you substitute monkfruit sweetener for the sugar?


  12. Adrienne

    Is it just me or can everyone else see the recipe for the brownies? I came to make them today and all I see is the run cherry sauce recipe. Am I blind!?!? Haha

  13. karen vader

    have this brownies in the oven as we speak. have been baking for 55 minutes now and still not set. is it my oven? any advise? thanks tori

  14. Kristin

    Hi Tori! I’ve made these twice and plan to make them again this weekend for my hubby’s birthday. The first time I made them I used your suggestion in the comments for egg substitute for my sweet nephew. I followed all the other directions as is and the recipe turned out to be very delicious… slop. Everyone commented on how good it tasted but it was more like a thick pudding (maybe I put too much cherry sauce in?). I have made it since with an egg and kept the cherry sauce on the side and they turned out delicious! Thank you for the delicious DF/GF dessert options!

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