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Recipe for Decadent Chocolate Bean Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

I enjoy sharing delicious traditional recipes that have been modified to meet the needs of those who are vegan or gluten-sensitive.

Double-Chocolate Cookies on the Rack

Double-Chocolate Cookies on the Rack

Double-Chocolate Black Bean Orange Soft Cookies..

These delectable chocolate, chocolate-chip, black bean, orange-flavoured babies are the soft, flavourful cookies that people on gluten-free diets rarely get to chow down on. They are also free of dairy, pourable/scoopable oils, eggs, and soy.

The three dozen I whipped up were on their way to a potluck tomorrow, but we'll see if there any left over after my husband checks them out.

The black beans in the cookies make these a high-protein dessert... and the beans are also responsible for the 'brownie' texture. Somehow the beans also act as a wonderful sponge for the chocolate-orange flavouring that doesn't always happen with gluten-free flour by itself.

This recipe is a take-off of the Double-Chocolate Devil's Food Cookies from my favourite bean cookbook, "The Great Vegan Bean Book" by Kathy Hester (You can click to see more about it on Amazon).

Now, on to the recipe!


  • 1 1/2 C. / 180 g. Gluten-Free Flour, (see a Blend you can make yourself below)
  • 1/4 C. (20 g.) Raw Cacao Powder, (or Organic Cocoa Powder)
  • 1/4 C. (20 g.) Raw Carob Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (15 g.) Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 C. / 258 g. (or 1 15-oz can) Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed off
  • 1 "Chia Egg", 1 T. Chia in 4 T. Warm Water for 15 minutes
  • 1 C. Almond or other NonDairy Milk, Unsweetened (not Soy)
  • 1/2 C (115 g.) Brown or Coconut Palm Sugar
  • 1/2 C (100 g.) Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Orange Extract, (I used "Simply Organic" brand)
  • 1 1/2 C. (263 g.) Gluten-Free, Vegan Chocolate Chips
Double-Chocolate Cookie Dough

Double-Chocolate Cookie Dough


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C /Gas Mark 4
  2. Line a Cookie Pan with parchment paper or a silicone sheet
  3. Mix together In a large bowl: the flour, cacao, carob, baking soda, and salt
  4. In the bowl of a food processor, combine until smooth: black beans, chia egg, milk, brown or palm sugar, cane sugar, and orange extract (could also be done with a mixmaster or in a heavy duty blender if you don't have a food processor)
  5. Add the processed 'wet' mix to the dry ingredients in the large bowl. Add in the chocolate chips. Stir with a wooden spoon until everything is combined.
  6. Roll about 1 1/2 T. of dough into balls and put on pan. Flatten. (Optional: Press a pecan into the top of each cookie)
  7. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes until cookies appear to be dry on top, and spring back when touched with a fork.
  8. Cool on racks
Delicious double-chocolate-orange-bean soft cookies ... vegan and gluten-free ... win-win-win

Delicious double-chocolate-orange-bean soft cookies ... vegan and gluten-free ... win-win-win

The DIY Gluten-Free Flour Mix

This is an all-purpose mix from the "Gluten-Free Bible" (click below to see more about this handy reference / cookbook) specifically for baked goods that you do NOT use yeast in. Save it in an air-tight container. In a large bowl combine:

  • 1 C. White Rice Flour
  • 1 C. Sorghum Flour
  • 1 C. Tapioca Flour
  • 1 C. Cornstarch
  • 1 C. Almond or Coconut Flour

Notes on the Recipe for Black Bean Chocolate Cookies

  • Black Beans not only provide lots of healthy fibre to these cookies, but they also give the cookies a lovely cake-y texture
  • I use 1/2 Carob/ 1/2 Cacao Powder because I find that while I love the 'taste' of chocolate, my body doesn't always love the jolt of theobromine, full-dose, that is an ingredient of all cacao/cocoa products. Carob also cuts the bitter edge, and adds a subtle sweetness and texture. You won't have any complaints about the 'taste of carob' either... it hides well.
  • If you wish to keep this cookie truly Gluten-Free, be sure to also use Gluten-Free chocolate (or carob) chips. Call me neurotic or picky or obsessed, but I also like to use chips that indicate that they are made with GMO-free ingredients, and that they are FairTrade. So, that's GMO-free, Gluten-Free, Organic, and FairTrade... good luck! (hehehe)

The Gluten Free Bible: The All-In-One Guide to Enjoying Fabulous Food Without Gluten

Beans In A Dessert? Hmmm.....

When I was a little girl I remember that my mother and her friends were all excited about a chocolate cake recipe that included a tin of tomato soup as one of the ingredients. To my finickity child-palate, this tasted like another trick to get me to eat stuff I didn't like. In a previous economy-driven foray, my mother had mixed powdered milk with regular milk, and in yet other efforts at creative subterfuge, she had whipped the garden's over-abundant turnips in with our mashed potatoes. The tomato-soup-chocolate-cake was a one-meal wonder, at least at our home. You can actually find that Mid-Century recipe on the Internet (no links provided).

Fast forward to my dotage and you will find me employing some similar "unorthodox," some would say "weird," food-dessert combinations in my own kitchen. My children have grown up and escaped the experiments, and my granddaughters are more assertive than I was as a child. However, I do have a husband who trusts me and appears to enjoy my cooking, so my use of "pulses" in cakes, cookies, and chocolate-chip-studded dips, goes forward. Pulses refer to the dried legume seeds like the beans, peas, and lentils you would put into a soup. As I may have mentioned before, my younger brother is probably the Top "lentil" broker in the world (you can correct me if you are in that position yourself), and because of family pride, loyalty and a foodie connection, my pantry is well-stocked with pulses.

So, yes, you find me baking up various odd "pulse"-containing desserts: black bean brownies, this hub's particular recipe for black bean double-chocolate cookies, and other confections containing navy beans, lentils and chickpea-flour. Beans, and bean flours, tend to absorb the flavour of whatever they are baked with (eg., chocolate and orange extract), and are, thus, a fabulous, healthy addition to Gluten-Free baking. Nothing at all like my mother's tomato-soup-chocolate-cake, I promise.

The following video demonstrates further diversity of beans as a dessert ingredient.

Gluten-Free Baking with Pulses (Manitoba, Canada)


Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 24, 2015:

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Dear DzyMsLizzy-- Thank you for your votes and honest comments-- yes, using vegs in cookies and cakes does seem bizarre but the texture of these flourless cookies is an unexpected delight, and I promise there is no bean-y flavor or aftertaste. -Cynthia

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 24, 2015:

Hey Roberta, nice to connect again! Yes, please let me know what you think-- I recall now that the orange extract was inspired by a chocolate cake recipe of yours! Bon appetit! -Cynthia

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 23, 2015:

Hmm...sounds interesting, and I love chocolate..the darker the better, so I might not even 'cut' it with carob.

However---black beans??? That is bizzare. I can't even use them in main dishes, as my husband can't stand them. In his opinion, they "taste like dirt." (And yes, canned ones, well rinsed.)

Since he is housebound with his health issues, there's really no way I could do this on the sly.

Voted up, interesting and useful.

RTalloni on July 23, 2015:

Have two things to celebrate in about 2 weeks and I've been wanting to try a recipe like this one. This is the one! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the interesting info. Neat hub and I'll try to come back and let you know how this goes in my kitchen. :)

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on February 27, 2015:


Beans make quite a surprisingly versatile dessert ingredient-- think of tofu cheesecake for example! I've actually made lentil chocolate-chip cookies and have a recipe for cookies that uses white beans. There are some delicious Chinese bean cookies as well (used to live near a Chinese bakery). Hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know if you made some tweaks that worked, or if you think there are some that might? Thanks for dropping by, and I hope this is something your relative enjoys! All the best, Cynthia

Melody Lassalle from California on February 27, 2015:

As a vegan, I've baked with some different ingredients. I've never baked desserts with beans though. I have a relative who has Celiacs. I am going to share this with her.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on February 26, 2015:

You're in for a delicious surprise Thelma! Thanks for dropping by and commenting! ~Cynthia

Thelma Alberts from Germany on February 26, 2015:

Wow! This sounds delicious. I have not tried putting beans when baking my cookies. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on February 09, 2015:

Au fait: Thank you for dropping by and commenting on these cookies. If you try them, please come back and let me know how they turned out! God bless, Cynthia

C E Clark from North Texas on February 06, 2015:

These cookies look and sound delicious! I love that they include healthful ingredients like black beans. One can eat them with a little less guilt. Beans are now considered one of the perfect foods that are so good for you.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on February 03, 2015:


Thanks for dropping by and commenting! ~Cynthia

poetryman6969 on February 03, 2015:

Love to see black beans in dessert recipes. Radical but I hear it works!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 28, 2015:


Thank you for dropping by and for leaving your encouraging comments! I believe you will find these cookies to be entirely worth your while! All the best! ~Cynthia

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on January 28, 2015:

I will definitely try these! I have friends who eat gluten-free which has piqued my interest in these types of baking projects. I´ve experimented with baking with garbanzo beans and flour. We only make gluten-free brownies now. Why make brownies with refined white flour when the gluten-free ones are just as delicious and much healthier? I like your use of carob in your recipes, too. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 26, 2015:


Thank you for your encouraging comment! Beans in these cookies actually DO work-- hope you enjoy them! ~Cynthia

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 26, 2015:

I'm so glad you addressed to beans in a cookie issue. I learned long ago that you can never judge the ingredients. My daughter and I read a kiddie book that had a recipe about a chocolate tomato cake and it was such good book that she wanted to try it. I was HIGHLY doubtful because it sounded terrible. Who would put a can of pureed tomatoes in a cake? But oddly enough I was bowled over. It was good. Never have I been so surprised. We still talk about it. So I'm thinking beans in cookies could actually work.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 26, 2015:


Well, it worked with the SOYbean campaign (eg., tofu cheesecake) so I guess the other beans get their day in the sun as well? You really don't taste the beans in these cookies-- they just give them a nice cake-y texture and would seem to be a nice "flavour-sponge" for the chocolate-carob-orange. Thanks for your comments! All the best in your day, ~Cynthia

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 26, 2015:

I can relate to your beans-in-a-dessert uncertainty. However, your recipe looks healthy and worth-a-try for us, the gluten free. Thank you for sharing.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 25, 2015:

AliciaC (Linda):

If you like chocolate and orange, I'm pretty sure you'll like these... the beans don't show up. Thanks for your comments! ~Cynthia

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 25, 2015:

This sounds like an interesting recipe, Cynthia. I love the combination of chocolate and orange flavours and I like to eat nutritious foods, so I suspect that I would enjoy the cookies very much!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 25, 2015:


It's a pleasure to trade gluten-free dessert ideas with you! ~Cynthia

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on January 25, 2015:

Thanks for an interesting recipe. It looks yummy.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 25, 2015:

Faith Reaper:

I use a HubPages board for all my HP pins and it gets a lot of looks and pins. I thank you for pinning it, wherever it ended up! And hope you are enjoying your Sunday as well! Cynthia

Faith Reaper from southern USA on January 25, 2015:

Hmm, for some reason on my Pinterest, it would not allow me to place it under a certain board, but the one I happened to have it on already, which will work for the moment, as it is my HubPages board.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on January 25, 2015:

Hi ... I am back to share as I am just now getting back online.

Hope you are enjoying a lovely Sunday.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 25, 2015:


Thank you for dropping by, pinning, and sharing! I'm going to go check out/join your Dessert community on G+ ~Cynthia

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 25, 2015:

Faith Reaper:

Thank you for your kind words and the Up +++, sharing and pinning ... hope you take the challenge to step into Beanland and tries these! I get so much pleasure from your lovely comments! I'm heading over, shortly, to see what is new in your portfolio! ~Cynthia

Cheryl Fay Mikesell from Mondovi, WI on January 25, 2015:

Yum! These cookies look fabulous. I'm pinning your recipe and sharing in my dessert group on Google +. Here's my dessert community:

Faith Reaper from southern USA on January 24, 2015:

Decadent indeed! Wow, I have never heard of beans in a cookie recipe before, very interesting. Your photos look out of this world yummy. I am intrigued to give a try Up +++ will share, tweet and pin when I am on my computer.

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