Kid-friendly Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

Recipe: Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

by Erin Fletter
Photo by (LookerStudio/Shutterstock)
prep time
40 minutes
cook time
25 minutes
4-5 servings

Fun Food Story

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Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

Black Beanie Brownies!

Our (awesome) Chef Angel told me that the kids in his Sticky Fingers Cooking classes requested a brownie recipe. Should I be at all surprised? Perhaps the most factual fact of all facts is that every child loves brownies. A few years ago, this very same Chef Angel introduced me to the wonders of baking with a bean purée. Yes. Beans! So the secret ingredient for our Sticky Fingers Cooking Kids is black beans! I'm sure you're thinking, "What? Black beans and brownies?" Did I mention that they are vegan and gluten-free, too? Have I lost you already? But trust me (and Chef Angel), you don't taste them! These black bean brownies are healthy brownies that do not taste healthy, and I can say that with assurance. I have tested this recipe on loads of kids that only like "normal" desserts. 

The recipe delivers deliciously dense, melt-in-your-mouth, fudge-textured brownies. Never mind that they're loaded with fiber, omega-3s, and tons of other good-for-you ingredients. These brownies are also ridiculously simple to make. They require a handful of ingredients you're likely to have in your kitchen now, a food processor (or blender), and a muffin pan. Does cleaning up get any easier than that? Plus, frozen yogurt made in a bag is a winning recipe—almost too much fun for kids to make and a perfect pair with the brownies! 

I'm now totally enamored with the use of a bean batter. It really works, without even a hint of beany flavor. My head is spinning with all sorts of thoughts about how I might use beans in future Sticky Fingers Cooking recipe adventures. Thanks, Chef Angel.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • fold :

    to gently and slowly mix a light ingredient into a heavier ingredient so as not to lose air and to keep the mixture tender, such as incorporating whipped egg whites into a cake batter or folding blueberries into pancake batter; folding is a gentler action than mixing or whisking.

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • pulse :

    to process just short of a purée in smooth, rhythmic bursts of power with a blender.

  • purée :

    to blend, grind, or mash food until it is thick, smooth, and closer to a liquid.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Muffin pan
  • Can opener
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Liquid measuring cup


Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

  • 1 15-oz can of black beans (1 1/2 C), rinsed and drained well
  • 4 T cocoa powder (sub carob powder)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 C quick oats (sub certified gluten-free quick oats)
  • 1/2 C pure maple syrup/honey/sugar/agave nectar
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 C to 2/3 C chocolate chips (use Enjoy Life brand if nut, dairy, soy allergy present)

Food Allergen Substitutions

Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

  • Dairy: Use dairy-free chocolate chips in Brownies.
  • Cocoa/Chocolate: Substitute carob powder for cocoa powder.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute certified gluten-free quick-cooking oats.
  • Nuts: Use certified nut-free chocolate chips in Brownies.
  • Soy: Use soy-free chocolate chips in Brownies.


Black Beanie Brownie Sundaes

preheat + drain

Grownups: Preheat your oven to 350 F. Pre-grease your muffin pan with oil or butter and set to the side. Have kids open up 1 can of black beans, drain and rinse them well, and measure 1½ cups.

measure + drain

Get out your food processor or blender and have your kids measure and pour directly into it 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 pinch of salt, 1/2 cup quick oats, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and **1/2 to 2/3 cup chocolate chips. Next, have kids add the 1 1/2 cups of black beans to the rest of the ingredients.

blend + blend + blend some more

Have kids take turns blending about 3 to 5 minutes—scraping down sides as needed. Sing the bean song (see below) if you really want to get your kids going! You want the batter to be very, very smooth (there should not be any whole black beans or oats in the batter). If the batter appears too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.

fold + pour

Have kids fold an additional 1/2 to 2/3 cups of chocolate chips into the brownie batter until combined (and pop a few in your mouths!). Then, pour the batter into your prepared muffin pan and sprinkle some extra chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies!

bake + cool

Bake for 25 minutes until cooked through. Let cool for 30 minutes. The brownies will be very tender, so remove gently with a fork. They may fall apart, but it's okay. The insides are supposed to be very fudgy, so it's all right if they seem 'too' moist—that's the point. Plus, they're vegan (no raw eggs), so it doesn't really matter. Now top with Kid-Made Banana Frozen Yogurt (see recipe)! If the brownies are super, duper crumbly, you can also make your sundaes with the frozen yogurt on the bottom and bits of brownie on top! Yum!

have fun + sing

Beans, beans, the musical fruit, The more you eat, the more you toot, The more you toot, the better you feel, So we eat beans at every meal!

Surprise Ingredient: Beans!

back to recipe
Photo by Steven Giles/

Hi! I’m a Bean!

"Hey! How've you bean … I mean, been? My name is Cannellini, and I'm a white bean! We beans go back a long, long time. A couple of my cousins are the Navy bean and the Great Northern bean. You can add us to soups, stews, and chili, or eat us all by ourselves! We sometimes cause tummies to inflate (you know, get gassy?), but soaking, draining, and rinsing dried beans really well might help prevent that from happening. Did you know that Senate Bean Soup is on the menu at the US Senate's Dirksen Café every single day?! I'm inflating with pride just thinking about that!"


  • Globally, there are 13,000 known varieties of beans. They include the white bean, like the Italian Cannelini, Great Northern, and Navy Bean; the black turtle bean (usually shortened to black bean); and the pinto bean. What kind of beans are you using today?
  • Beans were one of the first foods gathered, according to archaeologists. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors used beans as food tens of thousands of years ago. They were grown around 7,000 years ago in the Middle East. 
  • In ancient Greece, public officials were elected if they picked the single white bean from a bunch of black beans. 
  • In the 15th century, Spanish explorers brought beans to Europe when they returned from voyages to the New World. Then, Spanish and Portuguese traders took them to Africa and Asia to sell. 
  • Beans are now prevalent worldwide, primarily due to their use as an inexpensive, plant-based protein.
  • Today, the largest commercial producers of common dried beans are India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, and the United States. 
  • North Dakota grows forty percent of the beans in the US, more than any other state!
  • Brazil grows the most beans in the world. 
  • In Nicaragua, newlyweds are given a bowl of beans for good luck.

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Did you know: Beans are technically a fruit! 
  • Beans are legumes, so they have seeds that dry in the seed pod. Other legumes include lentils, peas, peanuts, and soybeans.
  • Beans plants leave the soil better and healthier than before they were planted. Most plants deplete the soil, but not beans. This is because they have nodules on their roots that add nitrogen, which the soil needs. 
  • The world's tallest bean plant was over 45 feet tall! That's the equivalent of three average-sized giraffes stacked on top of one another. The plant was grown in the USA in 2003.
  • The word "bean" was first used before the 12th century. It comes from the Old English "bēan," from the Proto-Germanic "bauno," and is related to the Dutch "boon" and German "Bohne."

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Beans are harvested at full maturity when their pod reaches about six inches long, and the leaves turn brown and fall off about 75 days after the beans are planted.
  • When harvested, the shells are broken open, and the beans are collected as long as they are dry. If they're not thoroughly dried, they can be hung up to finish drying before they're popped from their shells. 
  • We can't eat raw, uncooked beans. Why? Because beans have something called lectins that are poisonous, and the only way to remove most of these lectins is to cook the beans.
  • If you're using dried beans, soak them before cooking to remove "antinutrients," compounds that block the absorption of nutrients. 
  • Dried beans are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins; both canned and dried beans are available throughout the year. 
  • Canned beans can stay fresh for years! 
  • Combine the creamy texture of beans with a whole grain such as brown rice, and you have a virtually fat-free high-quality protein meal. 
  • Beans are made into burgers, dips, brownies, cakes, dips, fudge, muffins, pies, and drinks (coffee and cocoa beans). They can also be used in jewelry, toys, and musical instruments. "Bean bag chairs" are made with polystyrene "beans," but the small bean bags for play are sometimes made with real dried beans. 


  • Beans are complex carbohydrates and high in fiber, which keeps our digestion strong and smooth and our tummies happy. 
  • Beans are excellent sources of iron, magnesium, and potassium. The body needs these minerals to grow, develop, and stay healthy.
  • Beans supply several B vitamins to our diet, especially folate (B-9). These vitamins contribute to healthy brain function, formation of red blood cells, increased energy, and decreased cancer and cardiovascular disease risk.  
  • The fiber and protein in beans are good for stabilizing blood sugar. They are popular with vegans and vegetarians because they replace some of the nutrients found in meat.

Beany Expressions:

  • Bean counter = an accountant
  • Bean feast = a party with food and drink
  • Bean pole = describing someone tall and thin
  • Cool beans = when something is cool
  • It doesn't amount to a hill of beans = when something doesn't add up to much
  • Full of beans = full of energy, enthusiasm
  • ​Hasn't got a bean = doesn't have any money
  • Has-been = once was something, maybe famous or rich, and now those days are gone
  • Not worth a bean = not worth anything
  • ​Spill the beans = dish the dirt, tell the truth

History of Brownies!

Photo by Saveurs Secretes
  • The brownie, one of our favorite desserts, was created in the United States. 
  • Numerous legends surround the origin of the brownie. One tale is of a housewife in Bangor, Maine, who forgot to add baking powder while making a chocolate cake. So when her cake didn't rise properly, instead of tossing it out, she cut and served the flat pieces. The most accepted story, though, is that the brownie was created in 1893 by a chef at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, at the request of the owner's wife for a cake-like dessert that could be part of a boxed lunch for ladies attending an exposition, or world's fair, in the city. 
  • The first printed version of a brownie dessert was in an 1896 cookbook by Fannie Farmer, although it used molasses, not cocoa, in the recipe. A chocolate brownie recipe first appeared in a cookbook in 1904.
  • There are thousands of brownie recipes, both "cake" and "fudge" types. Either type is perfectly correct—and delicious. Of course, the brownie probably got its name from its chocolate brown color, but there is also a light-colored version without cocoa called a "blondie."

That's Berry Funny

What bean is the most intelligent? 

The Human Bean!

THYME for a Laugh

"Knock, Knock!"

"Who's there?"


"Bean who?"

"It’s Bean a while since I last had a brownie!"

The Yolk's On You

What kinds of beans can’t grow in a garden? 

Jelly Beans!

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