Chocolate Black Bean Cookies

Here at A Couple Cooks, we love healthy, nutritious, whole foods. We also love the excuse for a little splurge. So for this holiday season, we’ve got two cookie recipes for you: one a non-traditional cookie packed full of nutrients, and the other a traditional cookie, chock full of sugar and white flour.

We present to you, Cookie #1: adapted from the good people at Green Kitchen Stories, full of nutrients and natural sweetener, with the ability to customize to gluten-free and dairy-free diets. And here’s the good part – it actually tastes good too!  This cookie is chocolatey and dense — a bit more cake-like than the traditional cookie texture, but it works in this case with the fudge-y ness of the chocolate. It’s naturally sweetened with honey, which, while not as intense as sugar, still brings a delightful sweetness.

We’ve tested this recipe with multiple recipe testers (thanks, ladies!) and taste testers and the verdict was — two thumbs up! However, there was some suspicion of using the term “black bean” along with “cookie”; you may want to re-brand these guys to really sell them.

A final note — we’ve been working hard for the past several months to give our site a new look. Check out our new redesign!  We’ve worked to customize it to work on your computer, tablet, and mobile phone (code word *responsive* for you techie people).


Chocolate Black Bean Cookies

1 Star (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 16 cookies 1x


  • 15-ounce can cooked black beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk (or almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour or rice flour, for gluten free
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Rinse the beans and drain them; save out 48 beans for decoration (3 per cookie – or omit this step if desired). In the bowl of a food processor, add the remainder of the black beans, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons milk, and 1/2 cup honey. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add 5 tablespoons cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons flour,1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 3/4 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt to the bean mixture and blend until smooth and the batter resembles a thick mousse.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon 16 evenly distributed dollops of batter. Bake for around 10 minutes (the cookies should still be a little soft when you remove them from the oven). Place the saved black beans on top. Set aside a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.


Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories

We stored the cookies in the refrigerator due to the black beans. If you plan to store the cookies, you may want to omit the black bean topping as the topping did become a bit tough after a few days.


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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    janet @ the taste space
    December 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Looks great! Can’t wait to try another variation of beany baking. I made a Mexican-spiced chocolate black bean cookie last year and it was a hit with everyone. Definitely don’t shy away from using beans in cookies. :) I have also used chickpeas in a chocolate chip blondie with great results. No flours needed. :)

    • Reply
      December 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      Mexican spiced cookies sound delicious! As do chickpeas in a blondie – interesting! We will have to check out your recipes :)

  • Reply
    Yosef - This American Bite
    December 5, 2012 at 12:03 am

    I like the new “responsive” theme – and I like the sound of these cookies too ;)

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    December 5, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I dig it. I made black bean brownies a while ago and loved them! I’m sure these taste lovely as well :)

  • Reply
    Kristi Rimkus
    December 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Lovely new site design. I love the clean look. I also like the idea of these cookies. I’ve had brownies with black beans, but would never have thought of making cookies with them.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 11:55 am

    That decoration is crazy cute!

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    The new design is gorgeous. I just redid mine last spring but am already so over it and want to redesign it again. Such a time commitment! I’m intrigued by these cookies. Haven’t seen black bean cookies before, just brownies.

    • Reply
      December 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you! Yes, it was a bit of a time drag — hopefully we can live with this one for a bit :)

  • Reply
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen
    December 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I love the new design! And the very first cake my hubby made for my birthday (when we were dating) was a black bean cake. I haven’t tried cookies yet, but these sure look delicious.

    • Reply
      December 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Thank you! Interesting — I had only heard of black bean brownies and cookies, but never cake. We’ll have to ponder that too!

  • Reply
    anna maria
    December 5, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    1. love the new blog design!

    2. so excited to see this recipe – and the gluten free recipe. just found out i have celiac disease and so am on a new mission for gluten free baked goods so thank you :)

    • Reply
      December 5, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks, Anna Maria! Wow, when did you find out about celiac disease? We’re glad to offer up some gluten free ideas — though we are not ourselves, we love to think of ideas for friends that are! We’ll keep them coming :)

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 2:50 am

    The site looks amazing, and so do these cookies! I had to read it twice to believe they really had so many black beans in them – I never would have guessed it from the picture. Will definitely have to give these a try!

    • Reply
      December 11, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Thanks, Jess! Yes, a whole can of black beans! We received a lot of positve feedback on the taste too — though some friends were still adamant that they are not “true” cookies with the black beans :) Let us know if you try them out!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Love the new blog design, it looks really great! As do these cookies, perfect for a slightly less-indulgent holiday treat!

    • Reply
      December 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks, Kathryn! So glad to know you enjoy the new design! Let us know if you try out the cookies; we’re interested to know other opinions on the “healthy” cookie :)

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Great job with these healthy cookies!

  • Reply
    Heide M.
    December 11, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Wish I had some of these cookies. Love the idea of using black beans, very clever..

  • Reply
    January 8, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Your blog is a very bad thing. It causes me to drool all over my keyboard and then I have to pay for a repair.
    Very bad. Very good.

  • Reply
    February 9, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Tried these today with much success! Great flavour, but I had to bake for longer than 10 minutes to get them to set. Thanks for sharing! Definitely will make these again!

    • Reply
      February 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Wonderful! Thanks for letting us know, and so glad you enjoyed them! (Some of our taste testers were wary of the beans, but I think they taste delicious!)

  • Reply
    Melissa Cominsky
    February 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I am following the Weight Watchers 360 plan. Do you know how many points these are or the calorie content? How many are considered a serving? Thank you for posting this recipe. I am always looking for healthier alternatives and those that include soy since I am dairy free.

  • Reply
    August 7, 2013 at 8:58 am

    How long does this store?

    • Reply
      August 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

      A couple of days in the fridge.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I made these last weekend, and they were absolutely incredible. I never would’ve thought there were blacks beans in there if I hadn’t known. Divine chocolate “treat”, even though they are totally guilt free! I’m thinking about trying them with maple syrup. Also they were so moist, I might try to make them as brownies next time… So many possibilities haha! Anyway, thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. :)

  • Reply
    April 19, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Stunning taste!! I made these for Easter and I think everyone especially the kids will love them!! I never would have thought they would taste so good with the beans! I sure was wrong!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Just tried the first batch and they’re not quite what I expected but still yummy! A lot of times when I try to make healthy recipes I only continue to crave the sweets I’m trying to replace — but in this case the cocoa, honey + cinnamon are the dominant flavors. I’ll be making them again! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    December 12, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Where is the second black bean cookie recipe that is less healthy with flour and sugar? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Joy Bouget
    August 8, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    i made these tonight!!! They were DELICIOUS!!!

  • Reply
    Sarah Bassett
    February 4, 2017 at 12:41 am

    These look fantastic. I have my black beans cooking on the stove as we speak! I also love how this recipe doesn’t have a huge long list of speciality ingredients like most healthy dessert recipes. Can’t wait to try :)

  • Reply
    March 13, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    WOW! Just made these with a couple substitutions (GF flour, vanilla instead of cinnamon, and 3tbsp maple syrup + 3 tablespoon cane sugare instead of honey) mostly because of allergies….and some additions like 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips…and shredded coconut to top….my very picky kids devoured them….had no clue they were made with beans! And I will never tell them either…lol

  • Reply
    February 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Very good. Substituted spelt flour for w/w. Substituted buttermilk for milk and added 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Nice and light. Cookies were soft and kind of chewy, great. Dried left overs in a 200 degree oven for preservation. Now are crisp and tender.

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Great idea on these substitutes — I’m so glad to hear that they were a hit! Thanks for letting us know.

  • Reply
    Georgina Tennison
    June 4, 2018 at 12:33 am

    Would it be ok to substitute the flour for almond meal or coconut flour? My daughter is been diagnose with PCOS and cutting all carbs has help a lot.

  • Reply
    February 1, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    Ooooh, this sounds delicious! I’ve made a black bean brownie before and it was a hit so I’m keen to try these cookies! One question: would I be able to sub the honey for date paste? I’m assuming yes because it’ll have the same-ish texture, but will it change the flavour too much?

    xo, Victoria

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