Four-Ingredient Brownies (vegan and gluten free)

First and foremost, sorry for the horrible lighting in these photos. However, I could not make time to take prettier shots to save my life, so we’re rolling with the punches.

There was a can of garbanzo beans sitting in my family’s pantry for months. Months, I tell you. They had absolutely forgotten of this can’s existence and eagerly sent it off with me after my spring break. Honestly, I would have just created a garbanzo bean stir-fry for lunch and call it a day, but nope. Instead, I wanted to finally push myself off the edge away from my comfort zone and bake with beans for once. Zero parachutes and all. Low and behold, I landed on the clouds from the heavens with this one!

Someone told me that chickpea blondies are feasible by simply baking a dessert hummus. Otherwise, blended beans, peanut butter, maple syrup, then stirring in chocolate chips. I was incredibly skeptical, but I had nothing to lose at this point. For a brownie flavor, I integrated cacao powder, some Lakanto monkfruit maple syrup, and baking powder. With a prayer, I shoved the pie tin into the oven and checked on them pretty darn religiously. Low and behold, post-cooling, I was in awe. They were PERFECT.

Lastly, I asked this person how many servings the recipe made, and she responded around ten or twelve. I don’t know about you, but that sounds freaking ridiculous. Basically, I get to consume a brownie that is the size of those USB wall charger. Good to know. I mean, kudos to you if you can consume that size of a brownie and feel satisfied. My recipe serves around double that amount, so be wary of caloric differences. Then again, you can tell I split my brownies into quarters because…brownies for brunch. Duh.

You are more than welcome to substitute the maple syrup for any other kind of liquid sweetener as well as a reduced calorie or non-nutritive sweetener. Of course, I went with my go-to: Lakanto’s monkfruit sweetened maple syrup! Same case for the nut or seed butter–even though I love me some peanut butter (it’s absolutely to die for in this recipe when combined with the cocoa powder. Sunflower seed butter, walnut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, tahini, the list goes on and on!

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Don’t forget to check out my other brownie recipes! I had a blast with the Lakanto brownie mix, experimenting with over-baked acorn squash, baking with applesauce, marrying vegan and Paleo in a brownie batch, eating an entire half-baked brownie batch to myself, and why not throw in some healthy brownie batter? This will definitely not be the last time you see brownies, and most certainly not the last time you see garbanzo beans in a dessert. Blondies, cake, ice cream, cookies, cookie dough, smoothies, y’all are up next. Being ambitious here, but that’s what life is all about.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

RECIPE (serves 4-8)

  • 15 ounces of cooked chickpeas
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup; I used Lakanto’s monkfruit-sweetened maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter of choice; I used peanut butter
  • 6-8 TBSP unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Blend all ingredients in a strong food processor until the mixture is a completely uniform sludge. Yes, the batter will be incredibly thick, but this is how it is meant to be!
  3. Spray a small brownie tin or pie tin (which I used) with non-stick cooking spray or lightly coat with oil.
  4. Carefully pour the batter into the tin and spread throughout.
  5. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a sharp pick comes out clean in the middle.
  6. Let cool completely, ideally overnight. The brownies become way richer in texture and flavor that way!

How did you bake out of your comfort zone? What do you like to integrate in your brownie recipes?

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