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Black forest brownies

  • Author: Alice Pagès
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
  • Yield: 9 bars 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: traditional oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


These Black Forest Brownies are the perfect healthy but decadent dessert. Intensely fudgy and rich in chocolate flavors, with chunks of fresh cherries and a layer of cashew cream. So rich and delicious you can’t say they’re vegan, gluten, oil and added sugar free!


Units Scale


  • 150 g black beans, canned and rinsed
  • 120 g dates (about 6 dates stone removed)
  • 50 g hazelnut butter
  • 70 ml of water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 20 g oat flour
  • 30 g hazelnut meal
  • 50 g cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 120 g fresh or frozen cherries
  • 40 g white chocolate chips
  • 40 g dark chocolate chips

Cream layer

  • 110 g cashews
  • 60 ml coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180°C) and line two 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes, or until they are very soft. Rinse and drain the beans.
  3. Place the beans, soaked pitted dates, hazelnut butter, water and vanilla in a blender or a food processor, and mix until a thick paste forms. If necessary, and as many time as needed, stop the blender and scratch the walls of the bowl with a spatula to push the mixture down the blades. 
  4. Add the oat flour, hazelnut meal, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Pour the wet bean mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until you get a thick, smooth and slightly sticky dough. 
  6. Halve and pit the cherries. Add half of the cherries, white chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips to the preparation and gently mix to roughly combine. Don’t overmix to avoid to break the cherries.
  7. Distribute the brownie dough equally in the two baking pan, spread into an even layer and smooth the surface. Add the remaining cherries and chocolate chips on top and gently press to incorporate.
  8. Bake for 18 minutes, until the top of the brownie is just dry to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for a few minutes. Then remove the brownies from the pans and transfer on a cooling rack to completely cool them down.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare the cream. Soak the cashews in boiled water for 20 minutes to soften them. Rinse and drain. Place the cashews, coconut cream, maple, melted coconut oil and lemon juice to a high speed blender and mix until you reach a perfectly smooth consistency. Transfer the cream to a container and place in fridge to firm while the brownies are cooling.
  10. Once the brownies have cooled, spread the cream on one brownie, then place the second one on top. Optional: If the cream is too soft and the brownies don’t hold, place in fridge for 30 minutes to firm.
  11. Cut the brownie into square before to enjoy. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.


  1. See post for an option without the cream layer.
  2. Alternatively you can soak the cashews in water at room temperature for 4 hours.
  3. Leftover brownies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days, but they are better enjoyed the same day.

Keywords: Black Forest brownies, brownies, chocolate brownies, chocolate, desserts, gluten free