{Recipe} Black Bean Chocolate Cupcakes

I let my two year old have cupcakes for breakfast.



Before you go all Parenting Police on me, let me just say that I only frost them for special occasions (birthdays, etc). 😉 I should probably add that my recipe contains no flour, grains or refined sugar. Oh wait, without the frosting would that make it a muffin? Whew! We’re good then!




So what’s in this cupcake recipe that I would give it to a toddler in the morning and not feel guilty about it? Eggs, maple syrup, cocoa powder and…beans. Intrigued? Grossed out? If it makes you feel better, no one has ever told me these tasted gross. Not sure if they’re just being polite, though.


I first heard about baking with beans on the mommy message boards. I decided that bean cake sounded like the perfect alternative for a “healthy” smash cake for my then-soon-to-be-one-year-old’s birthday party, but the majority of the recipes I found online were either Weight Watchers, still full of sugar or used weird sugar replacements that I wasn’t comfortable giving my baby. In the end, I came up with this recipe using maple syrup as the sweetener. The end result was a surprisingly moist, crumbly cupcake. Mini Foodie prefers to eat them with a spoon, which is fine by me because otherwise it gets everywhere. 


The maple syrup can be replaced with honey as a cheaper and slightly less sweet option. I just didn’t feel comfortable giving my daughter her first bit of honey at her birthday party. The coffee is also optional, but it does add an extra punch to the chocolate flavor. Funny how coffee does that.


Eggs and beans sounds like a substantial breakfast, right? I think so, too. My family loves them, and I feel totally fine giving them to my daughter as part of her meal. Every time I make them to share, I get asked for the recipe, so I figured I’d share it with everyone!



Black Bean Chocolate Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: dessert, breakfast
Serves: apx 12-18 cupcakes depending on your cup size
  • 1 can of black beans (15oz), rinsed and drained well
  • 5 large eggs
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup cold brewed coffee (optional)
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
  • 8 Tbs unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup maple syrup or honey
  • 6 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place beans, 3 eggs, salt, vanilla, and coffee (if using) into a blender and blend until smooth. You don't want any lumps leftover.
  3. Whisk or sift together cocoa powder and baking powder.
  4. Cream butter and maple syrup/honey until well combined.
  5. Mix in the remaining eggs, beating for a minute or so after each one.
  6. Beat the bean mixture into the butter mixture.
  7. Add in the cocoa mixture and beat until well combined, about a minute more.
  8. Add batter into cupcake cups leaving half a centimeter or so at the top. The batter does not rise very much.
  9. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.
Let cakes cook completely before attempting to eat them. They taste best when refrigerated or allowed to cool overnight.


For frosting, I make a simple cream cheese frosting subbing coconut sugar for regular sugar.  I find that these cupcakes pair well with frosting that isn’t super sweet, so my usual ratio is 1 cup cream cheese + 1/2 cup butter + 1.5 cups coconut sugar + splash of vanilla. I grind the coconut sugar in my coffee grinder to keep the frosting smooth. I’ve also made this frosting with maple syrup, and while it still tastes great, it does produce a much thinner frosting.


Have you ever baked a cake using beans before?


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  1. These look so good. I’ve done black bean brownies before but never thought to do cupcakes. I will definitely have to try this!

    • I actually have never tried making black bean brownies. My family loves these, so I just keep making them. If you try them out let me know how they turn out for you!

  2. Looks delicious. I would have never thought to use black beans in cupcakes.

    • It sounds a bit off-putting at first, but trust me, aside from a fudgier texture, you can’t tell in the finished product.

  3. Ooh!! they looks so tempting!

  4. katrina g

    Those look amazing. i wouldn’t have ever thought to make this. i’m so going to try it.

  5. These look great! I’ve heard of making cake with chickpeas but never black beans… This is going right in the recipe box.

  6. Jennifer Day

    I am going to have to try these! I just started eating cleaner so this is perfect!

    • I love that these are healthy and yet taste like a treat. Way to go on the clean eating!

  7. Sounds good! Never would have considered the black bean ingredient. I’ll have to give these a shot sometime!

  8. I’ve had disastrous results from black bean brownies, but you’ve made these cupcakes look so delish that I can’t wait to give them a try! Pinning 🙂

    • Thanks for the pin! I hope these turn out better for you than those brownies. 😉

  9. Using beans is a genius way to make a healthier muffin/cupcake! And so high in fiber, too.

    • Thanks! All that protein and fiber is exactly why I feel like these make a healthy breakfast or snack. 🙂

  10. Those could be the first cupcakes I would ever give my kids for breakfast. lol I’m SO loving the alternatives people are using these days like black beans and avocado. I will have to pin this so I can come back and make a list of the ingredients. They look delicious. Mine would HAVE to have the frosting. =)

    • Haha! I started out giving them as a treat. Then I realized that beans and eggs wasn’t too far off from her normal breakfast, so breakfast it was!

      I’m with you. While my daughter normally eats them plain, mine always have frosting. 😉

  11. We are always trying to find new and fun gluten free ideas and black beans cupcakes sounds like fun, will definitely try them.

  12. Omg yummy!!! Going to have to give these a try ❤❤❤

  13. I have heard of black bean cupcakes and have never tried it. These look moist and delicious. PLUS I love black beans. 😉

    • Me, too! I love that these guys have all the protein and fiber of black beans packed into a sweet treat.

  14. yummmm…definitely pinning this!

  15. I have never heard of using black beans in baking. I am definitely going to have to try this out. Without the children knowing at first, because knowing them, they won’t eat them. But these really sound good.

    • Thanks! I thought using black beans for baking sounded so weird at first, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Hope your littles enjoy them!

  16. Michelle

    ohhhh can I share these too?? YUM! looks similar to a brownie recipe I have.

  17. Hello, just wanted to warn you all… I doubled this recipe and was so hopeful. I have been cooking mine now for nearly 40 minutes and they are still not done. Because there are no pics I had the very runny looking batter, and of course didn’t know it was too wet. I THINK maybe I was supposed to drain and rinse the beans. I don’t know if I will try this one again because it flopped and I don’t know why. If the beans should be drained let me know!! Thanks!

    • Hi Angela,
      Yes! The beans should be rinsed and drained before adding it to the blender with the other ingredients. I’ve received pictures from others who have successfully made the cupcakes, so I never realized that was missing from the directions. Thanks so much for pointing it out to me! 🙂 I fixed the directions, so hopefully others will be spared the heartache of under-cooked cupcakes. I’m so sorry my oversight ruined your batch.

  18. Angela

    was I supposed to rinse and drain the beans?? Mine were SO runny and haven’t cooked thru now at 40 minutes. If they should be rinsed let me know 🙂

  19. Angela

    Don’t apologize. Its totally understandable. I really did question myself… NEVER question yourself right?? 😉 my kids STILL ate them LOL. We cooked them forever and they were weird and wet inside still but that didn’t stop them

  20. Jennifer

    Hello! I made these cupcakes today and so excited to try them! Only question is my frosting still seems grainy from the coconut sugar. Yet it taste good I can feel the texture of the sugar. Normal?

    • Hmm…the coconut sugar has always dissolved smoothly for me. Maybe if you let it sit a bit, it’ll incorporate a bit more?

      • Jennifer

        Hello!! Thanks for the response! I ended up putting the whole bowl of frosting in the microwave for about 20 seconds then really whipped it up and that seemed to do the trick!

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