Cooking / Sweet

Fresh Bread Bakes: Chickpea Brownies (gluten free)

I’m always on the look out for gluten free recipes due to having a couple of friends who are coeliacs. In my travels across the internet (goodness, I sound like a wandering star) I have come across several mentions of putting chickpeas in brownies.

Odd, I thought. That seems like a very strange thing to do.

Chocolate double boiler

Then, I read more recipes, where the writers called for literally no flour. Just chickpeas to bind the mixture together. What madness is this?! Colour me intrigued, and since a can of chickpeas is always in my cupboard in case I get hummus cravings – note to self, must do a post on quick and delicious hummus dip one day – it was GO TIME.

Processing underway.

Well, I’m here to tell you, that these chickpea brownies are both healthy, delicious, easy to make and have tricked several members of my family into eating them without realising they have chickpeas in them. They don’t rise as high, but they’re soft and moist. They’re not as fudgy and chewy as the regular flour-containing brownie sort, but my god they are good. And a little bit classy, if you were to take them to some sort of bring-a-plate gathering.

Plate tower

Bring a plate – or a tower of plates, as it were.

Recipe notes: A couple of the recipes I sourced this one from (I like to meld from a few sources) requested egg whites, rather than whole eggs, but I couldn’t be bothered separating (plus what would I do with the yolks?), so threw in the whole eggs. This may well have contributed to the lack of rise but I feel made the brownies a little richer and more decadent. If you’d like to, please feel free to substitute two of the eggs with their whites only.

Chickpea Brownies (serves at least 20 rectangles; 101 cal/420 kJ per serve)


  • Block of dark chocolate (200g)
  • Can of chickpeas (400g can weight, around 200g drained), drained and rinsed
  • Three eggs
  • Two tblsp instant coffee granules, or 1 tblsp instant powder (makes it a little more bitter and interesting)
  • Two tblsp of vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil, I think, but basically just don’t use a really strong flavoured oil like extra virgin olive oil in this. Just thinking out loud here, but coconut oil could be an interesting flavour addition)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Preheat (normal) oven to 180 C / 350 F. (Take about 20 degrees off if you’re using a fan-forced oven).

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or however your preferred method goes. (I’ve heard people talk about the microwave working well, but I’m too scared that I’d stuff it up). Take it off the stove to cool a bit.

I told you this next part was easy: it relies totally on a blender or food processor. I used blender (because no FP) but potentially this also contributed to my brownies not rising very high as I think a food processor would keep the mixture a bit lighter. ANYWAY.

Put the chickpeas, eggs, coffee, oil and vanilla into a blender and whizz it until smooth.

Add the sugar, baking powder and salt. Whizz again to mix.

Add the slightly cooled chocolate and whizz one last time to completely combine.

Pour into a greased and lined baking tin (either a 20-22 cm square or slice tin, I used slice but it was bigger and hence brownie was not as deep) and whack it in the oven. Bake for around half an hour and use a skewer to check. It will be moist so don’t worry if it’s not too clean, but you do want crumbs rather than uncooked! Cool on a wire rack and do try not to gorge yourself all at once.

Chickpea brownies

Chickpea brownies straight out of the oven. Moist and scrumptious.

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4 thoughts on “Fresh Bread Bakes: Chickpea Brownies (gluten free)

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