Black Bean Cheesecake Brownies with Hazelnut Liqueur

July 21, 2014

Woah, that’s a long recipe title.  I wish I was a little better at naming recipes, because I feel like I need to add every single descriptor I have in my arsenal.  You’re lucky I don’t have super-fudgy, crazy tasty, best gluten free brownies ever in the title.

Black Bean Cheesecake Brownies with Hazelnut Liqueur

I’ve had a busy weekend.  And busy weekends best end with sitting on the couch, watching BB16, eating piles of brownies.  I had a friend in from out of town unexpectedly and Josh’s family reunion on Sunday, so I’ve missed out on all of my lounging around time (and Saturday’s jog, shhhhh don’t tell the second brownie I’m eating).

Black Bean Cheesecake Brownies with Hazelnut LiqueurBlack Bean Cheesecake Brownies with Hazelnut Liqueur

Is everyone sick of black bean brownies yet?  I jumped on the bandwagon a little late and am still wholly in love, and hopefully you are, too!  When I saw the Recipe Redux challenge this month was Recipes with Spirit, I knew I wanted to jazz up my brownies with a little hazelnut liqueur.  Who doesn’t love Frangelico?!

Black Bean Cheesecake Brownies with Hazelnut LiqueurBlack Bean Cheesecake Brownies with Hazelnut Liqueur

Black Bean Cheesecake Brownies with Hazelnut Liqueur
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 12 – 16

  • 1½ cups black beans (equivalent to a 15 oz can, rinse VERY well)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup, agave, or honey
  • 3 tbsp. plus 1½ tsp hazelnut liqueur, divided
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (type of chip will determine brownie flavor, see note)
  • 8 oz low fat or vegan cream cheese
  • 5 tbsp. powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spritz a 9″x9″ pan with nonstick spray or line a cupcake tin with liners spritzed lightly with nonstick spray.
  2. In a food processor or high powered blender (like a Ninja or Vitamix), combine beans, cocoa, oats, salt, sweeteners, oil, 3 tbsp. + 1 tsp hazelnut liqueur, vanilla extract, and baking powder. Blend until smooth, will take 5 – 10 minutes of continuous processing.
  3. Add chips and pulse to incorporate.
  4. Spread into an even layer in the pan or cupcake tin.
  5. In a bowl, microwave cream cheese for about 30 seconds, until easily stirred. Stir in powdered sugar and ½ tsp hazelnut liqueur.
  6. Top brownies with cream cheese mixture. Stir in lightly.
  7. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Cool for at least ten minutes before serving. For best results, cool and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving (I like to cool mine over night before serving).

The brownie portion of this recipe was originally based off of Chocolate Covered Katie’s black bean brownies and adapted to cheesecake brownies on this blog here.
The type of chocolate chips will greatly determine the flavor of your brownie — dark chocolate will make a darker chocolate brownie, milk chocolate will produce a sweeter brownie, etc. You can increase the sugar to your preferences.
For a vegan brownie, use vegan cream cheese and opt for a vegan sweetener and chocolate chips. For a gluten free brownie, ensure your oats are gluten free.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/16 recipe Calories: 155 Fat: 9 Carbohydrates: 17 Fiber: 2 Protein: 3


P.S. If you’ve never tried this, Frangelico is a part of my favorite shot.  Half vanilla vodka, half Frangelico (or other hazelnut liqueur).  Take it similar to how you’d take a tequila shot, using sugar and lemon instead of the salt and lime that goes with tequila.

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    Weekly Roundup 25th July 2014 | Sep 21, 2015

    […] a while but I have never quite included it in my weekly roundup but this week the second I saw this Black Bean Cheesecake Brownies with Hazelnut Liqueur I just knew I had to put them in. I am sure you will love these, especially if you use a cashew […]

    Meg Jul 28, 2014

    Oooh, these look awesome! I’m definitely not sick of black bean brownies as I have yet to try one . . . and I’ve seen recipes for them floating around, but never given ’em a shot. Definitely intrigued by these. I’d love to whip up a big pan and sic them on my family members, knowing they’ll never guess the “secret ingredient.” Yum!

    Sarah Jul 24, 2014

    These look SO fudgy and delicious! Must try soon! 🙂

      Kelly Jul 24, 2014

      They’re crazy fudgy — my favorite kind of brownie!

    Ami@NaiveCookCooks Jul 22, 2014

    I love black bean brownies!! Made loong time back and nobody could tell that they were kind of a health food!! BUT I love that you made them little indulgent too!! Gorgeous!

      Kelly Jul 24, 2014

      Desserts need a little indulgence, right? Especially when they’re already packed with fiber and protein.

    Leah | So, How's It Taste? Jul 22, 2014

    I must be behind the times because I haven’t heard of black bean brownies. You seriously put black beans in there? No way! I’m going to have to try it!

      Kelly Jul 24, 2014

      Whaaat? You haven’t heard of black bean brownies? Glad I wasn’t the last one 😉 They’re seriously crazy good and as long as you take the time to really process the beans until smooth, no one will ever know they’re there but they take fudginess to the next level.

    Ann @ Dunaway Dietetics Jul 22, 2014

    These look amazing!! We love frangelico at our house and this sounds like an insanely good combination.

    Joanne Jul 22, 2014

    I am so impressed with the level of fudginess you got with your black bean brownies! I can barely get that with ALL THE BUTTER mixed in. And yes, frangelico is definitely a worthy addition to the brownie mix!

    Meme Jul 21, 2014

    Kelly! You just became my new best friend!! I MUST have these as soon as humanly possible – which will be tomorrow right after I run to the grocery store to pick up chocolate chips

      Kelly Jul 22, 2014

      Yay for new best friends! Let me know how they turn out! The sublte hazelnut flavor makes these out of this world!

    Cassie Jul 21, 2014

    Love, love love these! I haven’t seen a black bean-cheesecake brownie yet… pinned to try making SO SOON!

    Sarah Grace Jul 21, 2014

    Mmm mmm, these look fabulous! I love black bean recipes, and have one in my first ebook I sell 🙂 I do think that 1 can of beans has three 1/2 cup servings, not just one! But maybe I am wrong..

    xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.

      Kelly Jul 21, 2014

      Thanks Sarah. Am I missing something? I’m not sure if I talk about how many servings of beans are in a can? Lol

    PassTheKnife Jul 21, 2014

    I have been seeing these black bean brownies a lot lately! I have to try them out!

    cheri Jul 21, 2014

    Hi Kelly, how interesting, black beans……such a great idea, I will be making this not because I have a problem with gluten but because they really sound somewhat healthy and then I can eat more of them, right? Love this!

    jill conyers Jul 21, 2014

    I love bean brownies but your recipe sounds and looks better than the one I use!

      Kelly Jul 21, 2014

      Thanks, Karielyn! These are pretty fudgy, so it makes them a little easier to get straight lines — plus, I stored them in the fridge overnight (look at all this willpower I somehow had!) and cut them when they were SUPER cold. It seemed to help.

    Em @ Love A Latte Jul 21, 2014

    These looks SO GOOD. I made black bean brownies a few months ago and they came out really bad. It must have been the recipe I followed because I’ve heard such great things about them. I like the long title of these haha! How can they not be amazing?!

      Kelly Jul 21, 2014

      The first, first time I made bean brownies, they were super horrible. I didnt blend them long enough, so they had weird chunks. As long as the batter is smooth and tastes good, the brownies should be delicious. Hope you try again!

    Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens Jul 21, 2014

    Haha! Yes … I was so tired last night I sat and watched BB16 (who do you think will win??), too. (Ok, well … technically I was also playing with our new puppy and working on computer stuff, too!)
    I still think black bean brownies are a great idea … and as a cheesecake brownie?? Yep. Yep. That’s a fantastic idea!

    So wait … you were eating BBB while watching BB16! Love it!!

      Kelly Jul 21, 2014

      Haaaa, I didn’t even think about that! It’s like B^19 lol. I have my short list of people I want to win, but I’m terrrrrible at predicting who actually will. I love the geek alliance going on between Niccole, Christine, and Hayden, but I also have a soft spot for Frankie and for Donnie. Niccole went to college about 15 minutes from my house, so it’d be sweet to have a mid-Michigan winner, I just hope my accent isn’t quite as pronounced as hers! :-p