Black Bean Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Of all the beans in the bean family, I rank black beans somewhere in the middle. Chickpeas are a clear favorite; I probably average a can a week, sprinkled over salads, tossed into soups, smashed into sandwiches, pureed into hummus and disguised as desserts. I love edmame plain, steamed with a tiny bit of salt. I heart split peas simmered until they burst and collect into hearty split pea soup and I have a strange affinity for buttery, meaty lima beans.


Black beans are like ehh. I eat them in Mexican food (they are my go-to burrito filler), but plain black beans just don’t hold appeal to me like some others.

Black Bean Chocolate Cherry Cookies

This is the second cookie recipe I’ve made of Sarah B.‘s in my continuing foray into vegan baking. I didn’t love it quite as much as the recipe I turned into thumbprint cookies, but they’re definitely a solid base for a chocolate-y, brownie-reminiscent indulgence with lots of promise for the future.

I approve.

Black Bean Chocolate Cherry Cookies

So in non-bean news, my roommate and I are hosting a holiday cookie swap on Sunday. We’re inviting people to bring cookies to swap, but we know a lot of them are wrapped up in other things like finals, so we’re planning on making a bunch. (Plus let’s be real: we just wanted an excuse to bake up a storm!)

Do you have any suggestions for must-make cookies?


The cookie: Although I didn’t quite dance around my kitchen in cookie ecstasy the way Sarah B. apparently did, I think these are a perfect cookie for when you want something sweet, chocolate-y and light. They’re delicately sweet, soft, and a little crumbly. You can still see a few little particles that my food processor didn’t quite squish up there–if I had a vitamix, I would love to try making these again, extra smooth, freezing them, and turning them into slice-and-bake chocolate wafers.

Black Bean Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Yield: 1 dozen cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Calories per serving: ~85

Fat per serving: ~3.7g

Fudgy, delicate, slightly sweet chocolate cookies studded with sweet-tart dried cherries get their structure from pureed black beans.


  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/3 cup agave (or maple syrup, honey)
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
  • coarse sea salt, for sprinkling (optional)


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix chia seeds, maple syrup, and vanilla in a bowl and set aside.

Place beans, coconut oil, cocoa, salt and cinnamon in a food processor and blend until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Add maple syrup and chia mixture and pulse to incorporate. Remove blade from the food processor and fold in the chocolate and cherries.

Use a tablespoon to measure cookie batter onto lined baking sheet. Use about 1.5 tablespoons of batter per cookie for 12 medium cookies. Nudge the batter into the approximate shape you want with your fingers, including flattening the top of cookies slightly, as they will barely spread when baking. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops of the cookies start to look slightly dry and the edges start to look taut and almost crisp. Cook for less time if you want a fudgier consistency. Cool before eating. Store in the fridge.


Changes: I barely adapted this from Sarah B's original recipe, but I did add baking powder and tweak other ingredient amounts/directions slightly. I used agave because I'm still trying to use my stock up, but I would try honey next time.

Recipe subs: If you don't have coconut oil or chia seeds, you can try butter and eggs, respectively, instead (although you should really just invest in those delicious ingredients!).

Adapted from here

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37 thoughts on “Black Bean Chocolate Cherry Cookies

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  3. K
    I checked out the original recipe. I take it you didn't use the cayenne pepper either since you didn't list it in your ingredients? I can't decide if I want an extra kick when I try these. Would you describe them as sweet even with black beans? I've never used black beans in baking. I prefer it when things aren't super sweet, so these seem promising. Thanks for the recipe, and photos!
    1. erika Post author
      Haha no, thanks for catching. My version is definitely not the "chocolate chili" version. I generally prefer to leave the kick to my Mexican food, but I'm sure it could be good! :) I would definitely classify these as cookies that aren't super sweet so you should definitely give these a try! Thanks for the comment :)
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    1. erika Post author
      Yay! So good to hear from someone who is excited about these :) I thought they were pretty tasty! If you have a vitamix or super high powered food processor, all the better :)
  5. Nancy @ gottagetbaked
    Veeeeerrryyyyy interesting! I've never baked with beans before although I love eating them in savoury dishes. Great way to turn a baked good vegan! I'll take you at your word that these were good ;) I'm gonna stick with good ol' fashioned butter. Yay for cookie exchanges! There are so many cookies that I love to bake, especially for the holidays. You can't go wrong with shortbread, especially if it's eggnog flavoured. Or maybe for something more indulgent, turtle thumbprint cookies (I'm totally making these for Christmas this year). Can't wait to see what you bake up!
    1. erika Post author
      Haha yes, no problem sticking with butter...I don't think black bean cookies are for everyone :) (especially my sister!). Nancy, I had my cookies all set for my cookie exchange and then I saw your millionaire shortbread on your site and I was like oh man...should I just throw all plans out the window and do those?!?! In the end, I just went with what I already had ingredients for lol but thanks for the great ideas!! I LOVE the idea of turtle thumbprints!!
    1. erika Post author
      Right?? I also think vegan baking is totally intriguing. I hope you get a chance to try these or some other recipe out!
  6. 3pastriesaday
    Mmm these look delish - and super profesh! Also, OMG I wish I were in Houston so I could holiday cookie swap! =(
  7. sallys baking addiction
    i've never put beans into my desserts before! OH! Except for a cookie dough dip I made over the summer - I used chickpeas. :) But black beans in brownies and cookies - I've seen this being done all over the place! I'm very intrigued. And I love cherry + chocolate together. :)
    1. erika Post author
      Ohh yes those cookie dough dips look SO delicious. I love chocolate-covered katie's deep dish chickpea cookie pie--SO yum. You should definitely try out a black bean something someday!! I'd love to see what you come up with! And yes--I love cherry + chocolate too. Funny, I used to hate dried cherries but I ate them so often that now I love them!
  8. elizabethranger (
    I feel like a total weirdo, but the black-bean nubbly look of those cookies is actually totally attractive to me, and I kinda really want some. They use beans all the time in desserts in Asia, so it's not really that weird, and the strong taste of black beans is perfect with cherries! Maybe not a dessert cookie, but an mid-afternoon something to eat with the second coffee of the day? ;)
    1. erika Post author
      Um if that's being weird then I LOVE WEIRD! I'm so glad you find that nubbly look (such a good phrase) attractive!! If you were here I would bake you up a batch and, like you pointed out, we could totally snack away and not even wait until dessert! :)
  9. Leah
    I really want someone to make these cookies and not tell me so I can try them without any preconceived notions. I'm not going to lie, black beans in desserts scare me but I like to think it's all in my head. Even with black beans, you make these cookies look damn good! :) How fun that you're hosting a brunch/cookie exchange. I can't wait to see what goodies you come up with. Can I come? ;)
    1. erika Post author
      I really want to make you some and have you try them without telling you what's in them! But like, look at this recipe: those barely even look like they have beans in them! Next on my list :) Um DUH you can come. You would be first on my list if you weren't jetting off to NYC!!! :)
  10. The Healthy Flavor
    Ha! I've seen this recipe before! Very interesting!! I just haven't been able to like the black bean dessert thing. :( They look really pretty and I love the cherries in them. I bet that would make them taste yummy! I can't live without the cookies I'm posting today so you'll have to check them out! Vegan and the best cookies I've made, hands down!
    1. erika Post author
      Really! Have you tried black bean recipes and just not liked them? Have you tried any chickpea recipes? I found that I liked those better than black beans, though if I'm craving chocolate, these are good. But omgggg YOUR cookies look fantastic!!!

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