Healthier Brownies & Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

I am a sucker for “healthier” dessert recipes, mostly because I am a quantity-over-quality dessert addict, so I rationalize: “If I’m eating a healthier version, I won’t feel as bad about eating alllllllllll of it.” I won’t lie: the majority of the healthier dessert recipes I’ve tried are not as good as the originals. They’re just not. :-/ So you can imagine our household joy when we found *two* recipes in the last month that we actually actively choose!!!

First, brownies made with black beans instead of flour for extra fiber & protein. I know, I know: black beans?! But we promise: you cannot taste them!!! They are rich, fudgey, and delicious. Here’s the original recipe from Skinnytaste.

Annelise is our family baker, but for the initial batch, I had her sit in the family room while I drained, rinsed, & put the beans in our Vitamix. She didn’t come over until I hit blend, so she had no idea. She had eaten a fourth of the pan before I let her read the recipe. She was shocked...but she still went back for more. Success!

We initially made them exactly as the recipe states, except in an 8x8 instead of a 9x9; still done in 30 minutes. We decided we could *technically* even use less chips and that regular black beans instead of low sodium would probably be better. I ended up sprinkling a little sea salt on top of my initial batch.

For the next batch, we subbed 1/2 cup agave for the 3/4 cup granulated cane sugar = excellent! They blended even better, and they were just as sweet. (Controlled myself to do a few less chips, too...but still 2/3 cup! ;-))

Emboldened by this brownie success, we endeavored to try one more: Danny Seo’s Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cake.

Who is Danny Seo? He is Annelise’s current lifestyle guru and total obsession (outside cheer & Hamilton!) He has a weekend morning show and gives tips on healthy living, food, crafts, etc. She literally wants to have some kind of Naturally, Danny Seo birthday party this year. I’m absolutely not kidding. (If it happens, I’ll blog it! :-D) So after the brownie bliss, when we found his recipe for this healthier chickpea chocolate chip cake, we knew it was a must-try. Danny would never lead us astray!!!

Here’s his short segment on it:

And here’s the recipe.

The only change we made was the sugar: instead of 1.5 cups coconut sugar, we did 1/2 cup agave (again, like the brownies, using this liquid makes the blending easier in our Vitamix, since we aren’t using a food processor, and bonus: it’s lower glycemic!) + 1/2 cup brown sugar. (Agave is sweeter than regular sugar, so you’ll notice in both our brownie substitution & here that we ended up using less sugar overall when using agave. I get ours at Aldi.)

Y’all. It is sooo delicious. Rich, moist, dense, delectable.

Yes, I’m making more today. And I can promise you I will never be without black beans or chickpeas in our pantry at all times! :-D

(No, neither Skinnytaste nor Danny Seo have contacted me to endorse these recipes… But Danny Seo, if you’re reading this, Annelise & I will happily be your brand ambassadors!!!)

Pics & recipes, in case the links ever break:


  1. Now you've got me wanting to run into the kitchen and start baking!! :) I'm especially intrigued by the chickpea cake. Wonder if I could serve it up without anyone asking what's in it!

    1. Do it!!!!! I promise, no one will know. You could just say, “it’s whole grain flour,” which isn’t a fib = oats!


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