Mayan Brownies

The Mayans may have been wrong about the world ending in 2012, but they were right about one thing: chocolate and cinnamon make a killer combination! According to legend, only Mayan royalty were permitted to taste a special drink made with chocolate and cinnamon spice. Any other citizens who tried this drink were executed.

Thankfully, today’s society allows most anyone the pleasure of the delicious flavors of chocolate and cinnamon. That’s why I – not royalty by any stretch of the imagination – was able to bake up these amazing chocolate and spice brownies the other day. They were not only scrumptious, but also healthy: instead of flour, I used unsweetened cocoa powder and high-protein black beans, flavored with spices for that extra flair. The other grain used here is nutritious oatmeal – use certified gluten-free oatmeal and the recipe is entirely gluten-free! Sweetened with agave and intense muscovado sugar, spiced with cinnamon, and emblazoned with chocolate chips, one of these lower-calorie black bean brownies makes for a delightful bite of flavor not to be missed.

And don’t worry – you won’t taste the beans. I was afraid they had a trace of bean-y flavor, which didn’t make them bad, just different. However, my mom tasted one without knowing they were made with beans, and she was genuinely shocked when I told her the secret ingredient. So make this for friends and family! Serve them up a unique and decadent dessert they can feel good about.

Mayan Brownies

based on recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie

makes about 12 servings

black bean brownies chocolate cinnamon spice


  • 1-1/2 cups cooked black beans (I used Whole Foods 365 brand spicy black beans)
  • 1/4 cup Maranatha brand Dark Chocolate Almond Spread
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats (if you are making this gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats!)
  • 3 tbs dark muscovado sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Spray an 8″ pan generously with nonstick spray.

Place cocoa, oats, muscovado sugar, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Mix just until combined.

In another medium bowl, combine beans, chocolate almond spread, agave, and vanilla. Mash with a spoon.

Pour this mixture into blender. Blend for several minutes, or until mixture is smooth.

Pour bean mixture into dry mixture. Mix well.

Add cinnamon and stir. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour brownie batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 14 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let brownies cool for at least ten minutes before cutting. If you like, store them in the fridge for a couple hours to chill first – this makes for easier slicing and delicious chilled brownies!

Serve warm or cold, with vanilla fro-yo if desired.

black bean brownie chocolate cinnamon with frozen vanilla yogurt

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