Gluten Free Vegan Red Velvet Brownies

Ok so I was a mad scientist in the kitchen the other night after I was chatting with some friends who finished a 3week plant-based cleanse and were craving something sweet.  We got on the subject of black bean brownies so I decided to try and create them a vegan dessert that would satisfy their sweet tooth without totally killing their gluten-free, no refined sugar cleanse of the last three weeks... I didn't have black beans but.  I did have kidney beans!  After doing some online sleuthing I opted for a 'Red Velvet Brownie' inspired by this dessert on Munchin with Munchkin's blog.  I have to be honest.  First, I didn't follow the recipe exactly as written (not a big surprise I tend to improvise for better or worse!) and second, the 'healthy' dessert I had planned for ended up being a little more sinful than anticipated...but hey, what's the use of a dessert if it doesn't taste good right?!

So here is my adapted recipe of the Vegan Red Velvet Brownies.  They are dairy, egg, oil and grain free!  So the brownies themselves are pretty darn healthy.  It's the icing that spiced up this dessert as I felt the brownie itself was too 'bean' tasting and not very sweet so I decided to forego the original plan in lieu of taste and frost my healthy brownie is some sinfully sweet goodness :-)

In the end, I gave these brownies to three friends and they all loved, so enjoy the brownie base and play around with the icings!  If you'd like to keep it a bit more healthy then try out the 'healthier' alternative provided by Munchin with Munchkin).

Vegan Gluten Free Red Velvet Brownies

*Gluten, Dairy, Oil and Grain Free*

  • 1 cup organic kidney beans drained and rinsed from can
  • ½ cup cooked beets
  • ¼ c. 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup ground flax (You can use coffee grinder to grind flaxseeds just make sure you measure out the amount after its ground.)
  • 2/3 c. apple sauce
  • 1/3 c. coconut sugar (I prefer this, but you could use any raw or unrefined sugar)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ c. coconut flour (you could sub with almond flour – not almond meal but almond flour)
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup gluten free vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly coat 8x8 pan with coconut oil.  Set aside.

In a food processor, puree kidney beans and beets.  Add in maple syrup and flax seed and fully combine until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in apple sauce, coconut sugar, vanilla and almond extracts.

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and mix by hand until smooth and fully combined.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.

Fold in chocolate chips and pour batter into the greased pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

When the brownies are done, test them with a toothpick. You want some batter to cling to the toothpick. Do not over bake.

Let cool completely. Refrigerate for one hour.

These brownies will be fudgelike and are easily cut into shapes using cookie cutters :-)

Vegan 'Cream Cheese' Frosting

*Adapted from veganbaking.net*

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Shortening (I used Spectrum brand), cold
  • 1.5 Tablespoons almond or coconut milk (not from can, from carton)
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt *Optional for chocolate fudgelike frosting add in 1/4 c. cocoa and 3 T. agave nectar.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and process for another minute. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. Store Easy Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

RecipesJamie Wagener