Baking,  Recipes,  Sweet,  Sweet Treats

Impossible Brownies Recipe

This recipe is called impossible brownies because it shouldn’t work. It really shouldn’t! Brownies are traditionally made with butter, eggs, flour, and refined sugar, but these brownies have none of this stuff and instead are packed full of fibre and vegetable protein.

The beetroot and chickpeas give the brownies a squishy texture even after they’ve been baked, and because there is no dairy or eggs, they will keep for up to 5 days in a dry sealed container. Let’s not fool ourselves here though, they’re not going to last that long.

Recipe testing isn’t always fun in our house and to get this recipe to our taste, I’ve had to taste a lot of duds. It’s only when a recipe gets to the end of the testing process that the final products are unleashed on the family.

The 9 year old loves these brownies; the 6 year old also did but dropped his at the crucial stage which resulted in big fat tears of disappointment. This is a great recipe for sneaking hidden vegetables into your child’s diet if you have a picky eater. It’s also a good recipe if you’re trying to stay way from fats and refined sugar.

[recipe][recipe title=”Impossible Brownie” servings=”12″ time=”30 mins” difficulty=”easy”]


  • 180g cooked beetroot*
  • 1 tin of cooked chickpeas, do not drain
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 140g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100ml maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat a fan oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Put the beetroot into a food processor and blitz until it is in small pieces. Add the contents of the entire tin of chickpeas including the water and blitz again. Finally, add all the other ingredients and blitz until you have a smooth batter.

Spray a large cupcake tin with cake release spray. Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcakes spaces in the tin.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes remove and allow to cool completely before lifting/tipping gently out of the cupcake tin.

Can be eaten on their own but if you like frosting, drizzle with melted chocolate or smear with chocolate nut spread.[/recipe]

Recipe Notes

You can also make this recipe in cupcake cases but without fat in the mixture the cooked ingredients will stick to the cupcake cases a little. Better to grease a tin before baking.

*Cooked beetroot, do not use pickled beetroot. I either cook my beetroot fresh or buy it precooked in a vacuum pack (keep on eye out for these on special in the supermarket).

Answering Questions

Since I posted this recipe I’ve been getting an awful lot of questions!

  • No, they don’t taste like a classic brownie (which I love by the way) because classic brownies are laden with eggs, sugar, and butter. They have an earthy nutty chocolate flavour. The nutty flavour comes both from the chickpeas, which are a legume, and from the ground almonds. The earthy flavour comes from the beetroot.
  • Yes, they are sweet but not overly so. You can replace the maple syrup with caster sugar but use less by volume.
  • If you have a nut allergy you can replace the ground almonds with oats however the texture and flavour is slightly different. I’ve tried both – see my comments about recipe testing above – I prefer the ground almonds.
  • The frosting here in the picture is a chocolate-nut spread from a jar, shop bought.
  • They are squidgy/squishy in texture. So make sure that they cold before trying to tip them out of the cupcake tin. Otherwise they’ll end up in pieces.

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • Kathryn

    Perfect timing for coeliac, lactose intolerant friend visiting shortly – thank you. The liquid off tinned chick peas (or from home cooked ones) is such a useful baking aid.

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