Fudgy Vegan Sweet Bean Blondies

plant-based diet recipes Jun 25, 2023
Fudgy Vegan Sweet Bean Blondies

If you like sweet fudgy brownies, you’ll love this simple-to-make yet tasty Fudgy Vegan Sweet Bean Blondies. Enjoy this protein-packed, oil-free plant-based recipe for a snack or after-meal treat. Did I mention these are also dairy-free, egg-free and refined-sugar-free? Read on to learn the story behind this versatile recipe and how to whip up a batch for you and loved ones to enjoy!

What Exactly are Blondies?

Blondies are bar cookies that are soft and chewy and are usually baked in a pan. As such, these are similar to brownies, except cocoa powder or melted chocolate is not used in the batter. You can choose to add some chocolate chips to a blondie batter though. Blondies will usually have a stronger vanilla flavor and be lighter in color. However, in the case of this recipe, the bar cookies will still turn out brown due to the use of pitted dates for natural sweetness.

The Story Behind These Bars

These Fudgy Vegan Sweet Bean Blondies were my first sweet treat creation of the year. I had made them to bring to an afternoon tea gathering planned with a friend’s family, and to my delight, ALL the pieces were eaten within half an hour of the meeting. At the time, I didn’t even add a cream layer, but had just sprinkled some walnut pieces and roasted pumpkin seeds on top.

My friend’s three young girls, though, each had several pieces (in fact, the eldest 7-year-old had 4 pieces!) and my daughter made me promise afterwards that I would make it again. She gave it a rating of 10/10 in her books and even asked me to make it into a round cake form for her upcoming birthday a month later (which I did). I was thrilled that out of the 7 children at that birthday party, only one didn’t like the cake. Everyone else had a second serving of it!

My daughter remarked, “You can’t taste or tell at all that there are chickpeas in there.” That’s a ‘win’ in my books! What I love about this recipe, though, is that it only uses 9 key ingredients and can be easily made gluten-free by simply substituting the flour with a gluten-free specialty flour mix. Ready for the recipe? Here it is!


Fudgy Vegan Sweet Bean Blondies

Makes one 8 x 8 bar block (or 16 little 1.5-inch squares)
Author: Anna Tseng | PlantNourished
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked) [258g]
  • ⅓ cup nut or seed butter (I used sunflower seed butter) [85g]
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce [60mL] (or pumpkin puree)
  • ½ cup pitted dates [80g] (or use ¾ cup raisins instead)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt (see recipe notes)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour [49g] (or gluten-free specialty flour mix alternative)


  • ¼ cup vegan (dairy-free) dark chocolate chips
  • Pecans as a topping (or other nuts like walnuts or pine nuts)
  • In the image shown, I also used this 4-Ingredient Vegan Soy Cream 


  1. Preheat oven to 375oF (or 190oC) and line an 8x8 inch pan with plenty of parchment paper.
  2. Soak the pitted dates (or raisins) in a bowl with 1½ cups of hot boiled water (cover the bowl well with a plate to seal in the heat) for about 10 minutes. Once the pitted dates have been soaked, remove them from the water and hand squeeze them firmly to remove excess water, before placing them into a blender or food processor bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans very well (if not using home-cooked chickpeas).
  4. In a food processor, blend the soaked dates, applesauce, chickpeas, vanilla extract, and nut/seed butter ingredients together until very smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients until well combined (whole wheat flour or gluten-free specialty flour mix alternative, baking powder, baking soda, salt).
  6. Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture to form a uniform batter. Then, if desired, fold in ¼ cup of vegan dairy-free dark chocolate chips into the batter (optional).
  7. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan then bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges of the bar block are slightly browned. (Note: the bar block may look underdone, but it will firm up more as it cools.)
  8. Remove the pan from the oven, and let the bar block cool for 10 - 20 minutes on a wire rack, before cutting into squares. Makes 16 mini-squares. Store covered in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Recipe Notes

If you use unsalted canned or home-cooked chickpeas, you can increase the amount of salt added from ¼ teaspoon to ½ teaspoon. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

You can use any of your favorite nut or seed butters like peanut butter, cashew nut butter, almond butter, pumpkin seed butter etc.

Now Back to My Friend…

So what happened to my friend and her family of five? She has now made this recipe a few times for her family, even tripling this recipe so that some can be frozen for later. On Valentine’s Day, she even added a creative twist. First, she spread this batter into a thinner layer onto a large baking tray before baking it. Then, after taking it out of the oven, she let this thinner baked layer cool, before using a cookie cutter to cut it into heart shapes. Finally, she drizzled some melted chocolate on top. I loved the picture she sent me of the final heart-shaped treats!

My friend has also brought these Fudgy Vegan Sweet Bean Blondies to share with friends and loved ones at events, and have had some already ask for the recipe. It’s actually under her encouragement that I’ve worked to get this recipe published now, rather than later in the year. I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this recipe too!

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