These flourless Protein Blondies with Chocolate Chips are an amazing dessert that’s light, satisfying and made entirely with whole foods. They are soft, moist, studded with dark chocolate and resemble the texture of cake so much, it’s hard to believe they’re made with chickpeas!
I love making desserts out of unexpected healthy ingredients because a) I love desserts, and b) I love the idea of eating whole, healthy foods. However, when it comes to baking treats with beans, I’m always a little suspicious. Black bean brownies are one example of this. They do look like brownies and they certainly don’t taste like beans, but they don’t taste like brownies either.
These protein chickpea blondies are NOT like black bean brownies though. Although they are made almost entirely with canned chickpeas and a small part of almond flour, their taste and texture are so close to the real deal, it will stop you in your tracks. Seriously.
My kids, who I swear have a built-in radar for “health foods” hidden in sweet treats, devoured the entire batch in 5 minutes. This doesn’t happen much and just proves that these blondies are truly magical. They look and taste like cake, but are actually filled with a ton of protein and fiber. They are also gluten, grain, refined sugar and dairy free.
- Canned Chickpeas: also known as garbanzo beans, they are cheap, full of fiber and protein, and great for baking, as it turns out!
- Cashew Butter: you can use any nut butter you like or have on hand (almond, peanut, mixed nut) though cashew is my favorite for this recipe because I find it to be the most neutral tasting.
- Maple Syrup: use 100% pure maple syrup to add sweetness to the blondies. Mine is always local from Maine.
- Almond Flour: since these blondies are grain and gluten-free, almond flour is used to give the blondies cake-like texture.
- Dark Chocolate Chips: use good quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Vanilla: to add complexity to the flavor.
- Egg: organic and/or pasture raised egg is always best. You can also use egg replacer such as Bob’s Red Mill.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: to help the blondies raise.
- Salt: to balance out the flavors.
How to make protein blondies
Step 1: Drain the chickpeas, place them in the food processor with cashew butter (or nut butter of choice), maple syrup and blend until smooth.
Step 2: Add vanilla, almond flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt and egg. Pulse a couple times until combined. At this point you can transfer the batter into a mixing bowl but as long as you’re careful with the blade, there is no true need for that.
Step 3: Stir in most of the chocolate chips and transfer into an 8x8’’ cake pan lined with parchment paper. Add the remaining chocolate chips to the top.
Step 4: Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the blondies comes out mostly clean. Be careful not to overbake. The top should be slightly golden but not browned.
Step 5: Cool completely on a rack before cutting into squares. I like these blondies chilled best so I usually cool them completely, cover the pan with plastic wrap and cut them after a couple hours or the next day.
Storage and freezing tips
Store covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze them. To do so, let cool completely, cut into squares, wrap individual squares in plastic wrap and store in a zip lock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, let thaw at room temperature on the counter and enjoy.
Substitutions and variations
- To make these dark chocolate chip protein blondies dairy free, use vegan chocolate chips, such as Lily’s.
- I like creamy cashew butter best for this recipe, but feel free to experiment with almond or peanut butter, if you prefer.
- I tried making these with and without egg (using flax egg) but I found that flax egg does not produce the same texture. If you don’t mind a fudgier, doughier texture, you can give it a try.
Yes, they are! Because they are made with no wheat flour, they contain no gluten.
No. The high protein content in this recipe comes from chickpeas, cashew butter and almond flour, all of which are naturally high in protein.
Yes, absolutely! Cashew butter has the most neutral, least "nutty" flavor which is why I like it in this recipe but if you don't have any, feel free to substitute it for all-natural peanut or almond butter.
Honestly, no. The consistency is definitely a little different than regular blondies made with flour, sugar and butter but you won't taste the chickpeas.
They are light, fluffy and moist.
If you try these Protein Blondies with Dark Chocolate Chips, be sure to leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating. I would love to hear from you and see how it turned out for you! You can also share and tag me on Instagram!
Flourless Protein Blondies with Chocolate Chips
- 15 ounce can of chickpeas drained
- ⅓ cup cashew butter or almond or peanut butter
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips or vegan chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup almond flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius) and line an 8x8’’ pan with parchment paper.
- Place the chickpeas and maple syrup in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth, a minute or two.
- Add the nut butter (I used cashew), egg, vanilla, salt, baking powder, baking soda and almond flour and pulse a couple times until combined.
- Stir in most of the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter directly from the food processor bowl to the lined pan, using a silicone spatula to scrape the sides. Be careful about the blade – when it’s fully visible, remove it holding by the plastic piece. Use a silicone spatula to scrape the blade and sides of the food processor bowl.
- Decorate the top with remaining chocolate chips.
- Bake in preheated oven until the top looks slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the blondies comes out mostly clean, about 25-30 minutes.
- Cool completely on a wire rack and slice into squares.