Beans, They’re What’s For Dessert

Since we’ve already seen that beans can very happily take a place on the dessert platter, why does it still seem like such a strange concept?  Even I cringed a bit at the first suggestion of a “dessert hummus,” fearful of a flat out beany, semi-sweet, muddle of a spread.  True, this is nothing you’d want to serve on cut veggies or smeared in the middle of a tofu sandwich, but it turns out that the idea isn’t completely crazy.  Merely serving as a base for flavor, providing more bulk than flavor, the chickpeas happily disappear into the background when properly masked with a more powerful taste sensation, like… Chocolate, perhaps?

Before you go “Ewww!” and flick away to the next blog, hear me out: How different is this from tofu cheesecake?  Or lentil cookies?  Seriously, just give the combination of cocoa and chickpeas a chance.  This versatile legume can be dressed up as sweet as candy if you give it the benefit of the doubt!  Plus, with their oft praised protein and fiber, it’s perfectly reasonable to spread some chocolate on toast for breakfast, and call it a balanced meal.

Chocolate Chickpea Spread

1 15-Ounce Can Chickpeas
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 – 4 Tablespoons Water

As with all hummus, this spread couldn’t be easier; Just throw everything but the water into your food processor or blender, and thoroughly puree, scraping down the sides of the bowl to get everything incorporated as needed. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the water, until you reach your desired consistency. Spread at will!

Makes about 2 Cups

Printable Recipe


88 thoughts on “Beans, They’re What’s For Dessert

    1. This was AWESOME!!!!! I subbed an equal amount of agave nectar for the sugar and it was a perfect consistency. Thank you!

  1. Super, I have all the ingredients on hand except for chickpeas and those are easy enough to get on the way home from work :) I must try this!

  2. Oooh yum! I am always game for an excuse to eat more chocolate and count it as real food!

  3. Amazing idea! I have used chick pea flour in cakes,so why would it not suit for a lovely spread. I will definately try this one,thanks for the recipe Hannah!

  4. Oh this is just brilliant! Nutty flavor of chickpeas + chocolate…I love it. I might even try it with chickpea flour for super smooth texture. Since I can’t eat soy, all those tofu-based cheesecakes and spreads don’t work for me anyway. Thanks for posting this!

  5. You know, I thought this sounded gross at first, but I’m intrigued enough that I’ll have to try this!

  6. Fantastic idea! I’ve been enjoying a sample pack of the Crazy Camel Dessert Hummus and and excited to try a homemade version. My favorite flavor is the Maple Walnut, so after making your chocolate version, I might attempt to recreate the maple walnut. Sweet hummus tastes so much better than it sounds!

  7. Since chickpeas are my favourite legume I might indeed try this. They are a bit sweet and have a slighly nutty flavour, so why not?

  8. kinda looks like nutella. i bet it’s tasty! i used to be skeptical before i tried a black-bean brownie, but i’m convinced of beans for dessert now!

  9. I was just reading about a dessert hummus the other day (packaged product) and thought… I can totally make that… and now *poof* I have a recipe to do it! Thanks!!

  10. WHERE did you find that gorgeous jar?? I love its shape!! And with this fabulous spread, I believe I have just found my Christmas gifts for this year (I always give homemade goodies).

    For gifts, the size, shape, and look of the jar is as important as what’s inside, and I just love yours. Is it new? A used jar that another food came in?

    Thanks for another great recipe Hannah!

  11. OMG that’s such a great idea!! Do you think it would still be good sans-peanut butter? Unfortunately I think peanuts might be making their way onto my allergy list.

  12. What a fantastic idea Hannah. I’ve made chickpea blondies before, a recipe from but never thought to try a chickpea and chocolate spread. It’s like a healthier, non-nutty nutella.

  13. Welcome to your new digs! I will update my Reader :)

    This spread actually looks yummy to me–am I weird? The Chinese use beans in dessert all the time–and it tastes great. I imagine that spread as a filling in a pastry–yum!

  14. I am imagining this will be great, and I will try it!
    However, I agree with Niki about the sugar. It makes me cringe when I see any granulated sugar, especially more than a ts or Tb, in a recipe.
    I am wondering if Niki’s idea will work? I am thinking the liquid sweetener might not make it thick enough.
    I’m thinking about using dates, or date sugar, or maple sugar. Would love to use Agave, but again, I think it wouldn’t be thick enough.
    If anyone tries this w/ a sugar substitute, please, please post so I get the follow-up comment!
    thanks for the recipe!

  15. My 5 year old loves this! I told her it was chocolate dip and she ate it for dessert with apple slices. She never suspected there were beans in it! THANK YOU!!

  16. Oh my goodness, Hannah – this looks DELICIOUS! I can’t wait to try it. I’m a huge fan of hummus, but I’ve never really done anything creative before. This will be the perfect way to get my protein in AND have dessert! tehe

  17. hmmm, I might just try that. I made chickpea blondies once in the hope they would satisfy my husbands sweet tooth but he wasn’t fooled. I don’t think the peanut butter and strawberry jam were strong enough flavours to disguise the chickpeas. But cocoa’s a different matter…

  18. I think you are onto something here…and I love it! Really do. I’ve kepy myself away from Nutella too long (believe me, I have). This is too good to be true. Do you think I can do chickpeas from scratch? We don’t get them canned here. Please do reply if you have the time.

  19. This is amazing….I was a little skeptical of the chickpeas but as I am just venturing in to a dairy free diet I thought I would give it a go! I used whole peanuts as I didn’t have peanut butter but it is still delicious. So delicious in fact that my boyfriend has had to take the pot off me as I made it ten minutes ago and somehow half has already disappeared!

    Sweet beans isn’t so weird! I’ve had all sorts of interesting bean paste confections from the Asian grocery. Beans have such an interesting flavour in sweet dishes. I mean, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but if I absolutely HAVE to eat a dessert, there are worse things out there than red bean ice cream and black bean mochi! ;)

  21. ahhh chocolate spread <3 i use a similar technique to it make 'healthy' chocolate spread with beans
    however i use Haricot beans, blend them with a bit of water and hot chocolate powder, add sugar to taste and it's oh so good :]
    it's also very quick!
    i shall try yours with mung beans and taste the difference!

  22. Re: sugar substitution. I used Organic Zero instead of granulated it sugar. It does not dissolve quite as easily, but was otherwise fine.

  23. I tried this recipe and it turned out amazing! Instead of using sugar and cocoa powder (both of which I happen to run out of), I used a little more dark chocolate. It turned out great!! Thanks for sharing this unique recipe!!

  24. I was intrigued but a bit skeptical when I saw this recipe. Turns out it is amazingly delicious!! I replaced the oil with soy yogurt though. Thanks a lot!

  25. I just made this…it is really good…I, too, am always looking for interesting ways to use beans…I did not have coffee powder so instead of the water I used coffee I just made..

    1. Yum, yum…I keep making it…great with apples and pretzels..such a great snack….I’m hooked.

  26. I have been looking for a good red bean jam for a while now and this one looks delicious. Now I can make some steamed red buns when I am at my daughters next weekend! Cheers Hannah :)

  27. namaste

    wonderful! i was thinking of making my own choco paste for a long time…but when i noticed your recipe, i got working straight away

    i can imagine to substitute the olive oil for virgin coconut oil and add some grated coconut

    many variations possible! thanks for the creative stimulation!!!

  28. I’m an omni mom with two vegan daughters, and just made this for Christmas day snacking along with some other non-sweet treats. (Served it with Anna’s (vegan) Almond Thins.) Left out the peanut butter just because I wanted a chocolate-only spread, and substituted an equal amount of cashew cream, which may not have been necessary. Anyway, to describe the taste, it doesn’t taste like hummus and isn’t real chocolate-y. It’s got a hummus texture, but has a mildly sweet, cocoa-powder taste, which went really well with the other non-sweet treats.

  29. Hi
    Can this spread be used to sandwich together chocolate cookies? Does it need to be in the fridge or is it fine left on the counter?

    1. Sure, this would be great used as filling for sandwich cookies! I would still refrigerate it though, and plan on eating the cookies fairly soon after filling. It’s a bit more moist than traditional frosting, so they may get soft in just a day or two.

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