Chickpea blondies – How to make one of my favourite snacks

woman in white sweater baking cake

As my life gets a little bit more back to normal (cue having full childcare again) I’ve been doing a bit more baking. The other day I tried this recipe for chickpea blondies and thought, ‘you have potential my friend, great potential’. Especially as the base for a vegan brownie recipe…TBC… . They definitely aren’t sweet, but have just enough chocolate to satisfy a snack craving.

Vegan chickpea blondies with added nuts and chocolate on top
Vegan chickpea blondies with chocolate and peanuts

For those of you looking to substantially reduce processed sugar, but still want something that ticks all the boxes when you don’t want to feel like you’re missing out, then these blondies are for you!


  • gluten-free with no wheat flour or oats
  • dairy-free and vegan
  • decent amount of protein (approx. 12.5g per 100g); not bad for a cake or dessert
  • low in processed sugar (there is some, but you can control this by the chocolate you use) and no artificial sweeteners
  • a source of fibre and therefore filling (approx. 4.5g per 100g)
  • easy-peasy to make

Per 1/15 sized piece: 11.1g carbs (1.8g fibre and 4.4g sugar), 6.6g fat and 5g protein

Adaptations you could make to your chickpea blondies

I’ve made this about four times now. I started from the original recipe from Second Nature. Although most other recipes I’ve seen use maple syrup or equivalent for sweetness, once you’ve tried these you’ll realise it’s actually a really unnecessary addition of sugar into your life, particularly if you are trying to wean yourself off sugar-in-everything and your sweet tooth. Now you do need to replace it with some sugar but this recipe uses fruit instead. This balances it with a little more fibre as well. I’ve tried it with both banana, and apple sauce (made from less sweet cooking apples). I reckon you could use any fresh fruit puree that you fancy that has a bit of texture once mushed and cooked.

Because this is my treat cake, it does have chocolate in it. But what is life without chocolate? The first time I used a cheap dark chocolate and the second time, Cadbury’s Dark with roasted almonds that I got for Christmas. Rather than me eating it in a few sittings, it’ll now last me a month as I decide as and when to take it out the freezer. You could use something with a much higher cocoa content if you want to drop the sugar further.

Chickpea blondies work well with coffee. This shows a slice on a plate with a brown coffee mug and siler cafetiere behind.
Coffee and cake mmmmm, my favourite

As I write this I’ve been enjoying my indulgent moment of a coffee and a slice of this blondie yumminess, so without further ado, here’s my adapted recipe. Enjoy!

Recipe for chickpea blondies, with added yum


  • 1x 400g tin chickpeas, giving approx. 240g drained weight
  • 1 small, slightly over-ripe banana or half a large one
  • 2 tbsp apple puree – if you use cooking apples to make this, they are lower in sugar
  • 130g peanut butter – the second time I made these I used 110g peanut butter and 20g of Whole Earth Chocolate and Hazelnut Peanut Butter
  • 2tbsp powdered peanuts – you don’t have to add this but I think it adds so much to the flavour as it’s naturally quite sweet
  • 1tsp vanilla extract – if you can, use paste or pods as the extract is high in sugar
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8tsp salt
  • 80g of whatever chocolate you fancy, chopped
  • 20g of nuts or seeds, chopped – I tried peanuts and almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 170oC fan or equivalent.
  2. Grease and line a 6×8″ baking tray or similar. It’s easier if you allow extra paper to get it out of the tin and the end but that saying it’s not hard to get out the tin.
  3. Stick everything, apart from the chocolate, into a food processer and whizz until smooth.
  4. Mix through most of the chopped chocolate but keep some aside to put on top.
  5. Press the mixture evenly across the tray.
  6. Sprinkle the leftover chocolate and nuts/seeds of your choice over the top. Press into the mixture.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes until the edges start turning brown.
  8. Allow to cool slightly into the tin and take the blondie out the tine. Put onto a chopping board, chop into 15 squares before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Eat one per serving or two with little guilt. Adjust your other meals or exercise accordingly!

I find this pretty filling and it’s a perfect hunger stop gap. For a lovely dessert why not try a piece with frozen Greek yoghurt and fresh banana.

If you want to up your seed consumption you could press in more seeds onto the top. I think next time I’m going to try adding in some sunflower seed or chia seed protein powder or perhaps some cacao nibs. This is largely to use the former up as I don’t know what else to do with it, but would also add in a bit more protein.

Slice of vegan chickpea blondie on a white plate on a black countertop
Close up of a chickpea blondie on a plate; time to eat!

Perhaps you’d like to pair this with a book club for one? See what I’ve been reading over the last few months here.

Annette Raffan

Annette is a mum of one and a postgraduate researcher at the University of Aberdeen. She loves learning about new things and sharing them with the world, particularly knowledge management, plant and soil science, the world of research and things she has read along the way.

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