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Dessert hummus is all the rage these days! This chocolate brownie batter variety is one of the originals: a chocolate, chickpea-based dip that is a great party snack. My version offers a legume-free variation too, in case you don’t tolerate chickpeas. This creative dip is for everyone!
This is an OG ACB recipe. That means it’s been on my site since basically, the dark ages, when I was still in the process of identifying the foods I don’t tolerate. I had gone gluten free, but was still in denial about how legumes affect me, so chickpeas were still on the menu.
I originally called this “secretly-healthy brownie batter dip” because, at the time, people weren’t nutritionally woke enough to be ready for the idea chocolate hummus. They were still side-eyeing black bean brownies a little; I wasn’t going to push my luck.
But, as I said, in the original post:
“I detest labels like lightened-up, skinny, and, yes, secretly-healthy dessert. As you probably already figured out, I strongly object to the concept that healthy and delicious or indulgent are mutually exclusive and I don’t think you need to trick people into eating healthier.
So, here I am, seething at the title of this recipe as I write. But the title speaks the truth. Privately, I call this recipe chocolate hummus… [because it] tastes like brownie batter.”
I mean simple, right?
What is Dessert Hummus?
Technically speaking, I guess it’s nothing. But if we’re giving ourselves a little leeway, it’s a sweet version of hummus.
Technically speaking, hummus is a thousands-of-years-old middle-eastern dish made by blending chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini, lemon, and some herbs and spices into a lusciously smooth, savory dip. But you probably already knew that.
I looked tradition in the eye and said: “You know, this could use some chocolate,” because really, what can’t?
So, dessert hummus is a sweet dip inspired by the savory original, consisting of chickpeas, tahini, unsweetened cocoa powder, honey (or you can use maple syrup to keep it vegan), vanilla extract, and sea salt.
Just like the original, it is easy to make in the food processor, rich, silky smooth, and tantalizingly dunk-able. But maybe, just maybe, this bastardization errrr creative interpretation is uniquely American.
The Original Dessert Hummus Recipe? Well, One of Them, Anyway.
Ok, I want to be clear: I’m not claiming that I invented dessert hummus. Maybe someone somewhere thought to throw some cocoa powder in the food processor before I did. I’m sure I’m not literally the first person, but I know I was one of the first to put a recipe for it online.
After all, I did originally post this recipe on August 21, 2014. At the time I called it “Secretly Healthy Brownie Batter Dip.” See?!
Three years later, in October 2017, somebody went on Shark Tank and got a truckload of money from Mark Cuban to mass produce the dessert hummus that “they” invented. They even called it brownie batter hummus.
Now, it’s a huge food trend. In addition to the original, there are lots of copycat products being sold in the grocery store, in flavors for everyone: snickerdoodle hummus! peanut butter hummus! cookie dough hummus! The possibilities are endless.
I had a THREE YEAR head start. Yes, it’s safe to say that I am kicking myself, but I digress. I just want to make it clear upfront that this is an original concept, not a copy of the packaged stuff (especially since the packaged stuff contains something called cultured dextrose; mine is, of course, all natural!).
Ok, I just had to get that out of the way. Now we can move on.
This Dessert Hummus is Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Can be Made Paleo-Friendly
Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, are part of the legume family, so they are forbidden on the paleo diet. Labels aside, though, they can be tough to digest for anyone.
But don’t worry: I came prepared with a legume free (paleo) version of this dessert hummus that is just as smooth, creamy, and chocolatey.
Do you know what makes a fabulous replacement for garbanzo beans in hummus?
Steamed sweet potato! Cool, right? I know! I was so excited when I figured that out.
(Maybe I should take my sweet potato hummus recipe on Shark tank before someone else does???)
Brownie Batter Hummus Serving Suggestions
I think we can all agree that this is a reasonably healthy dip, right? If you look at the nutrition facts below, you’ll see that while it may look and taste decadent, but it’s full of healthy fats, fiber (either from the chickpeas, or the sweet potato), and antioxidant cocoa powder, plus it is low in sugar, making it the perfect, healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
That it straddles the line between “healthy” and “dessert” means that there are lots of ways to serve this dip.
It works well as a snack, topped with crushed walnuts, and nestled beside a pile of apple slices or other fresh fruit.
But it also works equally well as a decadent after-meal treat, topped with dark chocolate chips or sandwiched between two cookies (gluten free graham crackers or pretzels make an excellent vehicle for this hummus). You can also serve them with grain-free pita chips, although I recommend toasting them with a sprinkle of cinnamon and coconut sugar to keep with the sweet theme. If you (or someone in your family) loves red velvet anything, you could add a few drops of natural food dyes, to complete the effect, or blend in a small soft-steamed beet.
For an extra sweet brunch, spread your brownie batter hummus over grain-free waffles. To make things extra decadent, add a layer of almond butter or a dollop of paleo whipped cream.
You could also use it as a topping for ice cream or yogurt, or anything else that a creamy dark chocolate-y flavor would complement.
Tips for Dessert Hummus Success
If it’s your first time making brownie batter hummus (at least, I hope it is!) you may have a few questions. Hopefully these tips and tricks set you up for success:
- If you’re using the sweet potato version, your dessert hummus taste is going to be sliiiiiightly different than if you were using garbanzo beans. It’s a little bit more vegetal, but you probably won’t notice after the first bite. If it really bothers you, add a little more cocoa powder (1–2 tablespoons) for a more potent chocolate flavor, and add as much additional maple syrup or honey as it takes to get to your preferred sweetness and consistency. You can also try adding an extra dash of vanilla extract (no more than 1/4 teaspoon) or even a bit of vanilla bean paste, if you are fancy enough to have it handy.
- If your hummus is too thick (almost like a chocolate frosting) for your tastes, you can thin it out using a tablespoon or two of full fat (canned) coconut milk or almond milk, or a neutral-flavored oil, such as olive oil or avocado oil. Do not use coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, so will make the texture of the hummus too thick, or even weirdly chunky.
- Sweetness is a preference, so don’t be afraid to add a little more maple syrup, honey, or natural sweetener of choice to your food processor as you blend, until sweetened to your preference. However, remember that adding more liquid (say, from maple syrup or honey) will thin out the dip.
Enjoy this Brownie Batter Hummus as a Snack or Sweet Treat
So, as you can see, this recipe is quick and easy to make and very adaptable to make it exactly how you like it! Now it’s your turn to try it for yourself.
Enjoy this dessert hummus as a midday or after school snack, or enjoy it as a healthy sweet treat. Just remember, you saw it here first (ok, ok — I’ll really wave the white flag now).
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- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas or soft-steamed sweet potatoes (See note)
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Generous pinch fine sea salt (to taste)
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “s” blade.
- Process until smooth, adding more tahini or a neutral oil (see note) to thin out, if you prefer.
- Serve immediately.
- If you’re using chickpeas, it is easiest to use canned, rather than cooking your own. Look for a low-sodium, BPA-free variety, and rinse them thoroughly before using.
- If you’re using sweet potatoes: peel, and chop into 1″ cubes. Then boil or steam until extremely soft. They should be so soft that they’re difficult to handle and your finger sinks into them when you press them with a little bit of force. Cool completely before using in this hummus. You can prep the sweet potatoes up to 3 days in advance of making the hummus.
- If you are not familiar with tahini, it is sesame seed paste (think of peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts) that is available at health food stores, some supermarkets, and online. This is my favorite brand.
- You may need 1-2 tablespoons less of maple syrup if you’re using the sweet potatoes instead of chickpeas (since they have some sweetness in and of themselves). In general, sweetness is a preference, so don’t be afraid to add a little more maple syrup or honey to your food processor as you blend, until sweetened to your preference. However, remember that adding more liquid (say, from maple syrup or honey) will thin out the dip.
- If you’re using the sweet potato version, the flavor is going to be sliiiiiightly different than if you were using garbanzo beans. It’s a little bit more vegetal, but you probably won’t notice after the first bite. If it really bothers you, add a little more cocoa powder (1-2 tablespoons), and (if you want) as much additional maple syrup or honey as it takes to get to your preferred sweetness and consistency. You can also try adding an extra dash of vanilla extract (no more than 1/4 teaspoon) or even a bit of vanilla bean paste, if you are fancy enough to have it handy.
- If your hummus is too thick for your preferences, you can thin it out using a tablespoon or two of full fat (canned) coconut milk, or a neutral-flavored oil, such as avocado oil. Do not use coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, so will make the texture of the hummus too thick, or even weirdly chunky.
- Hummus is best within 24 hours of preparation. If you need to keep it for longer, freeze it in an airtight container and allow it to thaw to room temperature on the countertop before serving.
Yield: 6Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 199Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 37mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 7g
Nutrition information does not include any toppings or serving vehicles (like fruit or cookies).
Did you make this recipe?
This recipe has been updated. It was was originally published on August 21, 2014.