Tart cherry fudge thumbprints

These cherry fudge thumbprints are like a decadent brownie with a tart center, perfect for Valentine’s day!

I got to eat at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America, not the secret spy organization) this weekend and watch burnt orange ice cream get made table-side with liquid nitrogen in a customized hand-crank Kitchen Aid mixer.

Fudge thumbprint cookies

I had the idea for these thumbprints weeks ago. The perfect colored Valentine’s day treat made to taste like the ultimate fudge brownie but with a slick secret ingredient that meant you could call them healthy, black beans.

Chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies

I thought I was super cool. Until then the CIA showed me up with that little on the spot ice cream display and I quickly realized where I rank in the world of food. If beans in cookies is all I got, things aren’t looking too hot for my future.

Gluten free chocolate thumbprint cookies

That said, these rock and it’s not like liquid nitrogen ice cream making is a realistic Valentine’s dessert if you’re staying home this year. Tart cherry fudge thumbprints, however, yes. And…you can eat the whole batch because on the guilt scale of desserts, these are about a -5. Don’t think that cream based orange ice cream can say the same.

Yields 12-14

Tart cherry fudge thumbprints

These healthy cherry fudge thumbprints are like a decadent brownie with a tart center, perfect for Valentine's day!

10 minPrep Time

12 minCook Time

22 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons creamy almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk/almond milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free flour (any flour will do here, almond, whole wheat pastry, all purpose, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the cherry filling
  • 1/2 cup tart frozen cherries
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat .
  2. Combine the black beans, coconut oil, almond butter, vanilla and milk in a food processor and process until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and process until thoroughly combined.
  4. Turn the dough (which will be the consistency of a thick mousse) out into a bowl.
  5. With wet hands, roll into balls, place on the baking sheet and gently press down with your thumb in the middle to create an indentation for the filling.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven and press down again in the middle to deepen the indentation that most likely became shallower while baking.
  7. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  8. While the cookies cool, prepare the filling by combining the cherries and honey in a small sauce pot over medium-high heat until simmering.
  9. Mix together the cornstarch and water in a separate small bowl and add the slurry to the pot.
  10. Mix until thickened.
  11. Remove from heat and let cool.
  12. Once cookies are completely cooled, spoon the cooled filling into the hole and serve.
Recipe Type: cookies

If you’re looking for an all chocolate version of these, check out Peachy Palate’s brownie thumbprints!


  1. Aparna B.
    Pssssh whatever girl. Beans in cookies are a great idea! I put beans in my brownies yesterday and they were delicious. These are definitely pretty and I can get on board with these since they are busting with red or pink or red-velvet crap for Valentines Day. AND they could be made any other time of the year. (not that I'm TOTAL Valentines Day scrooge lol). Great recipe, girl. Thanks for sharing!
  2. Shel@PeachyPalate
    These are really really similar to my black bean chocolate almond butter thumbprints...the recipe is nearly the exact same! http://peachypalate.com/2013/12/16/brownie-thumbprints/ Great minds or had you seen em?
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author
      Woah, that's crazy! I hadn't seen them (totally would've credited you if I had). I actually got this idea from a friend's recipe (not on the internet) for black bean brownies and adapted from there. Crazy how similar they are. Love the chocolate in yours, I'm going to throw a link in my post to yours for a complete chocolate version.
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