Black Bean Chocolate Cake

Not sure if any of you lovely peeps noticed, but I’ve been faffing with the look of my blog. Do you like it? (Please, only respond if you have something nice to say!!) I love it!! I have to give a HUGE shout out to our friend Shane who’s responded very graciously to my elementary questions and numerous fix-it requests. He has the patience of a Pope waiting for beatification.

Anyway, after all my tweakings this week I was in a bit of a dilemma as to what my next post should be. I feel like I’ve done a whole lot of cooking lately, and taken a whole bunch of pics… hence I have a whole host of recipes I’m desperate to share!! However, our friend Chris has been asking me for this recipe for several weeks now, so I figured I should oblige. If nothing else, it gave me a reason to make it again on Saturday for a bunch of us to enjoy photographic purposes!!

I saw this on A Hippie with a Minivan and, apart from loving the name of this particular blog, the recipe caught my attention because it’s gluten-free. Not that I want, or need, a gluten-free diet… but I’m always happy to reduce my intake of the stuff that often causes me to wake up in the wee hours of the morning feeling more congested than the gates of Buckingham Palace after a royal wedding. And who would’ve thunk it: black beans… in a cake?!! I’ve also become a huge fan of coconut oil, too, and replacing the butter with it doesn’t appear to have any detrimental effects whatsoever. Now, if I gave Peet the option of “butter” or “no butter”, there are no prizes for guessing which one he’d go for. But even he freely admits that this cake is fabulous.

A word of warning: within minutes of this cake going into the oven, it fills your home with the most chocolatiest smell ever. It’s probably one of those perfect items to be baking when you have people coming to view your house that you’re trying to sell. And to seal the deal, try offering the lovely couple a slice. Seriously!! And… if you just so happen to mention that it’s kinda healthy, maybe they’ll give you your asking price. OK – so that might be taking it a bit far, but you get the idea!!

I usually like to tweak recipes that I find, but I pretty much follow the original version of this one. Why mess with perfection? I don’t even bother to ice the cake – it’s so moist, it really doesn’t need anything. Just a dusting of powdered sugar is enough. Having said that, I often serve this as a dessert with a spoonful of unsweetened berries on the side (frozen berries that have thawed out and created a glorious pool of berry-ness). When the chocolate sponge soaks up some of those juices… well… you just have to try it to believe it!!

Black Bean Chocolate Cake
(From A Hippie with a Minivan, with a couple of minor tweaks…)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (my cans are 15oz)
5 large eggs
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbs coconut oil (or butter if you can’t live without it!!)
3/4 cup demerera sugar (or Sugar in the Raw will work)
6 tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbs water

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease/line a 9″ cake pan.
  2. Mix together the cocoa, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl.
  3. In a larger bowl, whisk the coconut oil (or butter) until it’s soft and fluffy. Add 2 of the eggs and whisk well after each one.
  4. Put the beans, 3 of the eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt into a blender or food processor and blend/process until the mixture is smooth. Add this mixture to the coconut oil/egg concoction and mix to combine.
  5. Stir in the remaining dry ingredients and the water and beat on high for 1 minute until smooth.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 25-30 mins. The top of the cake should be rounded and firm to the touch, and the cake should be pulling away from the sides of the pan.
  7. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins in the pan, then release and allow to cool completely on a rack.


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29 Responses to “Black Bean Chocolate Cake”

  1. Hubs May 2, 2011 at 11.05pm #

    Hello my love… thx for saving me a piece :)

    For those who are wondering about the beans in this cake… fear not! I hate beans… BUT… this cake is yummy!!! I can’t taste the beans at all. Had the last slice tonight with a little dulce de leche :)

    • Sue May 3, 2011 at 9.44am #

      LOL!! Way to go with sticking to the “healthy” theme!!

  2. Megan May 3, 2011 at 10.04am #

    Hi-I stumbled upon your blog on FoodGawker and just wanted to say that it’s lovely. I recently blogged about a black bean chocolate cake too and I was amazed at how good it was-of course, I stuck to butter and used granulated white sugar, but I think it was the most moist cake I’ve ever made. Congrats on starting a blog!

    • Sue May 3, 2011 at 3.52pm #

      Isn’t it incredible how good a cake can be with black beans in it? I’m glad you had the same experience!! I just peeked at your blog and I love the idea of focussing on cheap, decent food for college peeps. Wonderful stuff!! Thanks for stopping by, Megan… :)

  3. Jun May 3, 2011 at 9.17pm #

    I never had choc cake with black beans before!!! But I guess it worth trying!

    • Sue May 5, 2011 at 8.24pm #

      It’s definitely worth trying… especially since you can justify it because it’s “healthy”… :)

  4. Jenn May 14, 2011 at 7.49am #

    So, I’ve been around a kitchen several times but I’ve never heard of any sugar called “demerara” sugar… Does it go by another name? :) And is the cocoa powder sweetened, unsweetened, dutch processed, ground from hand-picked cocoa nibs by sheer will and determination? I cannot WAIT to make this xx

    • Sue May 22, 2011 at 5.10pm #

      Sorry for the slow response, Jenn. I’ve been snowed under these past few weeks and am only now coming up for air!!

      I think in the US, most people would use turbinado as a substitute for demerara. They look pretty similar… although I think the turbinado has slightly larger crystals. Here’s a link to a page that might be helpful. Being a Brit, I have to confess that I would always defer to demerara if I had the choice!! … but I used sugar in the raw the last time I made this and it was fine. The cocoa powder is just plain old unsweetened.

      I think you’re gonna love this!! :)

  5. DJ May 29, 2011 at 11.00am #

    Cake is delicious!!! Unbeleivable that black beans are the main ingredient and the coconut oil makes it taste a little like coconut!! It was rich, moist, chocolatey and fabulous! Curious of the calorie count since it would be nice to eat as much as possible!! Thank you for this ‘chocolate’ cake – LOVE it!!

    • Sue June 18, 2011 at 5.18pm #

      So glad you liked it, DJ!! It’s become one of my go-to desserts… partly because I like the shock factor when I tell people what they’re eating!!

  6. Amanda July 11, 2011 at 3.17pm #

    So… I made this on Saturday for our ‘Sunday Lunch’ crowd yesterday. Everyone LOVED it!! I served it with whipped cream and strawberries and it was delicious! Seb said it was one of the best desserts he’s ever had! And, you’ll never guess what… Jack really liked it, too!!! Woohoooo!!! He had it plain with some vanilla ice-cream. But he liked it!

    I gave some to Mum & Dad today, but haven’t heard their verdict yet…

    • Sue July 11, 2011 at 4.14pm #

      Woo hoo!! I’m not surprised it was such a hit… but I’m stunned to get Jack’s seal of approval!! What a great way to get some protein in him…

      By the way, maybe post what you found for black beans there in the UK… just in case some of our Brit friends feel inspired to make it. Thanks!!


      • Amanda July 11, 2011 at 5.14pm #

        OK. Black Beans in the UK.
        I eventually found them in Sainsbury’s, sold in cartons (like the cartons of Passata you can buy), in their ‘SO Organic’ range. They are pre-cooked, and packed in water. I just drained and rinsed a carton-full and used those, even though it wasn’t quite as much as in the recipe.

        I have also been reliably informed that Tesco’s sell them in cans now. But don’t expect to find them with the other cans of various beans. They are on the bottom shelf where the ‘health food’ stuff is – rice flour, split peas, lentils, etc.

  7. Mum July 26, 2011 at 4.23pm #

    Made this on Saturday for Linda & George and it went down a storm!! Served it with Pina Colada ice cream (Nigella Lawson’s recipe) and fresh strawberries. Absolutely yummy. Have another dinner party this coming Saturday so I might even make it again!!!

    • Sue August 2, 2011 at 9.49pm #

      I’m so glad everyone liked it!! Did you make it again? I’ve had to take a break for a wee while – it felt like we were having it every other day!! But it’s so healthy, right…?? 😀

  8. Rose March 11, 2012 at 7.44pm #

    I want to make this recipe and I was told I could sub the coconut oil with applesauce….and would you know how many calories are in a slice of this cake

    • Sue
      Sue August 12, 2012 at 8.13am #

      Rose, I’m so sorry for the ridiculously delayed response… I’ve been totally slacking on my blog duties!!

      Did you make the cake using applesauce? I’d love to know how it turned out. As far as the calories go, I’m afraid I don’t know. I tend not to worry about those details – I just try to eat generally healthy, and then practice some serious resistance skills when it comes to dessert!!

  9. Tracey August 22, 2012 at 6.24pm #

    I’ve made this cake 3 times and I love it!! It’ll be my specialty from now on :)

    • Sue
      Sue September 23, 2012 at 8.45pm #

      Woo hoo!! Thanks for letting me know, Tracey… I love that you love it!! 😀

  10. Lauren B. September 3, 2012 at 11.42pm #

    Hello! I love your version of the chocolate bean cake, wow! 😀 Looks delicious with all that powdered sugar on top and those lovely berries. Not gonna make it with frosting next time… what a fab idea. Saves work, too! You really made it your own. I’m happy to have found your site searching for versions of the chocolate bean cake recipe.

    Would you mind crediting the original source–my post at Healthy Indulgences–with the recipe? I would love to include a link to your version in my list of links at the end of the post, giving people a heads up about your site! :)

    • Sue
      Sue September 23, 2012 at 8.32pm #

      I’m more than happy to include your credit here. :) Thanks for getting in touch… and thanks for your kind words. It’s become a favorite in our house… especially as we’re trying to eat more healthy things these days. I’d love to hear what you think of it without the frosting. :)

  11. Kathi October 15, 2012 at 7.24am #

    Tried this cake on the weekend, it was fantastic! Had everyone puzzled as to what was in it. I told them it was nut free and flour free, they were amazed when they found out. I even let my kids have it for breakfast this morning with a berry yoghurt on the side!! Yummy.

  12. Yoli March 20, 2013 at 7.29pm #

    Hello I forgot to put the 1 tbs water in cake. Is that going to be okay??


  13. Erika February 28, 2014 at 1.16pm #

    Making this for my daughters birthday. I’ll let you know how it turns out!!!

  14. Linda Yancy May 2, 2015 at 1.29pm #

    BEST CAKE EVER!!! Use coconut sugar if you don’t want to use the refined sugar. Sue did that for me and it gave just a hint of coconut to the cake that was WONDERFUL.

    • Sue
      Sue May 2, 2015 at 5.26pm #

      Yep – I’ll definitely use the coconut sugar in it again. Thanks for being my guinea pig!!


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