Black Bean Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free)

*photo courtesy of my sweet friend, Leigh Ann. :)

Ok, I am sure that after reading that title, some of you are pretty skeptical. Hang with me. This is ACTUALLY good. And I just love how deviant it is to put black beans into a dessert. Come on, you know somewhere in you is a little rebel who wants to at least give this a try.  I can assure you that you CANNOT taste the black beans. . . at all. But isn’t it cool how they add an extra punch of protein? I love that in a cake. Makes me feel almost justified in eating it. :) Also, this has 5 eggs in it! 5.  That is also a protein boost. Wanna make it yet? You should. Even if you don’t have an issue with gluten, you should try this. Make it for your family and let them eat it… then watch their faces when you tell them that it is made with black beans. Awesome. You can frost this with your favorite icing but I like it just dusted with powdered sugar. It is not an overly sweet cake, which I love. The powdered sugar adds a slight touch of sweetness without overpowering the delicious rich chocolaty flavor.  You could also serve this with a fresh pile of whipped cream. Mmmmmm.

I came across recipes for black bean brownies (which I have not yet tried) a few years ago and was curious. I bookmarked the recipe.  When searching through my bookmarks I saw it and started wondering if a cake could be made with the beans. I found a few recipes online for just that, so I gave it a shot. I’m not sure who the original author of this recipe is. But to whoever you are: pure awesomeness! I really think this might be my go to chocolate cake recipe from now on. I took some to my mom and she agreed. Plus, it saves me a lot of money to not use expensive GF flours.  A winner indeed!

Here it is:

Black Bean Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free)

1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed) (15 oz)
5 large eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp cocoa  powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9 inch cake pan and dust with cocoa powder.

Place the beans,  eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt into blender or food processor (I used my food processor). Process or blend on high until beans are completely liquified.

Add the remaining ingredients and process on high for 2 minutes until everything is well incorporated.

Pour into your prepared pan. Bake 30-40 min until the top is slightly rounded and firm to the touch. Do not overbake. My center actually still looked a tiny but underdone but remember that it will keep cooking a little even after you take it out.

Cool for 10 min and then invert onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar (or frost when cool).  Serve and enjoy!

And if you make this, please leave some feedback! I can’t wait to hear. :)

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51 responses to “Black Bean Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free)

  1. LOVE THIS! i have all the ingredients too though i will sub a non dairy butter for the real thing. this looks great!

    • I just wanted to let you know that this cake is AMAZING! I appreciate your blog so so much, it let’s me eat all my favorites again. I have yet to try a bad recipe :)!!!

  2. I have to ask – are the bean skins broken down to the point where you don’t have a funny texture?

  3. yes, they are. you process them in your food processor until it is smooth. I carefully picked through the cake LOOKING for a bean skin and couldn’t find one. Seriously give it a try. I ran my food processor for a few minutes just to be sure. And because they is not any flour, I don’t think you have to worry about over-processing it and getting a tough cake. It is so tender. So good.

  4. And karen, I was just thinking about how easy this cake would be to make dairy free. Please report back with your results.

  5. Oooh. Thank you for sharing! I had planned to let my girls make a “birth-day” cake when our baby is born, but then was diagnosed as gluten-sensitive and hadn’t had a chance to track down or alter a decent cake recipe. This one sounds fantastic, though, and I am printing it out to have on hand for them. :)

  6. I made this last night and it is UNBELIEVABLY GOOD! I made it dairy free with a GFDF spread and everyone loved it. I iced our cake just in case but we could have just as well done what you did with powdered sugar too. My boys still do not know there are beans in it. I am going to send it for snack to school for the all the kids in boys class Friday. I have been buying Betty Crocker GF cake mix but now, I am just going to make this. SO much better for us and it is ingredients I keep in the house all the time (we are Hispanic, so we always have some beans around!!) . Again, thank you!

  7. Karen,
    so glad you enjoyed it. I also made it (again) last night, except this time I did cupcakes. It made 24 mini cupcakes and 6 regular sized ones. I iced them and served them all to a Bible Study group at our house! everyone loved them and they were almost gone when I announced what was in them. Ppl couldn’t believe it. I agree with you about making this instead of the Betty Crocker mix. Much cheaper and better for you. And I BET you could use another kind of beans too. I’ll give that a try sometime just out of curiosity. Happy baking!. . . and thanks for letting me know your results. It is always fun to hear from people.

    • How long did you bake the cupcakes? I was thinking about doing them instead and possibly inserting a small piece of chocolate, so there would be a soft center. More of a mock molten lava cake. :) Yum.

  8. Rebekah, Thanks for letting me know about the cupcakes-was there a different time to bake them? This is what I wanted to do because my boys love cupcakes and I think school (and church-great idea!) would love them too but did not want to overbake. Thanks for any modifications! We always have black beans in the house so we will probably just still with what we have and works well but thanks for the suggestion-may try if we have other beans on hand too!

  9. yes, the mini cupcakes baked about 10-12 min, until firm to the touch, and the regular ones more like 18 min. Just keep an eye on them b/c everyones oven cooks differently. My kids were thrilled that I let them have cupcakes for no special occasion, just for fun!

  10. I might try increasing the chocolate and/or sugar a little next time – it wasn’t quite as chocolatey or sweet as I had hoped. But definitely a winner for its gluten-freeness! My 8yo was flabbergasted to learn it had beans in it! lol

  11. All 3 kiddos loved it and wanted to know if they could have more. It’s a winner!

  12. Rachel: I’m sure you could increase the chocolate or sugar a bit, but wouldn’t want to do too much b/c it might alter the consistency. And adding frosting, definitely sweetens them up nicely too if you are thinking of doing that.
    Jessie: Glad your kids loved it! :)

  13. I was wondering if the regular canned black beans hold onto too much salt even after rinsing? Is there unsalted black beans, or would I have to soak my own?

  14. no, the canned ones are fine. I have not had any trouble with salt being an issue. Don’t get the “seasoned” ones though.

  15. I used low sodium ones and I even forgot to drain them and the cake still turned out great!

  16. I did tweak this a bit. I increased the sugar to 1 cup and the cocoa to 1/4 cup. Then, to compensate, I increased the butter to 8 Tbsp. and the water to three. (But I used coconut oil this time so it was also dairy-free.)

    I baked for ten minutes longer than the original because of the increased amount of batter. It was good, but really moist and fudgy. I’m not sure if that’s entirely due to the ingredient changes, or if I just needed to bake it a few minutes longer. (Ran out of time, needing to take it someplace.) I liked the flavor a lot better than the original, though, and even gluten eaters said it was good. :)

  17. This cake was excellent! I even decreased the sugar to make it a tiny bit healthier…It came out to 10g of protein per slice! Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever had such good for you cake! It was hard to stop at just one piece! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!!!!!! :)

  18. Yay, Debbie! Thanks for sharing that nutritional info and reporting back with your results. So fun to know that. Glad you enjoyed your cake! :)

  19. No problem!
    If you are interested, it also has 6 grams of fiber, 11 grams of fat, and 38 carbs and 260 calories. I may have had a piece of this cake for breakfast!!!!! :)

    Thanks again. I will be watching your blog for other delicious ideas. You are a very talented cook!! :)

  20. I have a sugar free version of this recipe that is so smooth in textrue. The only thing is, you have to let it rest overnight before eating, as the honey needs time to sweeten back up after being heated.
    Black Bean Chocolate cake.
    24 hours prior to making this cake, soak 2 cups of black beans in water, with a little bit of raw whey added.
    Cook and cool the beans in fresh water, prior to making the cake.
    (Beans may be cooled quickly by rinsing with cold water)
    This method assure that your beans will not cause gastric issue of any kind.
    If you do not have dry beans available to you, you can use one can of rinsed black beans,
    However, I cannot vouch for their not causing gastric distress.
    On to the recipe!
    In your blender, combine the following.
    1 1/2 cups of cooked and cooled beans
    3 farm fresh eggs
    1 tsp of vanilla
    1/2 tsp of sea salt
    6 Tbls of cocoa powder
    1 tsp of baking powder
    1/2 tsp of baking soda.

    Blend until smooth.
    Add the following ingredients.
    3/4 cup of honey
    7 tbsp of warmed butter
    2 eggs.
    Blend again till smooth.
    Pour into a buttered pan that has also been “floured” with a bit of cocoa.
    Bake until center just springs back when pressed.
    Allow to fully cool, and ideally, let sit for a few hours prior to serving.
    Serve with a dollop of fresh raw cream and a few sliced strawberries.

  21. I made this, and it’s so good, I ended up making THREE of them for various friends! I’ll admit, I added mini chocolate chips to the top. Which made it even more AWESOME!

  22. I am not even gluten free but this is our family’s new “go to” chocolate cake! We love it. Buttercream frosting with coconut….yum! JoAnn

  23. I’m not gluten free but this recipe was something I had to try. I made a batch of cupcakes and didn’t tell anyone what was in them. Everyone said they were one of the best chocolate cupcakes they have ever had! When I told them what was in it no one believed me. This is for sure a keeper, much more healthy and extra yummy! Now I need to figure out how to make a vanilla cake with beans and as simple of ingredients as this one has.

  24. Pingback: THE BURGER-CAKE! | I FEEL GREAT TODAY

  25. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! I reluctantly tried it at the request of a friend, and it was a HUGE hit! My pickiest palettes – my brother, father and my husband – couldn’t tell there was anything “weird” about the cupcakes, and the friend who I made the full-sized cake for absolutely LOVED it.

    Thank you!

  26. I love all things chocolate, I steer away from most things bean. I made this cake because I wanted to disprove that it could ever be “tasty”. I have now eaten this cake and my words. I humbly bow down to the bean and shun the flour. It. Is. Epic.

  27. Pingback: Fudgy Gluten Free Brownies | The Happy Tummy: A collection of recipes, pictures, and helpful cooking tips

  28. I made this last week as a treat for my husband. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, using beans to make the cake, but it was AWESOME!! He absolutely loved it and even shared some with his friend at work (who asked me to give this recipe to his wife too!) Thank you so much for sharing this, I will definitely be making it again!

  29. Pingback: Glutenous Minimus « Dancing in the Rain

  30. I have three questions.
    1) Does it give you gas?
    2) What altitude are you at?
    3) Have you tried it in a loaf pan?

  31. 1). No
    2) I am at 1270 feet
    3) I have not tried it in a loaf pan but my guess is that it wouldn’t work as well b/c it would be much much thicker and i don’t know how long you would have to cook it to get desired done-ness. I would stick with a cake pan. Any shape is fine. Or you could double the recipe and probably put it in a 9×13 casserole dish too.

    • I tried the loaf pan and it worked fine. Had to increase the baking time because I am at 7800 feet. It just came out of the oven and smells great. I am going to ice it with chocolate ganache.

  32. great news! thanks for trying that and reporting back. i’m sure that will help others. and chocolate ganache! yummmmmm! :)

  33. Hi Everyone!
    I loved the recipe, and it was a total hit. I am going to making again, and wanted to know if anyone has tried using egg-replacers to make it Vegan…any suggestions?

  34. This is revolutionary. I love it. Made it for my diabetic father and topped with whipped cream and blueberries and he loved it. Couldn’t believe it was made out of canned black beans.

    • I have been playing with this recipe. I made it in 3 mini-loaf pans the last time. I use a cake leveling cutter and slice it in thin slices about 4 or 5 and layer ganache between them then ice it with ganache. I also substituted Coconut milk so it is also dairy free. I think I will try to substitute Silken Tofu for the egg, and then Avocado for the oil, one at a time so I know which works. People just fall all over themselves when they taste this cake. Has anyone tried Red Beans for a Red Velvet version? How about white beans for a white cake version?

      • I must try the red bean idea…. My daughter loves red velvet cake, but, hasn’t had it in years due to the gluten thing. Yay! I know what next weeks cake will be…

  35. I made this cake yesterday and it’s already gone. I am now trying the cupcakes with chocolate chips. I’ve done it with coconut oil this time as well in an attempt to do a dairy free version. Cant wait to see how they turn out!

  36. This was really good! I made it for a family dinner last night, and it got devoured. I used coconut oil instead of butter, and it came out almost like a chocolate torte. Very good, thanks!

  37. I made a double batch and baked it in 3 small loaf pans. I make a torte by cutting thin layers and icing with ganache. I took one to a neighbor and later ask if the kids liked it. She told me, yes what little they got.

  38. This is so great! I’ve bookmarked this page so i can come back to it every time a birthday rolls around. Thank you so much!

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  40. I absolutely love this! So glad I found this recipe :-) thank you

  41. My daughter and I have Celiac Disease and have been craving chocolate. She’s a finicky eater too. So when I found this recipe I wondered if she would like it, because she hates beans. I made this tonight and I didn’t tell anyone what was in it. Well, only my husband knew. Surprisingly, he was a bit reluctant in trying the cake, but was amazed on how delicious it was. My daughter loved it and they were both stunned when I told them the ingredients. It’s so moist and absolutely delicious! It took care of our craving! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  42. I used coconut oil rather than butter. Super moist, rich and creamy. I also threw a semi sweet chocolate chips on it after it was done, put in back in the oven just to soften them, and spread them as a “frosting”, and dusted with unsweetened coconut. Next time, I will double the recipe and go for a full German Chocolate cake. Although.. It just might be the death of me.

  43. This is the BOMB! I make cupcakes instead of the cake, and put a chocolate ganache icing over the top…..TO DIE FOR!!! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  44. Have you figured out the calorie count?

  45. Just made this and had a piece. It’s very good. I used coconut oil instead of butter and just used a mixer. It’s very easy to make and a nice, healthy dessert for me as I’m avoiding sugary desserts. I’m curious though what vegan folks are using instead of the five eggs.

  46. Did anyone try an egg free version yet? I’d love to know if it works !

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