This chocolate black bean cake is sweet and fudgy, with a brownie-like texture. If you haven’t made a cake with black beans before, this recipe is an easy and delicious one to try. This cake is gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, and grain free. It’s perfect for special occasions and makes a great nutritious addition to a holiday dessert table.
Main ingredients in this chocolate black bean cake
This black bean chocolate cake calls for canned black beans with no added salt. Be sure to drain and rinse the beans well. Alternatively you can use dried black beans that have been cooked until tender.
Black beans are a good source of protein and fiber, plus they contain plenty of magnesium. They’re a nutrient-dense ingredient that boosts the nutritional value of this treat.
This cake is sweetened with maple syrup, but you can substitute agave if you prefer.
This bean cake gets its chocolaty flavor from unsweetened cocoa powder. There are two main types of cocoa powder available at most grocery stores: Dutch process cocoa powder or natural cocoa powder. Either kind will work in this recipe.
Unsweetened applesauce adds body, moistness, and a little extra sweetness to this black bean cake. You can use either homemade or store bought applesauce – just be sure it doesn’t contain added sugar or the end result might be too sweet.
This recipe calls for coconut flour, which gives this grain-free cake a satisfying texture and a subtle hint of coconut flavor. I don’t recommend substituting other types of flour in this recipe because coconut flour is much more absorbent than most other flours.
I included some almond butter in this black bean chocolate cake recipe, which acts as a binder and improves the texture of this cake. You can substitute other nut butters such as peanut butter or cashew butter. Or for a nut-free version you can substitute pumpkin seed butter. Just be sure to use an unsalted, smooth variety of nut or seed butter.
How to make it
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then add the black beans, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, almond butter, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and salt to a food processor or blender, then blend until smooth.
Next you’ll add the coconut flour and baking soda and blend some more to incorporate. The batter should be very thick at this point – similar to a cookie dough.
Transfer the batter to a 9 inch baking pan (either round or square is fine), then use your hands to press the batter into an even layer before baking.
Bake the cake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then let the cake cool to room temperature before removing from the pan and serving. If you choose to frost this cake, be sure to wait until it has cooled completely.
For an extra layer of flavor and texture, add 1/2 cup each of vegan chocolate chips, pecans, or walnuts to the batter.
- Take this chocolate black bean cake to the next level by topping it with this tahini frosting. It’s vegan and refined sugar free.
- This delicious sweet potato chocolate frosting is nutrient dense yet decadent. You’d never guess it’s made with sweet potatoes.
- This almond butter chocolate frosting is rich, gooey, and delicious. It complements this cake perfectly.
- For a nut-free topping, try this chocolate spread. It’s quick, delicious, and easy to make.
Storage and freezing
Store this chocolate black bean cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to six months.
More gluten-free dessert recipes to try
- These chocolate pineapple rings are juicy and delicious.
- This mouthwatering chocolate hummus recipe is easy to make and perfect for dipping fresh fruit.
- These chocolate covered blackberries are perfect for entertaining.
- This oat flour cake is a tasty, nutrient-dense breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Chocolate Black Bean Cake (Gluten Free & Vegan)
- Food processor or high powered blender.
- Parchment paper
- 9 inch baking pan
- 1 cup canned black beans (rinsed and drained – or substitute cooked dried black beans)
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup smooth almond butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Fairtrade certified)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add the black beans, applesauce, almond butter, maple syrup, cocoa powder, vinegar or lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt to a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the food processor or blender as necessary to achieve a smooth batter.
- Add the coconut flour and baking soda and blend once more to incorporate. The batter should be very thick at this point – similar to cookie dough.
- Transfer the batter to a 9 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Use your hands to press the thick batter into an even layer.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.
- Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before removing from the pan and frosting, if desired.
- Optional additions include 1/2 cup each of chopped nuts and/or vegan chocolate chips.
- Store this chocolate black bean cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or freeze it for up to six months.