December 4, 2018

Flourless black bean chocolate cake

Baked flourless black bean chocolate cake with a piece sliced on a plate.

This gluten-free chocolate cake is made with black beans as the secret ingredient! It's a delicious cake to make for friends and family who are gluten-free or to try something new.

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My mom provided me with a recipe for a black bean chocolate cake she wanted me to make for her birthday a few years ago, but she wasn't sure where it came from. I found it in my email and was intrigued.

This recipe is my modified version of what she gave me as a starting point. I've made this cake several times now as she requests it each year, and it's always a hit with everyone who tries it.

It's like a cross between a cake and a brownie - a little dense, but still with a cake-like texture. You can't taste the beans at all and since they are blended in a food processor, they are not detectable in the cake. It is very chocolaty in flavor, too.

This recipe makes one single 9-inch cake. You can definitely double the recipe and make two cakes to create a layer cake with frosting if you would like. 

I simply dust the cake with a little powdered sugar and cocoa powder mixed together and put a dollop of whipped cream on for serving - a really simple and rustic cake. Plus, since I'm usually making it for my mom who doesn't enjoy frosting, this is how we make it.

Slice of flourless black bean chocolate cake topped with whipped cream.

The morning you are making this cake, be sure to set aside a tablespoon of coffee for the recipe. A little bit of strong coffee helps to enhance the chocolate flavor.

This is not the only time I've used beans in a dessert. I also use them in these Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies

The beans add a nice texture to the desserts and are a fun way to add a bit of protein and use less flour. I'm not one for "heathifying" desserts per se, but I do like to try new things like this.

Serving plate with a slice of flourless black bean chocolate cake next to the finished cake.

Yield: about 8 servings
Author: Amy (Savory Moments)
Flourless Black Bean Chocolate Cake

Flourless Black Bean Chocolate Cake

This gluten-free chocolate cake is made with black beans as the secret ingredient! It's a delicious cake to make for friends and family who are gluten-free.


  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon strong brewed coffee (liquid)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • powdered sugar and/or whipped cream, for serving, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and dust with cocoa powder.
  2. Place the black beans, eggs, vanilla, salt, and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the coffee through baking soda and process on high for a full minute or until completely smooth.
  3. Pour into the prepared pan and baking for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for about 15 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to fully cool.
  4. Top with powdered sugar (mixed with more cocoa powder, if desired) or whipped cream, or frost if desired.
Did you make this recipe?
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I hope you give this flourless black bean chocolate cake a try! Let me know in the comments below.

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Slice of flourless black bean chocolate cake.

Check out these other cake recipes: 

Winter Grape & Citrus Upside Down Cake

Persimmon Gingerbread Loaf Cake

Lemon Raspberry Buckle 

Orange-scented Cranberry Cake w/ Sugared Cranberries


  1. I baked one long long time ago and it was really delicious! Yours looks great, Amy, and I might just bake one in this holiday season too.

  2. This looks terrific! I have a recipe for flourless black bean brownies somewhere, but this cake look much, much better. Thanks!

  3. looks delicious! i love making things with secret ingredients like this. :)

  4. A chocolate cake made with black beans? And here I thought a chocolate cake made with beets was weird but turned out to be absolutely delicious! I'm sure this would have the same results. I do have a question. Am I correct in assuming that the tablespoon of coffee is coffee grounds?

    1. It's a tablespoon of strong liquid coffee. I will update to make that clear. Thanks!

  5. holy smokes, that's a dark and decadent cake! i'm very familiar with black bean brownies, but i REALLY like the idea of a cake!

  6. I have black beans and am on a low carb diet.. MUST TRY! Thanks for sharing a lovely treat for a Chocolate Lovers Link Pary at Celebrate 365 Blog Party!


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