Healthy Dessert Recipes: Bean Cakes

Healthy Dessert Recipes: Bean Cakes

white-bean-cakeBeing vegan in a home you share with carnivores isn’t easy. Especially when your out-numbered two-to-one. My men and I, we’ve come to an agreement on what will make us all happy for main dishes. It’s easy enough to find a way to please ourselves at breakfast and lunch. The easiest food to please everyone concerned is dessert! It’s also the most fun.

I’ve been able to come up with healthy “cheesecakes” and pound cakes. And now, cakes with the nutritional punch of beans! Yes, they are rich, satisfying and delicious. As with many of my creations, these two stemmed from several vegan cooking classes. I’ve never been one to “stay” with in the original confines of what was gone over by those particular chefs—after all, we all have different preferences. These following recipes are ones that my family enjoys, but it’s more of a method-feel free to change it around, try a different bean or flour! But, since it is baking—for the integrity of the dessert – do not change the portions!

Oh, to keep it moist, make sure to use the glaze!

Spicy Bean Cake

Preheat oven to 350 and liberally oil an 8″ square or round pan.

In one bowl combine:

2 cups oat or whole wheat flour (stone ground might make this too dense, try the pastry version)

  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • In a blender-puree:
  • 2 cups cooked cannelli beans (either from a can or cooked from dried)
  • 3/4 cup unfiltered apple juice OR cold coffee
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup OR honey
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil

Pour bean mixture over dry ingredients and stir until very well blended. If it seems a little too thick add a bit more coffee/juice to mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake on middle rack for about 45 minutes. Cover with glaze.

Simply stir together:

  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite vegan margarine
  • 3 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, cinnamon and vanilla

Spread over warm cake.

If spice cake isn’t “your taste”, try this citrusy flavored bean cake instead! Same beginning instructions as above-preheat oven to 350 and liberally oil an 8″ pan.

In one bowl:

  • 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour or oat flour
  • 2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon each orange and lemon peel zest
  • In the blender, puree:
  • 2 cups cannelli beans
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup lemon-lime soda
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey

Using the same method as the spice cake, blend the pureed bean mixture into the flour mix. Using some water if it’s too thick. Pour into pan and bake for about 45 minutes. Glaze, while warm with an Orange or Lemon glaze made of:

  • 3 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite vegan margarine


  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice concentrate and 1 teaspoon orange zest.

Both recipes are also delicious as muffins. If desired, add 1 cup of chopped dates, other dried fruits or even mini -chocolate chips for a special morning treat!

Refrigerate the leftovers for up to 4 days or freeze in Ziploc bags. Cakes and muffins taste better warm. Another case of being able to have one’s cake and eat it too!

Carine Nadel is on The Reader’s Advisory Panel of Woman’s Day magazine and has had numerous articles and recipes published both on various websites and print publications. To read more of her work, log onto:


Author: cynthiam

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