Black Bean Chocolate Cake

A few years ago, I was hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration. Nothing over the top, just the usual suspects coming to partake of a buffet style dinner, watch some Ryan Seacrest, and stuff ourselves with decadent desserts. My simple plan was foiled though, when the people started inviting other people, and the special requests started rolling in.

It seemed almost everyone had an allergy, a sensitivity, or had excluded something from their diet. Now don’t get me wrong, I respect everyone’s needs and tastes. I do pretty well putting out an ingredient inclusive spread for dinner, but the dessert was a different story.

I was given a laundry list of no-no’s. No gluten, no dairy, no nuts, no sugar! What kind of sweet treat has none of those things? 

It took several practice runs, and playing with ingredients, but I managed to find the perfect balance of flavors and substitutions. A dessert so delicious that nobody would notice it was gluten-free, had not one drop of milk, no nuts, and no refined sugar.

It was a hit with the diverse dietary crowd. In fact, it was so amazingly rich and tasty, that it’s become a common request among everyone. 


While black bean chocolate cake has no specific origins, we can assume that it developed from a variation of flourless chocolate cake. That dessert originated in Ferrara, Italy around 1900. King Vittorio III had his chefs create the cake for his new queen.

Why You’ll Love Black Bean Chocolate Cake

  • Easy to make
  • Gluten-free
  • Lower in calories than regular cake
  • Full of fiber
  • Stays fresher longer than flour cakes
  • Dairy-free
  • Nut-free
  • Avocado frosting is delicious
  • Creamy and moist


  • Use Medjool dates, they are sweeter and juicier than most 
  • Add some fresh mint sprigs on top for a classic touch
  • Line the cake pan with some parchment paper if you’re worried about sticking
  • Allow beans to soak for a few minutes in some clean water after rinsing


Here’s what you’ll need to knock the socks off everyone, with this delicious black bean chocolate cake.

  • coconut oil
  • eggs
  • cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • espresso powder 
  • canned black beans 
  • vanilla extract 
  • baking powder 
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • maple syrup 
  • ripe avocados
  • Medjool dates
  • gluten-free flour

How To Make Black Bean Chocolate Cake

Start off by preheating your oven to 350 and greasing the cake pan.

After warming the coconut oil in the microwave, mix it with the eggs, coconut oil, baking powder and baking soda.

Toss the beans, maple syrup, espresso powder, salt, and vanilla into your trusty food processor and blast away, until it’s smooth. Then add the egg mixture and process until everything is creamy.

In a large bowl add the mixture from the food processor and then add the gluten-free flour. Stir until well combined. The gluten-free flour helps hold the cage together.

Transfer the mix to your cake pan and bake for 30 minutes. While that is happening, start on the avocado frosting. But first, clean out your food processor.

Place the avocado flesh, cocoa powder, and maple syrup into the processor and let it rip until creamy. After the cake has cooled, frost and decorate to your liking.


The cake can be made without frosting. Fresh fruit, whipped cream, or caramel drizzle can be used instead.

Serving Suggestions

When serving this tasty chocolate cake, here are some ideas to accompany it on the table.


  • Brown or white sugar can be used in place of maple syrup.
  • Finely ground (powdered) instant coffee can be switched out for the espresso powder.
  • Coconut oil can be used in place of nonstick spray.


  • food processor 
  • round cake tin
  • measuring cup 
  • mixing bowls
  • spatula
  • oven
  • mixing spoon


1. Will the cake taste like black beans?

This is the most asked question with this cake. The answer is an emphatic no. The bold flavors of the dates, cocoa powder, and espresso combine to create a creamy chocolate flavor.

2. Can different beans be used?

People have been known to use pinto and kidney, but the texture is not as moist, and the taste is not as rich. So, it’s not recommended to use anything other than black beans.

3. How long will the cake keep fresh?

One of the nice things about this cake is, it will stay moist and soft, but finish it up in 3–4 days. It freezes really well though, so feel free to save it that way.

Print Pin
4.67 from 3 votes

Black Bean Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake Filled with Black Beans
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, Chocolate Cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 237kcal


For The Cake

  • 1/3 of a cup of coconut oil
  • 4 eggs room temp
  • 1/3 of a cup of cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 - 15 ounce can of black beans drained and rinse thoroughly
  • 3/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons of espresso powder
  • 1 large Medjool date
  • ½ cup gluten free flour

For The Frosting

  • 3 super ripe avocados
  • 9 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 9 tablespoons of cocoa powder


For The Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a small bowl, zap the coconut oil in the microwave for 10–15 seconds so that it's warm, not hot.
  • In a large bowl combine the water, eggs, and coconut oil. Stir together. Add in the baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well.
  • Using a food processor, combine the beans, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, the date, espresso powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Process until smooth.
  • Add the egg mixture to the food processor and blend for another minute, or until creamy.
  • In a large bowl add the mixture from the food processor and then add the gluten-free flour. Stir until well combined.
  • Transfer the batter to the cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.

For The Frosting

  • Scoop the flesh from the avocados and add to the food processor with the cocoa powder and maple syrup. Process until creamy.
  • Spread the frosting onto a cooled cake.


Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 454mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 156IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg