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+ servings
a slice of chocolate black bean cake on a plate

Black Bean Chocolate Cake

This healthy Black Bean Chocolate Cake, is deliciously rich and moist and you can't taste the black beans. Its dairy free, flourless, nut free, and sugar free.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Australian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 slices
Calories 242kcal
Author Kim


For the cake

  • 1 x 400g can Black beans drained
  • 2 tablespoons Pre made Instant coffee cooled to room temp
  • 12 large Medjool dates pitted
  • ¾ cup Vegetable oil
  • 2 medium Eggs
  • ½ cup Cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ cup Maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Sea salt

For the Frosting

  • 2 very ripe avocados
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup



  • Preheat fan oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F. Add the drained black beans, pitted dates and oil together in a food processor and blitz on high until a paste is formed.
  • Add rest of ingredients to food processor and blitz until everything is well incorporated.
  • Pour into a 20cm springform cake tin lined with baking paper on the bottom. Smooth over the top of the cake with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for 45 minutes fan oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F. Cake is cooked when a skewer can be inserted into the centre and it comes out clean.
  • Once cooked, remove cake from oven, let it sit in the tin to cool for 10 minutes. Then, release spring on tin, take cake out and place on a wire rack, over with a tea towel and let it come to room temperature.


  • Scoop the flesh out of the avocados and add to food processor, along with the cocoa powder and maple syrup. Blitz until smooth an creamy.
  • Spoon the frosting onto cooled cake. Store cake in fridge in an air tight container. It will keep for upto 7 days.


  1. Black Beans:  Pre cooked canned black beans work best.  Make sure to drain off excess liquid and wash them with tap water in a strainer before using.   
  2. Dates:  Medjool dates are best – they big, plump, juicy and have terrific flavour, and its ideal that they be at room temperature so they blitz properly in the food processor.    Medjool dates are located in the fresh fruit and vege section of Coles and Woolworths in Australia.  Make sure you've removed the seeds from the dates before you put them into your food processor (you can buy already pitted medjool dates with seeds removed) 
  3. Vegetable Oil:  Alternatively any other neutral oil would work like, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil. 
  4. Eggs:  eggs at room temperature work best for baking.  The eggs help to bind the recipe together. 
  5. Coffee:  the coffee adds flavour to the cake and gives it that richness.  If you aren't a coffee drinker you can leave it out, or you could replace it with 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence. 
    • **Extra note on making the coffee**  Make the coffee using 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder dissolved in half a cup of hot tap water.  Let the coffee come to room temp, then use 2 tablespoons of the coffee for the cake.  Discard the rest.
  6. Cocoa Powder:  The cocoa powder gives this cake its chocolate flavour.  I prefer to use unsweetened cocoa powder which I find in the health food aisle of Coles and Woolworths.   
  7. Maple Syrup:  The maple syrup is to add additional sweetness and flavour.  There are a few options here.  You can use regular Pure Maple Syrup, or Lakanto Maple Syrup (a sugar free naturally sweetened low lard/low calorie version).  I've made it with both and it doesn’t make that much difference which you use.  Using the lakanto option, will reduce the overall sugar content and calories.  If you’re not into maple syrup, you could use a natural honey.  Alternatively you could replace it with a granulated sweetener like monkfruit or stevia – it will add the sweetness, but not additional flavour. 
  8. Bicarbinate of soda/baking soda:  these help the cake to rise. 
  9. Avocados:  I love using Hass or Shepard avocados.  Whatever variety you use, make sure they are ripe.  If you don’t use ripe avocados they wont blend properly and it will be hard to get a silky smooth frosting. (It doesn't matter if the flesh has a few brown spots as you won't see that anyway once the frosting is made) 
  10. Freezing:  You can freeze this cake without the frosting uto 3 months.  Freeze the whole cake to frost later, or skip the frosting and slice up into portions to grab and go. 
  11. TIPS:
    • Rinsing Black Beans  Make sure to shake out any residual water leftover from the rinsing before adding them to the food processor.  Rinsing and washing the black beans is important to remove the salt and brine form them. 
    • Use Fresh Dates:  over time dates can become tough and the sugars begin to crystalise and they're just not nice.  For best results, make sure that you’re using dates that are fresh. 
    • Soften your Dates:  If you keep them in the fridge, take them out  1 hour before making the recipe and sit them on the bench.  Room temperature dates blitz better than ones straight out of the fridge.  Make sure to remove the seeds from the dates as well 


Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g