Coconut Chickpea Chocolate Cake (GF) – We Should Cocoa #46

The theme of this month’s Clandestine Cake Club was free as a bird. I have to say, I was somewhat stumped by this and the best I could come up with was a free to make whatever I liked cake. The theme for this month’s We Should Cocoa is gluten free, so that got me wondering. I’d also been sent some coconut oil and coconut nectar to use from Cocofina – review to follow in a later post. Suddenly it all clicked into place and I would do a free from cake – free from gluten, free from dairy, free from eggs and free from sugar (sugar in the everyday sense anyway).

Last month’s We Should Cocoa was my inspiration. It included chocolate chickpea cupcakes from Janet over at The Taste Space, which I found rather intriguing. It just so happened that I had a bag of chickpea flour in the cupboard that was waiting for just the right opportunity. This was it, my gluten free cake would be made from chickpea flour. I was also rather pleased with my £1 chocolate cake, so thought I’d go to the other extreme and make a very expensive cake, but one inspired by that one.

When I found out that our Cornwall Clandestine Cake Club meeting was at The Baking Bird in Truro, I realised why the bird theme had been chosen. You can see from the picture that other interpretations of the theme were a little more sophisticated than mine. The cafe come bakery was spacious and attractive with a fabulous view of the next door cathedral spires from the upstairs windows. As well as eating far too much cake, we had a quick masterclass in rose piping on cupcakes. I was somewhat miffed that CT did a near perfect one at his first ever attempt at piping, whereas mine was much less successful. Still, at least I got to eat my mistake. To complete the bird theme we tweeted furiously for Cornwall Hour – when cake munching allowed. Thanks go as always to our excellent CCC organiser Ellie Michell for another splendid event.

Beautifully decorated Hummingbird Cake
A blue and yellow kite seen in the background
Is that a flock of Tweets? Blueberry cake from Hungry Hinny
Enthusiastically getting stuck in to icing roses on cupcakes
NOT the one that I attempted
Truro Cathedral peeking out above the neighbouring roof tops

I was a little concerned that the chickpea flour would make the cake overly bitter; it certainly seemed quite bitter when I tasted it raw. Luckily the cooking process transformed it. In CTs word’s it was a satisfying cake: rich, filling and not too sweet. The chickpea flour gave it a very distinctive taste, but not an unpleasant one. The coconut flavour came through and gave the cake a certain unctuousness which prevented it from sliding into 70s wholefood worthiness.

Chocolate Coconut Chickpea Cake
Serves 10
Free from egg, dairy, wheat, gluten and refined sugar, this is a rich and flavoursome cake made with chickpea flour - chocolatey and not too sweet.
Write a review
Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 70g coconut oil – softened
  2. 130g coconut sugar
  3. 1 large banana
  4. 1 tbsp flax (linseed) – ground
  5. 2 tbsp water
  6. 200g chickpea flour
  7. 50g cocoa powder
  8. 1 rounded tsp baking powder (gf)
  9. ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  10. a pinch sea salt
  11. 2 tbsp coconut nectar
  12. 1 tbsp cider vinegar
Chocolate Glaze
  1. 25g 100% dark chocolate
  2. 20g coconut oil
  3. 2 tbsp coconut nectar
  4. a small handful coconut flakes
  1. Soak the linseeds in the water for about 5 minutes until the water has been absorbed and it has gone a little jelly like.
  2. Cream the coconut oil and sugar until well combined, then mash in the banana.
  3. Stir well, then beat in the soaked linseeds.
  4. Sieve in the dry ingredients, then add the nectar and vinegar. Stir until just combined.
  5. Spoon into a 23 cm cake mould and bake at 180℃ for about 35 minutes when the cake should be risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Turn onto a rack to cool.
Chocolate Glaze
  1. Melt the remaining coconut oil with the chocolate and nectar in a pan over very low heat.
  2. Stir until just combined.
  3. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, then pour over the cooled cake.
  4. Scatter some coconut flakes over the top.
  1. Makes one 23cm round cake.
Tin and Thyme

Most of us now know someone who is gluten intolerant so widening our baking repertoire in that area can only be a good thing. Thanks to Michelle of Utterly Scrummy Food for Families for coming up with the gluten free theme and hosting We Should Cocoa this month. You still have over a week to go if you’d like to join in.

I’m also entering this into AlphaBakes where the letter is D this month. With my use of 100% chocolate I am going for D for Dark chocolate. Hosted by alternately by Caroline Makes and the More Than Occasional Baker.


Bake of the Week BadgeI’m also sharing this with Helen of Casa Costello for her Bake of the Week.

A slice also goes to Lucy of SuperGolden Bakes for her new blogging event, Cook Blog Share.

This cake has to go a long way as I’m also sending a slice off to the 21st Century Housewife for the Hearth and Soul hop.



  1. Leave a Reply

    Vicki Montague
    17th June 2014

    This looks and sounds great! Well done. Being a free-from cake I will happily spread the word!

    • Leave a Reply

      18th June 2014

      Thanks Vicki – not sure why the share this button isn’t working 🙁

  2. Leave a Reply

    17th June 2014


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  3. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    17th June 2014

    I love chickpea flour and have had great success with it in brownies. I am more wary when it comes to coconut oil but I have found it amazing in a frosting. Sounds like a fun get together

  4. Leave a Reply

    Joanne Mallon
    17th June 2014

    oh wow that looks great. Would have never thought of using chick pea flour but it’s such a good idea, well done.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Julie B
    17th June 2014

    I’m on a diet and your pictures have made me want to cave in! lol

  6. Leave a Reply

    Lynette Hammond
    17th June 2014

    I am going to send this link over to my other half and daughter, it’s my birthday in a few days and now I want this cake! Never even thought of using chick pea flour, how interesting.

  7. Leave a Reply

    17th June 2014

    Goodness, there’s a slightly puzzling theme! I always enjoying hearing and reading the different interpretations of a CCC theme and I’m sure this recipe will have many hits with so many people wanting to find great free from… recipes.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    17th June 2014

    Lovely cake, coconut is everywhere just now. Love those iced rose cupcakes, beautifully done.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Baking Addict
    17th June 2014

    What a gorgeous cake! I’ve never baked with chickpea flour so I am intrigued about the flavour. I’ve also never used 100% chocolate – is it really bitter? This is a great cake for the CCC theme. Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

  10. Leave a Reply

    18th June 2014

    This looks fantastic. I’ve tried baking with chickpea flour too and it can give quite a dense earthy flavour, although nice. I bet the cocoa flavoured was great, looks so rich.
    You need to be careful with the vinegar though. A lot of coeliacs avoid malt vinegar as its malt made from barley, which it glutinious

    • Leave a Reply

      18th June 2014

      Thanks Katie. That’s a very good point abut malt vinegar and not one I’d thought of. I’ll change the recipe to cider vinegar.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    18th June 2014

    I LOVE chickpea flour in bread and like you I think I might have been a little perturbed at it being in a cake, but I can see that is turned out perfectly and I may try that myself now! Karen

  12. Leave a Reply

    Madeleine Morrow
    18th June 2014

    I never ceased to be amazed at your creativity! Who would have thought of a chocolate cake with chickpea flour! I can just about bake an ordinary chocolate cake so this takes me into new territory!

  13. Leave a Reply

    Deena Kakaya
    18th June 2014

    I love this idea! I use a lot of chickpea flour; in soups, in curries, in stuffing vegetables, in pasta and even as a facemask. But I have never made a cake using it. I am really going to have to try this one out x

  14. Leave a Reply

    Kate Glutenfreealchemist
    18th June 2014

    Great cake! I love the use of the various coconut products. Coconut is so versatile and always adds a bit of extra decadence when not using dairy…….. Yum!

  15. Leave a Reply

    belleau kitchen
    21st June 2014

    what a stunning cake… had never ever heard of chickpea in a cake before but makes total sense… you are so clever!

  16. Leave a Reply

    Lucy Parissi
    21st June 2014

    I must say when I read the description I was a bit baffled but having now read the recipe this sounds fantastic. I love using coconut oil in baking it gives such a lovely fragrance. Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare.

  17. Leave a Reply

    The Caked Crusader
    22nd June 2014

    I would never have thought to use chickpea flour in a cake! But then, I did make a tahini cake so I don’t know why I’m surprised it was so good!

  18. Leave a Reply

    Caroline Muspratt
    22nd June 2014

    Well done for making such a ‘virtuous’ cake free from so many ingredients but still managing to include chocolate as well! Thanks for entering Alphabakes.

  19. Leave a Reply

    Helen at Casa Costello
    25th June 2014

    Brilliant! What a genius idea to use chickpea flour – I must bear that in mind for when I get requests for GF bakes. Thanks so much for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek again x

  20. Leave a Reply

    Michelle Utterlyscrummy Rice
    29th June 2014

    Oh my goodness, this cake looks delicious and even better it is allergy friendly and gluten free. Definitely on my ‘to bake’ list. Thanks so much for asking me to host We Should Cocoa this month and also for linking up this delicious cake. 🙂

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