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Chocolate Coconut Cannellini Cake for Mother’s Day

Cannellini Cake

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone. I’ll be heading off to visit my mother shortly. I was going to take her out to lunch, but turns out she hadn’t realised the significance of the day and has invited friends over. So I decided to make her an ultra healthy, dairy-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free vegan cake instead. Why? Because I felt like it and thought it would make a nice change. So this chocolate coconut cannellini cake is what she’s getting.

Why a cannellini cake you might ask? Well it is the UN International Year of Pulses, so why not make a cake using beans? Having heard much about the wonders of aqua faba recently, I was actually planning on making the cake with chickpeas and chickpea water. My local Co-op let me down, however. For some unfathomable reason, it had run out of chickpeas and since our organic shop closed a couple of years ago, I had no other options. A can of cannellini beans seemed like the next best thing.

I was sent some much needed superfood goodies recently from the fab folk at Goodyfull. They offer a subscription service for nutrient rich foods. You can choose what you like, how often it is sent and can pause or change your order at any time. As someone who doesn’t live anywhere near a shop selling these sort of high quality products, I find the idea of such a service particularly appealing. As a fairly new company, the range is nut huge at the moment, but I’m sure it will grow as demand increases. They currently have three foods on offer: coconut flour, chia seeds and cacao powder. All are organic and certified by the Soil Association to boot. That usually inspires me with confidence in the products. They are all available in 100g, 250g or 500g resealable packs. Bulk orders are also available on request. The brown paper outer wrapping of the bags gives them a simple and wholesome look which appeals to me. The inner part is made of foil to keep the foods fresh and in good condition. 

Goodyfull Superfoods

The coconut flour is gluten-free, wheat-free and high in fibre and protein. I’ve baked with it a few times and it always gives a lovely coconut flavour. Chia seeds are a food hardly anyone outside of South America had heard of a few years ago but has now taken off big time. The seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and high in calcium, iron, fibre, antioxidants and protein. I mostly consume them in smoothies, but soaked in water, they make a good egg replacement for vegan baking. Cacao powder is raw cocoa powder. It’s also high in protein, rich in fibre and antioxidants and a good source of magnesium, potassium and iron.

I decided to create a superfood cake for Mother’s Day using all three of the above. The cannellini beans and coconut flour make up the bulk of the mixture, coconut oil provides the fat, coconut sugar the sweetener, chia seeds the binding agent and cacao powder and desiccated coconut the flavouring. I used my Thermocook to both mix up the cannellini cake mixture and whip up the chocolate icing, but any food processor should do the trick. The silky smooth icing was a simple process of whizzing up dates, silken tofu, maple syrup and a couple of other ingredients and then slathering over the cake. I used a heart shape mould for obvious reasons, but round cake tins would be fine.

Cannellini Cake Icing

For those craving a light springy sponge, this cannellini cake may not be for you. It’s rich and dense with loads of flavour and passes the indulgence test with flying colours. How do I know this? I made a small one for us for purposes of quality control, you understand. I like my healthy food to delight the senses as well nourishing the body. The tofu topping was a revelation. I had some left over and it made a rich and delectable ‘pot au chocolate’.

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Chocolate Coconut Cannellini Cake

A two layered superfood fudgy cake made with cannellini beans. It's filled and iced with a super smooth and chocolatey vegan tofu confectionary. Grain-free, dairy-free and unrefined sugar-free.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 6
Author: Choclette

Ingredients

Cannellini Cake

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 1 400 g tin cannellini beans in unsalted water
  • pinch of Cornish sea salt
  • 75 g coconut suger
  • 50 g coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g coconut oil - melted
  • 25 g desiccated coconut

Chocolate Tofu Icing

  • 6 medjool dates
  • 300 g silken tofu
  • 1 heaped tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil - melted
  • Pinch of Cornish sea salt
  • Chocolate - grated (optional)

Instructions

Cannellini Cake

  • Soak the chia seeds in the water for 15 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glutinous.
  • Blitz in a food processor together with the salt and beans, including the water.
  • Add the sugar and mix on a low speed until incorporated.
  • Either fold in the remaining ingredients by hand or if using the ThermoCook, stir at speed 3 for 30 seconds.
  • Scrape the mixture into 2 18" silicone moulds or lined cake tins.
  • Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes or until the cakes have risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool for ten minutes, then gently turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Tofu Icing

  • Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor until a smooth consistency is reached (I used my ThermoCook).
  • Leave in the fridge to cool for 10 minutes or so if the mixture is too runny.
  • Spread a thick layer of the mixture over one cake. Top with the other cake, then cover the top and sides with the icing.
  • Sprinkle with chocolate if desired. (I used Seed and Bean dark Cornish sea salt)

Notes

If you have any tofu icing left over, it can be used as a vegan chocolate 'pot au chocolat'. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
Alpha Bakes LogoC is for chocolate coconut cannellini cake this month. I don’t think I could get any more of the letter c in if I tried. Alpha Bakes is hosted alternately by The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes.

 

 

Bake of the Week LogoI’m sending my cannellini cake off to Maison Cupcake and Casa Costello for Bake of the Week.

Other cake recipes using beans you might like

Thanks to Goodyfull for the superfoods. The post contains affiliate links. Buying through a link to the Optimum Thermocook will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. This helps keep Tin and Thyme blythe and blogging. Opinions are, as always, my own.

54 Comments

  1. Nadia

    6th March 2016 at 1:45 pm

    This is so my kind of cake!! I love everything about it 😀 and it looks stunning! 😀

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th March 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Hey Nadia, thank you. Have I finally made something you are able to eat?

      Reply
  2. Angela / Only Crumbs Remain

    6th March 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Having already made a blackbean brownie, I can really imagine that your cake using cannellini beans would be really good, it certainly looks it. I’ve never used tofu in a frosting before though – certainly one to try – looks great 🙂
    Angela x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th March 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks Angela. It really was good and thankfully my mother thought so too. You wouldn’t know the icing was made of tofu unless you knew – if that makes any kind of sense!

      Reply
  3. Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry

    6th March 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Cannellini beans in a cake. How freaking awesome. 😀

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th March 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Really was Bintu – my mother couldn’t guess what was in it at all, but she liked it.

      Reply
  4. the caked crusader

    6th March 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Some ingredients in this one that I wouldn’t expect to see in a cake – love it! Looks pretty too.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th March 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Well I have to say, this is the first time I’ve ever used cannellini beans in a cake CC, but I don’t think it will be the last.

      Reply
  5. Dom

    6th March 2016 at 4:44 pm

    oooh, such a lovely looking cake and so worthy!… I would almost say too worthy but good that you made the very important ‘quality control’ cake just to make sure it worked…

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th March 2016 at 6:15 pm

      Haha Dom. I know it sounds very worthy, but it really was a success and a big hit with my mum – thankfully!

      Reply
  6. Kate - gluten free alchemist

    6th March 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Wow! What an unusual set of ingredients. It looks beautiful though and sounds so incredibly virtuous! Hope it went down well xx

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th March 2016 at 6:19 pm

      I know it sounds virtuous, but it was really delicious and it’s gluten free too! We all had a slice by the fire with a cup of tea this afternoon. Luckily, my mother loved it – phew!

      Reply
  7. Sisley White

    6th March 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Oh wow what a cake. Love the idea of the dates in it.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      6th March 2016 at 8:56 pm

      The icing was delicious Sisley and the dates gave it a sort of caramel flavour.

      Reply
  8. Corina

    7th March 2016 at 6:50 am

    I’m intrigued! I hardly ever make cakes and I’ve never used anything particularly adventurous in one but I’d love to try one day.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th March 2016 at 7:55 am

      Where there’s a will there’s a way Corina 😉

      Reply
  9. Elizabeth

    7th March 2016 at 7:23 am

    I am so seriously impressed with this cake! Utterly fantastic on all levels! Gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th March 2016 at 7:56 am

      Thanks Elizabeth. Thankfully my mother was quite impressed too and really enjoyed it.

      Reply
  10. Kavey

    7th March 2016 at 8:27 am

    Never used coconut flour, it’s an ingredient I’m keen to try. Not sure whether chia seeds are for me, but could I replace them with something else, or leave them out?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th March 2016 at 4:14 pm

      They’re not really noticeable in the cake, but they are a binding agent. I understand you could also use linseeds, but I’ve not tried that. Having said that, I have made more conventional cakes without eggs before and haven’t had a problem with them falling apart, so they might just be fine without!!!

      Reply
  11. Janie

    7th March 2016 at 10:37 am

    That is rather an ingenious bake Choclette! Love the look of that topping too – YUM!
    Janie x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th March 2016 at 4:15 pm

      And the good news is, you can eat every bit of the cake too Janie 🙂

      Reply
  12. Alice

    7th March 2016 at 12:45 pm

    I love the heart shape – do you have a tin in that shape?! Sounds like a great cake to bake, and indulgent whilst being overall pretty good for you (not bad for chocolatey greatness!) Alice xx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th March 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks Alice. You can’t get much better than a healthy chocolate cake 😉 I have a couple of heart shape silicone moulds. They aren’t very big though. This quantity also made a couple of mini loaves too.

      Reply
  13. Kate | The Veg Space

    7th March 2016 at 3:33 pm

    This sounds amazing Choclette – fab idea to use Cannelini beans, and your icing sounds really good. Those superfood pouches look lovely – must give them a try.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th March 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Thanks Kate. Pouches sound so much more elegant than bags. The cake was good, but that icing / mousse is just gorgeous.

      Reply
  14. shaheen

    7th March 2016 at 3:48 pm

    So pretty, I made brownies and blondies with beans from an American cookbook that I won on MLLA challenge, but never got round to sharing it on my blog. I love that it is heart shaped, made with love.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th March 2016 at 4:22 pm

      I was convinced you’d have a cake made with beans on your blog Shaheen. I’ve come across quite a lot of brownies made with them, but this is the first actual bean cake I’ve made. Always made with love 😉

      Reply
  15. Cathy @ Planet Veggie

    7th March 2016 at 3:51 pm

    I have a huge bag of cacao and usually just use it in smoothies. Now I want to make this cake 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th March 2016 at 4:23 pm

      I usually use it to make raw chocolates and really should add it smoothies a bit more often 😉

      Reply
  16. Nayna Kanabar

    7th March 2016 at 9:07 pm

    This sounds so innovative,I would have never thought you could make cake with beans!! I will have to try it.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      7th March 2016 at 9:27 pm

      As long as you’re not looking for a super springy sponge Nayna, they work surprisingly well.

      Reply
  17. Kellie@foodtoglow

    7th March 2016 at 10:08 pm

    I am so making this as soon as I can! This really appeals to me, Choclette. I already make black bean brownies, aduki bean ones too, as well as chickpea cookie dough brownies, but have yet to attempt an actual cake. A very interesting and straightforward vegan recipe. Bravo.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th March 2016 at 8:30 am

      Thanks Kellie. It’s not a light and airy sponge, but it is definitely cake and a very tasty one at that. Your chickpea cookie dough brownies sound intriguing.

      Reply
  18. Helen at Casa Costello

    7th March 2016 at 10:37 pm

    You are so clever – what a creative cake. Looks stunning too. Who knew that chickpeas were so popular all of a sudden – our local shop had none last week either! Thanks so much for joining in with #bakeoftheweek x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th March 2016 at 8:31 am

      Ah, thank you. Must be a run on hummus making or something Helen!

      Reply
  19. Sarah Maison Cupcake

    7th March 2016 at 11:02 pm

    What an intriguing selection of ingredients! I love pulses but never put them in a cake – although I have done some chickpea blondies once. Thanks for submitting to #BAKEoftheWEEK 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th March 2016 at 8:34 am

      I’m not vegan, paleo or anything else other than vegetarian, but it is useful to be able to knock up suitable goodies if the occasion arises.

      Reply
  20. Natalie Tamara

    8th March 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Ooh I LOVE the look of this one Choclette! I often make puddings that sound quite similar to your frosting but have never put it on a cake before – definitely doing this next time I bake!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th March 2016 at 5:31 pm

      Thanks Natalie. It’s wonderful stuff and works just as well as a pudding as it does on a cake 🙂

      Reply
  21. Janice

    8th March 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Had to laugh at your Mum inviting friends round. Just as well you are quite relaxed about the whole thing. Your cake looks amazing, I’ve never made a bean cake, but I’m loving coconut flour.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      8th March 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Haha, it’s my own fault. I should have given her plenty of warning. She never remembers. In what ways are you using coconut flour Janice?

      Reply
  22. Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi

    10th March 2016 at 8:30 am

    This has my name ALL over it!!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      10th March 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Oops, Emma. I think you should have told me before I gave it to my mother 😉

      Reply
  23. Stuart Vettese

    15th March 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Rich and dense sounds like my sort of cake. And I LOVE cannellini x

    Reply
    • Choclette

      15th March 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks Stuart. One of the things I love about cakes, is that there is so much variety. Rich and dense is great, but so is light and airy – all depends on my mood.

      Reply
  24. bakingaddict

    2nd April 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Such a beautiful cake for a special celebration. I’d never have thought you can use cannelini beans in cake but clearly I was wrong! Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      2nd April 2016 at 6:01 pm

      One of the things I’ve learnt since blogging Ros, is never rule out what can go into a cake 😉

      Reply
  25. Kathryn

    16th April 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Is there supposed to be coconut flour in this recipe? I can’t seem to see it in the ingredients.

    Reply
    • Choclette

      16th April 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Oh, very well spotted Kathryn and thank you for letting me know. Others have made the cake and reported back that it was really good, so maybe the coconut flour is redundant. I have, however, amended the recipe now to include 50g of coconut flour.

      Reply
      • Kathryn

        17th April 2016 at 11:32 am

        You are very welcome! It did have me thinking for a while.

        Reply
        • Choclette

          17th April 2016 at 1:14 pm

          It’s always useful having a 2nd pair of eyes. Even when I proof read several times, I don’t always spot errors.

          Reply
  26. Mrs Natalie Dawn

    19th March 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Can I subsitute coconut flour and sugar for regular plain flour and brown sugar?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      20th March 2019 at 8:08 am

      Hi Natalie. You can easily swap the coconut sugar for brown sugar. I use these two interchangeably. Regular flour is very different to coconut flour. Of course you can use it, it will just have a slightly different result and won’t taste as coconutty either. It might be a whole lot better, but is unlikely to be worse.

      Reply

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