Black Bean Chocolate Tea Cake

July 13, 2014 § 3 Comments


I know this recipe probably sounds like some crazy hippy concoction, but trust me, this cake is damn good. In Jamaica we were lucky enough to have slices of a black bean chocolate cake for dessert every night we were there. And even though I knew the odds were good we’d see it again the following day, each night I always worried a bit that this was my last chance to savor it. It was fudgy and had intense chocolate flavor, plus they served it with a roasted banana and honey from their bee farm down the hill. (Do you use farm in the harvesting honey context? Animals/insects are not my strong suit…).

Jamaican Black Bean Cake


The cake also reminded me of my all time favorite chocolate cake, this earl grey chocolate cake posted by Tracy from Shutterbean, originally from Real Simple Magazine. The earl grey cake is moist, deeply chocolately, and has just the right amount of tea flavor. So, I decided to smash the two cakes together. I found this black bean cake recipe by Josephine at A Tasty Love Story, and went about tweaking her recipe to include the earl grey flavor I love so much.  It took a few trials to get it just the right. I started by making Josephine’s original recipe, but with slightly less sugar. It was wonderful, sort of like a chocolate flour-less cake. Then I made a version where I added in a 1/2 cup of earl grey tea, but it ended up being too liquidy with the addition of the tea.




After doing some research, I learned that in baking the weight of the sugar should equal the weight of the liquids. So, I figured if I was adding a little extra liquid (the tea) and cutting the sugar, I definitely needed to add some dry ingredients back in. I ended up using oat flour, and after inviting some taste testers over on a sunny Friday afternoon (thanks, Sami and Dave!), the verdict was in–this third version was the tastiest.


photo (4)

The black bean cake recipe called for orange juice and zest, but Whole Foods had really nice looking ruby red grapefruits that I couldn’t resist. Side note: I can’t get over how beautiful citrus can be. In Jamaica we picked fresh limes on our hike, which I think inspired me to go for the bright grapefruit!




This cake is just fudgy enough that I bet you could transform slices of it into this. The black beans neutralize any and all ice cream calories, right?

Black Bean Chocolate Tea Cake

  • Servings: One 8-inch round cake
  • Print

Adapted from A Tasty Love Story, inspired by Shutterbean

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry

3 large eggs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 healthy tablespoons cocoa powder

3 tablespoons old fashioned oats

3 earl grey tea bags

scant 1/3 cup water (somewhere between the 1/4 and 1/3 line on a liquid measuring cup is ideal)

1 teaspoon espresso or instant coffee

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking powder

A quarter of a grapefruit

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Steep the tea bags in the water (it can be cold or room temperature).
  3. In the food processor, blend oats into a powder.
  4. Add black beans, eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso or instant coffee, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, and juice and zest of the grapefruit.
  5. Remove the tea bags and pour in the brewed tea.
  6. Blend the mixture until smooth and liquidy (it will be pretty liquidy).
  7. Grease a round cake pan (mine is an 8 inch round) and pour in batter.
  8. Sprinkle the dark chocolate chips across the batter and use a spoon to help them settle into the cake.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes until the top of the cake is slightly firm to the touch. Let cool.
  10. Store in the fridge (I actually liked this cake best cold, it got deliciously fudgy!).


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