White bean coconut cake

White bean coconut cake@ chef in disguise

Ruth from Makey-Cakey was our March 2013 Daring Bakers’ challenge host. She encouraged us all to get experimental in the kitchen and sneak some hidden veggies into our baking, with surprising and delicious results!

I really had fun with this month’s challenge. I loved the idea of sneaking vegetables into desserts and the best part was watching my family’s reaction when I told them what was in the desserts they all loved!

hidden veggies

I made quite a few sneaky desserts over the course of this month. The white bean coconut cake I am sharing with you today in this post,  sneaky chocolate brownies with carrots and spinach, zucchini muffins, and secret ingredient cookie dough dip. I asked my wonderful followers on facebook if they would like the recipes in one post or separated into different posts and most of them requested that I post each recipe in a special post dedicated for it. So today I will share the first recipe and hopefully the rest will be up by tomorrow evening. Stay tuned 🙂

This cake was actually the result of a happy accident. A friend of mine gave me the recipe for her chocolate white bean cake and lets just say the recipe did not turn out to be anything like the cake she makes! it  took forever to bake in the oven and still turned out more mush than cake! The thing is though, the kids loved the flavors and could not detect the white beans at all! So I thought I would play around with the recipe and the result is the a coconut cake that I have made 3 times these past couple of weeks. The kids LOVE it and so does my husband and he is very picky when it comes to desserts. The cake is very reminiscent of my favorite coconut cake only this one has 1/4 the amount of fat, 1/3 the sugar, no wheat and hides 2 whole cups of white beans.

The cake is gluten free  because of the use of coconut in the place of wheat flour, you can also use rice flour. I tried the cake with desiccated coconut, rice four and whole wheat flour. The coconut is my favorite, the cake turned out soft and fluffy, it almost melts in your mouth. The rice flour gave  the cake a firmer consistency but the texture was a little on the dry side, I heated some syrup and drizzled the cake with it and that made it much better. As for the whole wheat , it resulted in a cake that rose more and had the perfect crumb and texture. So it is really your call. Try the different flour option and decide which one you like best. My next project is to experement with sweeteners, replacing processed sugar with other sweeteners like puree dates or honey.

rice cake

White bean coconut cake

2 cups white beans cooked or canned (see notes)

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 cup oil

3/4 to 1 cup sugar depending on how sweet you want the cake to be

2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup desiccated coconut finely ground  or rice flour or whole wheat flour (see notes)


Drain the white beans from the cooking liquid or the liquid in the can, discard the liquid

In the food processor start by blending the beans until they are completely smooth (this will take a few minutes), scrape down the sides every minute or so

Add the eggs, vanilla and blend until completely encorporated

Add the sugar and blend

Add the oil, baking powder and ground coconut, blend until combined

Pour the batter into lightly oiled pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean

Allow to cool completely before cutting

white bean coconut cake


Canned vs cookes: You can either used canned white beans or cook your own. If you decide on using canned you will need 1 (15 oz) can. I prefer to cook mine. To do that, I pre-soak the beans the night before then place them in a pot and add enough water to cover them and have the water level at least 4-5 cm above the bean level. Then I cook them over medium heat till they are soft and mushy(You want to slightly over cook them to get a smooth cake batter). This takes about an hour to an hour and a half depending on the type  of the beans.

Chocolate love: To make a chocolate version try replacing2 tablespoons of the coconut with 2 tablespoons of coco powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom and 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee

Flour options: You can replace the coconut with other gluten-free options like rice flour but that will change the consistency of the cake, with the rice flour the cake came out a little on the dry side but you can get around that by drizzling the cake with some simple syrup when the cake is warm out of the oven. If you are not worried about gluten then use all purpose flour or whole wheat flour, they both work perfectly in this recipe

white bean cake
These cake bites were made with rice flour and a drizzle of syrup