Joe’s Bean Cake Recipe

Joe sent in this recipe, which I’m sharing. Haven’t tried it yet, but since we have a snow day today, I might get to it later today!

From: Trott, Joseph T.
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 3:38 PM

DISCLAIMER FROM JOE: This recipe is currently under development.  It is my own creation, and has been tested once.  I have several modifications I plan to try, which I explain at the bottom, as well as why I’m going to make the changes.  After baking this cake, I myself ate five or six pieces of it that day, as well as a few more over the next few days.  I did not have any gastric distress, or other usual symptoms of bean consumption, possibly because I was very thorough in the initial preparation.


The following measurements are approximations.  I added increasing quantities of beans (and a little more brown sugar) to get the consistency better, and then balance it.


1/2 lb (before cooking) of Northern white beans.  I cooked about a pound, and used about half of that.

1-1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 eggs

1 stick butter

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder


Prepare the beans essentially according to package directions; cover with a few extra inches of water in a large pan, heat it to near boiling, and then turn off the heat and let them soak overnight.  I understand this step in bean preparation is important to minimize the tendency of beans to produce gas.

The next morning, pour off the soak-water, rinse thoroughly, cover with plenty of water, heat to just boiling and then let simmer for two hours.  Make sure the beans have plenty of water to get as soft as possible.  Do not add salt to the water, which can make them tougher.  When the beans are finished cooking, let them cool a little and then mash them well in a bowl.


Preheat oven to 350.


In a glass mixing bowl, soften or melt the stick of butter in the microwave.  Add the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking powder, mixing all along.  Add the mashed beans, and mix into a batter.


Pour batter into a 9″x13″ cake pan.  Mine is non-stick, but I lightly greased it first.  Bake in oven at 350 for 30 minutes.  The cake will not rise a lot, nor will it be as “springy” as a typical cake; more like a brownie.  Remove from oven, let cool, then cut into squares.  Instead of a dessert loaded with carbs, you now have something that is high in protein and has lots of fiber too.  Enjoy it.




I found the result to be a little more moist and sweet than I preferred.  I used baking powder rather than baking soda specifically to try to make it rise a little more, but I think in the next test I will increase the amount to 1-1/2 or even 2 tsp.  I am also going to use three eggs instead of two, which will also make it lighter (although despite the moisture and heavier weight, even the five squares I ate did not form a lump in my stomach).  I am also going to try unrefined sugar instead of brown sugar.  The whole point of this experiment was to create something more healthy than the typical dessert, that is nearly all processed carbohydrates.  I was actually going for more of a cookie-dough consistency, but the additional moisture in the beans produced a batter rather than a dough.  Brown sugar tends to produce moister and heavier results than white or unrefined sugar.

Raisins or other dried fruit would likely make good add-ins for this recipe.

I’ve thought about it, but I don’t think I’ll add any flour, even unbleached or whole-wheat, because replacing the carbohydrates was, as I mentioned, the whole point of this experiment.

Everyone here in my work group (except one, who is out) has had some.  No one didn’t like it, and some really liked it.  They were surprised to learn what’s in it.


One thought on “Joe’s Bean Cake Recipe

  1. After you experiment let me know. i’d love to try this on some friends. And I’d like to hear what you did with the rest of the beans….

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