Gluten Free Chocolate Chickpea Cake

When I decided to give up sugar for the month, I wasn’t sure what that left in terms of dessert. I thought at some point I’d look into baking with dates or other natural sweeteners, and then a chocolate chickpea cake popped up in my Google Reader. That sounded too intriguing to pass up. A cake made with beans that tasted like chocolate? (I know, it sounds gross, but I swear it doesn’t taste like hummus.) Add some OJ and agave to sweeten the deal and I was set.

This gluten-free cake is moist and very chocolaty. After 2 weeks without chocolate, it definitely hit the spot. Since it’s made out of beans, it’s pretty filling and also pretty guilt-free. I found myself taking small bites each time I visited the kitchen, even before breakfast.

You can definitely eat this cake plain, but I’d recommend dusting it with powdered sugar. If you’re feeling indulgent, you could add some frosting, although that kind of defeats the purpose of it being healthy (maybe they balance each other out?). Instead of adding more sugar, I made a simple sauce out of frozen cherries to add another dimension of flavor.

Chocolate Chickpea Cake

Makes 1 9-inch cake

  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained
  • 2/3 C orange juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 C agave
  • 2/3 C cocoa
  • 1/2 t of baking powder
  • 1/4 t of baking soda
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 C hazelnuts or walnuts, roasted and crushed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan (even after doing this, the cake stuck to the bottom of my pan – you may want to try parchment paper).

Blend chickpeas and orange juice in food processor until smooth. Add in eggs, 1 at a time, blending in between.

Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Mix in chickpea mixture. Pour into prepared pan and bake around 45 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool before removing cake from pan.

Cherry Sauce

  • 2 C frozen cherries
  • 1/2 t agave
  • 1/2 t flour
  • 1/8 t cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it starts sizzling, turn down to medium and simmer for around 15 minutes, until sauce has thicken slightly and fruit has broken down.

42 Comments on Gluten Free Chocolate Chickpea Cake

  1. Andrea
    January 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm (11 years ago)

    Yum, yum, yum! I will definitely try this! I’ll have to go but the ingredients…

    And I’m so glad your sugar-free diet has been working out!

  2. Andrea
    January 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh, and another thing. A good, healthy topping would be mixing peanut butter, honey (or agave), and cream cheese together. It makes a delicious, flavor-enhancing frosting.

  3. Wheels
    January 19, 2011 at 12:43 pm (11 years ago)

    I was just going to send this to you!

  4. Tiffany
    January 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm (11 years ago)

    OMG! I was JUST thinking to myself, that I should make brownies with pureed black beans! Now, I officially know that I’m not crazy! Great recipe!

  5. Stephanie
    January 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm (11 years ago)

    How very clever – would never have even thought of using chickpeas on my own. Your cake looks like it has a nice crumb and to top it off ‘guilt-free!’ Thanks for sharing.

  6. Jennifer
    January 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm (11 years ago)

    How interesting. I would never have thought to use chickpeas in a chocolate cake. I will have to try this as your cake looks very delicious and moist.

  7. Stephanie
    January 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm (11 years ago)

    Andrea – Thanks! That’s a fantastic idea for a topping. Too bad I already ate the whole cake. I’ll just have to make it again!

    Wheels – Too funny! Thanks for thinking of me 🙂

    Tiffany – You’re not crazy at all! Excited to hear about your brownies – I’ve never made black bean brownies but now I’m totally open to the idea.

    Stephanie & Jennifer – Thanks! It was surprisingly good for being guilt-free. Definitely a keeper.

    • Kathryn
      November 7, 2015 at 11:13 am (6 years ago)

      Hi Step, I want to make this cake, but am unsure about the measures. What do C and t stand for? I thought they might mean Cup and teaspoon but am not really sure. Thanks for coming up with the recipe.

  8. Kita
    January 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm (11 years ago)

    I have got to try this!!! I love the word chickpea in a dessert dish. Its really blowing my mind right now. It looks beautiful with that cherry sauce too!

  9. Cakewhiz
    January 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm (11 years ago)

    The only time i use chicpeas is to make hummus and not even in my wildest dreams would i have thought of putting chicpeas in a cake. This is SO cool!!!!!

  10. Hilah
    January 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm (11 years ago)

    This is BRILLIANT! Cake looks so completely moist-n-delicious.

  11. Maya
    January 23, 2011 at 3:37 am (11 years ago)

    This chickpea chocolate cake looks amazing and so decadent! I wonder if it works with white beans or lentils too? Hmm… That could be a new recipe for you!

  12. Fresh and Foodie
    January 23, 2011 at 10:03 am (11 years ago)

    I just made brownies yesterday using black beans. I’m super curious to see how the chickpea cake tastes!

  13. Amy
    January 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm (11 years ago)

    This sounds absolutely delicious! I love it, using chickpeas in cake, I need to try this!

  14. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz
    January 24, 2011 at 9:15 am (11 years ago)

    This cake is he most intriguing one I have come across in some time, chick peas? Very curious and it does look good. Just may try it!

  15. Doris
    April 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm (10 years ago)

    Flouring the pan kind of defeats the purpose of it being gluten free…using “Pam” or wax paper keeps it gluten free and from sticking

  16. Siobhan Landis
    September 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm (10 years ago)

    What a fantastic idea! I’ve been enjoying gluten-free brownies that I make at home, using nuts and dates – and they’re fantastic. But I know that they’re a little high in fat. I would never have considered using chickpeas, but I’m determined to try it immediately when I get home tonight – thank you!

    Meanwhile, if you want to try something different – try my nut-based brownies – they really ARE yummy!

    • Stephanie
      September 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm (10 years ago)

      @Siobhan – your brownies sound yummy and healthy! They may be high in fat but at least nuts have healthy fats. They’re a lot better for you than butter or oil! I’m looking forward to trying your recipe!

  17. Jess
    December 30, 2011 at 10:36 am (10 years ago)

    What a grand idea! We are hummus lovers, so we’re already halfway there. Does anyone have any ideas of how to make this vegan? As in nixing the eggs? Maybe I could try making it with Egg Replacer?
    We are always amazed how yummy stuff can taste when you haven’t had anything like it in years and then you try a healthy version of it. Pumpkin Pie with no milk, sugar, eggs or crust? Bring it on! Apple crisp made with only apples, maple syrup, spices and oatmeal? Dessert Disneyland! So the thought of making a chocolate cake from chickpeas sounds downright normal to me.

  18. Anna Mortensen
    February 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm (9 years ago)

    Wow! I was just looking for an alternative to my usual Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. I love using chickpeas in desserts. This looks amazing! I am wondering if I can figure out how to use dates instead of agave…

    • Stephanie
      February 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm (9 years ago)

      @Anna Mortensen – deep dish chocolate chip cookie pie sounds amazing! And you use chickpeas in it? I should try baking more with beans, I’ve been meaning to make something with black beans too. I don’t think I’ve actually baked with beans since I made this cake last year.

    • Stephanie
      February 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm (9 years ago)

      @Anna – thanks for sharing the link! I discovered Chocolate Covered Katie recently via Pinterest. I love her healthy dessert recipes!

      I hope you enjoy the cake. Come back and tell me what you think 🙂

    • Stephanie
      July 27, 2012 at 10:38 pm (9 years ago)

      @Adele – thanks for the feature!

  19. Jessica
    December 24, 2012 at 10:19 am (9 years ago)

    I made the cupcakes for my family and we all agreed they were delicious! But they crumbled and were difficult to eat. I am not a baker, but we restrict refined sugar and dairy so this is perfect, but need help making them not crumble please!

  20. Rachel
    May 11, 2013 at 5:01 pm (8 years ago)

    We have an Orange (OJ) intolerance, so I’m curious what I might substitute…I’m considering apple juice or coffee….mmmmm Obviously the coffee would add some different, but I would think pleasing flavor. The apple might add sweetness and I could decrease the agave, but I didn’t know what the purpose was in the recipe, if it was orange flavor or just liquid (and some sweetness), or aciidty?

  21. Brenda
    September 10, 2013 at 4:59 am (8 years ago)

    How can you call this gluten-free if there is flour in the cherry sauce?

    • Stephanie Nuccitelli
      September 11, 2013 at 8:41 am (8 years ago)

      Brenda, the cake is gluten-free and the sauce is an optional thing you can serve with it. Good point though! I’ll add a note to the recipe.

  22. guilt free desserts
    December 5, 2013 at 12:42 pm (8 years ago)

    I’ve read some good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how much attempt you place to create this sort of
    excellent informative site.
    guilt free desserts recently posted guilt free desserts

  23. Peggy
    February 8, 2014 at 5:49 pm (7 years ago)

    Brand new to your site. I wanted to save this recipe but don’t see a link for Ziplist or send it as an email. Other than cut and paste – any suggestions?

  24. Peggy
    February 8, 2014 at 5:50 pm (7 years ago)

    I am new to your site. Wanted to save this recipe (Gluten Free Chocolate Chickpea Cake) but don’t see a link to either save to Ziplist or send as an email. Any suggestions other than cut and paste?

    • Stephanie Saunders
      February 9, 2014 at 9:40 am (7 years ago)

      Hi Peggy, I started using ZipList on my newer recipes but haven’t had time to go back and add older ones to it. For now, copy and paste or just printing the webpage are probably your best options.

  25. Sugarfree
    May 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm (7 years ago)

    Agave is way worse than regular sugar. It is 70-90% fructose as opposed to 50% in normal cane sugars. Not a great sugar free recipe 🙁

  26. Melanie
    September 6, 2015 at 8:30 pm (6 years ago)

    I really want to give this cake a try, but wondering if you have tried to make this egg free, or how I can? I made a similar cake recently with flax eggs and it was a flop. My son has gluten, dairy, egg & soy allergies so would love to make this if I can.


4Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Gluten Free Chocolate Chickpea Cake

  1. […] month was a tad restricted by my abstaining from refined sugars, but you may remember the chocolate chickpea cake I shared recently. It was so good that I had to make it again, and this time I baked it in a […]

  2. […] 1 craving while I wasn’t eating sugar was chocolate. I made an awesome chocolate chickpea cake and cupcakes, but those were gone pretty quickly. I came up with an even healthier substitute: a […]

  3. […] difficult to do so), it wasn’t too bad. The hardest part was satisfying chocolate cravings (done, done and done) and refusing dessert when others were eating it. (Honestly, I did end up cheating: […]

  4. […] Let’s just say, it’s almost gone and I baked it last night!  I found this great recipe on 52 Kitchen Adventures, a fabulous blog I came across the other night.  I was seeking gluten-free, dairy-free desserts to […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *