Grain-free White Bean Coffee Cake Recipe

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grain-free white bean coffee cake | pamela salzman

Trust me that this cake is so good!  It does NOT look like it has white beans in it, nor does it taste like white beans (which may I remind you taste like nothing.)  And lest you think I am a genius coming up with blending white beans to make a high-protein, downright delicious cake, I will come clean and tell you this is nothing that hasn’t already been done about 16,7000,000 times, according to google.  Even my idol, Martha Stewart, has made cupcakes with white beans!  If it’s good enough for Martha, it’s definitely good enough for moi.

some of the ingredients

I thought this would be such a different, delicious and healthful cake for your Mother’s Day brunch, and what a conversation-starter!  It’s always fun to quiz your family and friends — “Can you guess what the secret ingredient is?”  I would never suggest making this for Father’s Day because most dads I know would rather have doughnuts than a cake with nutritional benefits.  Moms are different.  We’re always looking to have our treats without the guilt!

making the topping

This cake was a huge hit in my classes last year.  I first told everyone to open their minds because this would not resemble a classic coffeecake. Most people that come to my classes are pretty open-minded anyway.  In fact a few ladies said, “Ah, of course.  Black beans in brownies, white beans in coffeecake.”   I agree, it makes perfect sense.  But I would never make any dessert or any recipe for that matter just because it’s kind of healthful.  Of all things, dessert should be enjoyed, and you will love this cake!  It’s very moist, just sweet enough and light.  I ate quite a bit of this cake last  year and I never felt uncomfortable or sick after eating it.  That’s an indication of a pretty clean dessert.

making the cake batter

I normally encourage you to make your beans from scratch, but for this recipe it is very important that your beans be nice and creamy soft.  So if you want to be on the safe side, just used canned.  I love Eden which doesn’t use BPA in its can liners.  The one ingredient which might throw you for a loop is the coconut flour, although I do have a great muffin recipe on my site that uses almond flour and coconut flour.  At my Whole Foods, you can buy coconut flour from the bulk bins, which is nice if you just need a little bit.  Most recipes which use coconut flour only call for small amounts of it because it is so absorbent.  Don’t go thinking you can substitute regular grain flours for coconut flour!  They are completely different!

grain-free white bean coffee cake

If you decide you don’t want to make this coffee cake with the faux streusel topping, just make the cake with your favorite frosting or serve it with fresh fruit and whipped cream or whipped coconut cream.  Either way, moms deserve a treat on Mother’s Day, so indulge or do something generous for all the special moms in your life!  Happy Mother’s Day!

grain-free white bean coffeecake | pamela salzman


grain-free white bean coffee cake

Grain-free White Bean Coffee Cake
Serves: makes one 12X9 or 13x9-inch cake
  • Crumble Topping:
  • 3 cups walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked white beans (make sure they’re soft and not crunchy), such as cannellini or Great Northern, drained and rinsed if canned (cold or at room temperature)
  • 6 eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla liquid stevia or plain stevia and add an extra ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil, plus extra for greasing pan
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 12 x 9 or 13 x 9 baking dish with coconut oil or butter.
  2. To make the topping, place the walnuts, coconut oil or butter, sugar and cinnamon in the food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until combined and the texture resembles a crumb topping. Remove from food processor and set aside.
  3. In the same food processor (no need to clean it) place the beans, eggs, stevia, vanilla coconut oil and honey and puree until smooth.
  4. Then add the coconut flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder to the white bean mixture and process until smooth.   Pour into the greased pan.
  5. Spread the topping over the top of the batter and use a fork to swirl into the batter, then pat down to set.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool before serving.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator where it will stay good for up to a week.

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  1. Carol Jambura says

    Looks lovely, Pamela! Thank you for making this available. The bane of any foodistas existence…. the “substitute” question.
    I have an egg, oat, flax allergic child, so I am curious about any kitchen testing you’ve done with egg substitutes. It’s got a lot of eggs in it, so I was hopeful you had a kitchen flop or success to share in that department. Will try using chia, as it’s my go-to egg sub these days, but it will be a lot of experimentation. So any tips would be appreciated.

    • Pamela says

      Haha! I’m used to the substitutes questions since I teach classes. I have tried most baking recipes egg-free with success with a flax-egg or chia, but not this one. As you observed, there are a lot of eggs in the cake. I haven’t had a lot of success substituting more than 4 eggs in a recipe. But I haven’t tried it here so who knows. One really interesting egg replacer that you can look into is collagen:
      Let me know if you give it a try.

  2. Cassie says

    Hi, Pamela. I’m wondering if I can sub almond flour for the coconut flour, due to an allergy. I know I can replace the coconut oil with butter but I am not sure what to do about the flour! Any help would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • Pamela says

      I doubt you can replace the almond flour with coconut flour. Coconut flour is much heavier and needs more eggs. There’s probably a way to combine coconut flour with arrowroot or another starch, but I haven’t tried it. Sorry!

    • Pamela says

      Hi Vicky, I don’t do calories counts on my site, but there are so many websites where you plug in the ingredients and it will give you whatever you’re looking for.

  3. says

    I’ve made this cake three times now! We absolutely love it. The only problem I have is it just doesn’t last long enough :-) thank you for the amazing recipe

  4. heather says

    This file attached to print is not the recipe, it is more like notes. FYI Thank you for all you do for the health of our family!

    • Pamela says

      Mandy, I haven’t tried deviating from the recipe, so I can’t guarantee it will turn out well or not. If you were going to replace the stevia with more honey, you would need to bump up the honey to 1 cup. Please let me know if you try it. Thanks!


  1. […] My favorite brand of Stevia is made by Omica Organics.  It is completely unprocessed and unreconstituted leaving it with an aromatic sweetness without the bitterness that is often associated with Stevia Products.  The saccharin-like aftertaste is the most common criticism of stevia and every brand tastes different.  But I tried many and personally like Omica the best.  It is available on amazon at a great price (remember you only use a few drops at a time) and also at Moon Juice if you are local in Los Angeles.  I have not had great luck substituting Stevia for 100% of the sugar in baked goods like cookies and cakes, but I find it is a great addition to my smoothies and smoothie bowls, or could be substituted in recipes calling for small amount of honey or maple syrup.  There is one recipe on my site for a grain-free coffee cake that use part sweetener and you can check that out here. […]

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