Grain-free White Bean Coffee Cake Recipe

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

4.9 from 7 reviews
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.

Whipped Coconut Cream Recipe

whipped coconut cream | Pamela Salzman

This has not turned into a dessert blog, I promise.  I haven’t really kept track of what I was posting here and I just realized I have been a little out of balance lately.  I promise to post a few Mexican recipes next week in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo.  But since I posted a picture of this fluffy cloud of coconut cream last week on instagram, my cooking class students have been begging me to share how I made it.

Trader Joe's coconut cream

I love how popular coconut products have become.  I remember when I first started teaching cooking classes about 6 years ago, people were a little skeptical about using coconut oil, despite all the health benefits.  Now, these same ladies are rubbing on their faces at night and cooking their pancakes in it.   So awesome.

whipped coconut cream

Coconut whipped cream is something I’ve wanted to master for a while.  I’m sure you have realized by now I adore anything coconut, and I also don’t digest pasteurized cow dairy all that well.  So being able to enjoy a whipped cream made from coconut would be a GAME CHANGER for me.

whipped coconut cream

It seemed simple enough.  Chill a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight.  Scoop out the fat that firmed up at the top of the can, leaving any liquid behind.  Whip it like heavy cream until soft peaks form, adding sweetener if desired.  But unfortunately, not all coconut milks are alike and even within the same brand, not all coconut milks separate they way they need to, leaving me on more than one occasion with a puddle of coconut  milk .  I did some research and learned that sometimes stabilizers are added to help the coconut milk become more uniform and blended, which is exactly what you don’t want if you are trying to turn it into whipped cream.

whipped coconut cream

I actually gave up on this dream until I spotted a can of coconut cream at Trader Joe’s.  This is literally just the cream from the coconut milk.  Light bulb!  I brought the can home and stuck it in the refrigerator until the next day.  I chilled my mixing bowl and the whisk attachment, too.  Voila!  I was so delighted to open that can (BPA-free, mind you) and scoop out the hardened coconut cream.  Success!  With very little effort I was able to beat this into a light and fluffy whipped topping.  This is something to rejoice if you are dairy-free or vegan!

I do think this tastes very much like coconut, though.  So if you’re not a coconut fun, this recipe is not for you.  I love it with fresh or roasted berries, on pie, or as part of a banana split.  Really, anywhere you’d use regular whipped cream you can also use coconut whipped cream.  Let’s just not do a nose-dive into the bowl since it is still super high in fat and calories.  Enjoy!

whipped coconut cream

Whipped Coconut Cream
Serves: makes about 1½ cups of whipped cream
  • 1 can coconut cream (not coconut milk)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional sweetener to taste: 15 drops of stevia or 2-3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  1. Chill the can of coconut cream in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Chill the mixing bowl and beaters or whisk attachment to your mixer for about 20 minutes or longer.
  3. Turn can upside down and open the bottom. If there is any thin liquid (it should only be about a tablespoon or so), pour that out and save it for a smoothie. Scoop out all the hardened cream (it should be waxy, almost like Crisco) and place in the chilled mixing bowl. Start beating on high speed and add vanilla and sweetener if desired. Beat until soft peaks form, about a minute and a half. Serve immediately.
  4. If you have leftovers, cover and refrigerate and rebeat to make fluffy again.
I used Trader Joe's Coconut Cream, but Native Forest is also good and the cans are BPA-free.