White Bean Bundt Cake


white bean cake

 Five Things I would encourage you to do this weekend:

One:  Give yourself some time to DO and NOT DO.  Sleep in or take an after-pancake nap.  Then clean out a kitchen drawer… or tackle a bathroom shelf or two.  Do and Don’t… it’s all a balance, right?

Two:  Read something special.  I’m reading An Everlasting Meal.  It’s not a cookbook.  It’s not a memoir.  It’s a book about life and the kitchen.  It feels so different and so good.

Three:  Make the call.  Call you mother.  Call your uncle.  Call your neighbor.  There’s not enough time in the day, especially when things like Twitter and Pinterest exist.  I understand.  Listen… just ignore the stupid Facebook timeline thing that’s totally annoying, and pick up the phone to tell you’re Great Aunt Mary that you love her and you think she’s the most awesome old lady around.  Those things are important.  Facebook timeline is not… don’t let them trick you.

Four:  Buy a new lipstick.  I love how a new lip color changes how I feel about my wardrobe.  Girl talk!

Five:  Maybe you have to work all weekend.  I know… that’s real life.  Why not come home, order good Chinese food, sweep your apartment floor while you’re waiting for delivery, then quickly eat your take-out while you watch an old episode of The Walking Dead.  Eat somewhat quickly… before the zombie mess gets too gross.  Aaaannnddd… you just got a glimpse of how I really live.

white bean cake

Five things!  Enjoy them, or just totally ignore me.  Either way I’m glad you’re here.

Oh!  I made a cake with beans in it!  I have a mad fascination with sneaking beans into things.  Black Bean Brownies!  Major.  A new favorite for life.

I also have a huge fascination with big, chunky, flaked coconut.  I’ve made doughnuts, and I’m downright obsessed with this kale and coconut concoction.  I’m just really into this coconut.  This sneaky bean cake is just the latest victim of coconut sprinkling.  Get into it!

white bean cake

Start by fluffing up dry ingredients.  I use a fork.  Just whip and fluff.  Get some air in that business.


We’re going to fold this flour into a creamed mixture of white cannellini beans, butter, and eggs.

white bean cake

Does this look like it has a whole can of beans in it?  Totally not.. right?

Sneaky moves.  All sneaks.

white bean cake

This recipe is adapted from a Martha Stewart Everyday Food creation.  Using beans in this recipe allow us to cut down on the butter while adding moisture, structure, and protein.  The cake doesn’t taste like beans.  It tastes like cake!

white bean cake

Golden and delightful.

I love a bundt!

white bean cake

I thought a whipped meringue frosting would be a sweet compliment to this cake.  It feels like Spring!

white bean cake

A good slathering of this light frosting acts like glue… shredded coconut glue!

white bean cake

This looks like success!

You can tell people your bean secret or keep it to yourself.  No one will tap you on the shoulder and say… wait, does this cake have cannellini beans in it.  They just won’t.  I promise.

white bean cake

I just need to tell you this one thing.

My cat is obsessed with this bowl.  He’s always sitting in it.

He’s a big boy.  He totally doesn’t fit.

white bean cake

White Bean Bundt Cake with Fluffy Meringue Frosting

This cake is a sweet and dense.  It’s no joke.  The cake itself is a great base.  I added vanilla and almond extract to mine, but you might consider also adding, blueberries (fresh or frozen), orange zest, diced pineapple, dried cherries, or chocolate chunks.  Just think of all the ways you could dress up this beauty.

I coated this cake in a sweet meringue frosting, but the cake would also be lovely with a Chocolate Buttercream, or a thick berry glaze.  There is really no limit to your options with this base cake.

In baking, just be sure not to over-bake this darling, as it is dense and may dry quickly.  Happy Baking!

Makes one bundt cake

adapted from Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2012

Print this Recipe!

For the Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 large egg whites

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)

For the Meringue Frosting:

2 large egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar

pinch of salt

pinch of cream of tartar

1/2 cup toasted coconut

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

Add beans to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment.  Whip until beans are almost to a smooth puree.  It’s ok if there are some beans that are not completely pureed.  They’ll be well incorporated once they are beaten with the butter and sugar.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter, sugar, and bean puree.  Beat on medium speed until butter and beans are well incorporated, about 3-5 minutes.  Beans will break down and create a slightly soupy mixture.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute between each addition.  Beat in vanilla and almond (if using).

Slow the mixer to low speed and add half of the dry ingredients.  Beat until almost completely incorporated, but several white streaks remain.  Add all of the buttermilk.  Beat until incorporated.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.  Stop the mixer and remove the bowl.  Use a spatula to fold together and make sure all of the wet and dry ingredients are completely incorporated.

Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake come out clean.  Try not to over-bake the cake, as it’s dense and can quickly suffer from dryness.

Remove the cake from the oven.  Allow to rest in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While cake cools, make the frosting.

Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.

In a medium, heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar.  Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until sugar has completely dissolved, about 4 minutes.  Mixture will be a foamy white and on it’s way to thickening.

Transfer the warmed egg mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until whites are thick and glossy, about 4 minutes.  Add vanilla extract and almond (if using).

Smooth frosting over cooled cake.  Top with toasted coconut.

Cake will last, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

177 thoughts on “White Bean Bundt Cake

  1. This cake is so pretty and it does look like spring. I’m also reading “An Everlasting Meal” right now and the writing is beautiful–it makes you want to do all kinds of things, like boil eggs, chickens and roast vegetables. Really, it’s the verbal equivalent of the pictures of this cake, which make me want to put beans in everything.

  2. I wrote about two bean cake recipes I made, both from reputable sources, in my blog http://munchingsandmusings.blogspot.com/2011/02/first-foray-into-gluten-free.html. Will you try one of those two recipes and write about it here too? I need someone experienced to let me know if I messed up and should try again, or if those were just poor examples. (Could be because they were gluten-free – maybe the flour helps disguise some of the beanness?)
    P.S. I love your photos, especially of the meringue frosting. Wouldn’t a cannelini bean cake be delightful with a lemon-rosemary glaze?!

  3. If you say “The cake doesn’t taste like beans. It tastes like cake!” – I believe you because I tasted your marshmallowey frosting that you made at Todd & Diane’s and you clearly have awesome tastebuds :) so if you say it’s cake, it’s cake.

    I love beans, but just have never gotten into them…in desserts. But you have me so tempted to try, finally!

  4. I can get on board the protein in dessert wagon! There’s even a whole bag of big coconut in my pantry. Speaking of big, I remember your cat being itty bitty in that bowl. Amazed he hasn’t knocked it off the table yet!

  5. I have never heard of a bean cake before… This looks delish! I definitely need to do number three this weekend. Amazing how I find time to do a lot of Internet stuff and forget about simple things like calling family. NEED to do that more often and NEED to make this cake so I can brag about it to my mom. Good plan?

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