Gluten Free (and AWESOME) Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

So I’ve been seeing recipes for chocolate cakes with this specific gluten-free “secret” ingredient for a while and have been extremely curious. Girls’ night and Abbabee’s birthday prompted the need for a layer cake (plus my own itching to make one and get back in the kitchen – as you can see, I’ve been super busy and haven’t had much time to cook/post). When I found this recipe, I sent it around to a couple of the girls and we were all drooling at the prospect of such a rich cake at such low fat and caloric value (this of course excludes the frosting and ganache, but one serving of the cake plain is 106 calories and 4.8 grams of fat if you split it 17 ways).

What is this secret ingredient you ask? Black beans. Yup. Protein-y goodness. Ew, does it taste like black beans? Not at all! It tastes like delectable, horrible for you chocolate cake with a nice, dense texture. Still skeptical? Make it. The proof is in the gluten free chocolate peanut butter cake.

Read on for the recipe and photos…

Ingredients – Chocolate Cake

15.5 oz can reduced sodium black beans (drained and rinsed)
4 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp unsalted butter (or coconut oil should you prefer)
3/4 cup cane sugar (I used regular granulated sugar, but I imagine the cane sugar is delicious)
5 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda


QUICK DISCLAIMER: I was an idiot and added the rising agents (baking powder/soda) when I added the sugar. This meant that the rising agents were beaten to hell for about 20 minutes before baking, so my cake didn’t rise correctly. Thus the Oreo-like look of my un-frosted cake. It was still delicious but…I’d highly recommend adding them at the correct time.)

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 6″ cake pans (mine were 8″…another reason for the pancake look of my final cakes).
  • Blend the beans, 2 eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a food processor on high (OR: Mash the beans by hand then mix with a hand blender) until completely blended.
  • In a separate bowl, combine cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy (you’ll need it to be room temperature to do so).
  • Add remaining two eggs, beating after each addition.
  • Beat in the bean mixture.
  • Beat in the dry ingredients (slowly and carefully! I got cocoa powder on me). Beat 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Pour into prepared pans and bake on the middle shelf for 40 – 45 minutes (if you are using 8″ pans, reduce baking time to about 35 minutes).
  • Let the cakes cool in their pans for about 5 minutes then flip out onto cooling racks.
  • Allow to cool complete before frosting.

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup 60% cacao Ghirardelli chocolate chips

NOTE: The original recipe called for a full cup of each – even after saving some for between the layers and to pour on top, there was a LOT left over, so I’d reduce it to the above quantities.

  • Bring the cream to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Stir until melted.
  • Pour some into a small bowl and refrigerate for an hour (this will be your layer filling).
  • Pour the rest into a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature until you need it.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. 1/3 fat cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

NOTE: Again, this made a little too much. The girls and I continued to nibble away at it, but you might want to reduced the recipe to 3/4 this amount. You may need the full recipe should the cakes rise properly, I’m not sure.

  • Cream the cream cheese and peanut butter together.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and cream until thoroughly mixed.


  • Take your chilled ganache and whisk it until fluffy. Spread on top of one layer. Place the other layer on top.

  • Frost the entire cake with the peanut butter cream cheese frosting.

  • Pour the room temperature ganache on top and push with a spatula to create drips down the side.

  • Enjoy with your best friends. = )

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