This crazy dessert has a secret — it’s a moist, yummy citrus spice cake made with chickpeas instead of flour! Even better, it passed the kid test with flying colors — they gobbled it right up and were utterly delighted when I told them they could each have a slice for breakfast. Little did they know they were eating servings of vegetables and fruit juice. Whether you’re actively trying to avoid flour due to a gluten intolerance or dietary concern — or you just enjoy making things a little healthier — this cake is a winner.
Why the heck would I make a cake out of chickpeas? It was an offshoot of a recent culinary consulting project and a great example of why I love my job. The food brands I work with often task me with exploring culinary territory I might not on my own. In this case, Bush’s Beans, a regular client for many years, asked me to photograph a couple of their recipes that use “aqua fava,” the liquid that is usually drained out of canned garbanzo beans. This liquid has properties similar to egg whites. It can be used as an egg-free (vegan) replacement in merengue, mouses and other applications that would typically call for egg whites. The merengue topping picture on this cake are made from aqua fava.
The Bush’s team asked me to photograph the merengue with with a spice cake. I’d planned on making a simple boxed spice cake, but didn’t see one at my supermarket. It occurred to me that I had two cans of drained garbanzo beans sitting in my fridge and decided to try making a cake with them. And it turned out so delicious!
The cake comes together easily in the food processor. Then just dump it into a well greased bunt pan. Be sure to allow the cake to cool completely and gently pull it away from the edges before removing the pan. Its a moist cake so treat it delicately.
While the cake is moist enough to eat on its own, its also great topped with whipped cream or some of that aqua fava merengue I mentioned (which you’ll have anyway after draining two cans of beans!)
Flourless Citrus Spice Cake Made with Chickpeas
Serves 10 – 12
2 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
5 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup orange juice
Powdered sugar for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Grease a 12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray and dust with flour (gluten free if desired).
- Process garbanzo beans in a food processor until smooth. A remaining ingredients and process until well combined and smooth. Pour mixture into bundt pan.
- Bake cake at 350 F until done, about 45 to 50 minutes. A toothpick inserted near the center of the cake should come out clean.
- Place pan on a rack and cool completely. Gently loosen edges of cake from pan before inverting onto a serving platter. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.