Simple Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I was sent home from the Napa conference at the Culinary Institute of America with a plethora of recipes. As I was paging through some materials from the Bean Institute and a couple of other bean associations, I came across this recipe – a chocolate cake based on chickpeas. I thought I’d give it a try because I have several friends with celiac disease who are always looking for simple and tasty gluten-free options.

A cake doesn’t get any easier than this one, that is of course if you’re not baking with a pre-made box or eating a store-bought cake :-) This recipe contains only 5 ingredients which makes it perfect if (a) you’re strapped for resources, such as baking in someone else’s kitchen or on vacation (b) you need to make a gluten-free dessert last minute (c) you’re tired and don’t want to have a lot of prep or clean-up mess.

What’s lovely about this cake, healthwise, is its got a higher protein and fiber profile and contains slower carbs. I will say that although this recipe is called chocolate cake it’s sort of a hybrid between a cake and brownie but delicious nonetheless. I didn’t use frosting but I recommend you do if you want a more heightened flavor. I sprinkled powdered sugar and orange zest on top so that’s another option. I hope you enjoy it!

Simple Flourless Chocolate Cake
Serves: 8-12
  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 flax eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring occasionally until chocolate is smooth (be careful not to cook it).
  2. Combine chickpeas and eggs in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add sugar and baking powder and blend.
  3. Pour in melted chocolate and blend until smooth. Transfer to cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
Optional: powdered sugar, frosting or fresh berries

Adapted from Julie Garden-Robinson, North Dakota State University Extension Service



  1. says

    I’m very very surprised by the simple ingredients…and chickpeas! In cake?! Very interesting and cool ingredient behind the cake! People will remember this cake just because of the unique and simple ingredients. I like how you added the orange zest.

  2. says

    I Love this Trish! I have used beans in brownies but not in a cake yet, and chicpeas are such a favorite of mine! Maybe next year I’ll make it to the CIA with you! In the meantime, I think I have a can of garbanzos waiting to merge with some chocolate!

  3. says

    This is the second recipe this week I’ve come across that calls for beans in a chocolate cake. Yours sounds delicious and your pictures are great.

  4. Colleen O'Keefe says

    wow!! so interesting and yet simple! I’ll have to give it a try. photos are also so beautiful. thanks for sharing.

  5. says

    Hubbaroo, Trish! I so want to make this. I didn’t realize it was gluten-free till I read your post. That’s awesomeness! This will definitely go in my arsenal of gluten-free recipes. I’m glad that you got your Hubby’s approval on this, too. It’s always great to get a recipe that’s been tried and deemed worthy to share with others :-)

    Thanks also for your kind words, Trish! June 10th’s the day! Then, I’ll be on the road to… however long that may take… oy. But, I look forward to wherever the journey may take me!


    PS–I’ve got a rad Asian chicken salad on my page now :-)

  6. says

    You must be kidding.Chocolate cake with chickpeas? Thats so creative.Am I missing something or is this the usual way to make flourless cakes?The orange zest makes it look so so beautiful.

  7. says

    making me crave for some chocolate cake now :) Very interesting and unique combination. Chick peas to make a sweet dish sounds amazing !

  8. says

    i LOVE flourless cakes. especially chocolate ones. and i’m excited for this one — with chickpeas. delish.

    love the dish its baked in too :)

  9. says

    Five ingredients, and one of them is chickpeas? You would never know, just looking at the cake. My, my, I need to try this!

  10. says

    Oh, wow. This is a much healthier take on the flourless cake I know how to make. I can’t wait to try this one. It earned your hubby’s stamp of approval? That’s a winner. :-)

  11. says

    Hi Trish,
    I came to your blog from Gina’s. I can’t believe their are chickpeas in the that cake . Looks gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. I’ll make this for my husban.and he’ll never know, that it’s good for him. SShhh! Dont’t tell him.

  12. says

    what a stellar cake! I love using chick peas in it, I need to show this recipe to my girls, eat healthy and have your chocolate too!

    glad to hear you had a good time at the conference!

  13. says

    What a great find! This cake looks delicious and I love the simplicity of it. I think the orange zest and powdered sugar on top sounds like the way to go. I love any combination of chocolate and orange!

  14. Juju @ says

    Wow! What a great recipe for chocolate cake! Hubby wouldn’t believe that this is made by chickpeas! I need to make this, pronto!! :)

  15. Juju @ says

    Wow! What a great recipe for chocolate cake! Hubby wouldn’t believe that this is made by chickpeas! I need to make this, pronto!! :)

  16. Sian says

    Will try this cake tomorrow. Always looking for ways for children to eat chickpeas and the likes.
    Really interesting ingredients

  17. Sian says

    Will try this cake tomorrow. Always looking for ways for children to eat chickpeas and the likes.
    Really interesting ingredients

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