Life Video

Better than before: Birthday cake that's as tricked out as they come, but has a ton of healthy twists

This chocolatey cake is made with black beans and owes its vivid icing hue to blackberries!

This chocolatey cake is made with black beans and owes its vivid icing hue to blackberries

This birthday cake will defy those who think cake has to be unhealthy or “bad” to be delicious, and will pass the test of a skeptics! With black beans as the secret ingredient, it's chocolatey, moist and has bright purple icing and real gold flecks. What more could you ask for?

Watch how it comes together here, and check out the recipe to make it for the next special birthday day ahead (hopefully yours)!

Black Bean Chocolate Birthday Cake with Blackberry Icing

3 years ago
This chocolatey cake is made with black beans and owes its vivid icing hue to blackberries! 1:47


  • Cooking spray
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • ¾ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 can (540 ml) black beans, drained and rinsed (black turtle beans preferred)
  • 1 cup light or regular sour cream
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

Blackberry Icing:

  • 2 oz fresh blackberries
  • ¾ tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 225g block cream cheese, room temperature


  • Fresh blackberries, some halved and some left whole
  • Large coconut flakes, toasted
  • Edible gold leaf, torn into flakes
  • Edible flowers


Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and a place a circle of parchment paper cut to size on the bottom of each. 

In a large bowl whisk together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, instant espresso powder and salt. Set aside.

To a blender add the black beans, sour cream, light brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and vegetable oil. Puree until smooth and thickened, and no lumps remain.

Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture, in 3 additions, until smooth and fully combined.  Make sure to scrape the blender clean. Transfer the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. The batter is quite thick so use a spatula to smooth and even it out. Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester poked into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes rest in pans for 10 minutes, then flip them out onto a cooling rack to cool for an additional 20 minutes or transfer them to the fridge. While the cakes cool, make the blackberry icing.  

For Blackberry Icing:

Add blackberries, water and lemon juice to a small bowl. Use a fork to mash blackberries and then pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup. The blackberries should yield 50 millilitres of juice. Sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl, then add the blackberry juice. Blend with a hand mixer until combined, then add cream cheese and continue to blend until the icing is smooth and no lumps remain. Chill in fridge for 20 minutes before assembling the cake.

To assemble:

Place one cake on a cake stand, add half of the icing on top and spread just past the edges — a bit of dripping is okay. Top with second cake layer and add remaining icing, spreading just over the edges again. Top with blackberries, toasted coconut, gold flakes and edible flowers.

Servings: Makes 6-8 servings


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