Chocolate Chickpea Cake

This cake is weird. Really unusual. Totally crazy. Okay, maybe I'm going a tad overboard, but it is definitely different. I saw this cake while I was on Serious Eats (it's pretty cool if you've never checked it out), and I knew I had to make it. It combines two of my favorite ingredients: chocolate and chickpeas (garbanzo beans). The garbanzo beans in the cake act as the binder so you don't need flour (this is great for people trying to avoid gluten). The cake itself does have a slightly grainy texture and is a little dense, but I throughly enjoyed it. I would be great served with breakfast.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Begin by greasing a 1 pound baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder into the baking dish and move the dish around to coat the butter. Tap out the excess cocoa. This helps so the cake doesn't stick to the dish. Set dish aside

Begin by melting 5 ounces of semisweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave. I microwave mine for about 20 seconds, mix, and then microwave again, repeating the process until the chocolate is melted. While this process takes a long time, it ensures that you don't burn the chocolate.

The original recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, but I prefer semisweet, so I subbed that in. If you prefer milk chocolate, I'm sure that would be fine, the cake will just be sweeter

The star of the cake, chickpeas or garbanzo beans are really healthy. They are low fat and loaded with fiber and "yummy-ness". The recipe calls for a 19 ounce can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained; however, at my grocery store, they only sell 15 ounce cans. I used one full can plus about 1/4 cup chickpeas from another can.

This recipe calls for a food processor to puree the chickpeas and mix all of the ingredients. Do you have a blender instead? That will also work, but it may not be as efficient as a food processor because of it's design. Either way, investing in at least one of them can save you loads of prep time (you can dice veggies in a flash) and can also give you a lot more food options in the kitchen (soups, pestos, etc.)

To the food processor add the chickpeas and four eggs.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and pulse the mixture until smooth, about 30 seconds to one minute

Next, add 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pulse mixture until combined

Finally, add the melted chocolate the food processor. Pulse until just combined.

If you're feeling dangerous, you can fold in some nuts or chocolate chips into the batter (about 1/2 cup). To do this, Use a spatula to gently add the mix-ins to the batter. This technique is used when folding something lighter (like egg whites) into something heavier (like a batter). You would want to use it here just so you don't over mix the cake batter.

Pour the mixture into your prepared baking dish

Flatten out the cake with a spatula. (FYI, your batter should be thick like this)

Bake for about 1 hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Take out of the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before devouring.

Chocolate Chickpea Cake (Courtesy of Serious Eats)


  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 5 ounces of chopped semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 1 can plus 1/4 cup of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, but totally worth it).
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Optional Mix-ins (about 1/2 cup)

  • Baking chips (chocolate, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Nuts (pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts)
  • Dried fruit


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a 1 pound baking dish with butter. Add the cocoa powder to the buttered baking dish, tapping it around to coat all of the sides. Tap out excess and set dish aside.
  3. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds, mix chocolate and microwave again. Repeat this process until the chocolate is melted. Set chocolate aside.
  4. In a food processor, add the chickpeas, eggs, and vanilla extract. Pulse until blended, about 30 second to one minute
  5. Next, add the sugar, baking powder, and salt, pulse until just combined.
  6. Finally add the melted chocolate and pulse food processor until just combined.
  7. If you are adding any mix-ins, fold them into the batter
  8. Pour batter into prepared baking dish
  9. Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  10. Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes and enjoy!