Be my Valentine Flourless Chocolate Cake

by Cynthia


I am excited and honored to be writing this as a guest post for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). It is a recipe for the Minnesota Red Riders riding in the 2012 ADA Tour de Cure bike ride! Welcome and GO RED RIDERS!!! Woohoo!! This will be my second year as a Red Rider and I have lived with Type 1 Diabetes for 24 years. When brainstorming recipes to include in our first Red Rider Reader, I knew right away this was the one!

It is one of my favorite dessert recipes and quickly became well-loved by family and friends. I have served it at family gatherings and events as elegant as a bridal luncheon — where my husband’s Aunt Loene once proclaimed, “This is the best flourless chocolate cake I have ever eaten!”

I originally saw this recipe in a Celiac e-newsletter. I have made several changes throughout the years to infuse a little more health into it. One of my favorite things about this flourless chocolate cake recipe is that it is not only delicious and super easy to prepare — it is also consists of healthy ingredients. This makes it an ideal dessert for anyone living with diabetes trying to manage their blood sugars well.

Loaded with fiber and protein, the secret ingredient comes as a real shock to those eating it. Can you guess what it is??

Black beans! Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, black beans health benefits are far reaching: digestive tract, cardiovascular and nervous system health, cancer prevention and most importantly for those of us living with diabetes — blood sugar balance and regulation. Once pureed into the cake batter, no one will ever guess they are an ingredient in this yummy cake!

I have altered the recipe to be made with coconut oil for it’s health benefits, reduced the sugar (see this post for reasons why) and substituted raw cacao powder, a superfood with it’s own list of nutritional benefits. The 3 eggs included add protein and other health beneficial nutrients as well!

This Valentine’s Day, what better way to show love and care for yourself and the ones you love than with this easy to prepare, delicious and nutritionally packed dessert!

Note: Canola oil and regular cocoa powder can be used successfully in this recipe. I prefer the ingredients stated below for their greater nutritional impact.

Be my Valentine Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup organic cold-pressed coconut oil (If your coconut oil is hard, melt in a saucepan on stove until it turns into a liquid. Let it cool slightly before adding it to other ingredients)
  • 1 – 15 ounce can black beans (Eden Organic canned beans are BPA free)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup white sugar 
  • 3 eggs (organic free-range if possible)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (for a more decadent dessert – not included in nutrition facts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour black beans into a strainer — rinse and drain well. Put all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix with an immersion blender or in a food processor and process until smooth – there should be no remnants or pieces of beans visible. Lightly oil cake pan (I use coconut oil cooking spray). Pour batter into the pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes. The bake time will vary based on your oven. Watch closely. A toothpick inserted into center of cake and removed without any chocolate batter ensures it is done. Cool, cut and serve.

To reduce sugar and carbohydrate content further: substitute 1/2 cup brown or palm  sugar with 1/4 teaspoon (about 25 drops) Stevia. Prepared this way, the cake does not rise as high and is less dense but still tastes delicious — with even less impact on blood sugar. Every other ingredient used is the same — except the white sugar being removed from the recipe. (Restated as lower sugar version: use 1/2 cup brown or palm sugar and 1/4 teaspoon stevia in lieu of white sugar). EDITOR’S NOTE: The cake is a little dry (the following day) prepared with low sugar. I will be experimenting and make note of any changes made that help resolve this.

Feel free to experiment with amounts of sugar vs. stevia to find the right balance for you. 2/3 cups sugar with a similar amount of stevia (1/4 tsp.) might work very well. There are many other combinations of alternative sweeteners that could be successful too. Alternate ideas: Use solely brown sugar or coconut palm sugar in cake: 3/4 – 1 cup based on your preference. Substitute an equal amount of palm sugar for white sugar. Please leave a comment sharing what success you have experimenting with varying amounts and kinds of sweeteners.

For a fancy presentation (either before or after cutting cake) sift powdered sugar (I use this brand that is also corn free) over top of cake and garnish with fresh raspberries. If fresh raspberries are not available you may top cake with raspberry jam. I like this organic raspberry fruit spread.

~Special thanks to Ginner Ruddy (Co-chair of MN Red Rider Tour de Cure subcommittee & mother of Mari Ruddy, founder of the Red Rider Program) for lending me her “heart shaped pan” to make the beautiful cake seen in photos above. Thanks Ginner!



[Based on 8 slices of cake prepared in 9 inch round cake pan. To reduce nutritional profile per slice – cut smaller sized pieces]

For full sugar recipe (1/2 cup brown sugar + 1/2 cup white sugar) 1 slice of cake 41.4 grams carbohydrate, 12.9 grams fat, 6.5 grams protein, 4.2 grams fiber EDITOR’S NOTE: FOR CAKE CUT INTO 12 SLICES – EACH SLICE : 27.6 grams carbohydrate, 8.6 grams fat, 4.3 grams protein, 2.8 grams fiber

For reduced sugar recipe (1/2 cup brown sugar + 1/4 tsp. stevia) 1 slice of cake: 29.4 grams carbohydrate, 12.9 grams fat, 6.5 grams protein, 4.2 grams fiber EDITOR’S NOTE: FOR CAKE CUT INTO 12 SLICES – EACH SLICE: 19.6 grams carbohydrate 8.6 grams fat, 4.3 grams protein, 2.8 grams fiber

NOTE: Nutritional information does not include garnish of powdered sugar or fresh raspberries.


Blessings, light and love,


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Leonard Auter January 25, 2012 - 8:47 pm

wow that looks beautiful and sounds yummy, i like the raspberries!

Cynthia January 25, 2012 - 8:54 pm

Thanks Leonard! It is so easy to make — I hope you might explore trying to make it sometime. If you do – let me know how it turns out! I love raspberries too!

Lynnette Dobberpuhl February 3, 2012 - 9:00 pm

Wow! This looks great! I have a friend with Celiac disease, whose son is diabetic. I am telling her about this post. This might be a treat her whole family can share, and it looks good enough for my own family, even though we are not challenged on what we can eat. Thanks for the great recipe and photos!

Cynthia February 11, 2012 - 7:23 am

Lynette, this is a great cake that I know everyone will love — diet restrictions or not. I did mention in the article, but please let your friend know she can further decrease the sugar, take out the white sugar and use palm sugar or other lower glycemic sugars to help suit their needs. I kept this recipe with white and brown sugar as it is what most people have in their kitchens! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Scott K. Johnson February 6, 2012 - 10:54 pm

I had the pleasure of tasting a piece of this tonight, and it was fabulous! Thank you Cynthia!

Cynthia February 11, 2012 - 7:12 am

Scott, I am so glad you were at the meeting tonight and truly happy you enjoyed the cake! Thanks for sharing with a comment!

Melissa February 15, 2012 - 12:09 pm

It’s in the oven!! Thank you for sharing.

Cynthia February 15, 2012 - 12:26 pm

Melissa, Yay! So good to hear – I am excited you are making it!! Thanks for letting me know! Please let me know how it turns out and what you think! Happy Valentine’s Day!!

D-Friendly Hot Chocolate // Diabetes Light December 5, 2012 - 3:41 pm

[…] Be my Valentine Flourless Chocolate Cake […]

Flourless Chocolate Cake: Valentine’s Day Recipe | February 14, 2013 - 11:30 am

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