White Bean & Blood Orange Gluten & Grain Free Cake

Mar 5, 2012 | Food-Shui

Baking a cake with white beans is anything but ordinary.  Once you have soaked and cooked your white beans, this rich, moist, nearly custardy cake takes 3 minutes to prepare and is unforgettably good! Seasonal blood oranges give this white bean cake some brightness in both flavor and color to fashion plates that look like little watercolor vignettes… Food Shui at its finest! Lets get started!

Navy beans from Gourmet Sleuth

This food adventure begins with beans.  Navy beans.  “Navy” beans are actually little white beans.  They are inexpensive, have a neutral taste, great creamy texture and are loaded with hard-to-find iron to enhance your diet without adding meat.  Grab yourself a few cups of navy beans to prepare this, so that you will have a few cups later to toss on your salads, add to an omlette or throw in a soup.

To prepare the beans to be perfectly cooked and totally digestible: soak the beans in the refrigerator covered with water in a big bowl.  I leave them there for 24 hours then drain and rinse them several times.  So far, pretty easy, right? When you are ready to cook, toss the soaked and rinsed beans into a big pot covered with a few inches of water.  Cover and bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer, tilt the pot lid sightly open and let simmer for about an hour and a half.  Your navy beans should be very soft, the skin should be almost cracking open and they should be very creamy in texture.  Drain the beans and cool them off when they are done.  DO NOT ADD SALT to the pot yet.  You can salt the leftover beans.  For the cake, we will use 3 cups of cooled, plain beans.  You can season the rest with salt & pepper if you’d like and store them in the fridge.

Now its CAKE time!  I actually adapted this recipe from a recipe I found on my gluten-free and grain-free email list, and it is delicious.  Its a perfect breakfast, dessert or snack- satisfying, rich but still extremely healthy, high fiber, low-fat and grain-free!

White Bean Blood Orange Cake 

  • About 10 blood oranges (you can use regular oranges, meyer lemons or omit this completely! *** one orange rind will go into the cake batter and the rest I have on hand to squeeze on top of each slice & serve on the side with the cake!)
  • 3 c. white beans, cooked, unseasoned and cooled.
  • 9 tbsp. coconut oil (or olive oil, which works great!)
  • 1 c. + 2 tbsp. raw honey
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

All you need to do is put everything except the oranges in a big blender (if it won’t all fit, do it in batches!) Once its all blended up, add some grated orange peel from one orange and stir.  (Grate it on a cheese grater, or peel off just the colored part of one orange and dice it up as finely as you can!)

NOTE: While there oranges are optional, the citrus essential oil is uplifting and will be both fragrant and invigorating to eat as AROMATHERAPY!

To bake it more quickly, pour into two 9″ cake pans that are coated with olive oil, coconut oil or another oil. If you prefer a single, dense cake as I do, pour it into one 9″ deep pyrex pan or cake pan and bake at 300 degrees.  If you cook in two pans it should take about 45 minutes, if you do it in one, start checking after an hour but expect it to take about 1.5 hours until it is no longer “jiggly” and looks like a firm cake!

white bean blood orange cake

Cool well.  You can squeeze orange juice directly on top on the cake once its cooled and store it this way… or, to serve it with greater freshness, squeeze an orange on top of each slice you serve and add a few slices of orange to the plate.

Truly simple and so good!!! Enjoy! xoxo Dana


  1. Nina

    What do you do with the 10 oranges if you don’t put them in the blender? Do you extract the juice and put the juice in the blender?

    • danaclaudat

      One orange is used for the rind grated or diced up & stirred into the batter. The rest I have on hand to squeeze fresh on each slice and serve in slices on the side. Because blood oranges aren’t the easiest things to find daily, its always easier to grab a bunch so that you can really enjoy this fully. The cake rarely lasts more than 2 days in my house so, the more oranges I have on hand the better! I updated the recipe to make it very clear, thank you! & enjoy! xx Dana

      • Nina

        Thank you for clarifying!

  2. wangeci

    very interesting, using beans in a cake. will try this soon and put it on my blog with credits of course 🙂

  3. Ali

    Very yummy! Our family made a double batch of this yesterday.
    In one batch, we followed the recipe – except we used Lima beans And plain organic oranges – very nice, moist and great taste and texture. Didn’t need 10 oranges, only about 3.
    In the other batch, instead of orange I added 1.5 cups of frozen mixed high antioxidant berries, 1 cup of coconut flour, 1/2 lemon peel grated and 1 extra egg to hold it all together. We poured these into cupcake/muffin molds and baked for 20 mins. Slightly different texture and equally lovely taste – Beautiful!
    I might try some Goji berries next time. I think this recipe will be very adaptable.
    This is a great and nutritious treat and as we are all following the GAPS diet, one that we’ll use again and again.
    Thanks for sharing!!

    • danaclaudat

      OMG, I must try this with lima beans!!! Please let me know if the goji work out- I am loving the idea of superfood-studded bean cupcakes! 🙂


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