Pinto Bean Cake Recipe -
Pinto Bean Cake Recipe

Pinto Bean Cake

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"Your cake-loving guests won't believe that pinto beans is the surprise ingredient in this recipe for spice cake decorated with candied cherries and pecans."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 -9 to 10 inch tube pan Change Servings


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan.
  2. Cream butter or margarine and sugar together. Add the beaten egg and mix well. Stir in the mashed cooked beans and the vanilla.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground allspice together. Add the chopped pecans, golden raisins, and the diced apples to the flour mixture. Stir to coat. Pour flour mixture into the creamed mixture and stir until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Dribble with a simple confectioner's sugar icing and garnish with candied cherries and pecan halves, if desired.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 19, 2007

Very, very good. A huge hit at a party -- almost everyone had a slice despite the abundance of other available dishes. No one could tell what the "special" ingredient was until many hints were made. I boiled pinto beans in just water until it had absorbed almost all the water and mashed roughly. I added dried pears to the mix and toasted walnuts. I replaced 1/4 cup of white flour with graham and used two egg whites instead of one. I made the glaze from a tablespoon of milk, a cup of powdered sugar, and some lemon and orange zest. I'm making another cake now, but, because I ran out of ingredients, am substituting a lot. We'll see how it goes -- I'm replacing 1/2 cup of white raisins with guava fruit rolls, half the flour with graham, and 1/4 of of the pinto beans with azuki (red) beans. I also added a bit of nutmeg and more cloves to the recipe. Note that standard toothpick test does *not* work on this recipe because of the beans. I initially undercooked the cake and discovered that when I started cutting in. Bake for the full time, even if the top starts to crack. I served the cake upside down -- the nice golden brown, even surface was easier to glaze and so pretty.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Aug 23, 2010

This was 'okay'. The cake was not dense at all (see notes below). My nut bread has a much denser texture. However, it doesn't raise noticeably in the baking so you end up with a bundt cake that is about 3" high. This tastes almost exactly like my apple cake though so not a recipe I'd add to my collection. For those who complained that the cake was a bit 'heavy', perhaps you used too many beans? The recipe calls for 2 cups pinto beans, mashed (meaning you measure the beans first, then mash them)...not 2 cups of mashed pinto beans. This will make a difference.


38 Ratings

Apr 10, 2007

This was the thickest cake batter I have ever seen. You can't pour it into the pan. You have to literally just take the spoon and dump it in. But, it turned out well. It's a cross between a spice cake and a fruitcake, both of which we like. It's not extremely sweet, so if your looking for a cake recipe that's not too sweet, this one should work for you. I will definitely make it again.

Jul 30, 2008

I was skeptical about a dessert using pinto beans, but since I had a huge pot of cooked beans, I decided to try this. It was great! I would definitely make this again. I used brown sugar instead of white, and liked it very much.

Oct 09, 2008

Great recipe, the only thing I highly recommend (I took the suggestion of another) is to puree the cooked beans in a blender or food processor. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

Nov 11, 2002

Like a spice cake - but be sure to use mashed or refried beans, not whole ones! Young children really get a kick out of it after they've eaten it and can brag!

Feb 16, 2010

Excellent flavor!! You wouldn't know there were beans in this if someone didn't tell you first. I followed the recipe with the exception of raisins. I used prunes that I cut up really small. The flavor is like a spice cake (this actually reminded me of the Romanian Apple Cake from AR) I made my beans from scratch in the crock pot, too. No salt, no nothing, just beans and water. Definite keeper! I'd love to tell people AFTER they ate it that they ate beans!! Thanks for this recipe.

Apr 07, 2009

To my amazement this is really good! Substituted brown for white sugar and did not have any appropriate nuts so I just left them out. Moist and very tasty-not even a little hint of bean smell or taste! My two teenage sons had a couple pieces and loved it, no idea there was anything "special" about it. They have been sworn to secrecy until DH has some!


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  • Calories
  • 226 kcal
  • 11%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 39 g
  • 13%
  • Cholesterol
  • 22 mg
  • 7%
  • Fat
  • 6.8 g
  • 10%
  • Fiber
  • 3.8 g
  • 15%
  • Protein
  • 4.4 g
  • 9%
  • Sodium
  • 203 mg
  • 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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