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

14
Original recipe yields 14 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan.

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  • Cream butter or margarine and sugar together. Add the beaten egg and mix well. Stir in the mashed cooked beans and the vanilla.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

226 calories; 4.4 g protein; 39 g carbohydrates; 22 mg cholesterol; 203.3 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (35)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/19/2007
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. Read More
(39)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
08/23/2010
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. Read More
(21)
38 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 23
  • 4 star values: 9
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
12/19/2007
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. Read More
(39)
Rating: 4 stars
04/10/2007
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. Read More
(32)
Rating: 5 stars
07/30/2008
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. Read More
(23)
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Rating: 3 stars
08/23/2010
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. Read More
(21)
Rating: 5 stars
10/09/2008
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. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
11/11/2002
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! Read More
(11)
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Rating: 5 stars
02/16/2010
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. Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
05/23/2011
I made this for the men at the group home I work at used beans I made from scratch (they get loads and loads of dry beans donated to them). I subbed 1 cup applesauce for the 2c apples and it turned out fine. This is a good recipe to use up those surplus beans and cans of applesauce that people on WIC or food donations end up with. BTW 2lb dried beans=4 batches of this cake. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2009
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! Read More
(9)