When you take a bite of this cake, you might find it hard to believe that it started out as a can of beans! This nutritious, flourless confection is a great way to satisfy the craving for sweets, which are sometimes necessary to combat chemo fatigue. Since it’s made from beans and walnuts, this cake is packed with protein. It’s also low on refined sugar, getting its sweetness from dried apricots and a little honey.

Yield: 1 9-inch Cake

16 servings

30 minute prep

6 ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • ⅓ cup sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ⅓ cup dried apricots, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring-form pan.
  2. Put walnuts into a food processor and process until finely ground. Set aside. (see Chef Tips)
  3. In the same food processor, blend the beans until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add half of the sugar, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Gradually add in the puréed beans and honey. Then mix in the ground walnuts until well blended. With a spatula, gently fold in the dried apricot and egg whites in 3 batches. The batter should be a little streaky.
  6. Gently pour into the prepared spring-form pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake has shrunk from the edges and is well browned. The cake will be puffy when it comes out of the oven but will deflate as it cools. For more cake or dessert ideas see our Holiday Cookies and Cakes Slideshow.

Chef Tips

To stop the walnuts turning into a paste, process with 1 tablespoon of the sugar sprinkled over them.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 64; Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Carbohydrates: 12g; Sugar: 8g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 3g; Sodium: 15mg

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, videos, and more content are reviewed by our Registered Dietitian Kate Ueland, MS, RD, CSO, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society.

This recipe was originally published on Cook for Your Life. It is used by permission.

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