Chocolate Beet, Black Bean, Zucchini Cake with Coconut Cashew Cream Icing


Login: Kristin Meier
With Valentine’s Day and the kids’ birthdays right around the corner, it was time to bust out the cake pans and get baking.  I challenged myself to come up with a nutrient-rich, gluten-free, vegan cake that would satisfy even the toughest critics, my kids.  The results were gorgeous… smiles, thumbs up, and requests for seconds. 
Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 c brown rice flour (I ground my own in my VitaMix dry container)
1/2 c amaranth flour (also ground in VitaMix)
1/2 c almond flour (also ground in VitaMix)
1/4c ground flax seed  (also ground in VitaMix)
1/2 c garbanzo bean flour
1/2 c tapioca flour
1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2T cinnamon
2 t baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum (may substitute 1/4 cup ground chia seeds, add to the blender portion of recipe) 
Wet ingredients:
2 c boiling water
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup beets, roasted at 350 degrees for about an hour, peeled
1/2c black strap molasses
1/4 c agave
1/4 c maple syrup
Egg replacer equivalent of one egg
1/2 c virgin coconut oil
2T apple cider vinegar
2T vanilla extract
3 zucchinis, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pans. (I used a Bundt pan and cupcake pan for 12 medium sized cupcakes).  Add all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl and mix well.  Boil 2 cups of water, remove from heat, and soak dates for about 10 minutes.  

Add all wet ingredients, except zucchini, to a blender or VitaMix.  Blend until smooth.  Pour the wet ingredients, including grated zucchini, into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into greased pans. Baking time will vary. Bundt requires about an hour. Cupcake tray requires about 20 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center; when it comes out clean, it’s done.

Remove from oven and cool in pan for a few minutes before gently separating sides with butter knife and inverting onto a cooling rack. When cake is completely cooled, decorate as you wish.  

Serving suggestions: Top with cashew coconut cream frosting, peanut butter and vegan chocolate chips, dust with powdered sugar, or enjoy it naked (the cake, that is!). 

Inspiration: Gluten-free vegan sugar free cake

Coconut Cashew Cream Frosting with Beautiful Beet Coloring

This simple frosting is a healthier option to most sugar, fat, and dye-laden store-bought icings. Once you experience the beauty of beets, you’ll never need food coloring again!

The coconut milk and cashews give the frosting wonderful flavor and creamy texture, the flavoring combinations are delicious, and the beets add beautiful color to the frosting. Top the cake with Enjoy Life vegan chocolate chips and shredded coconut and you won’t have any leftovers!
1 cup cashews, soaked overnight in water
1-2 T beets*
1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled in refrigerator overnight
¼ cup agave nectar or maple syrup
2 t vanilla extract
1 t almond extract
1 t cinnamon (optional)
Place cashews and beets in a blender with enough cold water to cover.  Blend on high until smooth and creamy texture is achieved. Open the can of coconut milk without shaking or turning the can. Carefully spoon the top layer of opaque white “cream” into a mixing bowl. Add vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon, and agave. Whip the coconut “cream” with a hand mixer, starting on low and progressing to higher speed.  Add in the cashew and beet mixture and continue to whip until to desired consistency. 

A word about beets: These earthy root vegetables can be added raw or baked. If it’s the color you want, and not so much the flavor, dust it lightly with salt and/or sugar, bake for an hour on 350, cool and refrigerate. The juice will seep out and you can collect it for use. You can also grate the baked beet for softer flavor, or just use it raw. Experiment and let us know your favorite!

Inspiration: Whipped Coconut Cream from Coconut Milk

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Comments (2)

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  1. I would like to try this. It seems like it would take all day, though. How long did it take from start to finish?

  2. The cake didn’t take any longer most. You can save time by roasting the beets ahead of time, or using canned beets, grinding any of the flours, soaking the beans, grating the zucchini and soaking the dates, refrigerating the coconut milk and cashews ahead of time. Otherwise, it is just a matter of mixing dry and wet ingredients together and baking. It was totally worth the effort!!! Kristin

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