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Amazing lemon cannellini cake

Cannalini bean cake for web

I thought I would share this cake as it is made without flour, which some people are finding tricky to get hold of. Instead it uses something a lot of us have in the cupboard - a tin of white beans. If you don't have honey, you could use maple syrup. If you don't have ground almonds but you do have nuts you can grind them up in a blender until they are a flour-like consistency. This recipe does use eggs though - but I have an egg-free cake recipe coming up for you next week.

You can make the icing as suggested with tofu, but if you don't have it any icing (a little lemon juice and icing sugar) or no icing will do.

I make a candied lemon topping. It’s pretty easy, but if you don’t have the time or the inclination, a good grating of lemon zest will do. To make the candied lemon peel, peel the zest off a lemon, drop it into boiling water for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a pan and add a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup. Place over a high heat for a couple of minutes, until the peel becomes translucent. Transfer to a greaseproof-lined plate and don’t touch until it’s cool.

50 mins - 1 hr
Cannalini bean cake for web



  • 2 × 400g tins of cannellini beans
  • 150ml set honey
  • the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 free-range or organic eggs
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 100g melted coconut oil
  • a good pinch of sea salt


  • 200g silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • the juice and zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 2 tablespoons set honey
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Get all your ingredients together, and grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin. Drain the cannellini beans.

  2. In a food processor blitz the drained beans, honey and vanilla seeds until smooth, then add the eggs one by one, pulsing as you go. Tip the whole lot into a mixing bowl and gently fold in the ground almonds, baking powder, melted coconut oil and a pinch of salt. The batter may be a little looser than you’d expect from a cake batter, but don’t worry.

  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30–40 minutes. The cake is ready when it is golden brown on top, firm to the touch and a skewer comes out clean.

  4. For the icing, put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until very smooth and shiny, scraping down the sides from time to time if you need to. This will take about 3–4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and pop into the fridge to set while the cake is cooking and cooling.

  5. Once the cake has had its time, take it out of the oven, leave it to cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then cool completely on a rack.

  6. Once cool, top with the icing and either grate over more lemon zest or finish with the candied lemon (see the introduction).

Additional information

Tightly wrap in greaseproof paper and store in a cool dark place for up to 3 days

As featured in

Anna Jones a modern way to cook

A Modern Way to Cook

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