hugh fearnley-whittingstall chocolate and red kidney bean cake

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall chocolate and red kidney bean cake recipe – a healthy and tasty cake recipe I turned vegan! 

the vegan herselfAnd she was still here!

The vegan, I mean. So far, so good. No accidental egg, sneaky cheese or suspicious milk products, to the best of my knowledge. I had a lot of making up to do, since I totally didn’t remember she was a vegan for our wedding breakfast. *sorry* So after kofte last night, came… pudding (I’m Northern. I mean dessert, just in case anyone is confused).

hugh fearnley-whittingstall chocolate and red kidney bean cake recipe

I mean, it’s definitely less difficult to not put animal products in sweets, but the idea of making a cake without egg or butter worried me slightly – just because it’s the “norm” and I hadn’t done it before. I found a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall chocolate and red kidney bean cake recipe that I’d wanted to try out for ages, a recipe for a “healthy” cake…and it’s actually the bomb! It was a chocolate cake with red kidney beans, and I figured it’d work as a vegan cake too. Just a matter of removing the egg. I figure the red kidney beans are a great hit of protein too, and in cakey form!

This is before Lent had begun, so I made half of the recipe to his spec (i.e. with egg, for us then-non-vegans), and 1/2 with no egg. It went well! I’m annoyed I didn’t make it fully vegan to be honest, but I suppose I wasn’t quite prepared for Lent yet, and had some more vegan reading to do.

The Vegan’s half (well, small half) of the mixture made 3 cupcakes (1 for now, 2 to take on the train with her on the way home). I thought this was a great idea and strong bit of planning. She scoffed down all three in the space of ten minutes. Nevermind. I think that hints at how successful the recipe was…


here enjoyed with some distinctly un-vegan creme fraiche – but this recipe is lovely and moist with no topping at all. Coconut cream would be lovely!

Vegan, healthy chocolate and red kidney bean cake recipe inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe

  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 400g can red kidney beans, drained and well rinsed
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 75ml coconut oil (or another odourless oil like sunflower)
  • 100g (rice) flour (I used normal plain white and it turned out top notch)
  • 3 large eggs (VEGAN – crush 1tbsp of chia seeds in your pestle and mortar, or use chia powder, and add enough water to just cover the powder. Set aside for minimum 10 minutes for it so soak up)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4.
  • Lightly oil a 20cm cake tin (preferably springform, otherwise use greaseproof paper) and line the base with greaseproof paper/baking parchment.
  • Blend the oil, beans, egg or egg substitute and vanilla essence in a blender.
  • Sieve together the cocoa, baking powder and sugar.
  • Pour the liquid mix into the dry mix and whisk until combined.
  • Pour the mixture into your cake tin evenly.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes – check it, and whisk it quickly out of the oven as soon as your skewer comes out clean. This is best slightly underdone, not overdone!

Here it is, with distinctly un-vegan creme fraiche…all squishy and fudgey! Yes please! Now that it’s lent and I’m eating vegan I wouldn’t go in for the creme fraiche of course.
imageI always make a few cupcake-sized versions of my cakes (bear in mind they’ll need probably half the time in the oven) because they’re perfect for your packed lunch. You know it makes sense…
imageHere’s the little vegan herself, and the Man.

We went for a snowy walk on Ilkley Moor, and warmed up afterwards with a spectacular (as usual) Marsala Dosa from ace Keralan restaurant, Tharavadu – an unmissable spot. Whatever we order is always injected with fresh spice and beautiful flavours, with fresh curry leaves and aromatic spices making you salivate as soon as you can say “marsala dosa”. Which is pretty quick…

Find Tharavadu blinking at you sleepily on Mill Hill, next to its cool brother Bundobust. It’d be a crime to miss it, really it would. If you ever can’t be bothered to cook when you have a guest up, (especially a veggie), take them here. They won’t complain.

If you haven’t visited yet, you should – it’s not a veggie restaurant but obviously has lots of veggie options, and for us meat eaters (non-lent time of course!), go for their Kozhi Dosa – the tastiest chicken curry ever wrapped in a frail and fragile masala dosa wizard’s hat. Seriously. Tasty.


2 thoughts on “hugh fearnley-whittingstall chocolate and red kidney bean cake

  1. Pingback: Vegan friendly restaurants in Leeds - Hansa's - The Edible Woman

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