Borlotti Bean Brownie Cake – for the LOVE of beans!

Chocolate Borlotti Bean Brownie Cake - pressure cooker recipe

This chocolate dessert is made almost completely out of beans – the pressure cooker cooks the beans and then steams their batter to transform them into a cake.

The cake holds together quite well, and the slices look cakey, when you eat them they feel fudgy and taste totally chocolaty!

pressure cooked beans are.. fantastic!
I have confessed more than once here, that the pressure cooker has gotten me to re-consider beans.  That’s an understatement, who am I kidding?!?! I LOVE legumes now. My family eats tome at least twice a week, sometimes more. Pressure cooked beans are creamy, not pasty, and each bean has it’s own personality that is just waiting to be exalted in a sweet or savory preparation. Soaking, or quick-soaking, and rinsing the beans frequently during the process keeps everyone in our household from getting stomach cramps and intestinal gas.

bean brownie evolution
When the black bean brownie fad hit Pinterest last summer I was intrigued.  It seemed that everyone was making and photographing them.  Why not make them in the pressure cooker?  Oh yea… they didn’t taste that great.  bean_brownie_cake_slice_flowers_vI started to tweak a recipe that looked decent by first adapting it to the pressure cooker and then adjusting the quantities.  I changed the ingredients to with my favorite substitutions honey for sugar and olive oil for butter, too.

I tried making  bean brownies with other legumes, too.  Chickpeas were a little too strong but Borlotti (aka Pinto’s) were fantastic. I also tried to flavor the chocolate.  Vanilla, either cooked with the beans or added in the “baking” phase totally disappeared.  Citrus zest, like lemon and orange, seemed like a natural match but they both tasted kind of blah – they just don’t diffuse as well in bean-based cake. Almond oil concentrate kept it’s flavor and inspired the garnish.

I’ve made this cake  in an aluminum tube pan, shallow heat-proof dish and silicone cup-cake  molds, too.  Yesterday, I found a cute little heart-shaped silicone mold at my local housewares store that, with a little trimming around the edges, fits perfectly in my pressure cooker’s the steamer basket!!

I’ve been working on this recipe for six months!

guess the secret ingredient
I have brought versions of this cake to the houses of many friends – asking them to guess the secret ingredient.  None of them could but were delighted to find out that this cake DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY FLOUR – it’s just beans!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
6 L or larger steamer basket, heat-proof bowl(s) 10+20 min. High(2) Natural+Normal

5.0 from 1 reviews
Aldmond Chocolate Borlotti Bean Cake - pressure cooker recipe
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Serving size: ⅛th
  • Calories: 163.4
  • TOTAL Fat: 7.8g
  • Saturated fat: 1.2g
  • Unsaturated fat: .08g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 24.4g
  • Sugar Carbs: 16.1g
  • Sodium: 187.7mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 3.9g
  • Protein: 4.4g
  • Cholesterol: 53.8mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
For Beans:
  • 1 cup dried Borlotti beans, soaked overnight
  • 4 cups water
For Cake:
  • ½ cup bitter cocoa powder
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 pinches (1/8 tsp) sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
For Garnish (optional):
  • ¼ cup sliced or slivered almonds
Prepare Beans
  1. To the pressure cooker, add the soaked rinsed and strained beans and water.
  2. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
    Electric pressure cookers: Cook for 12 minutes at high pressure.
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 10 minutes pressure cooking time.
  3. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Natural pressure release.
    Electric pressure cookers: Disengage the “keep warm” mode, or unplug the cooker, and open the lid when the pressure indicator/lid-lock has gone down (about 20 to 30 minutes).
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Move the cooker off the burner and wait for the pressure to come down on its own (about 10 minutes).
prepare cake
  1. Strain the beans (reserving the cooking liquid for stock) and place into a food processor and blend to almost a puree. Then wait for the beans to cool for about 10 more minutes.
  2. In the meantime, rinse out the pressure cooker and add one cup of water and steamer basket, and set aside.
  3. Lightly coat a 4-cup capacity heat-proof bowl with olive oil, and an optional sprinkle of cocoa powder (this can get messy), and set aside.
  4. Into the processor add the cocoa powder, honey, almond extract, olive oil, eggs and salt.
  5. Puree the contents of the processor at high speed until well combined, then add the baking powder and process for about a minute.
  6. Using a spatula plop the contents of the processor into the heat-proof bowl.
  7. Lower the un-covered heat-proof bowl onto the steamer basket.
  8. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
    Electric pressure cookers: Cook for 20 minutes at high pressure.
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 20 minutes pressure cooking time.
  9. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure.
  10. Remove the cake and let cool for about 5 minutes before unmolding the cake onto serving dish. Let the cake cool uncovered another 10 minutes.
  1. Sprinkle the cake with sliced almonds. Serve warm or chilled.


Chocolate Borlotti Bean Brownie Cake - pressure cooker recipeBorlotti Bean Brownie Cake - pressure cooker recipe