Thursday, March 1, 2012

cherry cake + how to make pureed beans from dry beans in under 10 minutes.

This year Benjamin wanted a cherry cake for his birthday.  I really had no idea how to go about making a cherry cake.  I looked up various recipes on but they mostly used a can of cherry pie filling or something and I had frozen cherries I wanted to use, so I didn't choose any of those.  I finally found this recipe on  I edited it to make it cherry and use frozen cherries not freeze dried.  I made a cherry cream cheese frosting to go on top.  The cake turned out a bit heavier than I expected, but still good - think more like a pound cake texture than a light and fluffy cake.  I loved the icing.  It was very good.  Really I was happy to make a cake that was pretty healthy -excluding the sugar of course.  :)
If making again, I'd probably just use white bean flour and worry less about the amount of cherries/liquid I was adding.  I could probably get away with adding more cherries if using bean flour.
Here is how I made it (hopefully I correctly remember my changes.  :)


  • 2 cups flour (I did use 1 3/4 white and 1/4 wheat)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder  
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white bean puree (see below for a quick way to make bean puree from dry beans, or puree canned white beans, or use butter)
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups frozen cherries, defrosted and pureed to make about 1 cup puree.
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and powdered milk.  
  3. Add bean puree, vanilla, eggs and cherries.  Beat until well mixed.
  4. Pour batter into 2 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.  Bake 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  (I was not a good timer here.  Forgot to set it at the beginning - sorry.)
  5. Cool and frost.
I made frosting using the following
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup cherries, defrosted, juice poured off, then pureed
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream all ingredients together in a bowl.

How to make bean puree from dried beans -This info comes from the book Country beans by Rita Bingham.

1 cup whole beans = about 1 1/8 cups bean flour
1 cup water + 1/2 cup bean flour = 1 cup "instant mashed beans"
2 cups water + 3/4 cups bean flour = 2 1/2 cups fluffy mashed beans

  1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil then whisk in 1 cup bean flour mixed with 1 cup cool water.  Cook and stir for 1 minute until mixture thickens.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook 4 minutes more stirring occasionally.  
  2. Use as oil replacement in recipes or even as refried beans - adding salt and spices of course.  
Of course you can just take a can of beans and puree them to get bean puree, but this isn't super time consuming or anything and it is a way to use dried beans.  (More on beans coming soon.)

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