Made with chickpeas as the ‘secret’ ingredient, this Cinnamon Apple Chickpea Cake is fudgy, delicious and healthy at the same time! It’s the perfect high protein and dairy-free dessert to enjoy with a cup of tea.
I hope you can sense my excitement through this post, because today we’re making cake. And not just any cake – a cinnamon apple chickpea cake.
It’s three amazing things in one: cinnamon, apples, and cake. Actually, four amazing things, because chickpeas are pretty incredible too.
A fun fact is that I always struggle with naming my recipes. I didn’t know whether to call this a cake or a pie, and went with the former because it doesn’t have a crust.
But I don’t know, apples are typically used in pies and you don’t hear "apple cake" all too often. And I don't think I've ever heard of a "chickpea cake". But let's go with it.
And while you're here, don't forget to grab a copy of my free vegan cheat sheet. It's packed with all my favorite substitutions to vegan-ize any recipe!
Anyway, regardless of the name, the result is absolutely phenomenal. Fudgy, moist, the sort of thing you can eat all by yourself as a meal. I won't tell. 😉
It has just the right level of sweetness and a wonderful soft texture thanks to the chickpeas and the peanut butter.
Plus, there’s just something so cozy about baking with apples in fall. Apples and pumpkin - the two things that make me less sad about short days, colder weather and the end of summer fruit that doesn’t cost the equivalent of my weekly grocery budget per pound.
Oh, and this cake just happens to be completely vegan too!
Baking with Chickpeas
If you’ve never baked with beans of any kind before, fear not. I swear this vegan apple cake doesn’t taste like hummus. And as much as we all love hummus, we don’t want our sweet treats tasting like it.
Chickpeas in themselves are pretty neutral in taste. The key is using the right ratio of other ingredients to sweeten them up and create a fudgy, cake-like texture.
Baking with beans (that sounds so catchy it should be a TV show) is cool for many reasons. They’re great for adding softness to treats like chocolate cookies, brownies, blondies, or even cookie sandwiches.
Plus, they naturally make the treat higher in healthy protein - without your kids ever knowing. I’m a huge believer in creating recipes that are good for both the body and the soul, and this is certainly one of them.
How to Make a Chickpea Cake
As I mentioned, you definitely don’t have to be a gifted baker to make this chickpea cake. I’m certainly not – savory recipes are much further into my comfort zone.
Here is a quick summary of the instructions. Scroll down for the detailed, printable recipe card.
Simply start by adding the all of the ingredients to a food processor. Don’t worry too much about the order, but I’d recommend starting with the chickpeas and dry ingredients followed by the wet. Blend for 1-2 minutes, until a soft mixture forms (almost like a dense hummus lol).
Then, pour the batter into a lightly greased shallow cake pan. Add a chopped apple on top, and a handful of cashew nuts, if you want. Then, bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 45-50 minutes. The cake should be golden and crispy around the edges, with still a bit of softness in the center.
Allow the chickpea cake to cool for 15-20 minutes. Then, it’s ready to serve with fresh fruit or berries and a drizzle of nut butter.
Keep it in the fridge (covered) for 3-4 days and enjoy the chickpea cake either as a dessert or snack.
Add Protein to the Cake
To take the protein content of this cake even further (and also add extra flavor), I added a scoop of protein powder.
The one I used in this recipe is Vega Protein Powder in Caramel Toffee. It’s my favorite from the ones I’ve tried, and doesn’t have a weird aftertaste.
You can use your own favorite brand. I recommend using a protein powder that’s either a neutral or vanilla flavored so that it doesn’t interfere too much with the other ingredients.
Tips & Tricks
If you want to leave out the protein powder, use 2 extra tablespoons of coconut flour.
Add any nuts, seeds or berries of your choice into the batter – chocolate chips would work brilliantly too! I love sprinkling in some goji berries for an extra superfood boost.
For a chocolate chickpea cake, use either chocolate protein powder or 2 tablespoons of extra cacao powder.
If you’re leaving out the protein powder or using a neutral-tasting one, use ½ a banana in place of the flax egg for extra sweetness.
Use any nut or seed butter of your choice (either crunchy or smooth).
More Recipes to Try
If you love this Cinnamon Apple Chickpea Cake, be sure to check out these other delicious recipes:
Cinnamon Apple Chickpea Cake
- 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 scoop protein powder*
- ¼ cup coconut flour + 3 tbsp
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup peanut butter or any other nut or seed butter of your choice
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 large apple chopped
- chopped cashew nuts to decorate, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Add the cooked chickpeas, protein powder, coconut flour, cacao powder, cinnamon, baking powder, peanut butter, maple syrup and almond milk to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer the batter to a shallow cake tin. Decorate the top with apple slices and chopped cashew nuts, and bake for 45 minutes, until golden and crispy around the edges, but still slightly soft in the centre.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving with fresh berries and a drizzle of nut butter. Can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Love a one bowl mix & done batter. Texture was dense and fudgy. Filling with just one piece. I would omit the cocos next time and instead add vanilla extract