Alana went to make a Nanaimo bar cake the other day and came across this intriguing healthy cake recipe; it is a gluten free, lentil based Nanaimo cake. Lentils!!! I am no stranger to lentils, and actually quite enjoy them, but I’d be lying if I said they tasted like anything but health. Cake is supposed to taste like the opposite of health, so this recipe both confused and intrigued me. I had some leftover icing from my Valentine’s Day cake, so I thought I’d try these out in a less ambitious cupcake form.
Topped with raspberry Lindor truffles!
CHOCOLATE LENTIL CUPCAKES (makes 12 standard size)
- ½ cup split red lentils (uncooked)
- 1 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 85g melted butter, unsalted
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup cocoa
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¾ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Cook the lentils and water in a medium sized pot until water is fully used and lentils are well cooked.*
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Puree the lentils in a food processor.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla and puree.**
- Add sugars, cocoa, baking soda, baking power, and salt. Puree until smooth.
- Fill liners 2/3 – ¾ full – I used a measuring cup to pour the batter since it was very runny – and bake for ~15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
*I imagine there are many efficient ways to cook lentils, and the way I did it was most assuredly not one of them. Just look it up if you aren’t sure how.
**The original recipe called for 40 mL of milk as well, but I felt that the batter was already quite runny and didn’t need more liquid.
The cooked lentils should look vaguely like this.
Ignore my cluttered table.
Overall, I was pretty happy with this recipe. They weren’t the best cupcakes I’ve ever had, but they’re also made of lentils… They weren’t very sweet compared to some other cupcakes, which you might consider a good thing. In fact, I would say there were almost bordering slightly bitter, but not quite? They were just very richly chocolatey, so I think they would need to be paired with a somewhat sweeter icing. They worked very well with the raspberry icing, but I would stick with some sort of sweet buttercream.
With that said, they weren’t the most aesthetically pleasing cupcakes. They kind of bubbled in the oven and made little craters as they baked. They also lacked some structural integrity (which does make them melt in your mouth). I would definitely make these again, but I would probably play around with the recipe.
Not the prettiest cupcakes…
I would probably reduce the amount of baking powder since the top is pretty cracked, the batter over-bubbled, and the taste is almost bitter. I would also add another egg or some applesauce to help act as a binder. In its current state, I don’t think a cake from this recipe would hold together very well.