Marfigs' Munchies

Adventures in vegan eats and feats

Protein bonanza chocolate pear birthday cake


rosetopcake3Yesterday was my friend and former colleague Marmiet’s birthday! She’s sadly all the way in the Cape so I can’t help celebrate in person, but I figured the beauty of the internet is being able to share visual treats in lieu of the physical manifestation. The one is obviously superior to the other, but I just wanted Marmiet to know I was thinking of her, missing her company terribly, and that this is what she would’ve gotten if she were here!

A while back I used Man-thing as a sounding board for the idea of using beans in frosting instead of the typical fats and ingredients (as much as I love cashew frosting, it’s a bit heavy on the nuts, portion-wise). Turns out, I needn’t have bothered since Lauren had it all figured out anyhow! Still, I’m always glad when my harebrained ideas are actually not insane, and that the stuff that keeps me up at night is not only workable but delicious! We’re cannelini bean crazy in our house, simply because they’re a groovy source of protein, and are easily added to savoury and sweet delights alike. Whereas two or so years ago Man-thing was very affronted at this notion of beans in his baked goods, now he’s less than fussed as long as it’s tasty.

And that’s not asking too much, eh? What can be tastier than pear cake with a delicious vanilla frosting and some extra chocolate on top? I wanted a cake because birthdays are all about the big trimmings, but this recipe can easily be split into muffins with a reduced baking time.

The timing was also grand because my aunt and grandmother came over for a visit this morning, which is always a rare treat. I’m always very nervous when serving my goodies to the family (other Man-thing’s wonderful family, who are seasoned guinea pigs), but this cake is tasty, easy, and not at all unhealthy, methinks. 🙂


Ingredients: (serves 8):

  • 1 cup cannelini/white beans
  • 2 flax eggs (2 TBSP flax powder + 6 TBSP water, mixed and set aside)
  • 1 can pears, drained of syrup (chuck that stuff away! If you only have fresh pears, take two mediums, skin and steam them til soft)
  • 3 TBSP NuNaturals Simple Syrup/1/2 cup agave/maple syrup
  • 2 tsp NuNaturals liquid Vanilla drops
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil, melted slightly
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (check to make sure it’s GF)
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat to 180C and spray a round or square baking pan (8″)
  2. Blend wet ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients to bowl and mix well.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top and it bounces back when you poke at it lightly. My oven is wonky so keep an eye out from 35 mins onwards.
  5. Once cool spread your frosting over (I used about 3/4 of Lauren’s recipe, with an extra bit of vanilla pod seeds thrown in for delish, as well as lemon zest!).
  6. Place your cake in the freezer for 10 minutes whilst you make your chocolate.

Easy peasy chocolate:

  • 2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
  • 2 TBSP carob, sifted
  1. Melt your coconut oil in the microwave til it’s clear.
  2. Add your sifted carob powder and mix til smooth.
  3. Pour over the cake. I stored the cake in the freezer and took it out 1/2 an hour before my grandmother & aunt arrived, but you can also keep it in the fridge – then it will get nice and gooey 😀
  4. The cake is easier to cut if it comes out of the freezer, because then the chocolate doesn’t crack into a thousand bits.

slicedpearcakefront slicedpearcake

Family approved (or they’re really polite)! It’s a deliciously moist and tasty cake and is sweet in a very fresh, natural way. The different layers and the chocolate on top just tips this into fancy pants land. The bit of lemon zest in the white frosting just lightens up this whole deal so wonderfully – next time I’ll also add some lemon flavour drops on top of the zest, but for grandmothers I decided toned down is how it should be.

slicedpearcakefront3Anyway, this simple cake is a simple way of saying that Marmiet is a very special individual for whom I am very grateful, in no small part because she was always willing to test out my wacky creations and share ideas and mindsets. When you’re an introverted recluse there aren’t very many people in the world whose company isn’t draining (including my own!), but there was nothing better than going to work knowing Marmiet would be there.

rosetopcake2 rosetopcake

Hoping you had a wonderful day, Marmiet! 🙂

Author: Marfigs

Ahoy, I’m Margaux! History teacher and freelance editor; wench to my Man-thing; volunteer at a cat shelter; and handmaiden to our kitsy cats, Gatsby, Freyja and Atlas. This blog is dedicated to vegan food, occasionally overthrown by pictures of foster kittens and other fluffy creatures. I love sharing ideas and recipes, so don't be shy: stop by and say hi!

4 thoughts on “Protein bonanza chocolate pear birthday cake

  1. Pingback: Fig newton smoothie | marfigs' munchies

  2. Pingback: Sweet potato chocolate lemon cake | marfigs' munchies

  3. It is a cold and very wet weekend in the Cape. Marmiet is enjoying her virtual birthday cake with sadness of what will never be experienced… Marfiggs waiting with a smile and everything immaculately in place for our precious postgraduates. This post’s heartwarming words add additional decadent icing on a most appreciated birthday cake.


    • Dear Marmiet, Thank you for the wonderful response – much appreciated! Sooner than we know it there will be time to meet up again and then I can make some real-life goodies for you to munch whilst we catch up 🙂 ❤


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