Chocolate lentil cake

Flourless-Chocolate-Cake-r-1The first time I saw this cake recipe, I was intrigued. This chocolate cake is made with organic black beluga lentils, it has no butter, no oil, no flour and it’s very low in sugar. It’s one healthy piece cake!

I’ve made this cake three times. The first time I made it, my husband John wasn’t sure if he liked it or not. The second time I made it, John brought it to his office and his colleagues all loved it. Many came back for second or third helpings and several have asked for the recipe. They were impressed that a healthy snack could taste so good. The third time I made it, I added cinnamon to the ingredients and John, who is not a big fan of chocolate, said: “It’s not bad!”

The author of this cake is Catherine Katz, wife of world-renowned expert in nutrition and Director of disease prevention at Yale University, Dr. David Katz. I invite you to visit Catherine’s website at and discover some interesting recipes along with her passion for loving food that loves you back!

 Catherine’s chocolate cake

Author: Catherine Katz

Serves: 8


  • 1(15 ounces or 425 grams) can organic black lentils, well rinsed and drained*
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup (100 gm) sugar ( here, I use half fine white sugar and half fine light brown sugar cane to make ½ cup of sugar and I add 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon)
  • 1½ cups bittersweet chocolate chips – 60% cocoa (In Switzerland, I use 375 grams dark cooking chocolate – 64% cocoa; almost two bars broken in chunks)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 8-10 inches (20-26 cm) springform pan (moule à charnière) with a little canola oil and line the bottom with wax or baking paper that is pre-made to fit or the kind you can cut yourself.
  2. Place chocolate chips or broken pieces of chocolate in a small microwavable bowl, heat on high for 1 minute to melt and stir until smooth.
  3. Place drained lentils and eggs in the bowl of a food processor. Process until creamy and smooth (I use a hand held blender). You will see bits of crushed lentils.
  4. Add the sugar and process again briefly.
  5. Add melted chocolate and wisk by hand to blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 20-22 minutes — do not over bake!

Fruit sauce

You can serve it with a drizzle of fruit sauce on top. In a blender, food processor or hand held blender purée one pint or 12 ounces (340 grams) fresh or frozen berries, thawed (e.g. rasberries or strawberries). Add 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice. You can strain the sauce through a fine mesh or serve it as is.

* As suggested by Catherine, I cook the lentils from scratch. I boil 3 cups of water, then add ⅓ cup (65 grams) dry black beluga lentils and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until tender and some of the water has evaporated. Rinse and drain. It will make 1 cup cooked lentils or the equivalent of a 15 ounces can. If you use canned lentils, check the salt content and make sure you use the one with the lowest sodium content, then rinse thoroughly to rid of as much sodium as possible, before draining.


Photo credit: Cuisinicity
Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

10 thoughts on “Chocolate lentil cake

  1. Thank you so much Julie! What a lovely surprise to see your wonderful and genuine comment! I love this recipe, it really is so easy too to throw together, isn’t it?! But ou-la-laaa, your husband is a tough critic, I am relieved that in the end, he thought it was “not bad” which is….not bad (I think, right?!). In all seriousness, thank you for posting this comment, I love to share, so this is much appreciated! BTW, I love your addition of a fresh fruit coulis on top. It adds a note of elegance and color-love it!

    1. Merci! Thanks for commenting Catherine! You are right, this is an easy recipe to throw together. I was curious to know how it would taste with the lentils. What a great idea! In my family, we take pleasure in eating well and I agree with your slogan: love the foods that love you back. Yes, John doesn’t have a big sweet tooth and my daughters never took to eating a whole lot of sweets and desserts, so that almost leaves me all by myself to eat cake! 🙂 I just made the cake again and tomorrow, it will go back to the World Health Organization to be massively consumed at break time. It’s a hit there. Thanks for working so hard at creating all those tasty and healthy recipes and other food projects. Mother of five…incredible! You, David and your family are an inspiration to so many. Cheers! Julie

      1. Vous êtes à l’OMS? C’est fabuleux! Thank you for your lovely words and it is truly my pleasure, Julie!

  2. Hi Julie, can you tell me which brand of black lentils you bought (and where?) I find recipies that include lentils are so unpredictible … am always wondering “is that lentil green or yellow …?” Does it matter? tx A

    1. Hi Antonina, the brand of lentils is PRIMEAL and they are “Lentilles beluga”, produit de l’agriculture biologique. I got them at the natural food store in Ferney Voltaire, France. It’s called SATORIZ. Beluga lentils are the “caviar des végétariens”, rich in protein and fibre! Good to hear from you and it would be nice for us to get together soon! Keep in touch. Julie

      1. In case someone is looking for the black beluga lentils in the US, I found out that they are actually available at target, of all places (I find mine at any health food store here)! They have them already cooked in water (nothing else) in a little pouch: I have made this cake with the Le Puy green French lentils as well, and that worked too. I just prefer the dense little black beluga ones for this dark chocolate cake!

      2. Thanks for the information on lentils Catherine. This is helpful to those who are not too familiar cooking with lentils, let alone, making a cake with them!

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