azuki bean bundt cake, gluten-free


This bundt cake is a sneaker. Topped with a cloud of silky meringue frosting and toasted coconut, this bundt cake might resemble your run-of-the-mill cake. But this cake also has a secret. It's gluten-free and made with azuki beans!


Azuki beans are common in Asian cuisines, have a deep maroon color, and pleasant sweetness. You might have seen reddish-mauve beans whole in coconut milk and jelly drinks typical in Vietnam, baked inside flaky Chinese buns, or used as filling for Japanese mochi.

The idea for sneaking beans into things certainly isn't original.  In fact, beans lend structure and protein to many gluten-free desserts without imparting a blatant bean taste. You might have seen black bean brownies before, or even white bean cake. But azuki bean cake? It's definitely not as common. And really, I like to think of the azuki bean bundt cake as a fusion dish. Which is perfect because this month's Let's Lunch is based on fusion dishes.

If you are unfamiliar with the Let's Lunch series in which I take part, it is a monthly recipe roundup where bloggers all contribute dishes around a theme. You can find us on Twitter, using ! This month's fusion theme is special because one of the original participants, Ellise (Cowgirl Chef), is releasing her very own fusion cookbook: Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French accent. I'm super excited to see her French twist on Texan cooking. Congrats to you, Ellise!! Now if you are wondering how this bundt cake might be considered a fusion dish well let me tell you. Bundt cake's originated in Germany and are named after the pan's in which they were baked. Fuse that with the Japanese azuki bean and you got yourself a German-Japanese fusion cake. Violia! Or whatever the equivilant is in German or Japenese. :) 

azuki bean bundt cake, gluten-free

This recipe is adapted from Joy the Baker's white bean bundt cake, which is a take on a recipe in Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2012


  • 3 cups gluten-free flour blend (may I suggest ours?)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (18 ounces) azuki bean paste
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 244 g granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter, sugar, and red bean paste. Beat on medium speed until butter and beans are well incorporated, about 3-5 minutes. Beans will break down and create a slightly soupy mixture. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute between each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Slow the mixer to low speed and add half of the dry ingredients. Beat until almost completely incorporated, but several white streaks remain. Add all of the buttermilk. Beat until incorporated. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. Use a spatula to fold together and make sure all of the wet and dry ingredients are completely incorporated.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake come out clean. Try not to over-bake the cake, as it’s dense and can quickly suffer from dryness.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven. Allow to rest in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. While cake cools, make the frosting.
  8. Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  9. In a medium, heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until sugar has completely dissolved, about 4 minutes. Mixture will be a foamy white and on it’s way to thickening.
  10. Transfer the warmed egg mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until whites are thick and glossy, about 4 minutes.
  11. Smooth frosting over cooled cake. Top with toasted coconut.


Cake will last, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

For more fusion ideas, check out the following posts!


Azuki beans are such an Asian dessert staple, love seeing it in a bundt cake.

Gorgeous cake and what an inventive combo, the German and the Japanese. See? It just goes to show you...the merging and mashups of techniques and flavors really isn't that strange at all. It totally makes sense. Thank you so much for your sweet words! x

What a wonderful marriage! I *love* adzuki beans - so nostalgic for me. Will definitely have to try this recipe. :)

This looks great! Can you please confirm, am I to add the 2 egg plus 2 whites to the batter? 244 grams of sugar as well? Thanks, now I have a purpose for my beans!

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