Black Bean (!) Red Wine (!) Chocolate Cake with Ricotta (!) Butter Cream

This cake is full of surprises! Beans! Wine! Ricotta! It looks like a beautiful chocolate cake with creamy butter cream frosting, and it is, except it's much more interesting and fun (and slightly healthier).

When black bean brownies were going viral on the internet, of course I tried them out and fell for them, but around the same time I also started putting beans in various other baking, too. You can find approximately a bazillion black bean brownies recipes but not nearly as many for black bean cake, and cake and brownies are not the same thing. Likewise, a few years ago I came across the beauty that is Smitten Kitchen's red velvet chocolate cake made with red wine, and ever since I've been sneaking vino into my baking (most recently into my 30th birthday cake which was made with pink champagne). So you might say I'm a fan of beans and wine in baking, (and outside of it!), but I have never mixed the two in one recipe, until now.


This is a chocolate cake, decidedly not a brownie. I subbed canola oil in for butter and red wine in for the milk, so if you don't ice it, it's happily dairy-free. The red wine flavour is still there slightly in the cake, and I'm not 100% sure if the alcohol cooks off completely, so many don't make this cake for your kid's birthday party. The frosting is a classic butter cream with ricotta added, so it's much lighter than a regular butter cream and spreads much more easily. I also made my whole cake in my Ninja blender, which I highly recommend. You need to puree the beans anyway, so why not mix everything together and not dirty another mixing bowl? Plus those blades are way more powerful than my stirring abilities. On to the recipe!

Black Bean Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Ricotta Butter Cream

For the cake:

Add the following ingredients (in order) one by one and blend between each addition:
  • 2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (I recommend this one)
  • 1.5 cups red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 cup flour
Lightly oil two 9 inch cake pans, fill equally, and bake them at 325 for 30-40 minutes. Keep an eye on them - mine cooked in about 35 minutes, but it will depend on the style of pan you use, your oven's temperature, etc.

For the frosting:

Mix 1/4 cup softened butter with 3/4 cup icing sugar until smooth. Add 1/4 cup ricotta cheese and continue mixing into smooth again (1 minute in a stand mixer should be fine). Add more icing sugar to get the sweetness and consistency you desire if it's not quite right. Finally, mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Top with something pretty! I used some dried tea flowers from a loose leaf herbal tea I bought recently, but any kind of edible flower, seeds, nuts, or berries look really nice.


Inspired to Taste Canada is coming to Montreal!

I wanted to let you guys know about a really fun culinary event happening this week in Montreal! Hudson Bay on Saint-Catherine is hosting a special cook book launch by two Quebecois authors, Hubert Comier and Martin Juneau on May 25th from 12pm-3pm.

Juneau wrote Simplicité Culinaire: 30 Ingrédients Déclinés en 100 Recettes and Comier wrote Les Légumineuses et Cie. I can't wait to meet these chefs, taste some of their creations, and read their incredible cook books! If you'd like to come to the FREE event, just RSVP here.
There's also a Taste Canada event in Vancouver coming up in June, and you can RSVP for that one if you're a west coaster, here

I'll be there and would love to see you!


25% off Green Beaver Sunscreen!

Green Beaver is one of our favourite go-to Canadian brands for safe sunscreen. Every.single.year the brand sells out by June!

Of course, for any item made with safe ingredients, you will pay more, which is why I love catching them on sale. Now through May 21st, all Green beaver sunscreen and other products too, are 25% off!
Montreal finally had gorgeous temperatures and we've been spending our entire days and evenings outside. I know I need to stock up on more sunscreen! Shop the sale HERE!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for shopping with them, as you're supporting this blog + me!


A Day In HER Life - Marilou Côté

Hi my name is Marilou from Sweet Home Marilou. I am 33 years old and I am a mom of a 16-month-old baby boy named Louis-Victor. For the last 6 years, I was a yoga teacher for kids. Mostly working in Montréal area. For now, I am a stay home mom.

It is a privilege for me to witness his "first time" of everything, each day. The first time he walked, the first time he successfully did a puzzle, the first time he ate tomatoes, the first time he tried to make a joke, etc.!

A typical day begins around 5 am, give or take 15 minutes earlier or later. My Louvic is such an early bird. This is clearly one of the things of motherhood that I find the most difficult - waking up early! Each day during breakfast I FaceTime my parents who are living in Québec City, so they can talk to him and see my babe. Living far from them is way more difficult than I imagined since becoming a mom. I would love to have a bit more local help, and I miss them!

When breakfast is finished, we often put some music and dance (hits from 2000, including Beyoncé), he plays with his toys and I start a laundry load. My son is all about the dog, so feeding the dog is THE MORNING ACTIVITY.

Next, nap time! Yay! Finally, mommy’s break! Every morning, I tell myself that I should take a nap too but I never do it. I don’t know a mom who does! This is clearly an urban legend for me that we can sleep while they are! These days, it’s all about taking care of the household chores. I can't believe how much work there is to do to keep a house in order. I really feel that it is a full-time job, and hard one!

I try to take a walk or go jogging twice a week. Playing outside is part of our day, we try to go in the backyard, in the forest or near the lake, two or three times a day. I use this outside time to create wonder, educate, and encourage his creativity. As a stay-home mom, I also have to schedule my activities with my boy. I have the animal day, the music day, the colour day, etc. It’s a way to help me diversify the activities, games and also sometimes, finger paints or playing flute and drum!
I recently bought a leaning tower and it is such a great way for me to include my son in mom work such as cooking the meals.

I think I’m lucky to have such a curious boy and I try to feed this side of him as much as possible. For lunch, I love to try new cafés and I frequently meet friends’ downtown. My boy and his kid's chair booster are almost inseparable! I also have play dates with friends that are mostly on maternity leave or whom I met through Instagram. Networking is TOTALLY a great way to make new friends when you are past 30, with no job colleagues and with a young child! While writing this, all I want to say is that I can't wait for summer to kick in so we’ll play in the pool!

Next, we have dinner and my husband comes back from work. He’s given Louis Victor his bath since he was born. I breastfed my babe for eight months, and bath time was the only pocket of time that my husband had with him at the beginning. This is their special time together  For me, bath time = me time. Finishing my glass of wine, looking at my Instagram feed. After a 14 hour “shift” and I am still on-call, this time is sacred! I read somewhere that stay home moms are worth a $150 000 annual salary! Yeah! Where is my pay check? Ha!

Bedtime is 7pm, though of course he does not always cooperate! We mostly stay home by night, watching Netflix, and every Monday I play improvisation (Who's line is it type) in a Montréal bar. This is my forever activity. Makes me forget all the everyday issues, and laugh a lot! I need creativity in my life, which is why I enjoy documenting our littles family adventures so much. That's it. This is me. A very simple stay home mom, trying to do my best ! Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed, but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

Meri Beaucoup Marliou!
Instagram - @sweethomemarilou