Last Friday night, my guy agreed to see the A’s vs. Angels game with me. Although ranked #1 on my list, baseball is one of his least favorite sports, so it’s always a miracle when he willingly comes along!
We arrived at the stadium with half an hour before the first pitch, which was really late by my standards… My dad and I always show up 2 hours early to watch batting practice! After dropping off my bag, I dashed up to the restroom at the top of our section in order to make it back to the seats before they announced the starting line-ups and sang the National Anthem.
As I wiped my wet hands on a thin paper towel, I glanced at the woman applying foundation in the mirror on the side wall. “Hmm, I wonder where she bought her beanie…” I thought. “It’s gonna be a cold night—I want one too! Or maybe she knitted it herself? It doesn’t have a tag or logo…”
Then I dropped my gaze to her hair, which hung all the way down to her waist… And gasped. She was my French teacher in high school!
I tapped her on the shoulder and politely inquired, “Are you Mademoiselle…”
She immediately filled in her last name and exclaimed, “YES!” We spent a few minutes catching up; over a decade had elapsed since I last studied textbooks and celebrated Mardi Gras in her classroom. It turned out that she, like my parents, owned season tickets too—in the section right next to ours!
As soon as I sank into my seat, I texted my brother the amusing story. As one of those “right face, wrong place” meetings, all I could do was laugh, smile, and savor the moment.
Just like the ballgame, this Spiced Hummus Cake with Vanilla Yogurt Frosting is practically a “right face, wrong place” meeting too. Although normally eaten as an appetizer with carrots and crackers, adding hummus to this cake batter introduced a subtle nutty, almost earthy flavor. Paired with the sweet vanilla yogurt frosting, this hummus cake is one healthy dessert that’s guaranteed to disappear in seconds!
In this easy recipe, hummus replaces the oil and egg yolks. It provides lots of moisture, as well as a little bit of structure from the protein in the chickpeas. For this cake, I turned to one of my favorite brands: Sabra’s Classic Hummus. It’s smooth and creamy, laced with nutty tahini and a hint of garlic, and positively addictive!
To accentuate the tahini’s nutty flavor, I swapped out about half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat. Whole wheat flour also exudes sweet nutty undertones, and it adds a little extra fiber and nutrients too! Although many people believe that whole wheat baked goodies are stereotypically dry, this one is anything but. With lots of hummus, a touch of Greek yogurt, and lots of brown sugar, this cake is perfectly moist and tender!
And yes, to answer your question… This cake does taste like hummus, but only for the first day or two! Like with black bean brownies—or any bean-baked treat—the flavor begins to fade, so when I cut a slice four days later, I only tasted vanilla. If you aren’t a huge fan of its initial flavor, don’t throw it out! Just cover the cake (and chill, if already frosted) for a few days. It’ll taste like a regular spice cake by then!
Before baking the cake, you must prepare your 9”-round cake pans. Have you hear the term “line and grease” before? Although it sounded mysterious to me the first time I read it in my mom’s old Betty Crocker cookbook, it’s actually incredibly easy!
To begin, trace the bottom of each cake pan onto a sheet of wax paper. Sometimes I sketch this with a pencil; other (lazy) times I set the pan and wax paper on top of a cutting board and trace with a paring knife instead. The knife pre-perforates the wax paper for you! Then cut out the wax paper circles and set aside for a moment.
Next, coat the pans with nonstick cooking spray. For cakes, I always reach for cooking spray with flour because the flour helps ensure the cake slides out easily after baking. (See my Note below for what to do if you don’t have a special can of this.) Now firmly press the wax paper circle into the bottom of each pan, gently spreading out any air bubbles with your fingers, and re-spray the tops of the wax paper.
I know it sounds like a lot of extra work, but I promise it’s totally worth it! After spending all of last week testing multiple cake recipes, half of them ripped when a piece of the bottom refused to budge from the pan. Oops!
Note: If you don’t have cooking spray with flour, then grease the pans with regular nonstick cooking spray instead. Once you’ve lined and re-sprayed the wax paper, add 2-3 teaspoons of flour to each pan; then shake and roll around the pans until their bottoms and sides are covered. Throw away any excess flour and proceed as normal.
Although the batter appears to barely cover the bottom of the pans, it rises quite a bit in the oven due to the baking soda. Still, the cake only needs a brief 17 minutes to bake, so don’t go far! Then the layers will need to cool completely before frosting.
This skinny vanilla yogurt frosting is my favorite! And that’s saying something… Unless it’s dark chocolate and fudgy, I refuse to eat most frostings. My recipe is so simple: just Greek yogurt, instant pudding mix, and a little extra sweetener. Cream those 3 together in a bowl for 2 minutes before chilling for 2 hours. Don’t skip the chilling; it really helps the frosting thicken to regular buttercream consistency! Then all that’s left is to spread it between the layers and over the sides of the cake.
With its nutty tahini taste, this healthy Spiced Hummus Cake with Vanilla Yogurt Frosting will surprise you with its fun exotic flavor. Paired with classic sweet cinnamon and topped with creamy frosting, it’s ideal for relaxed summer days, interesting dinner parties, or any “I just want cake—no more carrots and celery!” cravings.
So skip the appetizers and cut another slice of hummus cake instead!
*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Sabra. All text, images, and recipe are my own.