Spicy Black Bean Cakes with Avocado Butter


I know I said that all the recipes I posted in June were going to be strawberry related. But I had a bad morning. So I’ve gone a little off track.

You see, I got a new recipe book for my birthday. It is full of delicious looking recipes for cookies and cakes that – thanks to some unusual and expensive ingredients – are actually good for you.

I should have known.

Although to be fair, the cupcakes probably wouldn’t have tasted so odd if my vanilla bean paste hadn’t tasted like play-doh. As for the cookies. Well they are somewhere between a cookie and a cake. Not what you expect when the recipe claims to produce the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

So when you are in a funk because you spent all that money on expensive ingredients and the only thing to benefit from it is the food waste bin, you need something for lunch that is going to put a smile back on your face.

P1000354 with watermark

Spicy black bean cakes.

I went ahead and fried the veggies without moving the cookie/cake things that were cooling on the stove. I didn’t care if the cumin garlic juices spat all over those infuriating things. That’s the kind of mood I was in.

And to add insult to injury my avocados weren’t as ripe as they should have been so I ended up with more of a granita than a butter.


I used sweet chilli sauce instead of hot sauce and sambal instead of jalapeno because I am a chilli wimp. But if you like a burning mouth and a numb face go ahead and use what you want.

And if you’ve got a mergez sausage hanging around from last nights dinner, go ahead and add that too. You won’t be disappointed.

P1000356 with watermark

Then afterwards go and try one of those cookie/cake thingies. See, they’re not that bad. Actually, now I think about it, I could turn them into . . . hmm, maybe I was a little hasty with the ingredients.

Spicy Black Bean Cakes with Avocado Butter

Makes approx. 6 cakes

Ingredients for the cakes:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup sweetcorn (canned, frozen or fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp sambal or as much fresh chilli as you can handle
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 425g black beans (drained weight)
  • 1/2 cup polenta / cornmeal
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsps coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tsps sweet chilli sauce (or hot sauce of your choice) plus extra for serving
  • salt to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the red pepper, sweetcorn, sambal and cumin and mix together. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables become translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the black beans with a fork. Add the warm vegetable mixture, polenta, egg, coriander, sweet chilli sauce and salt, and mix throughly until combined. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Scoop 1/4 cup of the black bean mixture into your hand. Form a patty that is approx. 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Continue to make patties with the remaining mixture.
  4. Pour vegetable oil into a frying pan until it comes about 1/4 inch up the side. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the patties, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Turn them over carefully as they have a tendency to crumble. Transfer onto kitchen paper to drain and place them in a preheated oven (100 celsius) to keep warm while you cook the remaining patties. Serve immediately.

While the black bean mixture is chilling, make the avocado butter.

Ingredients for Avocado Butter:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup natural yoghurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • pinch of ground cumin
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place all the ingredients except the salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth. Season to taste. Keep in the fridge until the patties have been cooked.

Recipe adapted from A Cosy Kitchen


2 thoughts on “Spicy Black Bean Cakes with Avocado Butter”

Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s