Lucky New Years Creative Cake

(images by author, CC0)

Ok I said I wasn’t going to make up any recipes but, well, lo and behold I did. I was planning to make Pretty Black Eyed Pea Cake today on New Years Day but I made so may subs along the way it turned into its own recipe.

The making of the cake was super fun and a total success, even though it didn’t really taste all that great. Commentary — get this — after the recipe.


  • Cake:
  • 3 cups black eyed peas, cooked
  • 3 large eggs
  • 0.5 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 0.5 cups marmalade
  • 0.5 cups vegetable oil
  • 12 cup apple sauce
  • 12 cup almonds
  • 2 cups flour
  • 12 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 0.5 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Filling:
  • 0.5 cup marmalade
  • 1 shot Triple Sec
  • Frosting:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 mandarin orange
  • 1 shot Triple Sec


  • Preheat oven to 350’F
  • Grease and flour 2 cake pans (thoroughly! one of my cakes stuck).
  • Crack the eggs in the blender and whip them up
  • Add the black-eyed peas, sugar, marmalade, oil, apple sauce, almonds to the blender and blend well
  • Add the flour, salt, dry spices, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl and mix together
  • Pour the contents of the blender into the dry ingredients. Mix just until there are no dry lumps, try not to overmix.
  • Add cake batter to pans, pop in oven.
  • Bake for 40 minutes.
  • Let cool in pans, all the way. In the meantime, put your whipping cream mixing bowl and whisk in the fridge.
  • Mix a shot of Triple Sec with remaining marmelade. Spread between layers, and a bit on the top layer.
  • Add a shot of Triple Sec to the whipping cream. Beat it. Your arm will get sore. Keep beating it. Eventually it will turn into lovely whipped cream. You may need to take short breaks, or ask a friend for help. No problem. But keep going. Once you have whipped cream, spread it around the top and a bit on the sides of the cake.


Ok so frankly this cake tasted just ok. It looked great! It rose! It didn’t taste of beans at all. It had a nice dense texture, kind of like carrot cake. I’d probably leave out the almonds next time… they added a bit of crunch that was confusing. I’d maybe add some powdered sugar to the whipping cream. Overall it was quite good, but not quite yummy.

So all of that said, although it tasted only ok, I actually LOVED making this cake and I think might make it every New Years Day as a new tradition to start the year. Here’s why:

  1. Black-Eyed Pea luck.
  2. If you haven’t whipped cream by hand it is kind of like magic. Plus good reminder that a bit of perseverance pays off even when it looks to start that nothing is happening. Good reminder to kick off the new year.
  3. The recipe craves creativity. Try it with whatever you have in your cupboard!! Or gluten-free. Or vegan. Or with chocolate chips. Or banana. Or jelly beans. I dunno, whatever feels like you, whatever feels fun. Get your year off to a creative start.
  4. You might fail. In fact it is kinda likely. You are making a Bean Cake for goodness sakes which is kinda weird, risky, and this is the first time you are making this improvised version. But that’s ok, failing is ok. It’ll probably be a bit tasty. And even if it isn’t tasty it’s a good story, or you’ll learn for next time.
  5. There is a chance you will end up with a yummy Cake.

So. While I don’t recommend you make my version, I do recommend you make your version. Or at least whip some cream 🙂

Published by Heather Piwowar

Cofounder of @our_research, the nonprofit behind Unsub, Unpaywall, and other tools to power open science. she/her. Adore cookies+cycling+reading+my fam.

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