Food pranks are some of the best harmless pranks you can pull on someone (except the toothpaste in oreos food prank; that’s just evil). While searching for April Fool’s Day inspiration, most of what I found were sweet treats that looked like savory dishes. But then I stumbled upon a meatloaf and mashed potato cake. I immediately knew I had to do a savory cake. The idea of making a meatless cake using cornbread and mashed potatoes popped into my head. It was pure genius and surely there was no way someone else would have come up with it. So I Googled “cornbread and mashed potatoes cake” just to be certain, and what do you know, a ton of results came up. And their cakes were even better than any I would have created, topped with fried chicken and gravy. One was even beautifully presented by Chrissy Teigen. Clearly I’m not as original as I thought I were.


Cornbread CakeUnfrosted cornbread cake


I was stuck on the cornbread cake idea though, and decided to make it with a “chocolate” frosting. I’ve had chocolate avocado frosting before, but would it go well with cornbread? What would go well with cornbread? I let the idea sit in my head for a few days and one day thought, black beans! How did I not think of it before? Beans and cornbread is such a classic combination! I added a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the black bean puree and I must say it was a mistake. It did make the frosting look more like chocolate, but it also added a bitter component that didn’t pair well with the beans. I’d just omit it or only add ¼ teaspoon of cocoa powder.


Aerial View of Cornbread and Black Bean CakeBird’s eye view of the cornbread and black bean cake


My family agreed that the cocoa powder was unnecessary. They felt the cooked beans without the cocoa was better. My brother was the only one couldn’t give me his opinion on it because he couldn’t even eat it. I revealed that the cake is a savory one to most of my family members. I accidentally forgot to tell my brother that the cake is for April Fool’s Day. He took a bite and immediately spat it out, and said “I’m sorry, I can’t eat this.” I was a little offended so I asked him if it were the flavor or texture. And he said it was because he was not expecting it to taste like it did, he was expecting something sweet. Didn’t mean to prank my brother, but I guess the prank works!


Savory Cornbread and Black Bean Puree {Vegan, Gluten Free}

This is a food prank recipe for April Fool’s Day or for when you are feeling mischievous. What looks like yellow cake and chocolate frosting is actually cornbread and black bean puree. If serving for dinner or as an appetizer, without mischief, be sure to warn consumers.

Yield: 1 fake cake

Prep time:
Cook time:
Idle time:
Total time:

  • 1 cup (170 g) organic medium grind cornmeal
  • 1 cup (130 g) organic corn flour (not corn starch)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels – thawed
  • 3 tsp fresh parsley stems – minced
  • 3 tsp fresh thyme – minced
Black Bean Puree
  • 1 cup dried black beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tsp vinegar
  • Soaked black beans
  • ½ cup onions – chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tsp fresh parsley – chopped
  • 3 tsp fresh thyme – chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Cooked black beans
  • ¾ cup (180 mL) vegetable broth
  • 6 tsp tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove – minced
  • A few sprigs of parsley
  • A few springs of thyme
Soak Black Beans
  1. Combine the black beans, water, and vinegar in a bowl and soak at room temperature for at least 6 hours.
  2. Drain and rinse the soaked beans.
Cook Black Beans
  1. Add all the black bean cooking ingredients into a saucepan with 3 cups of water, or enough to cover the beans.
  2. Bring the beans to a boil, and then let them simmer for at least 1 hour or until the beans are tender.
Make Cornbread
  1. As the beans are cooking, make the cornbread.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
  4. Create a well in the bowl of dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into the well.
  5. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir in the additions.
  6. Pour the cornbread batter into a greased 9 inch (22 cm) round springform pan. Let the batter rest for 1 hour. As the batter is resting, preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  7. Bake the cornbread at 400°F (205°C) for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 350°F (175°C) and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes.
Blend Black Beans
  1. Puree the black bean blending ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. Add more broth if needed.
  1. When the cornbread is done baking, take it out of the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Pour the black bean puree onto the center of the cooled cornbread. Spread the puree using a spatula or back of a spoon in a circular motion.
  3. Add the garnishes onto the “cake” and start tricking some friends and family.

  1. The cocoa powder might add an unwanted bitter component, so omit it if you are okay with how the beans look without it.
  2. If you’re not making this dish as a prank, you don’t need to puree the black beans. Serve the cornbread slices with the black beans on the side.