Long Run Cake

I just started watching the second season of ‘The Walking Dead,’ and is it just me, or are the zombies now faster and smarter? The thing I don’t get about zombies is how they run so fast as undead when they probably weren’t runners when they were alive. I know, details. Personally, I don’t run very far on an empty stomach so I need to fuel up before heading out the door for a run.

I first saw this recipe in an issue of Runner’s World last year. It was part of an article that talked about chefs who run marathons. Chef Gesine Bullock-Prado who created the recipe runs a 4:15 marathon. The idea behind the recipe was to create something nutritious that would provide you with enough fuel for a run. So if I make and eat this cake, can I run a 4:15 marathon. Hmm?

Before we go any farther, I should warn you that this is not a dessert. The recipe used a lot of unconventional cake ingredients – black beans, oat flour, unsweetened apple sauce. Are you still with me? My first thoughts are not of black beans when I think of cake, and I found this to be less cake-like and more like a brownie – dense and chewy, not overly sweet, and the oat flour gives it a slightly nutty flavor, but it’s really not as bad as it sounds. I tested it out before going to the gym and before a 4 mile run and it was quite filling and didn’t upset my stomach, which is a big bonus.

My twist on the recipe was to add some orange zest and maple syrup to it: the zest to brighten the flavor of the cake and the maple syrup to add a hint of caramel-like flavor. So if you’re looking for a snack that will give you a bit of energy before your next workout or run, give this recipe a shot!

What are some of your favourite foods to eat before a workout or run?

Long Run Cake
(Yield: 12 mini loaves)


  • 1 cup organic apple-sauce
  • 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups oat flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Spray 12 mini loaf pans with cooking spray.
  • Add the unsweetened apple sauce and black beans to a food processor and blend together.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the oat flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Use a whisk to mix ingredients together.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the agave syrup, maple syrup and eggs and mix on a medium speed until light and foamy.
  • Reduce the mixer speed and pour in the coffee; mix until combined.
  • Add black bean apple sauce mixture and vanilla to the egg mixture and beat until combined.
  • Add oat flour and cocoa mixture all at once. Beat on low until just moist, then increase speed and beat until smooth, 30 seconds.
  • Divide batter among 12 greased mini-loaves (the batter should reach ¾ of the way up the loaf pan).
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cake springs back when poked.

(Source: Runner’s World, October 2011)

Recipe notes: The first time I tried this recipe, I used a mini loaf pan from Wilton but the recipe barely made enough for 8 loaves. The second time, I put it into my 8×8 brownie pan and they came out much nicer. If you’re making them in a brownie pan, they’ll have to cook a bit longer – about 25-30 minutes. The leftovers can stay out in an airtight container but should be refrigerated if you’re eating them slowly over the week.


12 thoughts on “Long Run Cake

  1. Wow, it even looks really dense! Would it work as a mid-race snack if you could carry it that way, Vicky?

    I might try and sub in protein powder and give this a shot and let you know how it goes. I’m trying to find ways to reduce flours of any sort if I can.

    1. I’ll bet that you can throw in a scoop of protein powder or two. I’m thinking that it could work mid-race as long as you’re use to eating solid foods (ie. cookies, pretzels) and not just gels, bloks and gummies. I also couldn’t guarantee that it wouldn’t get crushed or flattened while carrying during a race.

    1. Thanks Peter! I think for this shot I used a macro setting on the camera. It focuses on things in the foreground so the background has a “blur” to it.

    1. That’s great! Feel free to share the recipe with them. Just ask them to try it out on a shorter run or workout first. Sometimes things that don’t upset my stomach may not work for someone else.

    1. I hadn’t thought of that. I like the idea of cupcakes! You might have to play with the baking time a bit but it should work. Let me know if you try it!

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