This may seem hypocritical but… I’ve started baking with sugar. What?!
It’s been an interesting journey but before we get to that let me tell you about this cake.
Heavenly doesn’t even really begin to describe this Chocolate Olive Oil Cake. We’re talking deeply chocolatey and incredibly moist and just sweet enough. But the best part is it’s insanely easy. No whisking egg whites. No melting chocolate. Just weight out everything into a bowl. Mix and bake.
It’s now my go-to cake for everything from afternoon tea to lunch boxes (see the nut-free variation) to big celebrational birthday cakes.
And now that I’ve sold you on the cake, let me tell you the baking with sugar story.
Even though I know it’s possible to make perfectly fine cookies, cakes and treats without sugar. And have even written a whole book about it. I’ve noticed that people just don’t respond to sugar-free treats in the same way.
The other thing driving my return to baking with sugar has been my own journey to overcome my habit of snacking and licking when I’m cooking.
It still amazes me that now I can easily bake and not sneak even a little taste. So it doesn’t matter anymore if the mixture contains sugar because I can trust myself not to eat it.
The third thing that’s driven my ‘backfilp’ on the sugar front is looking at the actual numbers. Like science!
For example, a modest slice of this heavenly chocolate cake contains 23g carbs. Which I could easily get from a big bowl of cabbage or cauliflower.
Heavenly Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 150 g boiling water
- 150 g olive oil
- 150 g sugar
- 200 g almond meal almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) fan assisted. Line a loaf pan 24cm x 12cm (approx 9in x 5in) with baking paper.
Weigh cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Pour over boiling water and whisk to combine. Try and get rid of most of the lumps but no need to stress.
Add the olive oil, sugar, almond meal, baking powder, vanilla and eggs. Mix with a spoon until just combined.
Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the loaf feels springy when you touch it. And a skewer inserted into the middle come out without any gooey cake stuck to it.
Cool in the pan then slice and serve (preferably with lashings of double cream).
NET CARBS: 23g / serve.
Variations & Substitutions Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
sugar-free / keto – replace the sugar 1:1 with natvia or monkfruit sweetener. I made it with monkfruit and it was good. Or use 1/4 teaspoon pure stevia powder. If not using sugar you’re looking at 4g carbs / serve.
peppery – use an extra virgin olive oil.
egg-free – I haven’t tried this but you could probably get away with using flax eggs. Or even using apple sauce (if you don’t mind the extra carbs).
Low FODMAP – replace 1/2 the almond meal with rice flour.
nut-free – use 150g plain (all purpose flour) or my favourite nut-free way is to use 150g (5.25oz) ground sunflower seeds and (1.75oz) ground linseeds (flax) or all sunflower seeds. The cooking time for flour tends to be on the quicker side and allow an extra 5 mins for the seed option.
different nuts – also lovely with 1/2 almond meal and 1/2 hazelnut meal.
chocolate & zucchini cake – see recipe here.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
cocoa powder / olive oil / sugar / almond meal (almond flour) / baking powder / vanilla – keep them in the pantry.
eggs – will keep in the fridge for weeks or use for another meal.
Problem Solving Guide Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
bland – this isn’t an overly sweet cake. If you want more sugar by all means add up to 100g (3.5oz) extra. And I use a dutch process cocoa powder not raw cacao.
too dry – overcooked cake. Next time get it out earlier. For now a dollop of cream will help.
no oven – sorry! Can’t help for this one.
sticking to the tin – next time line both the base and sides with baking paper.
Yes! Just cook as per the recipe. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, allow to come to room temp.
More recipes like Chocolate Olive Oil Cake
- Everyday Almond Pancakes
- Chocolate Pecan ‘Cake’
- Strawberry Almond Shortcakes
- Chocolate Walnut Birthday ‘Cake’
- Amazing Orange & Almond Birthday Cake
- Zucchini, Honey & Almond Cake
- Moist Chocolate & Zucchini Cake
- Fergal’s Blueberry Yoghurt Cake
Have fun in the kitchen!