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The good oil on chocolate cake

I made this cake recently and I was pleasantly surprised that my kids enjoyed it. Some of my desserts receive unflattering comments such as “too paleo” or “why don’t you make normal desserts?”. It is incredibly rich and you only need a small slice. The bitterness of the raw cocoa is balanced by the cream topping, making it the perfect end to a special meal. It is free of gluten, refined grains, refined sugar and if you use one of the alternative toppings it can be dairy free.

I use olive oil as it works well and is always available in my pantry. Alternately, you could also use coconut oil or macadamia oil. I would discourage using cheap vegetable oils for this cake as it will not do it justice and they are nutritionally pretty poor.

I have used raw cocoa and hope that you will give it a go as it creates such a difference opposed to Dutch processed cocoa. Raw cocoa still has all the minerals and antioxidants present as they have not been separated in processing. Raw cocoa also has no sugar and cheap fillers, it’s just pure cocoa.

Using coconut sugar gives a more earthy, caramel flavour to baking. Coconut sugar is still a sugar but is not as high in fructose as refined cane sugar. Coconut sugar has a lower Glycemic Index of 35, normal cane sugar is around 60. This doesn’t mean that we can go all out with coconut sugar, it still should be used in moderation. I reserve it for special cakes like this and if I wanted to make a crumble.


This cake is very much a treat cake, I don’t eat this cake on a weekly basis. It does fair nutritionally better than many other cakes that would be on offer if you were to indulge. When I do choose to splash out I can reduce the sugar crash, cut out the gluten and include some really wholesome ingredients. Moderation is always key to balancing a diet, this cake makes 10 slices.


  • 70 grams raw cocoa

  • 170 millilitres olive oil

  • 125 millilitres boiling water

  • 2 tablespoons rum, or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

  • 150 grams fine ground almond meal

  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour or all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons aluminium free baking powder

  • Pinch of salt

  • 200 grams coconut sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 2/3 cup double thick cream

  • Extra raw cocoa and cinnamon to dust


Line a 20cm springform tin with baking paper and preheat oven to 180 degrees, or 150 with fan forced. In a small bowl, mix raw cocoa and boiling water to form a paste. In a large bowl add eggs, coconut sugar and olive oil. Beat until thick and frothy. Add almond meal, tapioca flour, baking powder, salt, rum and mix until smoothly combined. Then add chocolate paste and mix until smooth. Bake for about 40-50minutes.

When cake is cool spread some double thick cream on the top then dust with cinnamon and raw cocoa. Cut cake into 10 slices.

Dairy free alternative to cream topping:

Whipped coconut cream:

  • 400 gram can of organic coconut cream

  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey

Refrigerate tin of coconut cream overnight. Remove the solid coconut cream from the liquid. With electric beaters, whip coconut cream and honey to form a frosting.

To find out more about how to better manage your health make an appointment with me at Holy Mackerel Health.

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