Fluffy Cacao Cake with Fresh Berries


To me, eating clean means that when you choose to have a treat-meal, you take the time to make it as wholesome, delicious and nourishing as possible. This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and yeast-free, and includes antioxidant-rich berries and raw cacao, as well as healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Eat it and feel good about it! It evolved from Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake, but some adjustments have been made in flavours and methods.


150 g of olive oil

50 g of raw cacao powder

seeds of one vanilla pod

125 mL of boiling water

125 g of gluten-free plain flour (I used Orgran Gluten-Free Plain Flour)

half a teaspoon of bicarb soda

a pinch of ground Celtic sea salt

200 g castor sugar

3 large eggs, separated

1 cup of mixed berries

1 teaspoon of icing sugar



Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius, and grease a spring-form cake tin with olive oil. Don’t try tipping this cake out of a regular tin or you’ll end up with a crumbly mess!

Whisk the cacao powder and vanilla seeds with the boiling water until you have a thick, smooth paste.

Beat the castor sugar with the egg whites with a hand-held mixer on the highest setting for about three minutes, or until you have a stiff, meringue-like texture. This is crucial in getting the cake to rise and become light and fluffy when it’s done.

Beat the egg yolks together with the olive oil until you have a homogeneous mixture, and then mix this into the egg-white and castor sugar mixture. (Turn your hand-held mixer down to its lowest setting for this. The aim now is to combine everything as gently as possible so that you don’t whisk the air out of the egg-whites.) Add the cacao and vanilla seed paste and mix until it is fully combined.

Add the dry ingredients – flour, salt and bicarb soda – next, folding the mixture with a spoon until it is evenly combined. Pour and scrape it all into the spring-form tin and bake in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes. The cake will rise and crack a little on the top. You know it’s done when you can stab it with a skewer and the skewer comes out clean.

When it’s done, take it out and let it cool. It will sink a little but don’t worry – it will still be nice and spongy on the inside.

Once it’s completely cool, remove the sides of the spring-form tin, pile the berries up in the middle of the cake, and dust with icing sugar.

I promise you’ll love it!

Serves twelve people… or four people, three times each!


Nutritional Info

Calories per serve: 279

Carbs (g): 32

Protein (g): 2

Fat (g): 16


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