So I set out to make an oil free chocolate cake for the second time. The first time was a bit of a mess, it turned out so dry and flaky. 😦 This time I used blended cashew nuts and coconut milk, and it turned out the complete opposite of dry – so moist and absolutely decadent. It doesn’t have the airy, crumbly texture typical of a cake though; it’s far more dense and sticky – a fudgy cake. Dates give it the gooey texture and also reduce the amount of sugar needed.
I really love that this cake is oil free. Most vegan cake and brownie recipes online have lots of oil; I even have one on my blog. But this recipe is proof that you can get a beautifully decadent cake without all that oil. Yay for whole foods!
I modified this recipe to make brownies for my food stand at NITC. Less baking powder, plus some brandy for boozy brownies; thanks to my friend Tosin for that awesome idea! You can also make it without the alcohol though, it won’t affect the recipe.
What you will need
*makes enough for 10 servings
+ 1.5 cups wholegrain flour (or wholewheat)
+ 3/4 cup unrefined sugar
+ 1/4 cup cocoa powder
+ 1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
+ 1/2 cup coconut milk (use the canned milk)
+ 3/4 cup water (replace 1/2 cup of this with brandy if desired)
+ 10 dates
+ 2 tablespoons milled flaxseeds
+ 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
+ 2 teaspoons baking powder (1 teaspoon for brownies)
+ 1/2 teaspoon salt
+ 1 tablespoon dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
How to make it
Step 1: Rinse and soak the cashews in hot water, and do the same with the dates in a separate bowl (if dried). Mix the flaxseed meal with 4 tablespoons water and set aside. After about 30 minutes, drain the cashews and pit the dates.
Step 2: Blend the cashews, dates, coconut milk, water, brandy and vanilla until smooth. Add the sugar and pulse a few times to combine.
Step 3: In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt with a fork or whisk.
Step 4: Pour the blended liquid and flaxseed mixture into the flour, stirring gently to combine. Do not overmix, otherwise the gluten will develop and you’ll end up with hard cake. Your batter should be very thick, very sticky and pourable.
Step 5: Pour batter into a wide, shallow baking dish lined with baking paper and smoothen out to the sides. Sprinkle dairy free chocolate chips over the top if using. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes or until firm to the touch in the middle. Leave to cool completely before slicing. I know the waiting is hard, but try to restrain yourself! 🙂