better-for-you chocolate fudge cake

  • ¾ cup (180ml/6 fl oz) light-flavoured extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup (125ml/4¼ fl oz) milk or nut milk
  • ½ cup (125ml/4¼ fl oz) pure maple syrup
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup (110g/4 oz) raw caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup (75g/2½ oz) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 3½ cups (420g/14¾ oz) almond meal (ground almonds)

chocolate frosting

  • ¾ cup (180g/6¼ oz) smooth cashew butter
  • ½ cup (125ml/4¼ fl oz) pure maple syrup
  • cup (35g/1¼ oz) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons milk or nut milk
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Line 2 x 20cm (8 inch) round cake tins with non-stick baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl add oil, milk, maple, eggs, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Sift the baking powder and cocoa over the milk mixture. Add the almond meal and mix to combine. Pour mixture into prepared tins, smoothing the surface. Bake for 30–35 minutes until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in tins for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire racks to cool.
  4. To make the chocolate frosting, mix together the cashew butter and maple. Sift over the cocoa powder and stir to combine. Add enough milk to make a spreadable consistency. Using a handheld mixer, beat until smooth.
  5. Spread top of base with half the chocolate frosting. Layer with other cake. Top with remaining frosting. Serves 10–12

It looks and tastes super-naughty, but it’s actually full of super-nice (and good-for-you) stuff. This rich, velvety cake topped with the simplest fudgy icing will become your go-to chocolate cake recipe.

Photography: Con Poulos

Reader ratings (0)
Jodie Hayes

For the diabetics in our family I substituted sugar free maple syrup and monkfruit sugar for the sweeteners. Works beautifully.

donna hay team

Hi Rose, we haven’t tested the recipe like this, however if you give it a go, let us know how you turns out. Happy baking!

Rose Mercer

I’d really like to make this cake. I wonder if I could make half and into a log? I will also use low carb products to try to make it as Keto as possible. Any comments on that possibility?

Jo Navratil

After seeing you make this cake on tv yesterday, I decided my family needed to be treated to it. So easy, quick and best of all - delicious

donna hay team

Hi Michelle, we wouldn’t recommend honey, as it would make the cake really sweet. If you can if, we recommend to use agave syrup instead. Hope that helps.

Michelle Melissa Foo

Can I use honey as a replacement for maple syrup? Maple syrup is very expensive here in Malaysia.

David Maxwell

THE BEST CAKE! This turns out so well, and is so delicious even days later.  The frosting is brilliant, and we just keep telling ourselves this is truly “healthy” for us!

Melanei Ware

This cake turned out so beautifully. It was rich, so fluffy and we loved that it was “better for us.” Thank you, I always find your recipes a huge success and I can depend on them smile Plus it was super easy to whip up!

donna hay team

Hi Dolores, instead of cashew butter you could use almond or peanut butter.

Dolores Rose

Hi, what could I use instead of the cashew butter?
Could I use cocoa and peanut butter (with coconut & honey)?

donna hay team

Hi Marleen, yes of course! Be sure to wrap each cake individually in plastic wrap.

Marleen Severijns

Can I freeze this cake ?

Michelle Lane

Beautiful recipe. I swapped rice bran oil for the olive oil. Texture, moistness, and flavour are perfect. I love using almond meal for cakes and this will become a favourite recipe.

Christine Duguay

I substituted the olive oil for grapeseed oil and added in some orange zest. I also only made one cake with one layer of icing.  We served it with a Tawny Port and it was a delicious pairing.


everyday fresh - meals in minutes - episode 1
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