Dairy Free Chocolate Cake


There is still time to bake a christmassy chocolate cake now before Christmas. I baked two, one for ourselves and one for our lovely neighbour. This is a recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Dark and Sumptuous Chocolate Cake. To make it less guilty to eat at such an indulgent time of the year, I replaced dark brown sugar with 100% coconut sugar and rice malt syrup.


What do you need:

For the icing:

60ml cold water
75 grams unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of rice malt syrup
1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 ½ tablespoons cocoa
150 grams dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped



For the cake:

225 grams plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
75 grams cocoa
300 grams coconut sugar
375 ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
75 grams coconut oil
1 ½ teaspoons cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
small handful of edible rose petals (optional)
small handful of chopped pistachios (optional)
small handful of white chocolate flakes (optional)


  1. For a more festive look, I used a 9 inch flute cake tin. With the decorations, it looks just like a christmas wreath on the dining table. Grease the tin with butter, ready for baking. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. Make the icing first so that it will be completely cool when the cake is ready for decoration.  Put all of the icing ingredients except the chopped chocolate into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil, making sure everything’s dissolved. Then turn off the heat – but leave the pan on the hob – then add the finely chopped chocolate and swirl the pan so that it is all combined. Leave to cool and give it a stir with a spatula every now and again.
  3. Put the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and instant espresso and cocoa in a bowl and mix.
  4. Mix together the sugar, water, coconut oil and vinegar until the coconut oil has melted, and stir into the dry ingredients, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35 minutes. Check at the 30-minute mark in case it is done. PS: If you have a stand mixer, you can put all the ingredients in one go and let the mixer do its thing. C2
  5. When it’s ready, tip the cake upside down onto a rack to cool down. If you have greased the tin properly, the cake will slide right off.
  6. Once the cake is cooked, transfer it to the final plate / cake stand. Give the icing mix a good stir with a spatula to check it is at the right consistency. It needs to be runny enough to cover the cake, but thick enough to stay on the top. Pour over the cake and use a spatula to ease the icing to the edges, if needed.c6
  7. Sprinkle joyously with rose petals, chopped pistachios and white chocolate flakes. Leave to stand for 30 minutes before enjoying the cake.


Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

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