Chocolate (Vegan) Olive Oil Cake

This cake is delicious. I was expecting a dense cake, and was surprised by its light and fluffy texture. I made this on a lovely lazy Sunday afternoon.

When I first leisurely flicked through Nigellissima, I was instantly drawn to this recipe. It reminded me of the Vegan Chocolate Cake I love.If I had to compare, the Vegan Chocolate Cake is lighter and cakier, where the Chocolate Olive Oil cake is denser as it uses both oil and eggs as binding agents. However, both are wonderful.

This is the second recipe I’ve made from Nigellissima. I don’t love the format of the recipes. The book is definitely more polished and glossier than her previous publications but I feel it lacks something. Also for some strange reason, I find the recipes harder to follow. Has anyone else had similar experiences? I’m not giving up, and will continue to cook from it, and I hope I become used to the formats.

While this recipe is published with the use of eggs, I instead used egg replacer for the first time. I was very much pleased with the result. I do love that this cake can be made with ground almonds, to make it gluten free as well. It’s the prefect allergy friendly cake.

Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake


  • 150 olive oil
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 125ml boiling water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 ground almonds or 125g flour
  • 1/2 baking eoda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs* (Where eggs are mentioned I used egged replacer).

1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a 20cm round tin with a little oil and line with baking paper. The baking paper is necessary or the cake may stick to the tin.

2. Sift the cocoa powder and add the boiling water then whisk until you have a runny paste. Add the vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Allow to cool.

3. In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or using hand beaters/whisk), mix the sugar, olive oil and eggs on high for about 3 minutes.

4. Turn the speed down low and pour in the cocoa paste mixture. Scrape down if necessary. Add the flour/ground almonds, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.

5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin, and cook for 40 minutes. When you test the cake, it will be mostly clean but there may be some chocolate crumbs stuck to it.

6. Allow to cool in tin for about 10 minutes, and turn out onto either a wire rack or serving tray. Sprinkle with some icing sugar if you desire.

7. Enjoy!

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