Indulgent Chocolate Cake

My eldest daughter turns 2 this Spring, and it has been my quest since she was born to find a way of creating a birthday cake for her that is sugar free but that still looks like a “traditional” homemade birthday cake and also tastes good.

After fruitless online and recipe book searches, I decided to create my own by combining and adapting a variety of ideas I’ve found to suit my purpose. The sweet potato icing sounds a little odd, but trust me, it tastes so creamy, and the natural sweetness of the potato lends itself very well to sugar-free baking.

So here you go, my beautiful girl. Happy Birthday!


For the cake:
250g wholemeal self-raising flour
1 tbsp carob powder
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
250g date paste (see recipe here)
4 eggs
2tbsp coconut oil
2tsp vanilla essence

For the jam:
350g frozen raspberries (or other fruit of choice)
3-4 tsp cornflour

For the icing:
1 large sweet potato, mashed
85g pitted dates, chopped
30g unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp Indulgent nut butter (or other nut butter)
125ml milk (I used almond)
1tsp vanilla essence


  • Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
  • Grease and line 2 20cm/8″ round cake tins.
  • When your oven is to temperature, put the sweet potato in to bake on a low shelf (leave the middle shelf free for the cakes). It will need 50-60 minutes at this temperature.
  • Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Sieve the carob powder, cocoa powder and baking powder into the flour and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • In a food processor, mix the eggs, coconut oil, vanilla essence and date paste until smooth.
  • Gradually add in the dry ingredients, about a 1/3 at a time and allow it to be thoroughly mixed before adding more.
  • Divide the mixture equally between the 2 cake tins and place them on the middle shelf of the oven.img_0647
  • Bake the cakes for 15 minutes or until golden or a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.img_0649
  • Meanwhile, make the jam. Add the raspberries to a pan and cook over a medium heat until the fruit breaks down.
  • Add the cornflour a teaspoon at a time, stirring continuously with a whisk and until it is well combined.
  • Gradually add a little water until your jam reaches a good, thick consistency. This will vary depending on your preference.img_0639
  • I pushed my jam through a sieve to make it smooth and child friendly, but otherwise pour the jam into a cold dish and allow to cool before putting in the fridge to set.
  • Now you can make your buttercream icing. The sweet potato should be cooked and cooled at this stage. Scoop out the flesh and mash.
  • In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil and gradually whisk in the cocoa powder to make a syrup. When fully combined, remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  • Add the dates and milk to a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
  • Add the mashed potato, nut butter, vanilla essence into the processor and mix thoroughly.
  • Finally, add the chocolate syrup and mix until smooth.
  • And so you can now assemble your cake! If necessary, use a cake or bread knife to give the cakes a flat top.
  • Place one cake top down on a serving plate or dish. Spread a generous layer of jam carefully over the cake.img_0667
  • Next gently spread 1/2 of the buttercream all over.
  • Put the second cake on top, and finish with the remaining buttercream.img_0672
  • Decorate with cocoa nibs, fresh raspberries and desiccated coconut.

Serve and enjoy!


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