Chocolate Fruit Cake

This is a dense, moist and very, very filling chocolate fruit cake. I normally don't serve this after a large meal because people simply can't eat much of it. However, if you serve it at tea time or after a light lunch, people might enjoy a slice or two. The cake is packed with fibre, antioxidants and vitamins and is low fat. It also does not include any lactose and is therefore perfect for those that are allergic or intolerant to milk products.

If you can find ready toasted and blanched hazelnuts, these will save you time in preparation. Note that you will need a food processor to make this recipe and you will also need a round spring form cake tin, 21 centimetres (8.3 inches) in diameter and 5 centimetres (2 inches) deep

A massive and very filling cake

This recipe is:

  • Lactose (dairy) free

Chocolate Fruit Cake

Makes 1 cake


  • 100 grams hazelnuts, toasted and chopped coarsely
  • 400 grams (14 oz) pitted prunes, chopped coarsely
  • 250 grams (8½ oz) raisins
  • 125 grams (4¼ oz) pitted dates, chopped coarsely
  • 50 grams (1½ oz) dark, organic chocolate (with raw cane sugar), chopped finely
  • 2 oranges (zest and 200 millilitres (7 fluid oz) juice)
  • 50 grams (1½ oz) cashew nuts, finely ground
  • 50 grams (1½ oz) almonds, finely ground
  • 125 millilitres (4¼ fluid oz) water
  • 100 millilitres (3½ fluid oz) agave nectar
  • 125 millilitres (4¼ fluid oz) apple sauce
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 150 grams (5 oz) spelt flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon aluminium free and gluten free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg or cloves
  • 2 eggs (please use free range eggs)


  1. First of all, you should toast the 100 grams hazelnuts. To do this, place the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 6 for 5 minutes; it's important to use a timer since it is extremely easy to forget the nuts in the oven! Allow the nuts to cool and rub the skins off, chop coarsely.
  2. Chop the 125 grams dates and 400 grams prunes coarsely. Set aside.
  3. Chop the 50 grams chocolate finely and set aside.
  4. Zest the 2 oranges or grate finely. Squeeze 200 millilitres orange juice into a small bowl.
  5. Place 50 grams cashew nuts and 50 grams almonds in a food processor and blend for 1 minute or until very finely ground (without being oily).
  6. In a large saucepan, place the prunes, dates, orange juice, orange zest, 125 millilitres apple juice, almond and cashew mixture, 5 tablespoons coconut oil, 125 millilitres water and 100 millilitres agave nectar. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  7. In a large bowl, sift together 150 grams spelt flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg or cloves. Stir well.
  8. With a large wooden spoon, fold in the cooked ingredients from the saucepan into the large bowl. Do this swiftly and fold approximately 8-10 times.
  9. Add the 2 eggs and chocolate and hazelnuts and fold 5-6 times until well combined.
  10. Line a round spring form cake tin 21 centimetres (8.3 inches) in diameter, 5 centimetres (2 inches) deep, with baking parchment.
  11. Pour the batter into the tin.
  12. Bake at 150 degrees Celsius/300 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 2, for 1½ hour (90 minutes). The cake should be slightly sticky but not hard. If the cake is very soft in the middle, bake for a further 15 minutes. The cake should be soft and moist.
  13. Cool on a wire rack


  • The cake freezes well. Cut into sections and freeze.
  • Keep in mind that the cake is massive and quite filling. I prefer to serve it after a light meal.
  • You can use apricots, currants, dried apples and pineapple instead of the dates or some of the raisins.
  • You can use maple syrup or acacia honey instead of the agave nectar.        
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.
  • You can use whole wheat flour instead of the spelt flour.
  • You can use organic baby food instead of the apple sauce. Use baby food with apples, apricots, pineapples, bananas or pears. Just make sure they are without added sugar.
  • You can add lemon zest into the batter for a delicious twist.