I love Nigella Lawsons Chocolate Olive Oil Cake. So simple and so delicious. It was first published in Nigellas cookbook Nigellissima. Nigella uses a regular olive oil but I use a light olive oil ….... The cake may be made with ground almonds which is great and also gluten-free or wheat flour can be used. To make it more of a dessert, Nigella suggests serving it slightly warm with berries and mascarpone or cream, or ice cream.

Makes 8 – 12 slices

Prep Time: 20 min

Cooking Time: 25-30 min

Serves: 5


  • 150ml olive oil (plus more for greasing)
  • 50 grams of cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 125ml boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 150g ground almonds (or 125g cake flour)
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch salt
  • 200grams caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Icing sugar for dusting (optional)


Preheat your oven to 170ºC (or 150ºC for a fan oven).

Grease a 22 or 23cm springform tin with a little oil and line the base with baking paper.

Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl or jug and whisk in the boiling water until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny (but only just) paste. Whisk in the vanilla extract, then set aside to cool a little.

In another smallish bowl, combine the ground almonds (or flour) with the bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt.

Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (or other bowl and whisk arrangement of your choice) and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.

Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond (or flour) mixture.

Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.

Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin. Leave to cool completely or eat while still warm. If you like, dust with sifted icing sugar.

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