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Chocolate and Date Cake

While so many have taken to baking and the flour and eggs are running out, we quite fancied cake, and a chocolate cake to boot. As we’ve had some dates loitering for a while and Holly had been interested in exploring vegan cakes, here’s what we made after checking out several different possible recipes – a moist chocolate cake with no eggs or dairy so good for people with those intolerances and also gluten free.

Dark, moist and chocolatey, just what you want in a chocolate cake; nothing worthy about it. You may wonder why there’s vinegar in a cake mixture – we certainly did; apparently it helps coagulate the milk and helps replace the egg. If you want to use gluten free flour, that would be fine.

Here’s what we did –

Chocolate and Date Cake

Who’s for a slice??!


250g pitted dates soaked in 175g boiling water

200g self raising flour (gluten free alternative if you like)

60g cocoa powder

100g coconut oil (we used this as we had it and wanted to use it up but you could use vegan margarine or butter if you didn’t want to go down the vegan route)

150g light brown sugar

100ml vegan milk (or dairy if you like)

1tbsp white wine vinegar

For the topping – 80g chocolate, milk or dark, chopped, and 2tbsp maple syrup

Oven, cake tins etc

Oven at 170C fan (so 190C regular)

1x 20cm square cake tin lined with baking parchment (or whatever tin you have – this is just what we used)


  • Leave the dates in the boiling water for about 20 minutes or until they are soft and whizz them up together with a hand blender until smooth.

    Chocolate and Date Cake

    Soak the dates in the boiling water

  • Mix the flour with the cocoa powder in a large bowl.

    Chocolate and Date Cake

    Dry ingredients into a large bowl

  • Melt the coconut oil in a pan over a low heat and gradually beat in the sugar, milk and vinegar off the heat.

    Chocolate and Date Cake

    Melt the coconut oil

  • Fold the coconut oil mixture and the date mixture into the dry ingredients until it’s all incorporated and there’s no dry floury bits.

    Chocolate and Date Cake

    Fold everything together

  • Turn the mixture into the cake tin and gently level off the top.

    Chocolate and Date Cake

    Turn the mixture into the tin

  • Bake the cake in the oven until the top is firm and the cake has shrunk away from the edges. The skewer test will probably come out a bit sticky so don’t use that as a judgment. Ours took 35 minutes exactly so keep an eye on it from 30 minutes or so depending on how your oven cooks. Turn the cake on to a wire rack to cool down.

    Chocolate and Date Cake


  • When the cake is cook make the topping by melting the chocolate and maple syrup gently together over a low heat. You can use a bain marie if you like but if you’re careful and keep an eye on it, you can put it in a small pan; that’s what we do.

    Chocolate and Date Cake

    Making the topping

  • When the chocolate is starting to melt, take it off the heat and stir with a spatula until it’s smooth. Pour and spread the topping over the cake.

    Chocolate and Date Cake


That’s it – we really like it so we hope you do too! Do let us know how you get on.

Happy baking!

David and Hollyx