Aubergine chocolate cake (GF, DF)

aubergine chocolate cake

I really hope seeing the words ‘aubergine’, ‘chocolate’ and ‘cake’ in the title don’t put people off reading this – it sounds odd, but it works, I promise!

I first learnt about this cake from the pony’s sister – she told me she’d heard about a flourless chocolate cake that used aubergines but didn’t know where the recipe was from. I was intrigued, and did I find a couple of bloggers who had made aubergine cakes, but I didn’t manage to track down the original recipe and then sort of forgot about making it.

Several months on, I was given the Green & Black’s Ultimate Chocolate Recipes, and while flicking through the cake section I landed upon a recipe for a ‘Heartache Cake’ by Harry Eastwood – top of the list of ingredients was aubergines and I realised I’d found the actual recipe!

I first made this when the pony was going to stay with his family, and although the feedback from them was great, I didn’t get to try any myself and I knew I would have to try it again at some point to satisfy my curiosity.

The cake is wheat and gluten free, dairy free, and also uses no refined sugars. The sweetness in the cake comes from honey, and so when I saw that was Choclette‘s pick for this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge, it gave me the perfect reason to revisit the Heartache Cake.


I’ve renamed it a slightly less emotive ‘aubergine chocolate cake’, partly because I’m not really a fan of the flowery language used by Harry Eastwood, but also because there is nothing sad about this cake whatsoever – it’s delicious!

EDIT – the fact that I’ve renames this cake means it’s also eligible for this month’s AlphaBakes challenge, hosted alternately by Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline at Caroline Makes – A for Aubergine!

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I understand the chemistry of how these ingredients can come together and actually make a cake, but they do, and it is so worth trying, and I am especially glad to have a recipe I know I can turn to if I need to cater for multiple dietary requirements that no one would ever guess is a ‘free-from’ cake’.

I am now keen to expand my vegetable baking repertoire – I’ve done courgette, carrot and squash, and I’ve seen a few recipes for beetroot and parsnip, but is there anything even more unusual out there? If you have any weird and wonderful recipes, let me know!

Aubergine chocolate cake (adapted from Harry Eastwood’s recipe in the Green & Black’s cookbook)

  • 2 medium aubergines (400g raw weight)
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 200g clear honey
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • cocoa powder to dust

Start by piercing the aubergines with a sharp knife, placing in a bowl covered with clingfilm, and microwaving on full power for about 8 minutes, or until completely soft. If you don’t have a microwave I think baking the aubergines whole would work too, it would just take a lot longer.

When the aubergines are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and blitz the flesh in a food processor with the dark chocolate, until the chocolate has completely melted and there are no lumps of aubergine left. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, cocoa, almonds and baking powder until bubbly and doubled in volume, then fold in the chocolate aubergine mixture.

Pour the cake mix into a greased and lined 9″ round tin, and bake on the bottom shelf of your oven at 170 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until risen at the edges and starting to crack. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out onto a serving place and dust liberally with cocoa powder.


20 thoughts on “Aubergine chocolate cake (GF, DF)

  1. I’ve never heard of Aubergine Cake, but how amazing?! I’ve baked with carrots, parsnips, beetroot, courgettes, squash and pumpkin and always with impressively moist results. And I’ve heard of a white chocolate and sweet potato cake which will no doubt be tried along with your gorgeous ‘free from’ pretty much everything Aubergine Chocolate! Thanks so much.

  2. This looks great, my other half is on a no- processed carbs thing at the moment this will be perfect for his birthday 🙂

    • Perfect – I hope it turns out ok! My other half, the pony, is trying to cut out most dairy so it worked well for him too – although if something’s chocolatey enough he seems to forget about the dairy anyway!

  3. Oh well done Nat, this looks superb. I’ve been put off from making it in the past because I’m not very keen on aubergines, but now you’ve given the assurance they can’t be detected, I might give it a try. They are quite an oily vegetable, so I can see how this would work. I’ve only baked with boring old carrot, squash, parsnip, courgette and beetroot, so you are well ahead of me. Actually that’s not true, I have used potato before too. Thanks for entering it into We Should Cocoa.

  4. I love aubergines and have never thought of putting them in a cake. Definitely bookmarking this one! I tried a chocolate potato cake once which was really good but nothing else too unusual. Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

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