February 07, 2011

Healthy Birthday Cake - Almond, Hazelnut, Orange and Chocolate!

Hello friends how was your weekend?

I'm always excited to start a new week. I love planning ahead and making to-do lists for the week, whether all the things on the list will get done or not doesn't matter, it's just fun planning.

On Sunday we attended a birthday party where I had been asked to bake a cake. I wanted to make it a healthy one, and I was quite nervous of how the cake would turn out as I didn't have a plan B in store! What made the situation even more nervous was that of course I couldn't cut the cake and check (and taste) how it had turned out before it was already on the table, decorated with candles and then cut into pieces for all the guests to eat *gulp*. I am glad the guests were so polite as to say the cake was "very nice" - at least it made me feel much better ;-)

The cake didn't turn out too bad at all actually. I was quite happy that it tasted as I had planned and imagined it would. This is not a very sweet cake, but the tiny pockets of chocolate give it just enough sweetness with the natural sweetness of the orange. I've lightened the cake with some plain flour, and once again I've replaced all butter with unsweetened apple sauce and fat-free yoghurt. There is only a small amount of brown sugar used, but you could consider using other sweeteners (like raw sugar or raw honey), instead. 

Almond, Hazelnut, Orange and Chocolate Cake
(Serves 10-12)

1 cup almond meal
1 cup hazelnut meal
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
zest of one orange
2 tsp baking powder
6 large free-range eggs
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup organic, fat-free, plain yoghurt
1/4 orange, juiced
100g dark (70%) chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare a 22cm cake tin. In a bowl mix together the dry ingredients: almond and hazelnut meal, flour, cocoa, brown sugar, orange zest and baking powder. In another bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and add in the vanilla, apple sauce, yoghurt and orange juice. Mix well to combine, then mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and fold until smooth. Lastly fold in the chocolate.  

Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve sprinkled with icing sugar. 

Have a lovely week!


  1. This cake looks so light and delicious!

  2. I bet tea poached pear would have been nice with that great looking cake:-)

  3. What a lovely cake! I really like the ingredients you used...



  4. That looks so pretty. what flowers are those at the bottom of the post?

  5. The whole thing...beautiful and delicious!!!

  6. See, here's the thing. "Poclets of chocolate>" If anything has those, then yes, it turned out well ... that looks incredible!

  7. I would be happy with such a healthy birthday cake! :)

  8. Your 'healthing up' of recipes is quite inspirational. Beautiful photos too :)

  9. I think I could eat this all day long, because I love such delicious looking things :)

  10. MMMMMM,..a delightful Birthday cake this is!! It looks so appetizing too!

  11. the cake looks lovely and i'm sure it was wonderful! those hydrangeas are easy on the eyes as well - have a super week!

  12. What a pretty and delicious cake! I'm sure that the lucky birthday recipient was eccstatic with it!

  13. this looks so good i want to try this recipe out !

  14. Wow, what a lovely cake and I love the ingredients in it...almond, hazelnut, chocolate and orange...so good...and the photos are awesome :-)

  15. this looks good!


  16. Your cake looks lovely and the hydranga flower is gorgeous!

  17. This cake is so lovely...good work!
    A nice week also to you! :-)

  18. I always adore the citrus of orange infused in chocolate. Have not tried one combined with nuts though.

  19. My sister and I baked this cake for my dad's birthday and it was DELICIOUS! light, healthy and very tasty. I will definitely bake this again (maybe with a little less brown sugar?)

    Thanks for the recipe!

  20. This cake looks delicious! It would be perfect with coffee. I would love to try baking it.


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