© 2010 Green Kitchen Stories Blackberry_chocolate_cake

Vegan Chocolate & Blackberry Fudge Cake

And so we have left San Francisco. What a great time we have had in this city. Everyone has been friendly to us and we have found ourselves having long conversations with complete strangers on the streets and in food stores numerous times (which never happens in Sweden). We have constantly been eating good food and we even met a couple of new friends. And when we thought that the city couldn’t be sunnier or happier, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in Baseball. Such a perfect ending.

Now we have rented a car and started driving down south. Highway 1 is beyond beautiful and we have made our first stop is Santa Cruz, but we’ll tell you more about that in our next post.

Before we left, we made this chocolate cake filled and topped with blackberries. Actually it’s not very difficult to make a normal chocolate cake, you can probably find 5 zillion good recipes on google and at least 70 on Martha Stewart. But our cake is made without eggs, butter, sugar and flour, which made everything a little bit more challenging. We tried three different versions of this cake before finding the right balance between fruit vs chocolate, sticky vs dry and sweet vs dark and rich.

In the end it feels like we nailed it. This cake is sticky on the inside, has got a quite fruity taste and a rich chocolate spread. It’s gluten free and it’s vegan. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it’s healthy, but it is definitely more nutritious than your regular Martha Stewart cake.

Chocolate & Blackberry Fudge Cake

1 1/2 cup raw walnuts
15 fresh soft medjool-like dates, pitted
5 tbsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp coconut oil (room temperature) or olive oil
4 tbsp apple sauce (unsweetened)
2 cups / 200 g blackberries (save half for decoration)

Chocolate & Avocado Frosting
150 g dark chocolate (dairy free or regular)
1/2 avocado
1 tbsp maple-, agave syrup or liquid honey
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 325° F / 175° C. Place walnuts in a food processor and until crunchy flour, add dates and pulse until mixed. Then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse everything until well combine, you might have to scrape down the sides with a spoon a couple of times. Add the blackberries and only pulse a few times (you want the berries in pieces but not completely dissolved). Pour the mixture into an 8-inch non-stick spring pan and bake it for 40 – 50 minutes.

Let the cake cool slightly before removing the spring pan. Meanwhile prepare the frosting. Melt the chocolate and pour into a blender and mix with the rest of the ingredients until smooth. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled chocolate cake and decorate with blackberries. Serve.


  1. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 08:24 | #

    That sounds really delicious! I love recipes that give a healthy twist to old favourites. And Elsa is such a star! So gorgeous :-)
    Drive carefully and looking forward to hearing all about Santa Cruz! xx

  2. s
    Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 08:33 | #

    Deliziosa la descrizione della tua ricetta.. e anche la ricetta stessa !
    Un abbraccio ciao

  3. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 09:01 | #

    I’m excited to hear about your adventures with Da!
    This cake looks divine. I really like dates in desserts because they give it such a nice sweet chewiness.

  4. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 09:19 | #

    Oh this looks too decadent. such an awesome recipe!

  5. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 11:18 | #

    I am so glad you enjoyed your time in San Francisco. I really enjoyed reading about your adventures. I’m hoping to make my way there next summer. What a gorgeous cake. I think it would be the perfect treat for my Mom’s birthday next week. She is vegan and can’t have processed flours. It is like this was made for her. Thank you.

  6. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 11:18 | #

    I am so glad you enjoyed your time in San Francisco. I really enjoyed reading about your adventures. I’m hoping to make my way there next summer. What a gorgeous cake. I think it would be the perfect treat for my Mom’s birthday next week. She is vegan and can’t have processed flours. It is like this was made for her. Thank you.

  7. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 11:57 | #

    That looks like one happy baby! And what a fantastic recipe this is! I’m dying to try it!

  8. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 12:19 | #

    This looks so fabulous! And what wonderful ingredients. I love the fresh feel of your space here. Glad I discovered it!

  9. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 13:41 | #

    This cake sounds divine! I love the natural sources you use to sweeten your desserts.

    I’m so sad you left San Francisco right before I’m flying there! I would have loved to have met you two (and little Elsa of course).

  10. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 13:48 | #

    Delicieux! This looks + sounds just delicious, I will have to try this recipe for sure.

  11. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 14:48 | #

    WOW! That’s all I can say. This looks heavenly!

  12. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 15:32 | #

    Yay, vegan AND gluten free!

  13. Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 18:28 | #

    You guys do make extremely delicious things but I am convinced that the most delicious thing you two have ever made was baby Elsa. Look at her with blackberries all over her face, she’s too much!

  14. alison
    Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 21:33 | #

    it looks very tasty! love the flower~

  15. Julie
    Posted 3 Nov ’10 at 22:32 | #

    Definitely going to try this cake!
    I love reading about your journey. I traveled trough California last year and it was such an amazing experience. Everytime I hear ‘California dreaming’ on the radio, my heart breaks a little. Hope I can go back soon. Enjoy the rest of your trip and keep those stories and recipes coming!

  16. Posted 4 Nov ’10 at 00:55 | #

    101 is such a beautiful drive the whole length of it! Glad you guys are enjoying your west coast vacation!

  17. Valeria
    Posted 4 Nov ’10 at 21:15 | #

    WoW!!! looks delicious! and I bet it tastes delicious too.
    Elsa seems to be having a lot of fun with those blackberries, she looks so funny! ^^ :D (always puts a smile on me and my face, and I’d guess on yours as well)
    Drive safely ;)

  18. Sofie Jensen
    Posted 4 Nov ’10 at 21:16 | #

    Lækker, lækker side I har!
    Kan man anvende rapsolie i kagen? Og Har I andre forslag til bær? Kan man evt. bruge (optøede) frosne bær?

    • Posted 5 Nov ’10 at 05:09 | #

      Hej Sofie. Tak skal du have!
      Du kan sagtens anvende rapsolie hvis du vil. Men du skal huske på at enkeltumættede og flerumættede fedtsyrer ikke tåler at blive varmet for meget op. Kommer man op på stegetemperaturer, ødelægger man nogle af de gode fedtsyrer og danner i stedet skadelige nedbrydningsprodukter, bla. transfedtsyrer. De olier der tåler bedst opvarmning er kokosolie, olivenolie (palmeolie og smør). Olivenolie er også super god i kager, du vil ikke nå de høje temperaturer og du kan ikke smage olivenolie smagen.

      Du kan bruge alle bær, også optøede. God bagning!!

      • Sofie Jensen
        Posted 13 Nov ’10 at 17:38 | #

        Årh okay – jeg var nemlig bange for at olivenolien ville blive for gennemtrængende.
        Tusind tak:)

  19. Posted 5 Nov ’10 at 03:55 | #

    If only I could find good tasting berries now, I would absolutely make this cake. I suppose I could leave the blackberries out, but it just wouldn’t be the same. Regardless, the cake looks wonderful and your photos are beautiful as always!

    • Posted 5 Nov ’10 at 05:16 | #

      Hi Jodye! Thank you :)

      Try the recipe with any kind of frozen berries!

  20. Posted 5 Nov ’10 at 09:18 | #

    I woke up today with a terrible craving for cake and chocolate, this recipe arrives just in good time (and as Jodye, I don´t have any fresh berries, but I will try it with frozen ones).

    have a safe trip

  21. Posted 5 Nov ’10 at 14:16 | #

    I loved this cake! I made it and put it on our blog! I hope thats ok. It’s the first vegan cake I have come to love. Thank you so much!

  22. Posted 5 Nov ’10 at 14:35 | #

    It looks delicious!
    I have discovered your blog through a friend who is a fan. I love it.
    Have you think about spending time in France during your trip. I know it’s a little chauvinistic but this is a beautiful country.

  23. cathrine
    Posted 5 Nov ’10 at 22:52 | #

    Hej alle tre:)
    Jeg nørder jeres blog rigtig meget da jeg kan se at i deler en passion for mad ligesom jeg – og det er skønt med alle de lækre opskrifter i har. Jeg kan sige fra mine venner og familie medlemmer at de nyder den forsødede tilværelse de nu har fået når jeg bager så meget:)
    Men, jeg har et spørgsmål til kagen – hvad er det “apple sauce” for noget, og ved i eventuelt hvor man kan købe det eller noget der kan erstatte det?
    Jeg håber at i nyder jeres tur meget, og det er dejligt at få et indblik i jeres hyggelige familie:)

    • Posted 5 Nov ’10 at 23:56 | #

      Hej Cathrine!
      Tusind tak :)

      Apple sauce er faktisk bare æblemos, du kan enten købe det på glas og det fås både usødet og økologisk og det er ret billigt! Du kan også koge nogle æbler mørre og mose dem.

      Hils familien og håber at de kan lide denne kage også!

  24. Posted 7 Nov ’10 at 14:56 | #

    Hej søs håber at i har en go tur. det er en alt for lækker kage.
    jeg er i fuld sving med at lave den. mums jeg glæder mig. vi ses snart. knus brormand

  25. Posted 9 Nov ’10 at 09:00 | #

    This looks divine!

  26. NICOLE
    Posted 11 Nov ’10 at 22:28 | #


  27. Posted 12 Nov ’10 at 07:46 | #

    Damaris has introduced me to your blog and I adore it. Your daughter breaks my heart she’s so cute. Lovely photos. And this cake sounds delicious – loving the use of avocado in the icing.

  28. Posted 12 Nov ’10 at 09:04 | #

    Wow – Avocado in the frosting? Awesome idea … will definitely be giving this a try sometime. I made chocolate cupcakes just last night actually. If I’d seen this one day earlier I would have loved to have given this a try :)

  29. Posted 17 Nov ’10 at 18:37 | #

    gorgeous. what kind of flower is it?

  30. Jennifer L.
    Posted 21 Nov ’10 at 18:45 | #

    Yesterday was my birthday and it was just the excuse I needed to make this cake. First of all, let me clarify why exactly it needs to be baked–or more accurately, how did it even get in the oven? I could have eaten all the batter as it was like pudding :-). Mmmm! I managed to get most of it in the pan and baked. The result was a yummy fudge like cake. Oh it is just delightful. I used frozen blackberries and it was fine. I made the mistake of eating a little slice for breakfast and I am thinking maybe I should save it for a proper dessert! Perhaps I’ll go run around the block two or three times now :-).

    You seem to have missed the cold weather here in Santa Cruz. Admittedly, we’re a little spoiled–it gets down to 52 degrees F and we act like it’s the Ice Age or something. Brrrr-it’s chilly here! Hopefully you’re heading south to the warmer areas of CA!

  31. Posted 21 Nov ’10 at 21:11 | #

    That’s a good idea to use avocado instead of butter, isn’t it? What do you think if I try to bake any other cake which needs butter and use avocado?
    However, this cake I will try very soon – just not with blackberries, but with blackcurrants.
    Tusind tak

  32. Posted 25 Nov ’10 at 01:44 | #

    Now this cake truly is stunning. The flower is an incredible accent to your cake. It seems very delicious and divine!

  33. Sasha Rose
    Posted 1 Jan ’11 at 19:30 | #

    Just to say that you 3 are a total inspiration and it is so so wonderful to have stumbled upon your blog a few months ago. We love your food and it’s been so fun reading your blog. Thanks for taking the time to put this together… we all really really appreciate it. Happy New Year!!
    ps. I am making this cake for my best friend’s daughter’s Christening tomorrow… we are always looking for good vegan desserts that aren’t full of artificial and alternative (e.g. fake cheese) ingredients.

  34. Stephanie
    Posted 4 Mar ’11 at 20:12 | #

    I made this cake with my friends and we were blown away by how sinfully delicious it was! The chocolate frosting made with avocado, genius! The frosting was truly amazing. I’m making it again today for a dinner party. Thank you!

  35. Posted 27 Mar ’11 at 17:10 | #

    I baked the cake 2 times. Unfortunatelly the cake was falling apart both times. The “dough” didn’t stick together after baking. Do you know what I mean? I don’t know what I did wrong.

    I used frozen blakcberry because it is not in season in Hungary. My food processor is not very strong and the dates stayed a bit lumpy. Maybe this was the problem. What do you think?

    It tasted great although but I would like to make the cake perfectly – this way I could cut proper slices from it.

    • Posted 5 Apr ’11 at 12:55 | #

      Hi Zita, sorry for the late response. And how unfortunate that your cake didn’t come out right. Here are a few tricks that might help you.
      1. I am guessing that you can blame your problems on the dates. One of the most important things when making this recipe, is to use fresh dates and not dried. They are a lot softer than dried dates, and shouldn’t be a challenge to the food processor. When you mix them they turn in to as sticky sweet dough. If you can’t find fresh dates, you can soak the dried dates for a couple of hours to make them softer.
      2. If you use frozen berries, make sure that you take them out of the freezer about an hour before you use them.
      3. Before you throw the blackberries in the dough you want it to be completely mixed (no lumps). If it feels too dry and firm you can add some more apple sauce or oil to it. If you are still having problems with lumps in the dough, maybe it is your food processor that is not strong enough.

  36. Posted 5 Apr ’11 at 08:48 | #

    Hello guys,
    can you reply to my above question, please? I really would like to make this cake perfectly!!! :)
    Tack & Tak! :)

  37. Elisa
    Posted 19 May ’11 at 11:07 | #

    Love your blog!
    I have a question. What can I substitue for applesauce in this recipe? I can’t absorb fructose very well and apples are a big no no – as are pears. thanks :)

    • Posted 19 May ’11 at 16:48 | #

      Hi Elisa! Thank you!

      You can substitute 4 tbsp applesauce with 1 egg, if you’re not a vegan. If you do not eat eggs, you might want to try using starch, like tapioca or Psyllium seed Husks I haven’t tried that but it might work.

      Good luck!

  38. Posted 10 Jul ’11 at 01:18 | #

    Amazing. Truly amazing. My family of egg/butter/flour/cream lovers inhaled the cake. The blackberries we bought were super tart so I made a blackberry-maple compote to serve on top. I also had individual springform pans which I used so everyone had their mini-cakes. Baked for 30-33 minutes instead of the 40-50. Thank you so much for your recipes, they are truly an inspiration!

  39. Posted 31 Jul ’11 at 00:46 | #

    I made this with very slight changes and it turned out heavenly!!!! Thank you guys, you are genious!

  40. Nathalia
    Posted 2 Mar ’12 at 13:47 | #

    Hello :)
    Hvor mange personer kan man servere kagen til? :)
    Kan man evt. servere den til 11 pers. hvis der er is til, eller skal man lave to? :)

    • Posted 2 Mar ’12 at 14:00 | #

      Hej Nathalia!
      Kagen er jo lidt “fudge” agtig så man spiser ik så store stykker, men jeg ville alligevel lave 2.
      Happy baking

  41. Nathalia
    Posted 3 Mar ’12 at 12:22 | #

    Det gør jeg! :)
    Mange tak for hjælpen og tak for en fantalastisk blog :)

  42. Caroline
    Posted 13 Apr ’12 at 16:55 | #

    I just made this delicious cake! It was super easy and came out perfect! Thx so much for this delicious recipe!
    xx Caroline
    PS: I used raspberries instead of blackberries, because they didnt have them, and it came out fine!

  43. kasia
    Posted 13 Jun ’12 at 18:10 | #

    Do you think I could use almond flour instead of walnut flour?


    • Posted 13 Jun ’12 at 18:45 | #

      Hi Kasia, yes I think almond flour would work just as good. Good luck!

  44. Agnes
    Posted 14 Mar ’13 at 23:46 | #

    what do you think about leaving the cake raw??? As I can see, all the ingredients can be eaten as they are, aren’t they?
    I thought to take it in the fridge to let it firm up.
    What is your opinion?

    • Ash
      Posted 16 Jun ’13 at 03:12 | #

      I was thinking the same…..I might try making it as a frozen cake that way it will all hold together :)

  45. Hannah
    Posted 17 Mar ’13 at 04:31 | #

    This recipe looks fantastic and I can’t wait to try it. I’m pretty sure pure cocao power has no fat, right? Can you substitute the dark chocolate in the frosting with the powder? I’m trying find deserts that are healthy and don’t have chocolate in them, so…thanks!

  46. Posted 9 Jun ’13 at 14:54 | #

    I made this yesterday for a birthday and used a combination of blackberries, raspberries and pomegranate seeds – it was so delicious! Everyone loved it and were shocked by the tasty avocado frosting. So moist and dense like a torte. Thanks for a delicious dessert recipe without added sugar or flours, what a treat. Leftovers for breakfast :)

  47. Ditta
    Posted 9 Sep ’13 at 16:52 | #

    Dear David, Luise and Elsa,
    I am new to your blog, and in the blissfully happy state of discovery. I am impressed, I just love your foods, your writings, and…you three!

    Last night a friend brought me a box full of freshly picked, wild blackberries that she found on her walk in the woods. So I typed “blackberry” in the search of your blog, aaaaand…..

    …the base of this cake is just sitting in the oven, 15 more minutes to go. This is the first vegan, flour free cake that I am baking, and…gosh, I would have never believed that this cake would actually RISE!!! But it did, and the whole house is fragrant with it, can’t wait to get it out and prepare the glazing. Thanks a million for your recipes, your creativity, your wonderful ideas, please keep on publishing!

    All my love,


  48. Michelle
    Posted 26 Jul ’14 at 19:26 | #

    Do you think the recipe could be doubled to pick a thicker higher cake?

  49. Agneta
    Posted 2 Mar ’15 at 15:50 | #

    Ser gott ut!
    Äpplesås har jag aldrig hört talats om. Är det äpplemos eller en sås? Var hittar man det?
    Tack för svar! :-)

  50. Alva
    Posted 8 Jun ’15 at 23:28 | #

    I served this cake at a party and it was absolutely amazing! If in doubt – make it, you won’t regret it. I have already thought of several occasions where this cake would be awesome, I literally can’t wait to dig in to it again!

  51. Maya
    Posted 24 Jul ’15 at 20:55 | #

    I just made this and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I substituted almond flour for the walnuts and added a pinch of vanilla too, as well as using blueberries as they were more affordable. The result is absolutely gorgeous – very heavy, but I comfort myself with the idea that it’s not THAT unhealthy ;) Absolutely love your blog, it’s giving me a lot of cooking inspiration. Thank you!

  52. Joyce Gruss
    Posted 26 May ’16 at 23:28 | #

    Made this wonderful dessert for a Gourmet Gals group I belong to and the theme this month was Healthy or Decadent? Everyone was really surprised to hear the ingredients of this delicious treat and I shared the recipe with everyone. We have a few members who must go gluten free and were delighted that they could enjoy every morsel. I didn’t change a thing, it was perfect!

  53. Louise wilson
    Posted 7 Jun ’16 at 11:37 | #

    Hey, we’re looking to cook this for a friend’s birthday tomorrow. It looks lovely! However, she’s allergic to all nuts except cashews, and vegan. Can we substitute cashews for the walnuts. Or buckwheat flowers?

  54. Kristin Dailey
    Posted 10 May ’18 at 16:24 | #

    Quick question, please!
    Can this be made a day ahead ave kept on the refrigerator?

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