Chocolate Walnut Cake – Grain and Dairy Free

Chocolate sponge layers based on toasted walnut meal and cacao powder with chocolate cream made with avocado, banana and walnut meal, allow to make rich and moist, truly chocolate cake without butter and commercial chocolate. When on a restrictive diet it is quite difficult to be sure that any chocolate, regular or cooking, does not have traces of ingredients you do not tolerate. It is also the case that when excluding both chocolate and butter you will face difficulties to achieve soft and moist texture of chocolate sponge. The recipe below provides an opportunity to create just that, structurally sound, yet soft and moist sponge, that can be paired with light chocolate cream that easily retains the shape after piping. The cake is delicious with only chocolate cream, but paired with semi-sour apricot puree or jam it takes the taste to another, more sophisticated level.

Toasted walnut meal with some small pieces of walnuts, absent in regular walnut meal, gives sponge texture an extra dimension. With walnut meal in the cream and walnuts to decorate the sponge, this cake is through and through walnut.

Toasted walnut meal is the star ingredient of the cake. It is manufactured in Victoria by Pepo Farms and can be bought in health food shops and online.


chocolate walnut cream

  • 100g avocado flesh
  • 100g not too ripe banana
  • 50g honey
  • 10-20ml lemon juice
  • 20g raw cacao powder
  • 70g toasted walnut meal

chocolate walnut sponge

  • 200g pure apple puree (I use blended apple pie filling)
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g glucose powder (use 110g of regular sugar if you tolerate it)
  • 120g toasted walnut meal
  • 40g raw cacao powder
  • 6g baking soda
  • 7-8 walnuts for sponge decoration


When using sugar as the ingredient to replace glucose powder, use extra 15g of walnut meal, or grind larger particles from walnut meal remaining in the sieve to flour consistency.


  • coconut oil for baking pan
  • apricot puree or jam (optional)


chocolate walnut cream

  • place banana and avocado fresh, honey and lemon juice in a blending glass
  • blend until fully combined
  • transfer the mixture into a medium size bowl
  • add toasted walnut meal, stir it in and use stick blender to achieve smooth and fine texture
  • add cacao powder
  • mix it in, until fully combined
  • cream can be stored refrigerated for 3-5 days before consumption

chocolate walnut sponge

  • put walnut meal through a sieve, return larger particles to a bowl (if using sugar, grind these particle and return them to a dry mix)
  • add cacao powder and baking soda, put them through a sieve if necessary
  • mix all dry ingredients

  • if using sugar whisk eggs and sugar in a bowl, add apple puree and whisk again to fully combine all ingredients
  • if using glucose powder whisk eggs first, adding glucose powder in 3-4 batches, the mixture will be firmer compare to that with sugar
  • add apple puree and whisk more for 2-3 minutes

  • grease the sheet of baking paper and the ring of springform pan (19cm) with coconut oil
  • when assembling baking tin use greased baking paper sheet on the bottom of the pan

  • add dry ingredients to wet
  • combine wet and dry ingredients with a whisk
  • pour the batter into prepared tin
  • tap baking tin on the surface for the batter to get level, or use palette knife
  • apply quarters of walnuts to batter top

  • preheat oven to 170C with fan regime, place baking tin into the oven, lower the temperature to 165C
  • bake for 45-50 minutes, until toothpick comes out dry from the sponge and the edges separate from the cake tin ring

  • make sure that the sides of the cake do not stick to the tin ring
  • take the ring off
  • let the cake rest until it completely cools off, it is better to let the cake rest for 2-3 hours before cutting the sponge into two layers

  • apply chocolate cream
  • use thick concentrated apricot puree or apricot jam (optional)
  • use extra thick layer of cream in the middle as the sponge slightly sinks when cooling down

  • place the layer with walnuts on top
  • gently press it down to avoid air pockets

In cool weather cake can be stored 1-2 days at room temperature, but it is better to refrigerate the cake in warm and hot weather, or when it lasts more than 2 days.

5 thoughts on “Chocolate Walnut Cake – Grain and Dairy Free

    1. Thank you, I am happy to report that your quinoa cookies recipe got me thinking about similar recipes for corn flour. As a result I worked out nearly universal recipe with main flour, flax or chia supplement flour, butter and either egg or sour cream, that gives two types of cookies. Soft middle with hard and crunchy crust from a softer dough, or wonderfully crumbly all through the cookie from a shortcrust type dough. With both corn and millet flour and with either ground flax, flaxseed flour or ground chia these cookies are simply irresistible and became my grandson’s favourite instantly. I would never venture into that type of dough if not for your quinoa recipe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad it was useful. That’s really amazing, I have various cookie recipes with different textures, but I’ve never had an all purpose recipe. I hope more and more people find your wonderful recipes, I know they’ve been a great help to me. The scone I made based on your apple puree bread is now always stocked in my freezer. I’d never thought of using fruit like that before and now I couldn’t be without these scones.

        Liked by 1 person

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