Flourless hazelnut and dark chocolate cakes

RECIPE: Flourless hazelnut & dark chocolate cakes

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Satisfy your chocolate craving without the guilt. Recipe by Roberta Nelson.

The title of these cakes makes them sound naughty but that’s completely misleading. They could be titled as ‘refined sugar free’, ‘gluten free’ or ‘high protein’ but that takes away from just how indulgent these little cakes are. 

They have the power to satiate your cravings all the while offering your body some good nutrition from healthy fats to fibre with no processed ingredients in between. 

The base of these cakes is a blend of hazelnuts and coconut blitzed into flour. Both of these ingredients are sources of healthy fats as well as hazelnuts being a good source of protein. This is what sets these cakes apart from the cakes at the local cafe which are generally made with white flour, a processed and low nutritional food. With this flour bend as the foundation, your body will break it down slower, satisfying you sooner and keeping you fuller for longer. 

The natural sweeteners used are a combination of banana, honey or maple syrup. Bananas are source of vitamin B6 required for hundreds of enzyme reactions that help your body break down protein. It is also a rich fibre source which slows the absorption of sugar into your blood stream, helping you maintain more balanced energy. The honey or maple syrup gives these cakes an additional hit of sweetness without overdoing it. Both are a good choice with a lower GI than white sugar. 

The other ingredients from the orange zest to the cinnamon all add a slight sweetness and edge to these cakes. Cinnamon may help to soothe digestion as well as keep blood sugar in check so once again, these cakes will keep your sugar cravings under control. 

They are quick to make and don’t require any fancy machines to make them. Store them at room temperature for up 3 days but they are best eaten up on the day of baking. 

dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free

Makes 8 cakes


  • 2 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 50g 70% dark chocolate
  • 1 cup whole hazelnuts + a few extra for topping or 1 cup hazelnut meal
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder

How to make

  • Heat your oven to 170° C and line an 8-hole muffin tray with baking cups or baking paper. Whisk together the mashed banana, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract, honey and orange zest. Then grate in half of the dark chocolate
  • If you’re making your own hazelnut meal, place the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz them until they are a flour consistency. Don’t over-process as they will turn into butter! Mix together the hazelnut meal, desiccated coconut, cinnamon, salt and baking powder before adding it to the wet mixture and mixing well
  • Divide the batter into the muffin holes and top each one with a chunk of the remaining dark chocolate, pushing the chocolate down in to the batter so it’s half in and half out. Top each one with a hazelnut and put into the oven to bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool. Best enjoyed on the day of baking but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days

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