Lighter Chocolate Cake

When a friend of mine asked me to share a recipe for a lighter chocolate cake, my first (and usual) response was to just have a smaller piece of a “normal” chocolate cake instead. However, I remembered a recipe in a Feel Good Food magazine I bought in London that did seem intriguing and got many positive reviews online.

This was a recipe for chocolate cake by Dan Lepard. I liked the fact that this recipe used “normal” ingredients like eggs, walnut oil and flour for the cake, but also added a special ingredient to lighten things up a little. That ingredient seemed both strange and fascinating at the same time and after my friends’ request, I knew I needed to try it myself.


lighter chocolate cake




I have to say this lighter chocolate cake turned out really well. It’s dark and intense, has a fudgy, moist but soft texture and really tastes like a proper chocolate cake. You could dust it with cocoa powder, spread some icing on top, or serve this cake drizzled with some melted chocolate.

You can’t recognize that special ingredient at all and I’m sure no one will guess it. Nobody will find out that there are pears (!) involved, unless you tell them.




Does this mean this version is my new favorite chocolate cake recipe? Not really: I still prefer a traditional (pear-less and with butter) cake, but I have to say this is a great lighter alternative!


lighter chocolate cake

Lighter Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Lighter Chocolate Cake


1 15 oz (or 411 gr.) can pear halves in juice
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (75 gr.) cocoa powder
2/3 cup (125 gr.) caster sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (50 ml) walnut oil
3 medium eggs
1 3/4 cup (225 gr.) plain flour
2½ teaspoon baking powder


  1. Drain the pears well, reserving the juice.
  2. Measure the cocoa, sugar and 125ml of the pear juice into a saucepan, madly whisk it all together and bring to the first 'plop' of a boil. Spoon it with the pear halves, into a mixing bowl and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile line the bottom and sides of a 20cm round 7cm deep cake tin with non-stick baking paper and preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted) gas mark 4.
  4. Spoon the pears and cocoa mixture, into a blender, add the vanilla and oil and purée until smooth. Pour this back into the bowl, then beat in the eggs.
  5. Stir together the flour and baking powder, sift into the bowl and beat until smooth.
  6. Scrape the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.


Recipe from Dan Lepard


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