Chocolate olive oil cake with figs and hazelnuts

by Angela Clutton

A light chocolate cake with a topping of tangy yoghurt and crunchy nuts

This is a pleasingly elegant cake to serve as a dessert. It’s not overly rich and has a lovely tangy bite from the yoghurt topping. Autumn’s hazelnuts give it crunch as well as flavour.


150ml mild olive oil
50g cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
125g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
200g thick Greek yoghurt
2 ripe figs
100g skinned hazelnuts, toasted

23cm springform cake tin


Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease the sides of the tin with a little of the oil and line its base with baking paper. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl, then whisk in 125ml boiling water and the vanilla extract. Set aside.

Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into a different bowl, then use an electric whisk to beat all that together until thickened. You are trying to get lots of air into the mix. Beat in the cocoa powder mix then sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt. Gently but thoroughly mix the flour in—you don’t want to lose all the air you’ve beaten in. Pour into your prepared cake tin.

Bake for 40-45 mins until just about set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 mins, then remove from the tin. If not eating straight away, store the plain cake in an airtight tin before finishing the cake with the yoghurt, figs and nuts. It will keep well like that for a up to 3 days. Otherwise, once it is totally cool, spoon the thick yoghurt on top. Slice the figs and arrange on top too. Chop the hazelnuts and scatter over.

Recipe: Angela Clutton