Chocolate, aubergine & cranberry cakes

This gluten-free cake has a festive air and could be served at Christmas or another wintry celebration. Few people will guess it contains aubergine which adds moisture and a silky smooth texture.

Chocolate, Aubergine & Cranberry Cakes - (Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free)

Chocolate, aubergine and cranberry cakes

Recipe credit: Cooking for the Sensitive Gut, Dr Joan Ransley and Dr Nick Read for

Makes: 1 cake (15 slices) or 12 cup cakes | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes



  • A little oil, for the tin (if making 1 large cake with 15 slices)
  • 1 large aubergine (weighing roughly 400g)
  • 300g dark chocolate (60% minimum cocoa solids), broken into squares
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 50g ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 100g fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

  1. To make one cake you will need a loose-based cake tin 23 cm diameter and 7 cm deep, or for small cakes a 12-hole cake or muffin tray.
  2. Line the cake tin with non-stick baking parchment and brush lightly with oil. Or fill the muffin tin with small paper muffin cases.
  3. Puncture the aubergine all over with a skewer, place in a bowl, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and cook in a microwave on high for 5 minutes until soft. Throw away any liquid that has accumulated and leave to cool a little.
  4. Skin the aubergine and purée with a stick blender or liquidiser. Add the broken-up chocolate, which will melt in the warmth of the aubergine.
  5. Place the remaining ingredients apart from the cranberries and caster sugar in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Stir in the aubergine mixture and half the cranberries.
  6. Pour into the prepared tin or cases and bake a large cake for 40 minutes and small cakes for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before turning out on to a cooling tray.
  8. Place the remaining cranberries in a small bowl with the caster sugar and cook in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Use these to decorate the cake(s).