Jamie Oliver likes to ‘trade-up’ on ingredients and choices where possible… and that’s exactly what i’ve done with this chocolate cake…

  • Traded up white flour → kidney beans
  • Traded up butter → extra virgin olive oil

The sugar… I’ve not changed that (yet). In time I may well re-issue the recipe with something else, but for the moment this cake is one that keeps taste buds and nutrition advantages high on the list. Note… changing sugar to brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, Muscovado / raw / brown sugar or agave nectar is NOT a trade-up. There may be a small advantage to maple syrup or honey, but honey will not taste any good in this cake, and maple syrup – well I don’t want you to mortgage the house just to make a cake. Perhaps dates, but that will definitely change the texture…let me know if you make substitutions that you think works


  • 1 tin red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (125g)
  • 180g sugar
  • 70g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bi-carb soda
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. Puree beans with the water, 1 egg and vanilla. Blitz til you get a nice smooth consistency. SET ASIDE (NB. food processor doesn’t have to be rinsed clean, just get the majority out)
  2. Now blitz the extra virgin olive oil and the sugar
  3. Add 4 remaining eggs and blitz again
  4. now add the beans back in – blitz
  5. Lastly add the cocoa powder, baking powder, bi-carb soda and salt → mix by hand a little and then give it another solid blend. It’s literally impossible to over-mix this cake, so better to get it all blended than leave lumps
  6. Pour cake mix into a tin* lined with baking paper, and cook in a 180°C oven for 30mins, or until a knife inserted comes out clean
  7. Top with a dusting of cocoa powder (pictured), or with a heap of fresh berries. I like to serve it with natural Greek yoghurt

*20cm diameter round cake tin, or a loaf tin work well