Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake

Healthy Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake (like, super fudgy no joke) {Gluten, Dairy + Grain Free}

What is it with me and the loaf cakes at the moment? I have no idea why I keep making them.

Kathryn tweeted that she thinks cake just tastes better when it’s loaf shaped, after making a super luscious Lemony Yoghurt Cake

and I think I agree.

Healthy Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake (like, super fudgy no joke) {Gluten, Dairy + Grain Free}

I don’t have enough loaf cakes on here anyway, so it’s better that I just make loads while I’m on a roll.

This chocolatey loaf cake was made after I had a craving for chocolate. It was a major craving (that’s why this is triple chocolate :/)

I kind of based this on a gluten free brownie recipe – so you can tell how sticky this is – but I didn’t want to use ground almonds. In the end I used one of my recent ingredients faves – flax seeds! They have super binding powers so that makes up for the lack of gluten. They also have all them healthy oils (holla at the omega-3s!) so this is still rich.

Healthy Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake (like, super fudgy no joke) {Gluten, Dairy + Grain Free}

I had a bunch of squash puree leftover from making some caramel with a butternut squash (a la Bon Appetit, here) so I used that to make it dense and moist.

Yeah, butternut squash caramel. It’s insane. I’m not even giving a recipe because I just used the recipe linked above but subbing a butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes.

You roast/steam the squash in some water for an hour, then squeeze all the liquid out and cook that liquid down. The natural sugars make it thicken up and you get about 1/4 cup of kind of earthy, tangy (think sour cream caramel) syrup that tastes a bit like pumpkin pie. Needless to say I ate it with a slice of this cake for dessert.

Then I took all the leftover squash fiber and blended in about 1 cup of water, so I ended up with 2 cups of puree as well!

Healthy Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake (like, super fudgy no joke) {Gluten, Dairy + Grain Free}

There’s a gooey chocolate glaze on top of the cake too cos – here’s the thing-  when you bake some chocolate things with pumpkin in them, they get this really weird matt dark layer on top. You know what I’m talking about?

It aint appealing for ye eyes, so the glaze sorted that out. And it added extra stickyness so nobody complained.

Okay, so enjoy the cake.

Healthy Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake (like, super fudgy no joke) {Gluten, Dairy + Grain Free}

We’ll end with a photo (well a photo of a photo) of baby me eating cake frosting off a spoon




– I made raw powdered sugar by grinding demerara sugar in a blender until fine.

– You can use another liquid sweetener like maple or agave syrup, but you may need to add 1 tbsp more/less as they are more/less sweet than honey

– I used butternut squash puree

– You can use other nut butters, seed butters or melted coconut oil in place of the cashew butter.
– I added a small squeeze of lemon juice because I don’t like the aftertaste of baking soda that can sometimes be left, but I think I’m super sensitive to it so you can probably just leave the lemon juice out and it’ll be fine.

Update: Commenter Maddie says that she replaced the egg with a chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water) and it worked well!

Healthy Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake {Gluten, Dairy + Grain Free}

4.41 from 10 votes
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  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp pumpkin/squash puree
  • 1/3 cup (100g) honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg , (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp cashew butter (or other nut butter) (warmed if not already runny)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips


  • 2 heaped tsp of powdered raw sugar , (see notes) (or powdered sugar)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • almond milk


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C)
  • In a jug, whisk together the vanilla, honey, egg, pumpkin and cashew butter with a fork.
  • Stir together the flax, cocoa, soda and salt in a bowl.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Pour into a greased, lined 1lb loaf pan (line it with a bit of an overhang so you can lift the cake out easily). Scatter over the chocolate chips and push them into the batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the cake doesn't wobble when you shake the pan (the skewer test doesn't really work with this).
  • Stir together the powdered raw sugar and cocoa powder, then stir in almond milk until you get quite a thick glaze (just start with a teaspoon first and add more as needed). Pour over the hot cake and spread out evenly using the back of a spoon.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!

134 thoughts on “Sticky Chocolate Fudge Cake”

  1. That photo of you is absolutely adorable. Cake definitely changes taste depending on what shape it’s baked in…loaves are perfect! I can’t believe how fudgy that cake looks, I need it in my belly. Now. Pinned!

  2. I’ve been craving chocolate cake for days and now you’ve done this to me? Evil Izy, just evil ♥

  3. I love flax seeds, chocolate, and butternut squash. I never thought I would love them TOGETHER, but you’ve got be convinced. YUM!

  4. I love flax seeds, chocolate, and butternut squash. I never thought I would love them TOGETHER, but you’ve got me convinced. YUM!

  5. I love the whooole concept of this!
    gluten free, healthy, fudgyyy, win win win 😀
    soooo gonna use this recipe – thanks!

  6. I think we all need a healthy fudge cake; especially with all these new year resolution’s still hanging about. Also a note on that pumpkin caramel; i have been doing this for years but I though it was a normal bi product people kept for them selves. I love it on toast and in oatmeal; it like like magic!

    So pretty and dark, I think I need to pour my self some tea right now.

  7. This looks amazing.. I am a big almond milk and nut butter fan new to all this squash/sweet potato puree/syrup shebang… sounds immense so I will be making it. Fo sho. Beautiful photos as always – Thanks Izy! x

  8. Loaf cakes 4 eva. Thanks for the link to my lemon cake. This sticky fudgy amazingness is definitely getting made this weekend.

  9. IZY i am trying to revise and ur makin me want to bake. every day. and then sit and stuff my fact with the whole thing ergo no time to do well in population ecology and pest control. i am lovin all the loaf cakes they are PERFECT x

  10. Izy, this looks delicious! I read that article from Bon Appetit and thought of using butternut squash as well, so I’m excited to see it turned out for you. 🙂 I’ll have to give it a try!

  11. baaaaahhahaha omg that pic of you as a baby. so good. it sorta reminds me of a baby pic of my boyfriend and he’s making cookies with his sister and she has the spoon with all the cookie dough and he just has these big sad round eyes and i kind of fell in love all over with him looking at it.

    I LOVE THIS. flaxseed 4eva. and butternut squash + sticky chocolate yes!!! i think i have everything so the next time a chocolate craving hits (i.e. in 10 minutes) i shall be making this!

  12. Made this today with canned pumpkin puree and peanut butter, minus the glaze, which I really didn’t miss; mine didn’t have a weird texture. Came out great, not too sweet but really hit the chocolate spot. Thanks!

  13. I feel like this cake looks too good to be true but then at the same time I believe that it’s totally fudgy and chocolate-y and delish. 🙂 I’ve never tried using ground flaxseed in place of flour but I def should the next time I don’t feel like using almond meal! And the glaze -> yes please.

  14. OMG this looks totally divine. Thanks for bringing on some serious chocolate cravings with this cake. So going to make it

  15. What in the what!!! This looks outstanding! Love the ingredient list, too. I just spent a week perfecting GF brownies, which means I ate my weight in chocolate and sugar, but I will definitely be trying this SOON. I love cake in any form. I don’t care the shape of the pan, just give me cake. 😉

  16. As soon as I saw this (earlier today) I knew I had to make it ASAP and oh my gosh is it amazing. It came out about half the height of yours, but it’s so chocolately and delish especially with almond butter!

  17. This looks SO CHOCOLATE-Y. Can’t believe its made with squash puree. I imagine the squashiness is obliterated by all that chocolate?

  18. I don’t have a loaf pan… but would this recipe would in a 9×9 baking pan? Like in brownie form? I’m really new to baking and want to make your recipe SO BAD but I’m nervous something will go awry if I stray from your method!

  19. I’m… Oh my God I have no words!!!!! This year for me is so amazing, because I just keep discovering amazing food blogs and my keyboard is wet from drooling. Your blog is insane, I kid you not. I can’t believe you’re 17… Damn, you’re an inspiration for me to reach bigger!!!

    An inspired food blogger from Vilnius, Lithuania, that is in shock,
    Ieva Marija

  20. You are awesome, this is the answer to my prayers!!! And thank you for the “dairy-free” tag, I like it!

    One question.. What is ground flax seeds? Is it a powder, or is it just the parted flax seeds that you can buy. Never saw it as a powder (flour), but I guess that I could mix some flax seeds to make a powder out if it, same way as I make almond flour. Anyone has any input on this?

    • it’s flax seeds that have been blended in a spice grinder (or I use a coffee grinder) to a kind of powdery consistency

  21. I just made this and it is almost gone– It is so deliciously fudgy and glutard friendly!!! Thank you thank you thank you!

  22. i just made it… its a m a z i n g and absolutely gooey ! my craving is now gone and my belly is sooo full! 😀
    Bake it / try it/ now/ do it! yummi <3
    thanks for the recipe !

  23. Ok for real – this cake is freaking amazing. I just had to force myself not to eat the whole thing. I just finished the 21 Day Sugar Detox, so 3 tbsp of maple syrup + 1/2 tsp cinnamon was the perfect sweet! Definitely making this again. As soon as I get more flax meal – it is not a coincidence that I had exactly 1/2 cup left!

  24. this recipe rocked my world! thanks so much for this, I’ve been looking for a healthy way to cure my chocolate craving and this worked perfectly! This will be the breakfast and dessert of champions for days to come 🙂

  25. The perfect medicine for chocolate craving. There so much awesomeness going on in this loaf of cake, Izy! Cheers to that!

  26. Loving the look of this. Great to see the flaxseed, often gluten free cakes use ground almond which is a no no for us as my daughter is allergic to nuts. I could use a different butter and we’d be away. Thank you!

  27. Can I use something in place of Cashew Butter? I am allergic to nuts. Could it be Almond Butter? [ They is a seed, I can has. :3 ]

  28. So I made this last night with a friends and I must have done something wrong. The only sub I made was walnut butter in place of cashew. Then is was so dry I added some coconut cream and water to it to make it a little thicker than cake batter consistency. After baking, the texture wasn’t great and it tasted pretty bad – like flaxseed pretty much. Is 1/2 cup correct? Unfortunately I doubled the recipe because I thought it would be so good. 😀 Do you think adding more liquid is what ruined it? I love the concept of all these healthy ingredients – and I’m going to eat it because it’s so healthy – but I probably wouldn’t make it again. 🙂

    • that’s so strange! the egg and pumpkin puree add enough moisture to make it wet enough (it’s kind of like slightly thicker brownie batter consistency). Maybe in doubling the recipe you didn’t double one of the wet ingredients? (I am known to forget to double ingredients when I do that haha). Adding extra liquid may have messed it up but I can’t see it affecting the flavour. Other people have made it and it’s turned out fine for them. If you did try it again I’d say don’t double it 😉

      • You reminded me of one other thing I subbed that may have made a difference – I used the sweet potato puree from the caramel sauce in place of pumpkin. Maybe it just didn’t have enough liquid in it. Anywho…you’re right, I should wait to double a recipe until I know what it’s gonna do for me. lol

        • the sweet potato puree might have made the difference! How did you like the caramel btw?
          haha well it’s just because I know how I tend to make mistakes from doubling things :/

  29. AHHHHH this look So Delish I cant take it 🙂 your blog is so yummy and Im following.

    Check out my blog today…my all time fav. lasagna recipy:)

    Have a great week dear

    LOVE Maria

  30. so I didn’t have flax seeds around when trying to make this and would like to report how I did my substitute! I used half a cup of whole wheat flour instead. the cake definitely still worked out, but I kind of think of it as a different cake now – the one I made is less of a fudge, sticky cake, and more of just a cake cake. it’s still super good, though, but if I was trying to make it into a super moist cake like yours I might throw in some greek yogurt, or maybe just less flour? the glaze makes this cake a total success though!

    • You can’t really replace the flax with anything for this recipe. Another commenter did sub flour for the flax but they said it made it cakey. It also wouldn’t be gluten free anymore if you did that. The flax is used for ‘bulk’ rather than solely it’s binding purpose so eggs won’t work, sorry!

  31. hello, just to clarify for the pumpkin purée, can i just steam it in a steamer till its soft and then mash it up? because i don’t quite get method that you mentioned above. Thanks a million dear!

  32. Thanks for sharing Izy! I made this using butternut pumpkin puree, almond butter, and LSA instead of pure flaxseed. I also put in a little less honey and it didn’t even need the glaze (making it even healthier!) It worked out beautifully! I’m demolishing a slice now with some raspberries. Will definitely be making this again. X

  33. Hey, there! Thanks so much for this recipe… wondering how it would affect the texture/consistency to omit sweetener and replacen with stevia?

    • I’m not sure what kind of effect it would have as I don’t really bake with stevia. I think if you’re used to the taste of it, it’ll be fine taste-wise but my only reserve is that the honey provides moisture and stickyness so removing it would probably affect the texture.

  34. Can’t say dairy free and then have eggs even if in the notes. Dairy free means no eggs, milk or milk based product.

    • Hi Saniel, the cake is dairy free as eggs aren’t classified as a dairy product. Eggs are the unfertilised ovum from a hen. Dairy is the milk produced from the mammary glands of mammals. But they both are animal products so this recipe isn’t vegan unless the eggs are substituted for a vegan replacement such as ground flax or chia seeds. If you want to read more about it this article explains that eggs aren’t dairy in more detail:

  35. This was delicious! I’ve made it four times in the past two weeks. The first two times I made my own butternut squash “puree” (it was not that smooth) in my food processor but the next times I used pumpkin puree from the store. There was not a big difference.
    I didn’t have honey the first time I made it so I used coconut nectar (to taste). I’ve continued to use that.
    Yesterday I used the chia seed substitution since we were out of eggs. I think I slightly prefer the version with egg.
    I use extra dark chocolate chips and mix them right into the batter. I also added chopped walnuts which add a great crunch.
    Please check out my full review at

  36. I would just like to say, that this was AMAZING! I decided to try it out for a Sunday afternoon treat. I love the texture. Just a question – Would you keep it in the fridge or is it fine just in aa container in the cupboard?

  37. do you have a way to make this recipe with flour/eggs/butter or whatever. i’m not a vegetarian/vegan and i don’t have any gluten allergies or what-not. but i really wanna make this recipe with the normal stuff….

  38. Hello! Do you think I could sub ripe bananas for the pumpkin? Thank you! Obsessed with TWC, btw <3

  39. is there a difference between using canned pumpkin versus using a purée you make on your own via the recipe you posted above after making the caramel sauce?
    thanks so much!!

  40. I just wanted to say that this cake is absolutely delicious and a real life saver with helping me have my sweet fix as I recently found out I’m allergic to almost everything (soy, gluten, dairy, almonds, sunflower and garlic to name a few). I sub the egg for some banana, the honey for agave and the chocolate chips for dairy free chocolate chips and it’s absolutely amazing! Thank you for posting this! I have shared it with a few of my friends who share similar food restrictions and they’re huge fans as well!

  41. Hi! Just made it but it turns out it did not turned like described in the post. It makes me think of a soft biscotti… but still very dry. We won’t eat it :(. I made this recipe with a friend and we triple-checked the ingredients as we couldn’t believe what we made it the right thing… but we did made it perfectly as is. What could have happened?

  42. This is my new go to! I make one every Sunday and nibble on it all week (if it lasts that long!) I have been adding three or four dates to my wet ingredients and then blending everything in my ninja and it makes it even more moist and amazing! thanks so much for this great recipe!

  43. Great recipe!! I didn’t have any baking soda on hand so I substituted baking powder in (hopefully) the correct conversion! Do you have any nutritional information already calculated for this recipe? Just curious, thank you for sharing!!

  44. Oye…this needs a lot more chocolate chips to make it tasty and the glaze hardly covers even half of it. I think it needs to be TBS not tsp. It tastes like a loaf of health food without the chocolate chips. Don’t think I’ll be making this again.

  45. Hi! Going to make it!
    A question. What is the brown sauce on the sides on the plate? And what cream did you put on top of the cake? Could I use baking powder instead of soda? Maybe use more. I’m not sure how good baking soda is? Since it’s used for cleaning. And in Hollabd they don’t sell it.

    • Hi cate! The sauce is sweet potato caramel (which I’ve put a link to in the post, if you want to make it) and I think I put creme fraiche on it when I served it. You can use baking powder, just use 2 tsp instead 🙂 Baking soda is absolutely safe for using in food!

  46. Hi! Thank you for such a wonderful idea. I have one question, though. Can this recipe be good for making muffins?

  47. Can you give me the calorie, carb and sugar info on the chocolate fudge loaf please? My hubs is diabetic and I would love to make this for him

    • some varieties of chocolate (like the Neal’s Yard ones from Holland & Barrett or EnjoyLife chocolate chips) are luckily dairy-free! 🙂

  48. I just made this and it turned out really well! I used 2 Tbsp honey + 1 tsp of stevia for sweetener to cut down the sugar. I didn’t add the chocolate chips or use the glaze. I was a little worried because my batter was extremely thick, but the cake is not heavy or dry and it has a nice rich chocolate taste. Thanks for the recipe!

  49. Hi there I live on an island and have been searching for canned pumpkin purée to make these. The only one here have corn syrup in them. And I’m not into that. They have organic sweet potato purée. I’ve never baked with purées would sweet potato work instead???

    • yes I think sweet potato puree would work here! (Btw You can make pumpkin puree by roasting a halved butternut squash for an hour and blending the flesh until smooth).

  50. This looks delicious! Any thoughts on using a cupcake tin? Unfortunately I don’t have a loaf pan ):

  51. 5 stars
    This turned out great! I doubled the recipe and made two pans. I used a mixture of honey and pure maple syrup and that seemed to work just as well. I used peanut butter instead of cashew butter and that worked great too. Instead of chocolate chips, I used chopped peanut butter cups and that was a great substitution! The texture of the cake was slightly drier than a “normal” gluten-filled cake, but it was still fudgy and delicious and definitely the best gluten free cake I’ve ever made!

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