Roasted cocoa cake

Roasted cocoa cake

Torta al cacao tostato

The Italian Baker

I am a big fan of roasted food: roasted bread, roasted nuts, roasted vegetables and even roasted fruits (yes, you can roast fruits: try drizzling honey over halved figs and roasting them in a hot oven for 10 minutes and you’ll see). Cocoa is no exception. When roasted, it releases precious oils and deepens in colour, producing a more complex and stronger flavour than you will find in regular chocolate cake.

It is an easy cake to make, and perfect for people who are egg intolerant. It also makes a good base for many variations: let your inner baker decide!


Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
80g good-quality cocoa powder
200g plain flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200g caster sugar
450ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 teaspoon frangelico liqueur
icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Lightly oil a 20-cm cake tin and line with baking parchment.
  2. Line a lipped baking tray with a sheet of baking parchment. Spread the cocoa powder out in an even layer about 5mm thick and bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to avoid burning and to ensure even roasting. When it has turned properly dark, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
  3. Put the cooled roasted cocoa in a large bowl along with the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar.
  4. In a jug or a separate bowl, whisk the milk, oil, vanilla and Frangelico, if using, together. Lightly mix the dry ingredients into the wet, without over-mixing. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for about 40 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and leave to cool in the tin. Invert on to a plate and dust with icing sugar, or serve as it is with a dollop of whipped cream if you prefer.
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