When this Cacao Nib Loaf Cake came out the oven, I thought I had a baking fail on my hands. The middle of the cake had sunk in creating a dip. That dip turned out to be one of the best things about this cake. The dark chocolate ganache which is poured over the cake, pools in that little dip creating a delicious added chunk of chocolate to every slice.

The use of polenta in the batter creates a nice crunch, which is added to by the cacao nibs. The cacao nibs also give this Cacao Nib Loaf Cake a dark and rich chocolate flavour.


Cacao Nib Cake

Dairy Free | Nut Free This cacao nib cake is perfect for tea. The cacao nibs add a deliciously chocolatey crunch to vanilla cake. A dark chocolate ganache is poured over for added decadence.
Course: Desserts, Snacks
Dietary: Dairy Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 1 loaf


For the Cake

  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup polenta
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 2 tbsp rice milk
  • 60g dark chocolate chopped

You Will Also Need

  • 1 loaf tin (25 x 11 cm)
  • baking paper / non stick baking spray
  • electric mixer


  • Preheat your oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with baking paper / spray with non-stick baking spray Set aside.
  • Combine the flour, polenta, baking powder, salt and cacao nibs in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg, egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Until the batter is pale yellow and thick. It should fall from the mixer in “ribbons” which slowly dissolve.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract together until combined.
  • With your electric mixer on low speed, add the oil mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and springs back to the touch.
  • Leave the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When the cake is cooled down, make your glaze. To make the glaze, heat rice milk in a pan on a medium heat until it just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and add in the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for two minutes, then stir until smooth.
  • Pour the ganache over the cooled cake and sprinkle with cacao nibs. The glaze thickens and hardens as it cools.


You can use melted coconut oil instead of olive oil


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