4 clean-eating cake recipes you need to try now

Want to become healthier while still satisfying your sweet tooth? Try these delicious clean cake recipes by Henrietta Inman.

Pristine Black Forest parfait – Serves 10

Fresh sweet black cherries and dried sour cherries combine to make this vibrant and seductive raw layer cake. It’s not only power-packed with flavour and texture but goodness too from the cacao, Brazil nuts and sprouted oat base to the sensuous creamy layers made with cashew nuts and coconut oil.

Photo | Lisa Linder

Chocolate cake

60 g (2 oz/scant ⅓ cup) Brazil nuts

80 g (2¾ oz/½ cup) pitted Medjool dates

¼ vanilla pod (bean), split lengthways and seeds scraped out

½ tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 tbsp cacao powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

40 g (1½ oz) dark chocolate 85% cocoa solids, roughly chopped

40 g (1½ oz/scant ⅓ cup) sprouted oats

Vanilla layer

100 g (3½ oz/¾ cup) cashew nuts

70 ml (2½ fl oz/¼ cup plus 2 tsp) almond milk 

30 g (1 oz/2 tbsp) blonde coconut nectar or raw clear honey

½ vanilla pod (bean), split lengthways and seeds scraped out

50 g (1¾ oz/¼ cup) coconut oil, melted

Cherry layer

100 g (3½ oz/¾ cup) cashew nuts

200 g (7 oz/1½ cups) pitted fresh cherries

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt

Finely grated zest of ¼ lemon

3 tsp lemon juice

100 g (3½ oz/½ cup) coconut oil

50 g (1¾ oz/⅓ cup) dried sour cherries

10–20 g (⅓–¾ oz/2–4 tsp) coconut nectar or raw honey, optional

1. Soak the cashew nuts for each layer separately in 200 ml (7 fl oz/¾ cup plus 1 tbsp) of filtered water with a scant ½ tsp of Himalayan pink salt for 3–4 hours. Drain and rinse well.

2. Line a baking tray at least 27 cm (10½ inches) long and 4 cm (1½ inches) deep with baking parchment.

3. In a food processor, roughly chop the Brazil nuts for the cake. Remove from the processor, then add the dates, vanilla seeds, salt, cacao powder and cinnamon to the blender and blitz to make a paste. Add the chopped nuts, chocolate and sprouted oats, and pulse a few times to combine. The mix will be in crumbs but should come together when you squeeze a piece in your hands.

4. Turn out the raw cake mix and press it along one long and one short edge of the baking tray to make a 26.5 x 9 cm (10½ x 3½ inch) rectangular base. Now you need to make a make-shift mould around the cake base. Fold up a piece of aluminium foil, overlapping it about three times to make a 4 cm (1½ inch) high wall. Place the wall around the two edges of the cake that aren’t touching the baking tray. Freeze.

5. Make the vanilla layer. Blend the soaked cashew nuts and almond milk until smooth. Add the coconut nectar or honey, vanilla seeds and coconut oil and blend until completely smooth. Pour over the chocolate base, making sure none of the mix leaks through the mould. Freeze immediately to set (1–2 hours).The vanilla layer must be completely set before adding the cherry layer.

6. Make the cherry layer. Place the cherries, cinnamon, salt, lemon zest and juice in the blender and process to make a cherry juice. Add the soaked cashew nuts and blend until almost completely smooth. Melt the coconut oil and add it to the blender, along with the sour cherries, and blend once more until completely smooth, scraping the mix down from the sides if necessary. The mix should turn from a deep purple to red when the sour cherries are added. Taste and adjust to your preferred sweetness if desired. Pour the cherry layer over the vanilla layer and freeze for a further 1 hour until firm but not frozen solid. Remove from the freezer and slice into 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide rectangles. To get a clean cut, dip a sharp knife in hot water and slice when frozen.

7. Decorate each piece as you want to. I love to use cacao nibs, fresh cherries and edible flowers. Keeps in the fridge for five days. This can be frozen for up to three months but it needs to be defrosted before serving as it should be served like a cold mousse.


In season, red-pink cherries are a must for this, otherwise you won’t achieve the right colour. You can also add a little beetroot powder if you are not satisfied with the colour.


Blueberry lemon mousse cake with scented geranium flowers – Serves 10-12

Whipped coconut cream lifts up this dessert to amazingly light and gorgeously smooth dimensions. It is rich and fresh at the same time, rounded out with the otherworldly scents of the fresh scented geranium flowers.

Photo | Lisa Linder


1 x 400 ml (14 fl oz) can coconut milk

150 g (5¼ oz/1⅛ cup) cashew nuts

325 g (11½ oz/scant 2¼ cups) blueberries

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

100 ml (3½ fl oz/⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp) lemon juice

110 g (4 oz/⅓ cup) raw clear honey

¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt

75 g (2¾ oz/⅓ cup) coconut oil

Vanilla base

90 g (3 oz/scant ⅔ cup) pitted Medjool dates

¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 vanilla pod (bean), split lengthways and seeds scraped out

70 g (2½ oz/¾ cup plus 2 tbsp) desiccated coconut

35 g (1¼ oz/¼ cup) hemp seeds

30 g (1 oz/generous 2 tbsp) coconut oil


150 g (5¼ oz/1 cup) blueberries

Scented geranium flowers or other edible flowers

1. The night before making this, place the can of coconut milk in the fridge. Line the base and sides of a 23 cm (9 inch) springform or loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.

2. Soak the cashew nuts in 300 ml (10½ fl oz/1¼ cups) of filtered water with ½ tsp of Himalayan pink salt for 3–4 hours.

3. To make the base, in a food processor chop up the dates with the salt and vanilla seeds to form a ball-like paste. Add the coconut and hemp seeds and blitz to combine. Melt the coconut oil, add to the mix and process until everything is combined. Turn out into the prepared tin and press down to form an even base. Refrigerate.

4. In a blender, process 150 g (5¼ oz/1 cup) of the blueberries, the lemon zest and juice, honey and salt to form a purple juice. Drain and rinse the cashew nuts thoroughly, then add them to the blueberry juice and process until smooth.

5. Open the can of coconut milk and remove the cream on the top, which will have set overnight. You need 240 g (8½ oz/1 cup), so use some of the thinner milk from the bottom of the can if necessary. Whip up the coconut cream in a freestanding mixer or using an electric whisk, until smooth and thick.

6. Melt the coconut oil and blend it into the blueberry juice and then add everything in the blender to the whipped coconut cream. Lightly whisk everything once more until just combined. If you overmix, the cake won’t be as light as it should be. Fold in the remaining 175 g (6 oz/scant 1¼ cups) of blueberries then pour the mix over the prepared base. Refrigerate for about 2 hours until firm.

7. When set, demould. Decorate with blueberries and scented geranium flowers. Serve immediately. Keeps well in the fridge for up to five days.


Courgette, basil, lime and pistachio cake with avocado lime cream and raspberry jam – Serves 12

This cake sings with fresh summer flavours. The courgette keeps the sponge layers wonderfully soft as they ooze with the refreshingly light lime cream and sharp raspberry jam. I love to finish it with edible flowers from my garden. It makes a show-stopping birthday or wedding cake, too.

Photo | Lisa Linder

Courgette cake

90 g (3 oz/⅔ cup) pistachio nuts

60 g (2 oz/½ cup) coconut flour

1½ tsp baking powder

1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

180 g (6¼ oz) courgettes, grated

150 g (5¼ oz/scant ⅔ cup) natural coconut yogurt

150 g (5¼ oz/scant 1¼ cups) coconut sugar

3 eggs

¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt

Finely grated zest of 3 limes

15 g (½ oz/½ cup) basil leaves, finely chopped, plus about 4 extra leaves for scattering over the lime cream

60 g (2 oz/generous ¼ cup) coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing

Avocado lime cream

200 g (7 oz) avocado flesh (about 1 large avocado)

250 g (8¾ oz/1 cup) natural coconut yogurt

100 g (3½ oz/scant ½ cup) blonde coconut nectar

Finely grated zest of 1½ limes

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) lime juice

80 g (2¾ oz/⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp)

coconut oil, melted

To finish

170 g (6 oz/scant ¾ cup) quick-cook

Homemade raspberry jam (see below for recipe) or no added sugar high fruit content raspberry jam 

Small handful chopped pistachio nuts

Edible flowers such as honeysuckle or rose

1. Make the avocado lime cream first as it needs time to firm up in the fridge. Blend the avocado, coconut yogurt, coconut nectar, lime zest and juice in a blender until smooth. Add the coconut oil and blend until completely smooth. Place in a bowl and cover the surface of the cream completely with cling film (plastic wrap) so it does not oxidize and lose its colour. Chill in the fridge for 2–3 hours to firm up.

2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Grease and line the base of three 23 cm (9 inch) loose-bottomed or springform cake tins with coconut oil and baking parchment. Line a small baking tray with baking parchment.

3. Spread the pistachio nuts out on the lined baking tray and toast for 5–7 minutes until just getting colour. Leave to cool then roughly chop into small pieces.

4. Sieve together the coconut flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) into a bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the rest of the sponge ingredients except for the oil. Add in the sieved flour mix and chopped nuts, then finally stir in the oil. Divide the mix equally between the three tins (about 300 g (10½ oz) per tin). Spread the mix with a frosting spatula or small knife to make a thin layer.

5. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the tins and bake for another 10 minutes until the top is dark golden brown and bounces back slightly when pressed. Leave to cool, remove from the tins and carefully peel off the baking parchment from the bottom of each sponge.

6. To assemble, spread the bottom layer of the sponge with half the jam and about a quarter of the avocado lime cream. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and scatter half over the lime cream. Top with the middle layer of sponge and repeat the process with the jam, cream and basil. Carefully place on the final layer of sponge and top with the remaining cream, spreading it over the top of the cake and around the edges. Decorate with chopped pistachio nuts and edible flowers.

This cake will keep in the fridge for up to three days but it is best eaten fresh when all the flavours and colours are at their most vibrant.


Raspberry and rose tartlets with pistachio frangipane – Makes 12 tartlets

I look forward to autumn raspberries every year, they’re just so plump and juicy! They form the sweet centres of these divine vegan morsels (summer raspberries work too), surrounded by a soft but crunchy pistachio frangipane, all encased in crumbly buckwheat and almond pastry. I don’t think they could be any more heavenly.

Photo | Lisa Linder

70 g (2 ½ oz/ ½ cup) pistachio nuts

1 tbsp milled flax seeds

3 tbsp filtered water

20 g (¾ oz/3 tbsp) ground almonds 

30 g (1 oz/ ¼ cup) coconut sugar

¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt

Finely grated zest of ¼ lemon

45 g (1½ oz/3½ tbsp) coconut oil, plus extra for greasing

10 g (⅓ oz/½ tbsp) raw pistachio paste, optional

200 g (7 oz) basic pastry (recipe below), rolled out to about 3 mm (⅛ inch) thick

6 tsp quick-cook raspberry jam (recipe below), or no added sugar high fruit content raspberry jam

150–200 g (5–7 oz/scant 1¼–1⅔ cups) fresh or frozen raspberries

½ –1 tbsp rosewater for brushing, plus 1½ tsp for glazing

3 tsp no added sugar high fruit content apricot jam

To decorate

Fresh rose petals

Chopped pistachio nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 12-hole tartlet tin with a little coconut oil. On a baking tray lined with baking parchment, toast the pistachio nuts for 5–7 minutes until just beginning to colour. Set aside to cool.

2. Mix the milled flax seeds with the measured water and leave for about 15 minutes to form a thick gel. Blitz the cooled pistachio nuts in a food processor fitted with a blade. Do not grind them down completely; some should be finely ground while the rest are in slightly larger pieces for texture.

3. To make the frangipane, combine the semi-ground pistachio nuts with the ground almonds, coconut sugar, salt and lemon zest. Melt the coconut oil and add it to the dry ingredients along with the raw pistachio paste, if using. Finally fold in the flax seed gel. Set the mix aside.

4. Using a 6 cm (2½ inch) fluted cookie cutter, cut out 12 pastry rounds and place them in the moulds, making sure there are no air gaps. Cover the bottom of each pastry case with about ¼– ½ tsp of raspberry jam. Divide the frangipane between the 12 tartlets, covering the layer of jam. You will get about 1 tbsp of frangipane per tartlet. Top each tartlet with 2–3 raspberries, depending on their size. Some autumn raspberries are huge! Slightly push them into the frangipane.

5. Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake for another 2–4 minutes. They are ready when the frangipane is slightly bubbling and the edges of the pastry shells are golden brown, as is the outside of the frangipane. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then, while the tartlets are still warm, brush with rosewater. I recommend using ½-1 tbsp in total for all 12, brushed on with a pastry brush and left to sink in. For each tartlet, immerse the pastry brush in the rosewater and brush generously over.

6. To make the glaze, mix the apricot jam with 1½ tsp of rosewater. When the tartlets are completely cool, glaze them using a pastry brush. Using a small palette knife or kitchen knife, remove each tartlet from the mould and serve, finishing off with chopped pistachio nuts and fresh rose petals. These will last well in a sealed container for at least three days.


Quick cook raspberry jam

The recipe for my Quick-blend raw raspberry chia jam is great for a quick and easy jam, but sometimes a sweeter, more traditional version is necessary. This is so full of flavour only small amounts are needed. 

Makes about 200 g (7 oz/¾ cup)

200 g (7 oz/1½ cups) raspberries, fresh or frozen

100 g (3½ oz/⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp) no-added-sugar grape concentrate

50 g (1¾ oz/2 tbsp) date syrup

1. Warm a small–medium sterilized jam jar (holding 200 ml (7 fl oz/¾ cup) in an oven no hotter than 100°C/210°F/Gas Mark ¼. Put a saucer or small plate in the fridge.

2. Place all the ingredients in a small–medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for about 3 minutes, then turn down to a low simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. By this point, a lot of the liquid will have evaporated. Stir continuously for about 5 more minutes, being careful not to let it catch on the pan. By now you should have a perfectly thick and sticky jam, but still slightly runny. If it is overcooked, it will set too hard.

3. To check it is ready, place a teaspoon of the jam on the chilled saucer and return to the fridge for a few minutes.

4. It is ready when the cooled tester has formed a slight skin, which will wrinkle when pushed. If the jam isn’t ready, cook for a few more minutes and test again.

5. Pour into the warmed sterilised jar, cover with a circle of wax paper, and seal with a lid. Lasts up to three months in the fridge.


Basic Pastry 

Great pastry should be light, crumbly and a little crunchy – and believe me, this can certainly be achieved without using dairy butter! There’s no need to worry about chewy overworked pastry any more as the crumb made with gluten-free flour, here a combination of buckwheat flour and ground almonds, is perfect, the fat from the coconut oil adding the final necessary flakiness. As you will be filling this pastry with sweet fresh fruits, nuts and chocolate, you don’t need too much sweetness in the base.

Makes 550 g (1 lb 3 oz) pastry, enough to line two 23 cm (9 inch) round tart tins

150 g (5¼ oz/1 cup) buckwheat flour

150 g (5¼  oz/1¼  cups) ground almonds

60 g (2 oz/½ cup) coconut sugar

20 g (3/4 oz/2½  tbsp) arrowroot

½ tsp Himalayan pink salt

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

100 g (3½ oz/½ cup) coconut oil, plus extra for greasing

70 ml (2½ fl oz/¼ cup plus 2 tsp) cool water

I use a freestanding mixer with a paddle attachment to make this pastry, but you can use a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or spatula if preferred. 

1. Grease your tins with coconut oil. Combine all the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest. A whisk is good for this as it gets rid of any lumps.

2. Melt the coconut oil and gradually pour it into the dry ingredients, followed by the water, mixing until everything is well combined. At this point the dough can be wrapped in baking parchment and then cling film and frozen for up to one month or kept in the fridge for about five days.

3. Divide the dough in two. On lightly floured baking parchment, flatten the dough with your hands to a round shape, about 1 cm (⅓ inch) thick. Lightly flour the pastry, cover with baking parchment and roll out evenly with a rolling pin to 3 mm (⅛ inch) thick. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Refrigerate on a flat tray for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the pastry from the fridge, take off the top layer of parchment, then flip the pastry over onto the tin, peeling off the second layer of parchment. Press the dough gently into the tin. Fix any holes, making sure there are no gaps.

The lined tins will keep in the fridge for up to five days or you can freeze them for at least a month.

5. ‘Blind baking’ is the process of partly or fully baking a pastry shell before it is filled. To do this, after lining the prepared tin with the pastry, place a layer of baking parchment over the chilled pastry. Fill the pastry with baking beans or dried rice and bake at 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 according to the recipe’s timings.

6. Remove the baking beans or rice and baking parchment, bake for about 10 minutes longer or until a light golden colour, then continue as instructed in the recipe.


Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman, is available to buy now for £9.99 at Amazon.co.uk.