A not-so-guilty pleasure

The result of our search for a chocolate cake that we can embrace is Cocoa Coconut Torte. We started with a recipe for a flourless, no-sugar-added cake that we found on the Sun-Maid Growers of California website, but we upped the “yum!” factor with a few other additions. A bright and jammy raspberry sauce makes the perfect companion to the deep dark chocolate so this cake will impress your guests. The smaller size of this cake means that you won’t have leftovers hanging around to haunt you for days.

Prep time:25 minutes
Cook time:50 minutes
Servings:6 – 8


  • 3/4 cup Pitted Dates (preferably Sun-Maid)
  • 1 cup Raisins (1/2 golden, 1/2 natural) (preferably Sun-Maid)
  • 3/4 cup hot Water
  • 1 cup Almond Meal/Flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Coconut Flakes, chopped coarsely in food processor
  • 1/2 cup unprocessed Cocoa Powder + additional for dusting pan
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (55%-63% cacao)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Butter, melted
  • Fresh Raspberry Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Whipped Cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (or 325°F for dark, nonstick pans). Butter the bottom and sides of a 7-inch springform pan and dust the pan with about 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Shake out excess.
  2. Add hot water, dates and raisins to a small bowl and set aside to plump the fruit. Make sure dates (the most dehydrated of the fruits) are fully submerged as water will not fully cover all of the fruit.
  3. Mix together almond meal, coconut, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips in a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender, blend the dates, raisins and water until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and butter to the blended mixture and mix until smooth.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Transfer batter to springform pan. Pan will be 3/4 full, but should not overflow as cake doesn’t rise above the top rim.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a bamboo skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Rotate cake ¼ turn halfway through baking time. If the top of the cake is cooking too quickly, cover the cake with a piece of aluminum foil. Once the cake is done, remove from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before removing sides of the springform pan. Let cool an additional 15-20 minutes before transferring from pan to a plate.
  7. Serve with Fresh Raspberry Sauce and whipped cream.

Fresh Raspberry Sauce


  • 1 6-ounce package fresh Raspberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated Sugar (cane, organic or non-GMO)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 cup (12 ounces) seedless Raspberry Jam*
  • 1 tablespoon Brandy, Cognac or Armagnac

*Note: Look for jams and preserves that list fruit as the first ingredient. Don’t fret if you can’t find seedless, you’ll just need to strain the puree through a sieve after processing.


Place the package of raspberries, the granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam and brandy into the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until smooth. (Strain through a sieve if you need to remove the seeds.) Chill.

Wine Pairing Guide

Want to know more about how to select the best bottle for your budget? You can find a great bottle at any price range if you know how to determine quality vs. price. Learn more in our primer Selecting the Best Wine for Your Budget.

Look for Methode Champenoise or Traditional Method stated on the label. Another option is Pet-Nat (petillant naturel) wine, produced in the artisanale or rurale style.
France: Champagne, Crémant, Mousseux
Germany: Sekt
Italy: Asti Spumante, Prosecco, Prosecco Rosé
Spain: Cava