Healthy Chestnut Fruitcake

According to my daughter, this is the best cake that’s ever been made by anyone, anywhere, at any given time on the surface of this earth.

Not even the best “healthy” cake. The best cake, period.

That’s what she said EVERY SINGLE TIME she ate a piece.

And apparently, she really means it. She seems to loves it that much.

Now… I can’t say that I really disagree with her.

This is one awesome, spectacular cake. I am really super happy with this latest creation.


I’d even call this a signature dish.

It came out EXACTLY as I’d envisioned, too! Super thick, dense, chewy but moist, totally loaded with morsels of fruits and nuts, just like the best fruitcakes of this world. Sooooo tasty! No need to add any sugar to it either, the dates, chestnuts and dried fruits took care of that well enough. More than well enough, in fact.

I actually find it to be a tad on the sweet side, especially with the coconut glaze, which has a tiny bit of sugar added in the form of liquid honey.


I needed something gooey to make it, well, ooze all over the surface of the cake. So honey was the way to go. And it did its job wonderfully too!

But really, that’s 4 tablespoons of honey divided by 16 servings. So it’s not so bad, really, is it?

Now I’ve had this cake for breakfast every single day this week, and I am happy to report that it did support me extremely well. I usually am absolutely starving when lunchtime finally comes, but I went right through my usual time twice this week. Guess I wasn’t feeling that hungry, was I?

No doubt, this cake will really fill you up. So much so that I’m not even sure I can recommend eating it for dessert…

This is pretty much a meal in itself.

A meal that will undoubtedly make you go “hmmmm”

And you know what?

You will never ever be able to tell that it’s actually good for you.

Healthy Chestnut Fruitcake

Yield: Serves 16

Nutritional information based on 1 serving

Healthy Chestnut Fruitcake


    For the cake
  • 1 can (435g) unsweetened chestnut puree
  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Dry
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Fruits and Nuts
  • 1 bag (150g) roasted and peeled whole chestnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ½ cup dates, chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • For the Coconut “Glaze”
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 scoops unflavoured protein powder
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Garnish
  • 2-3 dried apricots, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp raisins
  • 2-3 walnut halves, chopped
  • 2-3 pecan halves, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp unsweetened shredded coconut


    For the cake
  1. Soak dates in boiling water for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F
  3. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and give them a good spin until everything is nicely combined.
  4. Transfer that to a large mixing bowl and incorporate the "Fruits and Nuts" ingredients. Mix well with a spoon or spatula so that all the little bits and pieces get completely covered in flour. Set aside.
  5. Add all wet ingredients, including dates and their soaking water, to the bowl of your food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
  6. Pour mixture over reserved dry ingredients and mix delicately with a rubber spatula until very well combined. Do not overmix.
  7. Coat a 9” springform pan with cooking spray.
  8. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake in the oven for 70-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely on a rack before removing cake from pan.
  10. For the glaze
  11. Add honey, water and coconut oil to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Alternatively, you can heat this in the microwave just until it starts to simmer (about 40-45 seconds on high)
  12. Add the coconut and whey protein powder to a mixing bowl and, using a whisk, mix until very well combined. Add honey mixture and mix well.
  13. Place cake on a cake plate and mound glazing in the center. Spread it gently and evenly all the way to the sides.
  14. Garnish with a few chopped apricots, raisins, pecans and walnuts, as well as a sprinkle of shredded coconut.


      • says

        Okay, so it’s in the oven…but a few creative substitutions had to happen: couldn’t find chestnut puree or chestnuts…so I put in pumpkin puree as I thought it would be nice and heavy, and I actually put in some chickpeas instead of the chestnuts. I’m crossing my fingers! :)

        • says

          You’ve already made this Lauren??? OMG, you really meant business. I barely had time to post the recipe! I so can’t wait to hear about your experimentations… hope it turned out good. I really wouldn’t see why not! I really like your creativity! Please, please, come back soon and tell me how it turned out! :)

  1. Stormnet Guy says

    Sacred bleu!

    That looks amazingly good and I’m with the other commenter, usually don’t do fruitcake but your’s looks especially delightful.

    Can you pass me a piece? 😉

    I’m no baker, so I’ll have to have someone “special” make this for me.


    • says

      You’re INSANE!!! I always adore your comments, Mike. You’re just so darn funny and nice at the same time. You simply make my day, every single time. Hey, feel free to drop by more often, ‘cuz, I don’t mind having my day made, you know! 😉

      And hey, you should definitely have that someone “special” make this one for you. It’s really worth it, I tell you!

  2. says

    I’m 100% with Lauren and Miguel – I am not usually a fan of fruitcake but I MUST make this if you say it’s awesome :) Your recipes are always spot on and inventive so I trust you, plus we have very similar tastes so it’s gotta be good! Love the coconut glaze too, really pretty against the rustic cake :)
    Now I just need to get a hold of some chesnut puree!

    • says

      That coconut glaze I think is what really makes the cake. Well, not makes it, but definitely brings it to the next level. And this has nothing to do with the “Christmas” type fruitcake that we are so used to eating, with all the “plastic” cherries in it and stuff. It much more refined, and much more gooder! 😉 I can’t wait for you to try it and share your impressions. Chestnut puree is quite easy to find around here, readily available at regular grocery stores. I hope you don’t have too much of a hard time finding some in your part of the world.

  3. says

    I could totally go for this for breakfast! This looks awesome! And like my kind of cake too, I used to love light and fluffy cakes but now I much prefer something like this. I gotta say, all your cakes(that I’ve seen at least) are so impressive!

    • says

      Awww, thank you so much Heidi. That’s very nice of you to say. We’re on the same page when it comes to cakes, I see. I too, like my cakes on the dense, chewy and sticky side. It makes me feel like I’m eating something super filling and satisfying. Light and fluffy feels like you’re eating nothing but air… doesn’t make for a good breakfast (and I tend to eat my cakes for breakfast, since I don’t really do desserts) 😉

  4. Mallory says

    This looks incredible! I went to Italy for 3 months this fall and had chestnuts for the first time–and they are amazing!!! If I can find some here, I will be making this for sure! In the glaze, is there anything I could use in place of the protein powder? Or could I just leave it out without affecting the texture? Thanks!

    • says

      Oof… I really don’t know about that, Mallory. The protein powder plays a big role in the texture of this glaze… I really don’t know what it would look like without it. Maybe if you choose to leave it out, you could add more shredded coconut? Worth a try, I guess! :)

  5. says

    This looks gorgeous. I’m a huge fan of really sticky, dense, fruit-laden cakes – I often find you don’t need any extra fat or sugar because the fruit is so flavoursome on its own. And I LOVE the idea of adding chestnuts – they’re one of my favourite ingredients. Can’t wait to give this a try. I bet it would make a really good healthy alternative to Christmas cake, too.

    • says

      Well, Elly, if you are a fan of such cakes, you will LOVE this one. Funny you should mention Christmas… I’d initially planned to make this for Christmas but never found the time. Although if I had made it for Christmas, I might have added cinnamon and nutmeg to it, just to give it more of the “seasons flavor”. I really like it without, but I might very well try it with, someday. And maybe add cranberries? I’ll definitely be coming up with something next year! 😉

      Make sure to let me know how you liked it if you end up making it. I’d love to have someone else’s opinion on it! 😀

  6. says

    Wow! I have never made a fruitcake, nor have I had the desire to until now! I cannot wait to try this. If I had chestnut puree in the house I would make it now. Adding it to my shopping list though. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. says

    It turned out very well! I was a little worried about the chickpeas, but you don’t notice them at all, and I think they help with the texture, and that overall density. It’s delicious. It’s like a fruity granola bar turned into a cake. I did my own icing, because I’d been wanting to attempt a totally sugar free icing, which worked too: 1/3c and 3T greek yo, 3 scoops plain whey powder and 6 packets of stevia, pretty much tasted like cream cheese icing. This is our breakfast for the week! Thanks for the inspiration! I will have to find a way to get my hands on some chestnut puree one of these days…Oh…and I wrote a test this morning :) That’s why I definitely didn’t waste any time baking your cake yesterday! :) That, and well, the desire to eat your cake.


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