A healthy festive cake to spice up all your Christmas get-togethers

This lower carb spiced festive cake uses wholemeal flour and pumpkin to carry the spices we often associate with the festive season. A little chocolate and orange makes it a warming, indulgent treat at the end of a festive meal.

What we love about this upgrade from a classic: Your guests won’t believe this cake is high in fibre and low in sugar. We’ve used pumpkin as a base to keep the carbs lower. Eggs and ricotta give this recipe a healthy dose of protein while the dates add sweetness and fibre.

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  • Serves: 10
  • Prep time: 20 minutes (longer if you need to cook the pumpkin)
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes
  • Calories: 358kcal per slice
  • Protein: 8.8g
  • Fibre: 5g
  • Carbs: 27.4g
  • Sugar: 8.4g
  • Fat: 22.9g


  • 250g cooked pumpkin
  • 8 pitted medjool dates
  • 60ml hot water
  • ¼ cup cacao
  • ½ tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp cardamom
  • 2 cup wholemeal SR flour
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 40g blanched almonds, chopped if going in the cake, or leave whole to decorate top
  • 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids or higher), roughly chopped
  • 150g butter
  • 3 eggs

For Drizzle:

  • 150g full fat ricotta
  • 2 oranges, juice only


  1. Preheat the oven to fan forced 160°C/180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Line a 20-22cm cake tin.
  2. If your pumpkin is raw – roughly chop and steam it.
  3. Roughly chop the dates and soak in the hot water in a tall jug or bowl with high sides. Set aside.
  4. Sift cacao, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom into a large bowl with the flour, orange zest, almonds and chocolate and mix. Set aside.
  5. Melt the butter and pour over the dates and hot water, add the pumpkin and eggs and blitz to combine using a stick blender.
  6. Add wet ingredients to the dry and fold through until just combined (it may look a little stodgy).
  7. Tip cake batter into pre-lined tin and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate in the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  8. While baking, make the ricotta drizzle – combine ricotta with orange juice, mix until smooth.
  9. Let the cake cool completely before topping generously with the ricotta.
  10. Garnish with dried orange slices if you wish, and serve between ten.


  • To make it extra pretty – garnish with dried orange slices, edible flowers or how you wish.
  • If you want it extra spiced – add an extra teaspoon of each cardamom, cinnamon and ginger.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve cold or reheat slightly.
  • Cook and freeze in portions for up to 2 months. Defrost before serving.

For more healthy lifestyle tips and recipes, head to this website.

Gabrielle Newman, BHSc (Nutritional Medicine), is the Nutritionist and Recipe Developer for The Fast 800.

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