Impossible Cake

Impossible Cake

Impossible cake | Quirky Cooking

The Wholefood Journey
By Fouad

As I go further down the wholefood journey, my understanding of this incredibly healing dietary approach deepens. Eating processed foods that are full of refined, hormone-disrupting ingredients such as white sugar, vegetable oils, preservatives, and white flour was the main underlying cause of my variety of illnesses. I dealt with obesity, acne, pre-diabetes, eczema, and hay fever for most of my life, and of course, had to taken medications to control these conditions. Antibiotics, acne washes, steroid creams, and anti-histamines were part of my routine. Eliminating the ingredients listed above went a very long way to healing my body and I no longer needed medications. You can read my story here.

Why Wholefoods?


Wholefoods are the most natural foods available. Wholefoods was the only way to eat until the beginning of the industrial age where ultra-refined ingredients started appearing.


Eating wholefoods means you’re eating only natural ingredients that humans have been eating for millennia. These are tried and tested ingredients that we know to be healthy.


Focusing on wholefoods is one of the most powerful ways of promoting health, and if they are sustainably and ethically grown, are positive for the planet too.

Over the past few years, I have spent a great deal of time thinking about wholefoods, and why they are so profound in their healing abilities. I am not as healthy or vibrant as I would have been if I had grown up on wholefoods, but I can safely say that I have managed to avoid the trajectory of chronic illness. I still deal with residual issues from the diet I had in the first 31 years of my life and am still impacted by the medications I took over those years. I am not upset about this as my remaining health issues continue to motivate me to inspect deeper layers of healing. As I move down the wholefood journey, I lean more and more to foods that are closest to their natural state as possible. 

From the perspective of processing food, wholefoods can be looked at as a spectrum, with meat, fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds being the purest form of whole foods. Some ingredients like palm sugar and rice flour are still widely considered whole foods, being far less processed than say white sugar and vegetable oils. In my view, most foods, with some exceptions, become less healthful when processed.  As we begin to refine a whole food, it starts losing its ability to nourish and heal us. A healthy body is resilient and can handle the occasional load from moderately refined ingredients. However, I believe that in general, nothing trumps food with an intact cellular structure.       

I wanted to create a cake that is made entirely out of whole foods: ingredients with intact cells; and since my daughter gets itchy skin from eating eggs and dairy, the cake not only needed to be free from starches such as rice flour, but also needed to be egg and dairy free. Have you ever seen a recipe for a gluten-free, grain-free, starch-free, egg-free, dairy-free cake that is made entirely out of whole foods? I haven’t, and so, I came up with what I now term, the Impossible Cake.

This cake binds together using the proteins found in almond meal, and the binding properties of lightly milled chia seeds. The need for an added sweetener is lessened by using apples and sweet potatoes which are naturally sweet. The cake itself only uses 90 grams of honey, which I consider to be the healthiest sweetener nature has given us. 

Impossible cake | Quirky Cooking

Because it has no eggs or starches, the baking time for this cake is longer than most cakes as the ingredients need to dry out in the oven. That said, it is a very easy cake to prepare and we’ve been making this cake for over a year now. My wife also likes making it into cup cakes which take less time to bake. If like us, you are trying to avoid so many of these refined ingredients, you will love this cake! Give it a go and let us know how you find it in the comments below!

Impossible Cake
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Cake Ingredients
  1. 60g chia seeds
  2. 300g peeled sweet potato, cut into chunks
  3. 330g almond meal
  4. 130g olive oil
  5. 90g honey
  6. 200g almond milk
  7. 1 Tbsp vanilla paste
  8. 2 tsp cinnamon
  9. 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  10. 1/4 tsp allspice
  11. 400g granny smith apples (peeled and cored weight), chopped into 1 cm cubes
Cake Topping
  1. 250g smooth almond butter
  2. 40g honey or to taste
  3. 200g creamy coconut yoghurt (we make our own coconut yoghurt, but for this recipe, we prefer using Vanilla Coyo, which is less sour and creamier than what we have managed to make at home)
  4. Dry rose petals, for presentation (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 150C.
  2. Line the sides and base of a 24cm spring form cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Place chia seeds into TM bowl and mill 15 sec/speed 10. Set aside.
  4. Place sweet potatoes in bowl and chop 5 sec/speed 6.
  5. Add milled chia, almond meal, olive oil, honey, almond milk, vanilla paste and spices. Mix 40 sec/speed 5 using spatula to assist.
  6. Empty cake mix into a mixing bowl. Add apples and mix well.
  7. Line the bottom and sides of a 24cm cake tin with baking paper. Place cake mix into tin and and use a spoon to press to the sides and smooth the top.
  8. Bake for 1.5 to 2 hours (depending on how hot your oven runs). Keep a close eye. The top should be brown but not burnt. (guys please provide feedback how long it took for you to bake). To check if done, insert a skewer into the cake. It should come out clean if the cake is done.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin or place on cooling rack.
  10. Place cake on serving plate.
  11. Mix honey with almond butter. Spoon almond butter on top of cake and smooth the surface, allowing some of the almond butter to spill down the side.
  12. Spoon coconut yoghurt on top of the almond butter and spread evenly. Sprinkle rose petals on top if using.
Tips for conventional method
  1. Chia seeds can be milled using a spice grinder.
  2. Sweet potatoes can be chopped using a food processor.
  3. Mix cake ingredients by hand using a spatula until well mixed, then mix in apples.
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38 thoughts on “Impossible Cake

  1. Jo says:

    I like the idea of the Impossible Cake, wonder what to substitute for apples to make it fructose friendly!

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Renee! 🙂 Maybe give coconut milk and seed meal (sunflower and/or pepita) a try. We haven’t tested for these variations but they should work well. xx

  2. Linsie Davies says:

    I just made the Impossible cake and it’s delicious. So wholesome and morish!

    Can this cake be frozen? How long does it last in the fridge?

    Many thanks in advance.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Linsie! 🙂 Yay, glad you loved this cake! Yes, the cake can be frozen, wrapped well or in an airtight container. I would say it would last 5 days or so in the fridge. xx

    • Dhara says:

      Love this recipe! The only paleo cake I’ve tried so far that my stomach likes. Do you know if I could add lemon or lime to the batter for a lemon flavour? Or would the acidity affect the way it rises?

      • Quirky Cooking Team says:

        Thanks Dhara for your feedback:-). I think it should work just fine with adding some lemon juice and lemon rind!

  3. Sophia says:

    This recipe worked really nicely. It’s very moist, with a similar texture to traditional orange almond cake but without all the eggs. We added some extra cinnamon to the cake and almond butter, and swapped the honey for a mix of rice bran and maple syrup.

  4. Heather says:

    This cake looks awesome! But we are on GAPS right now. I wonder if it would work with pumpkin instead of sweet potato? I suspect maybe not as you need the starch of the sweet potato to bind it. I’m not going to try it now as we are on intro but will keep it in mind when we get to full GAPS.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Heather, great question! 🙂 We haven’t tested the cake with pumpkin but it probably would work. You may just need to increase the almond meal a little to make up for the water content (and lack of starch) in the pumpkin. Either way, this cake is quite dense and moist. If you give it a go, let us know how it turns out. Hope all is going well for you on GAPS intro. xx

  5. Liz says:

    What but free flour and milk would you recommend for this? My daughter is allergic to eggs, nuts and dairy. Thanks

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Liz, you could try using coconut milk and seed meal (pepita and/or sunflower) though it may effect the colour of the cake. We haven’t tested with either of these variations, so if you give a try, let us know how it turns out. 🙂 xx

  6. Nicole says:

    How finely should the sweet potato be chopped (conventional baker here!)? Guessing quite fine as I can’t see any chunks in the pic!?

  7. Mel says:

    I really enjoyed this recipe! I made muffins which took around an hour to cook in my oven (not fan-forced). Just a tip for anyone else making muffins, I would recommend using paper wrappers as mine all stuck despite greasing the tin. Still delicious though, thanks for the recipe ????

  8. Lish says:

    Anyone tried this without the icing or done anything different. My daughter is not keen on the topping??

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Lish! The topping is so very yummy with this cake but by all means leave it off if your daughter is not keen. It might be worth a try making the cake and having the toppings on hand, and then giving your daughter her share without them (everyone else may love it as is, or she may try it herself and actually enjoy it too!) xx

  9. Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing Fouad. I can’t wait to try this. My daughter also cannot eat egg or daily and I am GF so we rarely share a cake…..Hopefully this one gets the kids approval and becomes out new favourite. Much appreciated!

  10. Penelope Harris says:

    This sounds fantastic – however I need to adapt it for the failsafe total elimination diet. Have you ever subs cashew meal for almond meal before?

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Penelope! 🙂 We haven’t tried this recipe with cashew meal but it should work. If you give it a try, let us know how it turns out. xx

  11. Tahlia Mickiewicz says:

    I wanted to cry when I just read this recipe! It feels impossible to make a cake that won’t make them itchy! A week too late for my two little boys birthday but I will definitely be making it for them. You are a brilliant!! Thank you for sharing all your knowledge! Xxxxxxxxx

  12. Haley Brandon says:

    Really enjoyed this cake but next time I’ll cook it longer. I thought after 1.5hrs that it was cooked (skewer came out clean). After cutting it, the middle was still really dough like/moist. Made it for a birthday as lots of people with allergies & intolerances. Adults seemed to enjoy it but kids who aren’t used to eating this way didn’t touch it.

    • Quirky Cooking Team says:

      Hi Haley. I am so sorry to hear that and yes, baking time can vary sometimes depending on the oven;-/

  13. Charlotte says:

    Ive been searching for a cake thats dairy free and egg free, and also very low in sugar for my sons first birthday! This sounds perfect! Do you think Maple Syrup would work well as a sub for Honey as we cant give him honey yet – cooked or not 🙂

    Thanks! Cant wait to trial it for my Birthday this weekend!

  14. Kate says:

    Sorry this is a random question but – did you use orange fleshed sweet potato or white? I’m wondering if my kids will be suspicious of an orange cake but yours doesn’t look orange in the picture. Also, one of my 3 doesn’t like apples so if I pureed them and mixed it through do you think it would work or would it be too wet then? Thanks!

    • QuirkyJo says:

      I’m pretty sure Fouad made this cake with orange sweet potato and it turns out this colour, so don’t worry! Unfortuntely it would be too wet if you pureed the apples. You can try using fresh berries, that should work!

  15. Louise A says:

    This is wonderful. There is another challenge – a cake without all of the above – but also nut-free… I would be amazed and excited if you could devise what may be named the ‘super impossible cake’?!

  16. Maria says:

    Just made this cake but haven’t iced it as yet as I don’t have enough almond butter or coconut yogurt. Was wondering if I can so a cashew cream instead.

    • Quirky Cooking Team says:

      Hi Maria, I’m sure your cashew cream would have made for a delicious topping for this cake – please let us know how it turned out!

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