Recipe: Lower sugar, low fat chocolate loaf

A low fat low sugar chocolate cake served on a wooden platter with chocolate almond spread

Make our low fat lower sugar chocolate tea loaf - Credit: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

I regularly receive emails from readers with special diets asking what they can to reduce sugar in to make a dish lower in fat. 

So, in the name of balance, this weekend, this recipe is for all of you lovely folk who fancy a treat without all the so-called, naughty ingredients. 

Amongst you is my mother, who is always on the hunt for low-fat, low-sugar cakes. One of her favourites (which I personally think sounds heinous), was clipped from a women’s magazine in the early 90s and involved All Bran, pickle, cheese, celery and apple. If you happen to have it stashed in a folder somewhere get in touch so I can pass it on – she's lost her copy. 

This week’s cake, which is really a dense tea loaf, can’t claim to be sugar-free, but it is made without refined sugar, and in its creation I’ve used agave syrup, which is lower in calories than regular sugar, and sweeter, so you need less.  

The sultanas could be swapped for raisins, figs or chopped apricots. Add a handful of chopped almonds or pistachio nuts too if you like. And feel free to leave out the rosewater if it’s not to your taste. I was going for an Arabian Nights/Turkish delight vibe. Instead you could add a teaspoon of cinnamon. Maybe some chopped stem ginger.  

Serve warm on the day it’s baked (the lack of fat means it doesn’t have the keeping qualities of a ‘normal’ cake). It’s nice toasted with a thin slick of peanut butter, jam or (my favourite) Pip & Nut Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Almond Butter, which is much lower in sugar than hazelnut spreads. 

Lower sugar, low fat chocolate tea loaf 

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2tsps rosewater 

300ml boiling water 

200g sultanas 

Zest 1 large orange 

1 Earl Grey tea bag 

7tbsps agave syrup 

200g wholemeal self-raising flour or 200g plain wholemeal flour with 2tsps baking powder 

50g cocoa powder 

2 medium eggs 


Combine the rosewater, boiling water, sultanas, orange zest, agave syrup and tea bag in a bowl. Leave to soak overnight or for a morning or afternoon. Remove the tea bag.  

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a 1lb loaf tin.  

Pour the flour and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs to make a paste. Now gradually add the liquid mixture with the sultanas, combining well to beat out any pockets of flour. 

Spoon into your lined tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes.