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Ok, so I don’t mean go out and eat a tone of chocolate bars. No. Not that kind of chocolate. I mean cocoa. I use it in my Diabetic Friendly Hazelnut Swirl Cake. 

Cocoa powder is made by crushing cocoa beans and removing the fat or cocoa butter. 

Chocolate is made from mixing cocoa powder with other ingredients, often a lot of sugar and fat. But by using pure cocoa powder in lighter recipes, without all the added fat and sugar, it can be great for your health.

How is that so? Because cocoa powder has lots of great health benefits! 

So what are they exactly? 

Health benefits of Cocoa powder 

Here are 10 reasons to use cocoa powder in your diabetic-friendly baking. According to HealthLine cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants and may:  

  1. Lower blood pressure 
  2. Reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke 
  3. Improve blood flow to the brain and improve brain function 
  4. Lift your mood and alleviate symptoms of depression 
  5. Aid in the management of type 2 diabetes by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and absorption in the gut, improving insulin secretion, reducing inflammation and stimulating the uptake of sugar out of the blood and into the muscles
  6. Assist in weight reduction
  7. Help fight against cancer 
  8. Support the management of asthma 
  9. Benefit teeth and skin with antibacterial properties
  10. It’s so yummy and easy to include in your diet. 

How I use cocoa in this recipe 

My Diabetic Friendly Hazelnut Swirl Cake is a delicious and easy way to get some antioxidant-rich cocoa powder in your diet! 

For this recipe, I use cocoa powder for the batter and also in the yoghurt icing, which is a really healthy, sugar free alternative to traditional icing. 

I like to use YoPro plain, natural yoghurt, as it has a really thick texture, but is really low in fat. You can of course use your preferred yoghurt brand, but be careful not to use Greek Yoghurt. As much as I love Greek Yoghurt, it doesn’t work for this recipe as it’s just a bit too sour.  

I also like to use Ricotta for this cake, as it’s a healthy way to add body and creaminess, without having to use butter or oil.

It tastes great and also provides a yummy way to have a dose of dairy.  

Almond meal and hazelnut meal are my flours of choice for this recipe. They are great alternatives to traditional wheat flour, as they are much lower in carbohydrate. 

You do need to be careful though, as the daily intake of nuts is about 30g, or one handful, so don’t go eating the whole cake. 

At only half a portion of carbohydrate per slice, or 7.3g, my Diabetic Friendly Hazelnut Swirl Cake is the perfect way to conquer your chocolate craving, without the guilt. 

Happy eating! 

Did you like this recipe? Send me your feedback to or leave your thoughts in the comments section of this blog. 

Diabetic friendly Hazelnut Swirl Cake

Course Dessert
Keyword diabetic dessert, Diabetic friendly, diabetic friendly cake, diabetic friendly treat, hazelnut meal, low carb, low carb cake, sugar free, sugar free cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8


For the chocolate batter: 200g hazelnut meal, 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tsp 100% pure unsweetened vanilla, 2 large eggs, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 tsp 100% pure Stevia extract powder, 1/2 cup full cream milk, 200g ricotta cheese.

For the vanilla batter: 100g almond meal, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/4 tsp 100% pure Stevia extract powder, 1 large egg, 1/4 cup full cream milk, 1/2 tsp 100% natural unsweetened vanilla, 100g ricotta cheese.

For the icing: 4 tbsp full cream milk powder, 1/4 tsp 100% pure Stevia extract powder, 160g YoPro plain yoghurt (you can use any brand but Greek yoghurt won't work as it's too sour), 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 


    Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a whisk. Be sure to sift the cocoa. 

    Combine all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. 

    Add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk well until all combined. Set aside.


    Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well using a clean whisk.  

    Add all the wet ingredients to a separate bowl and whisk well.

    Combine all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk well.


    Using a silicone loaf tin, approximately 22cm L x 905cm W x 6cm D, spoon in half the chocolate batter on the base and level out using the back of the spoon. 

    Spoon in all the vanilla batter evenly on top of the chocolate batter and smooth over using the back of a spoon. 

    For the final layer, spoon over the remaining chocolate batter and again smooth it out using the back of the spoon. 

  5. Tap the base of the tin against the bench to get rid of any air bubbles. Place into the oven and cook for approximately one hour. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. 


    Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well using a clean whisk, until well combined. Place in the fridge until ready to use. 

  7. Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the baking tin and place on a cake platter. To ice, spoon over the yoghurt icing and smooth out using a butter knife. 

  8. Cut into eight pieces using a serrated knife. This cake stores well in the fridge for up to a week. 

Recipe Notes

Only half a portion per slice, or 7.3g. 

Diabetic friendly hazelnut swirl cake

Diabetic friendly hazelnut swirl cake


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