Chocolate Sapote Cake with Kumquat Orange Marmalade

I am like a kid in a candy store when I walk into the produce department.  I love walking down the rows of beautiful fruits and veggies. They inspire new dishes and baked goods, and help me decide what to make as I see what looks fresh and is in season.  I get especially excited when I come across new fruits or veggies that I haven't yet tried.  This was the cake the other day when I turned a corner and saw a basket full of round green fruit, the color of a lime but very smooth.   It was labeled "black sapote", the "pudding fruit".  I love when they give descriptions on the produce, and this one said smooth custard like flesh with a light chocolate flavor.  It sounded delicious, and so I decided I had to buy some.  I bought one to eat, and one to create a dessert with.   When I cut the fruit open it was exactly like the description...smooth custardy flesh that almost melted in my mouth with a mild chocolate flavor.  Before I knew it the fruit was gone, and I was feeling pretty stuffed as it was pretty filling.
It would have been delicious pureed with some cocoa powder and agave nectar to create a pudding, but I decided to puree it and incorporate it into a chocolate cake instead!  The puree looks exactly like melted chocolate, it is almost uncanny.   A plain chocolate cake would not do however, I wanted another flavor element.  I was in a good mood, so I thought orange would be wonderful with the chocolate and tropical sapote!  When I was young my Mom told me the scent of orange is supposed to make you feel joy, and I would have to agree with her as an adult!  Chocolate and orange are even more joyful a combination.
Somehow a few kumquats I had on my counter made their way into this cake as well, as I decided that a nice tart kumquat orange marmalade would balance out the sweetness of the cake and the frosting and add another dimension of tart flavor.  The finished cake was lovely.  Rows of moist chocolate cake lightly scented with orange and sandwiched together with gooey fudgy frosting and tart marmalade.  It was heavenly, and I certainly had a feeling of joy as I devoured a piece.  The sapote kind of disappeared into the cake, but it gave the cake a wonderful texture.  If you are fortunate enough to have a sapote, you should try making this cake!  If you are not, you should still try making it, just substitute mashed banana for the sapote.  If you don't want to mess with the marmalade, by all means use your favorite store bought.  So in other words, no excuses for you to not make this happy cake!
Chocolate Sapote Cake with Kumquat Orange Marmalade
Makes 1 6 inch 4 layer cake



  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup pureed black sapote
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice



  • 2 cups sliced kumquats (seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • seeds of one vanilla bean
  • pinch of sea salt



  • 1 1/2 cups maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 3/4 cups cocoa powder, or more if needed
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

sliced kumquats for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line two six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk sapote, oil, orange extract, vanilla extract, and orange juice together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in lemon juice and stir quickly (pale swirls will be in the batter, which is the baking soda reacting with the lemon juice, which allows the cake to rise since there are no eggs).
  3. Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto platter; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely, then place in the fridge to chill until very cold to make slicing easier (since cakes with no eggs crumble easier). When chilled, slice cakes horizontally in half so that you have 4 layers.
  4. To make marmalade, combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until jammy, and liquid is reduced, about 15 minutes.  Let cool, and set aside.
  5. To make frosting, beat together all ingredients in a large bowl until very fluffy and smooth, and well blended.  Add a little more cocoa powder if a stiffer consistency is desired (I usually end up doing this).
  6. To assemble cake, place a layer of cake on a plate, and spoon a heaping 1/2 cup frosting over, almost to the sides, then 1/3 of the marmalade, then top with another layer of cake and repeat with another 1/2 cup frosting and 1/2 remaining marmalade. Top with another cake layer, another frosting layer, remaining marmalade, then the top cake layer. Spread the frosting over the top and the sides of the cake, and use remaining frosting to pipe decoratively around the top edge of the cake, and around the bottom of the cake as well.  Chill the cake at least a few hours to set filling before serving.  Garnish with kumquats if desired!

*If you would like a 4 layer 9 inch cake, double this entire recipe and bake in two 9 inch cake pans.

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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

  1. February 22, 2011 at 00:10

    Oh, my gosh...what a gorgeously decorated cake! How fun to try a new fruit...I need to be more adventurous!

  2. February 22, 2011 at 02:14

    I don't this it can get better than this cake! Looks amazingly delicious!!!

  3. February 22, 2011 at 05:05

    Can I say again and again how much I love your blog? I feel like you and I were cut from the same cloth. We love trying new recipes with new ingredients! Thank you for sharing your words and this recipe. And thank you for your kind thoughts on my own blog. I appreciate you!

  4. February 22, 2011 at 11:23

    Looks so good, not too dry and with so many layers and that chocolate frosting :) nicely done :)

  5. February 22, 2011 at 14:52

    I love the presentation of this cake! Nice touch with the orange and kumquat! I've never seen that sapote, but I'll be on the lookout for it from now on!

  6. February 23, 2011 at 01:34

    Beautiful cake with interesting ingredients. Your descriptions are delicious!

  7. February 23, 2011 at 02:29

    What a creative recipe! I've never had sapotes before, but they look delicious!

  8. February 23, 2011 at 17:00

    WOW! That is a gorgeous cake! I don't know if I've ever seen sapote, but I will definitely look out for it now.

  9. February 23, 2011 at 20:21

    What a beautiful cake! I love how you made the heart!

  10. Ange
    February 24, 2011 at 18:10

    Awesome cake! How in the world did you make the heart shape? It looks so fun!

  11. February 24, 2011 at 19:57

    Wow! I don't even know where to start! Beautifully decorated, absolutely delicious looking chocolate cake, and I love your use of kumquats!!!

  12. February 28, 2011 at 03:15

    wow! i love finding and incorporating new fruit - your pictures are beautiful as well!

  13. March 8, 2011 at 05:08

    Gorgeous cake! I love your shell border piping. I've never had kumquats, and never even heard of sapote. I'm intrigued!

  14. March 9, 2011 at 03:48

    That looks great.

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