Paul McCartney and His Family’s Favorite Non-Vegan Chocolate Cake for Meat Free Monday

Photo Credit: KCS Presse / Splash News
Paul McCartney

Photo Credit: KCS Presse / Splash News

It’s almost the weekend, but Paul McCartney may be thinking about his next Meat Free Monday dish. Let’s talk dessert –McCartney and his family reportedly enjoy a nice, rich chocolate cake every once in a while. Though it isn’t vegan because it has eggs, it can still be enjoyed with a Meat Free Monday meal. Below is a recipe for this cake, which can also be found in The Meat Free Monday Cookbook.

Non-Vegan Chocolate Cake


  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 2½ cups chestnuts (pre-cooked and peeled)
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 7 tbsp full-fat organic milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 3 organic eggs, large
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • Extra cocoa, for dusting
  • Crème fraîche


  1. Preheat the oven to 355 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease the inside of an eight-inch spring-form pan and line the base with a disc of buttered baking parchment. Dust with one tablespoon cocoa and tip out the excess.
  3. Place chestnuts into a small frying pan, add two tablespoons of caster sugar plus the full-fat organic milk and cook over low/medium heat for five minutes until the chestnuts start to soften.
  4. Remove from the heat, place into the bowl of a food processor, and mix until smooth.
  5. Add vanilla extract and allow the mixture to cool.
  6. Place unsalted butter and chopped dark chocolate in a bowl and melt either in the microwave on a low setting or over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until smooth, remove from the heat, and cool slightly.
  7. Whisk the eggs and the rest of the caster sugar until it’s thick and pale, and has doubled in volume.
  8. Mix in the chestnuts until thoroughly combined, then add the melted chocolate and fold it in until smooth.
  9. Carefully pour the batter into the prepared pan, spread it level and bake on the middle rack for about 30 minutes until it rises and forms a light crust on top.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven, set the pan on a wire cooling rack, and leave to cool at room temperature. The cake will sink and the crust might crack as it cools; this is normal.
  11. Dust with cocoa and serve with crème fraîche.

Paul McCartney’s Reasons behind Meat Free Monday

Here are the six key reasons why McCartney promotes Meat Free Mondays:

  1. For better health: Organizations such as the World Cancer Research Fund recommend that people should mostly be eating foods that come from plant sources, and that red meat intake should be limited.
  2. To stop animal cruelty: Eating meat means animals have to be slaughtered, many born and raised solely for human consumption. Often animals are made to live in unsanitary and hostile conditions.
  3. To prevent extinction: Animal species are continually being lost as a result of agricultural intensification and expansion.
  4. To alleviate world hunger: Roughly 800 million people are starving across the globe. The grains farmers use to feed animals could be used to feed people instead.
  5. To save the planet: Livestock contributes 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions; this is a major environmental issue.
  6. Price: Eating meat is not at all cheap. By cutting out meat once a week a family can save quite a bit of money.

Why go meat free? Paul McCartney is a huge advocate for the planet and the ethical treatment of animals, so his Meat Free Monday campaign is very much in line with his core values. The general idea behind it is for one day a week, don’t eat any food that contains meat. Taking a break from a meat-based diet can be good for the body anyway, to give it a rest from intense digestion required to break down meat. It doesn’t have to mean becoming vegan. Some of McCartney’s recipes, like the chocolate cake one above, use eggs so it’s not as though he’s trying to push a vegan lifestyle, just a meat-free one. And once a week isn’t asking a lot—it could be worthwhile to try it!

“Paul McCartney Advocates: “Have a Meat Free Monday”,” 96.3 KKLZ website;, last accessed July 18, 2016.
“Recipe Residency: McCartney Family’s Chocolate Cake,” Harper’s Bazaar website;, last accessed July 18, 2016.