I have probably said this before and will say it again – “Chocolate makes the world go around!” And there is something about ‘chocolate cake’ that makes everyone drool! And when it comes to both my children, they usually look for only one word in the dessert menu – yeah you guessed it – chocolate! Anything ‘chocolatey’ will fly with them! As you know, I usually try to bake ‘healthier’ versions of desserts and I mostly love to include fruits in my desserts. I also like to bake with either less sugar or using better alternatives like maple syrup or honey), try to avoid dairy (or use grassfed butter) and also use healthy ingredients like coconut oil and coconut milk.
Baking sweet treats at home helps to assure the quality of the ingredients and avoid unnecessary chemicals, colors and preservatives. I very rarely bake decadent treats like this one and reserve them only for special occasions like our birthdays. I believe having an occasional treat (essentially 3-4 times in a year) is not only ok but that it is also essential for a balanced approach so that you don’t feel deprived. I like to enforce the 80-20 rule at home where you eat healthy 80% of the time. Of course, if you have a chronic disease like diabetes or cardiovascular disease and or have an autoimmune condition like me, you need to try and avoid these completely for a period of time.
Anyways, for my son’s birthday this year, I decided to bake a ‘healthier’, slightly modified version of Ina Garten’s Perfect Chocolate Cake by using King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour and also by replacing butter, refined sugar and milk with coconut oil, coconut sugar and coconut milk respectively. For the eggs too, I used farm fresh pastured eggs. And for the entire cake, I used fresh 100% cacao powder. Pleased to report that all these changes meant a really decadent, moist cake that was so over the top delicious that all of our friends at the birthday party were raving about it some even asking for seconds! No wonder I couldn’t even get good pictures of the cake:)
But let me assure you that this cake is going to be a keeper. With everyone praising the cake so much, even I was tempted to have a small bite and gosh, it was ‘heavenly, melt-in-the-mouth delicious’!
Please do try this recipe and I am sure you will thank me!
- 2 cups King Arthur Measure for Measure flour gluten free (or all purpose flour)
- 1½ cups coconut sugar
- ¾ cup 100% cacao powder (I used OMG brand) or Natural cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup coconut milk plus 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil or avocado oil or melted coconut oil
- 2 large eggs(I used farm fresh, pastured) - taken out of the refrigerator one hour before so they can be at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot brewed coffee or (1 cup boiling water plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (use paleo / dairy-free version)
- ¼ cup coconut milk or almond milk
- ¼ cup semi solid coconut oil or unsalted grass fed butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F. Grease a large 9 or 10 inch springform pan (or 2, 8 inch pans) and dust lightly with flour.
- In a large tray or a sheet of parchment paper, add all the dry ingredients - all purpose flour, coconut sugar, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt. Mix them well using a spatula. Keep this aside.
- In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), add the coconut milk,melted coconut oil,vanilla and the eggs and beat using electric mixer until blended. Now slowly add the dry ingredient mix slowly in batches and continue to mix to blend everything well.
- Add the boiling water and coffee and mix again till well blended.
- Pour the batter into the pan (or pans) and bake at 350 deg F (or 175 deg F) for about 40-45 mins. Check after 35 mins. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Remove immediately from oven and cool for about 30 mins before removing from pan.
- If using large pan, you will need to cut the cake horizontally to form two layers.
- For making frosting, add all frosting ingredients in a small bowl and microwave for 1 minute (do in 30 sec intervals stirring after 30 secs)
- Mix with a spoon till you get a smooth ganache
- Frost between the layers and on the outside of the cake.
After frosting, it looked really decadent and people couldn’t wait to dig in!