Chocolate Paleo Snack Cake is fast becoming my boys’ favorite snack during our after school “tea time”. Before moving on to homework or other activities after school we take a few minutes for tea and a snack and share with each other about our day. I have overheard my sons proudly telling their neighborhood friends they can’t come out to play until after tea time. It’s become something we all look forward to even when the snacks are very simple. On the afternoon of the first day of school, per Sweet Pea’s request, I got a little fancy and decked out the table for a more formal tea time. He was TOTALLY into it as you can see.
Jelly donut cupcakes from Elana’s Pantry were on the menu that day. It was one of the few times I had made a bona fide gluten-free baked good since going paleo. I have shied away from what is often a downfall in the realm of gluten-free eating – too many baked goods in lieu of more wholesome, unprocessed foods. But the cupcakes were a hit and it has become clear that we NEED a few go-to recipes for special snack times and desserts now and then.
Enter Chocolate Paleo Snack Cake
I refer to this recipe as a “paleo snack cake” because it is 100% paleo, full of nutrition and sweetened only with fruit. I could have made it sweeter by adding agave nectar, coconut nectar or chocolate chips. But since the boys do not seem to miss the sugar I’m sticking with this version. In fact, the lack of added sugar is one of the main reasons I feel good about serving this paleo cake to these growing boys.
The chocolate paleo snack cake is so tasty I hate to focus on what is NOT in it. But for those of us with food allergies or family members with food allergies or sensitivities (my oldest is allergic to nuts and soy) it is important to know the details. That said, this paleo snack cake recipe is gluten-free, grain free, dairy free, nut free, soy free and sugar-free…whew! In spite of what it is lacking in potentially allergenic or unhealthful ingredients, the paleo snack cake is good enough to be served as a more formal dessert. The texture is like a dense, moist cake – a little like a heavy souffle or flourless chocolate cake.
- 10 medjool dates, pitted (I buy mine in bulk at Costco)
- 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce (or one ripe banana)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine celtic sea salt
- 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
- Place the medjool dates in a food processor and pulse until completely pureed.
- Add applesauce (or banana) and continue to pulse until pureed and combined with the dates.
- Add the fruit purée to the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and coffee and mix on low-medium speed until well combined.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed, scraping down the sides, until you have a smooth batter.
- Grease a 8×8 glass pan with coconut oil, pour in the batter and smooth it with the back of a spatula.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.
Alternative method for baking: Use a 9-inch round cake pan. Grease the pan and cut out parchment paper to fit the bottom. Cook per instructions above. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes and turn it out onto a wire rack or cake plate to cool. Top with frosting, if desired, and cut into wedges. We’ve used whipped coconut cream and whipped dairy cream with fresh raspberries. If you are looking for a dairy-free alternative you should try the Avocado Chocolate Frosting!
Makes 9-12 servings
Make a batch of these chocolate paleo snack cakes to delight your kids or invite some friends over for coffee or tea time.
If you are REALLY feeling adventurous you might consider topping it with Chocolate Ganache Bacon Frosting! Or for a more formal, two layer paleo chocolate cake check out Paleo Chocolate Birthday Cake.
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