For my husband’s birthday a few weeks ago I made him a Coconut Flour Paleo Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Bacon Frosting. It was a big hit. (You could easily leave the bacon out of the Chocolate Ganache Frosting if you are less than thrilled about trying that seemingly crazy scheme.) Here’s a closer look at the cake after it was sliced. Sorry, but I can’t resist showing off my blue hydrangeas. I love hydrangeas!Back to the chocolate cake. Don’t you just want to dig in?!
In the chocolate ganache frosting post I promised to provide the recipe for the cake itself in the next entry. But I lost my notes! (Can you say ADHD?) I was about 90% sure of the ingredients but needed to make it again to validate the recipe.
This time I chose to make the coconut flour cake with a Coconut Honey Frosting. (Hydrangeas again)And because the layers were quite thick, I cut each one in half and made a four-layer paleo chocolate cake. The cake cooked up and tasted just like the other one so now I feel comfortable sharing the recipe. Whew!
Is it a Paleo Chocolate Cake or a Devil Dog?
My husband, G, took a few bites of the Paleo Chocolate Cake with the Coconut Honey Frosting and remarked it tastes surprisingly like a Devil Dog. What?!
At first I was mortified. I mean, Devil Dogs (along with Twinkies) seem to exemplify all that is wrong with packaged food. But I’m dealing with a man here and to him, and I suspect many others, Devil Dogs are pretty appealing. But I can assure you this particular cake recipe is nothing like a Devil Dog in terms of quality ingredients. Just look at what is in a Devil Dog:
Corn Syrup, Vegetable Shortening Partially Hydrogenated, Soybean(s) Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Canola Oil, Corn Syrup High Fructose, Wheat Enriched Bleached Flour, Flour, Iron reduced, Vitamin B, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Sugar, Water, Cocoa, Whey, Milk Non-Fat, Soy Flour, Cornstarch Modified, Salt, Leavening, Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Aluminum Sulfate, Mono and Diglycerides, Sorbitan Monostearate, Polysorbate 60, Propylene Glycol, Egg(s) Whites, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate, Buttermilk, Vanilla, Flavoring Natural, Flavor(s) Artificial, Vanillin, Potassium Sorbate, Caramel Color
Wait until you see the ingredients for the paleo chocolate birthday cake. It looks nothing like a Devil Dog. This is an elegant dessert that has some serious nutrition in it. So take that, G!
How Do You Like Your Chocolate Cake?
I don’t know about you, but I like a chocolate cake with some substance. People talk about cakes that are “light and fluffy” and I suppose there’s a place for that. To each his own. I make no judgements. But in my humble opinion, chocolate cake is most satisfying when it is rich, moist and dense, more like a pound cake. But when I think of pound cake I think of those boring loaf pans. Blah. So I like that this recipe gives me that moist and dense feel of a pound cake with the beauty of a round cake presentation.Don’t be mad at me. I made this in odd-sized cake pans. I know, I know, everyone has those 8 or 9 inch cake pans. But when we have smaller family birthday parties we simply do not need that much cake. Having so much leftover dessert leads to dietary stress. (At least it does for me. My boys would completely disagree) So I invested in a couple of 5-inch pans and have been really happy with the results. (I also made this recipe in 9-inch pans and will provide the ingredient quantities for that too in case you prefer the “full size” version.)
Four-Layer Paleo Chocolate Cake!
If you think you might enjoy a dense, moist, chocolatey coconut flour cake then this recipe is for you. No, cavemen would not be making this cake. But WHO CARES?! I feel confident calling it “paleo” because it is gluten-free, grain-free, legume-free (yes, some gluten-free cake recipes have legumes) and dairy-free. This paleo cake is also nut-free which is why I can use it for kids’ birthday parties where nuts can be problematic for some guests.
Paleo Chocolate Birthday Cake
Ingredients (two 5-inch cake pans)
- 2/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup high quality cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (butter or ghee), melted (more for greasing pans)
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup brewed coffee (or water)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- parchment paper for lining cake pans
Ingredients (two 9-inch cake pans)
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 3/4 cup high quality cacao powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 9 eggs
- 3/4 cup coconut oil (butter or ghee), melted (more for greasing pans)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3/4 cup brewed coffee (or water)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- parchment paper for lining cake pans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Grease cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- Combine coconut flour, cacao, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, with whisk attachment, whisk the eggs.
- Add the oil/butter/ghee, maple syrup, coffee and vanilla extract and continue to mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated – about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl (you may need to do this a couple of times) and beat cake batter on high speed for about one full minute so that the batter is fluffy.
- Divide batter between the two prepared pans. It will be thick. (Spread it out evenly in the pan)
- Bake for 25 minutes (for 5 inch pans) or 30 minutes (for 9 inch pans) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes. Use a knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn out onto the wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Coconut Honey Frosting (Paleo/Vegan)
- 1 cup cold pressed palm shortening
- 3/4 cup (approximately half a can) full fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup honey (or vegan honey substitute)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on low for about 30 seconds.
- Scrape down sides of bowl and continue beating on high until the frosting is fluffy and thickened.*
* The frosting will “break” when you first start mixing it. Just keep going and it will eventually come back together and be light and fluffy like whipped cream.
Making the Four-Layer Paleo Chocolate Cake
Begin adding the frosting to each layer until you have a four-layer cake like this one. The frosting is slippery and you could easily have a disaster on your hands if you are not careful while putting this together. I don’t recommend trying to put too much frosting in each layer.
The coconut honey frosting was very wet at first and I was afraid it would just melt into the cake. But once I got it onto the cake it actually set up quite nicely. I did put the cake in the refrigerator at first just to make sure the frosting set. But after that I left it sitting out for a day in a glass-covered cake stand and it is was totally fine. The frosting is very light and fluffy in contrast to the heavier cake. It made for a delightful combination. If you are making the larger version of the paleo chocolate birthday cake you may want to increase the frosting recipe. But I found it was enough for a two layer cake.
Enjoy! Please let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by.
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