The Best Chocolate Birthday Cake You’ve Ever Had
I’ll be honest with you. I’m not much of a baker. It’s requires a bit more rigidity and chemistry in the kitchen than I prefer. That’s why I stick to cooking. With that said, last week was my birthday and I really wanted cake. Not just any cake. I wanted real food, grain free, dense, creamy, cherry-chocolate cake! So I decided to “get wild” and take a stab at making my own (both for me and for you 😉 ).Let me tell you…I didn’t have super high expectations, because as I said above, I don’t exactly excel at baking, but my friend, this recipe, broke my “bad baker” streak!
This cake meets all of my criteria above (real food, grain free, dense, creamy, cherry-chocolate cake) PLUS it’s simple! That means it has three layers of goodness: actual chocolate cake, the cherry jam and the whip (both of which go in between and on top of the chocolate cake layers). It also happens to be nut free (for those of you who can’t have nuts and/or are sick of making EVERYTHING with almond flour) and there’s an option to make it completely dairy-free.
It’s also versatile. For example, you could easily us the cake batter to make muffins or even mini-muffin tins like I did for my nieces! AND it halves and quarters quite nicely as I found out when I made a friend a mini version for her birthday this week. Which could be ideal on a day where you just want a Mug Cake sized serving (only put your mug in the oven if it’s glass or ceramic…and I can’t vouch for microwaving this as I haven’t tried it…if you do, leave a comment below and let me know how it works out!).
Without further ado, I give you The Best Chocolate Birthday Cake You’ve Ever Had!
- 1/3 C coconut flour
- 1/3 C arrowroot flour
- 3/4 C cocoa powder
- 1/2 tspn baking soda
- 1/2 tspn baking powder
- 1/2 tspn cinnamon
- pinch of himalayan pink salt or sea salt
- 1 C applesauce or pear sauce (no sugar added)
- 1/3 C honey
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4-6 drops of liquid stevia
- 1/2 C avocado oil or melted coconut oil
- 2 C heavy whipping cream or coconut cream*
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- zest of 1/2 a lemon (optional)
- 2-3 tbsp coconut palm sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
- CHERRY JAM FILLING
- 3 C dark sweet frozen cherries
- 2/3 C honey
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 tspn thyme (optional)
- CAKE - Preheat the oven to 325° F. Grease a 9" round cake pan with a little melted coconut oil. Then sprinkle the bottom and sides with cocoa powder (a great trick for making sure the cake doesn't get stuck!). If you have a food processor, dump all the ingredients in and mix for about 2 minutes (add the coconut oil in last). I know every baker is cringing at this, but for this recipe it works. It doesn't work for all recipes. If you don't have a food processor, mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl (sift them!) and all the wet ingredients in another. Then slowly add the dry to the wet as you whisk away (you can use a handheld blend here as well). Pour the batter into your pan evenly and bake for about 40 minutes. When it's done, take it out of the oven and use a knife to cut around the edges. Let it cool for about 15 minutes. Grab a wire rack or a plate, put it over the pan and flip the cake onto the rack/plate. If you're making the cake today, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes. If you're making it tomorrow, let it sit in the fridge overnight.
- WHIP - Add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Then using a whisk or hand held blender, beat away until you get soft, white peaks (i.e. when you take your took out of the whip you should see a tiny little peak form). You're done! Use on the cake immediately or store in the fridge until you ready to use it later.
- CHERRY JAM FILLING - Put a medium size sauce pan or medium-low heat. Dump in all the cherries and let them defrost and let their juices out. Should take about 10 minutes. Now add in all the other ingredients. Mix it up well and let it cook down for a solid 20 minutes. The longer you leave it the more jam-y (thicker) it will get. Once it's the perfect thickness for you, turn off the heat and let it cool. Store in the fridge in a glass container for at least an hour and then it should be ready to use on the cake.
- PUT IT AL TOGETHER - So this is the best part. Now you've got all the pieces ready to stack and go! Here's what I did. I use a bread knife to cute my cake in the layers are pretty thin, but it's fine (if you want thicker, make a second cake and you don't have to worry about this step). On top of the bottom layer of cake, spread a layer of cherry jam, follow by a layer of whip. Add on the second layer of cake and do the same thing. I used a fork to infuse a little more jam into my top layer of whip and make a pretty design. There's an endless amount of things you can do here. Have fun with it!
- Coconut cream is what you get when you open a can of full-fat coconut milk and see the thick, white creamy, coconut mass at the top of the can.
- If you can tolerate dairy and choose to use it in this recipe, make sure you use raw, grass-fed or organic whipping cream.
- Make the jam the day before to make the whole process even speedier.
Get your bake on!