Birthday’s are synonymous with cake. But when you have a allergy to dairy, cake becomes a challenge and often it is just easier to go without. I don’t quite think that is fair, so every year I make my own cake, that way I get what I want and everyone ends up happily eating delicious cake.
This year in preparation for my birthday I had decided on a dark chocolate and raspberry combination. A classic that is bound to please. But that is when I remembered a few of my guests were gluten free. I have never attempted a gluten free cake before, so the challenge was put in place to create a delicious cake that was both dairy free and gluten free. I had to think about this a little more…
It is ok to experiment with the cake when it is for your own birthday party right?
There were a few simple options for cakes that would both fit the criteria of both gluten and dairy free however once my mind is made up it is very difficult for me to change it, so I decided to stick with the chocolate and raspberry combo. I started researching alternatives for flour and became overwhelmed by how many options were out there!
I finally decided I would use coconut flour as the flavour would go beautifully with the chocolate and raspberry. The only problem being that I had never used it before so I was pretty unsure what the end result would be!
I decided to use coconut oil and coconut blossom sugar in the mixture as well, mostly because I had them in my cupboard left over from an attempt at making a vegan caramel slice (more on that another day!) but also because I thought they would be a nice substitute from the traditional ingredients of butter and refined white sugar. When experimenting you may as well go all in! Coconut blossom sugar has a similar flavour to brown sugar but is more subtle in its sweetness and is a much lower GI.
I was hoping that by using this combination I would get a dense, rich and bitter-sweet chocolate cake that I could balance with a sweet buttercream frosting and some fresh raspberries.
Baking the cake was more stressful than usual with the unfamiliar feel of the mixture and the actual cake resembling more of an oversized chocolate cookie than a cake. However I persevered with a clear vision in mind to create something that hopefully would be a success.
For the cake pictured I baked two cakes and layered them with some of the coconut and chocolate buttercream frosting. I had a great time decorating it and making sure it looked amazing, trying to cover up my uncertainty about the actual taste of the cake.
When experimenting it is always a nervous time when it comes down to serving…especially when you have people eagerly waiting to taste what looks to be a delicious and decadent chocolate cake and in your head you are just praying that it is at least edible!
I think my biggest concern about the cake was that it would have no flavour. I was wrong about that! The cake was rich and chocolatey with a beautiful hint of coconut. Flavour wise it was everything I had hoped for. The texture of the cake was quite different to what you would expect though with a soft crumb and almost brownie like density.
Overall, the cake seemed to be a hit and after a more stressful than usual time in the kitchen, I once again felt the joy that comes from baking. I wouldn’t say this is the most traditional recipe but it provided cake when cake was needed and that is really all we can ever hope for!
- 1 cup coconut flour
- ½ cup coconut blossom sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 eggs
- ½ coconut milk
- 25 gm dark chocolate chopped
- Sift and place dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Crack 4 eggs into a separate bowl. Mix slightly and add to dry mix.
- Add in coconut oil, vinegar and vanilla.
- Mix well until combined.
- Stir through coconut milk and dark chocolate until just mixed in. The mixture will be thick which is what gives it the brownie-like texture.
- Put cake mixture into a lined springform pan making sure it is even.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 35 minutes.
- Let cool completely before icing.
The cake will not really rise and when removed from the pan it will look like a giant chocolate cookie!
I served mine with a coconut and chocolate buttercream frosting (recipe linked below), some fresh raspberries and of course, more chocolate!
The buttercream frosting recipe I used for this cake can be found in this post: The Ultimate Chocolate & Coconut Cupcakes