Grain-Free Chocolate Birthday Cake

Sunny turned one on Sunday and we had birthday cake for her on Monday.  I’ve been working on this grain-free chocolate cake recipe, and I love how it turned out.  It’s incredibly moist and very chocolately.  Not too sweet, especially with the raspberry whipped cream and mascarpone frosting.

The cake is made with coconut flour and honey, so it is primal, grain free, gluten free, and processed sugar free.  I use greek yogurt so it’s not strictly paleo, but it’s easy to adapt if you don’t do dairy.   The texture is not identical to a wheat cake, it’s a bit denser and fudgier, but it’s very good.  If you’re looking for a non dairy frosting, check out my paleo chocolate frosting.

GRAIN FREE CHOCOLATE CAKE
adapted from Paleo Spirit
Ingredients
1 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
1 cup full fat greek yogurt (you can substitute 4 more eggs for the yogurt)
3/4 cup melted butter (or coconut oil)
1 cup liquid honey
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee (or 3/4 cup water and a tablespoon instant coffee)
2 Tablespoons vanilla
Directions
Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare two 9 inch round cake pans by greasing them (I use my butter wrapper) and lining the bottoms with parchment paper.  This will make the cakes come out in one piece!
Combine coconut flour (sifting if lumpy), cocoa (ditto on the sifting), baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Beat eggs in a medium mixing bowl.  While beating, add in yogurt.  Once fully mixed add butter, honey, coffee and vanilla.  Mix for about a minute and then add the dry ingredients, a bit at a time.  Continue to beat for 3-5 minutes, until it begins to get fluffy.
Pour into prepared pans, half in each, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Start checking to see if an inserted toothpick comes clean at around 20 minutes, just to be on the safe side, but this cake is very moist and I think a few minutes over won’t do it any harm.
Let cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes on wire racks, then carefully remove from cake pans and finish cooling on the racks.  I place the rack on top of the pan and quickly but smoothly flip the whole thing over, the cake should come out easily.  Let cakes cool completely before frosting.
RASPBERRY WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING WITH MASCARPONE CHEESE
Ingredients
1 pint whipping cream
1 small tub mascarpone cheese
1/2-1 cup raspberry jam
Directions
This is not an exact science, so I’ll be pretty general.  Adjust the amounts to what tastes best to you!
I like my filling to be firmer than the frosting on top so I started with 2/3 of the mascarpone and about a half cup of whipping cream.  Beat until it is fully combined and you have stiff peaks.  If it feels too thick to spread easily, add a bit more cream and continue beating.  Add about a 1/4 cup of raspberry jam and beat until it’s completely mixed in.  Have a taste, if you’d like it to be sweeter, add more jam.
Once you have a filling you like, place your bottom layer of cake on your serving dish.  Scoop out all your filling and smooth it into an even layer, coming close to the sides but not going over.  Carefully place the second layer of cake on top.  This cake is dense, moist, and a bit fragile.  Place the layers carefully because you won’t be shifting them once they’re down.
Now, add the remaining whipped cream and mascarpone into the bowl.  Whip until it is light and fluffy with stiff peaks.  It should be fluffier than the filling was and there will be more of it.  Again, add a 1/4 cup of the jam, mix it in and have a taste.  Adjust as needed.
Top the cake with the second batch of whipped frosting, smoothing it to the edges with a spatula.  It should last at room temperature for a couple hours, no problem.  It’s winter at the moment, however, so I can’t vouch for how it will do in the sun.  Probably best to refrigerate if it’s a hot day, or frost it right before the party.

Sunny loved her cake, and was a bit in awe of the candle.  Happy birthday, baby!

Grain-Free Almond Butter Cookies

I love to bake cookies.  I find it oddly therapeutic.  Something about the mixing and the rolling the dough in my hands.  So, while we’ve given up wheat, I’m not ready to give up cookies.  Ria loves to help stir and to roll the dough balls.  Her balls are a little deflated and not very circular, but she loves them just the same.  And you know what?  I can’t always tell the different when they come out of the oven.  When I put the chocolate chunks on each cookie so would point to the one that needed it’s chocolate next.  “This one! aaand this one! aaaaand this one!”  I love baking with this kid.

These cookies are very simple and are grain and peanut free.  They taste a lot like classic peanut butter cookies but are a bit less chewy (unless you eat them still warm from the oven, which is the best!).  You could do chocolate chips easily, but I didn’t have any in the house.  I’ll do some more experimenting and see if I can do a honey version, but for now I used organic cane sugar, so I feel okay about it 🙂

GRAIN FREE ALMOND BUTTER COOKIES
Ingredients
1 cup almond butter (I prefer smooth)
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 a bar of dark chocolate (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients thoroughly.  I always use my hands, then I know there’s no weird lumpy bits.  Make into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart.  These are fairly spready cookies, so give them some breathing room.  If using chocolate, chop it into decent chunks (little slivers just melt away and get lost.  It’s a waste of chocolate, frankly.) and press a piece into each cookie ball.  Bake in your 350 oven for about 10 minutes.  Keep a close eye as they tend to brown quickly.  Try to keep toddler from burning fingers because she’s so excited to eat her cookie!

Also, I hadn’t intended to feed these to the baby (I try to avoid sugar before one), but Ria’s on a sharing kick these days (only with food, heaven forbid you try and get her to share a train) and I keep catching Sunny crawling around with bits of food.  There are cookie crumbs all over my house, I guess I should go sweep those up!