OMG…..do I have a great cake for you today! This cake is a dream….this cake is divine…this cake is so to die for I considered naming it death by chocolate or it equally could have been called the cake from heaven because it could bring you to life with one single bite! My chocolate paradise cake is a chocolate lover’s ultimate dream…so decadent, so rich, so moist and each layer and the luscious buttercream are a match made in heaven! Oh, did I mention the best part….you can eat this cake without a single feeling of guilt because it’s grain-free and low-carb and so sinfully delicious you will keep asking yourself over and over again…how could this be??? It taste every bit like every delicious, traditional gluten filled, calorie laden, waistline expanding masterpiece you’ve ever eaten and believe it or not if you don’t tell anyone it’s grain-free they would never…ever… know. YOU HAVE TO MAKE THIS CAKE!!! MAKE IT FOR YOURSELF, YOUR LOVER, YOUR KIDS, YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS….ANYBODY YOU WANT BROWNIE POINTS WITH I TELL YA!Lol…i’ll stop shouting from the rooftops now but that was a public service announcement. This is a cake for everyone to enjoy BUT only if you like chocolate because this is for chocolate lover’s only, if you don’t like chocolate your out of the club and this is not the cake for you! I feature my delicious raspberry buttercream in between the layers and seal the entire outside of the cake in decadent chocolate espresso buttercream for a kick!
My famously delicious frostings are the things dreams are made of, so good I could lick it right out the bowl before the cake is even done! I was so impatient and dying to eat this cake that I didn’t give it optimal time to set up before frosting it, which made a bit of a mess although it was a delicious mess. Moral of the story…don’t be like me give your cakes several hours to cool and setup before frosting so you can have a stellar presentation! I have a secret formula i use to make my frostings and some will frown about this but its my method and i’m sticking to it because its quick, easy and addictive! Everyone of my buttercream, cream cheese or whipped cream frostings start with a base of store-bought organic vanilla frosting which is made with quality ingrediants like coconut oil, sustainably sourced palm shortning and unrefined natrual powdered sugar, my favorite brand is Simple Mills. I think it adds more creamy deliciousness and saves time but feel free to add my flavor combinations to your favorite base recipe when making icing your own but my recipes are bona fide crowd pleasers so give them a try! This delicious masterpiece was adapted from my favorite Paleo blogger Lisa from Downshiftology and this cake received rave reviews!!! Mine is taken up a notch by a few special ingrediants we use that to many would sound odd, but in the world of grain-free baking the science is different then in traditional baking so you’ll just have to trust us and do….exactly…as…i….say…easy peasey..okay!
*Health-Conscious Baking 101 & the 411 on my Chocolate Paradise Cake*
- All flours are not created equal-flour is the basis of this whole thing and so the mixture of the flours are so vital you cannot switch them out…they are absolutely essential to give this cake the taste and feel of traditional bakery cakes! Why not use traditional flours and call it a day? You might ask, well if you have celiac disease or another similar allergy, you cannot consume gluten or grains like white or wheat flour but even gluten-free flours are marketed as healthy but full of empty carbohydrates and in my humble opinion taste weird, that’s why I prefer grain-free as opposed to gluten free because they are nutrient packed, low carb and make great baked goods. Even if you don’t have a gluten allergy eating whole foods is what’s best for your body and instead of making cakes just for the craving gratification consider being a mindful and health conscious baker and when eaten on occasion these desserts can be a guilty-free pleasure you feel good to eat and does not leave you feeling heavy and bloated. Most importantly though the reasons millions are switching to a low-carb lifestyle is because these foods full of carbs, fat and sugar are highly toxic and in particular sugar and gluten are key contributors to cancer, they are highly inflammatory, exasperate autoimmune diseases, contribute to diabetes, adhd, autism, neurological conditions and the lists go on. The grain-free as opposed to merely gluten-free flours are full of fiber, healthy fats, are nutrient dense and have a low gycemic index so they won’t spike your blood sugar. These were all essential to me and my family in my baking practice as I have diabetes and severe autoimmune disease, my children and spouse also contend with neurological conditions and traditional baking only exasperated our symptoms. I truly enjoy baking and feel fullfilled baking with purpose and enjoying sweet treats for myself or as gifts to friends and family. I test these recipes because I want delicious flavors, perfect textures and amazing icings for all my baked goods. No subpar, tasteless, dry, rubbery gluten-free treats that taste like a cardboard box here, only the tastiest i can produce make it into my home, my blog, my cookbook and my mouth so your guaranteed to love them and they will make you a believer just like me, the girl with the once insatiable sweet tooth! I am loving this clean eating journey and the weight-loss transformation that has followed this journey. Give it a try and see for yourself, you will not be disappointed with the sweet treats on this blog which will be 90 percent health conscious baking sprinkled in with conventional baking family favorites to indulge in on occasion. If you are allergic to nuts experiment with other grain-free flours like cassava or tapioca and check out this amazing link from one of my favorite bloggers Katja from her blog Savory Lotus to learn more about baking grain-free.⬇️ https://www.savorylotus.com/grain-free-flours/
- Super fine blanched almond flour is full of healthy fats in moderation, protein and a subtle flavor that works with many recipes and lends flavor and keeps your cake tender and moist, tapioca flour or cassava flour is flavorless but adds structure and mimics all-purpose or cake flour to make it taste like traditional cake and finally a little coconut flour adds richness, flavor and density but you won’t even taste it at all hidden in all that chocolate. We will use all three to make the texture of this cake scrumptious to the last drop! *If you have a nut allergy you may be able to use a mixture of cassava or tapioca flour mixed with a little coconut flour but I can’t speak to the texture or results as I have never tried that but play around with alternatives and see what you can make.
- We use baking soda and a pinch of apple cider vinegar to help this cake rise and develop structure and air bubbles in the cake which lends for a perfect texture in connection with the combination of flours used.
- I use a carton of low calorie coconut milk versus canned coconut milk in this cake, just two cups but you could also use almond milk or organic white milk if you prefer, but coconut milk is amazing in this cake. Again, you don’t taste it but it adds such a layer of flavor and moisture to this cake that makes it irresistible. These non-dairy alternatives taste amazing and are low calorie and have added nutrition. I also prefer coconut milk because it is rich in nutrients and good fats and is a good nut-free alternative if you have a nut allergy or are casein sensitive.
- To sweeten this cake I like to use cane sugar, other commonly used Paleo sweeteners are coconut sugar which can be used if you prefer but I prefer unprocessed sugar in the raw because it is unprocessed and free of chemicals. *I’ve tried maple syrup as a sweetener and it does not work in this recipe.
- For the fat in this cake I like to use a combination of ghee which is a rich and flavorful clarified butter which is not laden with saturated and trans-fats but you could also just use regular unsalted butter or softened coconut oil if you prefer but not margarine because we need full fat for this recipe, secondly we need a little mayo which sounds odd but essentially is only made from oil and eggs when you break it down and works amazing in cakes to keep them flavorful and moist in addition to our eggs which is what we want.
- Lastly for the chocolate goodness, i use raw cacao powder which is unrefined and full of antioxidants which help fight disease and it is very rich in flavor and unsweetened so you will need to use raw sugar or coconut sugar to make the cake the perfect sweetness and lastly the pinch of vanilla and coffee powder adds a depth if flavor drawing out the chocolate you desire.
- This cake freezes well and the cake as well as the frostings can be made a couple days ahead of an event.
Make this cake, devour it with a cup of almond or coconut milk and let me know in the comments what you think and I dare you to make this cake for your loved ones or your next special event and you will make them a believer too! *Join my first challenge by following my blog and commenting and in 30 days I will post 3 winner’s of my upcoming book Kendra’s Health Conscious Baking [Indulging your Sweet Tooth without Guilt] coming this fall on Amazon in my Grain-Free Baking Giveaway! Enjoy to the last crumb and let the baking begin!
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 40 MINUTES for cooling time
FOR THE CAKE
- 3 cups almond flour, sifted
- 1 cup tapioca flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups raw cacao powder,sifted
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee
- 2 cups raw sugar or coconut sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 + 1/4 cups coconut milk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup of ghee, coconut oil or a stick of cubed butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
FOR THE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM
- 2 cups store-bought organic vanilla frosting, room temperature
- 1 cup ghee or a stick of butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
TO MAKE CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM JUST ADD:
- 1/2 tablespoon espresso powder or instant coffee to your melted chocolate, mix well and make your buttercream as directed for my chocolate buttercream recipe.
FOR THE RASPBERRY BUTTERCREAM
- 2 cups store-bought organic vanilla frosting, room temperature
- 1 cup room temperature ghee or a stick of butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup organic raspberries
FOR THE GARNISHES
- semi-sweet chocolate chips or cacao nibs
- organic raspberries
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease either two 9″ cake pans or three 8 inch cake pans with ghee, butter, coconut oil or spray and cover bottom and sides of cake pans with parchment paper. *You can also make this into a sheet cake.
- In a large bowl add your dry ingredients; almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, espresso powder and cacao powder and mix well.
- In a secondary bowl add your coconut milk, mayo, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and ghee, butter or coconut oil to your eggs and beat well. Add this to your flour mixture and using an electric mixer or whisk, mix your cake batter very well until thoroughly incorporated, no need to worry about overmixing since this cake does not contain gluten .
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool for thirty minutes to an hour on wire racks until completely cool before icing your cake, I like to refrigerate my cakes for a little while before I frost them! A MUST FOR A BEAUTIFUL PRESENTATION!!!
FOR THE CHOCOLATE ICING
- In a large mixing bowl add your room temperature store-bought vanilla frosting, room temperature ghee or butter, melted & cooled semi-sweet chocolate chips and vanilla extract and use a electric mixer to incorporate and mix your buttercream well. Beat until creamy and whipped in texture about a minute or two.
- If making chocolate espresso buttercream be sure to mix in 1/2 tablespoon of espresso powder or instant coffee with your melted chocolate, this is optional but adds nice variety and a kick.
- Once your cake is cooled, frost only the top and sides of the cake with chocolate frosting, I did add variety to this cake by doing raspberry buttercream between the top layers but if your prefer all chocolate or raspberry buttercream just frost the whole cake in your desired frosting.
FOR THE RASPBERRY ICING
- In a large mixing bowl add your room temperature store-bought vanilla frosting, room temperature ghee or butter, whole raspberries and vanilla extract and use a electric mixer to incorporate and mix your buttercream well. There is no need to mash up your raspberries they will mash but keep a nice bit of texture as you mix with a handheld mixer or standing mixer. Beat until creamy and whipped in texture about a minute or two.
- Once your cake is cooled frost the top of the layers only since the outer cake will be covered in chocolate icing but if you prefer you can frost the whole cake in raspberry buttercream to break up the richness of the chocolate. This frosting also taste great on vanilla cake and lemon cake.
GARNISH YOUR CAKE
- Place raspberries around the entire outer edges of the cake then spread semi-sweet chocolate chips or cacao nibs evenly through the center.
- Now refrigerate for a couple hours before serving to set up cake. Keep refrigerated and eat within four days or freeze. Serve it cold or take it out about an hour before serving to come to room temperature.