Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dark Chocolate Berry Cake

Last Saturday we celebrated Dakota's birthday with our extended family.  The weather was rainy and nasty before and after the party, but cleared up and was gorgeous for the entire party!  I've got an awesome brother and sister-in-law who are generous enough to offer up their house for our parties since we live an hour away from everyone else.  They've got a beautiful outdoor space perfect for parties!

My mom is normally the cake baker for the family.  She makes cakes for everyone's birthday and they are amazing.  Unfortunately, they all contain dairy so my kiddos can't eat them.  They also contain white flour, refined sugar and other various additives that I'm not crazy about my kids eating.

In the past, my mom has made a modified version for the kids to eat while everyone else ate the "real" thing.  Now that Dakota is old enough to notice and care, I wanted to make sure she could eat everything at her party.  

She's awesome about asking before she eats things whenever we go places and more often than not, she can't eat most of the food.  So I wanted her party to be a safe area where she could eat anything she wanted.  This is the face of a kid who can eat everything at here party- totally worth it right?

This cake is dairy, soy and gluten free.  It's also full of protein from the eggs and almond flour so it won't cause a sugar rush.  Oh, and did I mention it's delicious?  My chocolate cake got rave reviews from my family which is huge praise from a group used to eating my mom's cakes.  Even my mom approved!

This is the first time I've combined coconut and almond flour in a recipe.  I wanted to combine the fluffiness from coconut flour with the moist density of almond flour.  The result was perfect!  

Dakota also asked for strawberries in her cake so I used some fruit-sweetened wild berry jam in the center and topped with strawberries.  This cake would also be great with raspberry jam and raspberries and blueberries on top (this would have happened if it was my birthday).

I should probably warn you that this recipe uses a ridiculous amount of eggs.  I'm ok with this since it's a special occasion and the resulting cake will feed about 20 people (with small slices).  The eggs are essential to making the cake moist so don't scrimp on them!  If you don't need a cake that big, feel free to cut the recipe.

Dark Chocolate Berry Cake

1 ½ cups dairy free chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Chocolate chips)
¾ cup coconut oil
¾ cup coconut milk
15 eggs
¾ cup honey
½ cup coconut flour
2 ½ cup almond flour
¾ cup cacao or cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking soda
¾ tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Line bottom of 2 10" cake pans with parchment paper.
In a double boiler, heat chocolate chips, coconut oil and coconut milk until just melted.
In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, almond flour, cacao, baking soda and salt and mix until lumps are gone.
In a large mixing bowl beat eggs and honey.
Add melted chocolate mixture (making sure it's not hot) to eggs and mix.
Slowly add in flour and beat on high for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed.
Divide batter between your two cake pans.
Bake 45-55 minutes, rotating the position of the pans after 20 minutes.
Your cakes are done when a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Be careful not to over-bake.

Chocolate Frosting
2 cups dairy free chocolate chips
2/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup coconut oil
4 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vanilla extract

In a double boiler, melt chocolate, coconut oil and grapeseed oil.
Remove from heat when most of chocolate is melted and allow to sit for a few minutes.
Whisk together when completely melted and mix in honey and vanilla.
Move frosting to a mixing bowl and chill in fridge for 15-20 minutes.
Frosting should be solid but soft.
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat frosting until it forms fluffy peaks.

To assemble your cake, remove parchment paper from cooled cakes and place on on a cake platter.

Ice the top of the cake with a layer of frosting and then a layer of jam.
Place the other cake layer on top and cover the entire cake with frosting.

If you need to work up an appetite before eating, try some piñata hitting. 

Besides, everyone loves it and it makes for some awesome pictures! 

Then you can properly enjoy some cake!

And here are the cupcakes I made with the trial run of this recipe.

If you'd like to make cupcake you can cut the recipe into thirds (this will give you a dozen cupcakes) and bake for 20-25 minutes.  You'll only need a quarter of the frosting recipe for 12 cupcakes.


  1. Oh, my gosh; that looks amazing! I couldn't eat any of the food at my baby shower, so I totally understand wanting to make your daughter's party food-safe for her.

    1. Oh no! Food you couldn't eat at your own shower?? That is a bummer! It makes me so happy to make yummy foods that everyone can enjoy without all the nasty stuff! I hope you have someone that will make you some wonderful nourishing foods once baby is here!

  2. Happy Birthday and thanks for sharing with us at FFF this week. I have yet to attempt a gluten free cake. Looks great.
    Dawn co host of FFF

  3. hahahaha - that WAS a lot of eggs. meh - if you wanna feed me cake, i'll eat all the eggs you put in there. it looks fantastic! and so does the weather - i can't believe how beautiful it is where you are! here it's brown and snow banks everywhere. jealous. ;)

    thank you for sharing with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up - i hope to see you again this week with more seasonal & real/whole food posts. xo, kristy

    1. lol, people pretty much don't ask what's in a cake when they eat it do they? We get to appreciate our weather this time of year but I miss having seasons!

  4. Wow, I can't believe this is a grain and refined sugar free cake. It looks amazing. Great job!

  5. Beautiful party, beautiful cake, beautiful little gal :)
    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    On the Gluten Free Fridays tab we have new badges for you to display on your blog. There are a few different choices for you. There are varying sizes as well. If you've had a featured recipe in the past, feel free to grab one of those badges as well! They are free for the taking; use as you wish! Thanks for supporting our GF community and spreading the word!

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    See you at the link up this week!

    Cindy from

  6. I made this cake for my own birthday :-) it was a bit dry but I think I baked it too long. I don't habe 10 inch cake pans so used two 9.5s and still needed a third pan. I'm thinking this is the reason for the difference in baking times.
    Still, a yummy cake! My first Paleo birthday cake. Thank you so much for the delicious recipe!!!! So nice to be able to eat my own cake :-)

  7. Hi!
    We're celebrating my daughter's first birthday next month and I would Love to make this for her party! However (Since she's under 2), could I sub the honey with maple syrup (or anything else you suggest)?
    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Julie,
      Although I haven't tried maple syrup, it would probably work. You might want to make a test batch of cupcakes first just to check. I also want to mention that honey is considered safe for infants over 12 months and I wouldn't hesitate to give it to one of my own littles at their first birthday.