Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Death By Chocolate :: Paleo Chocolate Cake

The only thing Biz asked for for his birthday this year was some sort of Paleo cake, and given my love for baking, I was happy to oblige. Before we shifted to a Paleo lifestyle, I baked apple pies and chocolate chip cookies like they were going out of style, and in all honesty it has been hard for me to get the baking bug back -- mainly because so many so-called Paleo desserts are a combination of applesauce and blueberries and supposed to turn out like pancakes. Thumbs down.

I have raved about Elana's Pantry on here before and I am about to do so again, because she was my first and only stop during my chocolate cake recipe search for Biz. This was my first attempt and it turned out perfectly {probably because I had such a great helper!}

Chocolate Cake
3/4 c coconut flour, sifted {I did not sift}
1/4 c cacao powder {the natural, unsweetened kind of course}
1t celtic sea salt
1t baking soda
10 eggs
1 c grapeseed oil
1 1/2 c agave nectar {NOTE: I used honey, as agave nectar raises your insulin levels in the same way high fructose corn syrup does. Elana posted this recipe in 2008 when she was only gluten-free, but has since switched to full Paleo and eliminated agave nectar from her recipes}
1t vanilla extract
1/4 t orange zest {I don't have a zester and could not cut the peel small enough so I just squeezed the juice from half of a large orange into the batter instead}

1. In a small bowl, combine flour, cacao, salt and baking soda
2. In a large bowl, using an electric hand blender, blend eggs, oil, honey, vanilla and orange zest
3. Add dry ingredients into large bowl and continue to blend
4. Oil (2) 9-inch cake pans and dust with coconut flour {I use a spray coconut oil from Whole Foods for greasing}
5. Pour batter into pans and bake at 325* for 35-40 minutes
6. Remove from oven, allowing to cool completely then remove from pans
7. Frost and serve

Chocolate Frosting
1c dark chocolate chips {the higher % of cocoa the better. Some are in the 40 range, some are in the 60 range, and I try to find at least 72%}
1/2 c grapeseed oil
2T agave nectar {same applies as above. Honey worked great}
1t vanilla extract
pinch celtic sea salt

1. In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate and grapeseed oil
2. Stir in honey, vanilla and salt
3. Place frosting in freezer for 15 minutes to cool {I had to do close to 30 to get it to whip properly}
4. Remove from freezer and whip frosting with a hand blender until it is thick and fluffy
5. Frost over cake and serve
*I would DOUBLE the entire recipe for ample frosting. I barely had enough to cover it in just a thin coat, and some areas were still spotty. 



  1. Love this! Am totally trying it. Thanks

  2. This looks amazing! You have inspired me to embrace a more Paleo-ish lifestyle and actually asked myself the other day, "how does Sheridan survive PMS without cupcakes?!" Thanks for including real life modifications, too ;)

  3. YUM!!! Can't wait to try this!!!

  4. I don't search much further than Elana's pantry for baked goods since you mentioned it. Soooo good. So good.

  5. Wow, this cake looks amazing! Plus, I think the honey is a great idea and would taste great with chocolate. I love learning about the Paleo lifestyle. I've been following a gluten-free diet for a little why - mainly to incorporate more healthy grains into my diet. Plus eat less baguettes, haha. I will have to try this cake - thank you!

  6. Hayley - there are no healthy grains! That's the basis of Paleo - eliminating them completely. Good luck!

  7. YUM! That looks purely sinful! And your little helper is adorable! ;)

  8. yummy! btw-- if you don't have a zester, you can use the tines of a fork against the skin of the fruit in a pinch.

  9. uh oh, going to have to make this!

  10. YAY!! Thank you so much for this recipe!! My husband LOVES chocolate cake so this is so perfect! I've been on the hunt for a paleo chocolate cake recipe! Happy {belated} birthday to Biz!

    xo, sam

  11. I just made it for my son's 2nd birthday and it was fantastic! Very moist, I used local honey, doubled the frosting recipe which gave more than enough frosting and the frosting is more like fudge--thick and heavy, but then again, I did use a lot. Also I used Baker's Chocolate, 8oz unsweetened and 8oz semi-sweet which gave me somewhere around 77%cacao (don't quote me on that). We ate it about 2 hours after I frosted, but if you eat it immediately, then the frosting might not be quite to fudge-like. This would also be great with ice cream (there is a paleo version!) with the cake warmed up--hot fudge cake and ice cream? Yes please!

  12. Easy and Simple recipe! What can I ask for but a plate of that scrumptious delight! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! Have a happy evening!

  13. I made this for my kids and their friend yesterday, they all loved it. So much so that my 11 yo old just ran up to me and said "I'm driven by cake lust!" I think that was her way of asking for some of the leftovers, lol.

  14. I have no grape seed oil. Can I use coconut oil instead? =)

    1. I was wondering the same thing!!

    2. I'm not sure coconut oil would work as a replacement because it is solid at room temperature and grapeseed oil is liquid. I have used the light-flavor olive oil both times I've made this cake and it worked out great! Don't know if you have that in the pantry, either, though...

    3. I made it with coconut oil (equal amounts) for the cake and frosting and it turned out great!! :)

  15. This looks fantastic. I will do it..however..

    Why did you use grapeseed oil? My understanding is that it is highly inflammatory.


    Grapeseed oil...
    Fats & Fatty Acids
    Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
    Total Fat218g335%
    Saturated Fat20.9g105%
    Monounsaturated Fat35.1g
    Polyunsaturated Fat152g
    Total trans fatty acids~
    Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids~
    Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids~
    Total Omega-3 fatty acids218mg

    Total Omega-6 fatty acids151708mg

    strongly inflammatory on their scale....can you use coconut oil or ghee or butter?

    Beautiful blog...thank you, Andre

  16. I have one 8" square layer and a dozen cupcakes made from this recipe in the oven now! I too was not thrilled about the oil so I used melted butter. I know some consider it non paleo but we use it (grassfed) anyway. I've also had luck using melted coconut oil in baked goods but thought the butter would add extra richness. we'll see how it turns out...

    1. Ok, I'm left wondering if there is an error somewhere or if maybe I didn't use just the right kind of cocoa but my cake has no chocolate flavor whatsoever. All I can taste is honey. The texture is pleasing and it's very moist but it is very disappointing in the chocolate department. I'm sad :-(

  17. Hey Hi! It looks amazing, i'll try it for sure, but I was wondering if I can replace the coconut flour for almond flour, because I can't find coconut flour here and I don't have the time to make the coconut flour...




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