As a tip, to check your cake batter for sweetness, you might want to do what I did. I almost always sweeten my sweet baked goods and desserts with Swerve granular or confectioners sweetener (both because I like it and because it also adds the bulk/volume that sugar typically does in most cake and baked sweets). I like to use liquid stevia to adjust the sweetness because I can more easily fine tune it without changing the consistency of the batter. I added 2 teaspoons of NOW Organic Liquid Better Stevia to my cake batter, but 1-1/2 teaspoons would probably have worked nicely, too, particularly if you plan to frost your cake as I did. To do a little sweetness taste test, after mixing the batter together, I placed about 1/3 cup or so of the batter in a coffee mug and baked it for a little over a minute in the microwave and tested the finished "baked cake" product. You could also taste the batter, too, if you are okay with testing raw batter. The recipe makes about 5-1/4 cups of cake batter (or slightly more). I used my USA mini cake pan to make 6 mini cakes and had enough batter left to make 6 regular sized cupcakes too. I slice the mini cake in half crosswise to make 2 separate layers and frost them like a regular sized cake. Since this is a "sweeter treat" with the frosting, I would venture to say that a nice dessert portion would be 1/4 to 1/2 of one of the small cakes...or at least it is plenty enough for me. If you just wanted to make cupcakes, the recipe would make about 20-22 cupcakes. I snapped a few photos of one of the finished and frosted mini cakes and one of the cupcakes below. Click here for my recipe for: Milk Chocolate Peanut Buttercream Frosting. Enjoy!
|Top of cupcake (with shaved dark chocolate)|
Best Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake
3 cups almond flour (blanched)
1-1/2 cups Swerve sweetener (or equivalent to 1-1/2 cups sugar sweetness)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Celtic or sea salt
6 large eggs
1/2 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons "extra light" olive oil or coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons liquid stevia, or to taste
3/4 cup buttermilk (or see dairy free option below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 6-well mini cake pan (each well is 4 inches in diameter and 1-1/4 inches deep) or alternatively line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, mix almond flour, Swerve sweetener, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl with a whisk, stirring to break up any lumps.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs, oil, vanilla, vinegar, stevia, and buttermilk until blended. (For a dairy free buttermilk substitute, place 2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice in measuring cup and fill to 3/4 cup with almond milk; let sit 5 to 10 minutes). Add liquid mixture to dry mixture and stir together. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until well blended and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour batter into prepared baking pans (leaving about 1/3" space at top for mini cakes) or into lined muffin tins (about 1/4" space at top for cupcakes). Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes for mini-cakes (or approximately 23 minutes for cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 to 10 minutes; invert cakes onto wire rack to cool. If baking cupcakes, allow to cool completely before frosting. Makes 6 mini cakes (slice each mini cake in half to make 2 layers) or approximately 21 cupcakes.
*Note: Taste batter for sweetness prior to baking. If additional sweetness is desired, add stevia to adjust. Recipe yields approximately 5-1/4 cups of cake batter and is sufficient to bake two 8-inch round cake layers or a 9 x 13-inch cake (baking times may need to be adjusted). If baking larger cakes that will be removed from pan, liberally grease and flour pans with almond flour before adding batter.
This looks just like ... dare I say it? ... a *Real Cake*! Well, I'll be! It IS a Real Cake ... and real Frosting! Lucky for your readers, you're on a roll! :-)
Yes, it is REAL cake and frosting! I decided a few more desserts to choose from wouldn't hurt anyone! :-)
What did you use to frost it? It looks like chocolate whipped cream!
Chocolate whipped cream would be good...but this is Milk Chocolate Peanut Buttercream Frosting -- it's very sweet like traditional frosting. I posted the recipe for it the next day. Check the next post after this to see the recipe. :-)
Do you have a carb count for this recipe please?
This is the recipe calculator I use. You can figure out how many servings you get from the recipe and divide it. :-) http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php
I just made this recipe as cupcakes. It made exactly 18. They turned out very moist. To me, they didn't have enough chocolate flavor. Maybe some melted dark chocolate would deepen the chocolate flavor. They were very tasty, though!
Glad you enjoyed the recipe as cupcakes. I used a very dark cocoa powder (Valrhona) which might have been why mine were very deep dark chocolatey. It's more intense than Hershey's, etc. Not sure what type cocoa powder you used, but maybe bumping it up a bit might help. :-)
I think I am one of your most devoted fans, I cannot wait to see what you post! Thank you for sharing your recipes with us!!!
I feel like I'm always asking for substitutions, usually for the coconut flour, I will try the chocolate cake recipe using a gluten-free flour (I know coconut flour would be a lot healthier)...
But my question is about the frosting. I FINALLY was able to order online some Swerve confectioner's style sweetener, that took some doing as the company is almost always out of it. But I ordered a 3-pack so I will be good!
I was wondering about trying to make just a chocolate frosting or even one that had more of a chocolate cheesecake flavor rather than the nut flavor in it. Do you think I could substitute cream cheese for the nut butter? How do you think it would work?
Have you ever made a vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream frosting? Or even a lemon cake would be amazing! My favorite cake though is a plain vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, and that would be a big hit for a family gathering, and then I'd feel I could eat it without feeling guilty.
But another suggestion would be a fantastic vanilla cake with a lemon curd filling and then a light glaze.
But I'd also really like a recipe for vanilla buttercream frosting.
Thank you, thank you, thank you... :)
I'd still be thrilled sometime if you could develop a recipe for Irish wheaten soda bread, one you'd eat as toast but also for sandwiches too. Not the sweet one but more like a grainy wholegrain biscuit texture and flavor. It was THE BEST bread I'd ever eaten, had it in the outskirts of Dublin, homemade and unbelievably good! I've never forgotten it... :)
Thanks so much,
Thank you! First I wanted to say yes, I think softened cream cheese would make a wonderful frosting and you could flavor it any way you like (vanilla, lemon or chocolate, etc.). You could also add some butter to it so it wasn't entirely cream cheese as a base. Sort of a "butter cream cheese frosting" with whatever flavor you choose. If you add cocoa powder to make it a chocolate version, you could just add a little milk or cream to thin it to desired consistency as you go if it became to thick from the dry cocoa powder.
Secondly, I want you to know that I have actually been trying to think of a suitable substitute for you for the coconut flour in some of my recipes where there is a little added for texture. I think if you substituted a plain unflavored whey protein powder that would give you the texture without flavor (or coconut) that you need. If you can possibly find a small portion of it to try(sometimes I've seen Jay Robb's brand in an envelope) rather than buying an entire canister of it, so you could try it...that would be great.
Also, I have been thinking about the wheaten soda bread and wondered if you had tried making my Irish Soda Bread recipe without raisins? If not, I would suggest making that recipe with the following substitutions to see if it is close to what you describe you wheaten bread to be:
1) Reduce sweetener from 3 tablespoons to 1 tablespoon (the reason I say keep a little is to mimick the faint sweetness that wheat adds and that would not be enough to make the bread sweet).
2) Omit the raisins
3) Omit the 1 teaspoon of coconut flour and instead add 2 or 3 teaspoons of unflavored whey protein powder (for texture).
I know that blanched almond flour can be pricey so if you are uncertain about trying the full recipe, I would suggest halving it (it would be a pretty small round loaf) and the only ingredient that would be a little difficult cutting in half is the "1 egg". If it was a small egg, you would probably be okay, otherwise half of an egg would equal about 2 tablespoons. You could maybe do that on a day you have scrambled eggs for breakfast and after beating them, separate out 2 tablespoons...either that or maybe buy a small carton of "egg beaters" to measure out.
The hardest part of recreating a recipe that you have never tasted before is knowing how it is supposed to taste. It is hard to know whether you came close to how it was meant to be or taste. I might think it's good and you might think it doesn't even come close to how it should taste. From your description of it, it seems that this option might come close. If not, maybe you could tell me "what was missing"...was it texture, taste, etc.
Let me know what you think about that suggestion and if you do get to try it, let me know what you think. Also, I actually have a yellow cake recipe on my blog but am planning to revisit it again and see what I can do to improve it. It was awesome but I have a lot more grain free baking experience now after almost 3 years of "practice"...so I want to take another stab at it to see what I can do with it. Stay tuned!
P.S. -- Never worry about asking me about substitutions. It never hurts to ask and if you only knew how many times I get asked that, you wouldn't feel bad at all! There are many questions that don't get posted publicly on my blog or Facebook but instead I get a private message or email...so believe me, I am not bothered at all by questions. Lastly, my suggestion to you about using the new Swerve sweetener...when you are making a recipe, it's always good to taste test it as you go along so it is sweetened to your personal taste. Some like things quite sweet (like I used to) and some not so sweet (like I have become). So, use sweetener amounts as a general guide but taste and tweak as you go along. You can always add more if not sweet enough but I haven't figured out how to take too much out yet! ;-) Take care and as always...thanks for the kind words and support! :-)
Oh my goodness, GGC!!! Thank YOU for all of your suggestions, I am absolutely over the moon!!! I love your suggestion of using some unflavored whey protein powder, I will buy a small amount to try, and then if it works, I will know to buy more. I am trying to talk myself into having breakfast smoothies, but so far it's really not working. But I live in hope!!! :) Your suggestion is so much better than using some gluten-free all-purpose powder because that would have so much more in carbs when I'm trying so hard to eat low-carb. I've gained some inches around my middle and need to get back to where I used to be. So making these recipes as healthy as possible means I could have these treats and feel indulged, yet not go off course...
I'm not strictly grain-free, as I do very occasionally allow myself some quinoa salad (I've taken the original recipe and have increased the veggies in it, and increased the seeds in it, and then I serve even more vegetables that I add just when serving it. So the carb content is lowered and I try and eat chicken or fish with it. It's probably my all-time favorite salad other than my regular green salad with tons of vegetables, then add some seeds and my own salad dressing. If I'm out and I can't find anything else, like at Chipotle with friends, I will get a brown rice bowl, but heap on the vegetables and ask for more meat and make it a two-meal portion instead of 1, 2nd meal at home I add a salad too. If I could think of a good substitute for quinoa, I'd try it... So I'm not totally grain-free, but am so far closer than I've ever been. I will have brown rice pasta too on quite rare occasions (not now while trying to lose these inches), and potatoes will be an occasional treat but only again when on more of a maintenance. But grain-free recipes are those I prefer, and I am so impressed with all you do!
Because I live with severe long-standing chronic health problems, and right now things are quite a bit worse, my ability to bake/cook a whole lot are very compromised to say the least, but I cannot wait to try some of your suggestions. I am so excited especially by your substitution suggestion of unflavored whey protein powder, and I SO hope it works well. Have you ever tried using something like this? Just curious...
The frosting ideas, oh my, I'm excited!!! YUM!!! I forgot you had a yellow cake recipe, I now remember reading it, you had frosted it I think with chocolate frosting? Wondering what it would be like--the yellow cake with various frostings like lemon, but my favorite is the plain vanilla. I hope you do one with that plain frosting, although with all of your suggestions, I should be able to do it myself. I'm not much of a froster of cakes, but I will try it. Definitely my cake wouldn't look like yours!!!
A question--have you ever used Udo's oil? It's an oil blend created by an expert in oils, Udo Erasamus, he's considered THE fats man, and when low-fat was the way to go, he brought out the concept that good fats are so very important. I use his oil (it is sold refrigerated and must be kept refrigerated at home) in my quinoa salad, and in my salad dressing I make. Many people put it in their smoothies. It is a wonderful product! Here is a link for more information on it-- http://udoerasmus.com/products/oil_blend_en.htm
I am always checking to see what brands you use, and so I wanted to pass on a product that is more well-known in Canada, but one that has the highest quality and thought it might be of some help to you.
I have some other info that I think might be of interest to you that perhaps I will send to you as a PM on Facebook.
Thanks again, I am thrilled with your response and appreciate all of the thought you have put into helping me. You have really touched my heart, and I am so VERY thankful.
I wonder if garbanzo bean flour would substitute for the coconut flour. Some of Dr. D's recipes contain it and he says it acts like coconut flour to "tighten up" the batter. On Page 72 of the WB Cookbook he says that garbanzo flour will give more of a "savory" flavor to the recipe. I haven't tried it in your cake recipe, but I have experimented a bit with it, and to me it's very mild tasting with no detectible flavor of it's own in the final product. In fact, someone sent me a skillet bread recipe via email and I decided to try it (mainly so I could use up some of my garbanzo flour "stash.") It was in combination with almond flour and came out very tasty and light textured with absolutely no "beany" flavor at all.
The whey powder is a great idea. I bought a small bag of Jay Robb a while ago. I was intending to use it for smoothies, yogurt, and hot cocoa, but found that the stevia was too strong for me, even when I added only a small amount of the whey powder. I did use it in a brownie recipe once, and it was less noticeable because of other competing flavors. Some people get along with the powdered form of stevia, so if you're one of them it shouldn't pose a problem. I would love to find Robb's *unsweetened* whey powder in a *small* pouch to try, and then add my own sweetening (Swerve or *liquid* stevia drops.)
Thanks for the info you sent me. I had not heard of Udo's oil before until you mentioned it recently. I will look at the link you sent.
I have used the whey protein powder in the yellow pound cake recipe (the one with chocolate frosting) and a Cinnamon Maple Donut recipe. I had purchased the vanilla flavored whey protein by Jay Robb. Knowing what I know now, I would only suggest buying plain unflavored whey protein so it can be used for a variety of other things that you don't necessarily want vanilla or sweet flavor in (like bread, etc.). I actually recently purchased a canister of organic grass fed unflavored plain whey protein by Tera's (here the link to it: http://www.amazon.com/Teras-Whey-Grass-Organic-Protein/dp/B005FC76XC/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1427079594&sr=8-8&keywords=grass+fed+whey+protein
I have no idea if it's good yet because I haven't tried it but plan to experiment with it in the near future. It was quite pricey but should last a long time since I plan to add it in smaller quantities to baked goods and not drink it as a protein drink. I would not suggest you spend that kind of money on it until you know for sure you will use it or will even like using it (which is why I recommend you only buy a small envelope/pouch of it first to try). I will work with it soon to see how it affects the texture of baked goods, etc. and post my results.
Thanks for the link on the oil...I will check it out. Also, check out the post near yours from CyberSis where she talks about her use of Garbanzo flour she tried (might be another coconut flour substitute you could try). Thanks for the kind words and take care! :-)
It's good to know you've successfully experimented with the garbanzo bean flour. For whatever reason, the idea of it really turned me off (I remember seeing it used some in the WB book). The thought that my baked goods might have a bean flavor or even worse...bean smell just seemed offensive. I'm glad to hear that is NOT the case!
Did the skillet bread recipe you tried already call for the garbanzo flour or did you just substitute it yourself? I'm just wondering how much you subbed it out for where it wasn't detectable flavor wise. Too funny about the Jay Robb whey protein powder. I think I have the same BIG bag of it I bought almost 3 years ago. I really need to use it up in something. Maybe I need to try and make a smoothie with it and just add tart berries with no sweetener to see if that makes it palatable. I bought a canister of Tera's organic grass fed unflavored whey protein powder not long ago so I can experiment with it for a variety of recipes (savory included). I'd rather add my own flavor and sweetener...but live and learn.
Great ideas and suggestions for Joanne though about swapping out garbanzo flour for coconut flour. I may give it a try one of these days. :-)
I used the recipe as is. It calls for 1/2 cup of garbanzo flour and 1/2 cup almond flour. It's a two-step process, but easy-peasy (you soak the garbanzo flour for 12-24 hours first.) Here's the link ........
One of the ingredients is 2 tablespoons of whey or lemon juice. I used the whey that rises to the top of Stoneyfield full-fat yogurt. Next time I'll use lemon juice just to try it that way. The only change I made to the recipe was to sub avocado oil for the olive. Next time I'm going to try a slightly larger skillet and not spread the batter out completely ... It was a little tricky for me to flip it neatly and I thought I'd try a larger pan for more maneuvering room. The batter was not runny, so should work OK. I gotta tell you, though ... it was awesome! :-)
I needed to express my thanks as well to you for your excellent ideas on coconut flour substitutions--I'm so grateful to hear about the garbanzo flour, I think I may have a bit that I bought to try and have not used... SO smart! And great to know this flour won't add a bean flavor to my baked goods as I feared.
I see your comments on this site, and appreciate them and the questions too you have sometimes asked.
It appears we are all on the same journey, and it's such a help to know there are others and to have the benefit of your collective wisdom and experience. I have been reading this blog for some time, but actually baking this way is very new, now I just need to TRY it. I have been living on the basics and I think having some treats as well as some bread-like products will be fantastic. Now here's hoping I can bake even remotely as well as you and GGC!!!
Thanks for the link. I will check it out. I'm curious as to soaking the bean flour. I know some soak nuts, etc. to remove phytic acid I believe and wonder if that is the same principle? I'll check it out. Thanks! :-)
I have the idea that "soaking" the garbanzo flour might have something to do with leavening ... like making a "sponge," perhaps. The small amount of liquid used is not discarded, but is incorporated into the batter the next day. The bread turned out very light and fluffy. I bet it would make nice skillet pancakes, too. Some of the paleo ones I've tried have the appearance of being light and fluffy but turn out to be quite dense ... not bad in their own right, but not quite what you're looking for when you happen to want something "light & fluffy."
Of course, *The Best* pancakes, hands down, are the various incarnations of your awesome oven pancakes! No rivals there! :-)
Welcome to the "journey"! Thanks for the lovely complement of putting me in the same sentence as GGC, but believe me, she is the *Real* baker. Once in a while I just bounce off her incredible recipes and suggestions! :o) She has really inspired me to spread my wings a bit in the kitchen. You will, too! Happy baking ... and cooking!
Interesting...about the garbanzo bean flour sponge/leavening theory. You are probably right. I just wonder what would have made someone try that technique in the first place? I guess it's probably fearlessness. We don't know until we try and sometimes we are quite surprised with the results (both good and bad).
I would never have guess garbanzo flour to make anything light and fluffy but would have expected more heavy and dense. I am really intrigued now! :-)
Can the cupcakes be frozen before frosting?
Yes, that shouldn't be a problem at all. :-)
A few words about cocoa powder...
The kind of cocoa powder you link to is dutch-processed, which means it's been neutralized with base. Hershey's cocoa powder is a natural cocoa powder which means its acidic.
Not only does using the other kind of cocoa powder change the flavor, it also affects how the leaveners work.
Baking soda is basic and will work well with the acidic natural cocoa powder (the acid/base reaction is what produces the carbon dioxide-those bubbles). Baking powder contains baking soda, and the acids to react with it (again to make the bubbles). So, it works well with the neutralized dutched cocoa.
If you are using a different kind of cocoa powder than what a recipe calls for, it's usually a good idea to fiddle with the amounts of baking powder and baking soda accordingly.
Anyway, I thought that this might be helpful, and I'm always out to use my chemistry degree for the greater good ;]
Thanks for the recipe, I'm going to make a test cake this weekend and if all goes well another in two weeks for a birthday party. Thanks again.
This is my first post, and this chocolate cake was my first "sugar free" cake.
I want to say "thank you for a great cake". I normally bake with regular sugar and flour at "Papa's Cakes" but this was a birthday cake for my daughters friend Nilsa who is diabetic.
I spent some time looking online for a chocolate cake for diabetics, and was suprised that all of them used sugar, in varying amounts. When I found your recipe I was happy that you were really sugar free. I used whipped cream for frosting and it was a huge hit with everyone, not only Nilsa. Her girlfriend who "is not a cake eater" tried it and then had two more pieces. My daughter said everyone couldn't believe it was sugar free.
I'm going to make it again next week for my wife, who has recently become grain and sugar free. And I'll use your chocolate frosting. I'll report back when I make it again.
Hi Malcolm / Papa,
I am so happy everyone enjoyed the cake! I have a couple of other chocolate cakes on the blog, too. One is a chocolate zucchini cake (you can't taste zucchini, I promise). It gets topped with chocolate chips and chopped walnuts instead of frosted and is really good as well. You can use sugar free chocolate chips, too, if you want absolutely no added sugar or simply use very dark chips (I use 70%).
I hope you wife enjoys the cake you make for her. Thanks so much for letting me know you and your guests enjoyed it so much! :-)
Hi I live in Australia and I can't find swerve sweetener what other alternative can I use
Hello to GGC and Cybersis, thanking both for all of your suggestions!!! :) I am in awe of your baking abilities and am so grateful to your collective expertise!!!
Just re-reading again your advice, I am back "in the fold" eating this way again with the exception of a little quinoa basically and not that much... Seeing what wheat did to me when I took a few weeks off when visiting family who eat lots of wheat has really solidified that I NEED to eat this way, I hadn't realized how wheat affects my digestion and in other ways--severe acid reflux returned in a big way, and it's not worth it!!!
I was wondering if you can taste the coconut in this chocolate cake when you use coconut flour? I do use coconut oil and coconut milk, trying to talk myself more and more into coconut, but I don't think I'll ever go for shredded coconut... Oh well!!!
I am keen to try this recipe, thinking I may try it with either the garbanzo flour Cybersis suggested, although I recently bought some new unflavored whey protein powder, so that could be used too. I'm excited at the possibilities!!!
I have not been well for some time (other chronic health issues), so my baking has been almost non-existent, so I have not tried yet the Irish Soda bread, but hope to do that too soon. I think I want to start out with one of your biscuit recipes. Just picked up 2 bags of Honeyville blanched almond flour when it was on sale at 20% off, plus the price has lowered, yay!!! So I'm all set!!!
I wondered if you had tried the sweetener that is used in ChocoPerfection, Sweet Perfection, it's so healthy with 99.5% chicory fibre. I believe the ratio suggested was 2/3 Sweet Perfection and 1/3 erythritol (I use Swerve). I think I must be so used to using Splenda in the past that these don't seem all that sweet to me. But I am hoping over time my taste will change... I am THRILLED that Swerve is now available here in my area in Canada, so I do not have to order it online!!! Sweet Perfection is one I've had to order online, found that Netrition had it cheaper, and the chocolate ChocoPerfection is cheaper too. Wishing ChocoPerfection still had chocolate chips, but bought the mini dark chocolate bars to use in that way to chunk them perhaps... Or do you use regular dark chocolate chips?
Thanks for your patience with all of my questions. In my opinion, NO ONE creates recipes better than you do for this healthy way of eating and I am THRILLED when you bring out a new one. I love it that you have recipes for comfort foods like chicken pot pie, biscuits, and pizza. Previously I just did without these foods, but not with your recipes!!! BLESS YOU!!!
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