There is always a case for chocolate cake. It’s as simple as that.
When I set out to make a chocolate cake, I’ll freely admit I use a perhaps unexpected recipe straight from Hershey because… well, the proportions are spot on and it makes for the most straight-forward delicious chocolate cake. It’s exactly what I want it to be.
But… since there’s always a case for chocolate cake – there’s also always a case for trying something new.
This, with much excitement, is the most lovely, decadent, GRAIN-FREE cake I’ve come across – brought to us by the new Sweet Laurel cookbook. It’s earnest, surprisingly, and incredibly simple and delicious. Please. Get in this with me!
Sweet Laurel is filled with gluten-free, whole food recipes. What that means to me is that, it’s wholesome and gluten-free and uses truly simple ingredients like almond flour, maple syrup, and coconut oil. No gums or flour combinations and that’s such a relief to me.
Sweet Laurel is how I want to bake, made grain-free. And the recipes (I’ve made few now) are solid! This cake is such a game changer! Get this book! I feel like it will change the way you bake grain-free, too!
We’ll start by making the cake base – no stand mixer needed, just a few bowls.
Almond flour is whisked together with unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. That’s it for the dry ingredients!
The sweetener used in this cake and frosting is maple syrup, an unrefined natural sugar. It’s said to have more nutrients that refined white sugar.
Listen… I’m never going to come here and tell you that white sugar is a monster. Moderation, ya feel me?
Moderation, less sugar, and natural sweeteners. It’s all balance and maple syrup add sweetness, depth of flavor, and moisture to this cake.
Two large eggs, maple syrup, and pure vanilla extract (Sweet Laurel makes their own with tequila as the base!).
Whisk the wet ingredients together until the eggs are fully blended into the maple syrup. The mixture will be just slightly frothy.
Add the dry ingredients a few spoonfuls at a time.
Whisk a bit at a time until a lightly gritty (from the almond flour) batter emerges.
My mom calls this moment, using your elbow grease.
We’ve got it, let’s use it. Give the final batter a good, firm whisk.
There are a few ways you can make up this cake. Here’s the deal: it’s a very rich cake so we’re making a small cake because the slices will be petite.
I used these thin 5-layer, 6-inch cake pans from Wilton. I love these little pans. They make a small but tall cake. The layers are thin and bake up quickly and they make for a cute exposed edge cake.
You might also bake up two thicker 6-inch layers or one single 8-inch layer. We aren’t make a whole lotta cake but it is deliciously rich.
Into the oven to bake! These thin layers will bake for 12 minutes or so.
The thicker cakes will bake for 20 to 25 minutes. But, as always – the toothpick test will letcha know when the cake is done.
Cool the cakes in the pan until mostly cooled but lightly warm. About 15 to 20 minutes. I find that this is the sweet spot to getting layers out of their baking pans successfully.
The cakes are cooled completely. You know by now there’s no way around that. Cool layers make for successful cakes.
The frosting is make with unsweetened baking cocoa, coconut oil, maple syrup, and ALMOND BUTTER! It’s tremendous! In essence, to make it fluffy and spreadable to fill this cake is we’ll make a loose-ish chocolate ganache type mixture, chill it, and then WHIP it to fluffy making it spreadable.
It’s very exciting!
Starting from the base layer, spread a thin layer of frosting (it’s rich, remember!) as well as a thin layer of raspberry sauce.
The cake layers can be tender. It’s not a bad idea to have them well chilled in the refrigerator or freezer before frosting.
Chocolate frosting and raspberry sauce dripping down the sides in just perfect. We’re keeping the sides naked to see all the delicious layers.
Sweet Laurel’s signature is decorating with botanicals. Here are a few non-toxic plants you might consider popping atop your cake:
Mint // Nasturtiums // Pansies // Rosemary // Roses // Sage // Violets // Marigolds // Lilac // Jasmine // Fruit Blossoms // Chrysanthemums
This cake really is so special. The crumb is light and tender, the frosting completely decadent, and the bits of sweetened raspberry so unifying. It’s undeniably one of the best cakes I’ve made in ages and I’m just glad there are loads more cake recipes I can try from Sweet Laurel. It’s a sweet, resourceful, beautiful, and fantastically functional recipe book.
Eat this cake!
Photos with the dude: Jon Melendez.