I’m here to tell ya that this little old chocolate cake says it all. It’s easy enough to say “Oh I just whipped this up this morning knowing you were coming over for afternoon coffee.” It’s elegant enough to say “Thank you for having us over for dinner. I brought a dark chocolate cake for dessert and why yes, those are cocoa nibs.” And it’s delicious enough to say “Thank you, and can you believe it’s gluten and dairy free?” All in one cake I swear!
The secret we’ll keep between you and me is that this cake is one of those one-bowl wonders that is generous enough to always bake up moist and rich. We top it with a ganache made of dark chocolate and coconut milk cooled to just spreadable and sprinkle with crunchy cocoa nibs. It’s just one of those magic recipes that is both simple and fancy. It’s a blessing to all of us, really.
Here’s what you’ll need for this chocolate dream:
• a gluten-free flour blend. I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-for-1 blend. It contains xanthan gum so if your fl.l;p-p[‘our blend doesn’t have it, add about 1/4 teaspoon. It helps for binding.
• baking powder, baking soda, salt, kosher salt, vanilla extract – all the cake things.
• cocoa powder. I love Guittard chocolate and used their Red Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder.
• two eggs. And I know I know this isn’t a vegan cake. I think this cake works best with eggs. It doesn’t have the uumph without them.
• leftover warm coffee and coconut yogurt to add moisture to the cake. You can use water if coffee isn’t your thing. You can use any dairy free yogurt you like too. You’re the boss.
• semi-sweet chocolate chips and coconut milk or coconut cream for the ganache.
• cocoa nibs and sprinkles are nice too!
Start by mixing together the dry ingredients.
When it comes to chocolate, I like to use the good stuff and one of my very favorite brands is Guittard Chocolate – a 150 year old, family run, California chocolate company and they make that goodgood.
We’re using a dutch-processed cocoa powder for this cake which means our main leavening will be baking powder, a dash of baking soda, and the power of eggs.
Here’s a refresher on the difference between natural and dutch-processed cocoa powder.
Whisk together the dry ingredients: gluten-free flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and salt.
In a liquid measuring cup, measure the oil (I like grape seed or sunflower oil), and crack in the eggs.
Add the yogurt and vanilla extract and stir until everything is well combined.
The mixture will be thick and gloppy (technical baking term) and that’s just right.
We’ll add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients.
Stir until just barely combined. The mixture will be quite thick and there will still be thick streaks of dry ingredients throughout the dough.
It’s thick because we still have to add the coffee!
Coffee deepens the flavor of chocolate. Very complimentary and I always seem to have a cup left in the coffee pot.
Stir to glossy.
It should start to feel irresistible – when you get there, that’s when you can stop stirring.
Add every bit of batter to a greased 9-inch round cake pan and bake until just cooked through.
This might take you 30 minutes or so. A cake skewer should come out with moist crumbs and not wet batter. That’s how you know it’s done. I’d rather a cake be just slightly under-baked than over-baked if you’re asking me.
While the cake bakes, heat coconut cream until it’s steaming hot.
I mean it about the steam. It needs to be really quite hot to melt the chocolate. You’ve got one shot so HOT IT IS.
After the steamy coconut has steeped with the chocolate chips, say a little prayer that the chocolate be melted and give it a stir. Stir until smooth and melted and glossy. The ganache will be suuuuuper thin. That’s the way of these things. The ganache needs to rest in the refrigerator until it reaches thick and swoopy.
In my refrigerator this takes just over an hour. See how it goes in your fridge. Just stir the ganache every twenty minutes until it gets just right.
I swear I feel exactly this good every time I get a cake out of the pan cleanly.
When the cake is cooled completely, pile on a generous amount of ganache and swipe it around the cake until it looks and feels quite lovely. You’ll know.
Sprinkle with cocoa nibs or sprinkles. Feel good about yourself.
Look how lovely! Look how classy! Look how easy that was!
This is the sort of cake that absolutely has its place on the fine china but can also be eaten in your underwear standing at the fridge (not that I know personally). Place it under a cake dome or keep in in the fridge with a fork on the plate. It’s classy. It’s casual. It’s whatever you need it to be.
This cake stays moist even a few days after baking and I love that the coconut ganache doesn’t firm completely when chilled. It’s a delight. I’m going to sneak a piece right now, in fact.
I hope you make good use of this chocolate dear.
Photos with my friend Sarah Becker.Print
A simple one-bowl chocolate cake that is super decadent but light and moist. Topped with coconut milk ganache and cocoa nibs.
For the Cake:
- 1 1/2 cups (210 grams) gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (70 grams) unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup grape seed or another neutral oil
- 3/4 cup (168 grams) dairy-free coconut yogurt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup warm coffee (or water if you prefer)
For the Ganache:
- 1 cup coconut milk or coconut cream
- 8 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- pinch of salt
- Place rack in the center or upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and soda, and sugar until no lumps remain.
- In a liquid measuring cup whisk together oil, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Pour the egg and oil mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to just combine. Add the warm coffee or water and stir until batter is smooth and glossy.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs and not wet batter. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cake bakes and cools, make the ganache. Heat coconut cream or milk in a measuring cup in the microwave until steaming hot. Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Pour the very hot coconut liquid over the chocolate and allow to sit undisturbed for 3 minutes. After a few minutes begin to stir the mixture until the chocolate melts through and the mixture becomes glossy.
- Chill the ganache in the refrigerator until it reaches a thick and spreadable frosting. The timing depends on how cold your fridge is. Stir the ganache every 20 or 30 minutes to check the consistency. My ganache took about 1 hour 15 minutes to smooth a thick and spreadable consistency.
- Generously spread ganache over the cake (you’ll have some ganache leftover after adding a generous layer to the cake). Sprinkle with cocoa nibs.
- Serve cake in slices and store the rest loosely wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Cake will last for up to a week in the refrigerator.
- This cake can also be made with gluten-full flour and cow’s milk sour cream or greek yogurt.
- I’m sorry but I have not tested this recipe without eggs.
- The ganache can be made with heavy cream in place of coconut cream or milk.