This particular UES coffee shop (I fear it no longer exists), sold slices from the most magnificent chocolate cake you’ve ever seen. Rich, dark chocolate frosting with an equally decadent cake. When we would ask, “Where do you get this cake from?” and the reply was always, “We’re not allowed to say.” What. After several attempts we were finally able to get, “a bakery in New Jersey”. Top secret.
And while well-intentioned, my studying and his writing on these nights at the coffee shop would last only 10 minutes or so. Instead, we’d sit and talk. And talk. We’d talk of our families and our friends, and of our hometowns. We’d talk of music and doing what you love. Of the impressions that a girl from Kansas City and a boy from Oklahoma have on the wonderfully intricate place that is New York City. And of our hopes and dreams for the future, not yet knowing that they would eventually be linked. All while sharing a piece of chocolate cake.
This gluten-free chocolate cake has everything I loved from our days in the coffee shop. A perfectly moist, chocolatey crumb that is dairy-free and sweetened up with organic sucanat, wrapped in dark, maple-sweetened chocolate frosting. The cake layers can be made the night before and will still be perfectly fresh the next day.
Happy birthday, darlin’. Let’s eat some more cake.
- 1¾ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend *see note
- ¾ cup organic cacao powder (cocoa powder will work fine too) - I use Dagoba brand
- 2 cups organic sucanat
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup non-dairy buttermilk (I used unsweetened almond), room temp *see note
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons hot water, mixed
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water
- Dark Chocolate Frosting:
- 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- ¾ to 1 cup maple syrup, grade b
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
- With an electric mixer, add contents of small bowl into large bowl and beat on low. Beat in flaxseed slurry. Finally, add hot water and beat until just combined. Batter will be very runny. Divide batter between both pans.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool for 15 minutes in pans on wire rack. Then remove from pans and place on wire racks until completely cool.
- When cool, place one cake layer rounded, top side down on platter or cake stand. Spread a layer of frosting (directions below) on top of layer. Place second layer rounded top side up on top of bottom layer. Spread remainder of frosting on top and sides of cake.
- For frosting: In a glass bowl, break up unsweetened chocolate into pieces and melt in microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir with rubber spatula in between intervals. Once chocolate is melted, add maple syrup, butter, vanilla extract, and salt and beat with an electric mixer on low until smooth. Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes to allow frosting to firm a bit and then you are ready to frost!
*To make buttermilk, add 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to one cup of non-dairy or dairy milk. Whisk and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
*I currently am using a gluten-free flour blend that consists of 2 cups millet, 2 cups, sweet white rice flour, and 2 cups potato starch. Mix well and store in airtight container.
If making cake layers the night before, wrap in plastic wrap to stay fresh for next day.