Chocolate-Coconut-Cream Cheese Layer Cake

Chocolate-coconut-cream cheese layer cake

Chocolate-coconut-cream cheese layer cake

 

If you all were wondering why you haven’t heard from me in a while, my daughter just turned two this week. Enough said, right? Well we had a big party last weekend and the highlight was this awesome chocolate-coconut-cream cheese layer cake, which I made in the shape of a monkey because monkeys are my daughter’s favorite things in the whole world right now (besides mom & dad of course :-)

 

Monkey Cake

Monkey Cake

 

This was the most effort I have expended on baking all year, but it was totally worth it. I adapted the cake recipe from Elana’s pantry’s German chocolate cake recipe, substituting olive oil for the grapeseed oil and raw honey for the agave nectar. Then I made 2 different frostings, a chocolate-coconut oil frosting for the outside and a coconut-cream cheese frosting for in between the layers and for the monkey face and ears (you don’t have to make a monkey face of course, unless you are so inclined, but you could just lather the coconut-cream cheese all over the top).

 

Chocolate-coconut-cream cheese layer cake

Chocolate-coconut-cream cheese layer cake

 

NOTE: The frosting is NOT dairy-free and the cake is sweetened with honey. The coconut cream-cheese frosting is full of cream cheese and cultured butter. We eat some cultured dairy products because the culturing removes most of the lactose and makes the proteins more tolerable to digest. But if you have a severe milk allergy, you could just go with the chocolate-coconut oil frosting and skip the cream cheese. Both the cake and the frostings are sweetened with raw local honey, which is better than eating refined sugar (and processed agave nectar) but still pretty high on the glycemic index. But I reduced the amount used and this was a special occasion, and it’s not as if I alone would eat this cake.

 

This recipe is grain-free however, using only coconut flour, and it is GAPS-friendly (aside from the cocoa powder). Note that there are a lot of eggs in this cake! Coconut flour is very high-fiber and absorbs a lot of liquid. Most coconut flour recipes have twice the amount of eggs and half the amount of flour as a grain-flour cake recipe. That makes it a low-carb, high-protein dessert which is quite nutritious.

 

Here is the recipe I used for the chocolate cake. I decided to go with extra virgin olive oil as opposed to grapeseed oil, because of its low omega-6 ratio¹ and because grapeseed oil is usually chemically extracted.²  And I’ve been avoiding agave nectar in recent years because it is also highly processed. A moderate amount of raw, local honey is my sweetener of choice lately. My adapted recipe follows:

 

Chocolate Layer Cake

 

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

10 large eggs

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup raw honey

1 T vanilla extract

 

Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with butter and dust with coconut flour. (If you are making a monkey cake, also prep a small custard bowl in the same way to make the ears.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Blend the coconut flour, cocoa powder, sea salt, and baking soda together and set aside. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and blend in the olive oil, honey, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients and blend. Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake for about 40 minutes or until a fork comes out clean when pricked. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from the pans.

 

Now for the frostings! This is the one that I used in between the layers and for the monkey face on top:

 

Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting

 

8 oz organic cream cheese, softened (room temperature)

8 oz cultured grass-fed butter, softened

2 T raw honey

1 T vanilla extract

1 cup shredded coconut

pinch of sea salt

dash of cocoa powder (optional, for color)

 

Cream the butter and cream cheese together, then stir in the honey and vanilla until smooth. Add the coconut and sea salt and optional cocoa powder. Frost between the cake layers and reserve some for the top.

 

This is the frosting I used for the outside of the cake:

 

Vegan Chocolate-Coconut Oil Frosting

 

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil

2 T raw honey

1 T vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

 

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler. Stir in the honey and vanilla and salt. Put the bowl in the refrigerator, removing periodically to stir, until it thickens. Pour over the entire cake and smooth it over with a spatula or knife. Put the whole cake into the fridge to solidify, then top with remaining coconut cream cheese frosting. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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