Kristi Whitley

Healthy Living

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

My terrible photography and decorating skills aside, this is a deliciously guilt-free cake! The simple frosting is made of dates and cashews and is wonderful! Bake it for your next party!

• 2/3 cup mashed ripe banana (~2 small bananas as original recipe is written)
• 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 Tbsp almond butter (or sub peanut butter, cashew butter, tahini, or sunflower butter)
• 3/4 cup maple syrup
• 1/2 cup coconut sugar
• 1 ½ tsp baking powder
• 1 ½ tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)
• 1 ¼ cup dairy-free milk (we used boxed unsweetened almond milk // cashew or rice milk would also work)
• 1 cup sifted cocoa powder
• 1 cup potato starch (not flour)
• 2 ½ cups almond flour (not meal // we prefer Wellbee's brand)
Frosting: See "Date Sweetened Chocolate Frosting" in Recipes

Preparation Steps
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease (avocado oil is best) two standard 8-inch round cake pans, one 9×13-inch pan, or three 6-inch round pans (our preferred) and dust with cocoa powder. Shake out excess and set aside.
2. To a large mixing bowl add banana and mash (measure to ensure it’s the correct quantity). Then add applesauce, vanilla, almond butter, and whisk to combine. Next add maple syrup, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt (optional) and whisk to combine.
3. Next add dairy-free milk and whisk to combine. Then add sifted cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Then add potato starch and whisk to combine.
4. Next add almond flour a little at a time until the batter has reached a pourable, saucy consistency (see photo). It shouldn’t be thick like brownie batter and it shouldn’t be watery. If too thin, continue adding almond flour. If too thick, thin with a little dairy-free milk. We used about 2 ½ cups almond flour (as original recipe is written). Depending on your ingredients, you may need more or less.
5. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pan(s) and bake on a center rack for 28-38 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out free of crumbs (a little brown color is okay) and the edges appear dry / slightly pulled away from the pan. Be careful not to over-bake.
6. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. To remove from pans, run a dull knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cakes. Then place a plate or cooling rack on top and quickly invert. Let cool completely before frosting (~1 hour // expedite the process by cooling briefly in the refrigerator or freezer).
7. At this point you can enjoy your cake as is. But we recommend frosting with Vegan Chocolate Ganache Frosting or our Vegan Chocolate Frosting (Oil-Free) (pictured above).
8. Best within the first 24-36 hours after baking. The texture tends to become dried out after that. Store cake covered at room temperature for 2-3 days* or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Freeze up to 1 month (then thaw at room temperature).
Recipe Source: Minimalist baker 

Notes: This cake has a definite banana taste. When I made it the second time I replaced 1/3 cup of the banana with 1/3 cup of additional applesauce plus 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 5T water as a binder. It turned out less banana-tasting but less fluffy too. FYI