Paleo Chocolate Coconut Cake

Paleo chocolate coconut cake (or cupcake) is decadent beyond measure, with a delightfully fluffy base, bittersweet frosting with ample notes of coconut and cacao, and a crown of dried rose petals for floral fragrance that lingers like perfume.

Paleo chocolate coconut cake

Paleo Chocolate Coconut Cake (or cupcake):

  • 2 cups fine almond flour
  • 1 & 1/8 cups organic dried maple sugar (such as Coombs Family Farms)
  • 1/2 cup Navitas 100% raw cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 cup melted, unrefined coconut oil
  • 3 pasture-raised eggs
  • 2/3 cup full-fat nut milk (such as my thick and creamy homemade cashew milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Frosting for Paleo Chocolate Coconut Cake (or cupcake):

  • 13.5 ounce can Unsweetened Organic Coconut Cream (no gums or additives with brands such as Native Forest or Trader Joe’s Organic Coconut Cream)
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup 100% raw cacao powder

Equipment/Materials: 

If making the cake:

  • Oven: preheated to 350 degrees F
  • Two 9-inch round cake pans
  • Parchment paper
  • Scissors
  • Food processor to prepare the batter (or large bowl and whisk)
  • Handheld mixer for frosting (or dull knife)
  • Knife or icing spatula

If making the cupcakes:

  • Oven: preheated to 350 degrees F
  • Muffin pan (3×4)
  • 12 muffin liners
  • Food processor to prepare the batter (or large bowl and whisk)
  • Handheld mixer for frosting (or dull knife)
  • Knife, icing spatula or icing bag with tip

Instructions:

First, prepare the frosting by whisking the coconut cream, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and raw cacao powder until fully incorporated in a small bowl. An immersion blender can help with blending, if necessary. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours to harden (ideally making one day in advance for best results).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

If making the cake batter: cut parchment paper to fit the two 9-inch round cake pans. I recommend flipping the pans over (face down), tracing the circumference of the pans on the paper, then cutting to fit with scissors. Place the parchment paper rounds in the cake pans, lining the bottom of the pans. Use additional melted coconut oil to coat the exposed parchment paper and sides of the pan. To make the batter, use a food processor to mix the almond flour, dried maple sugar, raw cacao powder, coconut flour, baking soda and salt into a uniform powder (this can also be accomplished with a bowl and whisk). Place the mixed dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In the (now empty) food processor, blend the coconut oil, eggs, nut milk, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar until fully incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and blend until a thick batter forms. Divide the batter evenly between two lined cake pans, using a knife to smooth the tops. Bake the pans for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Let the pans cool completely before removing the cake. To remove the cake from the cake pans, begin by using a pairing knife to separate the cake edges touching the pan. Place a flat plate or small baking sheet over the top of the pan then invert it quickly. Pull the cake pan away, which should leave behind the cake itself on the plate or baking sheet. The parchment paper lining the bottom of the cake pan should have helped with separating the cooked cake from the pan.

If making the cupcake batter: line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners. To make the batter, use a food processor to mix the almond flour, dried maple sugar, raw cacao powder, coconut flour, baking soda and salt into a uniform powder (this can also be accomplished with a bowl and whisk). Place the mixed dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In the (now empty) food processor, blend the coconut oil, eggs, nut milk, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar until fully incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and blend until a thick batter forms. Distribute the batter evenly between the 12 muffin liners. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out mostly clean (small flakes are fine, and a slightly underdone cupcake can make the end result extra moist if desired). Let the cupcakes come to room temperatures, then individually remove them from their muffin pan. A note: be gentle with the cupcakes when removing them from the oven, as excess jostling can cause them to become concave.

To prepare the frosting for both the cake or cupcakes, remove the now-hardened frosting from the fridge. Use a handheld mixer to beat the concoction, making it as fluffy as possible. Alternatively, use a dull knife to stir the hardened frosting, separating it from the sides of the bowl.

To frost the cake, begin with the first cake round. Working quickly, frost (with a knife or icing spatula) the top and sides of the first layer of the cake with half of the frosting. Carefully lay the second cake round on the now-frosted bottom layer. Frost with the remaining frosting. At this time, consider toppings such as dried rose petals, shredded coconut or edible flowers. Return the now-frosted cake to the fridge to fully set.

To frost the cupcakes, place the frosting in an icing bag with tip and frost each cupcake (a knife or icing spatula also works). At this time, consider toppings such as dried rose petals, shredded coconut, or edible flowers. Return the now-frosted cupcakes to the fridge to fully set.

The cake or cupcakes can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The cupcakes can also be frozen in an airtight container and thaw well.

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