I have been taking a short break from posts, as I’m currently eating my way through Italy on a food science study abroad program. (Which I can’t wait to share about later!)
But with Father’s Day coming up, I thought I would pop in to share this magical chocolate cake recipe. I made it for my dad before I left as an early celebration, and boy did it disappear fast!
The cake is perfectly fluffy and oh so moist (I know many of you hate that word, but it is what it is…) with deep chocolatey flavor and a balance of sweetness. It’s filled with rich, smooth dark chocolate ganache, AND covered in light and fluffy chocolate buttercream. To finish it off are none other than chocolate-dipped strawberries and pecans.
It’s a chocolate-lover’s DREAM!
You may be wondering what I’m doing posting this decadent treat on a healthy food blog. While I would certainly not consider this a “health food,” it is made with
- all-natural, minimally-processed ingredients
- healthier fats from coconut oil
- coconut sugar instead of refined sugar, and much less sugar than most cakes
- antioxidant-rich dark chocolate
- healthier toppings like fruit and nuts
And you’ll never believe this one, but this cake is 100% WHOLE GRAIN! Whole wheat pastry flour is the key here. It’s ground from soft white wheat with a lower protein content, which makes for a light and tender texture perfect for soft baked goods! You get the feel of your favorite sinful treats, but with some wholesome goodness. I’m seriously in love.
So for the occasional indulgence or celebration, go for it guilt-free! 🙂
And a big Happy Father’s Day to all the daddys out there!
- 180 g | 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1.25 cups coconut sugar
- 3/4 cup cacao powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 2 oz 72% dark chocolate
- 2.5 Tbsp heavy cream
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 2.25 cups powdered sugar***
- ~2 Tbsp milk or cream
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder (opt.)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (opt.)
- 1.5 oz high quality dark chocolate
- Handful strawberries, pecans, or any other fruit or nut
- Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 2 9" nonstick cake pans* with cooking spray or generously with soft coconut oil.
- Sift flour and cacao (if lumpy), and mix with sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Heat oil in microwave 10-20 seconds, or just until melted. In a large bowl, beat melted oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir. Microwave 1 cup water to just below a boil; add espresso. Slowly pour hot coffee into batter while stirring continuously. Divide batter evenly between greased cake pans. Transfer to oven and bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool pans completely on a wire rack.
- Break chocolate and set inside a bowl. Microwave heavy cream just until it begins to bubble. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let it sit, undisturbed, about 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. When cakes have cooled completely, remove from pans. Spread the ganache over the top of one of the cakes; place the other cake on top.
- Add butter to a large mixing bowl and begin mixing with an electric mixer. Gradually add cacao and mix on medium-high until incorporated. Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time while mixing. Add a little milk/cream as needed to reach desired consistency. Add espresso powder and vanilla for additional flavor, if desired. Whip on high speed until light and fluffy. Spread all over top and sides of cooled layered cake.
- Heat chocolate in a small bowl until melted. Dip fruit and/or nuts into chocolate, then set on a pan lined with parchment paper. Transfer to fridge or freezer to set. Place on top of cake to decorate.
- Store cake covered at room temperature until ready to eat. If storing for more than a day, remove any fruit and store in an air-tight container in fridge.
- *The pictures show half of this recipe, baked in a 7" pan (bottom) and 6" pan (top). For the full cake you will need 2 9" pans.
- **For extra frosting, double the recipe and use as desired. Unused frosting can be regrigerated or frozen.
- ***To make powdered coconut sugar, process coconut sugar in a food processor until light and powdery. The volume will increase when processed, so this is equivalent to about 1.5 cups raw coconut sugar.