For years now, I have been experiencing this random craving for cake. Normally I crave cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, or homemade pies. But every once in a while, I really want cake. This craving would come upon me suddenly, and I would walk my neighborhood searching for the perfect slice of cake. Not just any cake, but a moist cake with just the right frosting and just the right flavor. Every time I bought a slice, I ended up disappointed. I didn't know what I was looking for exactly. I just knew I wasn't finding it. Since I've been gluten-free, those days of wandering have gone away. Ever tried aimlessly searching the streets looking for the perfect slice of gluten-free cake? Right. Now if I have a craving, I have to search the internet to see if there are any gluten-free bakeries near me. Or even better (and much more cost effective), I can just make it myself. Of course, when it comes to gluten-free baking, I have as many flops as I do successes. Especially now since I am also eating dairy-free. And often refined sugar-free. And nut free. And coconut free. And...you get the point, right? And as this was my birthday, I didn't want to experiment with my own recipe and risk a failed cake.
This is why, in my last post, I asked for suggestions on the perfect birthday cake. I got many wonderful ideas, and now have a list of recipes I want to try. However, my friend Ari made a great recommendation of a gluten-free, vegan, and refined sugar-free chocolate cake from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. Ali and Tom's recipes have been inspiring me for months (you can read about my experiences on their elimination diet here), and I am now even more excited to unearth their cookbook which I packed up for my move. I have to admit that I am one of those people who loves cookbooks, but rarely actually tries any recipes from them. Well, after baking this chocolate cake, I will not be making that mistake with Ali and Tom's recipes! If they are anything like the cake, I can't go wrong!
Let me tell you a little about this amazing vegan chocolate cake. First of all, it did something I wasn't actually expecting. It satisfied my craving. Next time I find myself needing to have the perfect bite of cake, I'll know what to make. No more aimless wandering for me! This cake is sweetened with agave nectar, maple syrup, and prunes, which my mom reminded me of when I felt guilty for having a piece after breakfast this morning. "It's a healthy cake," she told me. Well, healthier at least. The prunes also give it a delightfully moist texture that held up on day two. I was a bit afraid it would get dry the next day, but I actually liked it even better after it chilled in the fridge overnight. The frosting called for a cup of maple syrup but I only used half of that, and it was still sweet enough. Instead of beet juice to color it, I added a few chopped strawberries while mixing, but otherwise I followed the directions. And it did call for coconut oil, which was on my "avoid" list. But I just replaced that with canola oil, and it was fine.
Will I be making this cake again? Oh yeah! But only if, like on this birthday, I have a lot of people to share it with. It was gone in two days, but there were eight of us eating it. I would hate to make it for myself and see it also be gone in two days...without anyone else's help! Believe me...I liked it enough that I could see that happening.