Sugar and gluten-free goodness with just enough superfood prowess to impress your friends.
A decadent vanilla layer cake that contains no sugar and no gluten – you must be dreaming, right? No, this is real life, thanks to Carolyn Hartz’s Sugar Free Baking book, set for release in October.
“We all know that we should decrease our sugar intake, but the assumption is that if you give up sugar, you are giving up desserts and treats – this is just not the case!” says Carolyn.
Free of white sugar and hidden sugars such as agave and rice malt syrup, this recipe is the ultimate sweet-treat in which you can certainly have your cake and eat it, too!
150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
100g Perfect Sweet xylitol
3 extra-large eggs
200g almond meal
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
Pinch of salt
180 ml milk, lukewarm
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
500ml whipping cream
400g fresh berries of your choice
200g Perfect Sweet Berry Jam
75g Dark bitter chocolate, melted (optional)
Rose petals or edible flowers to decorate (optional)
- Preheat oven to 150˚C/130˚C fan-forced. Grease a 24cm round cake pan with butter and line with baking paper.
- Use an electric beater to beat the butter and xylitol in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well.
- Mix the almond meal, arrowroot, gluten free baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl. Add to the egg mixture and combine on low speed. Add the lukewarm milk and vanilla and stir until combined.
- Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat this recipe twice for the remaining layers.
- To assemble, whip the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form.
- Set aside 1 cup of the whipped cream and 150g of the fresh berries to decorate the top layer.
- To assemble, place the first cake layer on a serving plate and spread over half the jam, then half the remaining cream and top with half the remaining berries. Gently place the second cake layer on top and repeat. Place the third cake layer on top and finish with the reserved whipped cream and berries. If using, drizzle with melted chocolate and serve.
Tip: It is best to have the milk lukewarm as it gives the cake a better texture. It’s also recommended that you use strawberries when making your jam for use in this recipe.
This recipe for sugar, dairy and gluten-free chocolate cake is packed with superfoods and is a piece of cake to make (pun intended!).
This healthy chocolate cake recipe is an adaption from a Nigella recipe, but changed to suit the parameters of my diet: soy, dairy, sugar and gluten free – and organic where possible. It also has a low glycemic index.
My favourite thing about this recipe is the amount of good things in it; particularly the coconut oil, cocoa powder and almond meal.
Pure, virgin coconut oil is nature’s best source of lauric acid, high in vitamins K and E which is great for your heart and cholesterol, fights bugs to keep you healthy, and has amazing properties for your skin and hair.
Cocao powder is super high in antioxidants (flavonoids), has phenethylamine which works as a mood elevator and has the ability to reduce the risk of blood clots, boost cognitive performance and lower high blood pressure.
Almond meal is packed with protein, antioxidants, monounsaturated fats (the good ones), and vitamin E, magnesium and potassium and is great for digestion.
This makes a small cake, so double the quantities if you’re using a regular cake pan.
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons cocao powder
1/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup almond meal
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Small pinch salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
Small shake desiccated coconut
1. Preheat oven to 170°C, oil and paper a small (11cm) cake tin.
2. Sift cocoa and whisk with boiling water, add vanilla extract and leave to the side to cool (not in the fridge, if the mixture is too cold it will affect the coconut oil later).
3. Combine almond meal, salt and baking power in a small bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil and egg, and beat with an electric mixer. Make sure the coconut oil is liquid. Whisk until creamy. With the beater on a low setting, slowly add the cocoa mix and almond mix. If too runny, add a dash of desiccated coconut.
5. Pour into the cake tin and bang the tin on the tabletop to even out the mixture. Bake for about 25 minutes (or an hour for a larger cake). I find the best way to check if the cake is ready is to see if the sides of the cake have come away from the tin slightly, and to skewer the centre, it should still be slightly moist. Just try not to open to oven unless you have to – it makes the centre of the cake sink.
6. Remove from oven, leave to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes, and then remove from tin and leave to cool on wire rack.
What’s your favourite healthy dessert recipe?
Kate Jones blogs about writing and pop culture at Calvicle Capitalism.