Monday, February 7, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Flour Cake Sweetened w/ Honey

I was in a bit of a whimsical mood on this cake making day and Valentines day was on my mind. Out came the heart shaped cookie cutter and I had fun making some bite size pieces of cake.

This is one of those cakes I've been trying to master for a while. Frankly, I've been trying to figure out the best ways to use coconut flour in general. There has been a whole lot of trial and error and a whole lot more failure than successes, but that's how it goes sometimes. I happen to like challenges and I've been determined to come up with a chocolate coconut flour cake that can hold it's own next to one of those typical white flour cakes. Method is key to making this cake as it will make a drastic difference in how light the cake will turn out.

If you've never used coconut flour, I'd highly recommend trying it out. I purchase mine,  from Tropical Traditions. Actually I'm not sure who else even sells it.

When I originally started making this cake I was working with enough ingredients for only one layer. However, in this last attempt I split the batter in half between two pans and was very pleased with how it turned out. I haven't tried to put all the batter in one pan as of yet. It would likely work fine, I just question whether the cake might loose some of it's volume. The cake layers are not overly tall, so if you want a more typical cake with some height I'd recommend doubling this recipe and making 4 layers.

This is a dark and rich cake, but not overly sweet (that tends to be my style for baked goods), if you really prefer a sweet cake you could increase the honey by an additional 1/4 cup. For an icing, forgo the classic butter and powdered sugar frosting for a deliciously thick, homemade vanilla whip cream. It's the perfect companion.  For the pictures in this post, I baked the cake in two 8"x8" square pans. An 8" round would work too, but if you do a 9" round you'll probably want to check the cake after it has baked for about 20 minutes.

Note: I used cold eggs for this recipe, but the milk, honey and coconut oil should be room temperature or heated to lukewarm in a small pot. Honey and coconut oil must be liquid instead of solid, so heat them slightly if they are not. 

Who says you need to ice your cake, how about just fill it with some heavenly whip cream!

What You'll Need
2 - 1" high cake layers

For the Cake: 
4 eggs - cold
1/2 cup coconut oil in it's liquid form
3/4 cup honey - melted if it's solid
1 cup organic whole milk - room temperature or slightly warm
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt 

For the Whip Cream
2 cups organic, heavy cream
1/2 cup organic white sugar or 1/4 cup honey 
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

How You'll Do It
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two square or round cake pans with parchment, then thoroughly grease them and dust with cocoa powder. 

2. In a large bowl whisk or beat the 4 cold eggs until very light and frothy, 3-5 minutes. 

3. In a second smaller bowl, stir together oil, honey, milk and vanilla. While mixer is still running, at about medium speed, slowly pour in liquid ingredients. Beat everything together for approx. 2 more minutes.

4. In a third bowl, mix together coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Turn mixer down to low and gradually add dry ingredients and continue to mix until just combined.

5. Scrape down sides of bowl making sure all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Divide batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes on center rack. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into center of cakes. If it comes out clean they're done.

6. Immediately remove cakes from pans and allow to cool. Frost as desired.

7. The whip cream ingredients are just a general guideline. Use more or less depending on how much whip cream you want. The amounts I've included above should be enough for "icing" this cake. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until a soft, but thick whip cream has formed. Be careful to not over beat mixture or it will begin to become grainy in texture.

I cut 2" square pieces out of my cake and then cut each layer in half (so 2 squares turned into 4, each layer a little less than 1/2" thick) to make a petite four layer cake. Then I cut the 2" squares into 1/4ths making cake "tea sandwiches" or to me the perfect amount for one serving.

This is one of those "do as I say, not as I do" type of things. I did not listen to my own rule of lining my cake pan with parchment. Now while typically the cake should come out of the pan without parchment, the kiddos called my attention from the kitchen just as I pulled the cake out of the oven and it ended up cooling in the pan. In the end only part of my cake popped out correctly, leaving me with some cake crumbs and pieces. Now I'm not going to pitch cake that still tastes perfectly good, just because it doesn't look quite as nice. So I grabbed a bowl and layered crumbled cake and whip cream and to no surprise it was still equally delicious!


  1. Your cake looks beautiful! I appreciate your hard work in perfecting your recipe- I have had some nice successes lately, but also a couple of failures that I am still working on! I actually have been baking so much the last couple of weeks that I don't feel like baking for a while- bleh! (plus I gained 3 pounds that I need to drop this week before I start at it again!) It's ok, I need to work on some more salads and healthy soups anyway!

    I wish you and your recipes continued success! Andrea

  2. What a job well done! I've never baked with coconut flour before, but now I'm completely intrigued. You did such a great job presenting and styling this cake. I want a big slice right now. Thanks for always making me smile with your words, photos and recipes. I hope that your Wednesday is full of joy!

  3. hi Terese! What FUN you had with this cake! I love that about baking and cooking when you can just let your whimsy be your guide! This looks so delicious and yep, I also love the texture and taste of coconut in baking! Thanks for sharing this on the hearth and soul hop! all the best! Alex

  4. I love coconut flour and use it for all of my baking. It is so creamy. Your cake looks amazing. Can't wait to try making it..

    I have a great 3 minute microwave coconut flour cake in a mug on my blog..

  5. I stumbled on your blog last week and decided to make your coconut flour pancakes on Sunday. They were outstanding! I've tried a few other recipes and they were always so heavy... I think because of the amount of oil used. I love that yours used no oil. I made them EXACTLY per your directions and they were superb... light, fluffy, filling. Thank you for being creative enough to come up with such a great recipe!

    I'm thinking of trying this chocolate cake recipe, which sounds delicious, and I wanted to ask your opinion on using coconut milk instead of cow's milk. I can't have cow's milk, but I know coconut milk is a bit heavier. What do you think? Also, I don't like my baked goods very sweet either and 3/4 cup of honey actually sounds like a lot. Do you think I could reduce the honey at all, or would that not work?

    Would love to see other recipes you create using coconut flour. Thank you again for the pancake recipe.


  6. Hi Jeanne, you can certainly reduce the honey, although I can say it's not an overly sweet cake already. You may try reducing it to 1/2 cup, but honestly it's up to you. You will want some sweetener though! :)

    As far as the coconut milk, I think it should be fine. If you were using coconut cream I think there would be a greater issue.

    Oh and I should mention the coconut flour pancakes are a recipe from Nourishing Days. If you aren't familiar with Shannon's site, check it out, she has great recipes.

    Good luck and I hope you love the cake! :)

  7. Hi Aristta,

    Thank you for responding so quickly! I will keep the honey at 3/4 cup... it sounds like it won't be overly sweet. Hope to make this in the next week or so. I will let you know how I make out. The recipe looks great!

    I will check out Shannon's site. Thank you!

    Happy, healthy cooking!


  8. I'm thinking I might give this a try this week! What I'm really looking for is a cupcake recipe. Think this would work okay with regular paper liners?

  9. Hi Jessica, the one problem I can see with making these into cupcakes is the cooking time and not over baking the batter. Every time I have tried to make this cake thicker then about 1" deep batter the coconut flour can begin to burn. While it's not noticeable when there is chocolate in the batter, with a white or vanilla coconut flour cake the batter will turn dark brown. It doesn't always produce an off taste, but it does make baking the cake a little more difficult. If you do cupcakes, paper liners should be just fine, I just wouldn't fill the cupcakes liners really full with batter. Probably at the most, only fill the liners about half full. If you do this, let me know how it goes. I know the cake turns out great, but I haven't experimented much with cupcakes. I just recently bought some liners and once the weather actually cools down some and baking seems a little more desirable I hope to do some cupcake experiments. Good luck and I hope they turn out delicious!

  10. I've just made the cake, (I did it in half, in case I flubbed it in some way), and it turned out perfectly. (I used a ratio of 3:1 using honey and agave syrup). I used my cookie cutter to cut it into 4 hearts and will be making the whipped cream later to make them into lovely little sandwich cakes! Thank you for an easy recipe for my first one using coconut flour!

  11. Elfine - so glad it turned out for you. It's been a while since I made this recipe, but I think it might have to make an appearance sometime soon! Merry Christmas!

  12. My husband has already requested another one of these cakes..and it's only 6 days later! Merry Christmas to you, too!

  13. Do you think it would work well as whoopie cakes? Love the pics x

  14. Hi Lauren, I can't say I've tried whoopie cakes, but I think the cake should hold up well enough. I don't think it would spread too much when baking it, but it would be an experiment for you to try.

  15. A friend just posted your recipe - and I can't wait to try it! I am celiac and love cooking with coconut flour - I suspect this will be my New favorite Cake!!! :) Thank you so much for it!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.