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chocolate layer cake with avocado chocolate ganache

November 23, 2013

What follows is a recipe for a chocolate cake. A cake that also happens to be paleo (you know, grain-sugar-dairy free), which is said as an aside to the fact that it is a delicious, hearty and decadent chocolate cake topped with dark, rich ganache and tart pomegranate arils.

chocolate cake with pomegranate

It was a celebration of Jesse’s return to Calgary – the true beginning of life together in this new city. In one week we move into our new home, setting up all over again (with many trips to the Women in Need Society thrift store) for the third time since we married.

coconut chocolate {paleo} cake with avo chocolate ganache

Our first weekend is about exploring the area – visiting the stores on the main street of Inglewood; the Silk Road for the purest, freshest spices, The Uncommons for authentic, innovative, uncommon goods, Gravity for top notch Phil & Seb coffee, finished off with outstanding Bison burgers at Blue Star Diner (Bridgeland). Tomorrow we head towards Banff via Canmore for a day of exploring, snowshoeing and food-ing with some cool folk.

double decker chocolate cake

During my week in the kitchen of The Mustard Seed I took home a bag of ‘reject apples’, too bruised and dented to serve to the guests. From this bag of 10 or so I was able to stew 7 cups of applesauce and another cup of apple cider (to make Bircher muesli for the week). With applesauce coming out of my ears I sought out chocolate cake that fit the parameters of “applesauce” “wheat free” “healthful” “decadent”. This was the best I found, with as few variations as I could risk, and it also happens to be considered paleo-friendly. Coconut flour is a tricky one – don’t mess around with it. Being SO high in fiber only a 3/4 cup is necessary (as opposed to the usual 2 cups wheat flour) so even a scant measure more will drastically change the consistency of the cake. Apart from that it’s a super simple cake, requiring little more than a food processor. The mere size of my processor was what inhibited mixing up the whole thing in it – but if yours allows (or you make the original recipe size) I would recommend blending it all in the processor to ensure the coconut flour is well distributed and evenly mixed through.

Chocolate Paleo Layer Cake
Recipe from Paleo Spirit (following recipe is 1.5 x original in order to make a layer cake)
Serves 10 – 12

15 medjool dates, pitted
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened applesauce
5 eggs
3/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch sea salt
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee

Place the dates in a food processor and pulse until pureed (add a dash of hot water to loosen if necessary). Add applesauce and continue to pulse until pureed and combined with the dates. Add the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and coffee and whizz until smooth.

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients over and whisk until smooth.

Grease an 8inch cake pan with coconut oil, pour in the batter and smooth it with the back of a spatula (get it pretty smooth as it won’t smooth out on baking). Bake at 350˚C for 45 – 50 minutes or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Slice cake in half horizontally and leave to cool completely.

Avocado Chocolate Ganache
Recipe also from Paleo Spirit
Makes enough for a layer filling and a total covering of a double layer cake

2 medium/large very ripe avocados
3/4 cup dark, natural cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple syrup (or as desired)
1/3 cup dark chocolate, melted

Whizz all in food processor, adding a little water if needed, to combine. Let set in fridge to firm up. Frost cake.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2013 11:31 pm

    Oh my gosh, this cake is practically health food! Looks amazing Christina – the pomegranate arils are like jewels.

  2. November 24, 2013 6:42 am

    That is a really beautiful cake – fantastic :)

  3. November 24, 2013 8:03 pm

    Genius recipes! I can’t wait to try the icing especially! Thanks for posting this!


  4. November 25, 2013 6:17 am

    Ah-mazing. Thanks so much for sharing, Christina!! This cake was divine. The BEST treat to come back to after winter snowshoeing. ;) Had so much fun adventuring with you two. xx

  5. January 4, 2014 7:03 pm

    The cake looks nice :)
    Thanks for the recipe…

  6. nadia permalink
    January 30, 2014 6:18 pm

    Is there something that could possibly be substituted for the coffee? I’m looking for something to make for my daughter’s first birthday without sugar or butter and this looks perfect, minus the coffee if its possible…

    • January 30, 2014 9:01 pm

      Of course – the coffee is just a flavour enhancer for the chocolate. It actually imparts very little coffee flavour, if any. Water or milk should replace it in terms of moisture, or perhaps brewed tea instead. If caffeine is the issue, I have heard of someone replacing it with almond butter and another with apple juice.. otherwise decaf is an option. Hope it works out for you!

  7. Naomi permalink
    June 24, 2014 11:18 pm

    Hi, there is a small typo in the ganache recipe. In the ingredients section the dark chocolate is on the same line as the marple syrup. It’s small I know but to people(like me) who read things in a rush before ducking out to the shops it could mean the difference between an iced cake and one without :( I’m looking forward to making this though


  1. Survival guide: Making it through your first winter [back in Canada]. | hearts unmapped

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