Chocolate Espresso Cake (grain-free, refined sugar-free)

Oh coffee and chocolate! The delightfully deadly combination is many people’s Achilles Heal for a reason. Rich, sinful…energizing! One of my personal favourite indulgences in the world is sipping on a lovely little latte or espresso while nibbling on a piece of dark chocolate. So what happens when you combine the two in a moist, decadent cake? Pure heaven! I warn you though, this baby is RICH so you don’t need to eat a tonne, and a little coconut whip or ice-cream definitely cuts the intensity down a couple notches. Either way, I seriously recommend giving this recipe a go! I know layered cakes seem intimidating, but I promise you it’s easier than you think. I’ve also included some tips to help you through the process. Just follow the steps, and if all else fails, mush up all the ingredients and make a “pudding" or “mousse”!

...For the cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 5 free-range eggs
  • 3/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup cold or room temperature coffee
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease two 8-inch cake pans with coconut oil or butter.

Tip: you might also want to line the cake pans with 2 crisscrossed strips of parchment paper for easy removal...

2. In a large bowl combine eggs, honey, vanilla extract, and coffee, and whisk to combine.

3. In a medium sized bowl combine coconut flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir dry ingredients with a fork to break up any clumps.

Tip: You maybe also want to use a sifter or fine mesh colander and sift these ingredients into the wet.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until thoroughly incorporated and no lumps remain. Add the melted coconut oil to the batter and stir to thoroughly to combine.

5. Evenly divvy up the batter between the two cake pans and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and transfer the cakes to a wire rack to finish cooling while you make the icing.

...For the icing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut oil 
  • 1 cup coconut manna
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ - ½ cup coconut cream (the thicker and fluffier the better)
  • 3 tblsp freshly ground espresso
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • Dark chocolate shavings and/or coconut flakes for the topping (optional)

Directions

1. In a mixer (I use a KitchenAid), whisk together the coconut oil, coconut manna, vanilla extract, and honey on high speed until thick and smooth. Slowly add the coconut cream, making sure the mixture is still quite creamy and not runny, like so...

2. While the mixer is running, slowly add in the cocoa powder and espresso grinds until thoroughly combined. You may need to stop the mixer periodically and scrape down the sides to ensure it’s mixing properly.

Tip: you may want to put the icing in the fridge for a few minutes to set a tad if you’re noticing it’s a bit runny or it’s a hot day. Otherwise get going on icing that cake!

...Assembling the Cake

1. Carefully remove one of the cake rounds and gently place it on a cake plate.

Tip: I personally like to lay 4 strips of parchment paper just under the edges of the bottom layer of the cake for easy clean-up post-ice...

2. Spoon a third of the icing from the mixing bowl onto the top of the cake round and spread it out evenly so that it’s about a ¼ inch thick.

Tip: you once again might want to place that bottom layer in the fridge for a few minutes for the icing to set if it’s a bit runny or it’s a hot day.

3. Carefully remove and place the second layer on top of the bottom layer, and once again spread about a third of the icing onto the top of the cake and smooth out so that’s it’s about a ¼ inch thick.

4. Take the remaining icing and smooth it evenly around the edges of the cake.

5. Top your cake with any desired garnishes such as dark chocolate shavings or coconut flakes.

6. Carefully remove the parchment paper pieces if you were using them, and enjoy!