He showed the words “chocolate cake” to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. “Guilt” was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: “celebration.”
~Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

This tender, sturdy cake is fantastic on its own — but it can hold up to frostings, too. Or try the cherry sauce here! (Both the cake and sauce might be less sweet than what you’re used to. But give ’em a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!)

A few notes for the cake to get you started:

  • Use a stand mixer. Cocoa powder can be tricky to incorporate, and of all mixing methods, a stand mixer works best. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a few spoonsful at a time.
  • Don’t skip sifting the dry ingredients. Even the finest-ground oat flour can have a few groats that need to be removed.|
  • Want a less chocolate-y flavor or need to avoid chocolate altogether? Swap in carob powder for some or all of the cocoa powder.
  • This recipe is for high altitudetested at 6,000 to 8,000 feet. If you live lower, you might simply try upping the baking soda to 3/4 tsp.
GF/DF Basic Chocolate Cake (Soy-Free and Refined Sugar-Free)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8x8 pan. (I use a glass dish sprayed with cooking oil. If baked goods tend to stick to your pans, you can grease and flour.)
  2. Cream:
    3 eggs
    1/2 c. coconut sugar
    1/4 c. maple syrup
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    1/2 c. almond milk (or your dairy-free milk fave)
    1/4 c. cooking oil (I prefer light olive oil, but you can use melted coconut oil or ghee, or your favorite neutral-tasting oil.)
  3. Sift together and add to wet ingredients:
    1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 c. arrowroot powder
    3 Tbsp. oat flour
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
    1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. coconut flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill. Other brands aren’t as finely ground.)
  4. Let batter rest in mixer for 30 minutes.
  5. Mix again for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes (rotate halfway through), until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. (The cake can be cut without trouble if warm — use a bread knife — but the structure is sturdier when no longer hot.)
  8. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for three days or the freezer for three months.
GF/DF Cherry Sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, combine:
    1 16-oz. bag frozen pitted sweet cherries, thawed (or use 2 c. fresh pitted sweet cherries)
    2 Tbsp. water
    1 Tbsp. maple syrup
    2 tsp. tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
    1 tsp. lemon juice
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/8 tsp. cinnamon
    pinch salt
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly for 3 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer. Stir for another 5-10 minutes until cherries burst or sauce has thickened to your liking.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in microwave or on stovetop.

choc cake cherry sauce1.jpg
© 2019 Carol Stillings