By Melody Copenny

Cherished Women’s Blog Writer

My uncle couldn’t believe it. He tasted his first bite of the cake as amazement filled his eyes.  

“Mel, this cake doesn’t have any flour or sugar?”

“Nope. I used almond and coconut flour and coconut sugar Uncle Randy.”

“No flour, no sugar, huh?”

“Not the regular stuff.”

“Mmm. This is good. I can’t believe you made  cake like this.”

“I know, right!”

My family loves good food. The holidays usher in memories and enjoyable moments for us and three years ago we celebrated Christmas with a cake challenge. I made a non-traditional cake from scratch, my mom got a store bought cake and my cousin and his wife purchased a cake specially made by a baker who had connections to Paula Deen. Those who didn’t bring cakes would be blindfolded and given samples of all three desserts and then declare which was the better one.

I made what I call a Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Cake from scratch using a blend of two recipes, tweaking it to work with my ingredients of nut flour, coconut flour, coconut sugar, cocoa and zucchini. I made my frosting from scratch , throwing in orange zest for fun, and decorating the finished cake with sliced almonds on its sides and top. I used square pans to give the cake visual presence.

And I won the cake challenge.

Holidays Christmas Desserts Family TraditionsI loved this fun experience with family and my uncle’s comments stayed with me the most, because he’s mindful of sugar and his blood pressure, to keep his health in a good place. It felt good knowing I made something that brought wellness and goodness to my family. And may I add that by the end of our festivities, only one square slice of the cake remained. It was good! As Christmas nears and sweet treat opportunities dance through your life, consider making desserts that not only taste good, but can be better for your body.

I present to you my chocolate cake recipe. Make it with love and give it to those you love this holiday season.  Love is the place God consistently dwells in and acts from towards us. He is love and gave us the greatest gift ever from love – His son Jesus Christ.

A Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Cake

Recipes Courtesy of The Food Network (cake) and Cooking Light (frosting)

Total Time: 1 hr 30 min

Preparations: 35 mins

Cook: 50-55 mins

Yield: 8 servings

Level: Intermediate

Ingredients below are for one round cake pan, I did a two-layer square cake so  made one layer and then repeated the recipe steps in my bowl for the second layer, so you will need to double the ingredients below if you want a two-layer cake.

Cake Ingredients

1 and 1/2 cup of organic coconut flour
1/2 cup of organic almond flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoons of baking soda
3/4 cup of Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of organic coconut sugar
2 cage-free eggs
1/4 cup organic olive oil
2 cups of organic zucchini, grated
1/2 to 3/4 cup of half and half (test out your batter, if it’s too thick use more liquid)
1 cup organic Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon of organic ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract

Unsalted butter, to grease cake pans

Orange Zest Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

8 ounce tub organic cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons organic whole milk
3 (1-ounce) squares Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate, melted over a double boiler or in microwave
2 cups sifted organic powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened Ghirardelli cocoa
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Zest of one organic orange

If you need more frosting, feel free to make more.

Garnish options: sliced organic almonds, organic raspberries or chocolate curls.

 

Directions

Eggs Holidays ChristmasPreheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cream all moist ingredients together except eggs.

Add coconut sugar and mix well.

Add eggs and mix well.

Then add remaining ingredients and stir.

If you are making a two-layer cake, repeat the steps above for your second layer.
Placed batter in greased shiny metal 9 inch round or greased shiny metal 8×8 square cake pan(s) and bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes, checking at about the 40 minute mark to see how the cake is setting in the middle with a toothpick or knife.

While cakes are baking, make your chocolate frosting.

Beat cheese and milk at high speed with  a mixer until creamy.

Add melted chocolate, and beat until well-blended.

Combine sugar and cocoa; gradually add sugar mixture to cheese mixture, beating at low speed until well-blended.

Add vanilla; beat well for 1 minute until very creamy.

Zest the orange into frosting, mix well. Set to the side.

Do not make the frosting hours in advance because it will dry out. Make it while your cakes are baking.

Once cake layer(s) are done, cool them completely on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Next, Betty Crocker recommends running a dinner knife around the side of each pan to loosen the cake and then transferring them from the pan to the wire racks.

Let the layers cool completely.

If you made a one cake layer, frost the cake on cake dish or stand of your choice. Garnish as desired.

If you made two cake layers, place one layer on a cake dish or stand. Frost the top of that cake and then carefully place the second layer on top of it. Continue frosting the entire cake. Garnish as desired.

Bon Appétit and Merry Christmas!

 

Melody Copenny

About Melody Copenny

Melody Copenny is a poet, writer, author and storyteller living a gospel-centered life. A native of Atlanta, GA, she’s called Orlando, FL home since 2005 and been a member of the Discovery Church family for 12 years. Presently she serves as editor in chief for the Discovery Women's Ministry blog, Cherished. She's passionate about the intersection of creativity, words, theology and popular culture and writes to be real, relevant and reveal. A healthy foodie who enjoys cooking well, classic soul and R&B and serving a women’s group at Discovery, she blogs regularly on themes about grieving, mourning, living and loving at www.findingmelodie.com. You can connect to Mel on Twitter & Instagram @findingmelodie.

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