Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gluten-Free + Vegan + Sugar-Free Cake

Sound too good to be true?

Here I present to you a fabulous-tasting chocolate layer cake. Moist and delicious. Tender and rich. Chocolate at its best. Allergen-free. No gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, or sugar!

Seriously, you just can't go wrong here.

I modified our Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake on page 342 of our cookbook to be made into a layer cake. Really with only slight changes. I took out the cup of beets and the one cup of water and replaced them with 1 cup of prunes in which you soak in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and then puree into a smooth paste.

Don't get me wrong I still love this cake made with the beets. I am a lover of beets prepared any and all ways. Though the prunes in this version add moisture, sweetness, and a certain binding action that makes it work very well in a layered cake.

Still, if you don't want to fuss with layers then just pour the batter into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish and bake away. You can add the sugar-free frosting below if desired. I am not the biggest fan of frosting, never have been. Though this recipe is nice, not too sweet, and helps keep the cake moist for days. Frosted or not this cake is a winner! 


Chocolate Layer Cake

Serve this beautiful cake as a birthday party treat with the vanilla frosting below, topped with gluten-free sprinkles. This recipe can also be baked in a 9 x 13-inch pan, or even made in a bundt pan.

2 cups brown rice flour or sorghum flour
½ cup tapioca flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum*
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 cup prunes
½ cup virgin coconut oil
1 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans.

In a medium sized bowl place the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and sea salt; mix together well with a fork or wire whisk.

Place the prunes in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let stand for about 10 minutes.

Place the prunes and water into a blender or Vita-Mix and add the coconut oil, maple syrup, water, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Blend until very smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well, though be careful not to over mix.

Immediately pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes in the pan and then gently invert onto a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before frosting. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com


*Update 7/2011: The xanthan gum in this recipe can be replaced with 1/4 cup ground chia seeds. Add the ground chia seeds to the blender with the warm water and soaked prunes. I also added an extra 1/4 cup of coconut oil. The combination of both of these ingredient changes made the cake a little denser and more fudge-like. 

Sugar-Free Vegan Frosting

This easy-to-make frosting can be made pink with the addition of a small amount of fresh, raw beet juice. A few teaspoons does the trick. I take small, peeled chunks of raw beets and squeeze them through a garlic press to get the juice out. 

2 cups organic palm shortening (Spectrum)
1 cup arrowroot powder
1 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
4 teaspoons non-alcoholic vanilla

2 teaspoons almond flavoring (non-alcoholic)
2 to 4 teaspoons beet juice (optional)

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and whip up with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. This can be made a day ahead of time, stored at room temp. Just re-whip before frosting the cake.


88 comments:

  1. Oh Thanks so much for this! We are vegan and gluten-free and love your desserts and baked goods. The frosting looks so good and easy to do. I have made your beet bundt cake numerous times and everyone always enjoys it.

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  2. OK, I really have to lock myself in my room and read that cookbook! It follows me around the house. Now I know why. That cake looks amazing! I have everything but the prunes, would my dates work instead? I'm having my baker son get busy on this over the weekend. Now how to not eat the whole cake in one sitting?

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  3. That is gorgeous. Ali, your blog and cookbook are going to become indispensable to me as I am embarking on a gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free diet. (Although that won't be reflected on my blog right away. I have some posts I've prepared, but haven't put up yet.) Frank question: With prunes' known laxative effective, is that an issue with this cake or is one fine with just a small piece? I have not been a big eater of prunes in my life so I must ask. LOL

    Thanks!
    Shirley

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  4. Thank you so much for this! I can't wait to try it. I have made your chocolate cake recipe with grated beets and it was excellent, so I'm eager to see what it is like with prunes! And frosting - hooray frosting! Thank you so much for that recipe (despite your general dislike of the stuff) :). There are just some occasions where frosting is difficult to substitute, so I'm very grateful for this. And using beet juice as food coloring is excellent!

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  5. Hi Ali! Yum-I made this cake and it is fabulous-and even easier than the decadent-which I still make when I have beets around. I noticed you are using alcohol free vanilla. Do you use the one made with glycerin? I have been making my own vanilla extract with organic vodka for about a year now-and I was wondering how to make it alcohol free :0 Thx for sharing this! Jenna :]

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  6. I love that you use beet juice to color the frosting -- that is a beautiful pink! Any other natural food color tips?

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  7. David - Oh glad you enjoy the bundt cake so much, I know a lot of people really enjoy it. Yes, this frosting is super easy to make.

    thewholegang - Not sure if dates would work, probably, but the cake itself will end up being very sweet. I would love to know how it turns out if you end up making it this way, let me know!

    Shirley - I don't think the small amount of prunes in each slice should be an issue, unless that is, you eat the whole cake in one sitting!

    Sara - Yes it is nice sometimes to have a good frosting. I think I never liked frosting because it was always so sweet and made with too much powdered sugar - just one of those memories from childhood that still lingers. Some have issues with vegetables, mine is frosting, lol! But really, a little of this frosting is quite tasty.

    Jenna - Yes this cake is an easier version of the beet cake, and I am all about simple these days with 14 month old twins! Glad to hear you made it. I use the non-alcoholic extract in this frosting because I use quite a bit to flavor it, if I were to use the alcohol-based then there would be a strong alcohol flavor since the frosting is not heated and thus the alcohol doesn't evaporate. I use Frontier brand extracts which are GF.

    Alison - I love using natural plant extracts to color food. I use turmeric to color my lemon frosting, about 1/2 tsp per 2 cups of shortening makes a beautiful sunny yellow color. Spirulina powder makes a grassy green color, though its color is more grainy and not uniform when beaten. It still works though. That is all I have tried thus far. Do you have any other ideas for coloring foods?

    Thanks! -Ali :)

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  8. Ali, I wanted to let you know that we made your cake for dessert tonight and it was fabulous! The consistency was right on. I loved the frosting too. I decorated it with edible flowers. I should have taken a picture and emailed it to you! Thanks again! I recommend your cookbook and blog to everyone!

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  9. Damm, That looks good right about now. Best blog I have seen. Any type of blog. I think I would have eat the whole thing though.

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  10. Steph - Wow, edible flowers sound like a great idea. I think we did that one time with a no-frosting cake that I made for my daughter's b-day party. Next time please email me, that would be fun to see your creation!

    Josh - Oh wonderful, I am glad you love the blog, it is always nice to hear feedback from readers!

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  11. Okay, I made this cake last night and it has not even lasted 24 hours. :) Delicious! I first made the frosting last week (your vanilla-almond-flavored recipe) to get the hang of it - had it with my previous desert hanging around the house (which was a tough lemon cake) - the frosting did wonders on that. :) Then I experimented a bit by altering the recipe to use cocoa powder to make it chocolate frosting! So I had a chocolate-on-chocolate affect for this layer cake - it was amazing! We (my family, coworkers and I) all LOVE how eating this cake is like eating REAL FOOD, instead of the stuff that makes you feel sickly afterward from all the sugar (not to mention the other stuff that some of us are allergic to). THANK YOU!

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  12. That looks amazing! You forgot to mention soy-free. Vegan desserts are so often full of weird soy ingredients. Definitely going to give this one a try!

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  13. Ali - we made the cake last week for Lucy's birthday and it turned out beautifully. It was oh so tasty and lovely to look at. The texture was pleasing, no weird after-tastes at all and the perfect amount of sweetness. We didn't color the frosting so it was sort of off-white and then we threw chocolate chips all over it.
    Thank you! April and the gang

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  14. This cake looks great but I wish I could have a piece right now! I'll definitely make this in the future. The recipe is perfect, no eggs!

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  15. Hi,

    Thank you for this cake! I'm getting ready to make it for my boyfriend for his birthday 12/27.

    I can't have vinegar, so I was just wondering if you think it will be terrible if I leave it out?

    Thanks so much!! Happy New Year!

    Kristi

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  16. Kristi - The vinegar is actually a necessary component. It reacts with the baking soda to leaven the cake. I am not sure what you could replace it with. Another acid, such as lemon juice maybe? Good luck!

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  17. this looks like a wonderful birthday cake!

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  18. Hi!
    I love your blog so much <3. And I'm making this cake right now for my mom's birthday. I hope it turns out, is it not supposed to rise?
    Thanks!!!

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  19. WOW!!!! That is amazing =) The frosting is soooo good- I may use it on some regular cakes!!!
    Also the frosting was just enough to frost the entire cake and decorate it!

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  20. What a gorgeous cake, Ali! Perfect for Valentine's Day. :D

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  21. This cake looks so beautiful and perfectly allergen-friendly! I am always amazed at your talents!

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  22. Ali,

    I can't wait to make this cake for my 1 yr old's first bday! I was wondering about the vinegar, since I'm on the elimination diet and haven't reintroduced it yet, but you answered that. I guess that will be my day to reintroduce vinegar!

    I was also wondering if for Brow rice flour, I could just grind brown rice really fine. I have broken the bank last month on this diet and I keep having to go back to Whole Foods to get all the specialty ingredients, so I am trying to find ways to budget...

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  23. I made this cake last night and it was delicious. Thank you!! However, I seem to have some aversion to coconut oil. Do you think grapeseed oil would work equally as well?

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  24. Hi, I just reviewed this cake and frosting on my blog. My son just made cupcakes out of it for Mothers Day. Thanks for an excellent recipe! It was a success. http://wildflowermorningrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/05/chocolate-gluten-free-dairy-free.html

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  25. Just made this (w/o the frosting) and loved it! The texture was light and not gummy (like a lot of gluten free recipes turn out), it was not too sweet and it was super easy to make. I have to admit, I didn't use the prunes (I didn't have any) - I used unsweetened apple sauce and a little bit of yogurt (combined to make the same quantity as the prunes). I kept everything else identical. Will definitely make again!

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  26. My favorite cake! I subbed the coconut oil for canola. Arrowroot powder for tapioca starch. And beet juice for fresh strawberries. Everything else was the same, and it was amazing!

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  27. Hmm... I got an order for two gluten-free sugar-free cakes and tried out this recipe. The cake turned out way gummy and rather bitter. I used all the ingredients listed, but it's just came out an unappetizing rubbery disc. Where might I have gone wrong?

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  28. I only made the frosting from this recipe to use with some cupcakes, and it is fantastic!!!!! I can't believe how much arrowroot tastes like confectioner's sugar. I mixed it by hand, and, even then, it was so fluffy and creamy and delicious. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    I'm looking forward to following your blog more consistently now.

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  29. My cake is in the oven! I hope it turns out, the batter is delish! I had hardly any of the ingredients, so this cake is coming in at about $75 for me, which is not to mention the $20 blender I had to purchase! Anything for my grandma (who's vegan and diabetic)!

    The only thing I was confused about was the water. In the instructions, it says, "Place the prunes and water into a blender and add the coconut oil, maple syrup, water, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla." Technically, it says to add the water twice. I only added it the first time, the boiling water I'd used on the prunes. I hope this is right, but the batter was really thick, almost more like a dough than a batter.

    Will let you know how it comes out in another 25 minutes!

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  30. Final Report! It's done, and only adding the water once was the right choice! The frosting is blow-your-mind amazing, very light and not overwhelmingly sweet. I can't wait to present this beautiful cake to my grandma tomorrow for her 79th! Thanks for the recipe!

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  31. Is guar gum better or worse than xanthan gum? I am new to GF baking and I saw both at the store. Guar gum is WAY cheaper but I'm wondering which is healthier and which works better. ???

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  32. Hmm Bummer, I am cooking this right now but not the right way. H I second guessed the accuracy of my understanding to the tweak the recipe in order to make it a layered cake. I didn't believe that one batch would do it for two 9 in pans. So I put it all in one. After 25 min. it was still gooey inside so I cooked it for 5 more min at 350 when that still didn't do it I turned the oven down to 335 and cooked it for 10 more min. so I wouldn't burn the top still hoping this will turn out. Verdict is that is that a knife comes out clean. Now it sits and waits until someone can taste test it. Truthfully I am prepared to venture out in the wee hours of the morning to obtain a few more of the ingredients needed to make another. It's my BABY'S BIRTHDAY and she is 3! I have great faith this cake will taste excellent (when done right). It is that easy that I'm not sweating making another early in the morning. I will post again to let you all know whether it was redeemable.

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  33. This looks absolutely delish! I can't wait to try it out! I can't believe there's no sugar!!

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  34. I made this for Valentines day for my boyfriend's birthday cake. It turned out very well! However I added something I saw on the March Stewart site and baked the cake on a cookie sheet and after the cake cooled cut them into hearts with a cookie cutter! This turned out wonderful with the pink beet frosting. I've been wondering how to make frosting without powdered sugar. Anyways, at that point you can stack the hearts in twos or to do a layer or just serve one. I did both. But this receipe worked out extra good for the cookie cutters as the prunes make the cake hold up really well and not crumble.

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  35. This cake looks perfect for my son's first birthday! I would like to leave out the cocoa, however. Do I need to adjust any amounts of liquids for this omission? Is it also possible to replace the guar gum with milled flax seed (1:1 ratio)?

    Just ordered the cookbook...can't wait for it to come in!!!

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  36. Desiree - You would have to completely revise this recipe to make it without the cocoa powder and without any gums. I suggest making the Carrot Raisin Buckwheat Muffins (you could omit the carrots and add berries to it along with sprinkling the tops with coconut sugar)....and/or drizzle the muffin you serve to your son with Blueberry Syrup. 1yr old's don't know the difference between cake and muffins or whatever other special dessert you choose to serve. I didn't bake anything when both of my girls turned one. :)

    here are the links to both recipes:
    http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2009/06/carrot-raisin-buckwheat-muffins.html

    http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2009/08/blueberry-syrup.html

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  37. Just served this cake today for my daughter's 6th birthday. I think the cake and frosting complement each other very well. The cake is "cakey" (a bit dry) and the frosting is silky so they do well together. I have discovered though that this frosting is impossible to make if you do not have an electric mixer. We used a stick blender on it (regular blade too but mostly the whisk attachment) and a manual two-blade mixer, trying each for over 10 minutes at a time. Did not come together. Finally got a neighbor's loaner of an electric mixer (with only one blade) and that worked, though it also took some time. Thanks!

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  38. Hi! I'm looking to make this recipe for my friends birthday tomorrow and was wondering if dates could be replaced for the prunes? I forgot to gets some.

    Thank you!

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  39. I made this recipe and it tastes good but was flat. It didn't rise at all and I had to really spread it to make it cover a 9 x 13 pan. I used honey instead of agave/maple, and forgot the apple cider vinegar (even though it was right on the counter! That's what happens when a 2 and 4 year old keep on needing ya!).

    Is that why it didn't rise? It was thick too, not like a runny batter.

    Thanks! No complaints here, just wondering how to make it more cake like and less brownie like. We are gluten, egg, dairy and soy free over here.

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  40. This cake turned out great! We cooked it for my dad's 80th birthday (he's vegan and gluten free) and all the guests enjoyed it. We made it a long single layer cake. Make sure you spread it out evenly because it does not rise our move a whole lot from its original position. Thanks for the recipe!

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  41. Hi Ali,

    I am gonna try this making this cake (as cupcakes) this weekend and had a couple of questions about the frosting:

    - Can Earth Balance be used instead of the shortening?

    - What can I use instead of arrowroot powder? I am making it for people who are not very "dietary restrictive" ;).

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  42. This looks delicious! I was wondering, would this batter work well as a cupcake too?
    Thanks!

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  43. Wow, I can't believe a vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free cake recipe exists! I'm looking forward to making this but would like to make a couple substitutions, just to avoid buying more ingredients. For the frosting, could I use coconut oil in place of the shortening? Likewise, I'm guessing the guar/xanthan gum in the cake is there as a binding agent instead of eggs, is that right? So do you think it would be an okay idea to try out flax seeds instead? I've never used either of these "gums" so I'm not totally sure how to replace them. Anyways, once I've done my experiment I'll post back to let you know whether I pulled it off or not.

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  44. Your cake looks delicious, but I notice that you call the cake and icing "sugar-free" when they contain prunes, agave, and maple syrup. Those things contain or are sugar. The standard definition of "sugar-free" is food containing less than .5 gram of sugar per serving. While what you have here looks amazing, it would be great to see language that more accurately represents your recipes, as this kind of wording may be confusing for people who aren't as informed and don't realize they are actually consuming a good amount of sugar when they eat this. Thank you.

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  45. I made this for my daughters 3rd birthday! What a treat!! Baked beautifully! Thanks!!

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  46. My birthday is coming up this week and I've just recently gone gluten, dairy and sugar free. The Whole Life Nutrition website is my new favorite site and I happened across your chocolate cake recipe that looks so delicious. I'm curious if virgin coconut oil can be used instead of the organic palm shortening for your sugar-free vegan frosting?

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  47. So, I just made the icing with Coconut Oil instead of the Palm Shortening and it worked great! Love the icing!! I can't keep my fingers out of it. :) I get to embark on the cake making tomorrow and then enjoy a huge piece of it for my birthday dessert. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!

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  48. I am so excited to find this recipe. I'm trying to keep meat and dairy out of his diet,and limit sugar to a very small amount. I am going to make your cake for his first Birthday! I can't wait. It's in one month.

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  49. I've had my eye on this cake for a while and finally tried it today - it was wonderful!! By far the best gluten free, cane-sugar free baked good we've ever tried! It was a little fruity and not to sweet. I used the chia seeds and extra coconut oil, the texture was so lovely - almost chewy-brownie like!! What a treat! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!

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  50. 2 cups of agave nectar contain 480g of pure sugar.

    That means just an eighth of the cake contains 60g of sugar. Please don't label this sugar free.

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  51. Could I use dates instead of prunes? Do you just fill the measuring cup with as many pieces of the whole fruit that fit?

    Cannot wait to try this recipe!

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  52. Thanks everyone for the feedback on this recipe! I should of labeled this recipe "refined sugar-free" because, yes, of course it still does have sugar in it, just in a different form that is not destructive to the body like white sugar is.

    Awkward Mom - I have not tried this recipe using dates but you could try. It might be a bit sweeter using the dates. And yes just pack them into the measuring cup. Please let me know how the cake turns out with dates. :)

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  53. I went ahead and made this with prunes to get an idea of what the original recipe would render. I thought the cake tasted faintly like prunes and ACV. I thought maybe it was just me (I have very discerning taste buds) but my daughter didn't finish her cupcake because she thought it tasted funny.

    The texture was amazing though! I might try it again with dates and see if it comes out okay with half the amount of ACV.

    Really hoping it works the second time around because the texture was fantastic!

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  54. To Awkward Mom-

    You could always try plain rice vinegar instead of ACV. That's what I use because I think it has milder flavor and blends in better.

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  55. Hi Ali,
    Do you have the nutritional info for this recipe? (Calories, etc)

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  56. Love the look of this recipe and plan to try it for my daughter's upcoming 3rd bday (she has multiple food sensitivities). I am wondering about substitutions to the coconut oil--she can't have coconut. Can I just use canola? Or maybe apple sauce? Thanks in advance, I can't wait to try this!

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  57. Will the Cake work out if dates were used in place of prunes? I'm gluten-free and sugar-free for the month but want to use dates as they're more readily available. Thanks!

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  58. Quick question, is there anything i can use in place of the almond oil? my son has a gluten, egg AND severe nut allergy...plz plz plz!! thank you so much, i just want him to be able to actually have a bday cake this year!

    thanks again,
    -stressedoutmommy

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  59. Made this the other day when my cravings for cake defeated my will power... Didn't have prunes so I used half raisins and half medjool dates. Worked great! Plus I added a little spice: cinnamon, cayenne, and finely ground black pepper for a little kick. :) Thanks so much!

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  60. This looks delicious... but I do feel the need to point out that 1 cup of maple syrup has 192 g of sugar, which is pretty similar to 1 cup of granulated sugar (200 g). I think letting people believe it is 'sugar-free' is a bit misleading, though I hope everyone does their own research when cooking!

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  61. This was amazing! I made it for my father-in-laws birthday and everyone raved over it. In fact, most everyone agreed they liked your frosting better than conventional butter cream varieties. Thank you for this great recipe!

    Jennifer

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  62. Looks wonderful!
    Has anybody tried making it with an oil substitute?

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  63. Beautiful website!
    Can't wait to try the cake... I'm going to make the cake for my mother-in-law's birthday. The recipe isn't sugar free though - agave and maple syrup definitely raise blood sugars! Married to a type 1 diabetic for over 20yrs!

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  64. I have arthritis and I can tell you from personal experience that agave nectar and maple syrup are still as sugar as white sugar or even corn syrup itself. If I eat those I get horrendous flareups and my skin breaks out just as if I had eaten any of the others.

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  65. Any suggestion for a substitute for the almond in the frosting? (non-nut alternative) Also...have you ever used half rice and half sorghum flour? Or which turns out better? Finally...have you noticed a difference depending on whether you used agave or syrup?
    Thanks!

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  66. Hi Ali

    Thanks so much for providing these recipes. My father is fighting stage 4 bladder cancer and one of his methods is a change in eating habits which, of course, is hard to do. I have been using your site a lot, and appreciate having such a good resource when we are basically starting from scratch.

    I plan on making this cake for Easter this weekend so my dad can actually partake in a dessert, and if it works (I am a terrible cook) then again for my son's first birthday in a few weeks. The problem is that I cannot find tapioca flour? Is there a substitute for it I can use?

    Thanks again - my whole family appreciates your great work.

    Michelle

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  67. OK. I found tapioca flour at the bulk barn. Made the cake Easter weekend.

    IT. IS. AMAZING.

    It is rich and moist and tastes like fudge cake. It turned out perfectly, everyone loved it, especially my father, which was the most important part!!

    Thanks so much. I am very impressed, and plan on making it again for my little guy's first bday next week (my f-i-l is also fighting cancer and will be happy to partake in the dessert for once!!)

    I did my own version of the icing though with (roughly) 1 cup of virgin coconut oil, maybe 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, and a bit of vanilla, and some tapioca flour to thicken it up a bit. I mixed it as best I could but the 'chunks' of cocoa and oil that were not completely combined ended up looking like choc chips or chunks of fudge. This icing melts at room temp, so cake must stay in fridge. I even did some vanilla (Coc oil, almond flavouring and tap flour) and cut a hole in a small bag to squeeze little white flowers onto the cake. It was all amazing!

    Thanks again,
    Michelle

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  68. Maple syrup and agave nectar are sugar!

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  69. Love your blog...but it is misleading when you label this recipe sugar-free. The 1 cup of maple syrup alone has 212 grams of sugar...yikes! Agave, palm sugar, honey, maple syrup, yacon syrup, brown rice syrup and table sugar are to be labeled as sugar...sure you know this. Maybe you could label it as low glycemic sweetened.

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  70. O people, get over your ol' bitty sugar-free rants! If you dont like the sugar find a substitution or move on. The author has already explained why she chose the title in the comments. My diabetic family members can handle agave more than other sweetners. Maybe its the raw agave type we use. Of course, desserts are a special occasion & should be for those who have special food restrictions. Thank you for the recipe! I'm excited to try the frosting in particular :)

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  71. I wanted to mention that I used Pamela's gluten free baking flour and just added the wet ingredients. It had to be cooked for about 35 minutes, and also did not rise. The top was still somewhat gooey, but it was tasty.

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  72. Do you think that this frosting could be mint flavored? If so what changes would you make? (It's my friend's birthday tomorrow and I'd love to bake her mint chocolate cupcakes!)

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  73. Ok, don't hate me. I unveganized it. I used one egg and omitted the xantham gum. I also used 2/3c dates & 1/3c raisins in place of the prunes. Oh, and I was afraid I might taste the vinegar (typically 2T is enough to ruin a good cake for me) so I decreased it to 1T, used rice vinegar instead of ACV & threw in a teaspoon of baking powder for good measure. And, guess what, it was fabulous anyway. This was my son's first cake and he loved it.

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  74. Looks like this recipe has been going strong for years now! I made cupcakes and did mint icing instead of almond and colored it with spirulina! Very awesome! Everyone was impressed!!! -Christine

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  75. Made cupcakes and they turned out well but the frosting was grainy. Any suggestions to make smooth? Also if making cupcakes the recipe makes 2 dozen and you only need half the frosting.

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  76. Is it ok to substitute raw cacao for the unsweetened cocoa powder in the chocolate cake recipe? I have it on hand, but did not want to shell out $11 for cocoa powder I almost never use...!

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  77. Hi All! I wanted to share with everyone that I used regular, grocery-store unsweetened cocoa in the cake and it turned out fabulous- I also subbed a can of cooked black beans for the prunes. I rinsed the beans a few times to rid them of any saltiness, and the cake stuck together fine and tasted wonderfully chocolate-y! I have been off refined sugar for about a month and this was exactly what I needed...thanks!!

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  78. Hi! Have you ever made this as cupcakes? Just wondering about baking time. Maybe 18-20 minutes?
    I plan to make cupcakes and top them with date/coconut oil/maple syrup paste with coconut and pecans added - yes, German chocolate style!

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  79. Hello,

    I am curious as to how this is sugar-free? I was looking into making a gluten-free sugar-free cake, but this has agave nectar (worst glycemic load - horrid for diabetics) or maple syrup... am I not the only one who knows this is sugar??? Perhaps I am not looking at this correctly and there is a part for substitutions? Please help - this cake looks amazing and would love to be able to make it! Would xylitol/stevia work with this recipe?
    Thank you so much - love the website!

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  80. Hello! I was wondering if All Purpose GF flour would work here, in place of the flour you mentioned? Thanks!

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  81. Do I have to use prunes? is there somethign else I can use besides prunces or beets?

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  82. This was so tasty!!
    I had to make a few alterations, since I didn't have some of the ingredients. I used a tad bit more tapiocha powder and two heaping teaspoons of gelatin, instead of xantham gum. I also made it a second time with cinnamon, walnuts, and cloves, instead of cocoa powder...yummy!

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  83. This is free of REFINED granulated sugar, but it is not sugar free. The prunes will have some natural sugar, but the maple syrup / agave is the same as sugar. Agave is just liquid fructose, which will give you a fatty liver just like a can of soda.

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  84. Oh - and besides trying cinnamon and cloves - I also tried blueberry muffins with this recipe! Took out the cocoa powder, and added frozen blueberries to the batter at the end. Sooo tasty!

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  85. This was my first attempt at a GF cake and there was no chance to give it a trial run so I just went with it. I did not follow the recipe exactly so I have no idea how it would have turned out had I used the flours in the recipe. I used my GF homemade all purpose flour and then followed the recipe as written after that. This cake was to die for and that is without the icing also. Moist, fudge like chewy texture, not grainy at all and the flavor, yummy. Next time I will try it with half the MS since I loved it but found it too sweet for me and it contained more MS (sugar) than I usually use in a recipe for the kids.

    I will try agave next time also because I am not supposed to eat sugar as I am intolerant to it and that includes MS, although I am allowed it on occasion. I am curious about agave and if it is considered a sugar also because I have seen it used in several paleo recipes instead of other sugars.

    Thank you for this recipe, it is amazing.

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  86. I can't wait to make this amazing chocolate cake! I found an alternative healthy version of the coconut/pecan frosting that goes on German Chocolate cakes. Curious if you think your cake here would be a good fit as a german choco cake?

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  87. Emily, I made this cake with a refined-sugar free coconut/pecan frosting. It was not bad. It was my first time making this cake and quite awhile since having a healthier version of desserts. My frosting was a bit strong tasting. I used coconut crystals for the frosting sweetener and Earth balance for the butter. I would like to try the cake again and use the frosting recipe provided. No one ate the cake but me, my husband tried one piece but then went back to his regular German Chocolate cake with homemade frosting that I also made. I really am not a cake girl so that may be part of it. I would probably make cupcakes next time, that way I can have one or two and freeze the others for later. I found it a very expensive cake to make and sadly threw out most of it since I just didn't want any more. The cake seemed to turn out exactly as it should but I guess I'm not a big dessert person. I love the sound of it, but it doesn't always agree with me.

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  88. I just finished making this cake 1 hour ago. I was practicing to make my son's 1st birthday cake for this weekend. It turned out really well and tastes so good not heavy or too sweet at all. I substituted carob powder for chocolate. I followed almost every step in the recipe except the adding water the second time because there is no ingredient for extra water in the recipe, only the boiling water. That was all that I added. Dinner is coming in 1 hour, I think the cake won't see the evening. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

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Thanks, and as always, Happy Cooking! Ali & Tom