Following a grain free diet requires some planning and thought, especially when you have a special occasion coming up.This recipe is for a chocolate cake that is a delicious combination of chocolate and raspberry and is topped off with a rich buttercream frosting. For that special occasion you can use the raspberry filling to write a special message on the cake. I’ll show you how.
This recipe uses cocoa butter and cocoa powder. Together they make chocolate without any other additives. Adding the secret ingredient of beets adds to the flavor and texture of the cake. This cake is reminiscent of the ever so popular red velvet cake except these are extraordinarily healthy and legal on GAPS and Paleo diets.
Pure Cocoa Butter
The purest chocolate comes from organic food grade cacao butter. This cacao butter imbues a mild chocolate flavor to any baked product. Many goodies can be made that are full of nutrition and satisfying to chocolate lovers.
Cocoa butter is also well tolerated by people who are caffeine sensitive, because there is no caffeine in pure cacao butter. I personally, feel no effects at all from cocoa butter — but I do feel the caffeine in cocoa powder because I am very sensitive to caffeine and do better without it.
Beets are Full of Nutrition
Beets are an earthy root vegetable that contains unique antioxidants and phytonutrients. The two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that have been found to offer protection against coronary artery disease, stroke and have anti-aging effects. Additionally, lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful protectors against free radical damage, particularly with respect to the macula and retina of the eye.
Beets also are a unique source of betalains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best-studied betalains from beets, and have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. The betalains also lower the levels of homocysteine in the body which can be harmful to the blood vessels. Thus, beetroot offers protection against cardiovascular diseases.
Beets are rich in vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium and have also been shown to protect against cancer, particularly of the skin, liver, lung, prostate and breast. You really can’t beat the nutrition here.
I’m of the opinion that it is OK to sneak healthy vegetables into baked goods for very picky children. At the same time it is important to try to get them to eat these foods on their own. That said, the main purpose of the beets in this recipe is to add color, flavor and most importantly moisture to the batter. Grain free baking can result in very dry disappointments if you do not add enough ingredients with moisture.
In this recipe I use three small baking pans because I like to make a small cake. When company comes they usually bring their own conventional desserts and so very few people eat the grain free version — but you have it there for those who do need it. That suits me just fine because I would rather not offer it to people who don’t need it or appreciate it.
However, grain free or not, everyone loves this cake!
Grain Free Chocolate Raspberry Birthday Cake
- 6 eggs (pastured if possible)
- 1/2 cup cacao (cocoa) butter (where to buy)
- 2 cups crispy pecans (where to buy crispy pecans) (how to make soaked and dehydrated nuts)
- 2 cups steamed, chopped organic beets (make sure to steam them until they are soft)
- 1/4 cup honey (where to buy)
- 1/4 teaspoon stevia (where to buy)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla (where to buy vanilla)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (where to buy)
- 1/2 cup coconut flour (where to buy coconut products)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (where to buy)
Ingredients for Filling
- 3 Tbsp raspberry jam — get link to recipe below
Ingredients for Decorative Writing
- 2 Tbsp raspberry jam — get recipe below
- 1/2 tsp gelatin (where to buy)
- Three 4 x 7 steel baking pans (where to buy) or use a 5 x 9 loaf pan
- Angled spatula (where to buy)
- Icing tip with tiny hole (where to buy)
- Small baggie
- In a food processor process the pecans until they are as smooth as a nut butter
- While they are processing line your baking pans with parchment paper and grease with coconut oil generously
- Add the cooked beets and process with the nut butter until they are pureed
- Don’t freak out — the batter will be pink!
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and add to the processor and mix
- On the stove melt the cocoa butter on a low heat or in a double boiler (don’t over heat or it will become bitter)
- Add the cocoa butter, honey and vanilla to the food processor and mix
- Add the cocoa powder and coconut flour, salt and baking soda and mix
- Taste the better to make sure it is sweet enough — add more honey or stevia if you need more sweetness — there is nothing worse than a special dessert that is just not sweet enough
- The batter should be firm — if it is not firm, add additional coconut flour 1 teaspoon at a time
- Pour the batter evenly into the three baking pans
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Let cool for a few minutes then release the cake from the pan and cool on a rack — use a flat edged spatula to release the cake from the pan
- When it is cool, use a large knife and slice the cake open horizontally and keep open
- Apply the 3 tablespoons of raspberry jam to the bottom layer and carefully place the top layer over it — some jam may leak out the side
- Make the buttercream frosting and apply to the cake with an angled spatula to cover the entire cake. These cakes are small so you should have enough for two. If you are making only one, you can freeze the buttercream frosting.
Decorative Message on Cake
- To apply the decorative message on the cake, take 2 tablespoons of the raspberry jam and add 1/2 tsp gelatin by shaking small amounts over the jam and mixing it in.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes or so
- Using the decorator tip inserted into a baggie, add the jam and squeeze until it gets into the tip
- Carefully write our your message on the cake
- Refrigerate the cake until you need it