Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Strawberry Chocolate Layer Cake (GAPS-legal : gluten-free : grain-free : primal : paleo)


My daughter recently celebrated her 5th birthday, and she requested strawberry chocolate cake.  I was happy to oblige her! This strawberry chocolate cake is moist and delicious. The strawberries meld into the cake, so the texture is still nice and soft.  This cake recipe is sweet, but not overly sweet, and it goes great with some homemade ice cream.

Strawberry Chocolate Layer Cake
Makes a 2-layer cake
  1. Liberally grease the sides of two 9-inch cake pans with butter or coconut oil.  Dust the sides with a little coconut flour.  Then line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.  This will keep the cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Turn off heat and add the honey to the pan.  No stirring is necessary at this point. Let this cool a bit.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, and baking soda in a large bowl. If using an immersion blender, pulse a few times to combine.  Otherwise, mix with whisk or mixer.
  4. Pour the honey/butter into the wet ingredients and blend well with an immersion blender or mixer. 
  5. Measure out the coconut flour and cocoa powder. If you are not using an immersion blender, sift both the coconut flour and cocoa powder and whisk them together.
  6. Pour the coconut flour and cocoa powder into the wet ingredients.  Using an immersion blender or mixer, mix well to combine and make sure there are no lumps.  Since coconut flour does not contain gluten, there is no worry of over-mixing it.
  7. Fold in the sliced strawberries.
  8. Pour the batter into the two prepared cake pans. 
  9. Bake the cake in a 325 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes.  They will be done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  My cake pans are dark colored, so it may take longer if yours are light colored.  It will also take less time if you use fresh strawberries instead of frozen.
  10. Let cool for awhile (but not until completely cool) and then carefully remove the cakes from the pans.  I use a small plastic spatula to go around the perimeter of the cake to loosen it from the pan.  Then place a large plate over the cake pan and quickly invert.  You may need to tap the bottom of the cake pans a bit to release the cakes.
  11. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
*According to Natasha Campbell McBride's FAQs, cocoa is allowed occasionally while on the Full GAPS diet once digestive symptoms have subsided.
**Baking soda is listed as GAPS-legal in the 10th edition of the GAPS book.
***Do NOT thaw the strawberries all the way!  If you choose to use fresh strawberries instead of frozen, they will probably not meld into the cake, but will be a bit more chunky.
****Using an immersion blender will allow you to skip the step of sifting the coconut flour and cocoa powder, and also makes less dirty dishes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting*
  1. Beat the butter for several minutes using a mixer, until it is nice and fluffy.
  2. Add the honey, vanilla, and salt and beat for several more minutes.  About halfway through, the frosting may look a bit curdled, but keep mixing and it will smooth out.
  3. Using a spatula or butter knife, spread the frosting over the cake.
  4. Beware that this frosting will melt easily, so store the cake in the fridge if it is hot in your house!
*Thanks to the reader who commented on my previous frosting recipe that it worked great without the eggs and hot honey.  This recipe is so much more simple!

This post is part of Fat Tuesday, Monday Mania and Fight Back Friday!

26 comments :

Mary Voogt said...

That sounds delicious!! Happy Birthday to your little one. We've got a 4th birthday coming up. I'm trying to plan her cake right now :)

Megan said...

Woohoo! I've been thinking I want to try a gaps-legal or gluten-free cake for my little one's 3rd birthday. Some of her friends are GF too :D

Taisa said...

Oh my! I know a little boy that has been planning his cake for months- this looks like just the right one! Thanks so much!

Christine said...

Does anyone know if this is possible to make with an egg substitute like chia seeds/water or flax/water? I have a little one who's allergic to eggs.

mygapsmusings said...

This looks amazing! I have to provide a snack for my son's class next week and I might just have found it!! Thanks for another awesome recipe Sarah...

Vicky said...

This looks perfect in every way!

Kristina Torrejon said...

This looks so yummy! My birthday is tomorrow...I think I might need to make it :)

Caroline Woodward said...

Hi,
I was wondering if you could elaborate on the alkaline free cocoa. My husband and I just started GAPS and he's a chocoholic but I read on the list that chocolate isn't allowed, it has a 'see FAQ' regarding cocoa powder but I haven't been able to find the related info on the site.

Is alkaline free cocoa powder permitted in GAPS? Just wanted to be sure. I saw this post had a GAPS-legal label but I was just a bit paranoid. Yet hopeful because my husband is a total chocoholic :)

Thanks in advance!

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Caroline,
Here is what the GAPS FAQ says about cocoa:
"Cocoa is SCD illegal. However, I find that many people can start having it occasionally on the Full GAPS Diet, once the digestive symptoms are gone. Find pure organic cocoa powder. Mixing the powder with some honey and sour cream makes a delicious dessert, and you can add it to your homemade ice cream or cakes. After trying it for the first time, observe your patient for any reactions. Cocoa is very rich in magnesium and some essential amino acids and, unless your digestive system is not ready for it, there is no need to avoid it."

I hope this helps!!

Sarah Smith said...

Oh, in case you are curious, we didn't eat any cocoa for the first few months of GAPS, but then we started having it occasionally and have had no problems with it.

Laurie S said...

Thanks for this wonderful recipe! I made this yesterday, and it was a success! Even our non-gap cousins (ages 4 and 2) asked for seconds. I topped the frosted cake with some fresh sliced strawberries, and baked it for a total of 60 minutes at 325. I don't know if it's our altitude here in Utah, but with coconut flour goods, I always have to bake them longer, and no hotter than 350 to avoid over-browning.

Sarah Smith said...

Great Laurie! We had similar results, with my non-GAPS in-laws deciding to make it for their own birthdays too!

Ally said...

Absolutely genius! You have a true gift in the kitchen. This is my 3rd time making this cake and every time it comes out perfect!
Thank you, thank you...

Sarah Smith said...

Oh Ally, I'm so glad it works for you!!

marlene said...

Im new to the GAPS world and have a few questions. My interest is from the medical side of things. I have worked as a pediatric registered nurse for 17 years and now I have my son that is 15 months old. We eat very healthy whole food based diet and we alkalize daily. My question is with the GAP theory should you live that diet for life or is it more for if you have symptoms. Also if I give probiotics to my son what strains should I look for .What I have now has bacillus coagulens 600 million cfu's. Im not sure what to look for as Im new to those as well. Great recipe cant wait to try it!

Sarah Smith said...

GAPS is designed as a TEMPORARY diet. Average time is 1-3 years, depending on severity of symptoms (things like autism take longer to heal, and in my family's experience it also takes longer to heal for grown-ups than kids). For probiotics, it is best to have lots of different strains. For instance, Bio-Kult (which was designed by the Dr who developed GAPS) contains 8 different probiotic strains.

Grace DiSilvestro said...

Ahhh! This looks amazing I have to try it!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried making cupcakes with this recipe? Just wondering how they came out and what the timing was. Thanks!

Sarah Smith said...

They should be fine for cupcakes, but will probably make a strange number rather than an even amount. I'm guessing probably 18 cupcakes or so...

Anonymous said...

I tried making this beautiful looking cake & it appears to have separated! Egg on the the bottom & the coconut flour & strawberries on top. What did I do wrong????

Sarah Smith said...

How strange! I've baked TONS with this recipe and similar ones, and never had it separate. Was your oven temp very low so that it took a very long time to bake? Or was it possibly not mixed well? Hmmm, I'm trying to think of anything else, but coming up blank...

Anonymous said...

Very yummy cake!
Everyone in the family loved it:)
Thanks for all of the fun GAPS recipes.......

Anonymous said...

Would a vanilla version just be minus the cocoa powder?
Mary

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Mary,
You couldn't just omit the cocoa, as the recipe would be too wet. You could try substituting more coconut flour for the cocoa. You also may be interested in this recipe for yellow cupcakes:
http://nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.com/2011/11/yellow-cupcakes-with-vanilla-or.html

Joz said...

Is this recipe suitable for my 1 year old twins' birthday? Just checking because of the honey, they haven't had honey yet. But being 1 yr old now, that should be okay shouldn't it? Thank you :)

Sarah Smith said...

Once they were over 1-year-old, I started feeding both of my kids honey.