Spiced Dark Chocolate Cake :: Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo

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Before going gluten-free four years ago, I was not a cake fan. They were generally too dry for my liking and tasted more like sugar than anything else. Not very exciting.

But cutting the gluten out changed my cake-liking status. Suddenly cakes became a wonderful and delicious thing to me. Especially chocolate cakes.

Especially dark chocolate cakes….

Spiced Dark Chocolate Cake :: Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo Follow Me on Pinterest

Then I discovered the slightly exotic charm of spiced chocolate cakes. Who knew chili powder or cinnamon could add such wonderful depth to a cake?

While my Mexican Chocolate Cake has more of a ‘hot’ness to is, this Spiced Dark Chocolate Cake is more subtle in its flavor. More “classy,” as my husband says. 😉

If you enjoy the extra heat, then feel free to add a pinch of chili powder to spice it up more!

Spiced Dark Chocolate Cake :: Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo Follow Me on Pinterest

This recipe yields one 8-inch cake. You can double the recipe and make two, then stack (as pictured), or just leave it a single layer.

Delicious Obsessions Trusted Product Recommendations

I am always asked about my favorite brands, so I want to share with you the places I get my ingredients. These are trusted affiliate partners of mine and I am proud to support these brands.

Vitacost, has really good prices on some of the ingredients in this recipe. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get a coupon for $10 off your first purchase from Vitacost, and when your order ships, I’ll get a $10 off coupon for referring you. The cool thing about this program is that you can then refer your family and friends through your own link and YOU can get the $10 coupons too! 🙂

Thrive Market is another exceptional online grocery store. They are like Costco and Whole Foods combined in an online format. They have great pricing on all sorts of natural and organic foods. If you sign up through this link, you will get 15% OFF your first order and I will get a coupon for referring you.

In addition, my affiliate partner, Tropical Traditions, is where I get all of my coconut products from and if you make a purchase from them through any of my links, you will receive a free copy of their Virgin Coconut Oil book, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

Amazon, of course, has everything you need for this recipe. Their prices are often very good, though I love to shop around and sometimes find that Vitacost and Thrive Market have better deals. If you like saving money, it’s good to shop around! 🙂

Mountain Rose Herbs is where I get all of my herbs and spices. Because of their exceptional products and customer service, I am happy to support them as one of my affiliate partners. I have tried many brands of herbs over the years and keep coming back to Mountain Rose.

I get all of my vanilla beans and other vanilla goodies from Beanilla. I’ve tried a ton of brands of vanilla and vanilla beans and Beanilla is by far the best quality I’ve found! Make sure you check out their Bean Bucks Rewards program so you can save on future orders.

Spiced Dark Chocolate Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I have linked to the products from my affiliate partners that I personally use and recommend. All funds earned go to help support the maintenance of this site and free content. Thank you! :)
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. CAKE
  2. Preheat oven to 300 and grease an 8-inch cake pan.
  3. Place all ingredients EXCEPT apple cider vinegar in blender and puree. Let stand for about 5 minutes so the coconut flour can soak up some of the liquid.
  4. Add in apple cider vinegar and pulse to combine.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean and top springs back lightly when touched.
  6. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  7. Frost once cooled.
  8. FROSTING
  9. Soften the coconut oil over low heat.
  10. Remove from heat and stir in honey, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla.
  11. Let stand for a few minutes to thicken.
  12. Frost cake.
Notes
Store leftovers in covered container on counter top. If your're not planning on eating it within a few days, refrigerate (though it will dry out a little).

Spiced Dark Chocolate Cake :: Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo Follow Me on Pinterest

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About Raia Todd

Raia is a homeschooling, stay-at-home-mom of five crazy kids. After the birth of her third child in 2010, she was diagnosed with “trauma induced gluten intolerance”. This discovery turned her whole-wheat-bread, pasta-filled life was turned upside down and set her on a mission to find out what healthy really meant for her family. Aspiring to encourage other moms wandering the allergen-infested isles of grocery stores, she started her blog, Raia’s Recipes, to share her love of simple, allergy-friendly baking (and chocolate). Her easy, healthy recipes prove that eating allergy-free doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive! When she’s not whipping up something new in the kitchen, Raia enjoys trying to keep the plants in her backyard garden alive, hanging out with her church family, eating (allergy-friendly) pizza, and dreaming about all the things she would do if she had an acre of land to homestead.

Discussion

59 comments

  1. Do you know if I can substitute eggs in this recipe? I have an allergy. Thanks!

    reply 

    Tracy D
    Posted 12/09/14

  2. Mmmmmm…this cake was rich, fudgy, & delicious! I made a single batch in a 8″ cake pan with the addition of a teaspoon coffee extract and a couple dashes of chili powder (as recommended). A tip for readers: the batter will be more fudge-like, so spread it to all edges of the pan and smooth the top with a spatula (especially if not frosting all sides of cake). Also, the cake will not rise, so the height you see is the height you get. The 30 minute bake time (I used convection) was perfect. I ran out of honey, so I made the icing with melted coconut oil, dark chocolate chips, and vanilla, melted together in a double boiler. Thanks for a great recipe, Raia!

    reply 

    Janet
    Posted 12/10/14

    • Oh awesome, Janet! Thanks for coming back and sharing! We are really happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 12/11/14

    • Thanks so much for the tips, Janet! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cake!

      reply 

      Raia
      Posted 12/11/14

  3. Wanted to sign up for emails n couldn’t find a way but trying this tjanks

    reply 

    P
    Posted 12/10/14

  4. This cake has me mesmerized. Deep chocolate cake is the cake of my youth, and this recipe is speaking to me quite loudly. I will have to make very soon.

    reply 

    Kay @TheGOMamas
    Posted 12/11/14

  5. How do I soften my coconut oil without melting it. It always stays hard in my kitchen in the winter. Thank you.

    reply 

    Jean S
    Posted 12/11/14

    • Jean – You can try running it under some hot water or placing it in a bowl of hot water. The outside layer will melt, but the inside should stay soft.

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 12/11/14

  6. This looks so nommmieee!!! Any subs for the ACV and Applesauce….Have an allergic daughter *sighhhh*

    reply 

    Maryam
    Posted 12/12/14

    • Hi Maryam – I am not sure about subs for those in this recipe. I’ll see if Raia can pop over and offer some suggestions! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 12/12/14

  7. oh.my.god. this is one good cake. deserves five stars hands down for both tastiness and easiness! i mostly followed the recipe – i didn’t have dark chocolate powder (so i just used regular hersheys cocoa powder), substituted pear for the applesauce (just peeled a pear and stuck it in the microwave for a minute, it came out soft and juicy like applesauce), substituted molasses for half of the honey (in both the cake and the frosting), added about 2T coffee (because i felt like the batter was just too thick), and about 1/2 tsp cayenne (could taste it in the batter, but will add more next time, didn’t taste the cayenne in the cooked cake). will not make it in the blender again, it was just too thick. i think a hand-mixer would’ve been better. next time will half the frosting recipe – i didn’t use but half of what i made. it’s good, though, tastes like fudge after it gets hard in the fridge! my kids loved it as much as we did.

    reply 

    analee
    Posted 12/14/14

    • Awesome Analee! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We are so glad you enjoyed and thanks for the tips on the modifications you made! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 12/14/14

  8. Hello, do you think I could use olive oil instead of coconut oil in this recipe?

    reply 

    vanessa
    Posted 12/20/14

    • Hi Vanessa – You could, but I would be concerned with the olive flavor. If you do, I would use an extra light olive oil that has little olive flavor. Or, you could try using avocado oil or another oil of your choice.

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 12/21/14

  9. i tried to make this today to bring to a party and it did not turn out. It was very dry and tasted floury. I will try agin next time. Not sure what happened

    reply 

    Christine
    Posted 12/22/14

    • Hmmm. Interesting — I am not sure what happened either. If you give it another go, let us know how it turned out!

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 12/25/14

  10. Do you know how many carbs are in a serving?

    reply 

    sara
    Posted 12/23/14

  11. i’m on a non gluten and non sugar diet for the past 6 months. I was craving for a chocolate cake for a long time, I tried many but no cake tasted like chocolate. Now I found the ultimate chocolate cake. WOW this cake is awesome.

    reply 

    Tami
    Posted 12/30/14

    • Awesome Tami! So glad you enjoyed it! I bet it tasted even better since you had been of gluten and sugar for so long! Have a great holiday! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 12/31/14

  12. TOO MAKE IT MORE MOIST>>>

    I changed the recipe slightly and reduced to 1/3 c coconut flour and added 1/4 c coconut milk. The cake is this way is very moist, even the next day IF it lasts that long. The first time I made it my family stood over the pan with forks and ate most of it!!

    reply 

    Lori
    Posted 01/01/15

  13. I made this yesterday, exactly as written (I hope!) and it turned out a bit too thick and dry for me, but still a potential recipe to try again. I even mixed in the blender as stated and had a really rough time because it was such a thick, stickier batter, but I wanted to follow the directions all the way. I think this has a lot of possibility and I’d like to try again, but I’ll try in my mixer and perhaps add a little more liquid, maybe even oil. One thing I’d note for those getting ready to make it, make sure you smooth out the batter as much as you can in the pan because it pretty much didn’t budge from how I put it in there while baking. Wouldn’t be a problem with a good amount of icing to cover the “waves” but just keep that in mind. Also, the spices were perfect– light but noticed. I think they were a great addition! Thanks for the recipe–I’m always game for gluten free chocolate anything!

    reply 

    Laurel
    Posted 01/01/15

    • Thank you for taking the time to share your tips! The coconut flour can be kind of tricky and I have found that different brands behave differently in recipes. My guess is that the coconut flour was what made the difference between when Raia made it and when you made it. If you try it again, maybe use a tad less coconut flour and see how the batter looks. Hope that helps! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 01/02/15

  14. All I can say about this cake is wow! I was not expecting it to be this good! It didn’t have that granny coconut flour taste that some food has when you cook with coconut flour. My husband and 2 kids loved it,( their 2&4) it made the perfect amount of cake too! Just what I was looking for, THANK YOU!

    reply 

    Sammy
    Posted 01/17/15

  15. can I add baking soda? Baking soda and ACV will react together and maybe get more of a rise?

    reply 

    Amy
    Posted 01/28/15

  16. Looks delicious. Will have to try that. Thanks for sharing the recipe! 🙂

    reply 

    Ursula Markgraf
    Posted 02/07/15

  17. Chocolate is my favorite ingredient in the world and this recipe looks very yummy. Need this cake in my life asap 🙂

    reply 

    Miriam
    Posted 03/27/15

  18. i also ended up with a dry cake.Next time I will loosen it up with coconut milk.

    reply 

    Jeannie
    Posted 06/01/15

    • Sorry it was a bit too dry! It must be the difference in the ingredients, specifically the coconut flour, because we haven’t had that issue. I have found over the years that each brand of coconut flour will act slightly different than another. Some are much dryer than others, so it sounds like that may be what happened and it has soaked up too much moisture. You might try cutting the coconut flour down to 1/3 cup or even 1/4 cup. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 06/04/15

  19. Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    reply 

    Ellie
    Posted 06/11/15

  20. Loved the cake even though I over cooked it. This was a test run for a visit of my bestie in 2 weeks time. Next time will add a little more spice & not make in the blender as was over thick [the fun of cooking with coconut flour]. Just love the idea of adding chilli. I make a cloth boiled chocolate chilli christmas pudding. Just love chilli & chocolate!

    reply 

    Kerry
    Posted 07/01/15

  21. I needed to make a bunch of changes. I am sorry I put the stuff in the blender as I was unable to blend it ( using a vitamix) I had to add about 1/2c. water. It’s baking now so we will see. I am very familiar with coconut flour so it isn’t about that. I doubled the amount of spices. and cooked it a lesser amount of time as well.

    reply 

    charity dasenbrock
    Posted 07/01/15

    • Interesting! We’ve never had those issues, but thanks for taking the time to stop by and share! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 07/02/15

  22. What brand of coconut flower did you use? I want to make it for my son’s birthday cake tomorrow and I don’t want to run into the problem of it coming out dry. Thanks!

    reply 

    Teigan
    Posted 07/14/15

    • Hi Teigan – I use Tropical Traditions brand. I am not sure what Raia used for this recipe specifically. I will have to see if I can find out and report back! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 07/16/15

  23. I am planning to make this cake for a friend’s birthday this weekend, however, she is on a whole30 plan at the moment and cannot have any forms of sugar, including honey. Do you think a puree of mejool dates would work as a substitute for the honey?

    reply 

    Donna
    Posted 07/16/15

    • Hi Donna – Yes, I think that would work. You need to add some water into the date puree and get it to the consistency of honey. If the mixture seems to dry, just add a tiny bit more liquid. Enjoy! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 07/23/15

  24. Do you know if I could substitute xylitol or stevia for the honey? I have someone coming for dinner tomorrow night and was planning on making this today, but he just informed me that he doesn’t eat honey. :/

    reply 

    Alisha
    Posted 01/22/16

    • Hi Alisha! I’ve never made it with anything other than the honey, but you probably could switch it out and just add a tad more liquid to make up for the lost moisture the honey gives. If you try it, let us know how it comes out! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 01/22/16

  25. This cake looks absolutely amazing by the way!!

    reply 

    Alisha
    Posted 01/22/16

  26. Would you make any changes for a higher altitude? I’m going to give this recipe a try tonight 🙂 Thanks!

    reply 

    kelsey
    Posted 02/09/16

  27. Thanks for all the great tips, commenters. Am going to try it with a mix of honey, molasses and date purée as I don’t have enough honey or any applesauce.
    The cake looks wonderful, Janet. Am sure my friend is going to love it – as all she asked for was “chocolate and a bit healthy!” ?

    reply 

    Tess
    Posted 02/17/16

    • Hi Tess! Hope you enjoy! Let us know how it turns out with the modifications! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 02/17/16

      • Ooops! I of course meant “thanks JESSICA!”
        The cake was such a huge hit! I was worried it turned out too dry, but it was actually perfect.
        The modifications worked perfectly, and I doubled the recipe for a gorgeous two-layer cake. Next time (and oh there will be a next time!) I think I will amp up the spice aspect. Thanks again for sharing this gorgeous recipe!
        Ps a tip for folks who found the batter though to work with, I usually mix all the other ingredients in first, then add the coconut flour at the end. Then let it sit a bit in the baking tins for a few minutes before popping in the oven. I don’t know why, but that’s always worked for me. Two thumbs up for this recipe!

        reply 

        Tess
        Posted 02/18/16

        • Awesome! So glad it turned out well! Thank you for taking the time to come back and share! 🙂

          reply 

          Jessica Espinoza
          Posted 02/21/16

  28. In order to make it a regular dark chocolate cake. I just don’t add acv, ginger, or cinnamon??

    reply 

    ella
    Posted 03/17/16

    • Hi Ella – You could leave the ginger and cinnamon out, but we don’t recommend the ACV, as that helps with the activation of the baking soda to help it rise properly. Enjoy! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 03/18/16

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