Given how much of a chocoholic I am and the challenging, yet far from impossible nature of making a devil’s food cake that is actually healthy, a recipe was not a maybe, it had to be a must! I made my own version using raw almond butter and almond flour and when raw batter hit my tongue on my first recipe test, I was blown away by how delicious it was. I used soy mocha (either store-bought or homemade is great!) and I love this version, but you can use coffee or nondairy milk instead. I also used extra dark cocoa powder, which makes the cake itself almost black. I love it!
A little culinary clarification and food history regarding devil’s food cake is here for you too. Classically, Devil’s food cake is a moist, airy, rich chocolate layer cake and is considered a counterpart to white or yellow angel food cake. Obviously, standard Devil’s food cakes contains butter, eggs, flour and sugar, all of which are ingredients to be avoided for ideal health! You will find healthy vegan substitutions in my version, which certainly isn’t lacking in decadent chocolaty flavor! Typically devil’s food cake is richer, denser and has more chocolate than regular chocolate cake and coffee is frequently added to devil’s food cake too. Historically, Devil’s food cake is prepared as a layer cake and so is mine! This may make Devil’s cake seem intimidating to prepare for a baking novice, but I assure you, it’s quite easy!
Some say that brownies play an imperative role in the net happiness of the world. If this is true, then chocolaty cakes like this one should have at least double the happiness enhancing effects of brownies. After all, this cake is beautifully layered and as delicious as the most delicious of chocolaty brownies. In addition, the mocha icing is to die for but don’t really die because you need to live for countless reasons, one of those reasons being to eat more healthy cakes and brownies. In my next book, I will have over 115 healthy dessert recipes and each recipe come with a poem. This is what happens when my love of writing and baking collide.
Self-care is never selfish.
Your body is your home forever.
Never once to be anyone else’s,
in each and every personal endeavor.
Taking care of all aspects of you,
is a gift you give to others too.
All while being the most logical action,
to be taken constantly for maximum
individual moment to moment satisfaction.
An abundance of health in yourself,
means that you can spread more around.
Take care of your happiness first
and watch how the joy will compound.
20 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water overnight to soften
½ cup soy mocha, coffee or nondairy milk of choice (can use chocolate milk! I like nondairy mocha from the coffee shop the best for this recipe)
1 ½ teaspoon ground coffee of choice (optional but highly recommended, I used dark French roast)
1 ½ tablespoon almond extract (optional)
1 teaspoon ground vanilla or vanilla extract
¼ cup raw almond butter
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
½ cup apple sauce
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ cup almond flour
1 cup oat flour
1 tablespoon coconut oil or cacao butter (optional)
8 medjool dates, pitted and softened
½ cup cocoa powder
⅓ cup vegan dark chocolate chips, melted
2 teaspoons ground vanilla or vanilla extract
3 cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight and drained of liquid
Prepare the cake first! Two batches will be needed for a large layer cake, one batch for a smaller cake. I used an 8 inch in diameter round Springform pan with removable bottom and made two batches, one after the other. Place the softened dates in a food processor along with the mocha, ground coffee, almond extract, vanilla, almond butter, ground flaxseeds, applesauce and baking powder. Process until thoroughly mixed. Add cocoa powder and process for another minute or so before adding the almond flour. Process almond flour in and lastly the oat flour before pouring the cake batter into a large mixing bowl. Using your clean hands, rub a bit of coconut oil or cacao butter over the batter as this makes it smoother and easier to work with. You can skip this step if you would like to keep the recipe oil-free. Pour the batter into your pan, smoothing the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until you can stick a fork or toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
To prepare the icing, add softened dates, cocoa powder, melted dark chocolate chips (you can melt them by placing them in the microwave for a minute) and ground vanilla in a cleaned food processor and processing thoroughly. Pour this mixture out of the food processor and into a large bowl. Once this is done, use only the thick coconut cream from the cans and pour this into another large mixing bowl. You will use them to prepare coconut whipped cream!
Open the cans of refrigerated coconut milk and scoop out the hardened coconut mass, leaving the liquid behind. The coconut water that remains can be used in any recipe that calls for nondairy milk, so you don’t have to throw it away! Using an electric or manual mixer, start whisking the coconut mass. I used an electric mixer and it is much faster and easier this way. Using an electric mixer, it should not take more than a minute. If using a manual mixer, it will take a bit longer, but can be done. Once a nice cream is created, whisk in the chocolate mixture slowly. Again, using an electric mixer will be much easier for this job, but you can absolutely use a manual mixer. It was a fun process for me to see the chocolaty mixture stir into the coconut whipped cream, giving it a cool coffee hue and turn into beautiful chocolate icing.
Spread the chocolate icing in between your cake layers and over the cake! It might get a little bit messy, but it is fun! Garnish with your favorite toppings, such as flowers, cocoa powder and/or berries. The cake will last for up to a 1-2 weeks if stored in the fridge and 3-4 weeks if stored in the freezer. Enjoy!