Flourless/Grain-Free Chocolate Birthday Cake with (sugar-free!) Vanilla and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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I feel very strongly that you would be impressed by the amount of cake I can put away.

I guess it’s just one of those innate talents I was born with. Some people are naturally gifted mathematicians or artists, but I was graced with the singular ability to effortlessly inhale about half an entire cake in one sitting. I don’t bring it up much since I don’t want to intimidate people or anything.

Hahahaha!!!! No, that will not be nearly enough.

Hahahaha!!!! No, that will not be nearly enough.

There is but one day a year that my special skill can truly reveal itself, and that is of course every day MY BIRTHDAY HOORAY. Which was actually months ago now and is shamefully when I ORIGINALLY meant to post this, but let’s not kid ourselves: every day is a day that I could just take out the ingredients for this cake and make it because I have hands and a functioning oven. BOOM. No justification needed.

I mean ages before my birthday was even a consideration to normal people, I was planning this cake. I even made a beta version.

I knew it needed to be richer than God, and include various buttercream delights because I almost don’t consider frosting frosting without butter. But then also: not made of carby things. This is how I settled on a chocolate cake with caramel-hinted vanilla buttercream and also chocolate because obviously.

You will notice from the pictures that there appears to be only half a cake present. This is actually NOT because I had already annihilated that half before I managed to pick up the camera – it was because I couldn’t justify having an entire two-layer cake in the house when I knew I would be the one who would end up eating the entire thing myself. It’s better than the 10,000 ingredient white flour Frankencake I would have previously ordered from our local grocery store, but still.

Also, just kidding, I actually only made a half cake so I could justify baking a ton of other desserts that weekend and argue that I only had half a cake so this was fair. Future posts on those to come! WOO! So please, go make this low-carb, low-sugar, gluten-free (so basically, SUPER GREAT FOR YOU) birthday cake and enjoy! 1/4th the cake at a time.

Flourless/Grain-Free Chocolate Cake With (sugar-free!) Vanilla and Chocolate Buttercream

Recipe adapted from Maria Mind Body Health

Yields: two 9 ” cake layers (I halved the recipe and stacked one layer)

Ingredients: 
Cake:
1 1/4 cup sweetener (I used ZSweet)
1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (I omitted this because the shortening I used already had salt)
2-3 egg whites (or two whole eggs)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
drops liquid stevia to taste (I used this one)
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, softened (I used Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Frosting:
Recipe adapted from 
DaVinci Gourmet Coffee Syrups
1 1/2-2 cups powdered sweetener (I used Swerve Confectioners)
4 tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons choice of milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
2 tablespoons Da Vinci Gourmet syrup of choice (I used sugar-free caramel). But if you don’t want to use this, I would substitute with a tsp or two any flavor extract of your choice!
1 teaspoon vanilla

For chocolate buttercream: add 2-3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, add milk as until desired consistency is reached. I also added some DaVinci sugar free french vanilla. Feel free to substitute this with a tsp or so vanilla extract if you’d like.

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 9 inch cake pans. I also always cut out a circle of parchment paper and place it on the bottom of the pan for extra safety.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sweetener, almond flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, almond milk, butter or oil and vanilla.  Mix that for 2-3 minutes with an electric mixer. Pour evenly into the two prepared pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. PLEASE NOTE: almond flour is very delicate right out of the oven, so let it cool for at least 15 minutes before flipping the pants out.

For the frosting, use an electric mixer to combine all of the ingredients until smooth. Frost cake once it’s cooled! And be sure to sample a lot of everything.

More or less what happened.

More or less what happened.

Our cast of cake components. I recommend mixing them up and baking:

yassss

yassss

The batter will be thick, almost like a brownie batter. Just trust me on this – you’re doing it right.

PASS THE BUTTER

PASS THE BUTTER

And the frosting, which should be approximately 50% of your cake, ideally.

Mix everything up and then BOOM. Cake.

I opted for a more postmodern cake label.

I opted for a more postmodern cake label.

 

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You know what to do.

Nutritional Info:

Calculated with two full layers and both frostings OF COURSE. Please also keep in mind this was all calculated with the specific products and ingredients I used as listed above – of course things will vary depending on what you put into yours!

chocolate cake with frosting NutritionLabel

Vanilla Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding

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Do you see what has been artfully spread on a charming tablecloth in the picture above. 

THAT’S RIGHT.

CHIA SEEDS.

Sara always keeps her promises. (note: Sara is me.)

(addendum to note: this is still not actually the chia seed recipe my sister requested I’M SORRY I’M GONNA GET IT RIGHT EVENTUALLY)

Let me teach you the way of the chia seed. 

These are indeed the very same chia of the ch-ch-ch-chia pet fame. And they’re just fantastic. They’re these tiny (and tiny is a theme here) little powerhouses of nutrition and versatility, and I haven’t even come close to unlocking their full potential yet as an ingredient. In fact: preliminary research hasn’t not shown that eating chia seeds on a regular basis makes you better than everyone else.* 

On their own, chia seeds taste pretty neutral, so they can work in both savory and sweet applications. Throw ‘em on a salad, in a smoothie, your cereal, yogurt, even as an egg substitute for vegan-types!

Or you could make pudding with them.

It's a TABLEAU.

It’s a TABLEAU.

Among many other delightful qualities, chia seeds are loaded with fiber. And it’s thanks to this fiber that helps chia seeds absorb any liquid you mix it with and form a pudding-like gel. I learned this from the google and also real-life application, so I’m qualified to speak on this.

This pudding is yet another incredibly low maintenance recipe for all of those out there like myself who enjoy throwing things into a bowl and then walking away. This also isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, so that can also be adjusted according to preference. PLUS the options for different flavor combinations is endless! Throw in some chocolate, nut butters, pumpkin, coconut, whatever. Go wild. I won’t hold you back.

Because I am apparently only capable of making recipes containing cinnamon, vanilla, and almond in some capacity, I went ahead and made some vanilla cinnamon chia seed pudding with almond milk.

Vanilla Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding

Original recipe from an edible mosaic

Yields: four 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients: 

2 cups unsweetened almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
6 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 packets stevia/choice of sweetener to taste (I use SweetLeaf Stevia)
4-8 drops liquid vanilla stevia, or to taste (…also SweetLeaf no they aren’t paying me BUT THEY SHOULD)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
teeny pinch of salt

Directions:

The lineup.

The lineup.

Add all ingredients into a bowl, and stir to combine.

Action shot!!!!!

Action shot!!!!!

I know. It’s going to seem like the cinnamon will never want to mix in. But you just have to believe. 

~*~BELIEVE~*~

~*~JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF~*~

Good enough. Then, let the chia seeds work their mysterious and exotic magic and refrigerate until pudding thickens, at least 2 hours or overnight. Feel free to pop in and stir occasionally.

Then, place into fancy dishes (not optional) and be sure to sprinkle various ingredients all over your table so everyone knows that you are better than them for eating chia seeds.*

"I ate this, and I'm better than you" -you

“Statistics don’t not show that I am better than you for eating this ” -you

And enjoy!
*Source: Authority for the Creation of Deceptively Phrased Facts About Chia Seeds

Nutritional Info:

Calculated with stevia. Dat FIBER.
ChiaSeedPudding NutritionLabel

Take 1: Flourless Cinnamon Almond Butter Cookies

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I had one job. And that was to post a recipe containing chia seeds.

This recipe does not contain any chia seeds at all. And for that I would like to apologize to my sister, whose sole request was that I post a recipe with chia seeds in it. ONE JOB.

So THIS (the sentence you are reading RIGHT NOW) is my promise to post many chia seeded delights in the future. You heard it here first!!

At least I can say that this recipe was truly inspired. Inspired by me finding myself with three jars of almond butter. Two of them are Costco sized. Yes. You get it.

So what we got here is a crispy-soft, almond buttery, cinnamon-laced tea cookie with hints of vanilla. And in case that sounded too enticing, they are also very ugly. Just, kinda…homely lookin’ for a cookie. :| But let’s not focus on what they aren’t. These cookies are:

  • grain-free/flourless
  • gluten-free
  • low sugar/carb
  • full of fiber and healthy fats (do I sound like Women’s Health right now???)
  • very super easy and quick to make

So let’s go places:

Flourless Cinnamon Almond Butter Cookies

Recipe adapted from Pies and Plots
Yields: ~14 cookies

Ingredients: 

1 cup/8 oz. jar almond butter (I actually used slightly less since I had already eaten some uhhh)
2/3 cup sweetener  (I used ZSweet)
1 packet stevia (optional)
1 egg white
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Walden Farms chocolate dip for topping (very optional. and don’t try and be clever and stir some into the batter like I did IT DOESN’T BAKE WELL)

Directions:

Our cast of characters.

Our cast of characters.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or nonstick spray.

Stir together all ingredients until fully combined.

Using a tablespoon, scoop batter onto prepared baking sheet. These are pretty soft due to the almond butter, so they begin to spread right away. The sooner into the oven the better!

Please note: these are not hamburger sliders they are a dessert and I'm sorry.

Please note: these are not hamburger sliders they are cookies and I’m sorry.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes until cookies have spread and set on the tops. Cookies will still be very soft and molten in the centers, but they harden  as they cool, so do not overbake. Like I did.

These cookies: apparently fresh off the grill.

These cookies: apparently fresh off the grill.

Hilarious. Also make sure you use a big enough cookie sheet. LEARN FROM MEEEEEE

I kept these in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week, and they stayed fancy fresh. I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze them as well.

Nutritional Info:

Calculated with ZSweet and stevia. Also reflects slightly less than 1 cup almond butter.
Almond Cookie NutritionLabel

I'm sorry these are not charmingly wrapped up in twine and brown paper with sprigs of pine nearby.

I’m sorry these are not charmingly wrapped up in twine and brown paper with sprigs of pine nearby.

Aeriel shot!!!Aerial shot!!!

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