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Best-ever chocolate cake

July 2, 2010

Hi everyone!  Welcome to my new URL, almostveganblog.com.  I’m excited about the change!  Please be patient with me as I tweak the design and update all the links here; it’s likely to take me a good week or two.  In the meantime, please update your bookmarks or blogrolls to this new address.  Now, on with the show!

I wouldn’t call this “best-ever chocolate cake” if I didn’t sincerely mean it.  I originally made this for my friend Lindsey’s birthday at the end of April, and I made it again in June.  It is dangerously delicious, scandalously sensational, arrestingly amazing, and any number of other alliterative adverb-adjective pairs.  It’s based on the chocolate cake and frosting recipes in Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, and though you should not be duped into thinking this is AT ALL low-cal or low-fat, it is made with whole grains, natural sugars, and healthy fats.  And, of course, it’s vegan, but no one you feed it to would ever guess.  Even if they did, they’d be too busy asking for a second piece to say anything.

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups soy or almond milk
3/4 cup canola or safflower oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup chocolate chips

For the frosting:
7 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup raw sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup soy or coconut milk creamer
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, applesauce, and vanilla until smooth.

In a double boiler or in the microwave at 50% power, melt the chocolate, stirring just until smooth. Add the oil mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Add the melted chocolate…

…and fold in until just combined. Add the vinegar and chocolate chips…

…and, again, fold until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake springs back lightly in the center when touched and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat.

Add the sugar and cocoa powder…

…and whisk until smooth. Slowly stir in the creamer.

Heat, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture is smooth and hot, but not boiling. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and salt, and set aside to cool at room temperature until thickened.

Although I usually take “cool completely” pretty liberally (i.e. “let it cool off just long enough so it doesn’t burn my fingers or mouth to try a bite”), it’s particularly important with this cake that you truly do let it come to room temperature before frosting it. Coconut oil begins to melt at just 75 degrees, so if you put this frosting on a warm cake, it will almost instantly turn into chocolate juice…which doesn’t sound too bad, if you ask me, but it doesn’t make for a very presentable finished product.

Try and keep your hands off it long enough for the frosting to set up a little…

…but it’ll never set up completely, preferring to remain an ooey, gooey, melty blanket atop the cake.

In a word, this cake is unreal. It’s impossibly moist, punctuated by rich pockets of melted chocolate chips, and is deeply, darkly chocolatey, owing to the triple-dose of cocoa (in bar, chip, and powder form) it contains. And that frosting! I’m telling you, I want to take a bath in it. I’ve already had multiple people request that this be their birthday cake this year, and I will be more than happy to oblige. As far as I’m concerned, this is the last word in chocolate-chocolate cake.

I hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend! Got any fun plans (besides making this cake!)?

Yield: 20 servings.
Per serving: 346 calories, 19.3g fat (8g sat), 45g carbs, 4g fiber, 3.2g protein.

PS—Don’t forget to enter my YOUBAR giveaway before next Tuesday!

If you like this, you might also like…
Crème-filled German chocolate upside-down cake
Deep chocolate bundt cake
Peanut butter bliss cake

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31 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2010 6:01 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing! I’m sad I didn’t try it at Lindsey’s party (I’m still a little gun-shy after the sugar-free egg nog fiasco–haha). Now that I know these ingredients are safe, I will definitely be giving it a try! Will there be any on the party bus, or is it too much to ask that you make a cake for your own party? (if so, I’m more than willing to make your cake from your recipe and bring it along)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 3, 2010 1:24 pm

      I wish you’d have tried it too! But you definitely need to make it yourself. It’d be too messy to eat ON the party bus, but perhaps as a pre-bus treat? I actually was planning on making a cake or something, but just asking Tyler what he’d like and making that. But a) I haven’t discussed that with him yet, and b) when it comes to desserts, the more the merrier, right?! By the way, will you be coming by the 4th of July hot tub party tomorrow night? Hope so!

      • July 3, 2010 1:33 pm

        Sadly (well, not for my bank account) I work tomorrow night. I was hoping to find something to do tonight, since it’s my one night off this weekend!

  2. July 2, 2010 7:43 pm

    Trust you to make me forget me disinterested-cake stance and convince me, with merely the power of your words (and photos), that I shouldn’t be so cake-judgemental! 😛 My weekend? Well, on the 4th of July I’m going out to a restaurant at a vineyard, but that’s for my grandma’s 81st… ’cause, you know, in Australia we don’t tend to celebrate America’s independence 😀

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 3, 2010 1:29 pm

      I understand your sentiment of being generally underwhelmed by cakes, but this one is a winner for sure!
      Haha, I ALSO understand your neglecting to celebrate the national holiday of a foreign country. It’s too bad you’re not here, though—you’d have fun in the 85F degree heat, lounging in a hot tub with me, my friends, and a hollowed out watermelon filled with vodka! 😛

      • July 3, 2010 7:10 pm

        Raincheck? That sounds so good right now – I’m currently wearing two pairs of socks and am resting my feet on a hot water bottle. Darn winter. I wonder if I could get my grandma to go halvsies on a vodka watermelon? 😛

  3. July 2, 2010 7:48 pm

    Oh wow, that looks divine. I have a long weekend and was just thinking, “I’d love to make a fabulous chocolate cake!” I don’t have 4 of your ingredients though :/ It sounds and looks amazing though! And love the new site :>

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 3, 2010 1:30 pm

      Which 4 don’t you have? If you tell me, I bet I could suggest substitutes! You should really bake this cake! :]

      By the way, you had the right idea moving to WordPress when you did. I wish I’d taken your lead and moved back then!

  4. July 3, 2010 2:41 am

    Congrats for moving to your own domain 🙂 It has been certainly a good move: it will avoid you changing a thousand times you URL in case you change of blogging platform. Although, Google rates higher websites with their own domain 😀

    This cake looks awesome. I almost didn’t care when I saw the calorie count per serving 😛 But being a chocolate lover, having a cake like this near would be a danger for me: I’d finish half of it by myself, he he.

    Hmmm….I have never tried using coconut oil for the frosting. Have you tried putting it in the fridge? Coconut oil is solid when cold, so it should hold better.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 3, 2010 1:33 pm

      Thank you! I’m happy with the move too, I just have a lot of work ahead of me editing past entries to change link URLs.

      I really almost never bake stuff this high-cal and -fat, but trust me, this one is worth the indulgence! Though I’ll admit it’s a dangerous thing to be alone in the kitchen with :]

      I wouldn’t put this frosting in the fridge, cuz it’d solidify TOO much. It might take on more of a ganache-like texture, which is fine, but this cake really deserves the oozy awesomeness of the frosting.

  5. Jessica R permalink
    July 3, 2010 1:05 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog (at airport) and I LOVE it! I’m a former vegan and would really like to get back on the wagon. I’m moving soon to a new apt and I can’t wait to track down all of the ingredients for your recipes!!!

    Nothin better than making recipe and grocery lists during a layover…think I’m gonna make choc cake or pumpkin cupcakes first!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 3, 2010 1:35 pm

      That makes me so happy! I’d love it if you used some of my recipes to get you “back on the wagon.” That’s definitely a wise use for layover time :] You will have to keep me posted on what you make and how they turn out.

  6. Nick S permalink
    July 3, 2010 1:05 pm

    That sounds soo damned good. I just wish I wasnt allergic to chocolate

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 3, 2010 1:37 pm

      Allergic to chocolate?!? Nick, that’s just not right. Would you happen to know what PART of the chocolate? Is it the actual cocoa butter or cacao powder, or is it the milk solids and lecithins and emulsifiers and other crap they add to commercial chocolate?

  7. fitandfortysomething permalink
    July 3, 2010 6:12 pm

    oh i love the new look of your blog! and the cake looks even better 🙂 that frosting looks so delish. i bet it would be good on top of ice cream……..love the sound of your weekend plans…..enjoy the watermelon 😉

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 6, 2010 11:01 am

      Thanks! Oh, the frosting WOULD be good on top of ice cream. That’s a great idea, because the cold of the ice cream would cause the coconut oil to resolidify, creating a sort of Magic Shell effect…ooh!

  8. July 3, 2010 8:44 pm

    Mmm, can’t go wrong with chocolate cake. Love how the frosting stays so fudgy! It’s like a built-in chocolate sauce. 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 6, 2010 11:03 am

      True! That makes serving it with ice cream sound even better.

  9. July 3, 2010 10:11 pm

    Hey! Deeelish looking cake, I love how moist it looks! And congrats on the move!! I’m having ish with loading the new feed on my reader, but I’m hoping once it resettles itself all will be well!! 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 6, 2010 11:04 am

      Thank ya! Unfortunately old posts are going to keep popping up in your reader as I edit them; sorry about that! Bear with me for just a couple weeks and I should have everything all straightened out.

  10. July 4, 2010 12:04 am

    congrats on the new site!

    and that you may be in a hot tub getting your drinky drink on right about now. NICE!

    also PDAs, girl you’re young and life is all about pda’s right now. have fun 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 6, 2010 11:04 am

      The hot tub party on the 4th was a blast! I can say that yes, some PDA did occur in there, haha.

  11. July 5, 2010 4:50 pm

    Oh my gosh… I’m drooling over the cake!

    One question — Are you liking wordpress better than blogspot? I found your site through someone’s blogroll and I saw that you were originally at blogspot. I’m not sure if I also want to switch.

    And btw I really like your blog 🙂 I would also call myself almost vegan, so everything is really relatable to me!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      July 6, 2010 11:07 am

      Hi Diana! My advice is to move to WordPress NOW, while your blog is still young! Honestly, I should have moved a long time ago, but didn’t want to go through all the work. Now I’m going through all the work I would have had to do then, and then some! It’s daunting and a little exhausting, and it’s going to cause me issues for the next couple weeks, but once it’s done I’ll be so happy. I’m already thrilled with the move; my blog looks ten times better, and there’s so much more I can do with it here than at Blogger.

      I’m glad you found my site! I love connecting with other Almosts :] Hope to hear from you again soon!

      • July 6, 2010 6:34 pm

        Wow thanks for letting me know 🙂 I’m moving now. Just by the look of things, you’re totally right– WP has site stats? polls? Haha I’m overwhelmed, in a good way!

  12. July 23, 2010 11:17 am

    Great post! 😀

  13. February 8, 2012 12:33 am

    CAKE!! That last photo looks especially gorgeous 😀

  14. February 13, 2012 1:24 pm

    Looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I love the idea of a cooked, soft frosting.

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