I came across a picture of the Nigella Lawson Guinness Chocolate Cake a couple of years ago and could not resist the challenge to make a grain-free, sugar-free version of this cake.
After several rounds of taste tests, it was confirmed that this is absolutely delicious! I offer a substitute for the Guinness with other beers or for those following the Paleo diet, you can skip the beer and use Chaga Black, an energizing and mineral-rich medicinal mushroom coffee substitute that will offer a nice bitter taste to balance the recipe out without using beer.
This is a crowd pleaser and is pretty easy to make and boosts your magnesium levels — bonus!
40 minutes to prepare and about 45 minutes to cook.
The cake recipe makes two ½ inch layers and serves approximately 12 people
Chocolate Cake Ingredients
- 3 cups almond flour (Purchase from health food store, online or make your own almond flour.
- 10 Medjool dates, pitted (if you don’t have a food processor or high speed blender, soak these in 1/2 cup hot water for an hour or more so they turn into a paste or substitute with 1/4 cup raw honey)
- ¾ cup honey (raw honey or manuka honey)
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 cups raw cacao powder
- 1.5 cups Guinness beer, Belgian Trappist Beer, Belgian Kriek or your favorite dark craft beer (craft beers tend to use better and more natural ingredients). For the Paleo option: You can substitute the beer with 1 TBL Chaga Black, which is a coffee substitute made of the mineral-rich, energizing chaga medicinal mushroom.
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk (you can make your own coconut milk at home by clicking here and reading the first bullet in the instructions on how to make your own coconut milk.
- 3 large room temperature eggs
- 3 TBL vanilla extract
- 1 TBL ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Chocolate Frosting Ingredients
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup cacao
- 10 dates (if you don’t have a food processor or high speed blender, soak these in 1/2 cup hot water for an hour or more so they turn into a paste or substitute with 1/4 cup raw honey)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup pomegranate
- optional – 1 TBL tart cherry juice
- 1/2 cup Guinness beer, Belgian dark Trappist beer or your favorite dark craft beer. For the Paleo option: You can substitute the beer with 1 TBL Chaga Black, which is a coffee substitute made of the mineral-rich, energizing chaga medicinal mushroom)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- pinch cloves (up to 1/4 tsp)
- pinch ginger (up to 1/4 tsp)
- 1 TBL vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease two 7 – 9 inch round cake pans with coconut oil. I like using silicone cake pans. You can use rectangular or square pans too, if that is all you have. Glass works as well, just reduce heat to 300 degrees, since glass bakeware gets hotter than silicone.
- Mix up all wet ingredients first, then add dry ingredients and mix up.
- Note: if using a blender or food processor, put the dates and liquid ingredients in first and blend up until the dates are fully blended with the rest of the ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and continue to blend up until fully blended.
- Note: if using a mixer or mixing by hand, use date paste or honey. Mix up all wet ingredients until fully blended, then add dry ingredients and blend well.
- Once the batter is fully blended, you can taste it to see if you like the flavor or want to add a bit more dates, honey, sea salt or spices (I sometimes add more cinnamon, vanilla or sea salt). The batter will taste a lot like the final baked product.
- Pour the batter into your 2 cake pans and bake for between 30 – 45 minutes. Baking times vary based on how much batter you poured into your pan, the type of cake pan used (glass, silicone, etc.) and other factors. You will know the cake is done when you touch the center and it bounces back a bit or if you put a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean of ‘liquidy’ batter. If it’s not done, set the timer for another 5 minutes and check again until it’s done.
- While the cake is baking, make the frosting (see instructions, below).
- Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool on your counter top.
- After cooling, insert a butter knife between the pan and cake and run the butter knife gently around the edge of the cake, to loosen it from the pan. This should allow you to remove the cake. I like to get a large plate and turn the pan upside down over the plate, allowing the cake to come out right onto the plate (using a plate for each layer of cake).
- Put all ingredients into blender, mixer or food processor and blend thoroughly, until you get a good frosting consistency. It should be easy to spread with a knife, like whipped butter.
Assembling and Decorating the Cake
- Once the cake is completely cooled, frost the entire first layer, add the second layer on top and frost the top layer, evening out the frosting on the sides of both layers.
- Garnish with raspberries, strawberries, edible flowers or whatever you want to use!
- Slice and serve.
- Store in your refrigerator for up to a week.
- This cake freezes well (the frosting freezes well also). Take leftover slices or slice individually, place parchment paper between the slices and put in a freezer bag or glass container with a cover. This will store in your refrigerator for up to 2 months.
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