Recipe: Chocolate Birthday Cake


Yesterday was my brother's birthday and instead of finding a bakery and ordering a last minute gluten and dairy-free cake, I grabbed my YumUniverse cookbook, flipped to the dessert section and made a cake from scratch in an hour. In her cookbook, Heather Crosby has a beautiful photo of her Chocolate & Salted Caramel Layer Cake with Chocolate Frosting. There was no way I could make a layer cake because it required me to chill the cake for 6 hours and I only had 1 hour. Instead of a layer cake, I skipped the layers and made my own chocolate sauce.

When you change your diet and start buying gluten-free, plant-based and whole-foods, the meals and treats you can make are endless. I had all of the ingredients except for Sucanat which I substituted with coconut sugar, which surprisingly worked and still tasted delicious.



Chocolate Coconut Cake (Original recipe from YumUniverse but was slightly altered) 



  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups red apple, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 1/2 oat flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups coconut sugar or Sucanat


  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate
  • 2-3 pitted dates
  • 1/4 almond milk
  • coconut flakes


  1. Preheat over to 325ºF. Place parchment paper at the bottom of cake pan.
  2. Place all wet ingredients in the blender and set aside for 5 minutes so chia seeds plumpen.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.
  4. Once the chia has soaked long enough, blend together wet ingredients.
  5. Fold together wet and dry until mixed. Transfer batter to pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Insert toothpick into the centre of the cake; if it comes out clean, remove from oven; if not, bake longer until it does.
  6. Blend almond milk and dates.
  7. Melt chocolate in a double boiler heated to medium-high.
  8. Remove chocolate from heat and add blended almond milk and dates. Mix until smooth.
  9. Top cake with chocolate sauce and sprinkle coconut flakes.
  10. Light candles and make a wish!