Paleo Chocolate Mud Cake
I had planned on making this cake in celebration of my (gulp) 35th birthday (which is a week from tomorrow). But unlike baby me, I’m impatient now. I couldn’t wait until my actual birthday to share this with you. I had to post it immediately. But let me just tell you, all the moms/grandmas/aunts/sisters/girls/women in your life would probably love you forever if you made them this cake for their birthday. Just saying…
So, a while back, I bought my first 2lb bag of Otto’s Cassava Flour. I’ve talked about it a little bit here, but I’ve been experimenting with it more and more. I remade my stepmom’s sausage gravy and it is just perfect.
Otto’s is fantastic. It’s my new go-to flour. High in carbs but perfectly Paleo (great during our non keto times).
Now, let me tell you a little about this cake. Back in October, I was planning my daughter’s birthday party. She was turning 10 and that’s a BIG deal, you know? Double digits. So the cake had to be great. I started perusing Pinterest for inspiration and came across Katherine Sabbath. Now, that was really out of the question, I just couldn’t do anything with all those artificial colors, but the concept alone was so inspiring. Then I read about “mud cakes”, which honestly sounds really gross. But after a little more digging, it turns out mud cakes are pretty much magic. Like, the perfect cake.
Naturally, I needed to make one. Before I found cassava flour, I had been experimenting with a slew of different gluten-free flours and starches. I was kind of dreading trying to come up with the right mixture of flours to get this cake just right. But, that didn’t have to happen. The only flour in this cake is cassava, and there is no grainy texture, no gummyness (common with the starches), just perfect cake texture.
I tested it with a few variations and I will say that ghee beats coconut oil, and granulated maple sugar beats honey or maple syrup. Those are my personal preferences, but should you need to make the subs, it’s been tested and approved to work with either.
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond or Cashew Milk, preferably homemade
- Squeeze of Lemon Juice
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp (125g) Ghee or Coconut Oil*
- 3/4 cup (125g / 4.5oz) Dark Chocolate, (chopped) or Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- Scant 1/4 cup (75g) Honey/Maple Syrup, increase to 1 cup if omitting maple sugar
- 1 cup (150g) Otto's Cassava Flour, spooned & leveled, though weighing is truly the best method to get accurate results
- 3/4 tsp Baking Powder**, or 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar + 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp (35g) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 cup (170g) Maple Sugar***
- 3 Large Eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
- 3 Tbsp Light Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, or Melted Coconut Oil
- 3/4 cup Water, use only 1/2 cup if using all honey and no maple sugar
- 1 cup Dark Chocolate, (chopped) or Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup Coconut Milk, canned, full-fat
- Preheat the oven to 320°F.
- If making cupcakes, line your tin with baking cups. If making cakes, lightly grease the pans with coconut oil, cut a parchment circle to fit the bottom of the pan, place it in the pan, and lightly grease that as well. Set aside.
- Combine the milk and lemon juice, gently stir, and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the ghee/coconut oil, chocolate, and honey/maple syrup. Heat until melted and combined, stirring occasionally.
- While the chocolate mixture is melting, combine the Otto's Cassava Flour, baking powder/soda, salt, cocoa powder, and maple sugar (if using, see recipe notes) with a whisk to remove any lumps.
- Once the chocolate mixture is melted, pour it into the dry ingredients, as well as the additional oil, eggs, water, and milk. Whisk until everything is fully incorporated and no lumps remain. It should be the consistency of a thin brownie batter (and taste just as good).
- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full, or split batter evenly between two 6" or 8" cake pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven. 20-25 minutes for cupcakes, 40-50 minutes for cakes (start checking at 40 minutes). Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely (in the pan) on a wire rack. Once cool, gently remove from pans and frost with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache.
- The cake is best eaten the same day. If making in advance, double wrap in plastic wrap (unfrosted) and store in the fridge for up to 5 days (but this cake is really best served without refrigerating).
- In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the coconut milk over medium-low heat. Get it simmering hot but don't let it come to a boil.
- Remove from heat and gradually stir in the chocolate, stirring constantly until completely melted. Let cool to about room temperature (you don't want to melt the frosting), and gently pour over the top and side of the cake. For best results, cool the frosted cake in the fridge for an hour to keep the ganache from dripping all the way down the sides.
- * This recipe has been tested with grass-fed butter, ghee, and coconut oil. While all 3 yielded great results, the coconut oil cake had less flavor.
- ** Yes, baking powder is not paleo, but we use it. This recipe was tested with the baking soda/cream of tartar sub and the center didn't rise quite as well. Nothing that couldn't be fixed by trimming the top of the baked cake.
- *** Using an all-liquid sweetener is not preferred, but if you don't have maple sugar on-hand, all honey or maple syrup work fine as well. Just be sure to reduce the water (as noted).
- Nutrition Facts do not include frosting, only cake and ganache.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 502Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 21gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 110mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 6gSugar: 29gProtein: 5g
Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate