I hold this cake very dear to my heart and made it for my son Cooper, for his first birthday. When Cooper was born we discovered very quickly that he was allergic to dairy, soy and eggs. As I was breastfeeding, my diet had to radically change and everything needed to be home cooked as milk and soy seemed to be in EVERYTHING! I thought the pressure would get a little easier when weaning started, but then I discovered he had a sensitivity to something I had never heard of at the time called salicylates and aimines – natural occurring chemicals found in most fruit and vegetables and in high doses Cooper would get skin rashes, major tummy cramps and vomiting.
Fortunately just a few months on Cooper can now tolerate bananas, avocados and most fruit and vegetables in moderate quantities. I credit his improvements to the nutrient dense food I cook him and this cake is no exception. While I needed to remove the obvious ‘problem foods’, I wanted to focus just as much on the ingredients in the cake. Just because he reached one I didn’t want to suddenly introduce him to the world of processed sugar and flours and colorful preservatives and additives. So I researched a number of cakes and came up with this concoction – super high in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, B vitamins, omega 3’s, fibre and lots of essential fats.
Of course the last question is…does it taste any good? Much to my surprise it totally surpassed my expectations. The cake was demolished in about 10 minutes with the kids wanting seconds! I love this cake along with the icing so much that I make it regularly as brownies.
The cake however doesn’t rise so for special occasions it’s a good idea to bake two tiers. Just double the quantities for both the sponge and icing. For decorations I just iced the cake and used a Happy Birthday sign topper. This is whole food goodness and nothing else. My son Cooper loved it and I was happy he didn’t miss out on his special day. Enjoy!
Get the delicious dairy free chocolate icing recipe here.
Sponge recipe adapted and inspired from Wholefood Simply (I highly recommend following)!
Delicious Allergy Friendly Chocolate Cake
8 slices for 1 tier or 16 slices for a two tier cake
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed (flax meal)
- 3/4 cup water
- 18 medjool dates pips removed
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup raw cacao (not processed cacao that may contain milk and soy)
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 175C or 350F and line a 20cm cake tin with parchment paper and set aside.
- This cake doesn’t rise and looks similar to a brownie. You could easily use a smaller tin if you wanted more height, you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly. You can also sandwich two cakes together as shown in the images.
- Start by making the flax egg. Place the flax meal into a small bowl, add the water and mix well with a fork to combine. Set aside.
- Place the dates, coconut milk, coconut oil and vanilla into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Now add the dry ingredients - coconut flour, cacao and salt and blend again to combine.
- Lastly add the flax egg and bicarb and blitz again just enough to combine all the ingredients. Don’t be surprised if the cake looks quite dry, that way it holds together well when cooked.
- Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and gently press it down and smooth over the top with a spatular or dampened hands to create a smooth surface.
- Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool in the cake tin for up to 30 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
- Top with my super simple, dairy free avocado chocolate icing. It has the perfect butter cream texture, without the crazy sugar high. Get the recipe below in the recipe notes section.
Recommend making two tiers for a birthday cake as this cake doesn’t rise.
Recipe here for my dairy free chocolate avocado icing
Suitable from 1 year onwards.
Allergy information: Dairy Free, Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Nut Free, Refined Sugar Free.
Thank you for sharing – sounds delish
OMG!! This cake is so delicious! Quick and easy with commonly found ingredients in most ‘allergy conscious’ or clean eating cook’s kitchen.
A moist fudgy brownie like center that holds well even when warmed slightly.
Team it up with the dairy free chocolate icing and your sure to impress!
Thank you Sharon for an amazing recipe that is guilt free!
Renae, thank you so much for your lovely feedback. Made me so happy 🙂
I made this for my boys 6th birthday party on the weekend actually. it is so amazing!! it’s now my go-to for any chocolate cake, with the dairy free icing which is incredible. no one can believe it’s gluten and dairy free!! thank you Sharon. x
Sarah Im so pleased the recipes was a success and you loved it. My son Coops loves it so much he has it in his school lunchboxes (without the icing). So you can make brownies too. Thank you for sharing your feedback. Sharon xx
Quick question…where is the bicarb actually added?
I put it in as per step 5 but saw it again at step 6.
Hi Leanne. Thanks for pointing that out to me. You dont have to be precious at all about the recipe. Either option works and Ill leave it in point number 6.
Can this be made into mini cupcakes? Also how long will these keep? I would love to cook them a day or two before the party. Thanks
You absolutely can! The stay so fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days and they also freeze really well. This is a great ‘make-ahead’ recipe! xx
Hi Sharon, if I just use an egg instead of the flax egg, is it just one egg? I know this is not allergy friendly for some, but we are ok with eggs and we have our own home grown ones to use up.
Planning on making this for mum-in-laws bday so want to get it right.
Hi Manda, you absolutely can. Id add a couple of eggs. xx
hello, I just wanted to find out what size tin you used to bake the cake.
Hi Halima. Great question. It’s 20cm x 20cm. Sharon xx
This cake has been my go to cake for my allergy boy since I found it early on.
It also makes a beautiful “sticky date” cake if you add a few extra dates and leave out the cacoa (also add a smidge more coconut too).
Hi Leanne, wow I love that idea of a sticky date cake. Im off to explore that. So thrilled you love the cake and thanks for your lovely feedback. Sharon xx
Can you use something else instead of coconut milk, coconut oil and coconut flour? My daughter has a tree nut allergy as well as a peanut allergy.
Yes you can replace the coconut oil and coconut milk with sunflower oil. So the same quantities. It works out really well. For the flour you can use gluten free option and just add an extra 1/4 cup. The mixture will be thick and wont rise but have an amazing gooey texture.Sharon xx