Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, today is my birthday and I thought we would celebrate with a full-blown paleo birthday cake. It does have honey in it and, for lack of a better quick option, I put ONE drop of food coloring in the frosting (not paleo, I know!). This cake is quite easy to make, is nut free, and tastes delicious. It is very moist! My husband isn't a big cake eater and he claims this is one of the best cakes he's ever had. We actually had this with the kids for an after school snack today and all of Dave's work pals came over to sing a very entertaining version of the happy birthday song. (It was painful for them, I could tell!) They are all CrossFitters and mostly paleo, and they all loved the cake! The cake recipe is a slightly altered version of a recipe from The Food Lovers Primal Palate, a site with some excellent recipes. The frosting is modified from one of  Elana Amsterdam's awesome cookbooks. It's amazingly good, considering the interesting creation process. I wanted to mix some chopped walnuts in with the frosting so it was like German chocolate cake, but then my kids wouldn't eat it. Next time! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Cake recipe adapted from The Food Lovers Primal Palate. Frosting recipe adapted from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook, Elana Amsterdam.

Makes one 9-inch double-layer cake.

10 eggs
1 cup raw organic honey
1 cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda

Creamy Coconut Frosting (makes 3 cups)
1 cup unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup raw organic honey
pinch sea salt
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
2 Tbsp water
1 1/4 cups coconut oil, melted over low heat


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans by lightly coating with coconut oil. I also added a bit of cocoa powder and gently rotated the pans so that they had a light, even coating of cocoa all around.
  3. Add dry ingredients to a small bowl, stirring with a whisk to combine.
  4. Add wet ingredients to a large bowl, using a hand mixer to blend thoroughly.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and continue mixing for 2 minutes. It may seem like a long time, but it results in an airier cake.
  6. Evenly divide batter between the two prepared pans. The batter will be very thin.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Let cakes cool slightly in the pans, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
    NOTE: I left mine in the pans overnight and it was tricky to get them out. If you aren't going to frost until the following day, remove them from the pans and leave covered overnight on parchment paper or wax paper.
  9. To make the frosting, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring coconut milk, honey, and salt to a boil, stirring with a whisk to combine.
  10. Decrease the heat to low or medium low and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  11. In a small bowl, combine arrowroot powder in water, stirring to make a paste.
  12. Increase the heat to medium high and add the arrowroot paste to the coconut mixture, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, about 30-60 seconds.
  13. Transfer the mixture to a large heat-resistant mixing bowl and very slowly blend in the coconut oil using a hand-held mixture until smooth.
    NOTE: This is where I added the drop of food coloring, but you could use a natural coloring like beet juice, if you plan ahead for it!
  14. Place in freezer for 30-35 minutes until the frosting solidifies and turns opaque white.
  15. Remove from freezer and whip with a handheld mixture until it becomes thick and somewhat fluffy. 
  16. May be stored in a covered glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  1. Place first layer upside-down on a cake plate so the flat side is up. Frost.
  2. Place the second layer on top with the rounded side up. Frost the top and sides.
  3. Optionally, sprinkle with shaved dark chocolate or chopped nuts.


  1. Loved it. Very moist coconut flavored cake!

    Happy Birthday Pam!


    P.S. Google "food coloring kids" and check out the first two links that come up.

  2. Happy Birthday Pam, looks like you enjoyed yourself:)

  3. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Trixie and Michael! Dave liked the cake so much I think I will be making it again for his birthday next week.

    Michael, thanks for prompting me to investigate some natural ways to tint the frosting. I'll let you know how it goes. (Or you'll have to come to the annex for another piece.)

  4. Awesome. I'm excited to try the updated version :)


  5. Happy belated birthday!

  6. Michael, I'll make sure not even ONE drop of any unsanctioned ingredient enters the next one! :-)

    Thanks for the good wishes, Melissa!

  7. Thanks for bringing us in the sample, Pam! Still amazed at how delicious this cake was....I know exactly what my birthday cake will be!

  8. Thanks, Brett! Glad you liked it! I made a different frosting for Dave's birthday cake (the one you tried). I'm going to list the recipe for that frosting in the Recipes section. Much simpler than this one, but both taste great!

  9. Thank you! This looks perfect! I'm going to try to make this for my son's birthday and needed a hearty paleo cake. I think this will work well.

  10. We LOVED this cake--I bet your son will like it, too! Thanks for the comments and enjoy the cake!

  11. how should you store the entire cake once assembled? in the fridge or on the counter?

    1. Hi, Gina! If you are eating it same day, store it covered on the counter. For longer term, store it in the fridge, then bring it to room temp for serving.