Paleo Zebra Cake with Caramel Frosting

I don’t like to toot my own horn.

Much.

So some of you may know that I am now officially a “writer”, though in my own mind, I’ve always been one. It’s nice to be validated by an actual in print magazine once in a while you know. Us old folks have a certain feeling about the paper copy vs. the digital. I’ve written for several online websites, but I always really wanted to see my work in print. I’ve been working for EAT Magazine now for about six months as a freelance photographer in print. It’s awesome.

But then I thought I should do more. I should write! So I offered my services to the editor as a writer as well, you know, I’m well rounded that way. And guess what? I got me a job….In the online edition. Ah well, works for me! Want to read my first pieces on a local brewpub’s gourmet dinner or our beautiful city’s first Meat Fest? Natch…check it out!

You can also see all my photos by reading the magazine online, if you love me that much. Or just stick around here…

Speaking of sticking around here, are you a subscriber? If you subscribe via FeedBurner, as of October 20th, that option may be gone for good as Google moves away from offering RSS services. As of today I am still looking into other options. So stay tuned! But if you have a suggestion, I’m all ears.

Now let’s get back to tooting my own horn shall we?

Paleo is a lot of things to a lot of people. Some people see it as a pure and natural way to eat and to try to make bad foods (like cakes and candies and desserts) “Paleo” is a sacrilege worse than anything you can imagine. You should be punished for even thinking that bacon is an okay food or maple syrup should ever enter your pure and clean stomach!

Well I have one thing to say to them: “F%$k off.” Pardon my French.

Seriously. If I’m to give up every single grain known to man (including my beloved butter soaked popcorn), plus every baked creation that ever set foot in a classic French bakery, like puffy croissants, pastries piled high with little clouds of whipped cream and any number of deep fried monstrosity, than I shall make whatever “Paleo” dessert I want. Thankyouverymuch.

And birthdays will never be celebrated sans cake in this house. EVER. They are a tradition that shall die only with me. If I have anything to say about it, that is…

So with that lovely introduction, I give you this cake. I don’t claim it to be easy to make (because really, it’s not the simplest thing in the world…) but I do claim it to be worth every second you spend making (and tasting) it.

Next time you go out to impress someone who eats the paleo way or is gluten free or can’t have processed sugars or nuts, then make this cake and you will forever be seen as a god. Or something like that….

 

Zebra Cake with Caramel Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: one 9" 2-layer cake

Ingredients

  • Coconut Cake
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (buy one made with tapioca starch not corn)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (3.5% fat or higher)**
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Dark Chocolate Cake
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup stellar quality cocoa powder (I like Navitas Naturals Raw)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (buy one made with tapioca starch not corn)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (3.5% fat or higher)**
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • Dark Chocolate Ganache
  • 100g pure dark chocolate (Cocoa Camino makes a 100% chocolate for baking)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp palm oil shortening
  • pinch of salt
  • Primal Butter Frosting
  • (You are out of luck here if you don't eat dairy. You can try using palm oil shortening, but the flavour will be slightly less...well, buttery)
  • 1 cup organic, pastured butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter, softened

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 9" round cake pans, then line with parchment paper circles in the bottom. Apply more coconut oil (or whatever you are using to grease it) and then dust it with coconut flour. This will ensure your cake comes out super easy.
  2. The easiest way to do this is to get out four metal bowls. Two for each cake. One for dry and one for wet. So the following instructions are for both cakes.
  3. Start with the Coconut Cake: Sift the flour, salt, spices and baking powder into a small bowl. Set aside. Do the same for the Chocolate Cake but sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.
  4. In the remaining two separate bowls, blend the melted coconut oil, yogurt (if using), maple syrup or honey, vanilla and eggs until completely mixed.
  5. Now pour the dry ingredients into their respective wet ingredients. Stir in the shredded coconut for the coconut cake.
  6. Alternating batters, pour 1/4 of each batter at a time into the pans. So coconut, then chocolate, then coconut then chocolate, etc. This will create the layered zebra pattern.
  7. Now pop those suckers into the oven and bake for 30-35 mins. or 20-25 in a convection oven. Check for doneness at the earliest time.
  8. Remove from the oven when done and set on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.
  9. Turn the pans over onto the cooling rack, peel off the parchment and allow the cakes to completely cool before frosting.
  10. For the Ganache: In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate until completely liquid. Remove from heat, let stand five minutes and add in the palm oil shortening and the maple syrup. Stir in salt. Use immediately.
  11. For the Frosting: Start by grinding the palm sugar in a coffee grinder to make it into an icing sugar like consistency.
  12. Then in the bowl of a stand mixer of with a hand blender, blend the butter until creamy. Add the sugar in three additions and beating on slow until incorporated.
  13. Then mix in the vanilla, coconut milk and coconut butter. Mix until fluffy and blended. Set aside.
  14. To decorate the cake: Start with one layer. Pour the ganache over the cake (starting in the center and spreading out to the sides) and set in a freezer for 5-10 minutes or until set. Use 1/3 of the frosting to fill the middle layer of the cake by spreading it over the hardened ganache right to the edges. Stack the next layer on and finish frosting the cake with the remaining frosting, using an offset spatula for best results.
  15. Can be kept at room temperature or in the fridge for a harder frosting.

Notes

**If you are pure Paleo and not Primal, replace the yogurt by increasing the coconut oil to 1/3 of a cup in the Coconut Cake and to 1/2 cup in the Dark Chocolate Cake

 

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