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Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

That title sounds too good to be true… but it’s not! And let’s add the word “easy” to the mix, because this cake is seriously one of the easiest vegan cakes I’ve made. You can mix all of the ingredients in one bowl, and the ganache is only 4 ingredients… Talk about a dream come true! This cake is perfectly moist, and the ganache is incredibly rich. Whip this up for your next holiday party, celebration, or just for a fun weekend activity. Enjoy!

Cake Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup mashed ripe banana (~2 small bananas)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp organic almond butter
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (I like MALK, Elmhurst, and Califia Farms)
  • 1 cup sifted cocoa powder
  • 1 cup potato starch (not the same as potato flour) (I recommend Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2-2.5 cups of almond flour (start with 2 cups and add more if mix is too runny) (should not be as thick as brownie batter, but close)
  • 1-2 tsp finely ground espresso powder (optional, but brings out the chocolate flavor)

Cake Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease (I used coconut oil) two standard 8-inch round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder. Shake out excess and set aside.
  • To a large mixing bowl add banana and mash (measure to ensure it’s the correct quantity). Then add applesauce (or yogurt), vanilla, almond butter, and whisk to combine. Next add maple syrup, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt (optional) and whisk to combine.
  • Next add dairy-free milk and whisk to combine. Then add sifted cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Then add potato starch and whisk to combine. 
  • Next add almond flour a little at a time until the batter has reached a pourable, saucy consistency. It shouldn’t be thick like brownie batter but it shouldn’t be watery. If too thin, continue adding almond flour. If too thick, thin with a little dairy-free milk. I used about 2 1/4 cups almond flour. Depending on your ingredients, you may need more or less. At this time you can whisk in some espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavor (optional).
  • Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pan(s) and bake on a center rack for 27-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out free of crumbs (a little brown color is okay) and the edges appear dry / slightly pulled away from the pan.
  • Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. To remove from pans, run a dull knife around the edge of the pans to loosen the cakes. Then place a plate or cooling rack on top and quickly invert. Let cool completely before frosting so as not to melt the ganache over the cake.
  • Best fresh and within the first couple days after baking. The texture tends to become dried out after that. Store cake covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Ganache Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup dairy-free dark or semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (I like Miyokos)
  • 1 1/4 – 2 cups organic powdered sugar

Ganache Instructions

  • Heat almond milk in a saucepan until hardly simmering and then transfer back to mixing bowl.
  • Immediately add chocolate to warm milk but don’t touch for 2 minutes so it can melt. Cover to encourage melting.
  • Stir gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then add softened vegan butter and cover. Let rest untouched for another 10 minutes to meld.
  • Use your mixer to beat the mixture together. Then add 1 cup powdered sugar (sifted to reduce clumps), mix again, and place in fridge to set for 1-2 hours. You’ll know it’s ready when you tip it and it’s slow to move. I let the ganache sit overnight, and then used a hand mixer to beat it until fluffy.
  • If it’s still too thin, add another 1/4 cup powdered sugar at a time (sifted) and beat until light and fluffy.

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