This is the story of a very special cake.
A cake meticulously tested and frosted with care for the woman who encouraged my creative endeavors from day one. From the moment I could hold a paintbrush to the instant I started my blog back in 2008, she told me that I was talented and more importantly, that if I tried my best, that was enough. Without her support, I might never have grown confident enough to share my recipes and photos with the world.
This cake is a token of my appreciation for the woman who lifted me up with her boundless love, generosity, and unshakeable belief in my abilities. In college, I went through a trying period of personal growth and transformation. Without Mom to talk me through it, it would have been far more difficult to see the light rays peeking through the storm cloud.
This cake is the tastiest sort of thank you note, fit for the woman who taught me that contentment is attained through hard work, loving yourself and others, and finding joy in the small things. Whether it was an impromptu car sing-a-long or bouquet of fresh flowers added to the grocery cart (flowers needed no occasion), my happiest memories don’t stem from exotic trips or lavish gifts, but the mundane moments of daily existence transformed into magical ones.
Mom loves tea, so I served the cake with this rosy-hued hibiscus tea that complimented the delicate coconut flavor well with its fruitiness. It’s Starbucks Tazo tea in the Passion flavor, and it’s delicious even without sweetener. You find this tea at your local grocery store, or online at the affiliate link above.
Thankfully, the cake worth so many words has a much shorter ingredients list! The batter is a mixture of coconut and almond flour–no fancy gums or exotic flours–along with eggs, coconut milk, vanilla, and sea salt. I added a little gelatin powder (my new favorite gluten-free cake additive) to make the cake a bit more moist, since removing the sugar called for in the original recipe dries out the batter. I also played around with the preparation method. Out of the two mixing methods I tried, grinding the dry ingredients together in the food processor and beating the egg whites separately created the most tender crumb. Following my instructions exactly should yield a perfectly fluffy yet substantial cake with an even texture. If you’d like to substitute ingredients, feel free to experiment and share your results with us in the comments.
I think this cake is a winner. Predictably, Mom does, too.
- 1/2 cup melted unsalted organic butter
- 2 1/4 cup (235g, 8.4 oz) blanched almond flour, gently packed and leveled
- 1/2 cup (64g, 2.2 oz) coconut flour
- 3/4 cup homemade stevia blend (140g, 5 oz) OR Truvia
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (“light” coconut milk is recommended)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 2-3 cups unsweetened dried coconut
- 1 batch Vanilla Mascarpone, recipe here at my Busy Day Cake post
- 1 cup sour cream (you can use 1/2 Greek yogurt, 1/2 sour cream, if desired)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened, dried coconut
- Prepare 2-8 inch cake pans. Trace a circle of parchment using the bottom of the pan, cut it out, and place it in the pan. Lightly spray around inside of pan with coconut oil cooking spray, or grease it with your finger tips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius).
- In a glass measuring cup or pan, heat butter in microwave or over stove top until melted. Set aside.
- To bowl of food processor, add dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, sweetener, baking powder, sea salt) and pulse for 1 minute, or until ingredients start to clump together.
- Separate egg whites into a clean bowl while adding the yolks to the food processor. Set aside whites.
- Pulse in melted butter, coconut milk, and vanilla in food processor until batter is uniform with no streaks of flour, scraping down sides once.. This could take 20-30 pulses.
- Using a mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Add batter from food processor to egg whites. Beat together just until white streaks are gone.
- Scrape batter into prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. If making cupcakes, bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the top of cupcake comes out clean.
- When pans are cool enough to handle, run a knife around the edges of cakes and invert them onto cooling racks.
- Cool for 1 hour before frosting and serving.
- Powder sweetener in a Magic Bullet or food processor to grind it to a fine consistency.
- Whisk together sour cream (or Greek yogurt), coconut milk.
- Whisk in sweetener for 1 minute until it is dissolved.
- Spread filling between cake layers.
- Frost top and sides of cake.
- Press coconut flakes into sides and sprinkle over the top to coat cake.
The above recipe was adapted from a beautiful new cookbook called Make It Paleo 2. Bill and Hayley’s gorgeous food styling caught my eye while perusing recipe round-ups (I’m a sucker for eye candy), and I wanted to see more of their work. Their paleo “Wedding Cake” was easily adapted to be low carb and diabetic-friendly, and I see plenty of other recipes with the potential to fit into a keto eating plan. I don’t eat paleo, but can appreciate the attention that the movement has brought to ingredients like almond and coconut flours.
I hope that this cake will inspire to express your appreciation for a loved one with a healthier treat.