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+ servings

Simple Chocolate Birthday Cake


  • Chocolate Cake
  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, barely melted
  • 1 cup maple syrup, at room temp
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk, room temp
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, shaved or finely chopped

  • Whipped Chocolate Cream Frosting
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup butter, at room temp
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks


  • Chocolate Cake
  • Preheat oven to 350° F degrees. Butter and flour an 8x8 square cake pan
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and sea salt into a large bowl.
  • In a separate medium bowl whisk together the melted butter and maple syrup until it looks like caramel.
  • Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and then the coconut milk.
  • Pour the maple syrup mixture over the flour mixture and stir until barely combined.
  • Add the chocolate and stir until everything comes together and is no longer dusty looking (avoid over-mixing)
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 - 40 minutes.
  • This is a cake I like slightly under-baked, so I pull it out when the center is still a bit undercooked (the toothpick doesn't quite come out clean when testing)
  • If you're going to use it for a layer cake, then bake it all the way (clean toothpick). Remove from oven and allow to cool (absolutely completely) in the pan before frosting

  • Whipped Chocolate Cream Frosting
  • Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler, or in a bowl placed over a pan of boiling water.
  • In a medium bowl beat the butter until smooth and fluffy.
  • Beat in the maple syrup
  • Add the melted chocolate
  • Stir until silky smooth (any flecks of butter should be melted)
  • Pour the chocolate mix over the whipped cream and fold the chocolate into the cream. Keep going until the chocolate is well incorporated.
  • Use an offset spatula to frost the completely cooled cake. If the cake is at all warm, the frosting will weep and melt. (It will still taste good, but isn't what you're after)
  • Enjoy!