I remember watching the movie Matilda as a child and being both jealous of and disgusted by the little boy who was forced to eat chocolate cake as punishment for a petty crime he didn’t commit. The glory was raised up on a pedestal – so thick, decadent and fudgy. I wanted to be right there along with him, fork in hand, shoveling in bite after bite as the crowd cheered “Bruce, Bruce, Bruce!” (and Dana, Dana, Dana). But we don’t get everything we want as a child, just like I never got that fancy notebook Penny always carried around in Inspector Gadget. I had a rough childhood, clearly.
But when you grow up you realize many things, like kids really don’t get punished in real life with chocolate cake, it will feel better when it stops hurting (so said my late grandfather), and eating mass amounts of cake will get you nowhere good (so says my mother). But the funny thing is, despite having this realization, the craving for chocolate cake (and lots of it) doesn’t go away. It’s simply accompanied by a guilt fairy that flutters around your head saying “Fatty McFatterson Two Face,” as you shovel in colossal bites.
My solution? Make the cake healthy with things like banana, avocado, honey and oat flour. Then you can flick the fairy away and say “Nuh uh, stupid face. It’s health food.” Problem rectified. Ugh, I hate bossy fairies.
This cake is the fudgiest chocolate cake you’ll ever have and I don’t say that lightly. The first bite in I thought, ‘Did I cook it long enough?’ But then as the texture and flavors rolled across my tongue I knew I’d done something right. Twelve feverish bites later I knew I’d done something very right. This gluten free chocolate cake will fool even the pickiest eaters into thinking it’s loaded with sugar, butter, flour, and eggs.
The texture of this cake is so, so fudgy thanks to the banana and avocado, whose flavors go completely undetected. Honey adds just enough sweetness, and oat flour and gluten-free flour make it slightly spongy and light. We all know what cocoa powder does – it makes it taste like fudge. Hence the name “Fudgy Chocolate Cake.” Oh good glory.
I contemplated frosting but one bite in and I knew it was like frosting and cake in one! Trust me – just a dusting of cocoa powder is all you need…unless you want to add a scoop of vanilla bean or coffee ice cream. That, I suppose, would be acceptable.
Fudgy Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
- 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend
- 1/2 cup oat flour (ground from gluten-free oats)
- 2 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tsp each baking powder & baking soda
- 1 medium ripe avocado
- 1 1/2 medium very ripe bananas
- 1/3 heaping cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave if vegan)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and butter an 8 inch round baking pan (or 8×8 rectangular pan // adjust pan size if altering batch size) with vegan butter. Toss with some white rice flour (or other GF flour) to coat the edges and remove excess. Set aside.
- Add avocado and banana to a large mixing bowl and mash.
- Add honey (or maple syrup or agave), vanilla, coconut oil and stir. Measure out almond milk and toss in the vinegar. Let set for a minute or two then add to the mixture and whisk.
- Next add baking soda and powder and mix vigorously to combine.
- Add cocoa powder, salt, gluten-free flour blend, and coconut flour to a sifter (reserving oat flour since it’s more coarse) and sift over wet ingredients. Whisk vigorously to combine.
- Last, add oat flour and stir once more. Taste a bit to see if it needs more honey. Then pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
- Bake for 40-48 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cracks on the top are fine and actually good. The edges should be pulling away from the sides just slightly.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 1 hour. Then, loosen the sides with a knife and place a plate on top and gently flip over. Repeat with another serving plate so it’s right-side up. Dust with cocoa powder (optional) and serve immediately. Refrigerate if keeping longer than a few days. Freeze for even longer storage. Frosting is really not necessary. It’s very rich and fudgy on its own.
*When you pull the cake out of the oven, it will look like it’s not done in the center. That’s fine, it is. Plus, it’s egg-free so it’s fine if it’s a little fudgy in the middle. However, cook for 5 minutes more if you’re concerned. Cooling in the pan for 1-2 hours will finish “cooking” it and will let it set.