The most incredible chocolate cake that happens to be vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free. Just 1 bowl and simple methods required for this perfectly tender, moist, delectable chocolate cake that’s perfect for special occasions and beyond.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease (avocado oil is best) two standard 8-inch round cake pans, one 9x13-inch pan, or three 6-inch round pans (our preferred) and dust with cocoa powder. Shake out excess and set aside. If making cupcakes, line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
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 (see photo). It shouldn’t be thick like brownie batter and it shouldn’t be watery. If too thin, continue adding almond flour. If too thick, thin with a little dairy-free milk. We used about 2 ½ cups almond flour (as original recipe is written). 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). Start with recommended amount and add more to taste.
Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pan(s) and bake on a center rack for 28-38 minutes (if baking cupcakes, bake time should be 18-20 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. Be careful not to over-bake.
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 (~1 hour // expedite the process by cooling briefly in the refrigerator or freezer).
Best fresh and within the first couple days after baking. The texture tends to become dried out after that (using dairy-free yogurt in place of applesauce adds more moisture!). Store cake covered at room temperature for 2-3 days* or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Freeze up to 1 month (then thaw at room temperature).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients. *Recipe adapted from our 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake and 1-Bowl Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. *We found the texture of this cake to be best when consumed within 24-48 hours. The nature of potato starch is a bit drying, so keep this in mind if making days in advance for an event or special occasion.