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Chocolate Cake With Maple & Coconut “Buttercream”

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sin in black and white

sin in black and white

Sinful is the only way to describe this rich moist cake.  The chocolate is deep without being bitter and the texture is almost that of thick mouse but with tiny air pockets of sponge that give it just the right balance.  And the buttercream will leave you moaning in delight while gently dissipating on your tongue without leaving a filmy sliver on the roof of your mouth.  I swear it is all true.  John turned 40 and I couldn’t think of a better cake to make for him.  I looked through all my favorite books and chose a BabyCakes recipe to adapt for the cake.  I didn’t want the regular chocolate frosting so I went for something that would give the cake an unexpected twist.  The maple buttercream surely did it.  It was a tour de force for Gabriel and I  in our kitchen with white and black powder flying all over the place.

gabriel whisking floursWe actually made a double cake, which was beautiful but way too much for the three of us!  Gabriel would disagree of course.  The first photo of this post is just the bottom half of the original cake that we kept after distributing the top portion to our neighbors.  You will see in the photos further down the festivity of cake massive!

cake before going in ovenWhile the cake was cooking Gabriel was licking the whisk.   The batter was truly delicious and almost as good as the finished cake!

whipping buttercreamLet cake cook and whip frosting.

frosting the cakePut candles on cake…

la super tortaWhat was his 40th birthday wish?  Still don’t know but trying to find out.

the birthday wish


le cake in blackThis cake won’t disappoint.  Guaranteed.


Chocolate Cake With Maple & Coconut “Buttercream”
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
I made a double chocolate cake as you see in some of the photos but the recipe for the actual cake only calls for one. Just double the recipe if you would like two layers. ***The frosting measurements are generous and meant for a two 9-inch layer cake or even a three layer cake. Cut measurements in half for a generous frosting for a single 9-inch cake.**
For cake
  • 1¾ cup garbanzo-fava bean flour
  • ½ cup potato starch (not flour)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil melted (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 1⅓ cups agave nectar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee or 1 cup hot water
For frosting
  • 2½ cups coconut oil
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups shredded coconut
For cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. and line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper
  2. Grease sides of pan with coconut oil
  3. In medium bowl whisk together the flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, tapioca, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt
  4. Add oil, agave, applesauce, vanilla and hot coffee to the dry ingredients
  5. Stir until batter is smooth
  6. Pour batter into cake pan and bake on center rack for 20 minutes
  7. Rotate pan 180 degrees and bake another 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean
  8. Let cake cool in pan for 20 minutes
  9. Gently slice knife around the cake
  10. Place plate on top of cake and gently flip over
  11. Place rack on top of flipped over cake and super gently flip again
  12. Let cool completely before frosting
For frosting
  1. In standing mixer or in large bowl with hand-held mixer combine coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract
  2. When mixture is fluffy, gradually add shredded coconut while continuing to mix
  3. Use right away
Cake recipe slightly adapted from BabyCakes chocolate cupcake recipe. Frosting inspired by Flying Apron’s German maple frosting recipe







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16 Responses

  1. Lovely photos, gorgeous family, delicious sounding recipe – wish I’d been there to taste it.

  2. Audrey says:

    Licking the cake batter is the best! Looks delicious.

  3. Skbk says:

    This looks amazing. I would like to make it for my son, who is allergic to gluten and egg. He’s only 4, though, so I think the coffee would be unwise. ;-). Can you suggest a substitute? Thanks much!

    • Tabatha says:

      Hi Sarah and thanks for visiting. Yes, you can definitely substitute 1 cup of hot water for the 1 cup of hot coffee. I hope your son will love the cake as much as mine did!

  4. Elaine says:

    Hi. I don’t like coffee. Can it be eliminated and still be ok?

    • Tabatha says:

      Hi Elaine. Yes, the coffee can be eliminated but you should substitute with 1 cup of hot water. The batter needs the liquid. You are the second comment on the coffee so I went ahead and updated my recipe for the substitution. Thanks for visiting the question and for visiting!

  5. Charlotte says:

    Hi, this looks so good I gotta make it! is there anything I can use in lieu of the tapioca starch? Thanks, Charlotte :-)

    • Tabatha says:

      Hi Charlotte. Yes, you can replace the same amount of tapioca starch for arrowroot. I wouldn’t mind using arrowroot on more recipes but it is getting more difficult to find these days. Thanks for visiting!

  6. Yoli says:

    Looks delicious! But it seems like an awful lot of coconut oil. The frosting is for only one 9 inch cake? Also can I substitute the potato starch for something else? Couldn’t find it

    • Tabatha says:

      Hi Yoli. Thanks for your questions. The frosting is actually for a two 9 inch layer cake and it is rich enough that could be used for even a 3 layer cake. It is meant to be a rich cake but not that rich! My fault and I will make a note at the beginning of the recipe. Although I have not tried it, you can try substituting the potato starch for cornstarch but you’d also have to substitute the tapioca starch for arrowroot. I find that tapioca starch is hard and I need the potato starch to make things softer. If you do use arrowroot then cornstarch could work but the cake would probably be a different texture. Let me know how it turns out.

  7. Rita Vlinder says:

    Hi :) Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It looks amazing! Well, I live in Portugal and there is no garbanzo fava bean flour over here so I was wondering if you could suggest me any other gluten-free flour that could have the same results :) Thank you so much and keep up the great work :)

    • Tabatha says:

      Hi Rita, and thanks for writing in from Portugal! I understand about the garbanzo fava bean flour not being available. Perhaps try substituting with the same measurement in rice flour. I haven’t tried it but the consistency of the two flours are close enough so hoping it will work out for you. Let me know though!

  8. Rita Vlinder says:

    Hi :) I tried this recipe with whole rice flour and it turned out absolutely amazing! 😀 Thank you so much for your suggestion, it really worked! Also I used coconut sugar instead of Agave and it was great :) I really appreciate your recipes! Keep up the great work!

    • Tabatha says:

      Hi Rita! I am so glad the cake turned out to your liking with the rice flour and with the coconut sugar. It warms my heart to hear it. Thank you for writing and letting me know!

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