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Chocolate cake, version 2: gluten-free, diabetic-friendly low-GI

July 30, 2013

It’s been a long time since I posted, I know! I’ve had my hands full with a very energetic little man who can’t wait to explore all there is to explore in the world! Still, I thought I could spare a few minutes to add my most recent kitchen tinkering to the site.

A close friend is awaiting a new addition to the family due in October. Unfortunately she’s been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which means she has to avoid all carbs, including fruit and lentils! I know that would drive me mad (in the first few months after delivery, my diet was severely restricted from thanks to a combination of my son’s colic and ‘folk wisdom’ from family, and I got sooooo bored of food!) so I thought I’d attempt to rustle up a treat for her.


So, the rules: no sugar, no flour, no nuts (allergy), no butter (lactose).

The upside: no insulin spike, no sugar rush – which is good for all of us!

I decided to tweak my vegan chocolate cake recipe, using coconut flour. The package and internet wisdom both said only 10-20% of a recipe’s flour could be substituted, but I took a gamble anyway. Knowing there was no gluten in the flour, I had to add protein to give it some structural integrity and keep it from becoming a big ball of mush so I de-veganized it and added eggs. Also, coconut flour is so fibre-rich that it requires double the moisture of normal recipes. As for sugar, I wasn’t sure which was better between stevia & xylitol (both are plant-extracts, and initial research indicates they don’t cause insulin spikes) so I used both. I’m sure you can just use one or the other.

I was surprised at how well it turned out! The flavour is great – sweet, chocolatey, and as a bonus has a hint of coconut too. It’s not exactly the same – it has a slightly grainy texture and doesn’t rise as much as the original – but it’s moist and tasty and worth the trouble. I’m definitely going to use this again, even if it’s just to bake myself a healthier treat!


  • 1 1/4 cups coconut flour
  • 1/4 c cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  •  3/4 cup sweetener (I used half stevia, half xylitol, both brands had 1:1 sugar replacement ratio)
  • 4 Tbsp oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cold water


Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F. Mix well or sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda in one bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the oil with the sweetener. Whisk in the eggs (a hand whisk will do) then stir in the vanilla and water. Slowly add in the dry ingredients while stirring. If the consistency of the batter looks too dry, add more oil and water until it’s gloopy and a bit runny.

Pour into a small cake pan (10 x 16 cm) and put in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until a skewer in the center comes out clean. Let it cool before serving.

For added fun, layer it in a sundae with whipped cream (you can use a lactose-free version) and fruit (if you’re allowed by the doctor).



One Comment leave one →
  1. August 5, 2013 10:01 am

    And the friend in question not only confirmed she thoroughly enjoyed the cake, but told me she couldn’t wait to rush home from work on Monday to eat more! Success!

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