When I was growing up my parents were kind enough to instill some special Valentine’s traditions in our home. One of those traditions was the heart cake my mom made for us each year. She usually let us frost and decorate it too, but not always. Both my mom and my dad also always got us special little gifts and we never knew what they would be, but we were always excited to find out. I’m so glad that my parents gave us those memories to cherish.
As a mother, I want to carry on the traditional heart cake for my boys, but with one major change. Instead of a semi-homemade cake from a box mix with frosting from a tub, I chose to come up with a gluten-free, healthier fully homemade cake recipe. Thankfully, my good friend Julie loves to bake, is gluten free and had a pretty good cake recipe for me to try out.
I must confess, baking is not my forte. Fancy cake decor isn’t either. So, my cakes end up a bit more on the ‘rustic’ side of cakes, and I’m okay with that. After all, it needs to be more than pretty, it needs to taste great – right?! The cool thing about this ‘rustic’ heart shaped cake is that you do not need a special pan. You likely have a circle cake pan and a square cake pan in your kitchen already, and that’s all you will need.
I’ll admit, I don’t prefer to serve my family treats too often and this recipe calls for more sweetener than I typically care to offer. However, that’s what makes it a treat for a special occasion. I choose healthier sweetener options when I make sweet treats, both for digestibility sake and to avoid refined processed sugars that have other detriments. This cake is loaded with good fats, pastured eggs, full fat dairy or coconut milk. I feel much better about serving something I know has healthy fats and real quality ingredients to my kids, and it sure beats all the other candy and processed treats that are typically offered.
So, go on and dig out those cake pans, some parchment paper and make this cake! Who can resist a slice of chocolate cake topped in real butter cream frosting?! Not I!
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1 cup arrowroot or tapioca flour
- 1 cup coconut sugar or rapadura, honey may work to
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (make sure it's gluten-free)
- 4 pastured eggs
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1½ cups milk or coconut milk
- 3 sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup honey
- 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
- Butter and flour one square cake pan and one circle cake pan.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift together coconut flour, tapioca, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until well blended. Add in the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated.
- Add half of the flour mixture until combined.
- Add half of the milk, mix until combined. Repeat with the flour and milk one more time until all ingredients are used and well-mixed.
- Pour ½ mixture into each cake pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan.
- I like to turn them out onto a tray lined with parchment paper.
- Allow to completely cool before frosting.
- Find a large platter and center the square like a diamond.
- Cut the circle in half and place one half on each top side of the square to make a heart shape. For the frosting:
- In your mixer bowl beat butter until well whipped.
- Add the cocoa powder and whip well.
- Then slowly add in the honey until completely mixed in and whipped.
- Gently frost the cake - you may want to put a small amount between each separate cake piece to sort of 'glue' it together.
- Frost cake entirely and top with raspberries in any design you prefer.
- Layer cake option: Use this recipe as a cake for any occasion -simply use 2 circle cake pans to create a layer cake instead.
- Cupcake Option: This recipe can be used to make cupcakes as well. Reduce the baking time to 18-20 minutes, check with toothpick to see when they are done.
- Dairy Free Option: Use coconut oil or palm shortening and coconut milk for the cake. For the frosting use softened palm shortening in place of the butter.
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