Anneliese’s birthday is at the end of July, and that means Summer is in full-swing and berries are busting out all over (well, here in Central California anyway!) My girl is a huge fan of fruit, so last year when she turned 1, I sought out a grain-free strawberry cake. I ended up making a variation of Elana’s Coconut Flour Strawberry Cupcakes, which were wonderful (with a homemade marshmallow frosting)! This year for her birthday, Anneliese asked for a Big! Cake! so I decided to translate the recipe to a double layer cake, and hope the texture stayed consistent. It worked fantastically.
Instead of making marshmallow frosting this year, I decided to go with a less-sweet (but still sugary – don’t get me wrong!) cream cheese frosting from Not So Humble Pie. Be sure to click over there and drool at her cinnamon rolls too. The frosting is delicious and not sickeningly sweet, and it pipes beautifully, helping me to actually make a cake that’s pretty for once in my life!
I mean, have you seen my cakes?? They’re often just passable… very frequently not frosted at all… or really freaking ridiculous (I actually really like that one). Oh wait! I did make a pretty cake, ONCE (Back in 2008).
So, this cake… (Don’t worry. Printable recipe is at the bottom.)
Sift together coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda in one bowl. In another bowl, beat together eggs, honey, and vanilla bean paste until combined, then add to the dry ingredients. It’s going to be a really thick batter like this. DON’T FREAK OUT. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
Get a bunch of strawberries, then slice them so they don’t roll away.
Then cut them into little teeny pieces. I just run my chef’s knife through them a bunch of times in different directions. It works swell.
Do that until you have a whole bunch of strawberry pieces. And dump them into the batter.
Combine until well incorporated. The strawberries add more moisture and make the batter a bit “looser” but it’s still very thick. That’s how it’s supposed to be.
Prepare two 9” cake pans by buttering the sides, and laying parchment paper on the bottom. Then, (not pictured) divide the batter between the pans. I smooth it toward the sides with a spatula, and then bang it on the counter really hard to flatten it out nicely. I do this with a lot of my grain free baked goods and it works really well.
Bake them until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is just starting to pull away from the edges of the pans.
Let the cakes cool in the pans for at least an hour, then loosen the edges with a knife and turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack or whatever you want them on. I wanted mine on a cutting board for frosting and decorating.
Once your frosting is made, grab a spoon and eat it , find a spatula. An offset metal spatula would probably be your best tool, but I’m not that fancy yet, so I used a silicone spatula and a metal butter knife, alternating.
I put one of my cakes upside down, so the top would be perfectly flat, and spread a thin layer of frosting on it.
Then add the other cake, right side up, and you have kind of a giant oreo type thing going on. With the flat sides together, there was no trimming involved, and they stick together perfectly.
Then decorate it. You guys, I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to decorating cakes. I just slapped frosting all over the thing, then added strawberry pieces and piped the rest of the frosting around to make it pretty. My piping bag is a super-fancy freezer ziploc bag (don’t use a sandwich bag. They explode.) with the very tip of a corner cut off. I do have like 3 actual piping tips, so I screwed on the one with the biggest opening and went to town.
I felt inordinately proud of myself for pulling off the “slice a strawberry but not all the way and fan it out” decoration in the center of the cake.
Plus, this cake is really good. The actual cake part has a really nice honey flavor, and the cream cheese frosting makes it almost like eating a strawberry cheesecake. Almost.
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 8 large eggs
- 3/4 cup honey
- 2 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
- Butter or oil for pans
- 16 oz cream cheese room temperature, 2 blocks
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream cold
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift together coconut flour, arrowroot powder, salt and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, honey, and vanilla bean paste until well combined.
Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Add your strawberries and mix again.
Prepare two 9" cake pans by buttering the sides, and lining the bottoms with parchment paper.
Divide batter between the pans and spread evenly. Pound them on the counter a few times to level everything. (Really.)
Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
In your electric mixer, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Remove the cream to another bowl if you don't have 2 mixer bowls (I don't). Don't worry about cleaning the bowl or the whisk though.
Beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
Add the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture, and beat JUST to combine. If you overbeat it it will loose its fluff and no one wants that.
Frost your cake.
Frozen or dried strawberries won't work.
Coconut flour recipes sometimes vary depending on humidity. If you live in a very humid area, consider adding a litttttle bit more coconut flour, or try cooking a bit longer.
Cool in the pans at least an hour before removing.