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Another Birthday Cake and Simple Chocolate Frosting

Let me cut to the chase: this was my birthday cake. And a rather significant birthday at that! Which basically meant I had free rein to incorporate all my favourite things - and felt absolutely no obligation to include the things that aren't. Yay!

P.S. Best wishes for 2016 - may it be filled with happiness, health and much joy!

Favourite things: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, oh, and I'm rather partial to coconut, sweet potatoes and spinach. Least favourite things: refined sugar, dairy, gluten and cake filled with gut-wrenching junk.

This cake is based on my recipe for Serious Cocoa Fix Sweet Potato and Spinach Mini Muffins , but I added some flour to give it a more 'cake'-like crumb and look and lashings of gooey frosting. It's packed with the natural sweetness of sweet potato with the equivalent added sweetness of less than half a medjool date, a tenth of a tbsp of honey per slice (depends of the size of your slice!) and a smidge of sugar contained in the 90% chocolate used in the frosting.

Hidden in the chocolatey depths is two huge handfuls of spinach and unlike the chocolate birthday cake I made earlier this year, the frosting is a doddle to make. Arguably the frosting is not quite as glossily pretty as the ganache of its predecessor but it certainly holds its own on the taste front.

I was met with a huge amount of barely disguised scepticism at the prospect of eating a cake devoid of all the standard cake components but the amazing thing is that my 7 year old, who epitomises the term 'sugar fiend', loved this cake so much she has already requested I make the exact same one for her next birthday!

Happy Birthday to me!

My Birthday Cake and Simple Chocolate Frosting
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free


275g cold cooked and peeled sweet potato (approx 1 cup, I used 2 small)
75g washed and dried baby spinach (approx 2 handfuls)
55g (4 tbsp or 1/4 cup) coconut oil
5 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 large medjool dates, pitted (mine weighed 95g including stone, approx 1/2 cup)
75g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder or cacao (cocoa gives a darker colour)
35g (1/4 cup) coconut flour, sifted
15g (2 tbsp) tapioca flour, sifted
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
pinch of sea salt

100g 90% cocoa dark chocolate
2 tbsp (approx 30g) coconut oil
75ml (1/3 cup) thick coconut cream from top of a can, plus 1-2tbsp extra if needed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)

Optional decoration:
- To make the carob, seed and date balls I used the recipe for the base in my Spirulina Mint and Carob Raw Cake
- Dried lavender petals
- Lemon zest
- Coconut butter and pomegranate roses

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius, 350 degrees farenheit.
2. Line two 19cm round loose-based cake tins with parchment paper or grease with coconut oil.
3. In a high powered blender or food processor, blend sweet potato, spinach, dates, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla until smooth.
4. Combine coconut flour, tapioca flour, cocoa/ cacao, bicarb of soda, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl, ensuring no lumps.
5. Pour the wet batter into the dry bowl and fold in until well combined.
6. Evenly divide mixture between 2 prepared cake tins and gently smooth over the tops.
7. Bake in preheated oven on middle shelf for approx 25mins, swapping the cake tins halfway to ensure an even bake.
8. Allow to cool slightly before gently removing from tins and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Set aside.
9. To make frosting, melt chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water, ensuring bottom of bowl does not touch the water.
10. When melted and glossy, allow to cool slightly before mixing in coconut cream, vanilla extract and honey/ maple syrup if using. Frosting may look split and grainy and if so follow step 11 below.
11. Transfer frosting to a high powered blender or use a handheld whisk and blend/ whisk until emulsified and a thick smooth frosting emerges. Add extra coconut cream if frosting is too thick.
12. When cakes are completely cool, use half of the frosting to sandwich the two cakes together and the rest to frost the top. Smooth over with a palette knife and decorate as preferred.
13. I made the roses by squeezing the juice from a dozen or so pomegranate seeds into melted coconut butter then transferring mixture into silicone moulds and refrigerated until set.


  1. The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing..
    birthday cake

  2. Thanks so much for your kind comment and really glad it has been helpful for you. Would love to hear if you give any of the recipes a go! Wishing you all the best.. Angela

  3. I plan to make this as my birthday cake! I don't have fresh spinach but was going to try frozen spinach, what do you think?

    1. Hi Renas - I haven't tried it with frozen spinach but worry it might be too 'watery'. You could consider trying defrosting it and thoroughly squeezing out the liquid before using? Bear in mind also a handful of fresh spinach is very different from a cup of cooked frozen which is much more dense - perhaps go with weight rather than volume! Sorry not to be more help and happy birthday x


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