National Chocolate Cake Day

In honor of National Chocolate Cake Day, Saturday, 27 January, I decided to make an alternative cake. One whose focus was chocolate, but not a traditional fluffy decadent piece of I-only-eat-one-slice-when-it-is-my-cheat-day kind of chocolate cake. I was excited to try this because my 2-year-old is on a savory and sweet carb kick right now. However, he will eat almost anything if he likes the way it “looks.” Apparently, he gets it from his momma, because when I saw the pictures of this cake on Pinterest, my mouth watered and my brain fritzed. posted this recipe as Chocolate Zucchini Cake | Vegan, Gluten-free, Oil-free. We are not a vegan, gluten-free, or oil-free home, but the idea of creatively incorporating more veggies into an edible delight was attractive. Once I got past the title and initial photo of that creamy frosting, the subtitle read Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Cake with a Sweet Potato Frosting… Halt! SWEET POTATO FROSTING! (Yep, that was my brain fritzing) 2 year old’s favorite vegetable: sweet potatoes. Win, win.  

Disclaimer ALERT: This is not a review of a recipe, it is not an attempt to sway others to eat vegan or not eat vegan cuisine, and it is not a baking critique (as I am not trained as a baker). It is simply a recount of our veggie chocolate cake making and eating experience.

On to the chocolate! The ingredient gathering went well enough. Out of 14 total ingredients needed, I was unable to secure two: the brown rice flour and a nut butter. I substituted those with all-purpose flour and a hazelnut spread, respectively. I could have substituted coconut flour or another rice flour, but I really wanted something bland to experience how the rest of the ingredients combined and tasted together. Once I combined the wet and dry ingredients, the batter became very dense. It looked and acted closer to bread consistency than a cake. All that mattered was that it smelled chocolatey and looked chocolatey. I love lining my baking pans with oiled parchment paper that is slightly bigger than it should be to create funky ridges in the cake. I’m sure all the bakers are scowling at me, but I love the character the paper gives my edges. Into the oven it went.

While that was baking, it was time to blend the frosting together. It ended up slightly thick and pliable, very similar to buttercream frosting. The first taste test was about to commence and the honors had to be given to our in-house chocolate and sweet potato fiend taste-tester. His reaction… Yum, more! I’d say that was a win, and just look at that smile.

After the cake was done, cooled, and frosted, I asked the pickiest eaters to give it a try. The hubster, my 2 yr old, the coolest kid (also known as Mr. Extremely-Selective-When-it-Comes-to-Food) on the block, and his momma came over for a try. The verdicts: A) David loved the frosting. He’s not much on cake so his “It’s all right” meant it was good. B) Toddler was done with it after three bites. He definitely preferred the frosting and I will definitely make it for him as a dipping sauce for his fruits or pancake Saturdays. C) The Cool Kid thoroughly enjoyed the first few bites. He needed water after the third bite to wash it down. He noted that it tasted and felt more like a brownie. Around this time, his mom and I started discussing the ingredients and he no longer thought it was good or edible, hahahahaha! D) The moms: the frosting rocked, but the cake was more of a bread/brownie. The flavor was light enough to not overwhelm the taste buds, but the consistency of the cake would definitely not make the cut at the next birthday party. We did come to a consensus. If we added protein powder to the mix and rolled the bread into balls or rolled the balls in protein powder, they would be a perfect power/protein snack. I could definitely have one or two of these after a workout, during a long run, or just as a small pick me up during the day!

We hope you were able to enjoy a chocolatey cake on National Chocolate Cake Day. If not, mark your calendars for next year and jump on the wagon! You can find Ela Vegan’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake recipe here if you’d like a go at it. As always, we hope y’all have a great week!