chocolate cake

(gluten + dairy free) chocolate layer cake w/ cacao macadamia mousse + coconut whip by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

as the second year mark approaches for this here blog's existence, i find myself (as i mentioned in my last post) thinking more and more about why i began writing and creating here in the first place.  originally, i began documenting gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, both to have for myself, but also for others seeking a similar way of life.  i loved creating recipes, going back to them, seeing what worked - what didn't - and importantly, what felt good.  there was, and sometimes still is, a lot of confusion for me when it comes to meals, eating, digestion, and i find myself back in the midst of self-discovery and evolution at the moment where i'm re-learning and/or un-learning certain behaviors and food practices.  each day is a more intentional look at food and what it means for my entire body to digest a meal or snack, how different kinds of food grouped together can actually confuse the stomach and cause fermentation, or the fact that our gut has its own nervous system! i'm taking it all in and fascinated by the interconnectedness of it all!  

well, it's hard to segue from digestion to cake, but i'm super excited about this cake here!  it's one of the more luscious cakes i've ever made, but it's also really balanced in the sweetness department.  i'm pretty sure this is the first cake i've ever eaten without getting a crazy sugar high/low from, and you would never know it because this chocolate baby doesn't lack in richness.  the cake recipe was adapted from sarah's, the chocolate cake, and while i just added an additional egg for binding purposes and swapped in some dairy-free items, i'm pretty sure this cake can proudly stand up to the original. oh, and that cacao macadamia mousse...oh baby! it's one of the more exciting kitchen revelations over here as of late, and i'm super pumped to share the recipe.  whether you eat the entire bowl with a spoon, or mound it between two chocolatey layers of cake, you can't go wrong!  the macadamias add their lovely flavor, but also a super creamy and velvety texture that i was more than excited about.  i finished off the cake with a naked-ish coconut whip frosting that added (as my husband pointed out) a cookies 'n cream kind of flavor to it all - total bonus!  so here's to celebration, self-discovery, being adventurous and curious, and to CAKE!

**last week i had the privilege of speaking with Celine from Pure Green Magazine on their podcast; we chatted about my beginnings and what led up to me starting dolly and oatmeal, food, photography, tips, and some extra special news for the future!  you can listen to it here.

chocolate layer cake w/ cacao macadamia mousse + coconut whip (gluten + dairy free) 

cacao macadamia mousse (vegan)

i love the taste and texture of the macadamia mousse here, but if you don't have them or don't want to purchase them, cashews will work just as well in their place.  as mentioned below, the mousse needs to refrigerate for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight, so this is a great step to make the day before.

  • 3/4 cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked overnight

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 ounces dairy free chocolate (about a heaping 1/4 cup), melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted 

chocolate layer cake (gluten + dairy free) adapted from sarah

as sarah notes, the batter will quite thin, but not to worry, it will bake up just fine.  if you are making this cake for children, i would suggest replacing the 1 cup brewed coffee for 1 cup hot water.  as mentioned below, the cake layers benefit from a couple of hours of refrigeration before frosting it; they can also be refrigerated for a 2-3 days if you want to make them ahead of time.

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour 
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil (if using coconut oil make sure it is melted)
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee 

coconut whip

the coconut whip will stay white for the first day, but will continue to blend with the chocolate, so if you are not planning to serve immediately, wait to frost with the whip until ready to serve.

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight 
  • 2-3 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pomegranate seeds for decoration

cacao macadamia mousse

  • drain nuts and place in blender (preferably high-speed) along with cacao powder, melted chocolate, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt.  blend until smooth adding more milk (about 1 teaspoon at a time) if you have trouble getting everything moving.  add the coconut oil and blend again for a couple of minutes, until smooth and creamy.  chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.  remove from refrigerator 1 hour prior to use.

chocolate layer cake

  • preheat oven to 350ยฐ, grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.  set aside
  • in a large bowl, whisk the 8 dry ingredients together until mixed (break up any almond flour or cacao powder clumps) and set aside.  in another large bowl, mix together the coconut milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla, until pale yellow.  mix the wet ingredients into the dry until thoroughly combined; gently stir in the hot coffee.  evenly divide batter between cake pans and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  transfer cakes to a rack and let cool for 30 minutes; turn out from pans and let cool completely; once cool wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight

coconut whip

  • turn can upside and open from the bottom; carefully pour the coconut water from can (reserve for smoothies, etc.,) and scoop out the hard coconut cream from the bottom.  place in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat with an electric mixer until stiff and fluffy.  taste and adjust sweetness.  cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use

assemble cake

  • remove cake layers and coconut whip from refrigerator (mousse should be out and coming to room temp. already).  spread the mousse over top of one cake layer, about a 1/2-inch thick.  place remaining cake layer on top and spread the coconut whip over top and sides of cake using an offset spatula.  decorate with pomegranate seeds and serve immediately


(gluten + dairy free) chocolate olive oil bundt w/ salted maple almonds by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

the other day i was reading an article about the history of agriculture and food in america.  i had one of those "how come i never thought about this, it's so frickin' obvious" moments.  the author basically broke down the last 100 years of american eating in about 3 short paragraphs. early 1900s: hardly any grocery stores (only local "mom & pop" general stores) or restaurants and no fast-food.  mid-1900s: advertisers were increasingly abundant, encouraging people to buy store-bought items, ready-mix baked goods and dinners, instant coffee, and those boxed, microwavable TV dinners.  in the 80s and 90s there was a focus on workout videos (hello Jane Fonda, scrunchie socks and sweatbands!), Jenny Craig, protein bars and diet shakes.  as the author so vividly pointed out: more convenience = less wholesome food and the more we relied on convenience and giving other people responsibility to manage food for us, the less knowledge and concern we had over our own nutrition. i guess this struck me because as i've gotten older i have seen and felt the direct correlation between the food i put in my mouth and feeling good - making conscious decisions and taking responsibility for what will give my body energy, provide nutrients and put me in a good mood.

i know, chocolate cake after i went on a rant about nutrition?  hey, part of this whole nutrition thing is balance, and there's no balance in life if chocolate isn't involved, am i right?  me and chocolate cake have long history; on every single one of my birthdays my mom would make a chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting with chocolate m&m's!  but then there was the baker's cafe - a small restaurant known as somewhat of a hippie establishment because they had items on the menu that included: sprouts, whole wheat bread, pita bread, hummus, and hemp seeds - so hippie you guys ;) in any event, their takeout/bakery counter had all sorts of cakes and cookies, but me and my dad's favorite was the baker's chocolate cake.  it was a deep, dark, lusciously moist bundt cake with a super thick chocolate ganache and we would get a piece each time we went.  so you can imagine my great joy when i popped this lovely cake out of her pan and cut her open to find that she was just as dark and luscious as the baker's cake - only free of gluten and dairy!  so here's to chocolate cake and making conscious decisions about the food that we eat. 

and while we're on the topic of cake...

anya's Parsnip Cake with Candied Kumquats is a.) super clever. and b.) gorgeous! definitely putting it on the to-make list for next year

i will never be able to get enough of nuts on cake, especially when there are hazelnuts and chocolate involved - laura wins the cake game with this one!

julia's photography is super pretty but this gluten free coconut cake, totally takes the cake! (harhar)

and i think we can all agree, cynthia's miniaturization of cake and pie is pretty impressive! 

then there were cake truffles by the always inventive molly!

lastly, i never knew how intricate you could get with decorating mini cakes.  here, sarah comes through with some serious jedi cake decoration knowledge

chocolate olive oil bundt w/ salted maple almonds (gluten + dairy free)


  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder) + more for coating pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup hot water
  • coconut oil for greasing 

chocolate ganache

  • 2 ounces dairy free chocolate 
  • 1.5 ounces full-fat coconut milk
  • tiny pinch of salt

salted maple almonds - recipe here

  • 1/4 cup, roughly chopped


  • preheat oven to 350ยฐ and grease an 8 or 9-inch bundt pan with coconut oil, place a couple teaspoons of cacao powder in the pan.  gently shake the pan to disperse the powder evenly; tip and bump to clear excess powder, set aside
  • in a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients with a whisk; set aside - break up any clumps with your fingers
  • in another large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until thoroughly combined - about 1 minute.  add the vanilla and oil; add the hot water while whisking
  • add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until combined.  carefully pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan; transfer to oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through and until a baking tester comes out clean
  • transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  invert onto a serving platter or large plate

make the ganache

  • in a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk until boiling, remove from heat and add the chocolate; let it rest for about 5 minutes, add the salt and stir to combine
  • drizzle chocolate evenly over the top of the cake, then top with salted maple almonds
  • best eaten the day of, but you can cover the cake with parchment and store at room temperature for about 3 days


two minute chocolate cake by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


so i was wanting to make a dessert for tonight but i wasn't wanting to do much work or cleanup.  i'm sure many of you can relate to having days like this.  i was trying to think of something simple, that would still be yummy, but not make me hate the idea making it.  i remembered this easy little cake recipe that i surprised frank with one weeknight after he came home from work.  it's a fun dessert you can get away with making anytime because you don't need any fancy ingredients or baking pans, you just need a coffee mug.  one of frank's favorite drinks is a cafe mocha, so this was perfect for him because it delivers chocolate in a mug.  if you can believe it, you just mix the cake mix in a mug, microwave it, and you can pop it right out and onto a plate or eat it out of the mug.  this is a great single serving and fast cooking dessert if you're ever in a mood or a pinch that won't leave you with any hassle of leftovers (and by "hassle of leftovers," i mean no temptation to eat more than a healthy portion) or a bunch of bowls to clean.

i ended up adding some unsweetened coconut and walnuts.  but you can add whatever you like, whether it's various nuts, espresso grounds, chocolate chips, or cinnamon. this cake will taste awesome with whatever you choose, even if you choose to keep it plain.

adapted from Delighted Momma

:: makes 1 small cake ::

3 tablespoons almond meal (or flour of your choice)

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons raw honey (or sugar)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 egg

1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut

a handful of walnuts

a few pinches of fine grain sea salt

:: directions (or lack thereof) ::

mix all the ingredients in a large coffee mug until combined. (i would use a small spatula or a spoon.)

place in the center of your microwave oven.  cook for 2 minutes.

cool for a minute or 2.

:: enjoy ::