Yesterday I attempted to make a gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free pumpkin cake, but both attempts turned out to be flops. This sort of baking is remarkably different than the traditional types made with white flour, white sugar, eggs, and butter. It's even a little intimidating. Should the batter be this thick or runny? What will give the cake structure? How little added sugar can I get away with? While I can bake pretty much any of my standard cakes with my eyes closed, more wholesome recipes require me to take note of every little detail. So to gain a little confidence back after being defeated yesterday, I thought to follow a recipe from one of my favorite new books, Wholefood Baking by Jude Blereau. As soon as I received the book, I read it from cover to cover. Every page is filled with so many helpful tips for baking with different grains, sugars, and fats. I chose to make the Coconut and Palm Sugar Cake. Made with coconut palm sugar, coconut flour, and shredded coconut, coconut cream and coconut oil, it's definitely got a lot of coconut going on. There's also a bit of lime zest added into the mix and spelt flour for structure. It would almost be vegan except for the eggs, which are a necessary component that cannot be replaced with flax or chia. For now, dairy free and refined sugar free is fine by me.
As I brought the cake out of the oven the kitchen was instantly filled with a warm coconut scent. Instead of using the accompanying cream cheese frosting recipe, I topped it off with coconut whipped cream, then drizzled it with a lime and coconut sugar syrup. There is a nice moist, though slightly dense crumb which I am guessing is from the coconut flour. I am not the biggest coconut lover (except for fresh young coconuts) but the lime was a perfect partner. Next time I will leave out the shredded coconut as it's not my favorite texture.
I won't be sharing the recipe here since it's not my own, but I do strongly encourage you to check out Jude's books if you're interested in more wholesome baking. The recipes include wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, and egg free options. There's really something for everyone!