Today is my 5th, er.. 20th birthday – yes, I’m a Leap Year baby. Before anyone asks how I feel about having a birthday only once every four years, let me tell you – it’s probably the best birthday to have. You get to celebrate on two days every year because no one knows which day you usually celebrate on (the 28th), and then when it finally IS your birthday you have even more reason to celebrate because it’s actually on the calendar. I feel like I got pretty lucky – I get so many celebrations! Most people usually think it’s rather unlucky, but they just don’t know a good thing when they see it. 😉
I did make my own cake, indeed. Two, actually. Because obviously, I need a cake for each of my ages (Min is what my family has always called me – I figured putting that name onto the 5 cake was fitting). This cake has absolutely everything I wanted, which is why I wanted to make it myself. And I’ve just been having way too much fun baking and decorating cakes. I decided to make it all gluten free, since I’ve been having a lot of fun doing gluten free baking lately, and to be honest, it’s much healthier this way. I’d rather be able to eat a bit more cake than let it all go to waste on yucky white flour.
So, let me tell you about this cake. It’s made in 6-inch rounds, so it’s rather small (which is mostly why I made two). Three-layer. Two layers are chocolate cake, one layer is brownie. It’s filled with toasted coconut pecan frosting, topped with it as well, and the sides are frosted with a whipped ganache. I made everything using coconut milk so that I wouldn’t have to worry about my lactose issues. I am so in love with the frosting. It’s perfect. The chocolate cake is nice and light, and the brownie is nice and rich.
You better believe I had this for lunch today.
German Chocolate Brownie Cake
makes 2 3-layer 6 inch cakes
For the chocolate cake layers:
1/2 cup + 1 T coconut flour
1/4 cup + 2 T cocoa powder
3/4 t salt
3/4 t baking soda
3/4 cup oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup agave nectar
1 T vanilla
Trace the bottoms of your cake pans onto parchment paper and cut out the circles. Place on the bottom of each cake pan, and spray with olive oil. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, agave, and vanilla using a hand mixer. Slowly stir in the coconut flour mixture, and mix with the hand blender until thoroughly combined. Divide evenly into 4 lined 6-inch cake pans, and bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing. Invert the pan over a plate for easy removal. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for an hour or so to ensure it’s cold.
Note: I only have 3 pans, so I just baked 3 and then baked the last layer with the brownie layers.
For the brownie layer:
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut oil (does not need to be extra-virgin)
1 cup coconut sugar
1 T vanilla
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup almond flour
2 T coconut flour
In a small bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut flour, salt, and sugar. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and vanilla. Over medium heat, melt together the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a saucepan. Once melted, pour into the egg mixture and mix. Add in the flour mixture, and stir until fully incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between 2 lined 6-inch cake pans, and bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing. Invert the pan over a plate for easy removal. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge for an hour or so to ensure it’s cold.
Coconut Pecan Frosting:
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup agave nectar
1 T + 2 t corn starch
1 T water
1 1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted & chopped
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the agave, milk, and salt. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir together the corn starch and water, and mix into the heated milk. Whisk thoroughly. Continue heating until it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat, and stir in the coconut oil. Once it’s melted, transfer the mixture into the freezer for 30-40 minutes, until completely white all the way through. Once cooled, beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, and then stir in the pecans and coconut.
1 cup coconut milk
300 g dark chocolate
1 t vanilla
Chop up the chocolate and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the coconut milk to a boil. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Allow to come to room temperature. Once cooled, beat with the paddle attachment on a stand mixer until fluffy and spreadable.
(if making the two cakes, doing them simultaneously is easiest, so follow the instructions below with both cakes at the same time)
Remove the cake and brownie layers from the fridge, and unwrap. On a cake board, plate, or cake stand, place a small dot of frosting, and one layer of cake. Put about 1/2 cup of the coconut pecan frosting on the cake layer, and spread with a spatula to about 1/2″ away from the edge. Top with the brownie layer, add 1/2 cup coconut frosting, and spread. Place the last cake layer on top, and top with the remaining coconut pecan frosting. Spread the frosting until about 1/2-1″ away from the edge.
With a straight spatula, frost the edges of the cake with the whipped ganache. Start at the top so that you fill in the outer edges around the coconut pecan frosting. With leftover ganache, place the rest into a pastry bag and pipe any designs you’d like around the edges.
Serve at room temperature, and store in the fridge. Enjoy!!