Strawberry Chocolate Layer Cake (GAPS legal : gluten free : grain free : primal : paleo)


For her 5th birthday, my daughter requested strawberry chocolate cake, and I was happy to oblige her! This grain-free strawberry chocolate cake is moist and delicious. The strawberries meld into the cake, so the texture is still nice and soft.  This cake recipe is sweet, but not overly sweet, and it goes great with some homemade ice cream.

Grain-Free Strawberry Chocolate Layer Cake

Makes a 2-layer cake

  • 1 cup butter, preferably from grassfed cows (or substitute unrefined coconut oil for a dairy-free option)

  • 1 & 1/4 cups honey

  • 1.5 tsp fine-ground celtic sea salt

  • 12 eggs, preferably from pastured hens

  • 1 Tb organic vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp almond extract

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tb coconut flour

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tb cocoa powder*

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda**

  • 10 oz frozen strawberries, thawed just enough to be sliced***

  • Vanilla buttercream frosting, recipe follows

  • Required equipment: two 9-inch cake pans, parchment paper

  • Optional equipment: immersion blender****

  1. Liberally grease the sides of two 9-inch cake pans with butter or coconut oil.  Dust the sides with a little coconut flour.  Then line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.  This will keep the cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  

  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Turn off heat and add the honey to the pan.  No stirring is necessary at this point. Let this cool a bit.

  3. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, and baking soda in a large bowl. If using an immersion blender, pulse a few times to combine.  Otherwise, mix with whisk or mixer.

  4. Pour the honey/butter into the wet ingredients and blend well with an immersion blender or mixer. 

  5. Measure out the coconut flour and cocoa powder. If you are not using an immersion blender, sift both the coconut flour and cocoa powder and whisk them together.

  6. Pour the coconut flour and cocoa powder into the wet ingredients.  Using an immersion blender or mixer, mix well to combine and make sure there are no lumps.  Since coconut flour does not contain gluten, there is no worry of over-mixing it.

  7. Fold in the sliced strawberries.

  8. Pour the batter into the two prepared cake pans. 

  9. Bake the cake in a 325 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes.  They will be done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  My cake pans are dark colored, so it may take longer if yours are light colored.  It will also take less time if you use fresh strawberries instead of frozen.

  10. Let cool for awhile (but not until completely cool) and then carefully remove the cakes from the pans.  I use a small plastic spatula to go around the perimeter of the cake to loosen it from the pan.  Then place a large plate over the cake pan and quickly invert.  You may need to tap the bottom of the cake pans a bit to release the cakes.

  11. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

*According to Natasha Campbell McBride's FAQs, cocoa is allowed occasionally while on the Full GAPS diet once digestive symptoms have subsided. **Baking soda is listed as GAPS-legal in the 10th edition of the GAPS book. ***Do NOT thaw the strawberries all the way!  If you choose to use fresh strawberries instead of frozen, they will probably not meld into the cake, but will be a bit more chunky. ****Using an immersion blender will allow you to skip the step of sifting the coconut flour and cocoa powder, and also makes less dirty dishes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting*

  1. Beat the butter for several minutes using a mixer, until it is nice and fluffy.

  2. Add the honey, vanilla, and salt and beat for several more minutes. About halfway through, the frosting may look a bit curdled, but keep mixing and it will smooth out.

  3. Using a spatula or butter knife, spread the frosting over the cake.

  4. Beware that this frosting will melt easily, so store the cake in the fridge if it is hot in your house!


*Thanks to the reader who commented on my previous frosting recipe that it worked great without the eggs and hot honey.  This recipe is so much more simple!


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