I Baked A Gluten-Free & Vegan Cake & Everybody Ate It.

April 14, 2014

The past three to four months have seen me working over my weekends. Be it either sourcing for props on a Saturday morning for Monday shoots or spending Sunday morning & afternoon in the kitchen, pottering about, cooking & packing up for said Monday shoot. Either way, I’m still so much happier than I was a year ago. Sunday Blues… what Sunday Blues? But. This past weekend was some sort of sweet bliss – no weekend work & a free week ahead to sort out all the life admin (thank you Easter weekend, thank you).

What to do with all this time? But to bake, of course, as one does. Truth be told, the savoury side of life & I are besties, as the youth would call it. But. There’s so much more to me than simply making rice dishes that leave many astounded at the perfect fluffy grain, or searing salmon like some sort of salmon searing champ. I really do have so much more to offer.

Lately, I’ve been veering away from meat in general. A choice that seems to have developed naturally, with me sticking to seafood & a diet of plant-based proteins, more often than not. Apart from pescatarian habits returning & the lean towards vegetarian ones, I’ve been sidestepping gluten like a bad game of hopscotch. Avoiding bloating is high on my priority list (I know) but why spend your days in crampy agony if you don’t have to? There really is no need for it. Also. What’s the point of all this weekend time if not to set a little challenge? Yes? Yes.

In all honesty – I expected this to be a flop of epic proportion the first time round. I wasn’t sure about the chickpea flour. But. It wasn’t – oh yeah.

Say hello to cake of delight…

cake 1

Gluten Free, Vegan, Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Avocado & Carob Icing (long name, I know. I just call it cake).

  • 4 small beetroot, cooked & peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 2 cups soya milk


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp carob powder
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 150ml Maple syrup
  • Fresh raspberrries, to serve

How To Do It:

  • Preheat oven to 200C. Grease & line a 20cm springform cake tin.
  • Place beets in a food processor & blitz to form a puree.
  • Combine the pureed beets, brown sugar, coconut oil & vanilla extract in a medium bowl & mix well. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift the chickpea flour, cocoa & baking powder & salt together. Add the almonds.
  • Add the soya milk to the dry ingredients, mix well, followed by the beetroot mixture. Mix lightly until well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin & bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin before icing.

For The Icing:

  • Place the avocado, cocoa & carob powder, coconut oil & Maple syrup in a food processor & blitz until smooth & well combined.
  • Ice the top & sides of the cake & garnish with fresh raspberries.

cake 3

cake 2

Things To Remember:

  • I’m no baking genius but this cake is damn good.
  • Said cake was baked in my (at times) wonky gas oven – I would lower the temp to 180C once the cake goes in for electric ovens.
  • All ingredients available at health food stores, most ingredients even found at bigger supermarket chains.
  • I have no idea what the texture would be like if ingredients were substituted – play at your own risk.
  • For extra fudgy flavour – I placed the cake in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes once iced.

*One last thing: Yes, this cake is certainly more expensive to make than throwing it together with all the regular baking ingredients. My view: if you are happy with your baking vibe as is – rad. Personally, I would sooner bake & eat fewer cakes (the hips & general physique would agree) & save my treat time & cash money spending on this one, than eat all the cake, all the time.  Again, simply a matter of personal choice, that is all.*

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