Tag Archives: frosting

Dairy-Free, Dye-Free Fall Frosting

91vwsqbattl-_sy679_A little natural Halloween pearl for the curious, adventurous baker.

If you need to color some frosting a rich yellow or orange without artificial food coloring, try a dab or two of red palm shortening–and you’ll also pack in a smidge of vitamin E.

You’ll have to be willing to play with it though. My family made some cut-out cookies for our pumpkin carving night last week. I mixed together for the frosting: Spectrum “All Vegetable” palm shortening at room temperature (this is white and is not truly “vegetable shortening,” but palm shortening), powdered sugar, vanilla, and a dab of Nutiva’s red palm oil (which is a solid at room temperature) for color.

The ratios depend on how thick you’d like your frosting, how sweet, and the color you’re aiming for. My ratio was approximately 1 cup of Spectrum’s (white) “all vegetable” palm shortening to 1 cup of powdered sugar to 1 teaspoon of vanilla to about 2 tablespoons of red palm oil. All estimates. It will need played with. Taste as you add more red palm oil so that you don’t pick up any unwanted off-flavors associated with unrefined red palm oil. Mix with an electric mixer. This could be thinned by adding your choice of alternative milk.

Please note that there is controversy regarding palm-derived oils and the destructive clearing of land for palm plantations and displacement and endangerment of native animals.

Sustainable palm products do not completely eliminate these issues, but it is an important step at preserving land and animals while continuing the livelihood of the local people who rely on production.

I hope you all have a great weekend.



Chocolate Cake and Frosting

Chocolate cake and frosting

Chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet.

Celebrated my baby sister’s 26th birthday yesterday.  So had to take a break from soups and revisit sweets.  Darn.  This chocolate cake hits the nail on the head.  However, frosting has been challenging for me without butter, cream, and refined sugar.  After a few attempts and a trial of palm shortening, accomplished a sweet, thick, chocolaty, pipable frosting.  The gluten-free, dairy-free, GAPS nutrition program-legal chocolate birthday cake is done.  I have no changes to make.  No craving to fulfill.  This takes care of it.  And it is good.

Chocolate Cake:

A very good, moist, and thick chocolate cake.  Great chocolate flavor.


3 cups almond flour (Honeyville is what I use)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I’ve used Hershey’s Dark and also Penzey’s, loved the dark chocolate in this recipe, but both great!)
3/4 teaspoonful salt
3/4 teaspoonful baking soda
1 and 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional, but enhances chocolate flavor)
5 eggs, divided into whites and yolks
1 and 1/2 cups honey
1 and 1/2 generous tablespoonsful vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. For 2 layer cake:  Oil two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans and also line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Oil the top of the parchment paper also. (Your circle doesn’t need to be perfect, and it shouldn’t go up the sides of the pan. It’s just that if the cake is going to stick, it seems to do it in the middle of the pan.)
3. Mix almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and cardamom together in a medium-sized bowl.
4. In a large bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
5. In a medium-sized bowl, mix yolks, honey, and vanilla together well.
6. Gently pour the yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites and fold together.
7. Gently hand mix, but mix thoroughly, the dry ingredients into the egg mixture.
8. Pour into prepared pans.
9. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Don’t overbake. Not forgiving.)
10. Allow to cool a bit (30 minutes, maybe) and then turn bottom layer out onto desired dish. (Mine turned out well even a few hours later after I’d gotten the frosting right.)
11.  Spread chocolate frosting between layers, as well as a layer of honey meringue frosting between layers (recipes follow).  Put on top layer.  Frost top and sides with chocolate frosting.  I just like the whipped creamy-like moistness that the honey meringue frosting sitting between the layers gives the cake, but I don’t like to frost the entire cake with it because it’s too strong of a honey flavor.

Please note:  Sometimes the cake sinks in the middle and sometimes not.  Sorry.  Maybe someone else can help me with this.

Chocolate Frosting:

A nice thick, creamy frosting with good chocolate flavor that will spread and pipe prettily.

4 ounces of 100% unsweetened cacao chocolate (Ghirardelli used)
1 cup of palm shortening (Spectrum used)
1/2 cup of raw honey that is set up at room temperature, not the pourable kind (although that might work, I don’t know)
1 tablespoonful of vanilla, or to taste

1. Chop chocolate bar into fine pieces (I used my hand held food chopper).
2. Melt over double boiler until just melted.  Remove from heat.
3. Allow to cool but still remain a liquid.
4. Meanwhile, cream together the palm shortening, honey, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
5. Slowly add in the melted chocolate while beating, only a little at a time to make sure it’s not too hot. Make VERY sure the chocolate is not warm enough to melt the palm shortening. (I added in a teaspoonful and mixed, repeated, and repeated until I was very sure the chocolate would not melt the shortening.)
6. Refrigerate just a bit if needed, but if you do so too long, it gets hard and you have to wait for it to warm up a bit and then refluff it.
7. Frost cake or put into piping bag and pipe on frosting.

Honey Flavor Meringue Frosting:

This frosting has a strong honey flavor.  Not reminiscent of the birthday cakes I had growing up.  So to spread the whole cake in this is too much honey for me.  But spreading it between the layers of a two-layer cake, along with the chocolate frosting–then icing the entire cake with the chocolate frosting–gives it a sweetness and moistness boost, making it decadent! Nearly sinful.

2 egg whites
1/2 cup honey
1/4 teaspoonful salt
1 teaspoonsful vanilla
1.  Bring water in the bottom pan of a double boiler to a boil (alternative to a double boiler is to use a large heat-stable glass bowl over a saucepan).
2.  As you are waiting on water to boil, put honey, egg whites, and salt in top pan of double boiler and mix well for one minute with hand mixer.  Make sure your top pan of the double boiler is large enough for the whites when you froth them up.  The mixture will froth up as you beat it in the pan.  It almost overflows my pan, but it doesn’t.
3.  Once water in the bottom pan is boiling, place honey and egg mixture pan (or bowl) on top of the boiling water bath.  Be sure the boiling water does not touch the bottom of the pan.
4.   Beat with a handmixer constantly for 7 minutes.  Remove from heat.
5.  Mix in vanilla.

Conversely, you can bring the honey to a boil in a pan for about 4-7 minutes (don’t burn).  In the meantime beat egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form.  Slowly, slowly pour the honey into the egg whites, beating constantly.  Add in vanilla.  Beat to desired consistency.  Sometimes I just can’t get this to stiffen as much as I’d like.

Things I had to look up:
Is it chocolaty or chocolatey?  Both are correct.
How to spell pipable:  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pipable.
How about fulfill?  Looks as if there is a British spelling and an American spelling.  (fulfil vs. fulfill)