A decadent chocolate cake studded with cherries, covered in a vegan chocolate buttercream, and then slathered with more cherry pie topping makes for a gorgeous and dripping Valentine’s dessert–or any time you want a showstopper presentation. This dessert is free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanuts and tree nuts; as well as top-8-free and vegan.
All growing up my Grandma Egbert would make cherry chocolate cake. It was a bit of a staple at family celebrations and holidays.
So, I knew I had to recreate it, so the legend could live on.
That–and it was probably my husband’s favorite cake I made pre-allergy days, so I knew that we couldn’t just go cold turkey because we couldn’t use eggs, flour or the usual line up of ingredients.
Plus, it’s just so Valentine-sy! I mean, chocolate and fruit? Come on! Plus, it’s fruit that’s almost dripping off the cake? Hello perfect date night dessert.
You of course don’t have to make it into a heart shape–but I thought it’d be a bit more festive for Valentine’s. It’s great in a 13×9 pan–that way you don’t have to worry about frosting the sides, or piping the edges (to keep the filling from falling off the top).
Speaking of piping–I don’t know how full-time bakers do it! Ay-yi-yi! What a pain. Hand cramps after just like a minute. I guess my hands need to go to the gym more. So, please don’t look too closely because I just ain’t got time for that (seriously–have you ever tried to frost and take pictures of a cake all within your toddler’s nap time–it’s like a Nascar pit stop over here!) I try to pipe once or twice a year, tops. And, seeing as I piped the tops of the cupcakes I posted last week–you all are certainly loved. (Also, the non-stop chocolate at my house has been wonderful!)
Question for you all: How un-loving would it be to just freeze the rest of this and use it for my husband’s birthday next week? I wanted to post this before Valentine’s Day, in case anyone needed a to-die-for dessert for their gluten-free or vegan lovers. So–now the question is–do I make MORE cake for my husband’s birthday cake? I know he loves this, and I don’t know if this pregnant momma has the energy to make three batches of cake, three weeks in a row. (Although I could certainly eat it–just don’t want to have to shop for the ingredients and clean afterwards.
Maybe I should have another slice of cake while I think out my laziness problems…
Whatever you do for Valentine’s Day–whether it be a gal-entines day with dear friends, or with a special someone, I hope you have a great day. And trust me, if this cake is included it will be. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, but at least I’ve treated myself this week!
To a safe, AND INCLUDED Valentine’s Day.
And, to my dear Grandma Egbert that I don’t get to see as often as I would like–I sure love you and think of you every time I make this. Thanks for showing me love through baking!!
- 1 and 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 flax eggs (2 Tablespoons ground flax seeds mixed with 5 Tablespoons of warm water)
- Two 21 ounce cans gluten-free cherry pie filling
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water
- A double-batch of vegan chocolate buttercream*
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in the flax eggs, one entire can of cherry pie filling, and vanilla.
- Add the hot water, mixing gently until thoroughly combined.
- Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan or two 9 inch round pans. (If you're doing a heart, do one square and one circle.)
- Bake for 30-35 minutes for a 9x13, or 20-25 minutes if it's separated into two pans--or until the middle springs back when you touch it, and it's slightly pulling from the edges of the pan.
- Invert the cakes onto a cooling rack, so your cake can cool completely.
- While it cools completely, make the frosting.
- Frost the cake, and then top with the other can of cherry pie filling.
- Keep covered after serving.
*If you are doing a 13x9, you only need one batch of chocolate frosting. But, if you're going to be layering this, or making a shape (where you'll need some frosting for piping, and frosting for the sides of a cake) you'll need a double batch. Alternatively, if this is too much sugar for you--it's great topped with just a light sprinkling of powdered sugar.
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