Amazing Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Orange Ganache and Chocolate Buttercream Icing {Recipe – GAPS/Paleo}

That’s just about the longest blog post title for food I’ve ever done.  πŸ™‚  Okay, on to the good stuff…

So I forgot to take a picture before this cake had candles stuck all in it and before we ate more than half of it…oops…

We celebrated my husband’s birthday this past 2 weekends ago, and we enjoyed a rich chocolate cake that was entirely grain free and GAPS/Paleo friendly.  All of my family said it was really good (with surprise probably).  I totally just used other people’s recipes and paired them together in 1 cake.  Cocoa powder is okay for advanced GAPSters.  We have never noticed problems with it, so we use it for special occasions.

I have made this cake before and used the ganache icing recipe on the entire cake without the orange zest.  I also did not use the orange zest in the cake that time.  It was super good!  BUT I love this one even more.  I also used a buttercream icing on the outside of the cake this time.  I loved the different textures and flavors.  So, you could use just one of these frostings on the entire cake or use both like I did.  Either way, you will love it!

If you want just a chocolate cake and icings, just leave the orange zest out of the cake and ganache.  It will still be amazingly good.

One important thing I want to share – my husband and I both enjoyed multiple slices of this cake (um, even with breakfast…), and we didn’t notice any bad blood sugar effects.  Usually when we eat cake (the flour-y, sugar filled kind), we feel awful afterwards, get tired, and have sugar crashes where we don’t feel like doing anything and we just want to sit and then just go to sleep.  This cake did not make us feel this way at all!  I love being able to enjoy good food like this without it harming how I feel.  This is a beautiful thing. πŸ™‚ 

 sorry for the bad picture, but I wanted you to see the texture of the cake and icings

Chocolate Cake {Recipe – GAPS/Paleo}
Original Recipe from Elana’s Pantry.  I am posting the recipe here with the modifications I made.

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt (or other good salt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 cup melted butter, preferably grassfed (can use coconut oil instead)
  • 1 1/2 cups honey, preferably raw
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest (cake is still great without this)


  1. In a small bowl combine flour, cacao, salt and baking soda
  2. In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, blend eggs, butter, honey, vanilla and orange zest
  3. Add dry ingredients into large bowl and continue to blend
  4. Oil (2) 9-inch cake pans and dust with coconut flour (for ease of removal, I cut parchment paper to put in cake pans and then simply use butter or coconut oil to grease the paper and sides of the pan)
  5. Pour batter into pans and bake at 325Β° for 35-40 minutes
  6. Remove from oven, allow to cool completely then remove from pans
  7. Frost and serve

Choclate Orange (or not!) Ganache Icing {Recipe – GAPS/Paleo}
Recipe from Nourishing Gourmet

  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup of virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • dash or two of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • for chocolate orange ganache: 1 Tbsp orange zest


  1. Gently melt the coconut oil in a saucepan (you don’t want to heat it, just melt it)
  2. In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients and pulse until well combined. (I have also just whisked this by hand)
  3. Scrape into a small bowl and place in the freezer or refrigerator until it has hardened to desired consistency. It took about 15 minutes in my freezer.  (I check on it every 5-10 minutes and stir/whisk it)
  4. You can use a hand mixer to fluff the frosting up (you may need to do this if the frosting has become too stiff as well).
  5. Spread on desired baked good and enjoy!

Chocolate Orange Ganache Variation: Add 1 tablespoon orange zest with the rest of the ingredients. Continue on with the rest of the directions.

Notes: I used much more honey the last time I made it – I was using a thick honey I recently got and it is not as strong or sweet as honey I normally have.  So, you might need to add honey to taste, especially if you are trying to please a crowd that is used to super sweet sugar-laden desserts.  I probably used about 3/4-1 cup of honey total.  But again, I have made this before with store bought honey that is pourable, and I only needed the 1/2 cup in the recipe.   I also think these would make great truffles rolled into balls and dusted with cocoa powder or shredded coconut…mmmm….

Chocolate Buttercream Icing {Recipe – GAPS/Paleo}
Recipe from Our Nourishing Roots – makes enough for one double layer cake

  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raw honey (thick, unfiltered, unpourable honey makes the best icing!)
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (raw)
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled (I did not use this, I simply added a couple grinds of himalayan salt to enhance the chocolate taste.  The link above to the recipe at ‘Our Nourishing Roots’ has a couple different things you could use besides coffee.  I thought it was great without it with a tiny bit of salt added – but be careful and don’t add too much!  It is easy to add the salt to taste after it is all whipped together before you put it in the fridge.)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
Process: .
  1. Put butter and honey into a bowl on your stand mixer (or hand mixer) fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whisk at a high speed for 3-5 minutes until well-combined and light colored.  Turn mixer off and add cocoa powder and vanilla.  Start mixer slow until combined, then whisk on high for another 3 minutes.  Turn off, scrape down the sides of the bowl, unhook the whisk attachment and use to combine by hand.
  2. Chill entire bowl and detached whisk attachment in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Remove and whisk once more for 3 minutes.  Use to frost immediately.  Store leftover frosting in the fridge.

Notes: If you make this ahead of time and refrigerate it, allow for time to sit on the counter to soften before needing to use.  Once soft enough, whisk again to fluff the frosting.  If needed (if it got too soft), repeat step 2 above before using on the cake.

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