Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel is pretty much a dream come true. Rich, moist chocolate cake is layered with a super simple frosting made from caramelized coconut milk and a sprinkle of honey granola too. All of this is drizzled with salted caramel sauce, making you one helluva baker. Heck yes. 

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

 

Can I make this title a tad longer? Could we call it Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting, Granola, and a Salted Caramel Drizzle? Ding, ring. Nice, right?

I guess I’m on a mini little (redundant) layered-cake roll, right? All good things. 

Let’s just jump right in, shall we? This cake! It’s SO so good. Seriously. 

Usually chocolate cake (especially gluten free chocolate cake) is dry and dull and totally tasteless. Ugh, totally not worth it. But not this one! Holy smokes it’s so chocolatey! And totally not too rich either. The flavor is rich, but it’s not all dense and rich to where you can only have a few bites then put your fork down. 

I used the chocolate cake recipe from the Blackbird Bakery cookbook. This is the same cookbook that I used to make my Honey Cashew Banana Cake base from. It’s a home run in my book! All of the recipes are gluten free, which is awesome. And I found all of the flours in an international grocery store for cheap cheap cheap! Totally awesome.

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Now, for the frosting, you can’t get easier than this! I basically reduced a can of coconut milk with a touch of coconut sugar…and after it was super thick I added a touch of vanilla to it. Yup, that’s it. And after it’s cooled, it’s the perfect frosting. 

To add more flavor and an interesting crunch (though after a day or so, the crunch leaves, but the flavor remains), I added some granola! You can use any granola as long as its not riddled with dried fruit. Go for the plain stuff this time! I used Nature Valley’s protein granola because it has just a nice honey sweetness (and because it was in my cupboard!). I also sprinkled in some unsweetened coconut too. I’d recommend adding the granola to the very top just as you’re about to serve it, so it’s still crunchy! Yum. 

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Oh, and then I pulled a fast one on ya and drizzled the whole dang thing with Salted Caramel sauce. Yeah. You can leave this off…but we can’t be friends anymore. (Buy it at Trader Joe’s. It’s cheap and easy and SO SO good). 

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

 

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Ok! Now go make these and pretend like you didn’t notice that I didn’t make you anything loaded with berries for the Fourth. Whoops?

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel (treatswithatwist.com)

Chocolate Cake with Caramelized Coconut Milk Frosting and Salted Caramel
Richly flavorful yet subtly sweet, gluten free chocolate cake is stacked with caramelized coconut milk frosting, a sprinkle of honey oat granola and then drizzled with salted caramel. (makes 5 small ramekin cakes)
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 a recipe of Blackbird Bakery gluten free chocolate cake (or your favorite chocolate cake recipe)*
  2. 1 can coconut milk
  3. 2 Tbs. coconut sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. pinch of sea salt
  6. honey oat granola**
  7. unsweetened coconut
  8. salted caramel sauce (I used Trader Joe's)
Instructions
  1. Bake you cakes according to the instructions in standard ramekins (mine are just under 1 cup size). Let cakes cool before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
  2. Make your frosting: On the stovetop in a pan, combine the coconut milk and coconut sugar, stirring often (so it doesn't burn on the bottom), bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Continue to stir and simmer (appx 10 minutes) until very thick.
  3. Pull the pan off the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla and sea salt. Place the bottom of the pot into a bowl of ice water, cooling the frosting quickly. Let cool completely, stirring occasionally.
  4. Slice your ramekin cakes in half. Apply a thin layer of frosting. Sprinkle on some granola and then some coconut. Apply the top layer, more frosting, and then more granola and coconut. Drizzle with salted caramel sauce.
  5. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *the recipe I used was for a large, square, layered cake, so I made only 1/2 the batter
  2. **use your favorite granola, as long as it does not have dried fruit in it or large nuts
  3. Cakes will keep in the fridge for 4 days in a well-sealed container. Wait to top with granola and drizzle with caramel until you're ready to serve them.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
 

I know that Friday is the Fourth, but I have a special little (long) rambling post about some personal crap if you want to come back and read it. Please do! I’ll even include festive treats if you humor me. 

Honey Cashew Banana Cake

Honey Cashew Banana Cake is a perfect Summer treat! It’s subtly sweet, full of banana and honey flavors, and gluten free too! 

Honey Cashew Banana Cake (treatswithatwist.com)

 It was my brother’s and my mom’s birthdays this last week, which is always an excuse for cake.

Before heading off to St. Louis to celebrate with my mom (brother was doing his own thing, turning 21 and partying with his frat), I decided to make some special mini cakes for her. 

These cakes are really simple if you have a stand-by favorite banana bread recipe (if not, totally use the one I linked, from Blackbird Bakery’s cookbook). I used honey roasted cashews as a sweet swap for the traditional pecans or walnuts and carried that into the frosting too. 

 

This cake is so yummy. So moist, tender, and not so rich that you can’t go back for seconds (the important things).

Honey Cashew Banana Cake (treatswithatwist.com)

 

A fun day of brunch, grocery shopping, burgers on the grill and a kitschy ’60s cover band concert at the dock was a wonderful way to spend the weekend, celebrating mom. But, you know, cake. Yay!  

Honey Cashew Banana Cake (treatswithatwist.com)

HONEY CASHEW BANANA CAKE

METHOD: 

1 recipe for gluten-free Banana Bread or Banana Cake – I used Blackbird Bakery’s recipe (from their cookbook, or linked here).
CHANGES I made – use 3 overripe bananas instead of 4
~use chopped honey roasted cashews (from the bulk bin in Fresh Market) instead of pecans
~use 1/2 cup coconut sugar and 1/2 cup granulated Stevia instead of 1 cup granulated sugar 
~use almond milk plus 1 tsp vinegar instead of buttermilk
~bake in small ramekins or small cake molds to make mini cakes; let cool completely before frosting and stacking

Frosting: grind 1 cup of raw cashews and 1/4 cup honey roasted cashews until you achieve a thick, smooth butter
In a bowl, mix (with a hand mixer or your stand mixer) together 1/2 cup of your cashew butter, 2 Tbs. softened butter, and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until smooth. Last, add 2 tsp. of raw local honey and mix until blended (add the honey last and blend until just mixed or else the frosting may seize). 

Crumble: chop up honey roasted cashews, white chocolate, and cacao nibs (you’ll want about 1/3 – 1/2 cup total, an equal mix of the three)

Assembly: Cut your banana cake into even layers. Spread and stack layers of (1) cake, (2) frosting, then (3) crumble for as many layers as you’d like. 

Notes: Cake can keep, wrapped with plastic wrap and in the fridge, for 5 days. Or freeze assembled cakes until you need them, thawing them for a day or two in the fridge before throwing a killer party. 

[treats with a twist]

Honey Cashew Banana Cake (treatswithatwist.com)

Birthday Cake Fudgsicles

Birthday Cake Fudgsicles will blow your mind! I’ve made thick, rich, chocolatey cake batter-like pourable fudge that is 100% dairy-free with no added sugar! I’ve combined that with some killer leftover cake scraps, adorable and necessary sprinkles, and now you have the treat that will rock your summer! You’re welcome! 

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Well I certainly enjoyed my three-day weekend! And having these in my freezer the second I got home probably made ending the weekend a whole hell of a lot easier! 

I don’t know how I got all of the fudge batter from the Vitamix, into the molds. It’s seriously so good that I was about to just tip it straight into my mouth. My kitchen overlooks my family room, and my husband was sitting on the couch…I just knew that the second I started glugging it straight from the blender he would glance over and be horrified at what he was seeing…

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SO it made it into the popsicle molds. Thank God for that, right? Maybe. Well, for you at least.

So, basically, I took cake scraps from my fridge. I don’t throw away cake scraps. That would be wasteful. And who could seriously throw out leftover Cashew Cake?! Not I. Heeeeeeellllll NO. 

You can use whatever cake scraps you have. If you’re not a cake hoarder like me (shame shame) then you can make a cake from whatever mix you have. Let it cool. Use what you need for these pops then SAVE the rest! Scraps, done. 

Don’t forget sprinkles! Use cute ones! Please. 

And enjoy. These will seriously blow your mind. 

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Birthday Cake Fudgsicles
Creamy, rich, chocolatey dairy free batter is mixed with your leftover cake for an incredible Birthday Cake Fudgsicle treat! Don't forget the sprinkles! (makes 6 fudge pops)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can coconut milk (I used unsweetened, low fat, 13.5 ounces)
  2. 3 dried dates (try to find tender, not hard dates)
  3. 3 Tbs. plain almond milk yogurt*
  4. 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1 ½ Tbs. cocoa powder (dark)
  6. pinch of sea salt
  7. 1-2 cups cake scraps**
  8. sprinkles
Instructions
  1. In a powerful blender (I love my Vitamix!) combine the coconut milk, dates, yogurt, vanilla, cocoa and sea salt. Blend until completely smooth. Try not to drink it all when you start tasting it with your spoon!
  2. Set up your pop molds. Drop small pieces of cake into each mold and some sprinkles. Slowly pour the batter into each mold, letting it settle to the bottom before finishing filling up to the fill line (I used a toothpick to ease it down the sides of the molds). Sprinkle on a few more sprinkles. Apply the lids and sticks.
  3. Freeze in a level spot in your freezer, at least 6 hours. To de-mold, run the mold under hot water for a hot minute. Demold. Lick. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *I used Almond Dream plain low-fat almond milk yogurt. I found it at Whole Foods. You can use whatever yogurt you prefer, but I HIGHLY recommend trying this one because I think it already kind of tastes like cake batter. Can't beat that.
  2. **I keep cake scraps in the freezer for these reasons! I just know there's no reason to toss out cake edges and scraps. You can make up a quick cake from a box mix and let it cool completely and then use pieces for these Fudgsicles, then be sure to save the scraps for another day!
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/

Carrot Cake Jars

Carrot Cake Jars are a new, adorable take on individual-sized cakes. Everyone will think these are too cute. They’re super easy to put together and too tasty for words. Carrot cake is baked up, stamped out, then layered with cream cheese frosting and topped with nuts and coconut.  Perfect for Spring! 

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Hey all! Just popping in really quickly to share an adorable recipe. I’m in Denver with some family, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. 

You like carrot cake, right? Oh good, we’re still friends.

Anyways, I love love love it. And I think it is way too cute in these jars! I mean, why not just stamp your cake out, layer it up in jars, and impress all of your friends?

Plus, secret secret here, you get more cream cheese frosting this way!

And my cream cheese frosting is super simple and really rich and tasty. I combine cream cheese with Greek yogurt and powdered sugar. There is less powdered sugar than traditional frosting, and no butter! But it is SO good and gives your taste buds a one-two punch! Pow!

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I think that layering cake and frosting in jars is adorable, and its such a new take on the “individual sized” cake (move over cupcake).

Well, I’m back to enjoying my vacay, so I hope you get some R&R too!

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Carrot Cake Jars
Gluten free carrot cake is layered with cream cheese icing in adorable jars for a portable, individual-sized treat. Perfect for Spring, perfect for parties. (makes one 9x13" cake with frosting)
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Carrot Cake
  1. 2 cups shredded carrots
  2. ½ cup brown sugar
  3. ½ cup currants
  4. ¼ cup rolled oats
  5. ¼ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  6. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  7. ½ cup + 2Tbs. melted coconut oil
  8. ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  9. 3 eggs
  10. 2 cups gluten free flour blend
  11. 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  12. 1 tsp. baking soda
  13. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  14. ½ tsp. nutmeg
  15. ¼ tsp. cardamom
  16. pinch of salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
  2. ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  3. ¼ cup powdered sugar
  4. ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  5. Toppings: chopped walnuts, shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a quarter sheet pan or 9x13" baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine your shredded carrots and brown sugar. Use your fingers to break up all of the sugar and massage it all together. Set this aside for 10 minutes to enhance the moisture and flavor before moving on.
  3. Next, to the bowl, add the currants, oats and unsweetened shredded coconut. Stir in the vanilla, then the coconut oil. Keep mixing and adding the yogurt then eggs (one at a time).
  4. Finally, add the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda and spices. Fold the ingredients together until just mixed.
  5. Dump your batter into your prepared baking sheet and spread it in a thin, even layer (this took some manipulating with my fingers and spatula).
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is pulling away from the edges of the pan.
  7. Let the cake cool completely.
  8. Prepare the frosting and then layer up! In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and Greek yogurt and beat on medium speed until fluffy and well-combined. Then, add the powdered sugar and beat to combine. Finally, add the vanilla and beat until combined.
  9. Scoop your frosting into a pastry bag or a zip-top bag. Snip the corner. Use a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut out circles of cake just slightly smaller than the size jars you have (mine were around 1.25" in diameter). Cut rounds of cake and layer them with frosting, piped in an even layer between each layer of cake. Finish each Carrot Cake Jar with a dollop of frosting, some chopped walnuts or pecans and some unsweetened coconut flakes.
  10. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Store cakes, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days. They are best if eaten the day they're prepared.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/
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Strawberry Coconut Cream Layer Cake

Strawberry cake, layered with whipped coconut cream frosting and piled high with coconut could only get better with an adorable toasted coconut nest…filled with Cadbury mini chocolate eggs! Strawberry Coconut Cream Layer Cake, you need this now! 

Strawberry Coconut Cream Layer Cake

This cake is embarrassingly easy. Which means you can totally make this and have people saying “Oh my crazy bahoozits! You’re so friggin amazing!” [Could someone please say that out loud?] 

And then you’ll be all like, “Um, yeah, I know.”

Compliment pocketed. Done. 

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Basically you make a sheet cake. From a gluten free box (bag) mix. I know. But you made it strawberry by adding a strawberry Jello packet (or an off-brand packet, like I did). Sheet cake. Got it. 

Then you stamp out two 6″ cake layers using a cake ring or the ring from a 6″ springform pan. Then you use the scraps to piecemeal a third layer together.

Use a pastry brush to brush sweet almond milk into the layers to keep them super moist. Yum. Wrap up and refrigerate the layers overnight. Super moist now. Super yum. 

Then you pull it all out. Whip out a can of coconut cream that you’ve had in the fridge overnight too…mix in some powdered sugar and good stuff (coconut extract, vanilla paste)…

Stack it up. Decorate! Bam! Done! And, if you’re like me, then you’ll freeze the whole thing until you’re ready to impress people with it. Strawberry Coconut Cream Layer Cake! Done! 

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HOW CUTE IS THAT NEST?! Because I can’t not say it! 

Strawberry Coconut Cream Layer Cake
This Spring-inspired cake is full of flavor and whimsy. Layers of strawberry cake alternate with coconut whipped cream and it's all topped with coconut flakes. Of course, it wouldn't be complete without an adorable toasted coconut nest and some chocolate eggs. Happy Spring! (makes one 3-layer 6" cake) [NOTE: read the directions thoroughly before starting to understand the refrigeration and prep times.]
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For the cake
  1. 1 Yellow cake mix (I used a bag, gluten-free mix)
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1/4 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  4. 1 overripe banana
  5. 2/3 cup water
  6. 1 (0.3 oz) box Strawberry Jello
Cake wash
  1. 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  2. 1/4 tsp. sugar or sweetener
For the Coconut Cream
  1. 1 can coconut cream*
  2. 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp. vanilla paste
  4. 1/4 tsp. coconut extract
To decorate
  1. large flake coconut
  2. toasted flake coconut**
  3. chocolate candy eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a quarter-sheet pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Instead of the directions/ingredients on the cake mix - In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, banana and water. Whisk together until well combined. Then add the cake mix and Jello mix. Stir until just combined. Pour the batter into your prepared baking sheet pan.
  3. Bake for indicated time on the mix. (or until slightly golden on top and the edges have pulled away from the tin)
  4. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Turn the cake out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Completely wrap the cake and refrigerate (at least 4 hours, overnight is best. It's easier to stamp out the cake layers if the cake is COLD).
  5. Stamp out the cake layers- use a 6" cake ring or the ring from a 6" springform pan to stamp out two layers. Then use the scraps to piece together a third layer in the ring.
  6. Use a pastry brush to brush Cake Soak on each layer (just quickly mix together the milk and the sweetener). You'll want to brush it on the tops and around the edges. This helps reduce the crumbs around the edges of the layers too. Tightly wrap each layer with plastic wrap. Then refrigerate the layers again (4 hours or overnight).
For the Coconut Cream
  1. [PREP: refrigerate the can of coconut cream overnight]
  2. In a bowl, combine the coconut cream from the can and the powdered sugar. Quickly whisk together until smooth. Then add the extracts and whisk to combine.
Assemble the cake
  1. The bottom layer will be the layer you pieced together from scraps. It's easiest to keep this one on the bottom. On top of that layer, add 1/3 of the Coconut Cream, spread in an even layer. Layer on a second round of cake. Then 1/3 of the Coconut Cream, then the final layer of cake. On top, add the last of the Coconut Cream. Then sprinkle on flaked coconut. Use toasted coconut to make a "nest" and add a few chocolate candy eggs to the middle of the nest! Cut and enjoy!
  2. Another Note: If you're going to want to serve the cake at a later time, wait to add the chocolate candy eggs to the top of the cake, wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap (I place the cake ring around the whole thing again to give it more structure) and place in the fridge or freezer. Remove from the freezer two hours before serving to let soften a bit. Then add the eggs to the nest, cut, serve.
Notes
  1. *I bought my can of coconut cream from Trader Joe's. If you can't find canned coconut cream, feel free to use canned full fat coconut milk. Either way, refrigerate the coconut cream/milk overnight before using. If using the milk, scoop the thickened cream off the top and discard (or save for something else) the water.
  2. **I preheat my oven to 350 degrees and spread the coconut in an even layer on foil. Toast for 5 minutes then keep a close eye on it minute by minute until it is golden brown.
Treats With a Twist http://www.treatswithatwist.com/wp/