Vegan, gluten free, dark chocolate coconut fudge cake

with vegan chocolate coconut ganache.

This recipe was for Adam’s birthday cake! An invention based on a chocolate version of the white coconut cake recipe I posted recently. It’s a double recipe, so would fill two 8 inch cake pans for a nice tall double layer cake (make extra ganache if that’s your plan!). I used a tall 5 inch pan for a little but high cake coated in ganache that more than served our table of 12. 


  • 2 cups almond milk (or soy)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract/essence
  • 1 tsp coconut extract/essence
  • 100g 70% vegan dark chocolate

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ¾ cup gluten free flour
  • 2 tsp guar gum
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ tsps baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut


Preheat oven to 170°C, line and grease two 8" round cake tins (or one tall 5" one!).

Combine the milk and apple cider vinegar, set aside and allow to curdle.

Sift together the flours, cocoa, guar gum, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the desiccated coconut to this dry mixture. 

Melt the chocolate in a med-large mixing bowl which will eventually contain all ingredients.

Add the oil to the melted chocolate, stir through, then add the extracts of vanilla and coconut. Ideally, the milk and apple cider vinegar combination should have been left to stand for around ten minutes and should be close to room temperature (or at least not cold). Add half of the milk mixture to the chocolate and mix together, then add the other half.

Next add the sugars to the wet mix and stir thoroughly.

Add a third of the dry ingredients, fold into the wet. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients, fold in, and then add the remaining dry mix to complete the batter. It will be slightly lumpy.

Pour into the prepared cake tin(s) and bake for about 45-50 min or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Or clean ish – it is a gooey fudge cake after all. Rest the cake(s) in their tin(s) for 10 min on a cooling rack before turning out to cool completely.

At this point you can put the cake in a plastic bag and freeze it, or put it in the fridge for a day or two before icing it. 

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Ganache

I used a bar of Green & Blacks Organic Dark 70%, and roughly 50% of the solids from a 400mL tin of “Family Choice” brand coconut cream. Tip – when buying coconut cream – shake the tin, if the contents move about a lot in there, don’t buy it. You want the practically solid stuff. The thicker, heavier and creamier, the better for this job. 

Before opening the tin for making this recipe don’t shake it! You want the insides to stay separated so you can scoop the “heavy” cream off the top of the tin.

I didn’t add sweetener to the ganache as the cake itself is quite sweet and the velvety texture is a nice complement to the cake without it’s own sweetness. The coconut flavour doesn’t actually come out as the chocolate masks it, you could add coconut essence or another flavouring though.


  • 100g vegan dark chocolate
  • 400ml tin coconut cream (full, not “lite”)
  • 1 tsp high quality vanilla essence


Break up the chocolate and melt it down in a double boiler, taking extra care not to get any water or steam in the chocolate. Add the coconut cream, vanilla, and stir until combined and smooth, then remove from heat.

I put mine in the freezer to cool, and stirred it intermittently until it was a nice thick consistency to spread over the cake with my usual offset spatula that I use for buttercream.

Vegan Coconut & Cardamom Pancakes

This weekend I learned that pancakes don’t really need eggs in them at all. And after two mornings in a row cooking vegan pancakes, I’m feeling a bit smug about this delicious discovery. Also, they are “superfast” to make.

Eggs creep me the hell out. Some will have heard the story of a particularly disturbing nightmare involving hatching half-formed chickens… I have been avoiding eggs ever since. I can handle baking them, if I suspend my horror long enough to crack and beat the eggs in (it still makes me feel a bit queasy). But no fried, scrambled, poached or otherwise served eggs for me.

I digress. Coconut and cardamom are delicious as a combination in sweet baked things (and oats!) so here’s my recipe for Coconut & Cardamom spiced pancakes!


  • 1 cup plain all-purpose flour*
  • ¼ cup desiccated (or shredded) coconut
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp white sugar**
  • 1 ¼ cup room temperature water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp oil (I use canola)


Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and lightly whisk with a fork to distribute and eliminate lumps (if you can be bothered, sifting is good too). Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.

Measure your water, add the oil and vanilla to the water and stir with a fork, before adding liquids to the dry mixture. Stir, but just until the ingredients are combined. Batter done!

Lightly grease and heat your frying pan to a medium heat. Spoon some batter into the pan, I like to smooth mine out with the back of a spoon so they are a nice even shape.

When the edges of the pancake crisp up a little and bubbles have come through all over the pancake, wait a little longer before turning it. I found that turning too early means the pancake will stick and break, but waiting a minute or two longer seems to do the trick.

If you’re anything like me, your first pancake will be a royal failure, but that gives you something to nibble on while cooking to remaining perfect pancakes.

Serves about three.


Everyone has their favorites. I like to split a banana in half with skin on, and then place one half at a time in the pan with the pancake currently cooking. Each banana half can stay in the pan just a bit longer than it takes to cook one pancake. They caramelise deliciously and the skin helps to keep the banana from breaking up. I use maple syrup or honey to go with banana as a topping.

Another fave is berry coulis – or at least a bastardisation of berry coulis, with no wine. I chuck some frozen raspberries and blueberries (1 ½ cups all together) in a small pot with about half a cup of pure orange juice. Maybe a tbsp or two of white sugar. Then boil, stir, turn the heat down and let the liquid simmer off. It thickens and gets a bit of a jam like consistency (serves 3).

You can’t go past a squeeze of fresh lemon and a light dusting of white sugar. Or a pile of fresh fruit chopped and drizzled with honey or maple syrup.

Lucky I’ve just finished eating or I’d be making myself hungry right about now.

* You could try a flour substitute if you’re gluten free. Perhaps some ground almonds and rice or cornflour? If you use ground almonds, reduce the oil in the batter as ground almonds are quite oily.

** Or other equivalent sweetener. If you choose to use honey or agave or stevia (liquid sweeteners), mix them with the wet ingredients rather than the dry. Heat honey to make it liquid and easier to mix.

Edit: add a tsp of cinnamon to the dry ingredients. even better!