Caroline's Birthday Cake

July 25, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

A note on the frosting: If you only have a stand mixer, prepare the carob and coconut oil mixture in its companion metal bowl. Sun butter, for those with allergies to almonds, works as a substitute for the almond. This frosting is vegan, too!

Caroline Wright

Food52 Review: Featured in: After I Survived Cancer, I Celebrated With a Birthday Cake.The Editors

Makes: one (8-inch) two-layered cake
Prep time: 50 min
Cook time: 35 min


For the cake

  • Room temperature butter or vegetable shortening, for greasing pans
  • 2 cups cups all-purpose gluten-free flour, homemade or store-bought, plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed and at room temperature
  • 1 recipe carob frosting, follows

For the frosting

  • 2 cups ground carob, toasted preferred
  • 1 1/2 cups melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond butter, raw preferred
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In This Recipe


For the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two (8-inch round) baking pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients-- applesauce, honey, eggs, coconut oil and apple juice concentrate—until well combined. (Add the coconut oil slowly while whisking, so it doesn’t re-solidify.) Whisk together the wet and dry ingredients, then divide batter between prepared pans.
  3. Bake cake layers until they begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a skewer tests clean when inserted into the center of a layer, about 30 to 35 minutes. (They will not dome or become uniformly golden.)
  4. Let layers cool in their pans set on a wire rack 5 minutes, then invert to release them from their pans. Cool cake layers completely before frosting.

For the frosting

  1. In a large bowl, stir together carob and coconut oil until glossy and smooth. Set aside in refrigerator, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and the top layer hardens slightly, a little like a frozen lake (about 30 minutes).
  2. Add almond butter; use a handheld mixer set on high speed to whip until it pales slightly and glossy peaks form, about 1 minute. (If it gets too soft, chill in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.)

More Great Recipes:
Cake|American|Apple Juice|Honey|Birthday|Gluten-Free|Vegan|Dessert

Reviews (3) Questions (0)

3 Reviews

F8fuli August 25, 2018
Any suggestions to replace the eggs???
Kenneth B. August 1, 2018
There appear to be ingredients missing from the list.
Eric K. August 2, 2018
Hello Kenneth, sorry about that. The recipe has been fixed!