Sweet Potato & Maca Chocolate Cake
Quick! Name your 2 favorite foods on the planet! Ok I’m fishing with this one, but there are plenty of you who, like me, would say that their favorite foods are sweet potatoes and chocolate. Honestly, what two foods are better? They make any dish instantly delicious and are scientifically proven to be amazing for us. Imagine then if sweet potatoes and chocolate could come together in a decadent dessert? Well guess what – they totally can!
This sweet potato & maca chocolate cake with avocado frosting is nothing short of unbelievable. I love serving it to the biggest chocoholics I know because it’s so rich and decadent that they’ll never guess it’s not made with sugar, eggs, or butter. It’s a fudgy, gooey chocolate cake that also happens to be wonderful for you! It’s gluten-free and plant-based and comes packed with sweet potatoes, maca powder, cacao powder, dates, almonds, and more. The frosting is equally amazing and is made with – wait for it – avocadoes! They add a fantastic richness and body to the frosting and still let the sweetness of the maple syrup and rich flavor of the cacao powder through. It’s one of the best frostings you’ll ever have. No one will ever guess it’s made with avocados if you don’t tell them.
My poor sister was over when I decided to test out this crazy idea for a cake. I must have cooked about 12 versions before finally finding this drool-worthy recipe! We were totally stuffed from trying cake all day but both tried the first bite of this and instantly knew that this was the magic mix. Yep – magic cake is very real.
Raw cacao powder is an absolutely unbelievable ingredient. It has about 20 times the antioxidants of processed cocoa powder and is the stuff that actually makes dark chocolate healthy. Plus, the flavor is much deeper and richer than regular cocoa powder. If you don’t have cacao powder on hand, it’s totally fine to use cocoa powder. I promise your cake will still be amazing! Maca is a fantastic ingredient that I often use as a coffee alternative. It an anti-inflammatory food that gives you an awesome boost of energy and helps you cope with stress. Eating chocolate cake isn’t exactly a stressful experience, but it’s still nice to have no matter what ;) The sweet potatoes in the base are one of the best foods out there for you and have this fantastic naturally sweet flavor. They’re extremely healthy too – loaded with beta-carotenes which are amazing for your skin and help you get a gorgeous natural glow.
Pro tip: This cake requires a good food processor or strong blender and 2 cake pans. Be sure to line your cake pans with parchment paper (the easiest way to go) or a ton of coconut oil so you can get the finished cakes out in one piece.
4 medium sweet potatoes (about 7 cups), skinned and roughly chopped
½ - 2/3 cup raw cacao powder, depending on how chocolatey you like it
3 tablespoons maca powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup maple syrup
5 medjool dates
¼ cup almond milk
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup extra-fine almond flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
A dash of salt
2 very ripe avocados
½ cup cacao powder
½ cup maple syrup
Preheat 2 ovens to 350*F
Start by peeling and roughly chopping the sweet potatoes, then steam them until they’re soft enough to poke a fork inside a large chunk. Next, put the sweet potatoes, cacao powder, maca powder, coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, dates, and almond milk in food processor. Blend until smooth, then set aside in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (brown rice flour to salt) and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir.
You’re now ready to get your cakes into the oven! Line your 9-inch cake pans (2 of them) with parchment paper and spread the dough evenly into both. I suggest baking one cake in each oven. If you only have 1 oven, just bake them one at a time. Putting both in together makes the cakes take a bit longer and cook unevenly. Bake each cake on the middle oven rack for 25-30 minutes, then remove and let cool. You can put them in the fridge or freezer if you want them to cool faster.
Be sure to let the cakes cool completely before trying to get them out of the pan. They stick together when they’re nice and cool and are much easier to get out in one piece. To remove them, carefully lift the cake by the parchment paper on two sides and transfer them to a plate or cake dish. If you’re frosting the middle layer of the cake, only transfer one until you have the frosting down.
Making the frosting is unbelievably simple. Just put the avocado meat, cacao powder, and maple syrup into your food processor (just wash it off if you used it to make the cake dough) and blend until smooth.
To make this a double-layer cake, spread frosting, raspberries, and pomegranates onto the first cake layer, then add the second layer and top it with the remaining frosting and toppings. Cover and refrigerate the cake for up to 3 days.