GF Celebration Fudge Cake

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Vegan, Gluten Free Celebration Fudge Cake
This is the richest, fudgiest, most densely chocolatey cake I’ve ever tasted. I’m still reeling from it. If you love chocolate, or you love someone who loves chocolate, make this cake. Drop what you’re doing, and just go make it right now. Never mind that it’s vegan, gluten free and healthier. It’s a chocolate earthquake.

Celebration Fudge Cake - Vegan, Heart Healthy and Gluten FreeSo why “Celebration Cake?” It’s a celebration of chocolate, for sure, and it’s perfect for celebrations because it tastes like a million chocolate bucks, but there’s another reason. I’ve been celebrating my favorite sporting event, the Tour de France, for the last few weeks, and one of my favorite things about this year’s tour is many of the teams are starting to grasp the awesome power of food. They’ve been showcasing their chefs, taking us inside their kitchens and sharing their menus, and most of what they’re eating is incredibly healthy and occasionally appetizing.

But there’s one chef in particular, Nicki Strobel from ORICA-GreenEDGE, who’s really killing it in terms of health _and_ taste. He’s doing this neat little series called Taste of the Tour, and even sharing his recipes. The team did a sweet job during a time trial, so he rewarded them with a sumptuous-looking flourless chocolate cake he called “celebration cake.” You can see it on Orica’s Facebook page…does that look yummy or what?!?

Celebration Fudge Cake - Vegan, Heart Healthy and Gluten FreeHowever, I’m not burning 6000 calories a day chugging through France on a bike. I’m lucky if I burn 2400 calories on a day when I’m mowing the lawn. So I decided to modify Chef Nicki’s recipe a bit, replacing the butter with olive oil and the eggs with banana, cutting the sugar with good old Stevia In The Raw and trimming the size to serve my team of three – my mom, my boyfriend and me.

The resulting cake is vegan, gluten free, and almost void of sodium and cholesterol. Even better, it tastes like a fudge brownie gone on a rampage through a Belgian chocolatiers. It’s so rich, so moist, so super-ultra chocolatey…I’ve never tasted anything like it. It really doesn’t need any frosting or topping; if anything, dust it with a
teeny bit of powdered sugar just for looks, and serve it with fresh fruit for a counterpoint to the richness. Thank you for the inspiration, Chef Nicki, and vive le Tour!


Vegan, Gluten Free Celebration Fudge Cake
yields 10 small, ultra-rich slices

6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Stevia In The Raw®
pinch salt
1 large, ripe banana, well mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon powdered sugar for dusting over (optional)

Celebration Fudge Cake - Vegan, Heart Healthy and Gluten Free1. Preheat the oven to 350&#176. Line the bottom of a 6″ or 7″ springform pan with parchment (wax paper will do in a pinch, but can be difficult to peel off) and spray the pan with nonstick spray, paper and all.

2. Combine the chocolate and olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until they form a smooth mixture.

3. Add the sugar, Stevia In The Raw® and salt and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 3-5 minutes. The sugar will begin to dissolve, but the Stevia will stay in crystals. The mixture may look like you have a pan of seized chocolate before you – keep calm and carry on.

4. Remove the pan from heat and add the banana in thirds, mixing for a minute or two after each addition. The mixture should look smooth and glossy after all the banana has been added. Stir in the vanilla. To prevent lumps, use a sieve or wire strainer to add the cocoa. Stir until all is well combined and the mixture looks smooth. Don’t taste at this point, because if you do there’s a high likelihood you’ll eat half the batter.

5. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool completely, then run a knife around the inside to loosen the cake before removing the springform. Invert the cake onto a plate, remove the bottom of the pan and peel away the paper. Turn the cake back over onto a serving plate (I like to use the springform bottom) and dust the top with powdered sugar if you like.

Per 47g serving: 178 calories; 11.8g fat (3.8g sat); 3mg cholesterol; 12mg sodium; 19.4g carbohydrates; 1.8g protein

8 comments to GF Celebration Fudge Cake

  • Hi Shu Han! I checked out, bookmarked, and I can’t wait to spend more time exploring it. I love your pics! About this recipe, not actually a cookie, but rather a small cake you’d slice to serve. Very chewy and _rich_ – think baked fudge!

  • I love how these look and really may be trniyg them soon since I’m back home in sg and have the excuse to bake for the family (not eating them all myself, nope). just a quick question, are these the crumbly sort of cookie, or the more toothy sort with a snap?(shuhan from mummyicancook)

  • Ayla

    Hey there! I have some troubleshooting I was hoping you could help me with. I followed all the directions, except for the Stevia (which I didn’t have on hand and is really expensive where I live) and added a bit of maple syrup instead. I quadrupled the batch as well, so that it would last longer than an evening in my household. That aside, I had a similar problem to Paige above. The sides rose and got very crunchy, while the center is still quite soft. It is also extremely oily, the oil was bubbling on top of the cake when I took it out of the oven (and I even baked it for longer). I did use a larger pan, 9 inch diameter I believe, though the oven was at a correct temp.
    Should I try reducing the oil and using a smaller pan?
    Other than that, what a decadent cake! I’ve only tried a bite, and is it ever chocolate heaven! Thanks for sharing, and thanks in advance too! :)

    • Hi Ayla! I’m sorry to hear your cake got crunchy and oily! I think one of the problems might have to do with the substitutions. Stevia In The Raw® differs from pure stevia in that a) it’s not too costly and you can get it at Walmart, and b) it’s a blend of maltodextrin and stevia leaf extract. The maltodextrin makes it so you can measure it out like sugar, but unlike sugar, it tends to dry things out. I use it a lot and factor that drying effect into my recipes; if I were creating a recipe using all sugar or sugar and maple syrup as sweetener, I’d have left out those two bonus tablespoons of oil, maybe more.

      The crunchiness sounds like a little too much sugar. I’ve achieved that same effect myself many times, mostly when making brownies! The recipe calls for a 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of Stevia In The Raw®, which is really nothing like sugar except that it tastes sweet. If you replace that 1/2 cup of Stevia…Raw with something that actually has a sugar-like chemical structure, like maple syrup, there’s going to be some extra sugar floating around. You’d think it would behave, but it won’t. It’ll just make a nasty, burnt-candy crust around your nice baked goods.

      The quadrupling could have been a factor, too. Sometimes things act different in large quantities. You were adventurous to try it, though. :)

      Ayla, I sure hope your next bake goes better, and I sincerely appreciate your saying this was chocolate heaven. Good luck!

  • Hi there,

    I was hoping you could help. I’ve now attempted to make this twice. 2 failures. The first time it was just way too wet in the center and pretty much burnt on the edges. It was ooey gooey and delicious, but not slicable/servable. I didn’t get the nice even dry top like you did in the pictures. And the sides were way higher than the middle. On the second try I decided to add a 1/4 cup tapioca starch in hopes that it would hold together better. The top is crackly but still sunk in dramatically compared to the edges. I even baked it for an additional 10 minutes. I have an oven thermometer and my temperature was right. If you have any advice that would be great! Thanks.

    • Aw Paige, it’s so frustrating when something you’re trying to make doesn’t come out the way you want…twice!! :) It’s pretty common for gluten free baked goods to sink a bit in the middle, but what you’re describing goes beyond that. I’ve been investigating possible causes of gluten free cake fails, and other than oven temp the most likely causes seem to be overmixing and pan size. Can I ask what size pan you’re using?

  • This cake looks delicious, I love the fact there’s olive oil in it as I’m a huge fan of chocolate and olive oil. I’ll sure give it a go! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Aurelie

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