Sneaky Chocolate Veggie Cake (Paleo option)

Gluten Free Veggie Cake

Gluten Free Veggie Cake

I love to make healthy food for my family that tastes like a treat!  OK, it’s for me, too!  This recipe has two kinds of veggies in it (sweet potatoes and zucchini or other squash), as well as nuts and cocoa powder.  All of those healthy foods are hidden in the form of a cake, though…so sneaky! By the way, the darkness of the cocoa hides the flecks of green from the squash…another level of sneaky!

I’ve given you some tips on how to make it Paleo, but I prefer to add some gluten free all purpose flour to the recipe for a few reasons.  First, the texture comes out better, especially if you use flour with xanthan gum in it.  Second, nut flour is very healthy, but it has a lot of calories.  If you use half nut flour and half grain you still get the benefits from the nuts (they lower the glycemic and add protein and micronutrients), but fewer calories.  Third, the fat in nuts isn’t stable at high temperatures, so it’s best not to overdo it.  The best way to maximize the benefits of nuts is to eat them raw.  The more stable coconut oil is a great way to add healthy fat to a baked dish. Coconut flour, on the other hand, does weird things to the texture and flavor of baked goods.  I use it sometimes, but not as the main flour.  Be leery of any recipe that calls for more than half a cup!

You may notice that this recipe has a LONG list of ingredients!  I know that’s not very convenient, but this is the combination that I think works the best.  It’s worth it to get the best flavor and healthiness.  I grew the squash in my garden, and had everything else on hand in the fridge or pantry.  If you are serious about feeding your family healthy food, you really need to have a healthy pantry!  Here’s the link to my post on pantry items.

OK, here’s the recipe.  I think it would work to bake it in a couple of small loaf pans, but you’ll need to cook it longer if you do this.

  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Sweet Potato Puree
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 Cups Finely Shredded, Drained Squash (about 2 medium sized squashes; see pictures below for how I do it)
  • 1 Cup Cashew Meal
  • 1 Cup AP Gluten Free Flour Blend (use almond flour if you want to make it Paleo)
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar or Xylitol
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Cardamom
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder (skip or replace with extra baking soda if you are making it Paleo)
  • 1 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Very Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Cup Walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 (I actually do 325, because mine is convection), and grease a 13×9 glass cake pan.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, mix wet ingredients, including veggies and banana, until the banana is mashed and everything is combined well.

Gluten free veggie cake
Have you ever heard the phrase “eat the rainbow?” It means that in order to get all of the nutrients your body needs you should eat a variety of colors of produce. This cake has orange, green, and yellow veggies in it!

In a separate bowl stir together dry ingredients, then add them slowly to the wet.  I sprinkle my walnuts on top, so that the picky little person can take them out easily.  Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake until the center is set (about 30-35 minutes).  Serve drizzled with coconut cream.  Enjoy!

Here’s how I prepare the squash:

Grate it onto a dish towel:


Squeeze out the excess water over the sink:



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