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Never fear, I’m still pursuing the DASH diet. However, my sister follows the GAPS diet, so for her birthday party, I made a cake with no grains, no dairy, and using only honey, no cane sugar. The GAPS diet is similar to the Paleo diet.

GAPS/Paleo chocolate cake

This cake requires that you start preparing it the day before through most of the assembly step, and add the ganache on the day of serving. Each step is fairly quick and easy, but there is a lot of waiting time in between the steps.

Recommended schedule:

  • Make the custard filling in the morning (unless you want to be up at 4:30am like I was this morning, because I didn’t get started till evening). The GAPS/Paleo version of the custard takes a long time to thicken (the regular version uses cornstarch and milk and thickens quickly).
  • Make the cake layers in the afternoon.
  • When the custard has thickened, assemble the layers and filling, and put in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Make the ganache in the morning and decorate as desired (I used strawberries and fresh mint).
  • Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

This is a 2-layer jelly-roll-pan-size cake to serve a large group. If that’s too much, you can do the layer recipe just once and cut the sheet in half or bake it in 2 smaller pans — you may have to adjust the baking time depending on the size of the pans — and cut the filling and ganache recipes in half.

I’ve made this with 3 layers for a larger crowd — for the filling, use 5 egg yolks and 1 whole egg, 1/2 cup of honey, 3 cups milk, and 10oz chocolate; the same amount of ganache as below will work for 3 layers.

Note that this cake is protein-rich, so a small serving will be pretty filling.

For the chocolate custard filling:

3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/3 cup honey
3 tbsp chickpea (garbanzo) flour
2 1/4 cups almond (or coconut) milk (unsweetened, unflavored)
2 tsp vanilla
8 oz unsweetened chocolate (or 6oz if you’re not an extra dark chocolate fan)

  1. Beat the egg, egg yolks, honey, garbanzo flour, and vanilla with a whisk.
  2. Bring the almond (or coconut) milk almost to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot almond milk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly, then return it to the saucepan.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, making sure to scrape the bottom well to keep it from burning. Boil gently until it starts to thicken then remove from heat.
  5. Add the chocolate pieces and stir gently, then let sit for 5 minutes. Stir again till the chocolate is well mixed in.
  6. At this point, you can taste it and add more honey if you want it sweeter.
  7. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
  8. Let it cool completely before assembling with cake layers. It takes a long time to thicken enough to spread, so make sure you give yourself enough time.

For the layers (make 2):

8 eggs, separated
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup almond flour or chickpea (garbanzo) flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa (optional)

  1. Line a jelly roll pan with buttered parchment paper and preheat oven to 350.
  2. Using a whisk, beat the 8 egg yolks, honey, and vanilla until fluffy and smooth. Add the almond or garbanzo flour. Mix well.
  3. With electric mixer, beat the 8 egg whites until firm.
  4. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites very gently. You want to retain as much air as possible while mixing thoroughly. Use a whisk, slowly and gently, for best results.
    Fold egg yolk mixture into stiff egg whites
  5. Spread the batter in the parchment-lined pan.
    Pour into parchment paper lined pan
  6. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool thoroughly before assembling.
    one layer

Repeat above for the second layer.


Do not remove the parchment paper from the layers yet!

Spread the completely cooled (and now quite thick) filling over one of the layers (keep this layer in the jelly roll pan. Peel the parchment paper from the sides only of the other layer. Without removing the parchment paper from its bottom, put the other layer on top of the filling (paper side up, of course!). Close the parchment paper tightly around the layers.

Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator overnight (or for several hours).
Wrap tightly with plastic wrap then refrigerate overnight

Before making the ganache, remove one of the parchment papers. Place the cake on the serving plate. Remove the other parchment paper.

Remove wrappings and place on serving plate before making the ganache


8oz unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup honey
1 cup almond (or coconut) milk

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler or microwave (mine has a “melt chocolate” setting).
  2. Meanwhile, stir together the honey and almond or coconut milk.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate into the milk-honey mixture and whisk gently until it has a thickened consistency, but do not overbeat. (Stir it in a consistent circular motion so as not to introduce air.)
  4. Spread on cake immediately.
  5. Add decorations if desired, while the ganache is still soft. It sets pretty quickly.
    Spread ganache and decorate immediately
  6. It’s best (but not obligatory) if you can refrigerate it for a while to allow the ganache to set.


With grapes added