Ron’s Chocolate Cake Surprise

My birthday was this week. It’s our family tradition that I make a cake for Ron on his birthday and he makes one for me on mine. No store-bought cake allowed on this special day! Almost always – or really, always – it’s a chocolate cake.

Now, I don’t think of cake as a “health food.” I don’t even think a person should try. But, Ron made a stab at it and I think he did a remarkably good job! Without prior knowledge about what went into the cake, guests would never guess it wasn’t from a more standard, wonderful, chocolate cake recipe. Ron’s recipe was something he created, riffing off Hershey’s Cocoa container’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake.

Also, as you’ll see from the ingredient list below, there was another surprise in this cake: walnut butter and almonds. Again, a fun addition. You don’t have to add them, but, why not, if you generally enjoy walnuts and/or almonds. Go ahead and try them, too.


Ron's Chocolate Cake Surprise

Ron’s Chocolate Cake Surprise

Ron’s recipe follows:


1 ¼ cup white whole wheat flour
½ cup rye flour
¾ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
2/3 cup blue agave
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
½ cup English walnuts – ground to a pulp (he didn’t realize they would become almost a peanut butter consistency, but used them anyway – no problems!)
½ cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour two 9 inch round baking pans
Combine all ingredients, except boiling water, in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Stir in boiling water. Batter will be thin.
Pour into prepared pans.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pans. Cool on wire racks (bottom sides down).
Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.

RESULT: Turned out beautifully. A top-of-the-line birthday cake. As I said, guests wouldn’t have known about the flour changes (who’d have thought of rye flour in cake?!) or use of blue agave to replace some of the white sugar.

Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to experiment!

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