While on our way to my friend’s annual lobster boil (possibly the best event of the year) the other day, Erik asked something to the effect of whether I had “best blogger friends.” Babe, let me tell you. I started rattling off a list of my favorites, but had to stop close to the top to explain about NORA.
I am such a big fan of Nora (of A Clean Bake) for so many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that she graduated from business school fairly recently and doles out b-school advice whenever I ask like it’s her JOB. She is a hero for all non-gluten/dairy/refined sugar eaters everywhere and had the major cojones to ditch her former, very successful blog in favor of a brand-new one once she realized her old premise didn’t fit any longer.
Since Nora’s getting married in a few short weeks, the joyous occasion obviously calls for cake and a virtual wedding shower! I can’t wait to see what kind of amazing wedding dessert(s) she ends up with on her big day, but my contribution to her virtual wedding shower are these little mini chickpea/coconut flour cakes layered with almond butter, jam, and chocolate. In honor of her dietary restrictions, there’s no gluten or dairy in the cake, and traditional refined sugar is omitted in favor of coconut sugar. (I can’t take credit for this genius; the original recipe on Power Hungry and I adapted it to make these mini cakes.)
This is one of those posts where I tell you what I did to adapt the recipe and what I might suggest for you since I didn’t develop the recipe myself. The only alterations I made to the recipe was to use almond milk instead of coconut milk and cornstarch instead of potato starch. I used all coconut sugar and my cake turned out darker than the recipe photos with strong undertones of an earthy sweetness. For these reasons, I would suggest using raw sugar next time, or perhaps a mix of coconut and raw sugar. Though I wasn’t bowled over by the taste straight out of the oven, I was IN LOVE with the texture. The moist, soft crumb is not at all spongy or gluten-free-ish, and after layering cake rounds with almond butter, jam and chocolate, my roommate and I declared them delicious and I proceeded to eat two.
I made super-thin cake layers that were kind of reminiscent of pancake stacks, which I actually really liked (surprise surprise). But feel free to make them thicker to enjoy more of the luscious cake crumb.
Congratulations, Nora! Wish you were here to eat these with me, and I wish you all the best (and no stress!) on your special day <33
Check out these other beautiful eats in celebration of Nora’s wedding!
Paleo Lemon Cupcakes with Coconut Whipped Cream from Culinary Couture
Mini ABJ Layer Cakes (GF, V)
- 1 recipe this cake see subs in notes
- 1/2 recipe easy chocolate icing from the same post
- almond butter
- sour cherry preserves
- Line a small baking sheet with greased parchment paper. Spread the cake batter evenly across the baking sheet to your desired thickness (the batter is extremely thick, so even if the baking sheet is too large for the amount of batter, you can simply spread it as far as you like to achieve your desired thickness of cake layers. Cake will rise just barely during baking). Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Test for doneness with a fork, your finger or a toothpick--depending on thickness, the cake may not be done at this point. Continue baking for 5-10 minute increments until the cake is done.
- Let cool completely. Cut out circles using a biscuit cutter or, if you're lacking in biscuit cutters, you can use a sheet of acetate (flexible plastic sheets or transparencies) rolled up and stapled into a makeshift cutter (my ghetto cutter is pictured in the second photo). Not quite as accurate as a biscuit cutter, but it will work. I don't recommend using an upside-down glass as a cutter because the edges are not sharp enough to get a clean cut.
- Layer a cake round with a smear of almond butter, a smear of preserves, and repeat as desired, finishing with a smear of chocolate icing and sprinkles.
Did you try this recipe?Tag @thepancakeprincess on Instagram!
SO CUTE. Perfect for Nora 🙂
Sarah | Broma Bakery
STUNNING images, Erika! So glad to have stumbled upon your beautiful site! Now is just a matter of narrowing down what to bake first…
Thanks so much Sarah!! <3 <3
Shikha @ Shikha la mode
I’m obsessed with this and the fact that you all did this for Nora. SO AMAZINGGGGGGG. These look so good! Mini cakes are way better than big cakes IMO, because they are so much cuter and you can eat twice as much!
Kammie | Sensual Appeal Blog
Holy crap, this photography…. <3 I can't even handle it.
Awwww Kammie!! Thank you!! 🙂 <3 <3 <3
Natasha @ The Cake Merchant
Oh Erika, you know I’m a sucker for mini cakes, and these are just too cute! Congrats to Nora!
I kind of love everything about this, from the virtual shower, to the thin layers of cake. That top shot is money!! Also, almond butter + jam + cake?! YES YES YES.
[email protected], pleasure, and health
this is soo gorgeous! cake and pictures, all of it.
Thanks Dixya!! <333
Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land
the things we can do on the interwebs these days – VIRTUAL SHOWER! i love your party styled pics, erika!! seriously looks like the cutest raging-est party happened by which i was there too, and i crammed 3-4 of those delicious almond butter and jam layer cakes into my mouth…! congratulations to nora! ^__^
I know seriously!! Haha wish you could’ve been here to actually take 4 or 10 of these cakes 😉 That would have been so fun!!
Cate @ Chez CateyLou
These are so cute, and they sound delicious! What a perfect treat for the shower!! Yay for Nora!
These must have been perfect at the baby shower, though I’d have eaten the entire lot before they made it there 😉
Haha thanks Nik! Luckily, since this was a virtual shower, I got to eat more than my fair share 😉
Oh my, these could not be cuter! What a sweet gesture that y’all are throwing this shower. LOOVVVVE your photos, too!
Thanks Sophie!! <3333
Choc Chip Uru
What an elegant and delicious pastry, the jam layer must really kick the sweetness up a decent notch 😀
I am dying to try it!
Choc Chip Uru
Cassie @ Almost Getting it Together
Your photos are BEYOND GORGEOUS. Can you give me your food styling and photography tips? Seriously, my jaw is on the floor they look so great!
Sarah @ SnixyKitchen
Oh my goodness – what a festive and fun tribute to Nora! I love all those beads! I’m totally making these cakes very soon.
Christina (Small Kitchen Chronicles)
Erika, these look delicious! You had me at that chocolate ganache-looking icing. And how awesome are you to hold a virtual bridal shower for your blogger friend? SUPER awesome, that’s what. You are beautiful inside and out =) Big hugs <333
Awww Christina, you are the sweetest, as always. <333
Beth @ bethcakes
Oh my goodness, these little cakes are so perfect! And gah, so are these photos! I really love how you printed out the sign and used it as part of your props. So cute! 🙂
Thanks Beth!! You’re too kind 🙂
Oh, what a gorgeous celebration of deliciousness in honour of Nora!! I haven’t actually ‘met’ her in the blogosphere so the first thing I have to say is that I’m glad for the introduction! She sounds beautiful and I adore her blog… about as much as I adore these gorgeous little cakes Erika! Almond butter and jam is such a winning combination, particularly when adorned with gloriously deep, dark, glossy chocolate. Congrats to Nora and thanks Erika for the lovely recipe (eep, cannot wait to make these!!!!) xx
Ooh YAY I’m so glad you’ve discovered Nora!!! (You’re right up next to her in my blogosphere of favorite people, btw :)) This cake is seriously one of my favorite ways to use up chickpea flour because, like you said, almond butter, jam, chocolate, and CAKE!
I cannot believe it’s taken me so long to reply to this…! Ah, that’s what happens when you have no internet after travelling half way back across the world! You’re one of my faves too Erika, I get the biggest smile whenever I see a comment from you! Sending you electronic hugs until the day when we can have coffee, have a huuuuge catch up, something delicious followed by a proper hug somewhere in the world! xxxx
Nancy @ gottagetbaked
All of these photos are so incredibly gorgeous, classy and chic, Erika. And I want to cram these mini little cakes into my mouth. They’re perfect for Nora! Damn, I wish we lived closer together and could actually attend a party together. It’d be amazing.
THAT WOULD BE THE MOST AMAZING THING.
Kylie @ immaeatthat
I LOVE that you printed out the invitation! I didn’t even think to do that! And these mini cakes are the cutest!!!
Haha thanks Kylie!! The graphic was just so pretty, I couldn’t resist 😉
These are so, so beautiful!!! AHHH I love everything about them. And love those pearls — could not be a more perfect touch for a virtual bridal shower. Yay for Nora and yay for these gorgeous mini cakes!
Thanks Cynthia!! You’re amazing <3333
Nora (A Clean Bake)
Ohh man I wish I were there to eat these with you too!! I saw these on IG when you posted that teaser picture and I was pretty darn mesmerized by them. Tiny layer cakes? Yes, please! I had absolutely no clue that they were for … well, this! The flavors! The styling! Don’t mine me, I am just I am bursting out of my skin a little bit over here. OMG you are such a rockstar and this recipe is killer and ***thank you**** so much for your sweet words and generally for being so awesome. Anytime you need school advice or you know, just to vent, I’m all yours. Oh and COME TO CHICAGO so we can bake together! 🙂
Haha no. YOU are a rockstar and I can’t wait to come to Chicago!!!! This must happen. Congrats again, lady!! <33
Karen @ The Food Charlatan
These are freaking gorgeous Erika!! Love the pearls. How fun! I especially love the shot with the neighbors bike in the background. I’m always trying to cut out the window sill and window in my pics. Now I know I just need to get cooler neighbors.
BAHAHAHA Karen you never fail to crack me up. I did not even notice that there was a bike in one of the photos. Now I have to go find it. We’ll pretend I meant for that to happen.
Meriem @ Culinary Couture
Oh.my.goodness. The fact that you printed out the graphic and included it in your pictures, HOW ABSOLUTELY FREAKIN BRILLIANT! Your pictures are stunning, I am seriously blown away by this post!
Ahaha Meriem, you MADE MY DAY!!! Your comment is so, so sweet. The printed out graphic only looks cool because YOU made it so absolutely gorgeous <3
Amy | Club Narwhal
These cakes are SO beautiful! I love how elegant they are–and styling with those pearls = best idea ever 🙂 What a sweet tribute to Nora!
Thanks Amy!! Same to you and your adorable blog 😉
Linda | Brunch with Joy
Cheers to Nora and you, Erika. Totally love all your creations and pictures. Yum!
Linda, you’re so sweet! Thank you!
Millie l Add A Little
These look AMAZING Erika!! Literally so cute aswell!
Aww Millie <333
Graham @ Glazed & Confused
STOPPP ITTTTTT. I saw these on instagram and died even though I didn’t know what they were.
Now that I’ve learned that they’re AB&J, I’m done. These are perfection.
GO NORA! GO GO! GO NORA!!!
Oh my gosh, YOU. <333
Michelle @ Hummingbird High
I love, love, love your pics, especially that first one! A string of pearls always makes one classy party!
Aww thanks Michelle!! You’re always way too kind (but I love it) <3
Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)
This party is fantastic. I love the elegance of the theme. So beautiful!
Thanks so much Jocelyn!! <3