Cake is really not healthy, and really not vegan. Refined white flour, refined white sugar, eggs, cows milk, mix it together, throw it into a pan, bake it and voila. I always wonder who came up with the idea of putting specific ingredients together for recipes we take for granted now, like cake. Did the person set out to make something ‘light, spongy, sweet and moreish’ and go through a testing period? Or was it an accident? Whoever it was came up with a pretty good thing.
I’m more of an occasional cake-eater, mostly because raw chocolate and bliss balls are faster to whip up, but also because after you’ve had your breakfast, your lunch, and your dinner, it’s hard to fit in an extra sweet, carb-y, filling, bread-like slice…
Is it just me? As a teenager, I’d happily munch through a big slab of cake, an entire bag of lollies and way too much ice cream, but my sweet tooth is definitely not that sweet anymore. Nowadays, cake is a Sunday afternoon thing– to be eaten accompanied by a cup of tea and shared with friends.
The smell of this cake is seriously the best thing ever. It’s made with three of summer’s best offerings; Coconut, Lime, and Passionfruit, all baked together into a perfectly sweet, moist and spongy delight. Usually in summer, I’d rather eat these fruits together raw(that’s a recipe for another time), but on some Sunday afternoons, you just need cake.
Summer is the only time of year when limes aren’t $24 a kilo, and you can actually justify using three of them in a cake. Lime gives the mix a real zing, passionfruit gives it a hint of tartness and a lot of sweetness, and coconut adds creaminess and ties the flavours together.
Spelt is my favourite flour to use when baking traditional recipes like cake, because it does contain gluten. Don’t get me wrong, I love gluten-free baking, but when you want to make a cake quickly and ensure you can really sink your teeth into it, gluten is your best friend. It’s hard to get a polished result with gluten-free flour unless you combine a few different types of flour, and sometimes I just don’t have time to figure out the perfect blend.
The good thing about spelt though, is that it’s much easier to digest than regular wheat, contains a huge number of different vitamins and minerals, and is quite high in protein. Spelt is often referred to as an ‘ancient grain’, which quite literally means that it has been around for thousands of years. The benefits of this are plentiful, but most importantly, ancient grains are great because they haven’t been messed with. Wheat on the other hand, has been over-produced, over-popularised, processed and refined, and as a result is wreaking havock on many people’s digestive systems, causing brain fog and triggering allergies. Rest assured, spelt is wheat’s much nicer and friendlier distant cousin, twice removed.
Spelt is rich in Manganese– an important trace mineral that acts as a co-factor for enzymes involved in the breaking down, and metabolism of dietary carbohydrate, protein and fat. Manganese also plays a role in bone health and protects our cells from free radical damage.
Good news! Approximately two slices of this cake will actually satisfy your daily requirements for Manganese, so get cooking and start eating!
- 2 cups spelt flour (I used a mix of white and wholemeal, but using all white makes a spongier cake)
- 1/2 cup descicated coconut
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 cup coconut milk (bring to room temperature first)
- juice and zest of 3 limes
- pulp from 4 passionfruit
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup liquified coconut oil
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Pre-heat oven to 350ºF/ 175ºC.
- Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with coconut oil and baking paper.
- Sift together dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients until well combined.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients bowl, then slowly pour in your wet ingredients.
- Mix ingredients together gently with a wooden spoon or spatula, taking care not to over-mix the batter.
- Pour into the cake tin and bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.