Chocolaty Chocolate Cake & Lemon Buttercream Frosting

A long overdue visit took place over a warm California weekend to celebrate life events that have collected since the start of our latest trip around the sun. 
This visit called for some sweet experimenting and delicious creating in our kitchen.

For the birthday of my fantastically talented cake-baking aunt, it had to be gluten free, chocolate, beautiful, and delicious.

The dense, moist crumb of this fudgy chocolate cake paired deliciously with the zesty lemon buttercream frosting that draped it, as well as the sprinkling of winsome lavender that graced it.
A perfectly splendid charmer to celebrate my sweet, generous, lovely aunt's birthday, as well as a number of other significant life events that had taken place since our last visit.

This turned out to be the perfect gathering and life-celebrating cake.

Chocolate Cake Frosted in Lemon Buttercream & Sprinkled with Lavender {Allergen-Gluten-Dairy Free}
makes 1 - 9x13" pan or 2 - 8x8" pans or 4 - 4" round mini cakes or 2 dozen cupcakes

Chocolate Cake
-1 1/2 cups organic sugar
-1/2 cup non-dairy butter
-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
-1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
-1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
-1/2 cup brown rice flour
-1/2 cup millet flour
-1/4 cup coconut flour
-1/4 cup tapioca starch
-2 teaspoons guar gum or xanthan gum
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 cup sour non-dairy milk (1 tsp. apple cider vinegar + non-dairy milk of choice)
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
-1/3 cup cocoa powder
-3 Tablespoons melted dark chocolate
-1 cup boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350F and thoroughly grease pan(s) or line muffin tin with liners.
2. Cream sugar and butter. Add applesauce and vanilla.
3. Combine flours, guar gum, and baking powder in a bowl. Mix baking soda into sour milk and let sit.
4. Alternate adding sour milk and flours to the applesauce mixture, thoroughly combining between each addition.
5. Add salt and cocoa powder, mix well.
6. Melt chocolate into boiling water, make sure chocolate is thoroughly melted then fold boiling mixture into batter until smooth.
7. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fine crumbs.
Allow to cool competely before frosting with buttercream, if need be, remove from pan(s) and refrigerate layers until cool before frosting.
*for level cake layers, make sure you thoroughly grease pan(s) and wrap strips of wet towel around pan(s).

Lemon Zest Buttercream Frosting
-1/2 cup vegetable shortening
-1/2 cup non-dairy butter
-4 cups confectioners sugar
-1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest
-1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. Cream shortening and butter together. Add sugar one cup at a time, alternating with a splash of lemon juice after each addition. Beat until smooth.
2. Add lemon zest and vanilla and beat 3-5 more minutes until smooth, creamy, and fluffy.

chocolate cake adapted from this recipe by The Gluten Free Vegan
lemon buttercream frosting adapted from this recipe by A Rented Kitchen
After frosting cooled cakes, store in refrigerator until ready to serve. 
For clean cuts, run knife under hot water before each cut, this helps the knife slice through the cake smoothly.
optional substitutions...
-non-dairy butter: coconut oil, coconut butter
-gluten free flours: you can add, subtract, or substitute flours based on your preference, try avoiding flours with too strong of a flavor, like quinoa or chickpea
-apple cider vinegar for sour milk: lemon juice or white vinegar

Mangia! Mangia!