At the BlogHer Annual Conference last week, the staff provided us with lunch both Friday and Saturday. When Dorothy, Trish, and I found seats after our morning breakout session, we looked slightly forlornly at the center of the table. Two trays of hoagie sandwiches and a plate of vegan wraps stared back at us, instead of the gourmet plates of chicken and veggies we were served at BlogHer Food in Miami.
With the bread somewhat stale and slathered in mayo (my least favorite condiment), I reached for the vegan wrap instead. When I set it on my plate, the tortilla fell open and refused to fold back up, so I slid the few bites of vegetables onto my fork and reached for a turkey sandwich too.
But because I can’t stand mayonnaise, I also picked the filling out of that! I cut the large thin slices of turkey into smaller pieces to politely shovel into my mouth, and with my stomach still rumbling, I did that again with another turkey hoagie. Desperate times call for desperate measures!
On the second day, Ashley and I walked into the dining room where Dorothy saved us seats, and I stared at our plates in disbelief. An appetizer-sized salad greeted us, all of 10 pieces of lettuce, with 3 tiny bowls of chopped chicken and steak to sprinkle on top…
For the entire table of 8. Each bowl only held a standard serving of protein; I could’ve easily polished off one all by myself! But that would’ve left just 2 servings for the 7 other people…
So instead, I ravenously devoured that teensy tiny salad and turned to Ashley when I finished. “Would it be weird if I ran into the Expo hall to grab ice cream from the sponsor’s booth?” I asked.
Before she could answer, Dorothy return from refilling her iced coffee and whispered, “I’m going to get ice cream from the Expo.”
I laughed and exclaimed, “I’m coming!” and Ashley followed us out too.
With very few food options and almost no desserts at BlogHer, I came home completely craving sweets! Nothing fancy like tartlets or cheesecake—just simple treats like cookies, brownies, and cake. With the memories of all our afternoon caffeinated lattes and iced coffees powering through the conference, I decided to bake something with similar flavors…
Coffee Loaf Cake with Dark Chocolate Drizzle! Lightly flavored with java and maple, each thick slice of this cake tastes like the aromas wafting through a coffee shop. It has all of the sweetness and moisture of regular indulgent cakes, but it’s secretly low fat, low calorie, and clean eating too!
When it comes to baking cake, I’m all about the no-fuss recipes. No butter to cream, no mixer required—just one pan, one layer, and a simple drizzle. So that’s exactly what this cake is!
With how successful my fudgy salted caramel brownies were, I wanted to try another gluten-free recipe. I mixed together my own blend of brown rice, millet, almond, and tapioca flours, plus a little xanthan gum to act as the gluten and provide the structure.
It turned out beautifully! The cake rose perfectly, didn’t sink, and had a really moist and tender texture. However, you can still use all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour instead if that’s what you have on hand—or even regular whole wheat (although the texture might be ever so slightly denser).
For the coffee flavor, I turned to instant coffee crystals. We need the kind that dissolves in liquid, NOT regular coffee grounds. Both regular and decaf instant coffee work just fine.
Because the coffee is competing with the maple syrup to flavor the cake, I used 2 tablespoons of the instant crystals. For a more pronounced flavor, use up to 1 tablespoon more, or reduce the instant coffee to 1 tablespoon for a stronger maple taste.
Like with many of my cake recipes, alternating additions are mandatory, especially if you’re using regular (not gluten-free) flour! Alternating additions prevent over-mixing the batter, which would over-develop the gluten strands and result in a tough gummy cake. That’s not what we want, so let’s keep our cake tender and alternate additions!
Now for the drizzle… It’s just 3 ingredients! Cocoa powder, agave, and milk. Feel free to substitute your favorite sweetener in place of the agave (i.e. honey, maple syrup, or even regular granulated sugar). The drizzle’s flavor is really dark, so add more sweetener and less milk if you prefer a lightly taste. The recipe makes a lot, so you may have extra. It’s perfect for dipping strawberries and drizzling on ice cream too!
It took almost all of my willpower not to devour 3 whole slices of this healthier Coffee Loaf Cake with Dark Chocolate Drizzle as soon as I finished its photo shoot! The moist texture and sweet flavor were much too tempting… With how easy the cake is to make, I imagine it’d be lovely for an afternoon tea, weekend brunch, or a fun dinner party.
…Or just because. After all, you can never have too much cake!
If you like this recipe, then be sure to follow my Healthy Cakes & Cupcakes board on Pinterest!