When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Banana Orange Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream and Fresh Berries (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free)

Easter weekend was filled with a little bit of everything, both weather-wise and in terms of what our family got up to. It was sunny on Friday and Saturday, then Sunday morning we woke up to a fresh layer of snow on the lawn, which made it seem more like Christmas than Easter. We headed outside to enjoy the sunshine when we could, and spent time redecorating Will's bedroom (more on that later) and preparing an Easter feast and some special holiday treats in the kitchen whenever the weather was gray and cool. The four day weekend was a really nice break from the regular routine, and a great opportunity for some enjoyable family time together.

For Easter treats, Noah and Will requested their favourite homemade dark chocolate goodies: coconut creme eggs and cashew butter eggs. I was happy to indulge the boys, mostly just because I love them, but also because I love those eggs as much as they do! In addition to the usual sweets, though, I wanted to prepare a non-chocolate dessert for our Easter dinner that felt spring-like, even if the weather didn't want to cooperate.  This banana orange cake with whipped coconut cream and fresh berries was very much enjoyed by the whole family last night.  The cake is wonderfully moist and flavourful, and was a perfect end to our delicious glazed ham and roasted vegetable Easter meal.

Banana Orange Cake with Whipped Coconut Cream and Fresh Berries

6 cups blanched almond flour
6 tbsp arrowroot flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
6 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups mashed ripe bananas

2 398mL cans of full-fat coconut milk (refrigerate overnight before using)
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans with grapeseed oil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot flour, sea salt and baking soda. Whisk together the grapeseed oil, maple syrup, orange juice, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well with a large spoon. Stir the mashed bananas into the batter, making sure everything is well-combined.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared baking pans, smoothing out the top of each cake with a spatula, and bake in the preheated oven for approximately 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Carefully loosen the edges of the cakes with a knife, and invert the pans onto wire racks to release the cakes from them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

Prepare the whipped coconut cream by opening the two cans of coconut milk and scooping out the solid cream from the top of the cans into a mixing bowl. Add a tablespoon of pure maple syrup and a teaspoon of vanilla to the cream, then beat on high speed with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.

Place one of the cooled cakes on a plate. Spread half of the whipped coconut cream over the top of the cake, then gently place the second cake on top of the cream. Spread the remaining whipped coconut cream over the top of the second cake, and arrange the fresh berries on top of the second layer of cream. Serve and enjoy! (Any remaining cake should be stored in the refrigerator to keep the cream and berries fresh.)

Today the sun is shining again, and while Matt had to return to work this morning, the boys and I are taking full advantage of one more leisure-filled afternoon. We're all looking forward to Easter leftovers (especially this cake :) ) for dinner again tonight! I hope your Easter weekend was lovely, too, and that spring weather is showing its warm, smiling face where you are.

This post is linked to Gluten-Free Wednesdays.


  1. That cake looks amazing! I need to try it! We had a good Easter in spite of the weather. We just celebrated indoors, at church and at home.

    1. Thank you, Julia. :) I'm glad you and your family enjoyed a happy Easter, even if the weather didn't cooperate!