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It is nobody’s birthday in my house. Nobody. Not even close. We’re all late Fall and Winter babies in this household. My three kiddos are October, November and December, my husband is right after Christmas and I am in early March. It’s pretty nutty, quite honestly. From mid-Fall to New Year’s we are run ragged with birthday and holidays and each year it seems to get more stressful. My husband and I aren’t even remotely over-indulgent with our kids and we don’t do big birthday celebrations for them. But even the minor family celebrations we do hold take enough effort and time that we find ourselves girding our loins at the approach of October. Oh, and have I mentioned that our anniversary is in October as well? Um, yeah, that gets more and more overlooked each year as we just try to survive.
So what on earth possessed me to make what is, for all intents and purposes, a huge chocolate birthday cake in June? I haven’t the foggiest, the idea just took hold of me and wouldn’t let go. It worried at me like a dog with a bone, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. And it wasn’t just any old birthday cake I wanted to make. I knew this one had to have lots of layers and a rich sour cream frosting. It had to be tall, it had to be impressive, and most importantly, it had to taste wicked good. It had to be a birthday cake that you would never know was low carb and gluten free.
So why sour cream frosting? I don’t know. Once again, it was just an idea that got a hold of me. My sister-in-law had made a sour cream frosting for my nephew’s birthday cake and I am not sure I’d ever had any until that time. And then I happened to see a recipe for chocolate sour cream frosting on the inside of a package of unsweetened chocolate, and I thought how perfect that might be for a low carb frosting. I could see the cake in my mind’s eye, 3 or 4 layers with rich frosting in between and swirled richly on top. And some brightly coloured sprinkles to finish it off. Just a few, since I don’t think they make sugar-free sprinkles yet!
The Results: Honestly, this cake was phenomenal. Except for the fact that I can’t seem to get almond flour chocolate cake to look as chocolatey as cake made with wheat flour (it has a muddy brown appearance, rather than a rich chocolate brown), you would never know the difference. I made the frosting with powdered Swerve, and it was rich and had a wonderful tang from the sour cream. I was a touch worried at first because the frosting seemed too goopy and like it would just slide right down the sides of the cake. But it didn’t at all, and I was able to frost the cake perfectly. And I gave it an hour to chill in the fridge and it set nicely. It was a really big cake and very rich, so even though I’ve called it 16 servings here, you can easily get 18 or 20 out of it.
This is definitely a cake worthy of a birthday celebration!
Chocolate Layer Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting (Low Carb and Gluten-Free)
- 2 1/4 cups almond flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup granulated erythritol (I used Swerve)
- 1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder
- 1 tbsp instant coffee
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 oz Greek yogurt, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 tsp stevia extract
- 2/3 cup almond milk
Sour Cream Frosting
- For the cake, preheat the oven to 325F and grease 2 8-inch round cake pans. Line cake pans with parchment paper and grease the parchement.
- In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, protein powder, granulated erythritol, instant coffee, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.
- In another large bowl, beat Greek yogurt and butter together until combined. Beat in eggs and stevia extract. Beat in almond flour mixture in two additions, alternating with almond milk, and scraping down beaters and sides of bowl as needed.
- Divide batter between prepared pans and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cakes are set and a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes, and then flip out onto wire racks to cool completely.
- Once cool, use a large serrated knife to cut each layer in half horizontally to create 4 layers total.
- For the frosting, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside.
- In large bowl, beat sour cream and powdered erythritol until smooth. Beat in cocoa powder, then vanilla extract and stevia extract.
- Sprinkle xanthan gum over mixture and beat in until frosting thickens slightly. Stir in melted chocolate, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined.
- Place one layer of cake on serving platter and top with 1/2 to 3/4 cup frosting, using knife or offset spatula to spread evenly. Repeat with remaining layers and frosting. For final layer, top with any remaining frosting and spread down and over sides of cake, smoothing with knife or offset spatula. If desired, use back of small spoon to create swirled effect on top of cake.
- Chill cake in refrigerator for at least one hour. Any leftover cake should be wrapped in plastic and kept in refrigerator.
Each serving has a total of 10g of carbs and 5g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 5g.