For the third installment of #communitycookbookproject, I’ve selected a recipe from a book titled Gregory Cooks. This cookbook was created by Gregory Elementary School, located in Wilmington, NC, as a school fundraiser.
I so enjoyed flipping through this book for recipe inspiration. There are a lot of gems in here. I’m not sure if this book was written by students or just had no editing, but there are quite a lot of unusable recipes in here. The way many of these recipes are written would spell disappointment for an inexperienced baker. The first one that caught my eye was “Surprise Chocolate Cake” submitted by LeRoy Johnson.
There are a lot of surprises about this cake, like it has no chocolate and no flour, so I’m not sure how it turns into a chocolate cake. Pour LeRoy had to add sugar packets to mashed potatoes and margarine and pretend it was chocolate cake. Not to mention a complete lack of cooking instructions.
I spent some time researching the “surprise cake”, which seems to be a very old recipe and a way of bypassing the use of flour when it was hard to come by. So perhaps LeRoy’s cake recipe was not all wrong. There were dozens of variations of the mashed potato cake on the internet. I decided to use flour in mine and mix in mashed sweet potatoes instead of white ones (because sweet potatoes are my favorite). I also added in a bit of cinnamon, because I absolutely love cinnamon and chocolate together. The result was a wonderfully chocolate, moist and soft cake, which I served with a sprinkling of powdered sugar but it would be just as great with buttercream, chocolate ganache, whipped cream or any other topping you can think up.
Gluten Free Chocolate Surprise Cake
- 1 ½ C Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend
- ½ C Cocoa Powder
- 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- ½ C Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
- 1 ½ C Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 oz Dark Chocolate chopped
- 1 C Mashed Sweet Potatoes plain
- ½ Non-Dairy Milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on 50% power for 2 minutes. Stir until all pieces are melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir together until well combined. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and oil. Beat on medium high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about 60 seconds between each addition. Scrape down the bowl. Add the vanilla, sweet potato and melted chocolate, mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and alternately add the milk and flour mixture. Begin and end with the milk.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top springs back when gently poked. This is a very moist cake, so be careful not to under bake as the center will sink.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes in the pan. The remove the cake from the pan and cool on a wire cooling rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container.