BYO birthday cake (Mocha almond mud cake)

So, it is that time of year again where I get officially older. I am away with my karate widower husband on my actual birthday, which will be serene, but Mum has volunteered to hold the regular family dinner and celebrate then. She has kindly offered to make (and delegate) most of the food ensuring it will meet my dietary preferences but….she still can’t get her head around vegan / whole food based cakes so for the 3rd year running it is BYO birthday cake time for me. At least I had my little helper this time to share the baking experience (and be the taste tester for the small one we made at the same time).

Actually, I have made 2 cakes this year, since I now have a dojo “twin” sister, so at class the night after our birthdays, we will celebrate us both getting older and wiser and hopefully celebrating another milestone for her and her small fry too.

I might blog that recipe later. It’s sort of the raw sister to this one actually and I plan on using the left over icing from that one to decorate this one anyway. Watch this space for the other recipes…..I want to wait so I can post pictures of the other cake because I iced it all fancy 🙂 I am not sure if I will really decorate this one (though Miss 4.75 wants me to put love hearts on it…..we will see!).


  • Almond pulp from 2 cups of soaked almonds (used to make milk or just drain and grind)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon coffee essence
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1.5 cups dates soaked (preferably over night) in decaf (or regular) coffee (I used cafe press style straight in with boiling water) including soaking water and grounds.
  • 3 tablespoons flax meal and 12 tablespoons water (mix and sit at least 5 minutes to make flax eggs)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil.


  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  2. Put dates / coffee / essences in food processor and puree.
  3. Add all other wet ingredients and process until smooth.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and process to combine.
  5. Line 20cm tin with baking paper.
  6. Scrape mixture into tin pressing it all the way to the edges, then smooth the top.
  7. Bake about 30 minutes or until skewer inserted into centre comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the tin.
  9. May be eaten as is or decorated with mocha ganash (recipe to follow).
  10. Can be frozen (wrap in foil or plastic).

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