A deliciously moist and fluffy gluten-free, vegan chocolate cake with a peppermint buttercream frosting garnished with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs. A holiday classic with a touch of pink!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Suncore Foods. The opinions and text are all mine. The product mentioned in this post was sent to me as a gift to use in this recipe, thank you so much Suncore Foods!
When I think of peppermint holiday desserts, red or green come to mind, like fresh mint sprigs. But I decided to go pink this holiday season and frost my Chocolate Peppermint Cake with the most beautiful shade of pink! The frosting is naturally colored by the way, with Pitaya Powder from Suncore Foods!
It’s not uncommon for me to talk on my blog about how challenging gluten-free vegan baking can be. There have been countless fails, lots of dollars straight to the garbage (which, ya’ll know it drives me nuts to throw food away!), and plenty of opportunities for me to give up baking all together. BUT, I am also not a quitter- maybe I drive myself a little crazy trying to perfect a recipe or get something just right- but I’m sure glad I stuck with it because this gluten-free, vegan Chocolate Peppermint Cake with Pitaya Peppermint Frosting is totally worth all those baking fails.
Other than the cake turning out so moist and delicious, with just the right amount of chocolatey goodness to compliment the peppermint, I had a blast decorating this cake! Holiday cake decorating is my fav, which is really good since I may have to make holiday cakes the rest of my life, with my son being born on Christmas Eve!
So what makes this cake so moist and delicious? Aquafaba. Aquafaba is a dear friend of mine. I think that was the aha moment, when everything in my gluten-free, vegan baking world clicked. If you’re not familiar with aquafaba, it’s the liquid in a can of chickpeas. Weird, huh?! Pure geniusness if you ask me. It whips up like egg whites and makes your vegan baked goodies so moist, like eggs would! I rave about it often, I’m sure you’ve noticed I’m totally crushing on aquafaba lol.
So for the Chocolate Peppermint Cake I used gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, peppermint, aquafaba, coconut milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chunks, agave, and date syrup! Completely naturally sweetened! Because I use organic powdered sugar for my Pitaya Peppermint Frosting, I wanted to keep the cake naturally sweetened, because we all know (no matter how much we want to deny it) that too much sugar will put your straight on the naughty list. Haha.
The Pitaya Peppermint Frosting is a buttercream frosting made with vegan/plant butter, peppermint, organic powdered sugar, and Pink Pitaya Supercolor Powder from Suncore Foods. Now, I feel like the holidays are all about balance, right? It’s ok to indulge a bit, but I sure do feel better when I can sneak some superfoods in my baked goods like I did with this Chocolate Peppermint Cake with Pitaya Peppermint Frosting recipe. Not only does the pink pitaya powder give it this gorgeous pink hue naturally, but it also packs some pretty great health benefits and nutrients too!
Pitaya, also known as Dragon Fruit, is a rather exotic fruit. If you’ve ever had them, they are just as gorgeous in their whole form as their powdered form. Dragon fruit has rightfully earned its exotic reputation for vivid color, but the fruit is as healthy as it is beautiful. They contain many antioxidants, antibacterial, and nutritional properties help smooth the digestive process and boost the immune system and metabolism. This super fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, several types of Vitamin B, protein, fiber and essential polyunsaturated fatty acids.*
See? Healthy cake. LOL. No, but in all seriousness, this cake is definitely a lot healthier than alternative options you might be exposed to this holiday season but I promise, just as delicious. OH! And in case you were wondering, pitaya powder is pretty much flavorless, so it won’t add any weird flavor to your icing. It’s actually my favorite superfood powder to work with, and because duh, it’s pink! 😉
I chose to decorate my Chocolate Peppermint Cake with Pitaya Peppermint Frosting with sugared cranberries and rosemary and peppermint candies, but that’s completely optional. The cake and frosting taste great without all the embellishments, but if you’re up for some snazzy holiday decorating, have at it!
So head on over to Suncore Foods or to my Amazon Shop to get your Pink Pitaya Supercolor Powder, and get baking! Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook if you make this delicious cake recipe! Also, check out my Pitaya Poached Pears, Galaxy Meringue Pops, or Pink Pitaya Moon Milk recipes for more ways to use your Pink Pitaya Powder! Wishing you a pretty pink holiday season!
Chocolate Peppermint Cake
- 2 cups gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup date sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup agave syrup (or maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 1 can aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas)
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar (whipped with the chickpea brine)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks/chips
Pitaya Peppermint Frosting
- 1 cup vegan/plant butter
- 4 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 2 tablespoons Suncore Foods Pink Pitaya Supercolor Powder
Decorations (Sugared Cranberries/Rosemary Sprigs)-optional
- 1 cup fresh organic cranberries
- fresh rosemary (about 4-6 sprigs)
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-2 cups sparking sugar
Sugared Cranberries + Rosemary
- If you're decorating your cake with sugared cranberries and rosemary, make these first.
- Place ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan.
- Stir together while heating over medium-high heat.
- Continue to stir occasionally until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil.
- Remove from heat and add the cranberries (you may have to do this in a couple different batches)
- Allow the cranberries to sit for 4-5 minutes in the sugar water mixture.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove cranberries from the saucepan and place on parchment paper for 10 minutes (making sure they aren't touching).
- Repeat with other cranberries and the rosemary sprigs.
- Place your sparking sugar in a medium bowl.
- Add a few cranberries at a time and use fingers or small spoon to gently roll in the sugar to coat completely on all sides (be sure your cranberries don't stick to eachother).
- Remove and place on a parchment lined baking rack to dry.
- Repeat with all cranberries and rosemary sprigs.
- Let them dry at room temperature for one hour. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Chocolate Peppermint Cake
- Preaheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl (except for dark chocolate chunks/chips.
- In your KitchenAid mixer (or alternatively you can use a hand beater with a large bowl), beat your aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) on high until it starts to froth up. Add the cream of tartar as it starts to thicken. It's done when stiff peaks form and it resembles whipped egg whites.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the bowl with the whipped aquafaba (this will cause it to deflate).
- Finally add in the dry cake mix to the bowl and blend until a nice smooth batter forms.
- Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.
- Spray 2 6-inch cake pans with coconut oil and place them on a large baking sheet (makes it easier to take them out of the oven).
- Fill each pan equally with the cake batter and bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Move the cakes to a cooling rack and cool for about an hour before frosting
Pitaya Peppermint Frosting
- In your KitchenAid Mixer (or bowl with hand blender) beat the butter, vanilla, and peppermint until its smooth.
- Slowly add in your powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time and continute beating while you do so.
- Finally, add the Pitaya Powder.
Frosting and Decorating
- When your cakes are cool, place one cake onto a cake platter or flat dish. NOTE: you may need to slice the top off the bottom cake to make sure the other cake will sit flat on top of it.
- Add a generous amount of frosting on the top of that cake.
- Add the other cake on top of it, making sure it's stable.
- Spread the remaining frosting over the whole cake (you may have a little leftover frosting).
- Decorate with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs (and peppermint candies if desired).
* best if eaten within a day or two
CLICK BELOW TO PIN!
* nutritional information provided by Suncore Foods