Monday, December 19, 2011

Grammy Ethel's Chocolate Oat Nut Cake

This time of year brings out all your favorite family traditions, secrets and memories. One of those being for my husband is his Grammy Ethel's chocolate cake. Grammy Ethel was his great-grandmother that he remembers visiting as a child. He remembers that Grammy Ethel was a great baker and that she loved to share her goodies with her family. A great lady that loved to care for her family with good food... who doesn't want to be loved by grammy with a slice of her yummy chocolate cake?!
This cake seems to be famous to the family I married. I have been hearing about it since before we married and haven't tried the original because of my gluten-free disposition. But, who says that you can't adjust the flour and make it gluten-free? Why not, right? My husband was excited for me to make it and share in a little family tradition. And, I was excited to try and re-create a family favorite into a gluten-free masterpiece.
My hubby says that the cake wasn't meant to be a decadent cake with lots of frosting or extras. But instead it was a moist oatmeal-filled cake with lots of texture and flavor. I thought, "Sounds decadent to me!" And his mom graciously shared the family recipe with me to try and make the gluten-free alterations. It was pretty simple actually since you can now find certified gluten-free oats. I decided to make it with the called-for eggs, but you could try making this cake vegan by adding an egg substitute instead if you desired. Also, I used "healthier" versions of sweetener and a touch of chia meal to add some glue to the mix. It turned out pretty wonderful. I mean, you really can't go wrong where chocolate and nuts are involved. Super simple and delicious. A great holiday cake that I am happy to carry-on in the family, gluten-free style of course :)
Grammy Ethel's Chocolate Oat Nut Cake Recipe 
(gluten and dairy-free)
1/2 cup of sweet sorghum flour
1/2 cup of millet flour
3/4 cup of tapioca flour
2 TB of chia seed meal
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of baking soda
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1 cup of coconut palm sugar

1 cup of Bob's Red Mill certified gluten-free rolled oats (or cooking oats)
1 1/2 cup of boiling water

1/2 cup of grapeseed oil (or other baking oil: soft coconut oil or light olive oil)
3 large farm fresh eggs
10-15 drops of NuNatural's pure vanilla stevia

1 10 ounce bag of dairy-free semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used Enjoy Life's)
1 cup of chopped walnuts or other nut-variety
First things first, boil some water and pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over your 1 cup of gluten-free oats in a glass bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes for the oats to absorb the water and soften up. Then in a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon or whisk. Then add in your oil, eggs and stevia and stir. Then add in the oats mixture and stir well. Lastly, fold in half of the bag of chocolate chips ( about 1 cup's worth).  Pour batter into a 9x13 greased pan, and then top with the rest of the chocolate chips and about 1 cup of crushed or chopped walnuts (or nut-mix). Sprinkle the toppings evenly and then bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Pull from oven and let cool completely before cutting into for best results.

Some Notes:
-You can sub all of the flours above for a favorite GF all-purpose flour mix if that is easier for you or what you have available. Just start with 1 1/2 cup of your flour mix and if it seems too wet then add a touch more flour, up to 1/4 cup. 

-I used Bob's Red Mill certified gluten-free rolled oats because that is what I had in the house, BUT I this the cooking oats may even work better. They both will work so use what you got. 

-This cake doesn't have or need frosting. The topped nuts and extra chocolate chips add the perfect ending to each slice. 
Making this cake was a little pre-Christmas present for my husband. He loved it and even though it was a bit different than the original, he said it was pretty darn close for being gluten-free. Now, I must carry on with a few more Christmas presents. Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away? Crazy. I might seem a little weird because there is no snow here yet. I am hoping for some snow for Christmas...everyone loves a white christmas.

Also, there are 3 more days to enter the NuNatural's stevia giveaway! PLEASE enter HERE if you haven't. You have the chance to win such a great product and will be able to start trying it in some low-to-no-sugar recipes for the holiday or new year.

Much love to you!


  1. Could you use carob powder?

    1. Yes, it is a 1:1 sub for sure! Hope you love it!

  2. Would an egg substitute work? I cant do dairy

    1. I would sub with a flax or chia egg before other egg subs, and it should work just fine. And carob powder is a 1:1 sub too. Hope that helps and let me know how it goes! Much love!

  3. I love your recipe, but wondered if you could give Granny Ethel's original recipe ingredients & directions?

    1. Anon- Grammy's original recipe is a secret family recipe. So sorry! :)