I believe it was my mother-in-law who once told me, “Just because you’re only eating a little of something unhealthy doesn’t make it healthy. Would you eat a little rat poison?”
She and I don’t always see eye to eye (hehe), but I could get behind that sentiment.
I hear a lot of nutrition professionals rant about the 80/20 rule – that is, you eat well 80% of the time, and give yourself permission to indulge the other 20% of the time. As you may know, if you’ve read my rules to live by, I feel strongly about always doing your best. So, I despise the 80/20 rule.
So, when my kiddo requested a “Chocolate Gummy Bear Rainbow Cake” for her fourth birthday, I have to admit, I was a little overwhelmed at the prospect. This is a child who is sensitive to gluten, cow’s dairy, soy, corn, and food colouring, among other things – and has yet to have cane sugar in her life. But, my best is better than caving and buying a supermarket chocolate cake and letting her eat regular gummy bears because “it’s just once per year”. (This is another rationalization that gets to me.)
On the most special occasions in my little one’s life, I want her to be her best self – which means I need to be my best self as a parent, and put in the extra effort at times to do what’s in her best interests.
I don’t want her to spend her birthday with a headache from food colouring, or lashing out behaviourally from being in contact with soy or gluten – that’s not going to make amazing memories for any of us.
Meghan Telpner, who is an author and nutritionist that I respect greatly has an amazing blog post titled Does “All Thing In Moderation” Work? In the post she states, “Just because we eat or do or use something in smaller amounts, or less frequently, doesn’t always make it okay. I’d like to think that when we know better, we do better and that ultimately, some things are simply meant for the “never-ever” category.”
In our family, we’ve decided that our food sensitivities – that is foods that we react negatively to – are in our never-ever category.
All that said, I still wanted to make my kiddo’s cake-dreams come true. So I worked hard to make a Chocolate Gummy Bear Rainbow Cake happen in a way that still honoured our family’s dietary habits.
I will never forget the way her face lit up when I showed her the finished product. She was excited all over again when we cut into it on her birthday, and she saw the “rainbow” surprise inside.
While this cake is still a sugary-sweet-treat – the recipe below is a great option if you would rather your kiddos not be bouncing off the walls, unable to control themselves, at their next birthday celebration.
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:40 mins
Chocolate Layer Cake
2.5 cups blanched almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
¾ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup raw coconut palm sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup coconut milk, full fat
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven at 350°F.
- Grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round pans with coconut oil, then line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl sift together the almond flour, coconut flour, cacao powder, palm sugar, baking soda and salt. Whisk until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, or a stand mixer, whisk together the coconut oil, coconut milk, eggs, vanilla and maple syrup.
- Using a silcone spatula, or on a low speed in your stand mixer, gently mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients to form a batter. Mix only until combined, don’t over mix.
- Add the lemon juice at the last moment, and mix the batter one more time to combine.
- Pour half the batter into each prepared pan.
- Place into the oven.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 25-30 minutes.
- Let cake cool completely then cut the peak off of each cake to create flatter discs, which are easier for layering.