Rich chocolate layer cake filled with vanilla pudding then frosted with vanilla whipped cream. This low carb and gluten-free recipe is ketogenic heaven!
Birthday cakes are something I have been meaning to post for a long time. Yes, they are special occasion cakes and take some time and effort to prepare, but a pretty layer cake is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion!
I don’t know about you, but the first thing I do when I get to a birthday party after greeting my host, is check out the cake! The cake is important! A beautiful cake sets the tone for a celebration. It’s often lavishly decorated with frosting, flowers, or candles, it stands proudly over the other party food, it’s the center of attention, and is oooh-ed and ahhh-ed over by all. And, sometimes when they are sliced open, you get a nice surprise!
I have friends who purchase their cakes from bake shops either because they don’t know how to make a cake or are pressed for time. There’s nothing wrong with that – the cakes are gorgeous! But they aren’t low carb and I end up refusing a piece or taking only one bite just to be polite. It makes me a little sad because I love a good birthday cake – especially if it’s made from quality ingredients. (I think we can all agree that the overly-sweet frosting made from vegetable shortening that we get at most super markets is inferior to a good buttercream!)
Now, I am no professional, but I do make low carb birthday cakes several times a year for family birthdays. When the kids were younger, I would put little toys on the cakes in lieu of buying a gaudy character cake from the grocery store. Now that they are older and appreciate better tasting food, I try a little harder with decorating their cakes. I’m still no cake decorator – but I’ve found that a “pretty-enough” cake can be made from a few simple things.
What I use to decorate my low carb birthday cakes and layer cakes.
- large round tip, large open star tip, large closed star tip ( I have this Wilton Tip Kit)
- plastic bags or pastry bags for piping the frosting and whipped cream
- assorted off-set spatulas
- chopped chocolate (dark chocolate or sugar free chocolate)
- chopped nuts
- a deliberate smattering of store bought sprinkles
- whipped cream or whipped coconut cream
- frosting or ganache
- pastry cream
This low carb birthday cake features layers of moist chocolate cake filled with rich vanilla pastry cream. Both recipes are gluten-free and sugar free. They are also easy to make! I break-up the work over a few days so as not to overwhelm myself.
I use specialty cocoa powder from King Arthur for all of my chocolate low carb goodies. It results in intensely flavored and dark product. I love their Bensdorp Dutch Process Cocoa and their Black Cocoa powder. I mix them 2:1 (2 parts Bensdorp to 1 part Black). But, by all means use your favorite cocoa. By the way, those are not affiliate links, I’m just crazy about the product!
WORD TO THE WISE! To make this cake a breeze, the pastry cream can be made up to 5 days before and the chocolate cake several days ahead. Make the whipped cream right before assembly. Assembly goes quickly!
Each serving of this Low Carb Chocolate Birthday Cake is 7 net carbs.
[This post and recipe contain affiliate links. Purchasing through these links helps support Low Carb Maven at no additional cost to you.]
Low Carb Chocolate Birthday Cake
- 1 Vanilla Pastry Cream (15 minutes cook time – the instructions for the pastry cream are very detailed so get the recipe the link above.)
- 1 Low Carb Chocolate Cake (15 minutes prep. time)
- 1 stick soft salted butter (4 oz)
- 1 cup granulated erythritol, powdered
- 1 large egg, cold*
- 3 large eggs, cold
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp buttermilk (or almond milk with 1 T of vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Now Stevia Glycerite
Vanilla Whipped Cream – prep time 5-7 minutes
- 2, 6 inch round cake pans
- 1 small off-set spatula
- 1 larger off-set spatula
- 1 large round hole piping tip
- 1 zip-loc bag or pastry bag (quart size)
Vanilla Pastry Cream:
- Make up to 5 days in advance and store in the refrigerator until assembly.
- Preheat oven to 350F and position the rack to the lower third. Spray 2, 6-inch round cake pans with baking spray and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of each. I trace the bottom of the pans on a piece of parchment and cut inside the line.
- Measure all of the Dry Ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk together. Add all of the Wet Ingredients into a smallish bowl and beat well.
- Cream: In a large bowl, whip the butter until it is smooth and there are no lumps. Powder the eryhtritol and add to the butter. Whip with a hand mixer for 30 seconds to a minute on medium high to high speed until light, fluffy and cold. Scrape down the bowl. Add one egg and whip for another minute. Scrape down the bowl.
- Combine: Add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the creamed butter and sugar mixture and mix until completely incorporated but still fluffy. Add half of the wet ingredients, mixing until completely and thoroughly mixed. Scrape down the bowl. Add half of the remaining dry ingredients, mixing until completely incorporated and then the rest of the wet ingredients, mixing until completely incorporated. Scrape down the bowl. Add the last of the dry ingredients mixing well. The batter should be very thick and mousse-like.
- Prepare the Pans: Add half of the batter to each pan and spread the batter evenly with a small off-set spatula. Lift each pan a few inches above the counter and drop it about 3 times. This will knock out the big air bubbles.
- Bake: Place the pans into the oven and raise the oven temperature to 400 for 5 minutes. Then turn it back down to 350 and bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the pans to a cooling rack and cover them with a clean tea towel until they are completely cool. They will sink in the middle a little upon cooling. Cool completely before assembly. Can be made ahead and frozen then thawed or made several days before assembly and refrigerated.
- Pour the heavy cream into a small bowl and add the vanilla and sweetener. Whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the pinch of xanthan gum over the top and whip. It should get very stiff and almost start to pull or clump together. If not add just a pinch more. It should be very thick, firm and mousse-like. Make the day of assembly.
- Remove the Vanilla Pastry Cream from the fridge and whip it with a hand mixer until it is nice and light. Place 1/3 of the whipped cream into a pastry bag or zip-loc bag fitted with a large round tip. Carefully slice the cakes in half horizontally. Some people find it easier to use a piece of floss for this (make sure it isn’t flat floss).
- Place one cake half on your serving plate. Pipe a circle of whipped cream along the inside-edge of the cake. Place 1/3-1/2 cup of pastry cream onto the center of the cake and spread to the whipped cream with a small off-set spatula. Top with a layer of cake and create another dam of whipped cream and fill with more pastry cream. Repeat this process one more time, then top with the remaining cake layer. You will have pastry cream left over.
- Squeeze the remaining whipped cream into the larger amount of whipped cream and starting with the sides ans using a larger off-set spatula, frost the cake with the whipped cream. I decorated the top of the cake with some of the extra pastry cream.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 12 at 7 net carbs per serving.
- *I use cold eggs in all of my baking recipes because the erythritol makes things cold when melts into the batters anyway.