Naked Chocolate Cake with Blackberries and Whipped Coconut Cream

There are a lot of things that I do pretty well but decorating cakes isn’t one of them! I grew up watching my mom decorate the most ornate cakes and pastries with patience and finesse when all I wanted to do was eat them straight out of the oven.

Naked Chocolate Cake with Blackberries and Whipped Coconut Cream {Beard and Bonnet} #InTheRaw #glutenfree #vegan

I have always been a huge sucker for naked cakes layered with cream and fresh fruit, it’s just my kind of no-fuss dessert. I love letting the texture of the cake layers shine in all of its rugged, simplistic beauty. Add to that a simple whipped topping, in this case whipped coconut cream and luscious blackberries, and this naked cake is simply gorgeous! Let’s face it, when you bake a cake in the heat of summer that should be fuss enough, right?! Save the insanely tedious task of decorating and icing those cake layers for your Christmas feast when there is a shortage of swoon worthy berries on hand to plop on top and devour.

Naked Chocolate Cake with Blackberries and Whipped Coconut Cream {Beard and Bonnet} #InTheRaw #glutenfree #vegan

This cake is rich, fudgy, and pretty much totally decadent – but without the guilt. This cake calls for my personal gluten free flour blend that combines whole grain sorghum flour, brown rice flour, and teff flour along with tapioca and potato starch. Take that store bought all-purpose gluten free flour! This cake also calls for coconut milk instead of dairy and whipped coconut cream for the topping which means it’s vegan too.  When I was choosing a sweet component for this dish I opted for In The Raw’s  Sugar In The Raw Organic White.

Naked Chocolate Cake with Blackberries and Whipped Coconut Cream {Beard and Bonnet} #InTheRaw #glutenfree #veganSugar In The Raw Organic White  is gluten free, vegan, non -GMO, and a wholesome alternative to refined white sugar. The crystals are never bleached, allowing them to retain their natural-white color. Plus it blends, browns and dissolves easily in cooking and baking recipes. Add all of these things together and they make this cake healthy, right?! Now you can indulge without the guilt.

Naked Chocolate Cake with Blackberries and Whipped Coconut Cream {Beard and Bonnet} #InTheRaw #glutenfree #vegan

Hungry for more In The Raw dessert inspiration? Check out this round up from Kitchen Daily: The 8 Best Dessert Do-Overs!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Naked Chocolate Cake with Blackberries and Whipped Coconut Cream
Serves: 8 slices
For the cake layers
  • 1½ cups Beard & Bonnet's all purpose gluten free flour blend
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup Sugar In The Raw Organic White
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ cup coconut oil, in liquid form
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal plus 6 tablespoons water-thickened for 5 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the whipped coconut cream
  • 2 cans coconut cream or full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight in the refrigerator
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
To garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease the bottom and sides of 2 round 8-inch baking pans with coconut oil. Cut parchment paper into circles and fit them into the bottom of the pans then lightly brush the paper with coconut oil as well. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour blend, cocoa powder, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt until completely combined.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the coconut milk, hot water, coconut oil, thickened flax seed meal, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. {Don't overwork the batter here. As soon as it comes together you are done}
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two baking pans, tap the bottom of the pans against the counter to release any air bubbles that may have formed in the batter and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Allow the layers to cool on a wire rack in the pans for 10-15 minutes before removing the cakes and letting them cool completely on the rack.
Make the whipped coconut cream
  1. Transfer the chilled cans of coconut cream or full fat coconut milk from the refrigerator to the counter keeping the cans upright with minimal shaking so that the cream and water do not mix back together.
  2. Open the cans and scoop out all of the hardened coconut cream into your mixing bowl. Reserve the coconut water for another use.Using the whip attachment on your mixer, start on medium speed and increase to high. Whip for about 3-5 minutes, until you have thick, stiff peaks. Once stiff peaks have formed add the vanilla extract and the agave syrup to the bowl. Mix again on medium speed until the flavorings have been completely incorporated.
To assemble the cake
  1. Place one layer of the chocolate cake on a serving platter and spread half of the coconut whipped cream on top. Create a ring around the outer edges of the layer with blackberries using the whipped cream like glue to hold them in place. Layer additional blackberries in the center of the ring in one even layer. Gently place the second cake layer on top of the blackberries, press down gently to secure then spread the remaining half of the whipped coconut cream on top. Pile the remaining blackberries on top of the coconut cream and sprinkle with the tablespoon of Sugar In The Raw Organic White.
***Cook time does not include the amount of time needed to completely cool the cake layers or chill the coconut cream.
Cake layer recipe adapted from Decadent Gluten Free & Vegan Baking by Fork and Beans
Compensation for this post was provided by In The Raw® via AOL Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of In The Raw®  or AOL.


  1. Audrey

    I love naked cakes! No one else seems to understand my love for them, but that’s ok.

    My concern: I have recently realized that xanthan gum upsets my stomach. What substitute would you suggest? Perhaps chia seed or more flax?

    • Meg

      Ha ha! I love them too Audrey, so you are not alone. You can try guar gum instead of the xanthan gum. Let me know how it works for you!

    • Meg

      Holly, if you have access to flax seeds you can make your own by placing the whole seeds into a coffee grinder, food processor, or high powered blender. Small quantities are difficult to grind so use enough seeds to at least touch the blades. Pulverize until the seeds form a coarse flour, in our Vitamix this takes about 10 seconds, other machines will take longer. Store any unused flax meal in an airtight bag in the freezer until ready to use. If you cannot find whole flax seeds you may be able to replace the flax with a chia egg, but I haven’t tried the swap out myself.

  2. I am a traditional baker but I am wheat free and my husband is dairy free. Together, regular desserts are usually off our list. This recipe fits the bill for eliminating all that we have to eliminate. Can’t wait to try this. Beautifully photographed as well.

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Meg van der Kruik is the writer, mother, photographer, designer, cook and creative spirit behind This Mess is Ours. After her infant son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, she dedicated herself to learning to make meals the whole family would love. It’s a bit of a mess – cooking for a vegetarian and three meat-eaters with a range of gluten + dairy sensitivities, but she manages to bring them together every night around their little family table.