Welcome to day five of the Sugar Free Challenge! I can’t believe we are already halfway through!

Like I said yesterday, I was playing in a tournament, so I had to fuel up! Here is today’s sample menu:

Breakfast: Eggs fried in a dab of coconut oil and a peach. Vegan Option: Baked Banana Oatmeal.

Power Water: Water with electrolyte drops and chia.

Lunch (aka: Pre-Match Fuel): Frozen banana, mint extract, cocoa powder, almond milk blended until smoothie. I also popped a couple of mini-smacks in my mouth. I sipped on coconut water throughout match.

Snack (aka: Post-match fuel): Peanut butter chocolate cake (Recipe below). Heh, it is high in protein.

Dinner: I was actually at a friend’s house for dinner, but you can make some sugar-free BBQ with pulled chicken and sweet tater fries! Vegan Option: Try Kelsey’s use for my BBQ sauce! 

Dessert: More Cake!


Grain-Free Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Frosting

~This cake is too good to be true. My whole family enjoyed it. Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, and, of course, sugar-free! Inspired by my Grain-Free Fudge Brownie Recipe

Cake Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 dates
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup milk-substitute (I used unsweetened almond milk) whisked with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to create vegan buttermilk.

Preheat oven to 375*. First, blend the dates into a paste. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients. Then add wet. Stir until well combined. Add the date paste and mix very thoroughly to ensure there aren’t any date chunks. The dates are the natural sweetness in the recipe. Feel free to add more dates if needed to suite your sweet tooth ;)

Lightly grease a cake pan (I used coconut oil). Pour batter into dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Cream Frosting Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
Blend until creamy and fluffy. Adjust liquid to suit your frosting thickness preference.
Spread on cooled cake and top with Homemade Peanut Butter Cups!
Health Benefits
  • Chocolate: Click HERE for a post I wrote earlier about the health benefits of chocolate.
  • Coconut: Coconut is widely misunderstood because of it’s high fat content; however, coconut’s saturated fat is made up of medium-chain fatty acids. These medium-chains are easy to absorb and digest, and are converted quickly into energy. This means that the body has no opportunity to store the medium-chain as fat. Coconut is also a great source of dietary fiber with a whopping 5 grams per oz.!
  • Dates: A laxative food with a high-fiber content, so it can help those suffering from constipation. They are digested quite easily and are great for when you need quick energy. Also, regular consumption of dates has been found to help the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestines.
  • Peanuts: These legumes are full of protein with 7g per ounce. They also have a great monounsaturated fat content that helps your heart and brain. Peanut is a good source of Coenzyme Q10 which protects the heart during the period of lack of oxygen example high altitudes and clogged arteries. It also has a high antioxidant and high niacin content that helps in the recovery of cell damage and provides protection against Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive problem.

Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:

Can you believe the sugar-free challenge is already halfway through? Has it been easy or tough so far? Anything surprise you?

Now, quick! Choose peanut butter or chocolate (but not both, even though I love it better together.) This is a tough question, I know.


51 Responses to Day 5: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

  1. yum yum that cake looks heavenly!!!

  2. Val says:

    The cake looks good!
    Hope you tournament went well!

  3. april says:

    Wow that cake looks awesome!! I’m definitely trying that one out!

  4. shelby says:


    it’s been tough but good. and i’ve really challenged myself and haven’t given into any cravings. all the cravings eventually pass. very good to realize!!!
    i’ve noticed my digestive system reacting to it…TMI?

    peanut butter all the way!!!!!!!!

    hope ur tournament went well!! 😀

  5. Janelle says:

    Yay! We’re at the half-way mark. What surprised me the most is that salsa has sugar. I mean, if you think about it it’s the vinegar… But I found a brand that doesn’t have any so I’m going with that.

    Keep going everyone!

  6. ALEX, ALEX, ALEX! you did it again! this is over-the-top with deliciousness!! thats so cool how you even made it with coconut flour too!!! haha i would definitely be the cause of missing peanut butter cups on top of the cake 🙂

    although i have been eating my fair share of sugar i am going back to a more sugar free diet for the summer. i find that my candida flares up during the warm/humid summer months, and it really pays off to be sugar-free.

    XOXO <3

  7. ps. wanted to let you know i added you to my blogroll WOOT 🙂 xo

    • Awwww 😀 Thanks Kelsey!!! If I ever create a blogroll for my blog, you will definitely be on it! And thanks for your sweet comments on my cake! And I would be right with you eating those pb cups off the cake…

  8. teabagginit says:

    that cake looks awesome! can you taste the dates?
    hmmm, chocolate or pb … i guess i have to choose chocolate!

  9. Christine says:

    Yum! That cake looks delicious – it will make a nice treat tonight. 🙂 I hope your tournament went well!

    So far the challenge has been good – yesterday was tough as we usually have ice cream on Saturdays but I skipped it and ate some pistachios while the rest of the family indulged (though everyone got a kiddie instead of small which was a win in my book). I had a tough time on Friday and Saturday with really low blood sugar – I exercised both days pretty hard so maybe I should have added a little more fruit or something. Today is going great so far! I have lots of energy and I’m getting lots done. 🙂

  10. Katie says:

    another awesome recipe! your recipes always look soooo enticing. I’m not part of the challenge but have enjoyed following along with your eats and tid bits. have an awesome day!

  11. teeneatlive says:

    That cake looks great! Now I just need an excuse to make it……how about a mid week celebration on Wednesday? 😉

  12. That cake looks delicious!!! I love sugar free baking!!!!!

  13. Wow that cake looks so yummy yet so healthy!! The sugar free challenge hasn’t actually been that bad. In fact, it has caused me to come up with some yummy new recipes that I can’t wait to post about. Like today I was really craving something dessert-y so I made myself a sugar free treat 🙂
    I’m really glad I’m participating in the challenge!

  14. Alex this looks a ma zing! I’m making this tomorrow.

  15. Serena says:

    I hope you tournament went awesome! Wow, this challenge just raced by. I am officially obsessed with this cake. Yum 🙂

  16. Ruthie says:

    That cake looks great I’m sure my kids would love it – even though my son likes to give me a hard time with my dietary restrictions he’s amazed when I make something GF, DF & SF that he likes 🙂
    I mainly stick to a SF diet anyway but I was going to make roasted butternut squash soup & cheat using a vegie stock cube but to my dismay they have sugar in them. I would make my own stock but haven’t got much energy not due to the challenge but due to CFS. I’ve written to the company to ask why they would put sugar in stock cubes – they are gluten & lactose free just not sugar free 🙁 I never put sugar in soup you just have to read everything so thoroughly!
    Thanks for all your great recipes 🙂

    • Oh no! So sorry to hear 🙁 I would be interested to hear what the company says.

      • Ruthie says:

        Funnily I got two replies from the company from two different people. One said “We have done some research into whether product could be made without the use of sugar – the results have shown that without the use of artificial ingredients it would not be possible.” & the other said “customer feedback is very important to us. Unfortunately all our stock cubes and powders do contain some sugar, however I have passed your message to our R&D manager for consideration.” so hopefully they will go with the second and figure out how to make it without sugar. Meanwhile I’ve bought the vegies to make my own stock 🙂

        • Huh. Those are very interesting answers…Especially the first one I think-no artificial ingredients? I would think it could be made with just some sat and dried veggies, don’t you?

  17. Jenna says:

    Hey Alex, the cake looks soooooo good! 🙂
    Just wondering if the coconut flour could be substituted for some other flour? I can’t seem to get coconut flour where I am :S
    Thanks Alex!

    • Hey Jenna!

      I have used oatflour before. The texture is not as good, but it does work. Make sure you grind the oats up very fine. You could also try ordering coconut flour online-definitely worth it.

  18. Jess says:

    YUM, that cake looks fantastic!!

  19. You seriously make the most amazing recipes. And I can’t believe I have all of these ingredients in my cabinet! I actually bought dates specifically for the sugar free challenge 🙂 And I finally found coconut flour! woohoo!

  20. Damjana says:

    You really take good care of us!
    It is not difficult at all, though I miss some usual sweetness like adding honey to my kind of pancake or adding a tiny bit of sugar into Indian tea. It’s not terrible but it’s better with some sweetness. I love your chocolate cake idea! Can’t wait to get the oven! Or I might make a raw version of it *brainstorms ideas*.
    That smoothie reminds me of banana soft serve. Lovely texture.
    Have an amazing day, Alex!

    • For raw version I would use some kind of nutbutter…or coconut butter! MMMmmm that would be good. OooO! Or use peanut butter! Then it would be really peanut butter chocolatey!!! I like that idea!

  21. Margarita says:

    OMG! This cake looks incredible!!! Is it actually allowed on this challenge? I feel guilty just by looking at this pictures!! 😉 haha

    I actually cannot have anything like this. I think my next thing to practice (I feel like I overcome my sugar addiction) is moderation. I tend to go WAAAY overboard with “healthy” foods. Like with this cake, for instance… I KNOW I would eat half of it in one sitting! 🙁 Not good! So – I abstain…

  22. Yum yum yum! Another use for coconut flour. 🙂

  23. Lightening says:

    I was going to ask if there is something else than can be substituted in place of dates but in reading the comments it sounds like they don’t really flavour the dish (I’ve noticed dates in a lot of sugar free recipes and I’m not a fan of the taste). Perhaps I’ll give them a try after all.

  24. […] at the store… but these brownies were far from a pathetic attempt. I tweaked Alex’s peanut butter chocolate cake  recipe and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. My roommates enjoyed a few as well, but I […]

  25. Okay, I made this today with oat flour and tofu instead of coconut flour and eggs. Unfortunately it didn’t work so well. It’s more of like a pudding cake… crispy on the outside but pretty gummy on the inside. Darn! Oh well, I’ll make it work. 🙂

  26. lisa says:

    Can you or anyone please explain how this is sugar free when the dates/ PB have sugar in them? Or is it really “no sugar added” cake?

    • Hy lisa!

      I can understand what you mean by the sugar in the dates, but I believe that whole foods and fruits should not be considered a bad thing-in moderation, of course. However, real peanut butter should not have any added sugars. Just peanuts and maybe some salt. But I understand what you are saying. Many “sugar-free” recipes use loads of honey or agave nectar, which I do not believe is sugar-free. I like how my recipes do not have these added liquid sweeteners. The 5 dates in this recipe make it very low in sugar but the sugar does not come from ‘sugar’!!

  27. lisa says:

    Thank you for the quick reply! 🙂 I am new to the sugar free thing. I made this cake twice in the last week. I that what you mean by moderation? LOL. Love your website!

  28. […] have been reports of reactions to the Martinelli’s apple juice.  Back to the recipe.  The peanut butter cream frosting recipe is actually hidden in the middle of this page and is fairly easy to overlook.  I just finished […]

  29. Cannot wait to try this cake. I never thought of using dates in a cooked cake, I’ve always used them for raw treats. Sooo good.

  30. […] didn’t binge on a sugar filled chocolate cake.  But I did make this (without the peanut butter topping), and between Jason and I (mostly “I”) it was gone […]

  31. […] Plus, with options like these I’m pretty excited to make this decision. A challenge friendly peanut butter chocolate cake – click for recipe. […]

  32. Madiha says:

    Hi Alex! this cake looks absolutely DELICIOUS! I have recently started a healthy diet and cant wait to try this sugar free cake 😀 I wanted to ask you if it’s a good idea to use whole wheat flour instead of coconut flour? (can’t find coconut flour)

    p.s: this is a pretty old post but I just found you blog..hope you will reply to this! 😀

    • Sugar Free Alex says:


      I’m glad you found my site! I don’t think that whole wheat flour will work because it is kind of grainy, and coconut flour absorbs liquids a lot more than other flours. You could always try ordering coconut flour online if you can’t find it in stores. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

      • Madiha says:

        Oh thanks a lot for the tip! I later read in one of your replies that oat flour might work..so I am going to give that a try! what do you think? will let you know how it turns out 🙂

  33. Kashia says:

    Hi I was wondering what I did wrong for the cake to come out dry and crumbly. It didn’t rise much either. Thank you

  34. michelle says:

    Do you think another flour could be used such as oat flour?

    • Sugar Free Alex says:

      Hi Michelle,

      I’ve never tried it before, but coconut flour is a lot different than oat flour so it might not work. I have another recipe using almond meal if you want to check that out!

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