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Food should be nourishing and delicious. It sounds simple, right? With sweets especially, it can be so hard to find treats that are as good to eat as they are for you. My friend Laurel, the baker behind the grain-free and refined-sugar-free (and sometimes vegan) goodness known as  Sweet Laurel Bakery, has shared some of her simplest and most satisfying recipes with me. My favorite thing about her recipes is that they’re always made with whole ingredients, no funny stuff or filler, so even the biggest sweet-tooth loves them.

This is the cake. This is the cake that made me turn to Laurel, mouth full, and say, “You need to start a baking company.” I’m sure there were more crumbs than syllables when I said it, but the message came through just the same. I love this cake so much. It’s like a classic pound cake, but with less heft, and the orange and dark chocolate compliment each other perfectly. Plus, the giant shards of chocolate add such a rustic and dramatic look to the whole thing. So pretty!

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¾  cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

6 eggs

1/2 cup orange juice (about two oranges squeezed)

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

zest of one orange

1 cup homemade chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease and line either two mini loaf pans or one 9×13 pan with parchment. Stir together the coconut flour, baking soda, and kosher salt. Beat the eggs, adding in the dry ingredients followed by the wet ingredients and vanilla extract and zest. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.


4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate (100% cacao), (organic is preferable)

1 tablespoon agave (or more depending on how dark you like it)


Break baking chocolate into one inch pieces and place in thick saucepan or double boiler.  Over a very low heat, melt baking chocolate. Once melted, take off heat and add agave and stir. Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread into a rectangle, about 8×12 inches.  Place parchment in freezer. Once hardened (will take a few minutes), break of pieces and use as needed.