cakes + cookies + sweets/ recipes

Italian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream

Italian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream | Well and Full | #vegan #cake #recipe

You guys, I have a problem. And I didn’t realize I had a problem until today, when I picked up some Korintje Cinnamon and Berbere Spice at Whole Foods, and had to find some room for the new additions in my spice cabinet. Of course, there wasn’t any. Room, that is. So I ended up taking all of my spices out and counting them… revealing a grand total of Forty. Four. different spices and blends. And that’s not counting staples like salt, or duplicates like my two bottles of garlic granules or two bottles of cumin. Which would bring the total to fifty-seven bottles in my cabinet. Casual.

I don’t know. I feel like with all of the stuff that’s going on regarding work / my health, I’ve been feverishly enveloping myself in cookery. It’s one of the few things that I can do without constantly thinking about how I’m going to get through the next work week, or how in the heck I’m going to configure the UK companies into the US tax allocation code by year end. (Finance is sooo much fun!) Like I said in this post, I’m going to be making some big changes in my life soon. But I haven’t been able to make them happen yet, and it will be some time until they are feasible for me.

Italian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream | Well and Full | #vegan #cake #recipeItalian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream | Well and Full | #vegan #cake #recipeItalian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream | Well and Full | #vegan #cake #recipeItalian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream | Well and Full | #vegan #cake #recipe

For me, cooking isn’t just a hobby or something I do to eat. It’s therapy. It’s catharsis. It nourishes my soul. And even though I can’t eat as much of the food I make as I’d like, the act of feeding others brings me unadulterated joy. But I’d better backtrack and explain that one.

The health issues I’ve been experiencing involve feeling nauseous nearly all the time. It never ends, and it’s exhausting. And it’s evolved into this rather nasty cycle of eating very minimally in fear that I will feel overly full and sick to my stomach, then being ravenously hungry at the end of the day. So making recipes and cooking my food is a really good way for me to eat positively. Everything I make here is mostly healthy – I stay away from refined sugars and processed ingredients, using natural and organic ingredients to the fullest extent possible. And when I develop and test a recipe, I taste it continuously to make sure it’s delicious. The same goes for the second round of cooking for the photography phase. In this way, I am able to eat in a way that is healthy and positive. But what I meant to convey in my earlier comment is that I’m not just making a huge cake and then eating the whole thing… or even a whole slice. I am just not able to right now.

Italian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream | Well and Full | #vegan #cake #recipe

But hopefully I’ll be back on track soon, and you guys won’t have to listen to my mopey posts!! But seriously. Personal accountability is something that’s always been extremely important to me, and I know that it’s only on me to change my life for the better. I can’t just stay in a bad situation and magically expect things to work out, especially when I’ve really given it a try to no avail.

And as always, if any of you have any life advice about finding your passion / getting a job / living a happy life, I would LOVE to hear it!! Learning about what others have done to better their lives is extraordinarily helpful for me in figuring out my situation. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t send out a special thank you to Sophie of The Green Life, who so graciously answered all my questions about her career path! You’re the best, girl!

Italian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream | Well and Full | #vegan #cake #recipeItalian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream | Well and Full | #vegan #cake #recipeItalian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream | Well and Full | #vegan #cake #recipe

Italian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream

This Italian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake is sinfully decadent with two chocolately layers topped with a Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

  • 2 Cups Unbleached Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder not cacao
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream

  • 6 oz Dark Chocolate 2 bars
  • 3/4 Cup Almond Milk at room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

Instructions

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk together until evenly combined.
  3. Add in wet ingredients - olive oil, vanilla extract, almond milk, and apple cider vinegar. Stir until batter is evenly mixed.
  4. Spray two 6-inch cake tins with coconut oil, then fill with batter. (If you don't have that size, feel free to make muffins or a larger cake! Just keep your eye on the cooking time - smaller portions will cook faster.)
  5. Bake in the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes. The best way to check doneness is to stick a toothpick in the cake - if it comes out dry, it's good to go.
  6. Be sure to let cakes cool before frosting.

Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream

  1. To melt the chocolate, you can either use a double-boiler if you have one, or a metal bowl over a pot of water (like I did). First, fill the pot with enough water so that when the bowl goes on top, the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Bring the water in the pot to boil, then put the bowl on top and reduce heat to a simmer. Add the chocolate to the bowl and stir continuously, until it's melted. Remove bowl from the pot. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, start to mix chocolate on low speed while slowly adding in room temperature almond milk. Then, add in the hazelnut butter and keep mixing until icing is smooth and creamy.
  2. If at any point your icing becomes clumpy or the chocolate seizes, just put the whole thing back in the double boiler / pot of water and let chocolate re-melt.
  3. When the frosting is done, stick in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to harden a little.

Putting It All Together

  1. You can ice the cakes however you please; I chose to do a double-layer cake. When frosting, the buttercream should be malleable but not too loose. If frosting is too loose, stick in the fridge for a few minutes. If too thick, microwave in 5-second intervals to soften.

Italian Chocolate Olive Oil Cake w/ Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream | Well and Full | #vegan #cake #recipe

Song of the Day:

The Parting Glass – Wailin’ Jennys


Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14:27

33 Comments

  • Reply
    Hannah | The Swirling Spoon
    October 26, 2015 at 1:06 am

    This cake is totally gorgeous… I’m so sorry that you can’t stomach even eating a whole slice of it right now :( I too see cooking as relaxation, catharsis, happy place :) this is not advice per se but more being able to relate on some levels. I was in a similar position to you of being in a job that made me feel like shit, all the time, the only positive was my colleagues but aside from that I honestly felt like it was slowly destroying my soul haha. I’d been working there for couple of years so I had enough money saved up to just quit and not think about working for a few months, so that is what I did! I quit and flew straight to Melbourne to hang out with friends for a week and forget all about it. it was a really good choice for me. but I know that not everyone is able to just up and leave a job, I just had very few financial commitments at the time and had saved up enough. after six months or so I began a contracting role with the same company, working from home. it’s working out amazingly for me right now, so much better than being in the office. I hope you work things out, and thanks for sharing your life with us on here!! <3

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 26, 2015 at 11:40 am

      That was actually something I considered! But traveling would be too hard for me right now with my health issues :( I think just having some time away soon will be really helpful. I’m really happy that you were able to contract a position to work from home!! My company isn’t very modern in that way, so I doubt that will be an option for me. However, other more modern companies might have working from home opportunities! ;)

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    October 26, 2015 at 10:06 am

    Stunning. Sending love and strength dear! xoxo

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 26, 2015 at 11:40 am

      <3 <3

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    October 26, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Such a gorgeous buttercream!! And I love that olive oil cake!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 26, 2015 at 11:40 am

      Thanks Katrina! :D

  • Reply
    Sofia | From the Land we Live on
    October 26, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Your spice count made me laugh…I did the same thing once. Counted, that is and I don’t remember the number, but it was quite embarrassing to even think about. I purge more regularly now, tossing the old/unused spices and making sure that I don’t buy a whole bag of something if I only need a pinch. Your post also brings be back to the time my parents bought me my KitchenAid stand mixer for my 25th birthday and I took a sick day to bake EVERYTHING. Cooking is therapy. Hope you’re feeling better soon and that when you figure out a way of doing more of what you love, that it will reflect positively on your physical health as well :) xo

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 26, 2015 at 11:41 am

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful note, Sofia :) I wish I had a kitchenaid mixer!!

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    October 26, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Oh dear friend, I hope you feel better soon! I know the journey to finding what works is hard, but you gotta do you. My advice: if you feel something pulling to you, just do it already! For the longest time I’ve loved food. I wanted to go to culinary school and nixed it. I wanted to start a blog several years ago, never did it. Now that I finally have, I adore everything it’s brought to me and wish I had gone to culinary school or pursued my passions when I could (aka didn’t have bills!). Just do it, try it and if it doesn’t work, whatever! Life goes on and things happen, but at least you know you tried. Also, always say yes to opportunities, even if they push you outside your ‘zone’, it’s always worth it, promise :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 26, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Aww thanks girl :) I knew that if I didn’t make a life change, I would regret it for the rest of my life! Now I just need circumstances to align so I can make it happen :D

  • Reply
    Leslie @ flora foodie
    October 26, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Cooking is absolutely therapy. I’m sorry about your poor upset stomach! And about trying to make some hard life choices. I had a complete soul-crusher of a job and I just had to make time to cook and blog or I’d lose my mind. Even in a better job now, my passions are all hobbies rather than my job :( The only advice I have to offer is to keep absorbing those peaceful cooking moments and make your decisions in that mindset rather than when you’re feeling frustrated. (Oh, and this CAKE btw looks beyond incredible.)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 26, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      Thank you so much for your note, Leslie. Hopefully one day we can both pursue our foodie passions full time :D

  • Reply
    Maya | Spice + Sprout
    October 26, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    aw I really hope that you feel better and that you can eat cake again soon! this is such a beautiful recipe + gorgeous photos <3

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 26, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks so much Maya <3

  • Reply
    danielle is rooting the sun
    October 26, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    much love to you sarah – i can completely understand the feelings of gratitude experienced by feeding others. the kitchen is a room that is never fully asleep. your spice count is glorious! i’ve been able to curate such a dear to me collection that i’ve traveled cross country with it before! beautiful cake, it’s so delicious. happy week to you. xo

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 27, 2015 at 11:27 am

      I LOVE that – “this kitchen is a room that is never fully asleep.” That is such a beautiful quote!!

  • Reply
    Sophie | The Green Life
    October 26, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    I really hope you feel better soon my dear. I can only imagine what you must be going through. I’m sending tons of positive and healing vibes your way. Thank you for the shoutout, you’re the sweetest. It was a pleasure sharing my tiny bit of advice/experience with you. I’m always here if you ever need me again. Trust yourself and follow what your heart tells you, and I’m sure things will unfold in ways you didn’t even think possible! And if it doesn’t work out the way you had planned, so what. It might lead you to another path that might be even more extraordinary! And that’s the beauty of life. Not knowing what the destination is, but enjoying the ride along the way. (P.S. This cake is absolutely outstanding!!) Big hugs. <3

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 27, 2015 at 11:26 am

      <3 <3 You're the best girl!!!

  • Reply
    Moran
    October 27, 2015 at 3:00 am

    This looks so good!
    Adding to my “to do” list..

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 27, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Thanks Moran!! :D

  • Reply
    Donna @thehangingspoon
    October 27, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Looks incredible! I know how you feel about cooking as therapy. Whenever I’m angry or upset I automatically end up in my kitchen and without even realizing what I’m doing, I’m cooking something. Whatever it is your going through, hang in there! Cake definitely helps.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 27, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Thanks Donna :) And yes, cake definitely helps ;)

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    October 27, 2015 at 7:34 am

    This cake sounds so good and high 5 for 57 spices!!! Cooking is very much therapeutic for me, too. I need to email you back! Sorry for the delay. I’m definitely making changes to my life (and job) by the end of this year and I am very excited about it. In the meantime, home cooking will have to do. I hope you feel better soon! Sending good vibes your way <3

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 27, 2015 at 11:24 am

      No worries, I know how busy you’ve been girl!! I’m stoked for the new direction G&G is going in!! :D

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    October 27, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Oh Sarah, I hope you feel better soon <3. This cake is gorgeous. And as you know from my health struggles this past year, I know exactly what this is like… Have you tried a parasite cleanse? I took a spoonful of diatomaceous earth dissolved in water every day for a month and cured myself of what 7 months of intense doctors visits and tests and procedures couldn't. Not saying that's what you have – I have no idea! But I know it is helpful even for people without parasites. Just a thought, I know its the worst to go through so I hope you can find some healing soon <3 hugs and hugs and hugs.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 28, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Oooh that’s a really interesting idea Jessie. I’m going to email you right now about that actually!!

  • Reply
    alissa
    November 6, 2015 at 7:08 am

    i’m going to do a trial run on this cake for my son’s 4th birthday that is coming up. one question: when you talk about hazelnut butter, do you mean something like nutella or just a straight hazelnut butter that you then mix with chocolate for the icing? thanks!!!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 6, 2015 at 9:31 am

      Hey Alissa! I use Justin’s brand Chocolate Hazelnut butter. It’s much more nutritious than Nutella and I highly recommend it! :D

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Anthea @ Rainbownourishments
    February 10, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Seriously, this looks too good to be true! I’m not a fan of coconut oil, so I’ve gotta try this :)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      February 10, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Let me know how it goes!!

  • Reply
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