Happy New Year! Let’s Eat Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake!


What’s the coolest food you made in 2012? For me, it is unquestionably this Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Coconut Kefir icing. It’s gluten and dairy free and amazingly delicious. Think I’m kidding? Ask my fellow NYC Ferments Meetup-ers.

As someone who used to cook professionally in restaurants it surprises me to now be one of the many people who have dietary restrictions because of various health issues. I used to eat everything! And have one of those stomachs of steel. Now, I sometimes feel like I’m coming out all over again – yes, I’m allergic to dairy, oh, and pork (yes, it’s a weird allergy), and also I don’t eat gluten anymore – thyroid issues. People feel bad for me – no cheese! no bacon! (at least not the pork kind) no more crusty artisanal breads! And sometimes when I walk through the Union Square market past the Martin’s Pretzel stand, I feel bad for myself. But usually I’m too busy making delicious, kick-ass, gluten free, dairy free, pork free food to worry about it.

I got a recipe a while back from a friend of mine in a business class for a Chocolate Sauerkraut cake. So intriguing. But being me, and the recipe being from Weight Watchers, I had to do some tweaking. Get rid of the gluten and the dairy, add an egg to give some lift that’s lost when we get rid of the gluten, and definitely not use canned sauerkraut. I also decided to console myself about baking the sauerkraut and killing all the good probiotics by adding a live ferment glaze using my newest fermentation love – coconut kefir.

My new wife, Jane, and I (married last September, woohoo!) discovered coconut kefir while honeymooning on Maui. We bought some at a farmers market there and I kept myself from eating it all so I could bring some home and try to replicate it. Thanks to my good friend, and Meetup co-host, Angela, I’ve found a happy recipe. It’s amazing. For someone who hasn’t eaten dairy in years, it’s like manna from heaven – creamy, tangy, with just a hint of coconut flavor. It’s kind of like sour cream, kind of like yogurt, kind of like clotted cream, all delicious.

Here’s the recipe for the cake as I made it.

Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Coconut Kefir Icing

Turmeric Chili Kraut for the cake

2/3 cup white rice flour

2/3 cup millet flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

2/3 cup buckwheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 cups hot water

1/2 cup melted Earth Balance

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 cup sauerkraut, pureed smooth – I used a turmeric chili sauerkraut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and grease a bundt pan with the fat of your choice.

Mix together all your flours*, baking soda and cocoa and set aside. Mix the hot water, melted Earth Balance*, and vanilla together and set aside.

In a large mixing boil, beat together the sugar and eggs until they are pale yellow in color and fluffy. Add the wet and dry mixes to the sugar and egg mix, alternating and beginning and ending with wet ingredients.

Fold in the sauerkraut and pour cake mix in the prepared pan.

Bake st 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes. Allow cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn out and cool on a rack.Coconut Kefir Glaze for the Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake

For glaze:

3 Tablespoons Coconut kefir (homemade or store bought)

1 cup powdered sugar

Mix the coconut kefir and the sugar together to make a glaze and drizzle over the cooled cake. You can make this glaze thicker or thinner by adding more sugar. I did a thinner glaze as a base on my cake and then a thicker glaze for more texture.


*Feel free to substitute a like amount of all purpose flour for the gluten free mix and a like amount of butter for the Earth Balance, and remove the egg for what amounts to the original recipe. I make no guarantees for that one though.

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year! Let’s Eat Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake!

  1. Is the kefir gluten free and casein free? I love coconut water and use it in my smoothies. I take probiotics so combing the two sounds great to me. Coconut water has tons of benefits which I’ve shared with my readers. I would love to share this too especially if it’s gluten and casein free. Thanks!

    • The kefir is made with coconut milk and water kefir so there is no gluten or casein. I actually stay away from both of those things myself. And coconut milk is such a delicious, nutritious alternative! Thanks for sharing with your readers and I appreciate any feedback!

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