For millions of Orthodox Christians , this week marks the beginning of Great Lent. Great Lent is a period of preparation for Holy Pascha, or Easter. It is a time of self-examination, spiritual growth, reflection, repentance, and a period of strict fast. For many Orthodox Christians a strict fast means refraining from eating meat and diary products for 40 days.
Even though I, as an Orthodox Christian, am in a period of fast I do foresee there will be times during the next 40 days when a small celebration may be in order. Or quite frankly I may simply be craving chocolate. Enter the Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake. This is my go-to cake for small celebrations during Great Lent or any other fast period.
During Great Lent my Yiayia (Grandmother) would prepare this Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake in a square pan. Before serving she would dust the top with powdered sugar. I’m updating Yiayia’s recipe by preparing it in a Bundt pan, drizzling it with citrus glaze then topping it with candied orange peels. This cake is so decadent it’s hard to believe there are no eggs involved.
Καλή Δύναμη – Good Strength during the fast, friends!
(Don’t worry… I didn’t fix the hole with a flower pot like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but rather with even more delicious candied orange peels!) ;)
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups water
- 2 large Oranges
- 4 cups of sugar, divided
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
- Cut and peel oranges into 4 vertical segments.
- Remove each segments and as much of the white pith as you can.
- Slice into ¼ inch wide strips.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place the orange strips in the water.
- Boil for 15 minutes.
- Drain peels, rinse and drain again.
- Bring 3 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar to a boil over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Carefully add the drained orange peels.
- Reduce to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes until the orange peels are soft.
- Drain, but save this delicious orange simple syrup in a jar! (Refrigerate and we’ll make cocktails with it soon.) ;)
- Pour one cup of sugar onto a small cookie sheet.
- Toss the peels in the sugar.
- Transfer the peels onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Allow to dry for 1-2 days before decorating the cake.
- In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients.
- Add in all the wet ingredients and stir to combine, careful not to over mix.
- Pour into a non-stick or prepared (with non-stick spray) Bundt cake pan.
- Bake at 350° for 35-45 minutes until the cake bounces back to the touch.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the pan.
- Once removed from the pan allow to cool completely before drizzling with glaze and decorating with candied oranges.
- Combine confectioner’s sugar and enough orange juice to reach desired consistency.
- Drizzle over cooled Bundt cake.
- This makes a good amount because I like me some glaze. :)
- The candied oranges can be prepared 1-2 days ahead of preparing the cake, and left out to harden. This cake also tastes delicious simply dusted with powdered sugar.
Bring 3 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar to a boil over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add the drained orange peels. Reduce to low and simmer for 40-45 minutes until the orange peels are soft. Drain, but save this delicious orange simple syrup in a jar! (Refrigerate and we’ll make cocktails with it soon.) ;)
Prepare the Chocolate Cake… in ONE bowl! (yay!):
In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes on a wire rack before removing from the pan.
Once removed from the pan allow to cool completely before dusting with drizzling with glaze and decorating with candied oranges.
©2015 by Alexandra Salidas Roll, Figs & Feta, LLC.
Recipe and photos by Alexandra Salidas Roll of Figs & Feta, LLC. Please do not reprint this recipe without permission. If you would like to feature this recipe on your blog or site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link your post to this one as the original source. Thank you!
If you make this recipe, please snap a photo and hashtag it #FIGSANDFETA and #GREEKMADESIMPLE. I’d love to see it!