Gluten-Free Chocolate-Chile Cakes

Sweet-sticky dates and cooked beets are the base for these flourless chocolate cakes from bloggers Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley. The tangy yogurt frosting coupled with a little heat from cayenne and crushed red pepper makes them fun to eat.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 12 small cupcakes
  • Time(Other): Plus 24 hr draining


  • 2 cups full-fat plain probiotic yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 pound Medjool dates, pitted
  • 5 ounces cooked beets, chopped (2 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamari (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • Grated dark chocolate and crushed red pepper, for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. Add the yogurt, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
    for 24 hours to drain until thick. Transfer the yogurt to a medium bowl and stir in the honey and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla; refrigerate.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a food processor, combine the dates, beets, butter, tamari (if using), baking soda and the remaining 1 tablespoon of vanilla and puree
    until smooth. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and eggs and puree until well blended and smooth.

  3. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a
    cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack to cool completely, then refrigerate them until cold, at least 3 hours
    or overnight.

  4. Peel the paper liners off the cakes. Dollop the yogurt frosting on top of the cakes; garnish with grated chocolate and crushed red pepper. Serve cold.

Make Ahead

The cakes and frosting can be refrigerated separately for up to 4 days.

Contributed By Photo © Nicholas Hopper Published February 2015

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