Dessert/ Dinner

Last Night In My Early Twenties

I’m watching Nights in Rodanthe right now! Ryan is working late and I’ve read the book but never seen the movie….so far its really cute!

Anyways, back to this afternoon!

Today I tied on the apron and concocted the mother of all vegan chocolate cakes. I’ve dabbled in numerous different recipes now but I have to say, this one might be the best ever. Light and moist, this cake rings in at only about 100 calories per slice. Heaven, huh? No, this isn’t my official birthday cake—my mom is making me a carrot cake on Saturday! This is my “last day of being 23 cake” and I decided to make it to bring to my parent’s house for dinner this evening. This cake comes together in half an hour flat and is perfect for every day…no need to wait for a special occasion—its so healthy you could practically eat it for breakfast (and I just might tomorrow)!

Of course I couldn’t help myself this afternoon and snacked on a slice drizzled with raw almond butter, the new frosting of choice!


If that’s not food porn I don’t know what is.


Half Spelt Chocolate Cake

This recipe makes enough batter for one cake layer, which I like to dust with powdered sugar before serving. To make an actual layer cake, double the recipe and sandwich the layers together with your favorite icing. Using half spelt flour and half regular flour makes the cake light and springy…if you were to use ALL spelt flour the cake would be too dense. Trust me!

1/2 cup spelt flour + 1/2 cup unbleached flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably fairtrade and organic

1/2 cup unrefined sugar

pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch cinnamon

tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, melted

1 1/4 cup almond milk (soy or cow’s milk will work fine)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Sift together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine milk and vinegar. Set aside to let curdle for five minutes before adding the rest of the wet ingredients. Add dry to wet and mix. Pour batter into a prepared 9 inch cake pan and bake for 20 minutes.

As for dinner, I headed to my parent’s house after heading the wrong way on the interstate and driving for about 20 minutes out of the way. I was on the phone with an old friend from high school and just totally wasn’t thinking until I realized that I was heading further and further away from the city. Don’t you just HATE that?! I did some major deep yoga breathes when I finally got turned around.


My mom of course saved the day when I walked through the door and was greeted with a totally delicious dinner!


Authentic linguine with clams or, as in Italy they would say, Linguine con Vongole! Using fresh clams just makes this dish so much better! We had broccolini on the side and I had a glass of merlot.


And then after dinner I was presented this THIS:


My parents already gave me their birthday present to me a few weeks ago, which was my brand spankin’ new camera, but my mom was so sweet to think of me at the farmers market today and buy me a whole sackful of fresh produce!!! They know me so well! I squealed in delight! 🙂


All those yummies….I couldn’t wait to dive into everything so I served myself a bowl of coconut milk ice cream with fresh berries and a tiny piece of cake while I started the movie—


Got to go so I can focus on the movie!! Last night of 23!

Don’t forget about Angela’s Shop 4 A Cause tomorrow!! I’m baking some delicious Super Charge Me Cookies for one lucky reader! 🙂

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  • jessnyc
    June 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    lol that picture is great! hate when that happens 😉

  • Starr
    June 10, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Ok, the cake looks delicious, your almond butter topping looked like german choc. cake icing, and the produce looks even better. Sweets dont get to me as much as yummy fruit on top of coconut icecream.

    Starr in Cali

  • Recipes for Creativity
    June 10, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Happy last night of being 23! That cake looks delicious, thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • stephanie alaine
    June 10, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    jenna: what kind of coconut ice cream do you eat? we bought some this week that was AMAZING _called Naked Coconut_ but the saturated fat was UNREAL (13g per 1/2c)!!!!! i was recovering from wisdom tooth removal—so it didn’t exactly matter because i couldn’t eat much—but i was shocked and slightly disappointed. it was sweetened with agave nectar and so delicious, but nearly 70% of DV of saturated fat. made me think twice (and then a few more time). wondered what you ate 🙂

  • runeatrepeat
    June 10, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I so want to make that cake now, thanks for the recipe.

  • jenna
    June 10, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    what an awesome way to spend your last night of being 23! 🙂 your cake looks great!

  • Chocolate Covered Ka
    June 10, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Happy happy almost birthday, Jenna!!!! 🙂

  • Liza
    June 10, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    It’s Thursday, June 11th, here in the Philippines, so technically it’s your birthday! So Happy Birthday from The Philippines! Haha. That cake looks absolutely decadent. 🙂

  • meg
    June 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Enjoy your last night of being 23! That cake looks awesome!

  • Lauren
    June 10, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Hey Jenna!
    I just got back from my vacation in the Outer Banks and we stayed a mile or two from the actual house that they fimled for Night’s in Rodanthe. I would run past it every morning and feel just like Richard Gear! Haha, hope you liked the movie.

    Have a great week and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!!!!!

  • Sarah
    June 10, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    23? You’re a baby Jenna!
    Happy Birthday Eve. 🙂

  • brandi
    June 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    happy (almost) birthday – yay for june b-days!!! 🙂

    that cake sounds awesome! glad you had a good dinner, and I love the produce presents

  • Kath
    June 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Your clams are better than my clams 🙁

  • LK- Healthy Delcious
    June 10, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    wow- that it some bag of produce!!! The almond butter sounds like a fabulous frosting too.

    happy birthday!!

  • Kelly
    June 10, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Yay for last year of 23. I just turned 25 the other day, so I think I’m in a position to say the mid-twenties isn’t so bad 🙂 24 is a good number 🙂

  • Kelly
    June 10, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    haha, just realized I wrote last “year”- I meant “day” oops!

  • Mara @ What's for Dinner?
    June 10, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    OMG i do that all the time! I end up going the wrong way far too often… i LOVE the bag-o-produce, and happy almost birthday!

  • Maria
    June 10, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    That was so sweet of your parents–they do know you so well :).

    That dinner and cake looks to die for. Classics!

  • Jenny
    June 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    What a sweet treat for an early celebration! Have a great last night of being 23!! 🙂

  • kim
    June 10, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    what an easy recipe! I guess I’ll have to resort to WW flour since I don’t have any spelt flour. “healthy” ingredients are so expensive. 🙁

  • K
    June 10, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Haha – oh no!! That picture is great!

    Happy early birthday 🙂 Only 2.5 hours now!

  • TorontoGirloutWest
    June 10, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    The movie starts off well and ends up being painfully bad. Here’s hoping you like it more than I did! lol 😛

  • Emily (A Nutritionist Eats)
    June 10, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I am going to try that cake very soon!!

  • Matt
    June 10, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    That cake looks awesome!

  • Adi ( - repaired!)
    June 10, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Happy Birthday Eve!
    That cake looks… looks… absolutely phenomenal.

  • Coco Knudson
    June 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    My goodness I am making that cake recipe this week and pour almond butter all over it. That is genious!!! Thank you so much Jenna for the delicious and nutritious cake recipe and I hope you have the best last evening being 23!!!!
    HAPPY 24THH!!!!!!!!!!

  • Emily (Healthy Fit Mama)
    June 10, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Wow, I feel old! 😉

    The cake looks delicious, of course. I would be so psyched to get a whole bag of fresh produce for my birthday!

    June 10, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Congratulations 🙂
    Your food pictures make me feel hungry :p

    Regards, – A complete guide to delicious cooking

  • Kiersten
    June 10, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Chocolate cake topped with almond butter, Mmmmmm. That looks delish! Happy birthday in advance.

  • Katherine
    June 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    So cute that your mom stocked you up at the farmers market!! The cake looks wonderful and happy early birthday. May 24 be filled with more joy, more love, and even better health than 23!

  • Lora
    June 10, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Oh wow, that cake does look amazing. Looks like a perfect “project” for this weekend to surprise my husband with! I’m working on him – so far he’s tasted (with gentle prodding and a healthy dose of apprehension) several of my Green Monster variations and deserves a chocolate cake for courage. : )

    Happy Early Birthday!!

  • Tammy (Defining Wellness)
    June 10, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I hope you have a wonderful birthday tomorrow! You deserve the happiest of happy birthdays! I’m turning 27 in a week, so don’t start with all that “I’m old” stuff tomorrow or you’re going to make me depressed! 🙂

  • Jocelyn
    June 10, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    the cake looooks soooo good
    If I remember Nights in Rodanthe…the ending is quite sad no?

    Hope you have an amazing birthday <3

  • Jenna
    June 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Happy last day being 23! I turn 24 in September. I have been following your blog for a few weeks now and you have such an awesome attitude! I may change to using a nickname so as not to be confusing. 2 Jenna’s born in ’85, fancy that!

  • april
    June 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    100 calories per slice? That’s my kind of cake! enjoy your night!

  • Jenna
    June 10, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    P.S. No wonder you’re a culinary graduate! From the look of that meal, your mom is quite the cook.

  • Melissa @ For the Love of Health
    June 10, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I LOVED that movie!! It make me cry!! Oh so good.

    Happy Birthday!! (almost)

    Your mom is so thoughtful!! What a great gift!!

    AMazing looking cake too!!

    Have a great night and great b-day tomorrow!!

  • Emily L.
    June 10, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Sometimes I think you and Kath are the same person. Do you coordinate meals?
    Also, happy birthday eve. Do something fun tomorrow!

  • Courtney (The Hungry Yogini)
    June 10, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Yay!! Happy ALMOST birthday!!! Enjoy every bit.

    All of your pics look FABULOUS by the way!!

  • Run Sarah
    June 10, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    That cake sounds amazing! Happy early birthday!

  • Hangry Pants
    June 10, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Happy Birthday (tomorrow) Jenna!

    I can relate to your driving story. Once I was babysitting my niece and nephew in Mass. with my friend. We meant to drive back to Rhode Island (93 South), but got on 93 North. We were chatting up a storm and didn’t realize it until we saw the “Welcome to New Hampshire” sign. yep.

  • Menden (Skinny Menny)
    June 10, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Happy birthday!! Mmm that cake looks outrageously good!

  • Raffi
    June 10, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    thanks for sharing your recipe! I had my first flourless choc cake last weekend and was going to try making that soon, but i think i’ll try this instead.

  • Nicole
    June 10, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Hey, I finally made it over to Greenwise today since I was in Tampa! Love it, bought some bread:)

  • Joelle (Chasing Pavements)
    June 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    That cake looks fabulous! I am definitely going to be trying that recipe!

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    June 10, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Almond butter as frosting? Now that MY kind of cake! 😉

    Haha, love the picture of “driving the wrong way.” At least you got rewarded for your extra driving. That supper looks amazing! Kudos to your mom! And enjoy all that delicious fruit!

  • Bec
    June 10, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    that chocolate cake looks amazing!

  • Danielle
    June 11, 2009 at 12:11 am

    This post is just full of food porn 🙂

    Oh… and by the way…

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Katrina (Gluten Free Gidget)
    June 11, 2009 at 12:21 am

    I’m going to have to make that gluten free tomorrow. That will be my project. Where is the farmer’s market your parents went to? I’m trying to find one near Tampa.

  • Help Meghan Run
    June 11, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Happy early birthday! 🙂 And almond butter makes the best frosting ever…especially mixed with a little maple syrup.

    Check out the Adora Calcium giveaway on my blog!

  • Ali
    June 11, 2009 at 1:24 am

    How sad/exciting! Your last night being 23! Your cake looks amaazing, can you bake one for me too? 😉

  • MyThy as in "Mighty" ;)
    June 11, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Since I’m on Cali time…Happy early Birthday!!! Whatcha have in store for tomorrow?

  • Sarah (LovIN My Tummy)
    June 11, 2009 at 2:37 am

    Happy Birthday Jenna! I hope this next year is full of fun and exciting things for you.

    I love how your parents gave you produce (along with the camera). I’d love it too!

  • Andrea of Care to Eat
    June 11, 2009 at 3:20 am

    Sweetie, don’t age yourself yet! 24 is still early 20s! I’m all about rounding down. I’m turning 30 in August and I’m just gonna call it really late 20s 🙂

  • Katie
    June 11, 2009 at 3:26 am

    It’s your birthday where I am right now, so happy birthday!!! That cake looks like a great way to ring in 24 🙂

  • April
    June 11, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Your parents know you VERY well 🙂

    Happy Birthday!!!

    That cake looks tasty!

  • Stacey
    June 11, 2009 at 6:16 am

    Haha. Food porn.

    Yay for the last day of being 23!!!!

  • Ada
    June 11, 2009 at 7:22 am

    That cake looks divine! Since it is the morning of the 11th I can say HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  • Gloria
    June 11, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Oh YUM! Everything looks totally delicious. I like my clams raw fresh out of the bay on Long Island. Sometimes I wouldn’t even wait to get back in the boat to crack one open. (Gross, I know). Thanks for the vegan chocolate cake recipe!! My birthday is coming up and I definitely know what I’m making now.. except mine will be for celebrating my FIRST night of being 23 🙂

  • Danielle
    June 11, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Happy Birthday!!!
    Everything looks so delish! And those are some great goodies from your mom!

  • Lauren
    June 11, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Happy birthday!

  • Island Girl Eats
    June 11, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Happy Birthday! I hope that you have a great day.

  • Matt (No Meat Athlete)
    June 11, 2009 at 9:11 am

    I’ve just recently discovered the Brendan Brazier stuff, though I haven’t read any of it yet. Are you thinking of going vegan? I know for me, that’s still a ways off. I just love cooking too much to give up all animal products, no meat is enough for now. But I must say, my recent race results since giving up meat have been shockingly good! I thought this diet would be a hindrance, but it seems to be very much a help.

    Good luck with those orthotics, can’t wait to hear how they work for you!

  • Sarah
    June 11, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Just wait until you are 27 like me, haha. Glad you had a good night and hope you have a great birthday 🙂

  • The Healthy Apple
    June 11, 2009 at 11:18 am

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPYYYY BIRTHDAYYYYY….I hope you have a great day at the beach with your mother…I love reading, as well…it’s a great way to escape and relax, isn’t it? Your breakfast looks amazing…Hope the sun is shining for you in Florida….Have a great day and congrats on the interview!



  • Kat
    June 12, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Glad you had a lovely birthday!!! Your parents sound delightful, would they like to adopt me? ;o}

    I totally concur with getting lost while driving, argh!!!

    Keep up the fun and thanks for the totally awesome cake recipe!!! I’m looking forward to it.

    Happy days with SparkPeople too!

    Take care and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  • Kasey
    June 12, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Quick Question – how many servings are in your cake recipe??? 🙂 I could eat the whole thing and totally convince myself that there are only 100 calories!

    • jenna
      June 12, 2009 at 8:22 pm


      I counted 10 slices in the cake!

  • Candy1226
    June 12, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Cake looks great – and those fresh fruit and veggies even better! And that is coming from an all-time chocoholic!!! Even liked the look of that coconut ice cream, which I’ve never tried. Yummm. Pictures came out great with your new camera. Happy, happy Birthday, and thanks for the recipe.

  • Susan Lewin
    June 13, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Happy, Happy Birthday!! I am not a vegan but that cake looks so good I am going to make it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Francesca
    June 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    OMG You had thed best Bday ever!

  • Ronda
    June 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I am SO goign to make this cake–thanks for the great illustrations:)

  • Deb
    June 14, 2009 at 10:01 am

    What a great “exta” birthday present! I love that idea!

  • Pindoc
    June 14, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    That cake looks luscious and almond butter, what a great topping. I luv the way you seem to mix vegan and non-vegan diet. I really eat like that myself. Thanx for the recipe, humma humma!

  • Akasha
    June 16, 2009 at 5:34 am

    Just saw a post on Sparkpeople that referred to your recipe, came here, read your blog–happy birthday, and made your cake. ent to the organic shop just for the spelt flour this am. Cake is out of the oven and looks and smells great!

  • Madelin @ What is for breakfast?
    July 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that I made your chocolate cake last week for my birthday cake and it was a hit with my family! Lots of them wanted the recipe! It was so light yet rich. Yumbos!

  • beth
    January 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Hi —
    V curious to try this cake as part of my New Year’s resolution to bake more (and also to try new things, like spelt flour!) You say the cake is about 100 calories per slice, though — but how many slices in this cake? Sorry if this sounds slightly nuts — I just always struggle with how much is a portion and am still trying to learn. Thanks!