Feb. 24. 2015
Written By:
McKel (Hill) Kooienga
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped® and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

Last week on Instagram I shared a sneak peek of a recipe that I “accidentally” created in my kitchen- it turned out so great that I told ya’ll I was going to save it for my cookbook (coming out in early 2016!), BUT I had such an overwhelming response from you all aching to get the recipe now, that I thought I’d share it! Lucky lucky you. So here’s a recipe from the cookbook…and not just any ole’ recipe, it’s a chocolate cornmeal cake for two…or for one really hungry person.

For two…or for one…

I was in the kitchen the other day craving something chocolatey, seriously craving; yet I wanted something that was going to fill me up as well and give me energetic fuel for the rest of my day. Mind you all, this little baking discovery was when Nashville was under a huge ice storm and I had total cabin fever being inside my home for 5 days. I found myself with little fresh ingredients and a whole lot of my pantry staples, hence making this the perfect situation for baking. Bennett was also not in the mood for chocolate cake (insert jaw-dropping facial expression here), so I refrained from making my go-to Chocolate Coconut Flour Cake which can easily serve 6+, and attempted to make a smaller version to share.

It’s no secret I love chocolate, especially when I can get away with enjoying it in the middle of the day for a snack or for dessert. This chocolate cake is different than most chocolate cakes in the traditional sense – heavy, texturally dense, calorically dense and loaded with sugars. This recipe is quite the opposite, it contains fiber, protein, lower in carbohydrates and sugar than most others AND light enough to enjoy as a midday snack with fresh berries or dessert with my favorite coconut whipped cream.

The options…

There’s two options with this cake, you can easily make this to serve one (although would be a very large serving), but I prefer to treat this as two servings or to share with someone. As you all know, I’m not all about defining food by numbers or calories, but just note if this was treated as a single serving cake, it’d be around 400+ calories (10g sugar, 20g protein, 25g fat, 40g carbohydrates including fiber); just divide these in two if making it for two servings, simple as that! Fore more detailed nutrition information, just follow my suggestion here. Since you have the option of making this into one serving or two, here are a couple of my suggestions when baking: I enjoy this cake most when baked in a small 7  to 8-inch cast iron skillet, or you can divide the batter and bake into two individual 6-8 ounce ramekins. Both will turn out fantastic, when in doubt with the cooking times always use a cake tester (i.e. clean knife, toothpick, etc.) to test the middle to make sure it’s cooked through; it’ll come out clean when finished. Decorate and top just before serving.

When I was rummaging through my pantry, I stumbled upon a jar of cornmeal I had and thought how it’d be an amazing texture to add that to a cake, it’d be dense, yet moist and chewy at the same time. Chocolate cake is one thing, but having cornmeal in a chocolate cake is a new thing for most of you, I know because it was completely brand new to me when I made it up on the fly. Besides utilizing cornmeal in this cake, it’s great for a thick and creamy side dish, can be added to soups and stews to thicken, can be made into pancakes, or cooked with vegetable broth and enjoyed plain. Also, if at all possible opt for an organic corn meal such as this brand here although there’s still lack of evidence with GMO foods on health, brands do offer those varieties.

I enjoy serving this chocolate cake with fresh raspberries and warmed vanilla cashew milk on the side. If it’s for dessert, I’ll take even more time and attention to making this extra special by whipping up some of my coconut milk whipped cream with a couple raspberries blended into it, toasting a small handful of chopped hazelnuts and topping it with fresh mint. But I get it, we all don’t have time to do make these toppings every time we want to enjoy a little chocolate, so you can most definitely enjoy this plain!

Skillet Chocolate Cornmeal Cake, for Two
Recipe Type: dessert
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1-2 servings
A delicious, gluten free single serving chocolate cake with hearty polenta. High in fiber, protein, and low calorie. GF
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate (60-80% cacao)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal, ground into a flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • Pinch of sea salt
  1. Grease with coconut oil two 6-ounce ramekins or 1 9-inch cast iron skillet.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil and chocolate over low heat, stirring to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Once smooth, stir in maple syrup and vanilla.
  4. Add the brown rice flour, cornmeal, then add the beaten whole egg and egg white and whisk until everything is incorporated. Add almond milk and continue to stir.
  5. Use a spatula to divide the batter evenly between the two ramekins or pour into 1 cast iron skillet if making 1 large cake.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  7. To serve: dollop fresh coconut whip cream and fresh berries on top.
This can be made in advance, simply wrap the ramekins or cast iron skillet in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Then bake when ready. Keeps for 2 days like this.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I’ve had fun testing it, and then re-testing it, and then testing it again just to make sure it’s good 😉 Show me your creations via #nutritionstripped

xx McKel