A moist chocolate bundt cake topped with a vibrant hibiscus glaze! This cake is vegan friendly and free of gluten, dairy, eggs, and refined sugar!
Growing up in Hawaii, tropical flowers, like hibiscus, grow all over the place. It’s the state flower and also on the ear of most of the hula girl figurines you’ll find at the stores. But a few years ago, I learned hibiscus had many health benefits too. Drinking the tea regularly helps with digestion, can give a boost to your immune system, and can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, amongst other things.
You can typically find the tea in bags or loose leaf petals, which when steeped, turns the water a beautiful dark reddish-pink color. It has a tart taste, similar to cranberries, and is great to use as an all-natural dye in foods, like beets are. In my opinion, it’s much better tasting too. (I prefer the tart taste to the earthy (aka dirt) flavor of beets 🙈)
I found some hibiscus powder in the grocery store the other day and quickly snatched it up. I usually have to steep hibiscus petals in water and use the colored water to dye foods, which doesn’t work as well when you don’t need a lot of liquid in the recipe, so the powder adds the gorgeous color in a more concentrated form. It also adds the concentrated flavor, which I find one either loves or hates, so I suggest adding a little at a time until the color and flavor suit your taste.
If you don’t like the flavor or don’t want to go through the hassle of buying hibiscus powder, you can opt to leave the glaze plain, or add powdered raspberry/strawberry or even cocoa powder to flavor your cream cheese glaze. The flavor options are endless!
This cake is simple to make and delicious, whether you eat dairy, egg, and gluten-free or not! I also included a chocolate glaze alternative, because sometimes you just need that chocolate on chocolate combo, amiright? ❤️🍫
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose four or gluten-free flour blend (I used King Arthur Flour Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour)
- 2½ cup coconut sugar or pure cane sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups brewed coffee or milk of choice (I use coffee or almond milk)
- ¾ cup avocado oil, melted coconut oil, or vegetable oil
- ½ cup unsweetened dairy-free yogurt or sour cream (can also use regular/Greek yogurt if not dairy-free)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 oz cream cheese at room temperature (I use dairy-free)
- 3–4 tablespoons maple syrup, coconut nectar, or other sweetener, to taste
- 2–4 tablespoons water or milk of choice, until it reaches proper consistency
- ½–1 teaspoon hibiscus powder*, more or less to taste (Optional. See notes for flavor alternatives)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 1 cup quality chocolate, chopped or chips (dark, semi-sweet, milk, or white chocolate work)
- 4-6 tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk (if you eat dairy, heavy whipping cream can also be used)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Liberally grease a 12–cup bundt pan with coconut oil or vegetable shortening and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until well blended. Mix in coffee/milk, oil, yogurt, vinegar, and vanilla stirring together just until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared cake pan and spread across evenly. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 50–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack or cake plate. Remove pan and cool completely before glazing.
- Place cream cheese into a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until creamy. Blend in maple syrup and then milk, a tablespoon at a time, just until the glaze is thin enough to pour over cake. Stir in hibiscus powder and vanilla. See notes for other flavor ideas.
- Pour glaze over cooled cake. Serves 12–16.
- Mix chocolate and coconut milk together in a heat-safe bowl and place over a pot of simmering water. Start with less milk and add more, as needed, until the chocolate easily drizzles off of a spoon. Glaze will set as it cools, so pour over the cake right away, while it's still warm.