Heartbeet Kitchen
“Chocolate” Carob Bread with Date Caramel Spread (AIP, Paleo)
 What is Collagen/Gelatin & How to Use it As An Egg Replacement (for AIP/paleo baking)

"Chocolate" Carob Bread with Date Caramel Frosting {AIP/Paleo}

There’s no doubt about it. I miss chocolate. I’ve never been one who fights over the last piece of rich, caramel praline cheesecake, but rather craves the sweet treats that go well with coffee. Those that can stand in for breakfast or dessert like this “Chocolate” Carob Bread with Date Caramel Spread.

If you’ve been following along with my autoimmune journey, you might know that things of this nature are temporarily on the back burner. But I want you to know that I’m feeling great right now, a week into the SIBO antibiotics, a lot of rest and personal reflection. Today marks day 7 without a flare, the longest streak in a year. To say that I’m joyful is putting it very lightly.

Chocolate Carob Bread with Date Caramel Frosting ~ via heartbeet kitchen {paleo, egg-free}

Along this whole ride, I’ve been focused on celebrating the food I can enjoy and embracing ingredients that I would have never stumbled upon without the situation. Having said that, this soft and moist “Chocolate” Carob Bread comes with 3 new to me ingredients – carob, cassava flour (which is grain-free, nut-free), and collagen/gelatin as an egg replacement.

When I opened the bag of raw carob powder, the lush cocoa smell that escaped was incredible. It’s made from the long bean-like pods of the carob tree, a flowering evergreen shrub. As I tasted it, flavors of an americano blended with dark chocolate bar came to the surface. I found it naturally sweet, and I was confident it was going to replace cocoa in the best of ways.

Chocolate Carob Bread with Date Caramel Spread {paleo}

The smooth and moist texture is thanks to Otto’s Cassava Flour (a root vegetable also known as yuca), the hottest grain-free flour hitting the streets. The entire root is dried and ground, minus the peel. There’s no grittiness to it compared to tigernut flour, which I find to be sandy on its own. It’s equal to butternut squash and sweet potato flour in silkiness, but has little flavor, making it very versatile for both sweet & savory recipes.

In terms of mimicking the binding power of eggs, collagen/gelatin has worked wonders for me. It helps hold the bread together, the result being thick and fudgey slices, no crumbles to speak of.

Collagen has gotten a lot of press lately in health magazines because of its natural presence in bone broth, but if you’re like me prior to a few months ago, you’re probably thinking what the heck is this? And why should I be using it? Well, I’ve teamed up with the folks at Vital Proteins to give you the inside scoop.

"Chocolate" Carob Bread with Date Caramel Frosting {AIP, paleo} via heartbeet kitchen

A Quick Lesson:

Collagen is the connective tissue in animals, and when we use it as a food source, it is referred to as gelatin. I use Vital Proteins because it comes only from grassfed, pasture raised bovine and I find it dissolves better than this brand. Collagen is an especially important part of keeping our bodies healthy for the following reasons:

  1. It assists the liver in handling toxins such as chemicals and other pollutants.
  2. Collagen makes up 70% of our skin’s protein. It ensures the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of our biggest organ.
  3. Can result in improved concentration and balanced mood, because you are able to easily absorb the energy and nutrients it provides.
  4. Bones with sufficient collagen are like steel, strong and elastic. Bones lacking in collagen are like dry, brittle wood – easily breakable. As women, utilizing collagen and doing weight bearing exercise is great prevention.

How to use Collagen (grassfed gelatin) as an Egg Replacement (tips + recipe)

Collagen comes in two forms:

  • Protein: this is what I used for this recipe – the green canister. It acts like the gelatin you’ve probably been using for years when you make panna cotta or marshmallows. The important difference is that this comes from pasture-raised cattle to ensure a natural, high quality, and sustainable source of this nutritional powerhouse. It also works great for thickening sauces, acting like cornstarch or tapioca starch.

This type does not dissolve in cold liquids, and will immediately turn to gel once it becomes wet.

  • Peptides: this is the blue canister, still collagen/gelatin, but acts like a supplement and is water soluble. It has the same proteins and minerals of the above, but will dissolve in both hot & cold liquids. I like to blend it into smoothies, soups, tea or sauces for a boost of protein.

Chocolate Carob Bread with Date Caramel Spread {paleo, egg-free}

Between the nutrient dense components of the bread, coupled with the healthy fats in the vegan date caramel, I’d say this is one treat your body and mind is going to love. And I’m just warning you, that spread will become your new “just one more spoonful” habit.

“Chocolate” Carob Bread with Date Caramel Spread {AIP, paleo}

makes two mini loaf pans (5 1/2″ x 3″ x 2 1/4″) or 10 cupcakes

Bread:
140 grams (1 cup) Otto’s cassava flour
60 grams (1/2 cup) tapioca starch
52 carob powder (1/2 cup, Sunfood organic raw carob is definitely the best I’ve used)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (I buy this kind which is BPA & gum/preservative free)
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup melted organic coconut oil
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (at room temperature)
1 gelatin egg (instructions below) using the green can of Vital Proteins collagen/gelatin

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two mini loaf pans or cupcake tins thoroughly with coconut oil. In a large bowl, mix together cassava flour, tapioca starch, carob powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil and maple syrup. Using a hand held or stand mixer, add the wet ingredients to the dry until smooth. Batter will be very thick!

*Prepare gelatin egg by adding one tablespoon of room temperature water to a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of gelatin over water and let sit for a minute. Then stir in two tablespoons of hot water, whisking until frothy. Add to bread mixture, blending immediately until smooth. It will be very thick.

Divide into loaf pans, smooth top out with your hands, and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. For cupcakes, bake for 12 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Set pans on a wire rack to cool, and after 10 minutes remove bread or cupcakes from pan and let cool further..

Date Caramel Spread:
1 cup of soft & pitted medjool dates (110 grams, if your yours are hard, soak for 20 minutes in hot water, then drain and use)
1 cup of full fat coconut milk
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 35 minutes, using spatula to smoosh dates down. They will break and melt into the coconut milk as they cool. Then puree with an immersion blender or food processor. Let cool, and it will thicken even more. Then frost the bread. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Thank you for making Heartbeet Kitchen possible! To help me pay for my site and enormous grocery bill, this blog is supported through the use of affiliate links. This means that I will earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Another reason I include them is because I get a lot of questions about the exact brand, etc. of what I’m using in my kitchen and want you to have the quick reference.

This post is linked to the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundup.

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81 thoughts on ““Chocolate” Carob Bread with Date Caramel Spread (AIP, Paleo)

    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Thanks Ali! I think you’ll be quite surprised how great collagen is for your skin, hair and the extra protein. Plus it works so well as an egg replacement!

      Reply
      1. Gena

        This looks amazing! I, too, miss chocolate. Unfortunately, I can’t tolerate tapioca. What would you suggest substituting? Thanks for an amazing recipe!

        Reply
  1. Valerie Harris

    Wow, very interesting. I am most excited about the frosting. I will definitely try that. I have not tried cassava flour yet but I will get that one at the top of the list. As far as the carob, historically, I am not fan. But it has been many, many moons and maybe it is worth a re-visit. I use flax to replace eggs with good success but trying gelatin is worth a try. I personally don’t abstain from happy eggs however I do cook vegan at times. Nice post.

    Reply
  2. Crista

    Amanda! I’m so happy to hear about your feel-good streak!

    That date caramel spread might make an appearance in my kitchen just for dipping in to :)

    Xox

    Reply
  3. Laureen Fox

    Cassava flour is a recent discovery for me. I love making waffles with it. Your cake looks yummy! Never tried dates in a frosting but sure will have to give it a try now.

    Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      I’ve been trying to make an AIP waffle with the cassava flour too – hoping to get that recipe worked out. Would be so delicious for brunch, and a savory version for dinner!

      Reply
  4. Emma

    Hi! This looks awesome. I was wondering if you think a chia or flax egg would replace the gelatin in here. I know I wouldn’t be getting the collagen and other health benefits you speak of, but I cannot bring myself to eat it, and this looks amazing.

    Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi Emma! Although I have not tested, I think 1 flax or chia egg would work well. Thanks for stopping by and hope it turns out well for you.

      Reply
  5. Mary

    Amanda, this looks delicious. Thank you for sharing your great recipes with us!

    I’m on the AIP, too, and have found I don’t tolerate the Great Lakes gelatin well. Do you have any experience with that brand versus the Vital Proteins gelatin?

    Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi Mary! Appreciate you stopping by, and hope you’re able to try the bread. I have used both Great Lakes Gelatin and the Vital Proteins, and although I digest both without problems, I think the VP dissolves better and breaks down easier. They also have extremely high standards in the animals that they are using for the collagen, the pasture size for each animal is one animal per 2.67 acres. Plus they are in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership 5-step animal welfare rating standards. This is important when you are trying to make sure that what you’re ingesting has been eating things that your body can digest as well. Hope that helps and you give it a try. xo

      Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi Lauren! Vital Proteins is definitely the best source I’ve found. They have taken great care to ensure that the pasture size for each animal is one animal per 2.67 acres. Plus they are in alignment with the Global Animal Partnership 5-step animal welfare rating standards. So important to me! Hope you’re having a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  6. Amanda

    It’s my birthday tomorrow so guess what I’ll be making… Have really cut down on all baked goods in the 9 months on AIP so we all deserve a treat occasionally!
    I’m a regular user of collagen and gelatin using the Great Lakes brand though. Red to make jellos/gummies/baking “eggs” and green is in my drinks daily. Best stuff ever, my hair and nails are the best they have ever been :)
    I only have a normal size loaf ti, is that ok and how well do they freeze, if there are any left of course!

    Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Happy birthday Amanda! So exciting, and I hope you are feeling better on your healing journey. And totally agree with you on the improvement to hair and nails. Mine chip far less often and my hair is fuller. I haven’t tried this in a regular loaf pan, so I would recommend making them into cupcakes by using a muffin tin instead. Just make sure to fully grease the insides of the tins with coconut oil and don’t use the paper liners. If you do make them, post to instagram and tag me, @amanda_paa so I can see! Enjoy your special day, xo.

      Reply
  7. Superfood-Guru

    I’d like to explore gelatin and collagen as substitutes in cooking. I think I’ll start with your recipe and go from there. I hope it tastes as good as it looks! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  8. Faith

    The directions of the recipe say to add water to the dry ingredients, but it is not listed in the ingredient list. Any thoughts about the contradiction?

    Reply
  9. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    That swirl on top of the bread is so gorgeous, Amanda! I’m so impressed with the way you work with healthy ingredients to get at the flavors you miss so much. This bread doesn’t look or sound like it’s “lacking” in any way, but it sounds so delicious!

    Reply
  10. Christine Grace

    I can’t wait to try this! I even have all the ingredients on hand (that never happens). I am doing AIP, and I can’t tolerate coconut very well right now (I have a slight reactivity to it). I might be able to handle the little bit of coconut milk, but do you think I could substitute ghee for the coconut oil? I found a brand that’s certified casein free. Do you think that would work? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi Christine, Yes, I think melted ghee in place of the coconut oil should work, the flavor will just be a little more “buttery” which is never a bad thing! If you do try that, could you let me know how it goes? Thanks!

      Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Collagen #ftw! I think you’ll love adding it to your daily routine. I’ve definitely noticed a change in my nails, not nearly as brittle and more shiny.

      Reply
  11. Amy K

    These are SO GOOD! After almost 2 years on AIP I am thankful to have been able to successfully reintroduce chocolate so I subbed cocoa powder one for one for the carob, and these cupcakes turned out so well. The texture is dense and cakey, so much like a real cupcake. My fiancé and I could not believe it! Adding a few thinly sliced strawberries to the top takes them to the next level :) Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

    Reply
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  13. TEAJAE

    I know the answer is probably no, I’ll ask anyway, lol Any substitute for coconut milk and oil? Allergic to coconut. This looks amazing to me and I would love to try it.

    Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi! I haven’t tested these suggestions, but avocado oil would work for the oil, and if you can do almond or cashew milk, that could substitute for the coconut milk. Let me know if you try it that way!

      Reply
  14. Karina

    @Amanda_Paa I am on the SIBO Protocol have 2 more weeks of antibiotics and then retest. Did you beat SIBO? how long before you incorporated dates and Ottos Cassava flour to your diet?

    Thanks,
    Karina

    Reply
    1. Amanda Paa Post author

      Hi Karina! Sorry I missed this message. I took two weeks of antibiotics, and followed Low Fodmaps pretty closely for one month. My symptoms have decreased a ton, but I have not been retested yet.

      Reply
        1. Amanda Paa Post author

          Oh lovely! They freeze really well if left unfrosted. I like to wrap them in a freezer saran wrap individually, then put all of them in a ziploc freezer bag. Remove from freezer and let thaw, or reheat in microwave for about 20 seconds.

          Reply
  15. Karina

    Thanks Amanda. I just finished the two months of Herbal Antibiotics and feel better. I followed the Low Foodmap also. Have you added onion, garlic and starches like Yucca and pumpkin back to your diet? Im dying for some pumpkin pancakes and yucca stuff …

    Reply
  16. Sheila

    OK…..I just discovered what may have been the culprit of the runner Ness and why it took so long to bale……..I am embarrassed to say I had 2 cupcake pans together……one inside the other ?

    Reply
  17. Tina

    Hi – I’m not doing vinegar so I’m wondering if I could make this recipe without the apple cider vinegar? What does it do for the recipe? Could I sub apple juice instead?

    Thanks!
    Tina

    Reply
    1. amandapaa Post author

      Hi Tina! You must use vinegar, as it reacts with the other acidic ingredients to create the rise in the bread. Apple juice does not have those same chemical properties.

      Reply
  18. Jill

    This recipe is fantastic! I’ve been struggling to find a bread that tastes great and the texture is accurate. I didn’t have Cassava flour at hand so sub in coconut flour and arrowroot flour which turn out great. I will definitely be making this again! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Reply
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  20. Caitlin

    I am a *huge* carob fan so I made this recipe as soon as I found it (via foodgawker). I didn’t have any GF flour so just used whole wheat pastry flour, and threw in some spare carob chips I had laying around. This recipe is a winner and it was really hard to not eat about 6 of the cupcakes right away!

    Reply
  21. Katy

    Hi! This looks fabulous!!! I have a couple questions – do you have a brand preference for cassava flour? I ask because I’ve tried several recipes exactly as written and it’s very gritty & gummy. Has this proven a problem for you?

    Thank you!

    Reply
  22. Suzanne

    OMG! This is sooo good. One change I make when baking like this, though. I can’t ever get the “egg” to work for me. It always ends up just being pieces in whatever I’m baking. What I have started doing is just adding the dry collagen to the dry ingredients. Works every time, and it’s so much easier. Thank you for sharing this! DE-licious.!

    Reply
    1. amandapaa Post author

      Fantastic! So glad you liked the recipe. And I’ll have to try adding the dry collagen to the dry ingredients to see if I get the same successful result. Appreciate the idea.

      Reply
      1. Myr

        I mixed the collagen peptides with dry ingredients and I have a layer of collagen at the bottom of a bread recipe. Has anyone ever had that issue?

        Reply
        1. amandapaa Post author

          Hi Myr!
          Per the recipe instructions, you should make the gelatin egg with the collagen, last, and then add it to the batter. It should not have been added to the dry ingredients.

          Reply
  23. Grace

    This looks so yummy! I prefer to make my own coconut milk with young coconuts. If I made it really thick can I used it as as substitute?

    Reply
  24. Wendy Hacault

    Hi Amanda,
    I don’t follow the paleo diet but due to health issues I can’t have dairy or chocolate, so your “chocolate” carob bread recipe sounded perfect for me…however I cannot find the gelatin where I live…Would it be Ok if I just add one egg instead ? Thanks.x

    Reply
  25. Federica

    I’m so so happy…just Made it and it’s delicious! I’ve been dreaming of chocolate since i Started my Aip life! I did’t have cassava flour and i used banana flour instead…works amazingly!

    Reply
  26. Sidra

    I can’t have or honey. How else could i sweeten the cake? I thought banana but i dont want banana flavor to take over.

    Reply
  27. Ardi

    Excellent! I made as cupcakes. I really don’t care for carob, but I really liked these. They were light and cake-like. The frosting was great, though mine came out a lot darker than pictured. Thank you!

    Reply
  28. Jenn

    Thanks for the recipe! I made these in a donut pan, then froze them and they’ve been bringing intermittent joy for almost two months now!

    Reply
  29. megan

    Maybe a stupid question but can I use dried dates for the frosting? I have no idea where to get fresh dates….

    Reply

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