Rio Dulce’s Favorite Chocolate Cake: Holding Ground Mud Cake

Dairy Free… Egg Free … Gluten Free… and almost Oil Free…

There’s just nothing like the aroma of fresh baking chocolate cake.  This one I’m testing ingredients to see if I can make it dairy free, egg free and gluten free.   So while the wind is howling outside, the boat is bouncing, the temps are falling … we’re relaxing snug inside the boat while the oven keeps the brisk wind outside where it belongs.  New England is forecast to get blasted this weekend and we’re “suffering” through a single overnight low of 47 degrees.

The cake baking in the oven is one of our favorites, recipe courtesy of Jennifer Lindeen, a friend from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala….  Jennifer not only introduced us to a great chocolate cake that requires no eggs or milk – good news for cruisers – but also magically made three of my favorite photos into the painting hanging on our cabin wall.  She uses whatever paint she can get (Guatemala is notoriously short on art specialty stores) on canvas finishing with varnish to afix the colors.

Jennifer Lindeen Original - Mico Mountain and Jennifer's Beautiful Garden, Gringo Bay, Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Jennifer Lindeen Original - Mico Mountain and Jennifer's Beautiful Garden, Gringo Bay, Rio Dulce, Guatemala

This painting features the Rio Dulce’s Mico (Monkey) Mountain, combined with the bamboo grove across the bay from Jennifer’s house and the lovely garden behind her house.

Gotta go — my cake is cooling and just about ready for our chocolate fix … howling norther wind and the warm chocolate — yum…..  This recipe I modified because we can get healthier ingredients than just whatever we can find out cruising.  From the upcoming “The Boat Galley Cookbook” – in bookstores/online June 2012!


Here’s a great cake with no eggs or milk, all the way from Gringo Bay, Rio Dulce, Guatemala and Jennifer Lindeen!

If you’re headed to the Rio Dulce, Guatemala and don’t know Jennifer, be sure to stop by Gringo Bay and say hi. You can buy some smoked robalo (yum!), or pick up a new courtesy flag or even commission some artwork.

Thanks Jennifer – for letting us use the recipe for “The Boat Galley Cookbook” and also for my fabulous wall canvas painting!

Varying Ingredients Slightly

Varying Ingredients Slightly

Holding Ground Mud Cake

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 6, more with smaller pieces, less with larger pieces

1 1/2 cups flour (we like whole grain oat flour, not processed in a wheat facility — ours is Bob’s Red Mill brand —  when we can get it)

3 – 5 heaping tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa (I used 4 heaping tablespoons)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sugar (if you’re looking for sugar-free, maybe try spenda?  We don’t worry so much about sugar, so I didn’t experiment with alternatives)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil OR vegetable oil (for no fat, use 1/3 cup plain no sugar added applesauce)

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup cold water OR orange juice OR milk (we use Silk Almond Vanilla Milk while in the US, outside, water or OJ work well and make it less rich which isn’t a bad thing)

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Mix dry ingredients and liquids separately, then pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Pour into a nonstick or greased pan – a round cake pan, 8 x 8 square pan or even a loaf pan. Bake about 30 minutes at 350° F. or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Add cinnamon for a “Mexican” taste, glaze with chocolate icing or add instant coffee for a mocha flavor. But however you try it, ENJOY!



  1. Candy Ann Williams via Facebook says:

    My stomach is growling! I always enjoy reading your posts and Carolyn’s posts. I have incorporated many of them in my boat galley and even share with a friend that is living in her restored tiny air stream trailer back ashore. Thanks for all of the tips and good reads.

  2. Bummer … our cake lasted three days … now we need more! My stomach is growling too Candy! THX for the compliment!

  3. What’s the latest on the kindle version?

  4. We were supposed to have the latest e-book available this week to proof, but we’re waiting…. I suspect our McGraw Hill editor saw it and sent it back for yet another revision before it gets to us…. But it’s all good! I’d rather wait than have a e-book with no links….

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