The Break-Up Cake

**with a side of attribution theory

Firstly, I cannot take credit for this amazing creation, and when I say amazing, I truly mean this is by far the best cake I have had on my birthday (and maybe ever) to date. So… I have Whole Food Diary to thank for this as well as many other recipes. I highly recommend checking out Kezia and Jared’s Blog. Below is the link to their recipe , but I will also show my step by step process (slightly modified in some ways) of how I achieved the ultimate birthday cake and from now on… my go-to breakup cake.

The Original Recipe

For me, cooking and baking has become the ultimate outlet. I grew up helping my mom in the kitchen and more recently have found true passion for healthy, clean eating which has pushed me to grow in my knowledge of cooking and baking to suite my lifestyle. I have discovered so much about myself in the past year or two since I have begun to truly learn how to cook. While soccer has always been there and will always be a different kind of outlet, I can be upset and go to the kitchen and just get lost for hours and forget about whatever it is that is troubling me. The best part is, when I’m done and it all comes flooding back, I have the final product to comfort me. The ironic thing is, the boy that inspired the break-up cake is the same one who inspired me to learn how to cook in the first place.

The classic movie break up response is always junk food, chick flicks, and self pity with your best friend. While I agree that there needs to be some mechanism for coping, the psychology major in me suggests that ruminating and self-loathing are not the way. The heart-broken girl seems to agree. So here it is, served to you in three (one for each year) chocolate-y layers, the break up cake and a healthy serving of attribution theory.


For one layer (I doubled this and got 3 layers)

Attribution style is “a person’s characteristic tendencies when inferring the cause of behavior or events”. It is essentially how people perceive what is going on in their life and how their processing of this information affects how they go about their life. Attribution style includes 3 main ingredients (optimistic/pessimistic) which can vary person to person:




3/4 cups coconut oil
1 cups honey
4 medium/large eggs at room temp
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups almond meal/flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee ( I used Starbucks via’s but can only imagine how good it would be with fair trade coffee)

Cake Directions

While you want your cake to be a stable base, you want your attributions to be unstable. If you view the negative things in your life as stable, you will not be inspired to change them. So many times break ups are viewed stable situation, “I don’t know what I’ll do”, “things will never be the same”, “I won’t be happy again” etc. If you endorse these beliefs in your mind, there would be no reason to try to improve your happiness, or fix things, or do anything at all to change your situation. Moping around and feeling sorry may seem like the solution when in reality it takes us nowhere but in circles and back to the freezer for more ice cream. Easier said than done, trust me I know, but taking action and knowing that how you feel is temporary and thinking of what good is to come can completely change your outlook on your current situation. If attribution were a cake, you would want it to crumble.

Preheat your oven to 350F, and line your pans with parchment paper.

Place the oil and honey in a bowl and beat together. Add one of eggs and vanilla and beat them in until the mixture is smooth again, then add the remaining eggs and beat them in.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a second bowl and fold them into the wet mix until combined. If you’ve multiplied the batter (I doubled the batter and got three layers) split it between your lined pans and place in the preheated oven for 30 mins. Check them at 25 minutes, depending on your oven they might be done, you don’t want them overcooked. You’re looking for them to feel springy to the touch and to have a skewer come out clean (or almost clean). When they are cooked, remove them from the pans and cool on wire racks.
When the cake has fully cooled you are ready to frost it!

Mocha Cream Filling

enough for two thick cream layers between cake layers

Frosting must be specific to the kind of cake you are baking, you can’t just spread any grocery store brand on there and expect it to work. The same goes for optimistic attribution, you have to look at this situation as a specific exception rather than a rotten ingredient that will effect every aspect of your cake (global). Think of this in terms of recipe testing. Maybe you have what you might think is a great idea for a new recipe. You take the final product out of the oven and render it in-edible at the first sniff. Does this mean you should never cook again? No, it just means that things do not go your way every time and you cannot expect them to. Just because one recipe (relationship) doesn’t work out does not mean there is anything wrong with your talent in the kitchen (you), it just means that this specific instance did not go your way. Don’t stop cooking.

2 cans of coconut cream (refrigerated overnight)
Some more instant coffee powder
Cocoa powder
Honey/maple to taste.

I personally do not own a mixer yet (sigh…college life and small kitchen probs) but I was able to get a similar whip cream effect in my food processor! Refrigerate coconut cream over night so that the cream and liquid seperate. Take two cans worth and add just the cream to the food processor and begin to whip. It make take 5 to 10 minutes to begin to get the correct consistency. After this add probably a teaspoon to a teaspoon and half of cocoa powder, a tiny bit of instant coffee dissolved in a tablespoon of water and however much maple syrup to sweeten (I did less than a tablespoon because of the natural sweetness of the coconut). Because mine was not whipped the same way as a mixer would I suggest only refrigerating a few hours (mine hardened overnight and had to be re-whipped). Definitely use a mixer if you have access to one!


Just like you want your icing to be on the outside of the cake, attributions should be external as well. Is it easier to move on from something when it is your fault or when it is because of the situation? Think about it, would you be more upset if the pumpkin pie you were putting in the oven fell because you are clumsy and it slipped from your hand or because your oven is uneven on the bottom and it slid off the rack? (Example based on true experience; yes, my oven is uneven and yes, I did still drop a full pumpkin pie because I am clumsy). I admit, I definitely slip (like my pie) at times and allow thoughts of this break up being my fault into my head but that is no way to live, especially when it is in the past and you cannot do anything to change it. The only things to do is move forward, keep frosting your cake and realize that the cake inside (internal self) cannot control whether or not the ganache is good (and in this case it is goooood).unnamed-1

6 Tbsp. Cocoa
3 Tbsp. Honey
3 Tbsp. Coconut oil
Coconut cream (in the fridge overnight)

This one is a bit of a free style but the cleanup is delicious. Melt the oil down in a sauce pan. Add chocolate and melt in to create a raw chocolate. Next, take the cream portion from the can of coconut cream and melt it in to your chocolate. Finally add honey to taste, the above is only a recommendation. Drizzle, spread, or pour over final cake product.

Final Product:

If you combine your ingredients correctly and give it enough time, your cake (you) will come out just fine. This is not to say that I am completely okay, 3 layers (years) is quite a lot of cake to finish but I know the ingredients of optimistic attribution (and this cake) are a whole lot better than any ice cream or junk food a normal break up would call for. These things are a quick satisfaction for your sweet tooth and an attempted “quick fix” that will not truly heal or grow you. Real ingredients take time to bake together but when you commit and put in the work, the final product is so much better and you have come so much farther. I don’t have all the answers, only peace that this is temporary, it does not define me and it is not because of me. If I forget that, I always have a piece of cake frozen for later.




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