Monday, 25 March 2013

Gluten & Nut - free chocolate sponge cake

My gorgeous boy turned three today. I can't believe how quickly this has come around.....I can't believe I'm the mum of a three year old! In my next few posts I will be writing about the party, the celebrations, the decorations and all the pageantry of this auspicious occasion.

It all started at nursery school on Friday so I set about making a cake - only to realise that if all his little friends were to enjoy said cake it would need to be both gluten and nut - free!!! Panic set in........but fear not dear readers, should you find yourself in a similar position at any point, you must not panic as I did....but look no further; the solution to all your anti-allergy cake needs is here...well, not all of them but it might help and it tastes yummy so what more could you wish for?!

As it happens, the lovely Hannah from Make, Do and Push! has launched CAKE WEEK, yes, you heard me, an entire week dedicated to cake; which is much more appealing than the spare tyre I have dedicated to cake. Pop over to Hannah's site to see many more yummy recipes and if you try this one out, let me know how you get on.

On to the recipe. This is a two-layer, dense chocolate cake which is surprisingly moist and crumbly despite containing no flour or flour substitute. It is sandwiched with chocolate buttercream and then smothered all over. Since the rest of the decorating was down to the little man himself; smarties, edible glitter and silver balls were all the rage!

The cake: 2 x 8in (20cm) cake tins, preheated oven at 170C/150C fan/Gas Mark 3

250g unsalted butter, softened
170g pure cocoa powder (make sure there's no cornflour or nasties)
250g dark chocolate broken into little pieces (good-quality)
300g golden caster sugar (nicer than refined white sugar but white works too)
6 large eggs (from happy free chickens please)
2 tsp vanilla extract (I find the paste gives the best flavour)

For the icing:

110g unsalted butter, softened
170g golden icing sugar (again, you can use the white)
55g cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp whole milk (this makes the icing nice and glossy)

  • Grease and line the tins, then grease the lining too
  • Melt the chocolate & butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water - do not let the water touch the bowl or you will burn the chocolate
  • Put the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, cocoa in a bowl, mix using an electric hand whisk until the mixture is all combined and it is glossy. You may want to partially cover the bowl before you turn on the whisk  or you'll end up with cocoa powder everywhere!
  • Once the chocolate and butter have melted together stir into these two mixtures together gently
  • Divide evenly between the two tins
  • Bake for 30 mins, leave to cool in tins for 10 mins, turn onto wire rack to cool completely
While the cakes are cooling make the icing:
  • Beat the butter until very soft
  • Gradually sift in the icing sugar and mix to combine as you go
  • Sift in the cocoa powder 
  • Gradually add the milk and mix to loosen the mixture, you may need a little more or less
  • Beat so everything is combined and you have a smooth mixture
Spread the buttercream onto one of the cakes, sandwich the two together and smother the top and sides with the remaining icing. Leave like this or add your own decorative touches. If stored in a cool place this cake will keep nice and moist for a few days so no need to eat it all at once, unless you want to of course, there's no judgement here!

Make, Do and Push!: Cake Week 2013


  1. Oooh that looks so tasty!!

    Thank you so much for link-up and badge post :) xxx

  2. Loving the cake week! It really was tasty and you wouldn't know it was lacking anything, it's just slightly more dense but actually in a good way xxx

  3. Aw lovely wow happy birthday to your little man! Tell me about it - where is the time going?! I want it to stand still for just a while :) This cake looks yummy and will bear it in mind for my boy's birthday incase they say the same! Can't wait to read more about his celebrations xx

    1. Thanks lovely, it is a good one to have in the repertoire just in case. Would love to know what you think if you do give it a try xx

  4. Oh wow! I'm gluten free (and dairy boo!) but i have never not cooked without flour before. Well, not like chocolate or sponge cake. I can't wait to try this out thanks for sharing it. I'm freakin' loving cake week! xx Oh yes, and happy birthday to your newly 3 year old boy!! xx

  5. Thanks so much hun. And yippee for cake week!

    Glad you like the sound of this. Normally, I would make a cake with ground almonds if I wanted it to be gluten free but obviously couldn't here because it had to be nut-free too.

    I've tried using gluten-free flour before but I didn't like the results too much. As for the dairy issues (poor you) you could definitely replace all milk with tepid water here. Not too sure how good butter or egg substitutes are but I'm sure you have experience there.

    Would love to know how you get on if you ever try it out.
    Rhia xx


I really appreciate all comments in my Rhiality so thank you for stopping by. Hope you come back again soon xxx

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