Monday, 9 February 2015

Recipe: Gluten-free chocolate cherry cake

I get asked for recipes all the time so here's my Valentine's gift to you. This is a rich, fudgy chocolate cake made with non gluten containing ingredients (NGCI) that ticks all the boxes: it's rich and fudgy without being cloying, covered in ganache and tasty as you like.

I developed this for Valentine's day last year, using my favourite chocolate cake recipe as a base and working from there. Enjoy it.

Gluten Free chocolate cherry cake

200g 70-85% chocolate
200g butter
1 tbsp coffee powder dissolved in 125ml cold water or 130ml espresso
85g self-raising gluten-free flour
85g plain gluten-free flour
1/2 rounded tsp Xanthan gum
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g light muscovado sugar
200g golden caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
3 large eggs
75ml buttermilk (or mix 50g natural yoghurt with 25ml milk)
Good quality cherry jam (sour cherry if you can find it)

For the ganache

200g dark chocolate, as above
300ml carton double cream
2tbsp caster sugar

Preset oven to 170c/150c fan/gas mark 3
Grease two 20cm/7" sandwich tins and line the bases

To bake the cake, chop up the chocolate and add to a pan with the butter and coffee. Melt slowly over a low heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as it has melted, take it off the heat.

Meanwhile mix the flours, bicarb, Xanthan gum and sugars in a large bowl. In a separate bowl or measuring jug, beat the eggs with the buttermilk/yoghurt.

Pour chocolate and egg mixtures into the dry ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon.

When combined, divide evenly between the two baking tins. Bake for 35 -40 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. The cake will be sticky but not wet.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto cooling trays.

When the cake has cooled, make the ganache.

Finely chop the chocolate and put in a large bowl. Put the cream and sugar in a small pan and heat until it almost comes to the bowl. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir the mixture until smooth and shiny.

Liberally spread the jam (I use over half a jar) on top of the bottom layer of cake and sandwich the other on top. Pour the ganache slowly over the cake, letting it run over the side. if you want, you can smooth it with a palette knife.

Leave to cool. Eat. 


Instead of an iced cake, sandwich the cakes with fresh whipped cream and fresh fruit (I still think cherries go best with a dark chocolate) and dust with icing sugar.

If you want all chocolate then use ganache or nutella instead of jam for the sandwich.


  1. This looks amazing. Thank you for posting. Where do you get Xanthan gum? Is it widely available and what exactly is it.

    1. You can get in the "free from" section of supermarkets, next to the flour. It essentially replaces the elasticity that gluten gives to cake. Without it cake can be very crumbly. Too much and it's rubbery. Most of my experimentation with this cake was with the gum.

  2. Mmmmmmm this sounds delicious! I'm going to make it as soon as I've finished my detox in a couple of months :)

  3. The cake looks delicious! I will add it to my baking list. I do had never heard of baking with xanthan gum - I will have a look out for it! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oooh, yummy! Got to love a ganache frosting