Saturday, August 29, 2015

Gluten free chocolate cake

Chocolate cake, ganache, whipped cream, and peaches!

 Here is a recipe for a gluten free chocolate cake that is delicious and moist and doesn’t dry out for a few days!

My spouse’s grandmother has been gluten-free for a couple years now, and one of the tips she gave me recently was to use Bob’s Red Mill’s 1 for 1 Gluten Free flour blend. I have used their other all-purpose GF mix in the past and didn’t like it as much, possibly because of the use of bean flour, but the 1 for 1 mix is made of different flours.

This is not a paid advertisement for Bob's Red Mill, nor do they know who I am (though Bob Moore did get his seminary degree through my Alma Mater!) I just love their products.

The idea behind 1 for 1 is that you can adapt a normal (gluten-containing) recipe to be gluten free, just by using this mix instead of wheat flour, and it should turn out well. It is the same idea as the Better Batter and Cup for Cup mixes, but I have not ever used those blends, so I can’t attest to how good those are.

This recipe is nearly identical to Pioneer Woman’s recipe for strawberry Nutella cake . The differences are the use of a gluten-free flour blend, that this recipe only makes one layer of cake instead of two, and I added an extra egg which helps keep the cake from crumbling.

Gluten free chocolate cake

Adapted from Pioneer Woman


1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup boiling water
1 cup gluten-free flour mix (Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 flour blend is what I have tested this recipe with)
1 cup granulated sugar
A pinch of salt
¼ cup buttermilk
2 eggs
½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon vanilla extract or spiced rum

Makes one layer. For a double-layer cake, double all ingredients and use two cake pans.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a round 9” cake pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper that is lightly greased (The first time I made this recipe the cake fell apart but when I made it again with the parchment paper it helped prevent this).

Parchment paper is really helpful for preventing GF baked goods from sticking 

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Add the boiling water and stir again. Turn off the heat and set the cocoa mix aside.

Here is the melted butter, cocoa powder, and boiling water all mixed together

Mix the buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, and vanilla or rum together in a small bowl or mixing cup (I ran out of vanilla extract and used some amber rum that I had on hand and it added a nice flavor to the cake. Use what flavoring you prefer).  Set aside.

Buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, flavoring mixed together

Mix the sugar, GF flour, and salt together in a large bowl. 

The dry ingredients whisked together

Slowly add the cocoa mixture to the flour mixture and stir until smooth.

At the beginning of mixing... 

And after mixing a while the batter turns to a dough-like consistency

Pour in the buttermilk mixture and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Buttermilk mixture just added

 Batter after everything has been well mixed

Pour the batter into the greased cake pan, and then bake for 17-27 minutes (I live at 7200 feet and needed 26 minutes) testing for doneness

Before baking

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before sliding a butter knife around the edges of the cake, and then carefully turn the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding to decorating the cake.

After baking. You can see marks where I stuck a fork in to test if it had baked long enough

The pan is probably too hot to touch at this point, so use hot pads to flip the cake, or wait until the pan is cool enough to touch safely. I like to put the cake rack upside down on top of the pan, and then carefully invert the two together. Tough to describe and tougher to photograph by yourself!

Don't forget to remove the parchment paper

Now decorate the cake however you like! Use Nutella like in Pioneer Woman's recipe, or buttercream frosting, or with a layer of ganache, then whipped cream, then fruit as in my pictures. I have made this twice with a layer of ganache and then a thick layer of whipped cream. I have made it with both chopped peaches macerated in a little sugar (shown below), and with sliced strawberries and pitted cherries (last picture). Use any fruit that sounds good!

With peaches

~artsy photo~ with strawberries and cherries!

*allergy note: this cake could be made dairy free by swapping butter for margarine, and the buttermilk for soy or almond milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice added a few minutes before mixing it with the other ingredients.

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