Gluten, nut & dairy free chocolate cake

Chelsea winter recipe – from here

Since posting my gluten-free Chocolate Mud Cake, I’ve had a great number of lovely people asking about adjustments to make it nut and/or dairy free. So rather than just awkwardly try and jam in replacements, I set about creating a whole new recipe. Gluten-free flour mix can be quite drying, so I’ve added creamy avocado, coconut milk and brown sugar to help keep the cake lovely and moist. The top can puff up a bit and crack a little sometimes, so I like to cool/serve it upside down. It still tastes amazing. You can either just dust with icing sugar to finish, or use your favourite icing.

*Whittaker’s chocolate is made in a factory where nuts and gluten are present, although none is intentionally added to the chocolate – if you have severe nut allergies, it may not be suitable.



250g Whittaker’s block – 60% cocoa or more (I used 72%)
1 cup grape seed, light olive oil or rice bran oil
5 free-range eggs
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
1 ripe avocado, pureed
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla essence or paste
2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (without raising agent included)
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
Large pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 180c conventional bake. Line the base and sides of a 24cm diameter springform cake tin with baking paper. Set a rack in the lower half of the oven.

Add 2 inches of water to a medium saucepan and fit a heatproof bowl on top (not touching the water). Add the broken up chocolate and 1/2 the oil to the bowl, bring the water to a simmer and stir until everything is melted. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Reserve 1/4 cup of the coconut milk in a mug for later.

Add the remaining coconut milk, remaining oil, eggs, avocado, brown sugar and vanilla to your largest mixing bowl, and beat or whisk until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and beat again to combine.

Sift the flours, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir well with a whisk to combine very evenly. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir (don’t whisk) with a whisk to combine evenly with no lumps. Scrape the sides with a spatula once or twice.

Microwave the reserved 1/4 coconut milk for 20 seconds or so until hot, then add the baking soda and stir with a fork (it should foam a little). Add to the cake mixture (rinse the mug with a little water to get all of it out) and stir to combine evenly.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out and cool upside down on a cake rack (the top can puff up and crack a bit sometimes, so I cool and serve it upside down).

Dust with cocoa or icing sugar before slicing and serving warm or cold. (Or ice with icing – you could make a ganache with 50% dark chocolate melted with 50% coconut cream – let it cool in the fridge to icing consistency then ice).

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


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