Gluten-free chocolate fudge cake

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Almost everyone loves chocolate cake and those that don't, can't have tried a good one. Victoria shares a gluten-free cake recipe that's poles apart from 'brown cake'. It has just the right amount of 'squidge' and richness, yet still remains light.

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Almost everyone loves chocolate cake and those that don't, can't have had a good one. It is entirely possible to go your whole life on these shores mistaking chocolate cake for that quintessentially British abomination that I like to call brown cake. Brown cake starts its sorry little life with great potential: butter, eggs, caster sugar and self-raising flour. If, at this point in its cakey journey, a slug of vanilla extract was thrown into the mix, I'd start to get interested. But, alas, it isn't to be. Brown cake has a far less joyous fate. Instead, a dusting of cocoa is added, just enough to dye the cake a pale and pathetic shade of brown, but not enough to actually add much in the way of flavour. I can't abide anything which tastes of nothing. Lemon cakes should be lemony, vanilla cakes should be vanilla-y and chocolate cakes should taste of chocolate and not of the colour brown.

This gluten-free chocolate fudge cake contains actual chocolate and actual cocoa and, as a result, actually tastes of actual chocolate, but don't be scared. This cake is a crowd pleaser with all, from dark chocolate lovers and children, right through to the "It looks a bit rich" brigade. In essence, this cake targets a wide demographic. It is sticky, but in no way sickly and it is chocolate-y without a trace of bitterness. It is a cake as happily scoffed by two year olds as ninety year olds and has converted many over the years who have professed not to be chocolate cake fans.

It is so incredibly versatile and I have made variations of this cake for countless birthdays and parties and all the other times when nothing else but chocolate cake will do. Halve the quantity for 6" sandwich tins, double it for 10" or use the amount given below for cupcakes. It keeps exceptionally well in an airtight container for up to a week, but you’ll have to have unusual levels of restraint if you can manage to make it last that long.




Chocolate fudge cake

  • 100g of dark chocolate, 70%, broken into pieces
  • 225g of light muscovado sugar
  • 200ml of whole milk
  • 75g of unsalted butter, soft
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • vanilla extract, 1 generous splash
  • 25g of cocoa powder, good quality
  • 125g of rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder, gluten free
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, gluten free
  • 1 pinch of salt

Rich chocolate buttercream

To decorate


Grease and line two 8” sandwich tins and preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
For the cake, place the chocolate, 75g of the light muscovado sugar and milk in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Stir until the chocolate and sugar have melted and leave the mixture to cool slightly
Whisk the remaining sugar with the butter until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the egg before adding the vanilla, salt and whisking in the chocolate milk. Sift the dry ingredients over the liquid batter and fold in
Divide the batter between your two sandwich tins and bake for 25 – minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in their tins on top of a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out to cool completely
For the buttercream, whisk the butter for a few seconds until pale and creamy, before sifting over half of the icing sugar and whisking again until everything is combined
Add the chocolate and whisk through before sifting over the remaining icing sugar. Whisk for a few minutes, adding a splash of milk to slightly slacken the buttercream if you need to
Sandwich the cakes together with half of the buttercream and use the remaining half to spread over the top of the cake. Scatter over the chocolate flakes if using

Victoria is a London-based food writer and recipe developer. She was the Roald Dahl Museum’s first ever Gastronomic Writer in Residence and has written six books, including her latest, Too Good To Waste.

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