Search Recipes

Gluten-free chocolate birthday cake with soft-set cocoa icing

Dan Lepard
Dan Lepard

Makes either one thick single chocolate cake or, if you double it, a mighty layer cake. I've used a combination of buckwheat and rice flour here, though you can replace the buckwheat with other flours like chestnut, brown rice or amaranth. The bicarb will start to puff the mixture up soon after mixing so to keep the texture light and aerated don't spend too long folding it in.

Gluten-free chocolate birthday cake with soft-set cocoa icing.
Kids will go wild for this chocolate cake. Photo: William Meppem


230g drained tinned pears

125g dark muscovado or brown sugar

75g unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs (60g each)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp cider vinegar

50g cocoa

50g buckwheat flour

50g white rice flour

1 tsp baking soda

For the icing

20g cocoa

40g boiling water

40g unsalted butter, softened

about 250g icing sugar


1. Line a deep 20cm round springform cake tin with non-stick paper, and heat the oven to 180C conventional (160C fan forced).

2. Put the drained pears in the blender until very smooth then tip into a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves, then mix in the butter until smooth.

3. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and vinegar, then stir in the cocoa until smooth.

4. In a small bowl mix together the buckwheat and rice flours with the baking soda, then add this to the chocolate mixture and fold in quickly and evenly.

5. Tip the mixture into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

To make the icing

1. Put the cocoa in a bowl, pour on the boiling water and beat until smooth.

2. Add the butter, cut into thin slices if it's cold, then stir till it melts through.

3. Beat in the icing sugar, more or less depending on how thick you want it.

Tip: While the cake is warm cover the top with a plate, plastic wrap or bag (avoid pressing down on the cake); this stops it drying out as it cools.

Main ingredient:
Chocolate, Pear
American (US)
Children's Party, Birthday, Afternoon Tea, Kids' cooking

More recipes like this...

Jill Dupleix's two-tone chocolate swirl cheesecake.

Chocolate swirl cheesecake

Jill Dupleix
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
5 Reader ratings
Chocolate for breakfast: Breakfast brownies.

Breakfast brownies

Jill Dupleix
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
9 Reader ratings
Is it a bar or is it slice? Nanaimo bars.

Nanaimo bars

Matt Preston
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
97 Reader ratings
Chocolate marshmallow treats.


Jill Dupleix
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
164 Reader ratings
Murdoch Recipe Thumbnail

Chocolate mud cake

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
4 Reader ratings


Be the first to comment.

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Recipes - Forum

What we’re cooking

Latest on EK

Pester power: Call for ban on free toys used to sell unhealthy food

Obesity experts say freebies should be restricted to attracting children to healthier options.

Mums' workload equals 2.5 full-time jobs

A study has found working mums toil for an average of 98 hours a week.

How many of our bosses would have aced NAPLAN tests?

In more than 25 years' of journalism, I've never interviewed a leader who topped his or her class at school.

Children's shoes found to contain cancer-causing chemical

The ACCC had issued an urgent recall.

When it comes to sport, boys 'play like a girl'

Girls in primary school are just as physically capable as their male classmates, according to research.

Find After School Care

Search by Postcode

Find a Babysitter

  • Daytime nannies
  • Casual babysitters
  • After-school care
  • Live-in nannies