Gluten-Free Choc-Nut Cake

September is always a busy month for my family; so busy that as usual, this year we didn’t have time to get together to celebrate my sister’s birthday, my daughter’s birthday, my father’s birthday, my niece’s birthday and a nephew’s birthday that had been even a little bit earlier than the others.

A gluten-free cake iced in ganache and decorated with strawberries

A gluten-free cake iced in ganache and decorated with strawberries

So in October everyone found a gap in their schedules to meet on a sunny Sunday at a clubhouse down on the beach.  We thought we might also be celebrating the birth of my sister’s baby but no, she’s 38 weeks and the baby’s not showing any sign of an early arrival.

Gluten-free chocolate nut cake

Gluten-free chocolate nut cake

Archie was unable to join us as he has weekend work in a cafe but otherwise we were in full attendance.  Whispers were going around about how tired Arabella looked and I had to confess she had had a few late nights going to unnecessary parties but was now probably stressed as well as tired because she had a psychology essay due first thing Monday morning.

A gluten-free chocolate cake

A gluten-free chocolate cake

Everyone was responsible for bringing one part of the meal.  I brought my bottle of French champagne that came from the billionaires.  It was a rose champagne that was very pretty with a lovely pink hue.

The table in front of the beautiful blue view

The table in front of the beautiful blue view

I also brought some marinated pork skewers that were put on the bar-be-cue and served with a peanut satay dipping sauce.

Marinated Pork Skewers

Marinated Pork Skewers

One of my sister’s brought ingredients to make a Thai beef salad with a very large eye fillet of beef going on the bar-be-cue also.

Thai Beef Salad

Thai Beef Salad

Just as the lunch was being served someone asked me, ‘Where’s Arabella?’  I looked around and to be sure, she was no where to be seen.  I tried phoning her but her phone was engaged.  I told everyone not to worry and suggested we go ahead and eat and so we did.  But just as I was about to have my first mouthful Miss Arabella sent me a text message saying she’d just broken up with her boyfriend and was walking home in a flood of tears.  As the boyfriend hadn’t been at the family function this must have been one of those modern, ‘over-the-phone’ break-ups – just a step up from the break-up via fax. So that was it for Miss Arabella.  Off home to her teenage dramas and her uni essay. After the main course we had the birthday cake that I had made.  It’s a very dense, rich and moist cake that happens to be gluten-free.  It’s a very easy cake to make and doesn’t require a food processor, blender or mixer.  You do however have to start making the cake a day ahead as it needs to rest in the fridge overnight.  Then the next day you ice it in a ganache then decorate with strawberries.  As this is a very dense cake it is best served in small wedges with a serving of berries on the side to cut through the richness.

Gluten-free chocolate nut cake

Gluten-free chocolate nut cake

Gluten-Free Choc-Nut Cake Serves:  10-12 Degree of Difficulty:  3/10 Cost:  The only expensive ingredient is the chocolate but considering the cake serves 10-12, it’s a very moderately priced dessert.  Serve with fresh berries and if not in season, thawed frozen berries would be a economic alternative.

  • ½ cup (50g) cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (125ml) hot water
  • 1½ cups (330g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 220g unsalted butter, chopped coarsely
  • 200g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 1½ cups (150g) hazelnut meal
  • 6 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 250g strawberries, sliced thinly

Chocolate Ganache

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) cream
  • 300g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely

Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan-forced (340F/300F fan-forced).  Grease a 25cm-round springform tin; line base and side with baking paper. Blend cocoa with the water in medium saucepan until smooth. Add sugar, butter and chocolate; stir over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. Stand chocolate mixture about 15 minutes or until barely warm. Stir in meal and egg.  Pour mixture into tin. Bake cake about 1 hour 40 minutes.  Cool cake in tin. Refrigerate, covered, 3 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, make chocolate ganache. Place cake onto serving plate.  Cover with ganache, decorate with strawberries. For the Ganache:   Bring cream to the boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat, add chocolate; stir until smooth. Stand 20 minutes before using. To decorate, I placed the cake upside down on a cake stand because that was the most level surface.  I used a metal spatula to move the ganache around the cake then stuck the strawberries into the sides before the ganache had time to set, (it will harden quickly because the cake is cold).

A gluten-free cake iced in ganache and decorated with strawberries

A gluten-free cake iced in ganache and decorated with strawberries

This recipe has been adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly, Moist Flourless Choc-Nut Cake. If you like this post, you’re welcome to share it!

Related Post


  1. What a lovely cake! Love the strawberry border! Hope you get to meet your new nephew/niece soon!

  2. Sorry to hear about Arabella’s electronic break-up. Very modern but not very nice.

    She and Archie missed out on a great looking meal. You made several very generous contributions as well and I love the way that the strawberries decoration on the cake matched the tablecloth so beautifully.

    Best of luck on the new arrival.

  3. I can eat all cake 🙂 Beautiful. Thank you dear Charlie, have a nice day, love, nia

  4. Gosh, your cake is gorgeous. I also love the look of the Thai beef salad.

  5. Charlie, your cake looks like the crowning glory to the festivities, though I must admit your pork skewers (and that Thai beef salad) caught my attention, too. Sorry to hear about the drama in the midst of things… hope all is well for Arabella… and hope you got an extra glass of billionaire champagne. Your family gathering makes me miss mine… but it’s a consolation looking at that cake! (Must make, must make…)

  6. I want these NOW!!

  7. Oh, I’m sorry for Arabella. If only she’d stayed; I have no doubt this cake would have helped ease a little of the “teenage drama”, as you called it! Though I am now feeling a tad guilty for breaking up with my last boyfriend over the phone. But hey, we’d only been together for three months, and it felt worse to invite him over purely to break up with him…

  8. Poor Arabella! I hope she’s not taking it too hard..x

    Looks like a wonderful family get together otherwise – the cake looks nice, but the skewers look fantastic!

  9. Poor Arabella, It is the horrible aspect of mobile phones making things easy. Your cake looks delicious, rich and decadent. GG xx

  10. Oh, poor Arabella. I hope you saved her some of that chocolate cake – she would need it!

  11. such a pretty cake! and oh my oh my, september is one crazy birthday month for so many of your family. hope that doesnt mean less cake if celebrations are combined though =P

  12. Poor Arabella but in our day my parents would have told me to suck it up and take part bin the birthday celebrations, particularly since it was partly her celebration! The food looks and sounds wonderful and your cake, well it takes the cake! It must have tasted like Nutella with the hazelnut meal and chocolate. Coincidentally I made a chocolate hazelnut cake too for tomorrow night but mine wasn’t gluten free and it won’t have a ganache. But inhale bought over priced imported raspberries to garnish it with.

  13. Family gathering, so precious and memorable. I would be the first on line for the Thai beef salad and the chocolate cake.

  14. Charlie, this sounds divine!

  15. What a beautiful cake and from the ingredients it sounds like a very dense chocolate cake that’s rich and moist. Very pretty. I hope your daughter is doing better. I remember those days as though they were yesterday – I’m sure it was painful for her. Growing up is so hard, isn’t it?

  16. Oh dear poor Arabella. To make matters worse she missed out on cake! I hope the assignment got in and she’s not too sad.

  17. G’day! Your cake looks very yummy Charlie, true!
    So special family memories, still having family to treasure and sorry for Arabella too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  18. The cake and the beef slices look delicious!

  19. I hope you brought her a cake! Pour baby!

  20. Arabella should have stayed for chocolate, pink champagne and sympathy – poor thing. It always seems like the end of the world but it never is is it?

  21. I’m probably mistaken — no surprise there — but isn’t this the same clubhouse that you’ve used before for a family get-together? It’s the setting overlooking the water that I recall. Either way, it’s abeautiful place to gather the family. Your Sister’s salad and your cake were must have been high points of the dinner. Both look delicious and that cake of yours, Charlie — like all that you make — is a work of art — my being a chocoholic hasn’t affected my opinion in any way. 😉

    • Well spotted, John. Yes, it’s definitely the same clubhouse. It’s becoming a habit for us to use it for family functions because it’s super convenient, in a great location, has incredible views and no one has to prepare their home for the onslaught of guests (I hope we’re not sounding lazy!) and then there’s little cleaning up to do as well.

  22. Poor Arabella! I hope she’s ok and over the heartbreak. The age of cell phones and social media, it’s a wonder we can converse at all.
    Your cake looks wonderful as do the salad and skewers.
    Hope everyone had a wonderful time.


  23. What a shame about Arabella. There is nothing like a broken heart to darken one’s world.
    The cake looks gorgeous – all that chocolate is a winner.

  24. awww poor arabella, but your comment “just a step up from the break-up via fax” made me chuckle!

  25. What a beautiful meal…and wow! That cake looks awesome. Your family time must have been so delightful. It’s great that everyone contributed. We’re just finishing up our heavy birthday month. Our family is heavy with October birthdays. I bought cake–I’d be such a disappointment to you, Charlie. 🙂

  26. What a lovely get-together, and the food sounds amazing- healthy and delicous!
    Poor Arabella, he obviously isn’t good enough for her at all and I hope she doesn’t waste her time and tears on him- and that her essay doesn’t suffer! Maybe some of this cake will help, it looks scrumptious xox

  27. Oh, poor Arabella! I hope you have some more cake like this on standby to weather the post-break up / study stress situation (I think such situations call for carbohydrate even amongst those who normally avoid it!).

  28. Ouch. An electronic breakup is so low. Poor thing. Did she get some leftover cake to help ease the pain?

  29. What a gorgeous cake! But poor Arabella. I would think an electronic breakup would be particularly tough.

  30. mmm, I love a good chocolate cake with berries! This looks delicious, and what a gorgeous place to enjoy it 🙂

  31. Man that looks good. Sorry to hear about Arabella’s break up. Tell her men are like buses……there will be another one along shortly.

  32. Fabulous cake to end off a family get together and a lovely finish to what looked like an awesome meal. Poor Arabella, I hope her heart isn’t broken for too long.
    Have a beautiful day. 🙂 xo

  33. It’s amazing what can be done via text in this day and age. I really had to laugh out loud at your fax comment. But with that said, teenage drama or not, I do remember feeling how real all those crazy emotions were. Poor Arabella. He’s obviously not very brainy or maybe is blind to let such a beautiful girl go! She’ll have another one wanting to wine and dine her in no time, I’m sure. 🙂

    Your cake looks fabulous! As soon as I get over this hideous dizzy vertigo thing I’m going to make it.

  34. I haven’t used Hazelnut meal for baking, but if it works anything like almond meal, I’d love it. It does sound like a dense cake, but that’s the texture I prefer, and you are right, you’d want smaller wedges. What a lovely dinner!

  35. Poor Arabella, give her loads of hugs! Your cake is soooooo pretty, and would be perfect for a fun gathering! I love gluten free cake, they are usually so rich and moist:-) Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  36. Wonderful cake! (It’s the hazelnut flour that would kill our budget here.)And the view! Isn’t that where you usually go for Boxing Day? I almost said something recently when you told someone you liked the idea of Thanksgiving day.As you have described it, it is often very much like your Boxing Day…a day of food, friends, family, (ahem), in a more casual atmosphere than big religious holidays.


  1. […] too — in March. Every year I’m on the lookout for “the” birthday cake and Hotly Spiced’s Gluten Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake is “it.” (Thanks, […]

  2. […] I’d hoped for: chocolate-y, hazelnut-y, heavenly! But, silly me… I halved the cake recipe and made a full batch of the ganache! (Subliminal thinking?) The double-thick topping tasted like […]

Speak Your Mind