20 February 2016

Allergy-Friendly Chocolate Cake (that Actually Tastes Good)

chocolate fudge cake recipe - gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, refined sugar free (and still tastes good)

Last week I hosted a wee last minute birthday surprise for a dear friend, who was right in the middle of a "Daniel Fast" - three weeks of eating nothing but vegan food, but with the added complicated of no gluten, no sugar, no caffeine and no alcohol. Awesome time to have a birthday, right? Not.
To put it plainly my friend had pretty much resigned herself to not celebrating her birthday, because, how?

A birthday with raw nuts, fruit and veg. I mean, not even a birthday cake?

We couldn't have that.
I remembered my clever friend Delissimon's amazingly easy, egg-and-dairy free chocolate fudge cake that I've made on a number of occasions, and decided to try and adapt that, to make it completely Daniel Fast friendly. thereby supplying my fasting friend with a birthday cake that sat within "the rules" of her fast.
Even after messing with the recipe to replace sugar with coconut sugar etc, it still tasted like a chocolate cake should - light, fudgey, rich and a wee bit decadent. The verdict from the birthday girl was a big thumbs up.

After posting photos on Instagram, I had a bunch of requests for the recipe, so I decided to share my version of it with my adaptations to make it everything-free.
This version used decaf coffee instead of plain water which gave it a rich fudgey flavour. As well as tasting great and being allergy friendly, it's ridiculously easy to make.

Here it is:
chocolate fudge cake recipe - gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, refined sugar free (and still tastes good)


  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking mix
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup decaffeinated espresso coffee (or water, for the purist)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons oil (not olive oil; the taste is too strong)

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  2. Into a bowl, put the dry ingredients and coconut sugar; stir together
  3. Mix in the coffee/water and vanilla (mix really well using a whisk)
  4. Whisk together the white vinegar and oil until thoroughly mixed and then add to cake mixture
  5. Once completely mixed smooth, pour into a WELL OILED cake tin (I used a silicone ring tin for this one)
  6. Bake for 20-25 mins (not fan forced) or until cake springs back when lightly pressed,
  7. Allow to cool before turning out onto a cake platter.
Serve with simple Berry Coulis, and sorbet.

NOTE: I've used this recipe before for parties, both as cupcakes and the birthday cake, when I've known we'd have little guests with allergies. It's good enough that nobody without allergies even knows the difference and the little party guests can partake of what everyone else is having.

Last minute party - string up bunting, light some lights

EVERYONE NEEDS A FUSS MADE ON THEIR BIRTHDAY: As well as being in the middle of her "Daniel fast", my friend's birthday also happened to land on a night scheduled for our weekly women's "connect" group (which she leads); when I txted her to find out her plans (expecting she'd be taking the night off), she txted back that it was business as usual. Shock, horror!

It really doesn't take much to make someone feel special - just a bit of effort

That would never do! So I messaged all the other girls in the group to let them know we'd be turning our night into a wee surprise birthday, hung bunting, lit candles, made peach iced tea and virgin pina coladas = instant party).

A party is basically just friends hanging out, in honour of someone. All you need is cake (and bunting) and candles.

By the time another friend turned up with raw snickers bars and coconut chocolate tart, well, the birthday girl nearly died and the birthday was saved. Who knew you could eat so well, when you can hardly eat anything? No matter what, every birthday should be celebrated, somehow - and last minute is better than not-at-all!

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