A Gluten Free Chocolate Cake (Passover-Friendly)

Passover is coming up!

What does that mean? -- If you are Jewish (and observing), you must not eat any leavened bread for the week of Passover because when the Israelites were fleeing Egypt after being enslaved for a bazillion years they did not have enough time for their bread to rise -- so they got stuck with a flat, cracker-like thing that we now call matzah. (You may have noticed it along with other kosher for Passover branded products creeping into your grocery stores.) Passover was my least favorite holiday when I was younger. No cereal, no bread, no pasta… what the @#$% was I supposed to eat?!! Today, there are so many alternatives other than the branded kosher for Passover pre-boxed cakes (which are less than satisfactory in my humble opinion).

In my adult life I have cut down quite a bit on gluten and have developed many gluten free recipes for cakes and desserts. This one that I sharing with you is one of my (and my mom’s) favorite cakes. It is gluten free and dairy free (it does contain nuts), so it is perfect for people that want a parve (prepared without dairy or meat) dessert after their Seders.

I originally developed this recipe for my roommate’s birthday after trying an amazing chocolate cake from Hu Kitchen, a paleo eatery in NYC. I couldn’t spare the cash to buy a cake from Hu, so I figured I would have to recreate it! I trolled the internet and found a few recipes I liked for reference and then took a whack at it myself. I further developed the recipe when working on Robyn Youkilis’s book Go With your Gut, which contains a BUNCH of amazing gut healthy, gluten free, dairy free recipes. So if you have not already, check it out!!

I have since adapted the recipe, playing with sweetener among other things…  My mother is not a frosting fan, so I gave her chocolate ganache instead. Thank you, and you’re welcome!

½ cup melted coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
3 cups blanched almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
¾ cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
¼ cup raw coconut palm sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 can full fat coconut milk
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scooped -- I always go for the bean if I have it around!!
¼ cup maple syrup

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F

  2. Grease the bottom of a round springform pan, you can play around with sizes, when I make this for my mom I use a 10-inch pan
    *If you are planning to make a two layer cake (see below), I would opt for a smaller radius

  3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients:  almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: coconut oil, coconut milk, eggs vanilla and maple syrup

  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, gently mixing together

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  7. Let the cake cool completely before assembling!

  8. Marvel in the wonder (and deliciousness!) of this amazing gluten-free cake!!!



16 oz of dark chocolate, chopped or you can use chips -- Hu makes a great non-dairy chocolate
1 15oz can of coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or ⅓ of a vanilla bean)

  1. Place chopped chocolate in a medium sized, heat safe bowl and set aside

  2. In a small saucepan heat the coconut milk until it starts to bubble up

  3. Pour heated milk over chocolate, add vanilla and stir until incorporated
    **this can be done once cake is cooled


Crushed hazelnuts -- these are for my mama
Coconut flakes
Fresh raspberries
Chocolate chips- or shavings if you have time 

Ok so it depends on how fancy you want to get with this… I am a no muss no fuss kind of lady, but sometimes I do like showing off, so when I do it is like this:

  1. Cut cake in half horizontally so you will have 2 layers -- this takes a large knife and a lot of concentration. If I am in the company of my mother I will usually leave this step to her because she is a perfectionists, and perfectionists don’t mess things up. Plus she is an artist, so she is good with her hands ;)

  2. Divide the chocolate ganache into two even parts

  3. Add some crushed hazelnuts to one of the halves and mix well -- this is going to be your crunchy center

  4. Place bottom of cake on your cake plate

  5. Spread nutty ganache evenly and top with the other half of the cake

  6. Pour the rest of the ganache on top of the cake and let it drip down the sides

  7. Sprinkle the rest of your crushed hazelnuts over the top!

  8. Enjoy every bite!

Let me know how it comes out if you decide to make it! 


Nonna Gaby

Gabrielle Kassin