Gluten free simple French chocolate cake

Gluten free simple French chocolate cake

After reading the latest Lickedspoon Substack newsletter by Debora Robertson, I was inspired to make a gluten free version of the simple French chocolate cake recipe she shared.

I’m a huge fan of Debora Robertson. Last year I treated myself to her book, Notes from a small kitchen Island. It’s a book I cannot wait to get lost in. Debora is one of my favourite food writers, and I share her love of ALL that is great about food.

After giving this nice and easy to make French chocolate cake a whirl and enjoying its rich deliciousness immensely, I felt it was only right to mention it to you, should you fancy giving it a go too!

I’ve made this chocolate cake twice so far. The first time, I used a combination of caster and dark brown muscovado sugar. The second time, I used all caster sugar. I have to say there wasn’t much in it. However, I think the addition of muscovado sugar gives the cake a more intense chocolatey flavour, and it’s maybe slightly less sweet. But again, I don’t feel that there was an obvious difference.

I love that this cake is dense, yet still lovely and soft. It’s a cake that can be enjoyed, simply sliced and enjoyed with a nice hot cuppa or it could be jazzed up with berries and fresh cream to transform it into a fancier after dinner pud.


For the cake
200g *dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids, broken into pieces

200g unsalted butter, cubed
Pinch of salt
120g caster sugar OR 80g caster sugar and 40g dark or light brown muscovado sugar
60g gluten free plain/all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

To finish
Icing sugar to dust over the cake (optional)

ingredients for gluten free simple French chocolate cake


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6/180C Fan (**you will need to adjust the temperature the moment you put the cake in the oven).

Lightly butter a 21cm loosed-bottomed cake tin. Dust the tin with gluten free plain/all-purpose flour and tip out any excess.

21cm loose bottomed cake tin dusted with gluten free flourLine the base with baking paper and then lightly grease with butter over the top of the paper.

21 cm loose bottomed cake tin dusted with gluten free flour , base lined with baking paperPut the chocolate, butter and salt into a large heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water, and allow the butter and chocolate to slowly met. Once melted, mix well to combine.

melted chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot waterCarefully remove the bowl from the pan and then add the sugar (or sugars).

Melted butter and chocolate in a bowl with sugar addedLeave for a minute, and then using a whisk or handheld electric mixer whisk for about 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and glossy. I’d recommend wearing an apron or do this in your scruffs, as the mixture tends to splash!

Stir in the gluten free flour.

Gluten free French chocolate cake mixture with gluten free flour addedNext, gradually add the beaten eggs, slowly whisking as you go. It may look a bit grainy at this stage but keep whisking until the mixture is silky smooth.

Gluten free simple French chocolate cake before being baked Transfer the mixture into the prepared tin and place on a baking tray in the oven and **Immediately turn the oven down to 160C/325F/Gas 3/140C Fan.

Gluten free French chocolate cakeBake for 25-30 minutes (on both occasions my cake took just 25 minutes to bake) until the outside of the cake is just pulling away from the sides and the centre still has a little wobble to it.

Freshly baked gluten free French chocolate cakeRemove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes, before transferring onto a plate.

Once cold, dust over with icing sugar, if you wish!

Gluten free French chocolate cake - cut into slicesRecipe notes and suggestions:

The cake keeps well in an airtight tin for a good 3-4 days.

You may notice a few bubbles on the top of the cake when you remove it from the oven. They appeared on both occasions when I made the cake, but they were not at all detrimental to the overall cake and were well and truly hidden with the dusting of icing sugar.

M&S sell a fabulous brandy cream over the festive season. I think this cream would work SO well with this cake. You could of course make something similar.

Whilst this cake is splendid just how it comes, Debora suggested a few other things that you may like to add to the cake mixture, should you wish to ring the changes…

  • A tablespoon of *vanilla extract or brandy
  • The finely grated zest of an unwaxed orange with perhaps a pinch of *cinnamon
  • A small handful of roughly chopped *walnuts
  • Some *sultanas soaked overnight in brandy, cognac or kirsch
  • Some raspberries scattered across the top just before baking


Thanks for checking out this gluten free simple French chocolate cake. Full credit to Debora Robertson for the original recipe. Click here to check out Debora’s Substack.

For now,
Liz x


*Check this product to ensure that there are no gluten containing ingredients or ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack.


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