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Gluten-Free Chocolate Fudge Cake – for celebrations!
Nothing beats a gluten-free chocolate fudge cake for those special occasions of celebration and indulgence. This chocolate-rich, gooey and luscious cake is a perfect birthday cake to present with simple edible cake decorations and fresh strawberries. Very little cake decorating skills are needed to replicate this cake.
Before I moved to Vienna, I ran a small catering company in Singapore, mainly making birthday cakes and party food for adults’ and children’s parties. I was busy!!
This chocolate cake recipe is the same one (except now gluten-free) which I used for countless birthday cake orders. Even in the tropical hot weather, chocolate fudge cake was in high demand. Here are a few photos of past orders using the same recipe to give you some ideas for decorating or styling your birthday cake.
Which Cocoa Powder should I use?
One important tip is to use the very best cocoa powder. In Vienna, I use Callebaut (Belgium) or Valrhona (French) brands, however, using a top-quality home brand will be just fine to give that velvet-smooth chocolatey fudgy taste to the cake.
Understand the frosting
The frosting/icing will appear quite runny when you finish making it, but after several hours of chilling, it will thicken and be manageable to spread. It is important to not keep the assembled cake out at room temperature for more than one hour (30 minutes in the tropics) or the frosting/icing will soften too much.
I hope you enjoy making this cake for your special someone or even for yourself.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Fudge Cake
- Balloon whisk
GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CAKE
- 250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 400 g caster sugar
- 500 ml water
- 30 g good quality cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 750 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
- 1 tbsp xanthan gum
- 1 tbsp gluten-free baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 12 halved fresh strawberries, to position on the centre of the cake
CHOCOLATE FUDGE FROSTING
- 200 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 140 ml water
- 180 g caster sugar
- 270 g icing sugar, sifted
- 70 g good quality cocoa powder, sifted
- store-bought chocolate decorations, for decorating
- fresh strawberries, to garnish
- whipped cream, to serve (optional)
CHOCOLATE FUDGE FROSTING
- In a medium pan, combine the butter, water and caster sugar.
- Over a low heat, mix the ingredients until melted and the sugar has dissolved. Be careful not to boil it.
- Sift the icing sugar and cocoa in a bowl.
- Using an electric hand whisk or a balloon whisk, gradually add the butter mixture to the icing mixture.
- Whisk until smooth and glossy.
- Cover the bowl and chill for a minimum of 1 hour to thicken and slightly set.
GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE
Preparing the cake tins:
- Prepare the cake tins by lightly greasing the interior with butter, then dusting flour all over. Tap the excess flour out into the sink or in the bin.
- Sketch the base of the tin on baking paper. Cut out a circle or square shape following the sketch.
- Place the cut-outs on the base of the floured cake tins.
Preparing the cake batter:
- Add the butter, sugar, water, sifted cocoa and bicarb. of soda in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Bring down the heat to low and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. It should look like hot chocolate, slightly glossy underneath the foam.
- Leave the butter-chocolate mixture in the pot to cool down in the fridge for at least one hour.
- Using a bench stand mixer or an electric hand mixer on a low setting, whisk in the eggs one at a time into the butter-chocolate mixture.
- Sift the flour gradually over the mixture and whisk in well.
- Pour the cake mixture into the cake tins nearly ¾ full.
- Tap the base several times to release any air bubbles.
Baking the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Bake the cake one at a time or if they both fit on the middle shelf for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake top feels bouncy and set. Insert a toothpick in the centre, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
- Allow the cake to cool down in the tins on a wire rack for 30 minutes before removing them from the tin.
- To remove the cake from the tin, slide a butter knife around the edges to loosen it from the pan. Then place the wire rack on top of the cake pan and flip it over. Tap the base lightly and gently ease the cake onto the wire rack. Remove the baking paper from the base and allow it to cool down further.
Decorating the cake:
- Remove the frosting/icing from the fridge. Give it a stir. If it is too thick and hard, zap it in the microwave in intervals of 15 seconds until it is soft and manageable to frost the cake.
- Spread the frosting/icing on the first cake layer. Layer the side that had the baking paper under it as it will be the most level to frost.
- Place the fresh halved strawberries on top of the frosting.
- Add a bit of frosting/icing under the second cake. This helps the cake stay put on top of the strawberries.
- Stack the second cake on top of the first frosted cake with the smooth part facing up.
- Start frosting the entire cake top and sides.
- Ice the fudge icing onto the frosting using an icing bag and a large flower nozzle to create the swirl design as indicated in the photo or create your own design.
- Decorate it with edible (gluten-free!) chocolate curls, chocolate buttons, iced flowers, figurines etc around the sides and on top of the cake.
- Chill the cake for at least one hour before presenting it on a platter with birthday candles and more strawberries and a bowl of whipped cream.
- Keeps for 3 days chilled.
- Freezes well as sliced portions.
Try different fruits to fill and serve with the cake, like raspberries or cherries.