3 Gluten and Dairy Free Birthday Cakes

by | Feb 17, 2015

I have a dairy and wheat intolerant child, so I don’t get to buy fancy birthday cakes for him every year. Besides, I like to experiment to see if I can come up with something palatable myself.

We have three birthdays in quick succession in our house (Christmas day, and then 22nd and 27th of January). The girls aren’t intolerant to anything, but I still make them a cake that is suitable for their brother to eat. It would hardly be fair if I presented them with a fancy cake and then we all tuck in whilst he looks on would it?

I didn’t want to be a one cake pony, so I experimented with three different recipes this time. They are each adapted from recipes here and there, with some twists of my own. Of course, the decorative bit was purely from my imagination. It’s the one part where I am least creative, but they all seemed to go down well just the same.

Cake No.1

Chocolate almond cake (inspired by Nigella’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake recipe)



300ml olive oil
100g good-quality cocoa powder (sifted)
250ml boiling water
4tsp vanilla extract
300g ground almonds
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
300g caster sugar
6 large eggs


Preheat your oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF
Add the hot water to the sifted cocoa powder and mix until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla, then allow to cool
In a separate bowl mix the ground almonds with the bicarb and salt
Add the cocoa liquid and continue beating
Finally stir in the ground almond mix

Split between two greased and lined round cake tins and bake for 40-45 minutes

Chocolate topping

150g dairy free chocolate
145ml dairy free cream (consistency of double cream)

Melt the chocolate with the cream, over a pan of boiling water
Allow to cool before using half to sandwich the two cakes together and the rest to spread on top

Cake No.2

Sponge Cake (inspired by my mum’s tried and tested sponge sandwich recipe)


Coconut cream topping – do this first (this comes from a recipe by Daniella Walker and is American, so I don’t have the measurements in grams and ml’s)

¼ cup creamed coconut
3 tbsp rice syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
1 tbsp coconut milk
½ tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp apple cider vinegar

Combine all of the ingredients and whisk well. Put in the fridge and leave to thicken whilst you get on with making the cake

Cake Ingredients

250g gluten free flour blend – 75g sorghum, 25g rice flour, 100g tapioca, 5og quinoa flour
200g sugar
225g butter
4 eggs
2tsp baking powder
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp rice milk


Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4
Mix together the flours and baking powder
Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs
Add in the flour and beat thoroughly
Add the golden syrup and rice milk and beat again

Divide between two greased and lined round cake tins and bake for 30 minutes
When cool, sandwich together with strawberry jam and spread the coconut frosting over the top

Cake No.3

Chocolate courgette cake


250g flour (75g sorghum, 25g rice flour, 100g tapioca, 5og white teff)
3 eggs
300g sugar
225ml vegetable oil
50g plain chocolate, melted
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
½tsp salt
225g grated courgette


Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4
Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale
In separate bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt
Whisk this gradually in to the egg mixture
Stir in the courgette

Divide between two greased and lined baking tins and bake for 30 minutes
When cool sandwich together with apricot jam

Cream cheese topping
35g unsalted butter
130g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla
150g cream cheese

Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla, then add the cream cheese until blended
Spread over the top of the cake

Of course, you can mix and match the topping any way you prefer and have fun with the decorations (unless you are like me and panic when it comes to this stage).



  1. mytravelmonkey

    Erm, Nikki. I think the new series of Bake Off beckons! They all look amazing! I’m not a great baker myself, and the fact these are all gluten free… Amazing! You must have been tied to the oven 🙂

    • Nicola Young

      Hardly! The ribbon hides a multitude of sins. I’m more about the taste than the presentation.


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