Gluten free, dairy free chocolate cake

I was a little nervous of this one, I’ve only baked gluten free cupcakes and dairy free cupcakes previously, but not gluten free AND dairy free! Luckily I found this perfect recipe…


Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake:
  • 2-1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used Doves gluten free self-raising flour)
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar (caster sugar)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage (I used Koko dairy free milk)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup mild flavor oil (such as sunflower seed, grapeseed, or canola) I used sunflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used two teaspoons of vanilla, not a tablespoon)


For the Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF (approx. 170ºC).
  2. Line the bottom of 2 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and spray each with cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour blend, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the coconut milk beverage, warm water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour over the flour mixture and beat for 1 minute.
  5. Evenly divide the cake batter between the prepared cake pans, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then invert onto cooling rack to cool completely.

For the buttercream, I made chocolate to sandwich and cover the cake, and vanilla to pipe roses onto the top.


150g Pure soya dairy free spread
200g Icing sugar
50g Green & Blacks cocoa powder
1 dessert spoon Koko dairy free milk

For vanilla, as above, but use 300g icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Combine all of the ingredients and beat for 5 minutes. The soya spread is much wetter than butter and doesn’t set. If you’re piping with soya spread buttercream, put the buttercream in the fridge for half and hour before putting it in the piping bag and work quickly to pipe otherwise the buttercream starts to melt and separate.

Keep the cake in a cool place to avoid melting!! Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of my version, fingers crossed the birthday party-goers took one 🙂


Rockin’ Guitar Cake

Guitar cakeOne of my most exciting cake projects last year was this one – a guitar cake for a 60th birthday rock party!

The body of the guitar is malted vanilla sponge and the guitar neck is chocolate sponge. I used a printed template to get the body shape which was covered in Renshaw’s Amethyst Purple fondant. The trickiest part was covering the part closest to the neck, as it’s pretty narrow! I then sprayed the body with edible lustre spray to give it a bit of sparkle.

Pickups, switches, etc. were moulded in fondant, sprayed silver and placed on once the guitar cake neck and body were united (I had to use two large rectangle cake boards). Instead of piping the strings, I used edible shoe laces (from Tesco) to add a bit of extra colour.

One of my favourite cakes from 2013 🙂

Surprise 60th birthday cupcakes

Chocolate 60th birthday cupcakes Vanilla 60th birthday cupcakes 60th birthday cupcakes 60th birthday cupcakesA lovely lady called me up and asked about having some birthday cupcakes made as a surprise for her friend who happens to live in my village (small world, as they say).

She’d seen my coffee and walnut cake covered in buttercream roses, so it was decided that these 60th birthday cupcakes would use rose piping and be chocolate and vanilla. Indulgent and pretty was the brief 🙂

The cupcakes were decorated with edible pearls and fondant discs with ’60’ on top.

So here they are… presented in a 12 hole card cupcake box, fastened with a ribbon. Happy 60th birthday Jan!