Gluten-free, no-flour chocolate hazelnut cake with cheesecake frosting


I am one of those souls that got lured in by the baking gods. I LOVE baking. To me it’s an art of mindfulness. When you bake, you create something beautiful while being in the moment. How often do we do things in our everyday lives without actually being THERE? With baking it’s different, as you can’t just aimlessly add stuff and hope for the best. A cake or dough of any sort is usually a carefully orchestrated affair. What you mix in matters and changes the outcome. Every baking product needs a base structure (provided by flour or ground nuts) and a glue to hold everything in place (e.g., eggs or vinegar, milk and oil mix like in these egg-less cupcakes). Also, there is a difference, whether you add baking powder or baking soda, even though both cause the dough to rise. The former, however, does so by lightening the texture, while the latter achieves the same by making the dough more tender and neutralizing certain acids in it. That’s why some recipes require both while others ask for only one. It therefore makes sense to actually add the agent listed and not merely exchange it for the other. Many people also often wonder why they should add a pinch of salt to a sweet pastry or cake dough. The answer is quite simple: it enhances flavors in your baking goods. For instance, it makes chocolate or vanilla pop more.

Now this recipe is for a cake without flour, although you wouldn’t really realize it. It’s moist, yet it’s got a lot of structure and stability. That makes it an ideal choice for a birthday cake. Besides, it’s gluten-free without requiring any special type of gluten-free flour or specialty ingredient that you can only get in a limited number of places. Every product in this cake is something you will have at home anyways.

Servings: 12 * Preparation time: 30 min * Start to finish: min

Ingredients for the cake

  • 7 ounces (200 grams) of ground hazelnuts
  • 5.3 ounces (150 grams) of grated chocolate
  • 2.8 ounces (80 grams) of room temperature butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 generous teaspoon of baking powder
  • Cooking spray or butter for the cake mold

Ingredients for the frosting

  • 14 ounces of cream cheese
  • 8.8 ounces (250 grams) of confectioner’s sugar
  • Food coloring of choice

Mix the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. Next, separate the eggs and stir in the yolks. Grate the chocolate and add it to the bowl as well, followed by the ground hazelnuts and baking powder. Beat the egg white in a separate bowl until stiff and gently fold it into the dough.

Prepare a 9 inch/22 cm cake mold using either cooking spray or butter and then pour the dough into it. Bake the cake in the pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit/175 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes.

While the cake is baking, it’s time to prepare the frosting. For that, simply mix the cream cheese and the confectioner’s sugar. Make sure to sift the sugar when adding it to the mixing bowl, as you thereby avoid any lumps in the frosting. Add some food coloring if you like and then let the frosting chill in the fridge until you are ready to apply it. Wait until you are absolutely certain that the cake has fully cooled down. This should be the case after an hour, give or take.

You essentially have two options regarding the frosting: you can add everything as a topping or you can cut the cake vertically and insert a cream cheese frosting layer between the two halves. Both work fine, so it’s merely a question of preference. The cake itself is fluffy and moist enough that you won’t necessarily need a layer inside like you would with some other types.

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