American Independence Day!

American-Style Frosted Chocolate CakeAmerican-style frosted chocolate cake

 This is a simple chocolate cake that whips up easily and feels very American! It works well as cupcakes too and the icing can be piped on to finish.


For the cake:

25g (1oz) cocoa powder

1 teaspoon bread soda

510ml (17floz) water

600g (1lb 7oz) caster sugar

225g (9oz) butter/margarine at room temperature, chopped

450g (1lb) Denise’s Delicious flour blend (see below)

1 teaspoon GF baking powder

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

4 large eggs, beaten lightly

Fudge frosting:

75g (3oz) butter/margarine

90ml (3floz) water

100g (4oz) caster sugar

200g (8oz) icing sugar

25g (1oz) cocoa powder

White chocolate curls to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190°C/375°F. Grease a round 27cm/10½in diameter baking tin and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Sieve the cocoa powder and bread soda together and put aside.
  3. Combine the water, sugar and butter/margarine in a medium saucepan, then stir over a low heat, without boiling, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the cocoa and bread soda.
  4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Sieve the flour, baking powder and gum in a separate bowl.
  7. Whisk the eggs and add the flour mixture gradually, whisking between additions. Add this to the cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth.
  8. Pour into the baking tin and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes. Gently insert a skewer into the centre of the cake to check it is fully baked. If baking as cupcakes they will require just 15–20 minutes to bake.
  9. Allow the cake to stand in the tin for ten minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack. Turn the cake top-side-up to cool.

To decorate:

  1. To make the frosting, combine the butter/margarine, water and caster sugar in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat, without boiling, until the butter/ margarine melts.
  2. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl then gradually stir in the hot butter/margarine mixture.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes until the frosting thickens.
  4. Remove the frosting from the fridge and whip with a wooden spoon until spreadable.

Using a palette knife, spread it over the cake and sprinkle with white chocolate curls.

Denise’s Delicious flour blend

This is a great, all-round white flour. If you are avoiding corn, then use tapioca flour instead. There are lots of decent white gluten-free/wheat-free flours on the market, but all perform differently. I have blended this to suit my recipes here.


Makes approximately 850g (2lb) flour blend

250g (10oz) rice flour

25g (1oz) tapioca flour

275g (11oz) potato flour

275g (11oz) corn flour

13g (½oz) teff flour

1 teaspoon gluten-free (GF) baking powder

1 teaspoon guar gum

Sieve all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.


Recipes by Denise O’ Callaghan from her book ‘Recipes from my Gluten-Free Kitchen’ (Mercier Press). Denise is the founder of Denise’s Delicious Gluten-Free Bakery whose product range is available across Ireland from the major supermarkets, artisan food stores and the online store at

Denise recently appeared in our own Neven Maguire’s RTÉ series ‘Healthy Home Chef’ demonstrating gluten-free baking. See RTÉ Player for more.

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