This chocolate ganache-covered buttery cake happens to be gluten-free too

From Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s, ‘Sweet’, expect this coconut-laced cake to be amazing, of course.

From Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s, ‘Sweet’, expect this coconut-laced cake to be amazing, of course

(Photography by Peden + Munk)

With its coconut-laced base and uber-rich icing, this cake is sure to quell all your fears about gluten-free desserts and become your new go-to.

Belinda’s Flourless Coconut and Chocolate Cake

By Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

There’s something about a cake showcasing its flourlessness or gluten-free nature that can often make it sound a little bit lacking. Unfairly so, in a case like this, where the feeling of eating it is the very opposite of “free from”; it’s utterly buttery and decadent.


  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup finely shredded coconut
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ⅔ cups almond meal

Water ganache:

  • 2 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped into ⅓ inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla pod
  • 1 ½ tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ¾ inch cubes


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the base and sides of a standard 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan or a 9 inch round springform pan and line with parchment paper, then set aside.

Place butter, sugar, coconut, vanilla seeds and salt in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. Beat on medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the speed on low, add the almond meal and mix until just combined.

Scrape the mixture into the pan and bake for 40 minutes if using the loaf pan or 50 minutes if using the round pan, or until the cake is golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and set aside to cool in the pan before inverting onto a serving plate. Set aside until completely cool.

To make the water ganache when you are ready to serve, place the chocolate  in a medium bowl and set aside. Put the sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir to combine and, when the sugar has melted, increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring gently from time to time. Continue to boil for about 7 minutes, until the color is a pale amber. Remove from the heat and carefully pour in the water. Don’t worry if the mix seizes; just return the pan to the heat, add the vanilla seeds and stir gently and continuously until it returns to a boil and the sugar has melted again. Remove from the heat and wait for a minute before pouring  the water-caramel over the chocolate. Allow to stand for about 3 minutes, then whisk to combine. Add the butter, a couple of cubes at a time, whisking after each addition. Continue until all the butter has been added, whisking to combine until the consistency is that of thick syrup.

Spread the ganache over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides a little, and serve.

Note: This cake will keep well for up to 5 days in an airtight container. It can be eaten on the day of making, but we think it tastes even better served at room temperature the following day.

Excerpted from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh (Appetite by Random House®, $45). Photography by Peden + Munk. ©2017.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.