Gluten free and dairy free chocolate chiffon sponge cake

Gluten free and dairy free chocolate chiffon sponge cake


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About this recipe: This feather-light, very moist and chocolaty cake can become your new favourite like it is mine. Use a standard traybake pan (23cm x 30cm) for 24 portions or a round cake tin (24cm diameter) for 12 larger portions.

Makes: 1 24cm cake

  • For the cake
  • 220g gluten-free flour
  • 70g cocoa powder
  • 130g caster sugar (regular or golden)
  • 5 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 medium/large eggs, separated (they should total 360g-380g when weighed in their shells)
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 160ml water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • For the topping
  • 300ml double cream (optional)
  • 50g icing sugar

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Extra time:30min cooling  ›  Ready in:1hr25min 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C /160 C Fan / Gas 4. Grease the tin you have chosen to use and line the bottom and sides with baking paper. You will also need 3 mixing bowls.
  2. In the first bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, caster sugar, baking powder and spices together with a fork.
  3. In the second bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks with an electric beater, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed.
  4. In the third bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the oil, water and vanilla with an electric beater until doubled in volume and fluffy, starting at low speed and gradually increase to high speed. Add 2 teaspoons of the orange zest and whisk again on high speed for 1 minute.
  5. Add the yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula until fully combined and smooth. Add one-third of the egg whites, folding briskly, to loosen the mixture. Then add the rest of the whites and fold carefully until no white lumps or streaks remain.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared tin and smooth the top with the spatula. Bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin (gluten free cakes can be too delicate to turn out of the tin while still hot).
  7. When the cake has cooled, whip the double cream at low speed using an electric beater until soft peaks form. Gradually add the icing sugar and orange juice, and continue whipping at low speed until it looks like stiff peaks. Spread the topping on the cake using a spatula, or, use a piping bag with the decorative nozzle of your choice.


If you require dairy-free, skip the whipped cream topping, and instead dust the cooled cake with the icing sugar. Alternatively, you could mix the orange juice and remaining zest with the icing sugar in a pan, and heat on the hob until you have a syrup. Use as with a lemon drizzle, ie., poke the just-baked cake deeply all over with a skewer and pour the syrup over.


For interesting alternate flavours, you can use 2 teaspoons instant coffee, or 2 teaspoons almond extract, or 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract, instead of the orange zest in the cake. I don’t use the whipped cream topping with these options - instead I sprinkle flaked almonds or white chocolate chips over the cake.

See it on my blog

See this, and more gluten free recipes, on my blog

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