Gluten free kärleksmums cake (Scandinavian spiced chocolate fondant cake)

    1 hour

    A traditional Scandinavian Kärleksmums Love Cake is basically a huge, spiced chocolate fondant for 12 people. My recipe is gluten-free and has a gooey middle, a crunchy topping, and loads of Scandi-inspired spices in both the cake and topping.


    3 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • For the cake
    • 4 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder (45g)
    • 100ml boiling water (100g)
    • 200ml milk (205g)
    • 200g unsalted butter, softened
    • 240g golden granulated or caster sugar
    • 2 large eggs (140g total when weighed in shells)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 350g gluten free plain flour
    • 50g ground almonds
    • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
    • zest of 1 small orange
    • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
    • 1/4 tsp ground mace (or ground nutmeg)
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • For the topping
    • 300g icing sugar
    • 4 tablespoons orange juice (use the zested orange from the cake)
    • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
    • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 50g desiccated coconut nibs
    • sifted icing sugar, to decorate
    • sea salt, to decorate (optional)

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

    1. Preheat your oven to 180 C / 160 C Fan / Gas 4. Very lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 23-24cm (9-9.5″) diameter springform cake tin, and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment.
    2. In a measuring jug, mix the cocoa powder and boiling water to create a paste, then leave to cool slightly. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly until fully combined.
    3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer (hand-held or stand), cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, with the vanilla, beating well with each addition, and continue whisking for a few minutes on medium speed. (You need this to be as fluffy as possible – so, you probably can't achieve that manually.)
    4. In a second bowl, mix the flour, ground almonds, bicarb, citrus zest, and spices manually with a fork.
    5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture in thirds, alternating with the cocoa liquid, mixing continuously by hand. Don’t worry about over-mixing, as this is gluten-free – in fact, keep incorporating as much air as you can. The cake mixture will be thick, but should be very smooth. Spread the mixture into your prepared tin, and level the top.
    6. Bake for around 30 minutes, turning the tin halfway through for even baking. When the centre has only the slightest wobble and a skewer inserted in the centre is *almost* clean, remove from the oven.
    7. Leave the cake to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then un-clip and remove the ring, and slide the cake on its base onto a cooling rack. Don’t worry that it sinks in the middle as it cools, and it’s fine to be a bit gooey in the centre – that’s the way it should be.
    8. Put icing sugar, orange juice, coffee, cocoa, vanilla, cardamom and coconut into a saucepan on the hob on the very lowest heat. Melt together gently, stirring all the while, until thoroughly combined – and don’t let it do anything more than the mildest simmer. If you see coffee granules, bash them with your spoon until they're fully mixed in (see footnote).
    9. Move the cooled cake to a serving platter, remove the tin base, and pour the topping around the top of the sides and into the centre. Be aware that the topping hardens quite quickly.
    10. Sift over some more icing sugar (and if you want a more authentic Kärleksmums, grind over some sea salt, too). Slice before the topping hardens – this picture shows what happens if you let it go even 15 minutes before slicing.

    Dissolving the coffee...

    You can put the orange juice in a teacup, and heat in the microwave until very hot, then stir in the coffee granules until they're fully melted, before adding to the rest of the icing ingredients on the hob.


    If you only have cardamom pods, you can use 8 green pods in the cake and 4 in the icing. Husk the pods and heartily crush the seeds before using in the recipe.

    Measuring note

    If you wish to weigh all of the ingredients for the cake, the weight is noted in parentheses where needed.

    See it on my blog

    Gluten-Free Kärleksmums Love Cake

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