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Gluten Free Nutella Chocolate Cake

Cold weather always equals a baking day. Today was so cold that all the schools in the area were closed, and anyone who could stay home, did. Considering I am on a two-month winter break, its not like I had to go anywhere anyway, but after sleeping in and lounging about in my pjs for awhile I decided to play with my kitchen as well as my new camera.

I don’t know if it is my new lazy don’t-need-to-do-anything-or-be-anywhere lifestyle or because it was so cold and I didn’t want to put on real clothes in order to drive to the grocery store in a -30 degree wind chill, but I decided to do something that I almost never do and used a box cake mix for the base of my cake. It was also partially because I wanted to make a gluten free cake, and it can be a real hassle to have all the right flours on hand in the correct proportions. I have always been fond of the brand Glutino, and so the other day I picked up a box of their chocolate cake mix–which I had never tried before.

True to form though, I added in some extra ingredients to make it a bit more “homemade.” I didn’t plan that in advance, but as I started pulling out all the necessary ingredients I felt too strong of pains of regret for not spending hours pouring over recipes and even more hours in the kitchen whipping up a masterpiece. So, instead of adding in milk or buttermilk, I added in a cup of vanilla kefir, and I also added about a tablespoon of almond extract. I don’t really know why I threw that in, but I just felt like it needed an extra something, but thinking of adding in the more typical coffee or extra chocolate seemed too boring.


I did, however, scour the interweb for a new recipe to use for the frosting. Again, I tend to prefer a more traditional Swiss or Italian buttercream, which while more time intensive leads to a better texture and flavor. But I ended up using a simpler yet extremely quick recipe with a Nutella base from the blog Bake to the Roots. Its pretty soft, but it worked perfectly for what I wanted with a single, small layer cake.

I made the cake earlier in the day so it would have a chance to chill in the fridge, and then I made the buttercream right before I wanted to frost the cake. I made the cake in two 6″ layers, and instead of cutting it up further I just left it at two layers. That said, if you use this recipe you could definitely split each layer into two for a four layer cake, or the cake could have been made into an 8″ or 9″ cake for a thinner cake.

I used a typical (if sloppy) frosting technique, though it took absolutely forever because I was playing around the the settings on my camera and took like 150 pictures start to finish. No, I’m not joking -_-



Then comes the stupid/embarrassing/interesting part of the story. My refrigerator is placed right next to a wall, so I can’t adjust the shelves inside unless I pull out the whole thing–which I am not willing (or strong enough) to do. Long story short, I couldn’t place my cake in the fridge to cool/firm up because I had ‘glued’ the cake directly onto a tall-ish serving tray.

Luckily for me, it was like a million degrees below zero. So I got creative and just opened one of my windows and stuck the cake on the sill–and it worked!


Of course by this time the sun is starting to set and I am running out of places with decent lighting, so I took most of my pictures still by the window sill. Like I said, I took a million pictures, but even though I have a new and amazing camera, I know absolutely nothing about cameras or picture taking, so…its a work in process.

I did add a few buttercream roses to the top and side of the cake for a little extra pizzaz. As I mentioned before, the buttercream is a bit on the softer side, and in retrospect I probably should have added in a little extra powdered sugar before I piped the roses, though it all worked out okay in the end.




I love that the cake is so simple and yet so stunning, all of which is clearly evident when you slice into it. I also had to slice into it because I decided to bring the rest to my parents house, and I didn’t know if I would be able to smuggle any back home with me.




Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more adventures in and out of the kitchen!



  1. pollyjanebutterworth says

    This is awesome! I’ve been experimenting with Nutella cupcakes but this idea is great, definitely next on my to-do list on a rainy day!

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