Gluten-free fudge cake with coconut cream and berries

Gluten-free Fudge Cake with Coconut Cream & Berries | A Dash of Compassion

It turns out my kale and quinoa tabbouleh salad really did get me back on track. Of course, it’s no coincidence that my week of super healthy eating (except for that slice of birthday cake that was put in front of me last weekend…oops!) offered the immune-boosting power to fight off the painful, phlegmy, energy-zapping cold that was. Now I feel fantastic, the sun is shining, and I’m ready to get on with life.

And baking, of course.

Enter today’s creation: a gluten-free fudge cake topped with coconut whipped cream and berries. Because fresh berries in my local grocery store are the true sign of summer and that’s reason enough for me to celebrate. Don’t you think?

This actually started out as a quest to perfect a gluten-free brownie, but after three unsatisfactory trials I switched things up a bit and instead came up with this cake-like brownie—in other words, something I’m going to call a fudge cake. It’s dense and moist like a brownie but has a cake-like crumb. And you won’t even be able to tell it’s gluten-free.

I topped the cake with a super easy coconut whipped cream, made simply of the cream from the top of a can of coconut milk, a couple of teaspoons of sweetener and the seeds of a vanilla bean. No wonder this stuff is so popular. Unlike traditional whipped cream or frosting, this stuff has just enough sweet without being overbearing. It also makes a perfect addition to my Sunshine in Jar and Dark Chocolate Mousse Cups.

Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk (I like Native Forest brand) and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours. That way the cream separates from the liquid and it whips up nice and thick. You can find a good tutorial on how to make it here. I’ve never flipped the can over like Angela demonstrates in the tutorial; I prefer to scoop the cream from the top of the can instead. But do whatever works for you.

Gluten-free Fudge Cake with Coconut Cream & Berries | A Dash of Compassion

Oh, and make sure to enjoy this after consuming a big bowl of greens. We need to stay healthy for summer, right?

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Gluten-free fudge cake with coconut cream and berries

Yield: 8-inch cake


    • 2/3 cup chickpea flour
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 2 tbsp tapioca starch
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/8 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp hot water
    • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
    • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Coconut cream:

  • 1 can (13.5oz) full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 2-3 tsp agave nectar or other sweetener
  • Seeds of one vanilla bean


    1. Preheat the oven to 325F and line an 8x8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper so it's hanging over the sides.
    2. In a medium bowl, sift the chickpea flour, cocoa powder, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together.
    3. In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, applesauce, water, coconut oil and vanilla.
    4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently whisk until combined and smooth.
    5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to even it out. Bake at 325F for 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched. You can also test with a toothpick--it should come out fairly clean few crumbs. It's important not to over bake this cake. The texture should be soft and fudgy.
    6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool. To serve, cut the cake into squares, top with coconut cream and fresh berries and enjoy!

Coconut cream:

  1. Scoop the cream from the top of the can, reserving the coconut water at the bottom of the can for other uses, like smoothies.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the coconut cream until smooth and fluffy, about one minute. Add sweetener and vanilla seeds and whip until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.




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