Cooking with kids

Chocolate birthday cake – free from gluten and sugar

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I love chocolate. My kids love chocolate. And I don’t think I had any influence, chocolate is simply yummy! Therefore we cook a lot of chocolate muffins and treats. On their birthday they ask for chocolate cake (what a surprise, right?).

I remember one time trying to make a strawberry cake. Complete failure, the cake looked like a sad volcano. Never tried since. That is until last summer when my daughter turned three. She asked for a chocolate birthday cake. And you can’t refuse a 3-year-old on her birthday, can you?

The following part contains two affiliate links, which means I get a small income if you decide to shop, at no cost to you.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you might already know we are trying to reduce our sugar intake. So a shop-bought cake was not an option. But I couldn’t risk having another volcano either. What to do, what to do?

Bingo! I shall use ready mixes! We love SweetPea Pantry mixes for pancakes, granola, brownies and carrot muffins. I’ve been using them for a year now (or more). I usually buy them from their website, from Sainsbury’s or Tesco. They are gluten-free and sugar-free, they are nutritious, I can use them to easily cook with the kids and the result is always yummy!

So I bought the brownie mix, two boxes, and then I had to come up with a sugar-free frosting, which was way easier than I’d thought: equal parts of sugar-free chocolate and thick double cream. And that’s all!

My first ever chocolate birthday cake was a hit, the whole family loved it, and it looked really cute with shop-bought decorations (they weren’t eaten).

This year my son turned 6. His wish? You got it, a chocolate birthday cake! So here I was again, using the brownie mix and sugar-free chocolate with double cream. This time though I tried to make a sugar-free syrup as well, just to see how it would all taste. Yes, I had gained confidence and I was ready to experiment!

So here is this year’s chocolate birthday cake. Delicious is the word!

If you are curious to test the SweetPea Pantry mixes or you already know, love and want them, on my Instagram page I am celebrating my first milestone with my first flat lay photo and two boxes of yummy mixes (sponsored by SweetPea Pantry) which will reach one of my followers – it could be you!

For the full recipe and details, scroll down to the end of this post.

This post is not an ad, SweetPea Pantry sponsors only my Instagram celebration and has nothing to do with this post. It’s just me sharing my cooking ideas with you and telling you about the products we love and use on a regular basis.

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Print Recipe
Chocolate birthday cake - sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free
Sugar-free gluten-free chocolate birthday cake
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Syrup (optional)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Syrup (optional)
Sugar-free gluten-free chocolate birthday cake
  1. Pre-heat oven at 180C and, using half of the ingredients for the cake:
  2. In a bowl, mix the coconut oil with the sweetener.
  3. Add the eggs and whisk.
  4. Add the mix and stir through.
  5. Pour into a lined (or oiled and floured) cake tin.
  6. Bake in the over for 12 minutes (10 for gooey, 15 for cakey).
  7. Remove from tin, this is the first layer of the cake. In the meantime, repeat the steps above to bake the second layer of the cake.
  1. Obtain the juice from the 4 clementines.
  2. Add the juice and the sweetener to a pot.
  3. Bring to boil on medium heat and simmer on low heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  1. Pour the cream into a pot.
  2. Break the chocolate into smaller pieces and add to the pot.
  3. Warm up on medium heat and mix until the chocolate has melted, then remove from heat.
Combining everything
  1. If using syrup: With a skewer or a toothpick, make holes into the first layer of the cake and slowly pour half the syrup.
  2. On the first layer of the cake pour 1/4 of the chocolate frosting and spread it evenly.
  3. On top of the first layer with chocolate frosting place the second layer.
  4. If using syrup: pour the remaining syrup on the second layer as you did on the first.
  5. Slowly pour the remaining of the chocolate frosting and spread it on the top and on the side of the cake.
  6. Decorate the cake with candles and all that you want.
Recipe Notes

I recommend keeping the cake in the fridge (if you have any left-overs that is).


  • Kristina G

    Wow, this looks so good and interesting, I must say. I will have to share this with my mom and other friends that are diabetic. It’s hard when you love sweets but can’t eat them. I think the stevia option is probably best. How does the taste compare to a regular cake mix with real sugar? Just curious for your opinion. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • raluca

      We realized how difficult things can get when we decided to cut down on our sugar intake: buying foods or cooking became a challenge. Regarding stevia and xylitol, as far as I know, they both can be consumed in diabetes, though for xylitol I think medical approval from a personal doctor is safer. Both sweeteners can be used to replace sugar in recipes with a ratio of 1:1, but I tend to use even less when using stevia as I find it quite sweet and has a bit of a strong flavour in large quantities πŸ˜‰ Hope this helps!

    • raluca

      Absolutely no sugar (not even in disguise)! The list of ingredients is “Gluten-free Plain Flour (Rice, Potato, Tapioca, Maize, Buckwheat), Dates, Raw Cacao (14%), Flaxseed (9%), Teff Flour (4%), Raising Agent: Sodium Bicarbonate”

  • Luke

    The cakes look great, quite fancy and professional, oh and I like the graphics too! Nifty cake decorations as well. They really add that “is it store bought?” look πŸ™‚ SweatPea Pantry, interesting, I like the simple ingredients.

    Stevia, I find it to be very powerful, almost always too sweet when in a store brought product. That’s just my opinion though. I have long since developed a distaste for sweet sugary things. Yuk. :p (Plain and simple foods with their often subtle and discrete tastes are best suited for me. I mean, take the various brown rices, fabulous subtle tastes when they are freshly simmered to perfection 1 cup at a time in a small saucepan… bowl of rice please! Add a drizzle of dark green rich olive oil and an explosion of salad vegetables!) Anyway where was I? Yeah, sugar, while I have no Diabetes I avoid it as much as possible for sure. But when we do use sugar in cooling it is simple organic cane sugar or real dark brown Demerara sugar (not the cheap false one where white sugar has molasses filtered through it).. Dry hard cookies made of oats, whole wheat brown flour, olive oil and organic sugar. Plus some sunflower seeds. That’s it. Monday is our “cookie day” and, well, today is Monday and just a few hours ago I was gnawing away on said cookies! πŸ™‚ Did I mention how nice and crunchy hard these cookies are!? C*R*U*N*C*H !!! oh my God… my tooth! :)) haha

    What kind of cakes did I have as a child? Hmmm. Well, I do recall several instances of store bought ones, my 7th birthday for instance was a horrible Black Forest cake. I don’t know why this came to be one of my early favorites. Perhaps my mother bought one and I liked it? But I kept asking for them each year! Safeway had decent ones with real whipped cream in their bakery section and made on site. I just recall the rich “burn” that this cake tends to leave behind. I can confidently state it has been near 2 decades since I had Black Forest cake. I should go out o my way to find a good one at a fancy bakery. Then for a couple of birthdays we got Dairy Queen frozen ice cream cake. I think it was a suggestion from one of my mothers friends. We had never heard of this type of cake before – so it was a novelty and interesting to say the least. Downside, even then, was the horrible sweetness. Unbelievable! Made with vast amounts of pure sugar. SIckening. Over the last 2 decades the only birthday cakes I have had were small simple little affairs my mother would make. Kinda sad really. There is a fancy bakery just across the street in the shopping mall – but such gawdy products just don’t appeal to me. Nor do store bought chemical laden cakes in general. For Halloween the “Pumpkin Pie” is sold widely in horrible preservative sugar filled “editions” that are just not for human consumption. We started making our own the last handful of years – easy and proven recipe – no problem but.. mushy paste. Heavy on the cloves and spices. Just not a satisfying cake / pie. So we didn’t make one for this past Halloween. Sigh… am I drifting off topic here/ Nah… cakes and other goodies are the order of the day… and when all is said and done… these are the simple good things that are best in life. There is much more I can add but it would come under Christmas baking, so save it until that time of the year rolls around again πŸ˜‰

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