Gluten-free Spiced Chocolate Cherry Cake

Gluten-free Spiced Chocolate Cherry cake

When I can, I like to check out books from the library about European baking: recipes from Austria, the Nordic countries, of course France, and Germany. I recently I found a book on Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss. “German baked goods are generally less sweet than American ones. “Germans don’t eat cake for dessert,” Luisa says. “Baked goods are eaten in the afternoon as a separate meal, not after the meal as a treat. So, the cakes have to be a little more wholesome.”

One of the most widely practiced traditions is the afternoon coffee and cake break called Kaffeezeit. This tradition dates back to Germany’s agricultural times when laborers were hungry by the afternoon and in need of a snack to sustain themselves until dinnertime. “My father-in-law eats cake every afternoon,” says Luisa. “Every day around 3 or 4 p.m., he and his team at the auto shop will put down their tools, wash their hands, and troop across the street to the local bakery to get a cup of coffee and a slice of cake before they go back to work. It’s part of the time-honored German tradition.”   

Recipes in her book use plenty of nuts, spices, interesting combinations of flavors, and most are simple, homey and unpretentious. These are similar to the cakes and cookies I grew up with, and needless to say I got inspired.

I decided to start with a spiced chocolate cherry cake. Luisa uses canned sour cherries, but I had fresh dark sweet cherries at home and I chose to use those – they are still in season. I substituted my Simona’s Flour Mix for regular flour, added a couple of teaspoons of glycerin, and a gluten free version of the original cake was born.


Gluten-free Spiced Chocolate Cherry Cake

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free Course: Recipes
Prep time


Cooking time




  • 150 g 150 unsalted butter, softened – 1/2 cup and 2 1/2 Tablespoons

  • 100 g 100 whole almonds, roasted and unsalted* – 2/3 cup

  • 560 g 560 fresh or frozen cherries, pitted – 2 1/3 cups. If using frozen, make sure to thaw them first.

  • 100 g 100 bittersweet chocolate – 3 1/2 oz

  • 150 g 150 granulated sugar – 3/4 cup

  • 4 large 4 eggs, separated

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 glycerin

  • 100 g 100 Simona’s Flour Mix – 2/3 cup

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon 1 baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 allspice

  • 1/8 teaspoon 1/8 nutmeg

  • 1/2 medium 1/2 lemon zest

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 salt

  • whipped cream whipped cream for serving, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 inch springform pan, line the bottom with greased parchment paper, and set aside.
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, at 20 second increments. Set aside to cool. Add the glycerin before incorporating in the batter.
  • Grind the almonds in a food processor until fine but not reduced to a paste.
  • Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand up mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.
  • In a separate bowl combine the ground almonds, flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and lemon zest. Beat into the butter mixture just until combined.
  • Beat the egg whites with the salt in a clean bowl until they hold firm peaks. Gently stir one third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Then fold the remaining egg whites until no streaks remain.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan evenly. Distribute the cherries over the batter and gently press them in, to lightly anchor them into the batter.
  • Place the cake in the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick insetred in the center comes out clean. Place on a rack to cool for 15 minutes before removing the springform ring.
  • When the cake is completely cool, cut into wedges and serve with whipped cream, if desired. The cake will keep wrapped in plastic, for at least three days and up to 5.


  • *if you cannot find the almonds already roasted and unsalted, use raw almonds and bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown and fragrant, about 8 minutes.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Delicious!!

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