Gluten-free Brooklyn Blackout Cake

A couple of weeks ago the thoughtful husband of a friend reached out to me and asked me if I would bake a cake for his wife’s birthday. “I know she’d really enjoy an actual chocolate cake.” So I offered to bake this wonderful Brooklyn Blackout Cake, which had caught my attention in the Bake from Scratch Cake Collection cookbook. Layers of chocolate cake – with freshly brewed coffee to enhance its flavor – chocolate pudding filling and whipped chocolate ganache frosting. To me, that is a real tribute to chocolate.

According to Wikipedia,Blackout cake, sometimes called Brooklyn Blackout cake was invented during World War II by a Brooklyn bakery chain named Ebinger’s in recognition of the mandatory blackouts to protect the Brooklyn Navy Yard. After the war, the name persisted for a very dark chocolate cake and became common across the American Midwest. Ebinger’s variety was very popular and became a signature offering, popular with Brooklyn residents, until the chain of more than fifty locations closed in 1972.”

My friend Rachel and her husband appreciated my gluten-free version, “This cake is delicious! My husband who is not celiac said it was the best cake he ever had.” So, in her honor, and in recognition of a friendship born in one of my baking classes, I am sharing this recipe with you.

The original recipe suggested cutting 1/4 inch off each cake layer to use them for the classic crumbs. Unfortunately my layers didn’t seem to have enough height, so I am adjusting the recipe so that you will have four layers instead of three. You will use the extra one solely for the purpose of the decorative crumbs.


Gluten-free Brooklyn Blackout Cake

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free Course: RecipesDifficulty: Medium
Prep time




Cooking time




  • For the chocolate cake
  • 170 g 170 unsalted butter, softened – 3/4 cup

  • 96 g 96 Dutch process cocoa powder – 1 cup and 2 Tablespoons

  • 578 g 578 dark brown sugar – 2 2/3 cups

  • 360 g 360 hot brewed coffee – 1 1/2 cups

  • 270 g 270 buttermilk – 1 cup and 2 Tablespoons

  • 3 large 3 eggs

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 vanilla extract

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 glycerin

  • 410 g 410 Simona’s Flour Mix – 2 2/3 cups

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 salt

  • For the chocolate pudding
  • 133 g 133 granulated sugar – 2/3 cup

  • 20 g 20 cornstarch – 2 1/2 Tablespoons

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 salt

  • 240 g 240 heavy cream – 1 cup

  • 120 g 120 while milk – 1/2 cup

  • 85 g 85 bittersweet chocolate, chopped – one 3 oz bar

  • 1 teaspoon 1 vanilla extract

  • For the whipped chocolate ganache
  • 298 g 298 bittersweet chocolate, chopped – 1 3/4 cups

  • 300 g 300 heavy cream – 1 1/4 cups

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Lyle’s or corn syrup

  • 1 teaspoon 1 instant coffee

  • 28 g 28 unsalted butter, softened – 2 Tablespoons

  • 1 teaspoon 1 vanilla extract


  • For the chocolate pudding
  • In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in cream and milk. Whisk in chocolate. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Transfer to a medium glass bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely chilled, 2 to 3 hours.
  • For the chocolate cake
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease four 8-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in cocoa, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and whisk in brown sugar, coffee, and buttermilk until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in eggs, vanilla, and glycerin.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to cocoa mixture, whisking just until smooth.
  • Divide the batter among the pans. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pans.
  • For the whipped chocolate frosting
  • In a large bowl, place the chocolate. In a small saucepan, whisk together cream, corn syrup, and espresso powder. Cook over medium-low heat just until bubbles form around edges of pan. (Do not boil.) Pour cream mixture over chocolate, and let stand for 2 minutes.
  • Starting in center of bowl, slowly stir mixture with a rubber spatula until well combined. Add butter and vanilla, and stir until well combined. Place bowl in an ice bath, stir occasionally, until firm.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat ganache at medium speed until it starts to lighten in color. Use immediately.
  • To assemble the cake
  • Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Whisk Chocolate Pudding until smooth; spread half of pudding onto cake layer. Top with second cake layer, and spread remaining pudding on top. Place the third cake layer on top of pudding. Spread Whipped Chocolate Frosting on top and sides of cake. Crumble the remaining layer reserved for garnish, and press into sides of cake. Cover and refrigerate until a couple of hours before serving.

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