Gluten-free Clementine Praline Cake

Gluten-free Clementine Praline Cake - covered by hazelnut chocolate with caramelized clementines on top, placed on a bed of praline.

I don’t know if you have come across pictures of cakes with a center tube filled filling. They seem to be popular in France, and for months I have wanted to get a cake pan that would allow such a bake. It has a metal tube in the center and a cover. I found one reasonably priced at Pastry Chef, and I decided to buy it. In the meanwhile, I had seen a recipe for a version of this cake on Instagram @patissedric. So I made a few changes and decided to create my own version using the new cake pan. If you don’t have this specific pan, you can bake it in a regular loaf pan, then cut the cake in half, to fill with the chocolate pastry cream.

For the caramelized tangerine segments I used to decorate the cake, I simply skinned some clementine segments, then caramelized some sugar and poured it on the segments, on both sides. Because the segments are quite juicy, they tend to break out of the caramel, but I was able to save a few and use them. Another, easier, way to do it, would be to leave the skin on the segments, then dip them in caramelized sugar – though you would lose the dramatic effect of the broken shards. It’s also not necessary to add the clementine segments as decoration, since the chocolate hazelnut glaze does a beautiful job by itself.

Don’t get discouraged by the number of steps in this cake. First of all, if you have any praline leftover from the Ferrero Rocher Cookies, you are ahead of the game. The chocolate pastry cream and the clementine syrup can be easily made while the cake is baking and cooling. And the glaze takes only a minute or two.

The recipe which was originally in French, and it was in grams. I did my best to traslate it into volume, but I cannot attest to its precision. As always, I encourage you to purchase a digital scale and start using weight in your baking. Not only is it fun, but it ensures consistency and precision.


Gluten-free Clementine Praline Cake

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


Cooking time




  • For the hazelnut praline
  • 113 g 113 hazelnuts – 3/4 cup

  • 200 g 200 granulated sugar – 1 cup

  • 60 g 60 water – 1/4 cup

  • For the praline cake
  • 140 g 140 unsalted butter, melted – 10 Tablespoons

  • 100 g 100 dark brown sugar – 1/2 cup

  • 4 large 4 eggs

  • 208 g 208 Simona’s Flour Mix – 1 1/3 cups

  • 1 teaspoon 1 baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 salt

  • 60 g 60 hazelnut praline – 3 Tablespoons

  • 1 teaspoon 1 vanilla extract

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 glycerin

  • For the clementine syrup
  • 110 g 110 clementine juice – 1/3 cup and 2 Tablespoons

  • 50 g 50 granulated sugar – 1/4 cup

  • 50 g 50 water – 1/4 cup

  • For the chocolate pastry cream
  • 3 large 3 egg yolks

  • 25 g 25 granulated sugar – 2 Tablespoons

  • 90 g 90 heavy cream – 1/3 cup and 1 Tablespoon

  • 90 g 90 whole milk – 1/3 cup and 1 Tablespoon

  • 80 g 80 dark chocolate, chopped – 1/2 cup

  • For the chocolate glaze
  • 200 g 200 dark chocolate, chopped – 1 1/4 cups

  • 30 g 30 vegetable oil – 2 Tablespoons

  • 40 g 40 hazelnuts, chopped – 5 Tablespoons


  • For the hazelnut praline
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the hazelnuts nuts on a baking sheet, and toast them in the oven until they are fragrant, about 8/10 minutes. Transfer the hazelnuts to a clean kitchen towel, and rub them in the towel vigorously between your hands to remove the brown skins. Place a sheet of parchment paper on the baking pan, and grease. Spread the peeled nuts in the pan.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, until the mixture is amber, about 9 minutes; do not stir. (Pan may be swirled gently about halfway through to incorporate any uncooked sugar.) Pour directly over nuts to create a thin layer. Set aside to cool, at least 30 minutes.
  • Place the praline in the bowl of a food processor; process until the praline is very fine with no sharp pieces. Store any leftover praline in an airtight container. Don’t let pieces overlap much or they will stick together.
  • For the praline cake
  • In a medium bowl combine melted butter and brown sugar, and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, one at the time, and mix until combined.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and the praline. Add them to the egg mixture. Lastly, add vanilla extract and glycerin, and whisk until the batter looks smooth.
  • If using the cake pan with tubular insert, make sure to grease and flour it well, before pouring the batter in it and cover it with its lid. If using a regular loaf pan, make sure to grease it before pouring the batter.
  • Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Place the cake on a cooling rack and let it rest for 15/20 minutes before unmolding.
  • For the chocolate pastry cream
  • While the cake is baking, prepare the chocolate pastry cream. Whisk the yolks and sugar, then add cream and milk until combined. Bring the cream to a boil over medium heat, then pour through a sieve over the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before mixing until smooth. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl, making sure that it’s in contact with the cream, so that it doesn’t form a film. Let it cool.
  • For the clementine syrup
  • Combine all the ingredients while the cake is cooling and bring them to a boil. Let is simmer for 5 minutes. Place aluminum foil under the cooling rack, then brush the cooled and unmolded cake with all the syrup.
  • If you used the cake pan with the tubular insert, place the pastry cream in a piping bag, cut its end, and start piping the cream inside the center of the cake. If you used a regular loaf pan, you might cut the cake in half, and fill it with the pastry cream.
  • For the chocolate glaze
  • Place chocolate and vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments until smooth. Add the hazelnuts.
  • Pour the chocolate glaze over the loaf, using a spoon to help where it’s difficult to reach. The glaze will harden quickly, so you might need to warm it again in the microwave before you are done covering the cake.

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