Gluten-free Chocolate Meringue Cake – the Concord Cake that wasn’t

Chocolate meringue cake dusted with confectioners' sugar

Recently, Gesine Bullock-Prado posted a picture of a beautiful cake and asked if anyone knew what it was. The cake she baked was a Concord Cake: two layers of chocolate meringue, filled with chocolate mousse, and covered by beautifully cut meringue sticks. Here is the picture of her creation.

As you can imagine, I immediately looked for a recipe to recreate the beautiful and luscious cake and found one in Food and Wine. The mousse came out decadent, and the layers of meringue baked as expected. Unfortunately, my meringue sticks turned out too wide and not only didn’t they look delicate or appealing, but they also didn’t bake properly, resulting in a chewy texture instead of a crunchy one. My father-in-law always says that in order to do a good job, one needs the right tools. Well, that day I didn’t have the right piping tip and used one that was much too wide…

I decided to cut the sticks in smaller pieces and bake them longer to make them crunchier. It took me a while to cover the cake in its entirety but a dust of confectioners’ sugar was the finishing touch. The cake came out absolutely delicious, though I would never claim it to be a Concord Cake. If you have the right piping tip and can produce the right width for your meringue sticks, I’d encourage you to give it its proper name.


Gluten-free Chocolate Meringue Cake – the Concord Cake that wasn’t

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


Cooking time




  • For the chocolate mousse
  • 285 g 285 bittersweet chocolate – 1 2/3 cups

  • 70 g 70 unsalted butter – 5 Tablespoons

  • 138 g 138 granulated sugar – 1/2 cup and 3 Tablespoons

  • 60 g 60 water – 1/4 cup

  • 2 large 2 egg whites

  • 1 teaspoon 1 vanilla extract

  • 480 g 480 heavy cream, chilled – 2 cups

  • For the chocolate meringue
  • 240 g 240 confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting – 2 cups

  • 80 g 80 unsweetened cocoa powder – 1 cup

  • 9 large 9 egg whites

  • 266 g 266 granulated sugar


  • For the mousse
  • In a heatproof medium bowl set over a pot of simmering water, or in a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and boilover moderately high heat, without stirring, until the sugar syrup reaches 240° Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.
  • Gradually pour the hot syrup into the egg whites in a steady stream and beat at medium-high speed until the whites are stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate until no streaks of white remain. Scrape the chocolate mixture into a large bowl. Wash and dry the mixing bowl and whisk.
  • In the stand mixer fitted with the whisk, scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the heavy cream. Beat the cream at medium speed until firm. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until no streaks remain. Cover the mousse with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • For the meringue
  • In a medium bowl, sift the 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa powder. Line 4 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Trace an 8-inch circle on 2 of the sheets.
  • In the stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the egg whites at low speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Beat in the granulated sugar 3 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Once all of the sugar has been added, beat the whites until stiff and glossy, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the meringue to a large bowl and, using a large rubber spatula, gradually fold in the cocoa powder and confectioners’ sugar until just a few streaks remain.
  • Scrape the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip. Pipe the meringue into the traced circles in a spiral, beginning at the center; there should be no space between the spirals. On the other 2 prepared sheets, pipe the remaining meringue in long sticks, leaving about 1 inch between them. Let the meringue rounds and sticks stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Bake the meringue rounds for about 25 minutes, until they are firm and can be lifted off the parchment with an offset spatula. Transfer to racks to cool completely.
  • Bake the meringue sticks for 12 to 14 minutes, until firm enough to be lifted off the parchment. Cut them into 6-inch lengths and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Using a sharp knife, cut the sticks into 1 1/2- to 2-inch lengths.
  • Assemble the cake
  • Transfer a meringue round to a cake stand or platter. Spoon half of the chilled chocolate mousse onto the meringue and spread it in an even layer with a large offset spatula. Cover with the second meringue round and spread the remaining mousse on top, mounding it slightly in the center. Cover the cake entirely with the meringue sticks. Refrigerate until the mousse is firm, at least 6 hours or overnight. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

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