Gluten-free Buckwheat Chocolate Cake – a wonderful trip to the South Tyrol region

I am back! It’s been a long couple of months, busy with work, and some significant changes in my career. But I also had the pleasure to visit my home country, and while there, I went to one of my absolute favorite places in the world: South Tyrol.

Officially the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, South Tyrol is an autonomous province in Northern Italy, one of the two that make up the autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. Its history is complicated and fascinating, and the result is that the population there speaks German as their first language, followed by Italian. They also have their own dialect, Ladino, which constitutes the third language in the region.

The magnificence of South Tyrol – which is also home of UNESCO world heritage sites – comes from, in part, the majestic Dolomites. This year we visited Campo Tures, a small village in Valle Aurina. As you can see from the slideshow below, the mountains and nature were incredible.

As it often happens in Italy, every region carries its own culinary tradition, and South Tyrol is not an exception. Intrigued by what I saw around me in bakeries and pastry shops, I ventured into a small local store, which had books, as well as stationary, and asked for a cookbook with regional recipes. Unfortunately they only had the German version, but I bought it anyway and came home with a heavy copy of So Backt Südtirol, which, I was told, everyone in the area owned.

You already know what I am going to say… in the next few months I will try some recipes – thanks to Google translate – and share them with you. Today I start with this wholesome cake, made with buckwheat, hazelnut meal, and shaved chocolate. They suggest using either cranberry or apricot jam in the center. Since I like the tartness of cranberries, I quickly made cranberry jam – they can be found frozen when not in season.


Gluten-free Buckwheat Chocolate Cake – a wonderful trip to the South Tyrol region

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free, adapted from So Backt Südtirol Course: DessertDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time




  • 200 g 200 unsalted butter – 3/4 cup and 2 Tablespoons

  • 200 g 200 granulated sugar, divided – 1 cup

  • 6 large 6 eggs, divided

  • 30 g 30 glycerin – 2 Tablespoons

  • 150 g 150 buckwheat flour – 1 cup

  • 30 g 30 Simona’s Flour Mix – 3 Tablespoons

  • 150 g 150 hazelnut flour – 1 1/4 cups and 1 1/2 Tablespoon

  • 110 g 110 bittersweet chocolate, shaved – one 4 oz baking bar

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 baking powder

  • 1/2 lemon 1/2 zest

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 salt

  • as needed as needed confectioners’ sugar

  • as needed as needed apricot or cranberry* jam


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 10 inch cake pan and set aside.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment beat the butter with 100 g (1/2 cup) of granulated sugar. Separate the eggs, and once the butter is light and fluffy, add the yolks, one at the time, scraping the side of the bowl when needed. Add the glycerin and mix well.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the buckwheat flour, Simona’s flour mix, the hazelnut flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt. Add to the butter and eggs and mix well. Add the shaved chocolate.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand mixer, slowly adding the remaining 100 g (1/2 cup) of granulated sugar. Whip until soft peaks form. Carefully fold the egg whites into your batter, making sure not to deflate it.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared pan and spread evenly with an off-set spatula. Bake for 40 minutes, until it springs back when touched, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake rest in the pan until cold, on a cooling rack. Unmold and cut in half lengthwise, creating two layers. Place the bottom layer on a serving plate, spread the jam on the layer to its edges, and cover with the second layer. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.


  • * If you’d like to make your own cranberry jam, add 16 oz (4 1/2 cups) of fresh or frozen cranberries, 200 g (1 cup) of granulated sugar, and 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until all the cranberries have burst – between 15 and 20 minutes. Your jam us ready to use.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. teresam61 says:

    By the looks of your photos, it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL there!! Thank you for sharing Simona 🙂

  2. It’s such a magical place and their traditions are rooted in the German and Austrian history, so they are so incredibly rich. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Italy, please consider taking a trip there!

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